BRM Reviews the 12/28/2020 Raw (fitting)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 12/28/2020 Raw (fitting)

Post by Big Red Machine » Dec 30th, '20, 21:40

OPENING SEGMENT- dull
Drew’s sword and kilt looked REALLY stupid. The sword is… a dude carrying around a big sword in modern times, and the kilt would be fine it if it was a normal kilt, but this looks like someone’s attempt to make a “cool, leather kilt with chains on it, because that will totally make Drew look like a badass!”
Drew thanks the fans for rallying behind him. He then starts to talk about tonight’s #1 contendership match between Keith Lee and Sheamus, so, of course, he is interrupted. First Sheamus came out and they put each other over. Lee eventually interrupted them and more talking happened. Drew put Lee over, too. Drew suggested that they have the match right now and called a referee out. Fortunately, Lee and Sheamus already happened to be in their gear.
Drew said that no matter who won, he would retain his title. Lee got irrationally angry about his, which gave Sheamus an excuse to Brogue Kick him. Sheamus gave Lee another kick, so Drew yelled at him.
This whole thing felt very much by rote. I’m not saying that it was bad, but it was both pointless and not very interesting.
One positive thing I will say is that I loved the way Drew framed “Legends Night” next week. It wasn’t “OMFG all of these cool legends are going to be here” like we usually get, but rather he was eager for these great legends to see how great he is. I know that sounds heelish, but it’s important to put the focus on the current wrestlers; not the old-timers coming back for a one-off appearance.

WINNER GETS A SHOT AT THE WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE NEXT WEEK: Keith Lee vs. Sheamus- 6.75/10
The story of this match was Sheamus working over Keith Lee’s arm. Tom Phillips described this as a game plan “we have seen Sheamus use for years.” I can’t recall one single instance of Sheamus working the arm. Drew McIntyre, who was on commentary, tried to save Tom’s ass by saying “yes, the ground-and-pound,” but only came off looking like an idiot for calling something a ground-and-pound when it clearly wasn’t.
You could tell that these guys were both trying to do some different things from usual (Sheamus went to the top rope TWICE) but the match didn’t feel anywhere near as big as it should have considering both the stakes and build.

THE DRIFTER PLAYS MUSIC FOR JAXSON RYKER- whatever

THE MIZ (w/John Morrison) vs. GRAN METALIK (w/Lincé Dorado)- 3/10
We got a quick pre-match promo from Lincé Dorado making fun of both Miz’s acting career and “attempt to get the Money in the Bank Briefcase restored to him.” Thank G-d this was resolved at the end of the night so we don’t have to hear that phrase over and over again (as for the resolution itself… well…).
This was short, but that was fine given the story the announcers were trying to push, which was that Miz’s head wasn’t in the game because he was sad that he didn’t have MITB anymore and was scheming up ways to get it back. Metalik got a few nearfalls with roll-ups in the early moments. Miz too control, but Metalik made a comeback and won with a roll-up.
This loss was fine for Miz’s story, but I can’t help but point out that a more competent Creative force would also be able to use this as the start of an (at least temporary) elevation for Gran Metalik, but I have no faith that WWE will do this. The commentary was focused entirely on Miz losing rather than saying that this was a big win for Gran Metalik.

AJ AND OMOS WANT THE DRIFTER TO PLAY HIS MUSIC MORE QUIETLY SO THEY CAN CONCENTRATE- entertaining
The important part here was that Ryker didn’t back down from Omos. AJ and The Drifter exchanged barbs. AJ’s were entertainingly lame. AJ challenged The Drifter to a match.

SHAYNA BASZLER vs. DANA BOOKE (w/Mandy Rose)- 4.25/10
This was a good little match for what it was. They actually had me buying that Dana might pick up the win because Shayna got too gleeful in her sadism and thus got careless.

ALEXA’S PLAYHOUSE WITH SPECIAL GUEST RANDY ORTON- horrible
I had the misfortune of having to watch this with another person in the room.
Alexa prattled on about The Fiend. She kept asking for Randy to come out. His music played but he didn’t show up. Alexa got sad because “I don’t think Randy Orton wants to play with us anymore.”
Randy then showed up in the Firefly Funhouse and started to throw the puppets around. Puppets. Randy Orton, a fourteen-zillion-time world champion who is famous for ending people’s careers and just months ago was sending legends to the hospital… is throwing f*cking PUPPETS around.
Randy’s reason for messing up the Firefly Outhouse was so The Fiend “would have nothing left to come back to.” Dude… YOU SET HIM ON F*CKING FIRE UNTIL HE WAS BURNT TO A CRISP AND YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT HIM COMING BACK. If he can come back from being immolated, don’t you think he can just magically recreate whatever you destroy?
Alexa got all concerned and challenged Randy to meet her in the ring later. Randy figures that that is when The Fiend is supposed to return, so he accepts. If he thought the point of Alexa’s invitation was to set a trap so that The Fiend could return and Randy wants The Fiend to return, why didn’t he just come to the ring now?

RECAP OF NIA JAX INJURING CHARLOTTE BACK IN JUNE- Yeah… this is the sort of thing you need to mention right when she comes back.

CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS CHARLOTTE FLAIR- good
Good babyface stuff from Charlotte. At the end, Asuka showed up to be a goof.

AJ STYLES (w/Omos) vs. “THE DRIFTER” ELIAS SAMPSON (w/Jaxson Ryker)- 5.75/10
AJ won a meh match that I don’t think anyone thought he would lose.

RICOCHET vs. MUSTAFA ALI (w/Retribution)- 6.75/10
The announcers keep implying that if Ricochet beats Ali, maybe Retribution will leave him alone, but we have no reason to believe that.
They story here was Retribution interfering to save Ali. Ricochet eventually took them all out but that gave Ali enough time to recover and get his knees up, then lock in the Koji Clutch for the win. Ali once again tried to get Ricochet to join Retribution after the match but Ricochet refused and attacked him. In other words, the story did not move forward in any way.

CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS NIA JAX- meh
Both Nia and Shayna are entering the Royal Rumble. Also, they want the tag titles back.

CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS DREW MCINTYRE- great build for next week’s title defense against Keith Lee.

NIA JAX (w/Shayna Baszler) vs. CHARLOTTE FLAIR (w/Asuka)- 5.5/10
Charlotte was about to win when Baszler ran in for the DQ. F*ck this company and their stupid f*cking DQs. Charlotte took a neck-first bump into the turnbuckle that looked terrifying.

CHARLY CARUSO INTERIVEWS ANGEL GARZA- snore
He said Angel Garza stuff. The 24/7 goofs ran through his interview and destroyed his rose.

NEW DAY, JEFF HARDY, & MATT RIDDLE BACKSTAGE- meh
Xavier cut a fine promo. Riddle was a goof.

THE HURT BUSINESS vs. MATT RIDDLE, JEFF HARDY, & THE NEW DAY (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)- 7.5/10
Pretty much what you’d expect from these eight men (although the heels got the heat on Riddle rather than Jeff or Woods. That part you might not expect). This was the best thing on the show by miles. Almost every time Lashley was in- even when he was the one getting hit with moves- was about making Lashley look like a monster, which did a perfect job of setting up for the…

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good
The heels went to do more damage to the babyface but Riddle managed to stun Lashley with a big knee, which did more to get Riddle over than anything they’ve done with him on the main roster so far.

ADAM PEARCE RETURNS THE MITB BRIEFCASE TO THE MIZ- COMPLETELY F*CKING STUPID!
Pearce said that “the rules clearly state” that only the MITB contract-holder can cash in the briefcase, and therefore, because Morrison was the one who handed the referee the briefcase, the cash-in didn’t count.
1. This is clearly, as Bryon Saxton described it earlier, an “insane loophole.” It was CLEARLY Miz’s desire that MITB be cashed in. If he didn’t want it, he wouldn’t have wrestled the f*cking match!
2. If the rules “clearly state” this, then the f*cking referee shouldn’t have accepted the cash-in!
3. Acting on a hunch, I pulled up footage of the most recent men’s MITB cash-in and- YOU GUESSED IT- PAUL HEYMAN was the one who handed the referee the briefcase. So yeah. They didn’t even check to make sure this supposed rule would fit in with the history of the briefcase.
4. What benefit could there POSSIBLY be to doing this? No one gave a sh*t about Miz having MITB. He’s the f*cking Miz. Having the briefcase around doesn’t draw extra viewers (it’s not like viewership goes up every year after MITB and goes down once both briefcases are cashed in). And, in this case, I’ll argue that if anything it will turn people away because…
A. It makes the show feel like very little has changed in the past few months (people are still having mostly the same feuds they’ve been having since the draft, etc.)
B. It shows a lack of confidence on the part of the bookers, which is going to be a turn-off to people because they can tell that you’re just flailing. Say what you will about AEW’s booking (and I’ve sure said a lot about it), but they come across as people who have confidence in the direction of their product.
C. “Undoing” an MITB cash-in is, in my mind, kind of like undoing a title change the next day. You’ve taken an event that we’re supposed to be excited for and you’ve made it mean less by showing us that you can just undo it if you decide you don’t like it.
5. I just can’t conceive of any plan they could have for MITB that would be worth this. You’ve got two PPVs until Mania and Drew has two or maybe three opponents lined up (Sheamus, Lee, and AJ, who has said that Miz ruined his title match and he thinks he could beat Drew one on one). After that, you can just do MITB as the first post-Mania PPV and set your plan into motion then. If that requires Miz winning MITB again then that’s fine. I’m not going to love it, but at least you’re not devaluing the excitement/importance of a cash-in.

EXTREMELY STUPID SH*T AT THE END- Randy comes out to the ring to meet Alexa. He demands to know where The Fiend is, but Alexa says this is about her, not The Fiend. She gets a present from where the ring announcer sits and unwraps a can of gasoline. She begs Randy to set her on fire but he doesn’t.
She starts trying to goad him into it by calling him a bitch and saying he isn’t demented enough to do it. Randy says that he’s willing to do it, but he won’t because Alexa wants him to. The lights magically went off, then came back on again, but there was no Fiend. Randy lit a match, and was about to drop it into the trail of gasoline to BURN ALEXA BLISS ALIVE, when the show went off the air… and also apparently time just f*cking froze, because it’s now late Wednesday night and we still don’t know what happened. Either that or The Fiend magicked everyone out of the building. Either way this is dumb.

I’m not going to lie to you all. I was expecting to see this and want to rant and rave at how dumb it is, but there really isn’t much to say other than “this is f*cking stupid and all of this Fiend sh*t is dumb.” If you put me in the room with person who came up with this idea, I would probably scream at them that they’re an idiot and have no understanding of what pro wrestling is and if they think that special effects are a replacement for having a logical, coherent story with actual substance to it, then I hope they spend the next two weeks eating nothing but CGI food and starve to death,”* but I really don’t have much to say about this segment in particular, because other than the time-stop element (which I commented on above), it’s really nothing new. It’s the same all spectacle, no substance Bray Wyatt bullsh*t that we’ve been getting for the past six years.
*Unless that person was Alexa and she pitched this as a way to get herself written out of this stupid Fiend bullsh*t. That I can respect.

Sorry for disappointing you all with the lack of a rant. If you want, here are the links to my rant about how empty this Firefly Funhouse/Fiend sh*t is from earlier this year and how dumb Cena vs. Wyatt/Fiend was:
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=22973&p=118160&hilit=fiend#p118160
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=22824

Raw ends 2020 by sucking, just as it has done all year, in just about every way possible. Actually… when I put it that way, the show ending with someone begging to be burned alive seems kind of appropriate. It’s a pretty good embodiment of what it has felt like to watch main roster WWE programming this year.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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KILLdozer
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Re: BRM Reviews the 12/28/2020 Raw (fitting)

Post by KILLdozer » Dec 31st, '20, 10:49

Imagine if Jaxson Ryker chokeslams Omos at some point in time...probably not gonna actually, unfortunately invest enough into this for that to actually happen, not to mention I'm sure they won't have someone go over on him in such a fashion...but personally I've always loved that dude as a wrestler since TNA and man...that feeling would be insane...
When they come, they'll come at what you love.

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Big Red Machine
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Re: BRM Reviews the 12/28/2020 Raw (fitting)

Post by Big Red Machine » Dec 31st, '20, 11:06

KILLdozer wrote: Dec 31st, '20, 10:49 Imagine if Jaxson Ryker chokeslams Omos at some point in time...probably not gonna actually, unfortunately invest enough into this for that to actually happen, not to mention I'm sure they won't have someone go over on him in such a fashion...but personally I've always loved that dude as a wrestler since TNA and man...that feeling would be insane...
I don't think he's tall enough to chokeslam Omos (at least not with both of them standing on the ground).
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
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Re: BRM Reviews the 12/28/2020 Raw (fitting)

Post by cero2k » Dec 31st, '20, 11:27

Big Red Machine wrote: Dec 31st, '20, 11:06
KILLdozer wrote: Dec 31st, '20, 10:49 Imagine if Jaxson Ryker chokeslams Omos at some point in time...probably not gonna actually, unfortunately invest enough into this for that to actually happen, not to mention I'm sure they won't have someone go over on him in such a fashion...but personally I've always loved that dude as a wrestler since TNA and man...that feeling would be insane...
I don't think he's tall enough to chokeslam Omos (at least not with both of them standing on the ground).
Hurricane would disagree
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KILLdozer
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Re: BRM Reviews the 12/28/2020 Raw (fitting)

Post by KILLdozer » Dec 31st, '20, 11:34

Big Red Machine wrote: Dec 31st, '20, 11:06
KILLdozer wrote: Dec 31st, '20, 10:49 Imagine if Jaxson Ryker chokeslams Omos at some point in time...probably not gonna actually, unfortunately invest enough into this for that to actually happen, not to mention I'm sure they won't have someone go over on him in such a fashion...but personally I've always loved that dude as a wrestler since TNA and man...that feeling would be insane...
I don't think he's tall enough to chokeslam Omos (at least not with both of them standing on the ground).
Plus...he's now with Elias...who is the literal living embodiment of "don't really have any real major plans or even thoughts upon doing anything with this guy right now..."
When they come, they'll come at what you love.

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