BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 17th, '21, 21:37

MIZTV WITH SPECIAL GUEST DREW MCINTYRE- bad
This was annoying because it was mostly Miz talking. It was one of those segments that wasn’t actually that long (only about eight minutes) but felt like it went forever. I’m not even sure why they needed to have Drew out here. DO we really need to see Miz get beaten up for the 8,250th time? The important point was Miz taking himself out of the Elimination Chamber match (presumably so he can cash in MITB on the winner) but if that was the whole point of this then why did you waste time with a long segment when you could have just had Miz make a quick announcement? And don’t tell me that the idea that Drew is cracking under the pressure of having to defend his title in an Elimination Chamber match like Miz said. We all know that’s heel bullsh*t (and it would be proven false by the end of the night).

MATT RIDDLE & LUCHA HOUSE PARTY BACKSTAGE- bad
This was your typical “Matt Riddle is a stupid, annoying dork” segment. Lincé Dorado was forced to say that the various joke-named presidents that Riddle asked them about (like Rutherford “P.S.” Hayes and Harrison Ford) were “too Lucha-lit.” And the people running this show can’t figure out why their ratings are in the toilet.

MATT RIDDLE & LUCHA HOUSE PARTY vs. THE HURT BUSINESS (MVP, Cedric Alexander, & Shelton Benjamin)- 5.25/10
We were told that Keith Lee’s status for Sunday’s title match was questionable due to injuries sustained in the attack by Bobby Lashley last week.
Instead of going to a commercial after a dive, this week WWE decided to try something new and go to commercial after an attempted dive that got reversed. Well… at least that’s kind of a break from the pattern.
The babyfaces won an okay match in ten minutes when Riddle pinned MVP. Shelton and Cedric had no trouble working together.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- snore
Lashley beats up all of the babyfaces. This is the third time we’ve seen Lashley beat Riddle up after a match in this three-week PPV cycle.

ADAM PEARCE & THE MIZ BACKSTAGE- bad
The Miz wants John Morrison to take his spot in the Elimination Chamber. Pearce says he’ll consider it. Why should JoMo get the spot if the gimmick is all former world champions? Shouldn’t that spot go to Kofi or Braun (or, as we would later learn, to Kofi, because it’s actually only former WWE World Heavyweight Champions)?

MANDY ROSE & BAD BUNNY BACKSTAGE- bad
Mandy is the dork wearing someone else’s t-shirt… in this case, Bad Bunny. Having a wrestler wear this dude’s t-shirt won’t make those of us who don’t know who he is think he’s a bigger deal, and for someone who already does know who he is, it 1) won’t them think he’s a bigger deal, and 2) will only make the wrestler look like a lesser star.
Mandy asks Bad Bunny if he has an extra shirt for Dana Brooke, too. Hey Dana! You make good money. How about you BUY the f*cking t-shirt instead of asking this dude for free stuff?
Mandy plugs Bad Bunny’s appearance on Saturday Night Live this week, then walks off… and Bad Bunny stares at her ass. In 2021. Then Damian Priest comes over and gave him what sounded like the Spanish equivalent of a “way to go, bro!” which made him come off like a pussy-hound… which is what his Rockstar character should be. The problem is that that isn’t a babyface character, and he’s supposed to be a babyface right now.

SARAH SCHREIBER INTERVIEWS DAMIAN PRIEST & BAD BUNNY, & BAD BUNNY WINS THE 24/7 TITLE- good
Priest came off like a star, but his promo was dangerously close to heelish arrogance. He comes across like what I imagine The Miz would be if Miz were cool.
They were disturbed by a noise in the background, which turned out to be Akira Tozawa throwing R-Truth into those poles that they have backstage that seem to only be there so that wrestlers have something noisy to throw each other into. Tozawa then pinned Truth and won the 24/7 Title. While celebrating, he bumped into Priest, who slammed him into an equipment case (“set backstage lighting,” to be specific. I’m a detail guy). Priest motioned for Bad Bunny to pin Tozawa, and Bad Bunny did so and celebrated
Yes, the 24/7 Title is an absolute scourge. Yes, Damian Priest not even wanting the title makes the title look even less important than it already does. But Bad Bunny was TREMENDOUS here. When Priest offered him the pin, he started by backing away, like he knew that this really wasn’t his world and he shouldn’t take the title… but then his inner fan won out and he made the covered and celebrated like the belt was important to him. Not because it’s the “prestigious WWE 24/7 Championship” or whatever Michael Cole would say, but because he’s a fan and he just won a real-life WWE championship like I’m sure he dreamed of doing as a kid, and how he’s holding it in his hand and still can’t believe it. He came off like a real fan, rather than some celebrity in it for the cross-promotion.

ADAM PEARCE & NEW DAY BACKSTAGE- bad
Kofi and Xavier apparently read my review of last week’s show and presented Pearce with my argument for why it was ridiculous for Kofi not to be included in the Elimination Chamber (and also the one I gave about why he should be in and not Morrison). Pearce said he would think about it.
The bad part of this part of the segment was Xavier being upset that Pearce hadn’t booked him in the final match of some best-of-five series he had asked for. I have no recollection of him being in any sort of best-of-five series.
Then we progressed to the next part of the segment, where Miz showed up. He suspiciously asked them what they were talking about, even though Kofi was shouting loud enough that I can’t imagine people weren’t hearing him clearly fifty feet away. He began to bicker with New Day until Pearce yelled at them to stop and announced that to determine whether Miz’s spot would go to Kofi or Morrison, we would have a match between Kofi and… Miz. Yes, really.
Miz and New Day continued to bicker on camera, even though the segment had already passed a logical point to end.

Tom Phillips described Elimination Chamber as a “detour” on the Road to WrestleMania™. That is a VERY apt description of what it feels like. Something that is completely unnecessary and making the trip frustratingly longer.

CHARLOTTE FLAIR & ASUKA vs. PEYTON ROYCE & LACEY EVANS (w/Ric Flair)- 2/10
Lacey cut a GREAT heel promo on Asuka and Charlotte before the match.
The babyfaces beat Peyton up until Peyton tagged Lacey in without her consent. Lacey responded to this by fleeing to the aisle, grabbing a microphone, and announcing that she was pregnant. Ric made sure the child was his before he started celebrating. I assume that she’s lying about this to get out of the match because otherwise she’s not going to be able to wrestle on Sunday when she is scheduled to challenge for the WWE Raw Women’s Title… but if that’s the case, why risk upsetting Ric with this lie? If she wants to get out of this match, why doesn’t she just get herself disqualified?
Charlotte looked distressed by this news. Tom Phillips, being an idiot, didn’t understand why Ric Flair was celebrating the announcement that he would be having another child.

CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS SHEAMUS- fine
Charly asked Sheamus how a victory in the gauntlet to determine who would get to enter the Elimination Chamber last would make him the favorite. Is the gimmick that Charly is an idiot, or that she thinks we’re all idiots? Either way, it’s not good.
Sheamus cut a good promo building up both tonight’s main event and Sunday’s title match.

IF MIZ WINS, JOHN MORRISON REPLACES HIM THE ELIMINATION CHAMBER; IF KOFI KINGSTON WINS, KOFI REPLACES MIZ IN THE ELIMINATION CHAMBER: The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston- 6.5/10
Kofi won a fine match. Not much to say about it other than it was the typical Miz vs. Kofi match we’ve seen so many times over the past decade.

SARAH SCHREIBER INTERVIEWS LANA & NAOMI- Naomi good, Lana bad
Naomi cut a fine promo. Lana’s “I just try to do my best and if I win then that’s even better” and ‘maybe it was luck that caused me to win last week’ came off like someone who didn’t belong in a professional combat sport. There is a way to cut that promo, but not with so much f*cking smiling. She came off like she didn’t actually care if she won or lost, which is the opposite of how you should sound after the biggest win of your career.

RANDY ORTON PROMO- good

ALEXA BLISS! RANDOMLY INTERRUPTS RANDY ORTON’S PROMO BEFORE HE CAN FINISH HIS CATCHPHRASE- She’s sitting in the middle of a pentagram talking about The Fiend being reborn in the future. Uch.

SHAYNA BASZLER (w/Nia Jax) vs. LANA (w/Naomi)- 1.5/10
Right after getting her big win, Lana loses cleanly the next week, even though Baszler distracted herself going after Naomi after Naomi fought off an attack by Nia Jax.

BRAUN STROWMAN & ADAM PEARCE BACKSTAGE- fine
Braun demands to know why he isn’t in the Elimination Chamber match. Pearce explains that it’s only former WWE World Heavyweight Champions and not Universal Champions like Braun. Brain threatens Pearce, then threatens that if Shane McMahon doesn’t make it up to him for him not being included in the Elimination Chamber, he’s going to make everyone’s lives miserable. I guess Braun is a heel now.

At this point I realized that John Morrison has been suspiciously absent from a show where he could have wound up with a world title shot.

AJ STYLES MATCH- fine

GAUNTLET MATCH TO DETERMINE WHO ENTERS THE ELIMINATION CHAMER LAST: AJ Styles (w/Omos) vs. Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus- 8/10
I love how they are trying to reduce the amount of luck in who wins the Elimination Chamber by determining who gets the advantage of entering last by having a match where the order of entrance in the determining match- including who gets the advantage of entering last- is randomly determined. It takes a special kind of mind to not see the flaw in this.

Kofi was selling his knee after his earlier match, where Miz got one really big spot in on the knee.
They did another one of those spots where the cameraperson gets into a position that you would never shoot this shot from unless your goal is to make Omos look taller (although this time I suspect it was also done to allow us to not see that Woods wasn’t landing on the concrete we were supposed to presume he landed on). Also, Woods deserved that chokeslam for the annoying trombone-playing he was doing.
Lots of wrestling happened. It was mostly very good (especially the twenty minutes of Drew vs. AJ). AJ beat Kofi, then Drew beat everyone (including Randy losing in one minute because he was distracted by Alexa Bliss! magically taking over the TitanTron), before Sheamus came out last and beat Drew in five minutes.
Yes, this was the best wrestling we’ve seen on Raw in quite some time, but it was also a bad idea. Aside from the stupidity of using a Gauntlet match to reduce luck in an Elimination Chamber that noted above, you’re also booking a match where five of the six guys in your world title match have to lose.
And I think it’s important to examine why WWE felt the need to book this match that has more detriments than positives. Obviously I’m just speculating here (I think you all know by now that if I was a member of WWE Creative, I would have died of an aneurysm long ago), but I’ve been watching WWE for a long time, and I think I’ve got some insight into why they do what they do. In this case, they did a gauntlet match a few years ago (the one where Rollins went forever) and it was compelling, so they booked it again and gave us the same thing with Kofi and that worked even better. So well, in fact, that they did it a month later with the same stipulation with Big E. & Xavier, and they’ve been doing it ever since, robotically, without even bothering to think about its effect on things now that the ratings draw has worn off. The same can be said about the entire Elimination Chamber PPV, in fact. I can’t imagine that doing this huge gimmick right after the Rumble drives subscriptions up very much, but they keep doing it.
They need to stop. Stop it with the gauntlets (and especially ones where one person last forever, because it diminishes the accomplishment if someone always seems to accomplish it), and stop it with the Elimination Chamber. Just look at the booking of both of this year’s chamber matches. On Raw, where the title is on the line, all of the focus has been on Drew vs. Sheamus, and on Smackdown, where the winner immediately gets a shot at Roman, all of the focus has been on Roman vs. Owens. If you want to book singles matches, JUST BOOK SINGLES MATCHES. Don’t announce an Elimination Chamber. I don’t care if the PPV name was announced months in advance. This year, of all years, that matters the least, because there aren’t any fans who bought tickets thinking they would see an Elimination Chamber match who would feel cheated if you didn’t book the gimmick match!


Anyway, this was a better episode of Raw than usual due to the solid hour or so of great wrestling at the end, but it’s not the sort of thing that gives me hope that the show isn’t going to go right back to being bad next week.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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Re: BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by XIV » Feb 17th, '21, 23:40

WWE Raw is too long. It always lacks that crescendo to the end where it makes you want to see the PPV or next show.
It just wasn’t a good show at all. Bad Bunny as the 24/7 champion is fine, for all the reasons you described, he is in training for something and it means he can do short bursts of wrestling stuff rather than matches. Plus, he’s the highest merch seller, so maybe Bad Bunny fans will buy their own 24/7 belt.

Lacey and Flair, like, the pregnancy angle they’ve had to use because of her legit pregnancy, but to write Ric in on that as potential father is just stupid.

The WWE product is just near unwatchable now. I’ve been dropping in and out of it for years and between Royal rumble and Wrestlemania I’m always paying more attention, but I’m not excited for the next show, I’m not excited about any character, nothing and no-one grabs me as a fan. It’s just not good.

We all had hope that Triple H was the saviour, but NXT has slowly become just a C show that I also fail to entirely enjoy, because everything is scripted to the nth degree, so Vince giving it up, selling or dying won’t have the impact we all think it will.

I don’t know how the product ever survives moving forward.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 18th, '21, 00:10

XIV wrote: Feb 17th, '21, 23:40

Lacey and Flair, like, the pregnancy angle they’ve had to use because of her legit pregnancy, but to write Ric in on that as potential father is just stupid.

Wait... she's shoot pregnant?
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Re: BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by XIV » Feb 18th, '21, 00:27

Big Red Machine wrote: Feb 18th, '21, 00:10
XIV wrote: Feb 17th, '21, 23:40

Lacey and Flair, like, the pregnancy angle they’ve had to use because of her legit pregnancy, but to write Ric in on that as potential father is just stupid.

Wait... she's shoot pregnant?
That’s what’s been going around! She supposedly told WWE that day and they had to get creative, which is why the promo she had learned and cut before the match doesn’t match what happens minutes later.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 18th, '21, 07:42

XIV wrote: Feb 18th, '21, 00:27
Big Red Machine wrote: Feb 18th, '21, 00:10
XIV wrote: Feb 17th, '21, 23:40

Lacey and Flair, like, the pregnancy angle they’ve had to use because of her legit pregnancy, but to write Ric in on that as potential father is just stupid.

Wait... she's shoot pregnant?
That’s what’s been going around! She supposedly told WWE that day and they had to get creative, which is why the promo she had learned and cut before the match doesn’t match what happens minutes later.
1. I've been staying spoiler-free while I catch up on things, so I miss news.
2. I still don't understand why they had her cut the pre-match promo. She didn't tell them she was pregnant during the match., right? Because unless that's the case, they knew she was pregnant before she headed out to the ring.
3. Could they really not think of "Lacey announces she is pregnant earlier in the show so the match is cancelled; Pearce books a replacement #1 contendership match?" That took me thirty seconds to think of.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by XIV » Feb 18th, '21, 07:59

Big Red Machine wrote: Feb 18th, '21, 07:42
XIV wrote: Feb 18th, '21, 00:27
Big Red Machine wrote: Feb 18th, '21, 00:10

Wait... she's shoot pregnant?
That’s what’s been going around! She supposedly told WWE that day and they had to get creative, which is why the promo she had learned and cut before the match doesn’t match what happens minutes later.
1. I've been staying spoiler-free while I catch up on things, so I miss news.
2. I still don't understand why they had her cut the pre-match promo. She didn't tell them she was pregnant during the match., right? Because unless that's the case, they knew she was pregnant before she headed out to the ring.
3. Could they really not think of "Lacey announces she is pregnant earlier in the show so the match is cancelled; Pearce books a replacement #1 contendership match?" That took me thirty seconds to think of.
Either way, the pre match promo is utter pointless and silly if you know she’s pregnant. It’s not a swerve, it’s just confusing.

But yeah, it seems to be a real thing, so, no pay off to this Lacey / Flair thing.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 18th, '21, 08:42

XIV wrote: Feb 18th, '21, 07:59
Big Red Machine wrote: Feb 18th, '21, 07:42
XIV wrote: Feb 18th, '21, 00:27

That’s what’s been going around! She supposedly told WWE that day and they had to get creative, which is why the promo she had learned and cut before the match doesn’t match what happens minutes later.
1. I've been staying spoiler-free while I catch up on things, so I miss news.
2. I still don't understand why they had her cut the pre-match promo. She didn't tell them she was pregnant during the match., right? Because unless that's the case, they knew she was pregnant before she headed out to the ring.
3. Could they really not think of "Lacey announces she is pregnant earlier in the show so the match is cancelled; Pearce books a replacement #1 contendership match?" That took me thirty seconds to think of.
Either way, the pre match promo is utter pointless and silly if you know she’s pregnant. It’s not a swerve, it’s just confusing.

But yeah, it seems to be a real thing, so, no pay off to this Lacey / Flair thing.
There can still be a pay-off, but we'll have to wait a while for it. Or they could just wrap things up by having Lacey get angry and dump Ric, then have Ric and Charlotte repair things.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by XIV » Feb 18th, '21, 11:36

But you had Ric shouting “just call me Daddy” so I really hope they don’t go down that whole Flair’s the daddy thing, because it’s stupid and everyone will know it’s not true and just be a fart of a storyline.

But that was just one thing wrong with this whole show.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 21st, '21, 12:56

XIV wrote: Feb 18th, '21, 11:36 But you had Ric shouting “just call me Daddy” so I really hope they don’t go down that whole Flair’s the daddy thing, because it’s stupid and everyone will know it’s not true and just be a fart of a storyline.

I just listened to The Fix, and Todd Martin had an ingenious solution for this whole thing:

Lacey thought she was seducing Ric, but really it was the other way around. Charlotte and Ric have been in cahoots this whole time. Charlotte sent Ric to get Lacey pregnant, thus removing a top competitor from the division for the next nine months.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by XIV » Feb 21st, '21, 14:10

Big Red Machine wrote: Feb 21st, '21, 12:56
XIV wrote: Feb 18th, '21, 11:36 But you had Ric shouting “just call me Daddy” so I really hope they don’t go down that whole Flair’s the daddy thing, because it’s stupid and everyone will know it’s not true and just be a fart of a storyline.

I just listened to The Fix, and Todd Martin had an ingenious solution for this whole thing:

Lacey thought she was seducing Ric, but really it was the other way around. Charlotte and Ric have been in cahoots this whole time. Charlotte sent Ric to get Lacey pregnant, thus removing a top competitor from the division for the next nine months.
My issue with that is Ric still being the Father.

Whilst it would recommend a good heel turn for Charlotte (and make her a top contender for Asuka as well) and I wouldn’t be able to get over the over-riding factor here.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 21st, '21, 18:44

XIV wrote: Feb 21st, '21, 14:10
Big Red Machine wrote: Feb 21st, '21, 12:56
XIV wrote: Feb 18th, '21, 11:36 But you had Ric shouting “just call me Daddy” so I really hope they don’t go down that whole Flair’s the daddy thing, because it’s stupid and everyone will know it’s not true and just be a fart of a storyline.

I just listened to The Fix, and Todd Martin had an ingenious solution for this whole thing:

Lacey thought she was seducing Ric, but really it was the other way around. Charlotte and Ric have been in cahoots this whole time. Charlotte sent Ric to get Lacey pregnant, thus removing a top competitor from the division for the next nine months.
My issue with that is Ric still being the Father.

Whilst it would recommend a good heel turn for Charlotte (and make her a top contender for Asuka as well) and I wouldn’t be able to get over the over-riding factor here.
You doubt the Nature Boy's motility?
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Re: BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by XIV » Feb 22nd, '21, 02:32

Big Red Machine wrote: Feb 21st, '21, 18:44
XIV wrote: Feb 21st, '21, 14:10
Big Red Machine wrote: Feb 21st, '21, 12:56

I just listened to The Fix, and Todd Martin had an ingenious solution for this whole thing:

Lacey thought she was seducing Ric, but really it was the other way around. Charlotte and Ric have been in cahoots this whole time. Charlotte sent Ric to get Lacey pregnant, thus removing a top competitor from the division for the next nine months.
My issue with that is Ric still being the Father.

Whilst it would recommend a good heel turn for Charlotte (and make her a top contender for Asuka as well) and I wouldn’t be able to get over the over-riding factor here.
You doubt the Nature Boy's motility?
I don't doubt it at all. Males can provide children for 90% of their lives... I just know like everyone else knows that Lacey is happily married and everyone has been congratulating her and her husband in news stories and social media... and don;t give me that "it's just in storyline" stuff because WWE wants you to pay attention to all this social media. They cannot pick when and when not to want you to ignore it.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 22nd, '21, 09:15

XIV wrote: Feb 22nd, '21, 02:32
Big Red Machine wrote: Feb 21st, '21, 18:44
XIV wrote: Feb 21st, '21, 14:10

My issue with that is Ric still being the Father.

Whilst it would recommend a good heel turn for Charlotte (and make her a top contender for Asuka as well) and I wouldn’t be able to get over the over-riding factor here.
You doubt the Nature Boy's motility?
I don't doubt it at all. Males can provide children for 90% of their lives... I just know like everyone else knows that Lacey is happily married and everyone has been congratulating her and her husband in news stories and social media... and don;t give me that "it's just in storyline" stuff because WWE wants you to pay attention to all this social media. They cannot pick when and when not to want you to ignore it.
From that perspective I agree, but I think that in this day and age you just have to compartmentalize that stuff because other than a select few (the only ones I know of are MJF, plus some of the CHIKARA gimmicks while CHIKARA was still running), no one fully keeps kayfabe on social media.

If it helps, the way I look at things is that only a Tweet shown on TV counts as kayfabe (and if the promotion wants us to know about a Tweet, it's their responsibility to make sure we know about it- i.e. on the TV show).
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Re: BRM Reviews the 2/15/2021 Raw

Post by XIV » Feb 22nd, '21, 10:06

Big Red Machine wrote: Feb 22nd, '21, 09:15
XIV wrote: Feb 22nd, '21, 02:32
Big Red Machine wrote: Feb 21st, '21, 18:44
You doubt the Nature Boy's motility?
I don't doubt it at all. Males can provide children for 90% of their lives... I just know like everyone else knows that Lacey is happily married and everyone has been congratulating her and her husband in news stories and social media... and don;t give me that "it's just in storyline" stuff because WWE wants you to pay attention to all this social media. They cannot pick when and when not to want you to ignore it.
From that perspective I agree, but I think that in this day and age you just have to compartmentalize that stuff because other than a select few (the only ones I know of are MJF, plus some of the CHIKARA gimmicks while CHIKARA was still running), no one fully keeps kayfabe on social media.

If it helps, the way I look at things is that only a Tweet shown on TV counts as kayfabe (and if the promotion wants us to know about a Tweet, it's their responsibility to make sure we know about it- i.e. on the TV show).
I guess we’ll see on RAW tonight with a bit more planning behind it just where they’re going to take the angle next.
Have A Nice Day!

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