OPENING SEGMENT- good until the end
Drew seems to think that he was always entitled to a rematch. Where are the McMahons to tell him that contractually-obligated rematches are passé and not how WWE does things anymore because “opportunities must be earned?”
Drew also thinks that MVP was behind Mace and T-Bar attacking him last week. MVP comes out to refute Drew’s allegations. Both men made solid points. Drew began to come up the ramp towards MVP but was attacked from behind by Mace and T-Bar. Then, in the thing that killed this for me, Mace and T-Bar PICKED DREW UP TO BRING HIM BACK INSIDE THE RING before hitting him with a chokeslam. If you want to hurt the guy, why not just chokelsam him onto the harder floor? And if you don’t want to hurt the guy, who are you attacking him at all?
Mace and T-Bar walked off past MVP, ignoring him, while MVP smiled at Drew.
THE NEW INTERVIEW DUDE INTERVIEWS T-BAR AND MACE- Just… I don’ even know what I can say that will sum this up better than providing you with a transcript.
He asked them if they were affiliated with MVP and Bobby Lashley. They answered him thusly:
T-Bar: Cats. Dogs. Birds.
Mace: Porcupines. Hedgehogs. Snakes. Sabretooth Tiger.
T-Bar: Sabretooth Tiger. That’s extinct, right?
Mace: Sure is.
T-Bar: Gone? Forever?
T-Bar: Exactly. What we’re going to do when we finish off Drew McIntyre.
I tried SOOOOOO hard to come up with a worthy joke for this, but nothing I came up with could hold a candle to the sh*t these guys actually said.
DREW MCINTYRE DEMANDS A HANDICAP MATCH AGAINST MACE & T-BAR TONIGHT- bad
Adam Pearce says he can’t book a handicap match. Drew MUST have a tag team partner. Why not? We see handicap matches all the time, and if Drew is too injured for a handicap match, he shouldn’t be able to get cleared for a tag match as well.
Drew, for his part, absolutely refuses to have a partner. Why not? If that’s what gets you the match, why not have a friend on your side? And if you really don’t want help beating the heels up, just pick some jobber. Or pick R-Truth. We all know the 24/7 will just chase him away, so why not? Why are you being so pointlessly stubborn?
SHELTON BENJAMIN & CEDRIC ALEXANDER vs. THE VIKING RAIDERS- 5.75/10
Oh look. It’s the same match we saw last week, and in pretty much the same spot on the show. If you’re going to do this, at least let Cedric and Shelton cut a promo first to make some sort of excuse for their loss and try to sell us on why the outcome might be different this week.
On commentary, Graves attributed all of Cedric’s growth over the last “six or eight months” to Shelton Benjamin- who he was bickering with more often than not- as opposed to MVP or even Lashley. This was such a stupid thing to say. It’s one of those things where it feels like it was said to try to make you forget that either of these guys was ever in the Hurt Business… on a show where MVP’s main argument for why he isn’t behind Mace and T-Bar’s attack on Drew last week was that the Hurt Business recently cut members, so why would they be looking to add more. It was one of those frustrating WWE moments that shows their clear lack of respect for their audience, because they think they can just warp our memories to suit their needs from moment to moment.
The same team that won last week won this week, and equally cleanly. Adnan accidentally called the Viking Raider’s finisher the “Viking Express.” After Graves corrected him while calling the replay, Adnan screwed it up again.
KEVIN PATRICK (that’s the new guy) INTERVIEWS RANDY ORTON- bad
Randy claims that The Fiend is gone forever, thanks to him. Dude… all you did was hit him with an RKO. Last time you said that it was after you SET HIM ON FIRE and he still came back. Randy says he wants the winner of Drew vs. Lashley at WrestleMania: Backlash.
Matt Riddle showed up to bother Randy. He was annoying. I was AMAZED that Randy walked away without RKOing him.
RANDY ORTON TELLS ADAM PEARCE HE WANTS A MATCH WITH MATT RIDDLE TONIGHT- Pearce he’ll see what he can do.
CHARLOTTE PROMO- good
She brags and tries to talk her way into a title match. The only part of this I didn’t like was her saying “that’s why they call me ‘the opportunity.’” I heard that and said “since when do they call you that?” I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone call Charlotte that other than her saying it once last week, but now it’s her Official WWE Nickname, so “everyone” calls her that and we’re supposed to pretend that she always has.
Asuka came out for her match with Charlotte. Rhea Ripley also came out. She said she knows that Asuka can beat Charlotte. Charlotte was a huge jerk to Asuka, who eventually shut Charlotte up by telling her that she would beat her tonight. The best way I can describe the change in Charlotte is that she has gone from being a WWE-ified cartoonish asshole to being an actual asshole. It’s a vast improvement.
Anyway, everyone seems ready for the big match we’ve advertised for tonight… so of course we randomly cut to…
RANDY ORTON WALKING BACKSTAGE AND GETTING ANNOYED BY MATT RIDDLE AGAIN- Riddle zoomed past Orton and said “I’m going to beat you to the ring.” Wait… Charlotte vs. Asuka isn’t up next?
THEY SHOWED A REPLAY OF DREW GETTING JUMPED BY MACE & T-BAR FOR THE 3RD TIME IN FORTY MINUTES- So maybe the thing with the UFO on Smackdown wasn’t an anomaly? (That’s a funny sentence to read out of context, isn’t it?)
Then they showed us a graphic announcing Drew vs. T-Bar & Mace in a handicap match, so I guess that little pushover Adam Pearce just gave in again.
MATT RIDDLE vs. RANDY ORTON- 7/10
Why are there CGI pigeons coming out of Matt Riddle’s flip=flops? And where is Taz to scream “LET THE PIGEONS LOOSE!?”
Byron Saxton referred to a “PK Kick.” THE K STANDS FOR KICK!
Randy gave Riddle’s ankle a stomp shortly after the commercial break that looked like it missed by a mile. Other than that, this was great. It might have been a little slow for some, but I thought the pace worked. Riddle won with a crucifix pin countering an RKO. I did not see that result coming. If you want to push Riddle, why are you making him so f*cking annoying?
ADAM PEARCE & SHEAMUS BACKSTAGE- bad
Pearce wants Sheamus to put his US Title on the line in an open challenge like John Cena used to (he didn’t actually use Cena’s name, which tells you how unhappy Vince is with him for bolting to Hollywood). Sheamus says he’ll do an open challenge… but he doesn’t want to put the title on the line. And Pearce is fine with this. What a f*cking pushover.
NIA JAX & SHAYNA BASZLER vs. LANA & NAOMI- 2/10
This might be the most stale match-up in this company, and that’s really saying something. They did some stuff until Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke came out and threw up video packages of them attacking Nia last week and then of Nia slipping on the apron. Hopefully the idiot in the production truck was fired over this.
Nia storms off to confront them, leaving her tag team partner alone to get pinned, so we’ve got unworthy top contenders due to other babyfaces being bullies.
BAD BUNNY & DAMIAN PRIEST INTERVIEW FROM AFTER WRESTLEMANIA- GREAT!
They let Bad Bunny talk in his native language and subtitled him. Perfect. They also let Priest show off that he is bilingual. Bad Bunny put over both WWE and Damian Priest.
MIZTV WITH SPECIAL GUEST MARYSE- meh
Miz and Maryse were a good insufferably lovey-dovey heel couple. Eventually they were interrupted by Damian Priest, who points out that Miz’s win last week was BS. He insulted Miz, so Maryse offered Priest a match with Miz later tonight. Miz didn’t like this. Fortunately for him, Maryse doesn’t have booking power.
MATT RIDDLE & NEW DAY BACKSTAGE- They were all annoying, to the point where I was hoping that the segment would end with the roof caving in and them all being injured and unable to appear on the show for months.
THE DRIFTER TRIES TO SING AGAIN BUT IS AGAIN INTERRUPTED BY NEW DAY- Repetitive, but at least this time Xavier was playing an electric guitar instead of his annoying trombone.
KOFI KINGSTON (w/Xavier Woods) vs. “THE DRIFTER” ELIAS SAMPSON (w/Jaxson Ryker)- 5/10
Xavier was playing what I guess was a Stone Cold theme that I don’t remember because Kofi kept doing Austin spots (Steve Austin spots, not Austin Creed spots. Xavier seems better suited for those). The Drifter won pretty much cleanly with a diving elbow drop, which I guess is his finisher now.
ALEXA BLISS PROMO- dumb
Yeah, WWE has made me dread these things so much that I’ve taken Alexa’s exclamation point away. That’s how much they have ruined one of my all-time favorites for me.
Alexa has now apparently always had this possessed doll, which they photoshopped into pictures with a young Alexa. Alexa told a story about pushing another child off of a swing to take her ice cream. Alexa told her teachers that the doll made her do it. The most interesting part of this for me was trying to figure out how Alexa could have pushed this child off of the swing and child landed in such a way that she broke her arm, but managed to not drop her ice cream on the ground, rendering it yucky and inedible (well… it was strawberry ice cream, so I guess I should say “without rendering it more yucky and inedible”).
SARAH SCHREIBER INTERIVEWS MANDY ROSE & DANA BROOKE- This had me rolling with laughter! Sarah pointed out that they “successfully embarrassed Nia Jax,” causing Nia and Shayna to lose their match, then asked them if they thought this was “appropriate behavior. Appropriate behavior. On a f*cking PRO WRESTLING show.
Mandy insists that “we are not the bullies!” Then Nia Jax shows up, and two supposed babyfaces ran away from the one heel. Shayna showed up and yelled at Nia to get her head in the game so she doesn’t cause them to lose any more matches “or else.”
Shayna left, and then Humberto Carrillo showed up and asked Nia what she sees in “that circus clown.” Shayna Baszler is the last person on the WWE roster I would ever call a circus clown. I would call any of the other Horsewomen or Aleister Black or even Brock Lesnar a “circus clown” before Shayna, because I can believe that those others have a sense of humor that isn’t based purely on schadenfreude.
HANDICAP MATCH: Drew McIntyre vs. T-Bar & Mace- 4/10
When Drew was walking to the ring, Corey Graves suggested that Drew must be feeling “how Daniel felt walking into the lions’ den.” I highly doubt it. The lions’ were undefeated. Mace and T-bar… not so much.
They fought for a bit. Drew made his comeback and was about to win when Mace and T-Bar stopped following the tag rules and also got DQed for not breaking in the corner. Braun Strowman came out to save Drew because… um…
When we get back from the commercial break…
DREW MCINTYRE & BRAUN STROWMAN vs. T-BAR & MACE- DUD!
Yup! We’re doing the f*cking tag match that Drew didn’t want, anyway! They fought. It was fine, but the finish annoyed me so much that I gave it a dud. Said finish was Drew ripping Mace’s mask off and beating him with it for ANOTHER F*CKING DQ. No one recognized that the newly-unmasked man was a guy who used to do commentary on this show. Braun ripped T-bar’s mask off, and no one recognized a guy who has had matches on NXT TakeOver.
DAMIAN PRIEST vs. THE MIZ (w/Maryse)- 4.5/10
This is the other contender for most stale feud in the company. I guess John Morrison is just missing this week. Priest was able to overcome being distracted by Maryse and the use of illegal leverage to win this time.
SHEAMUS PROMO- meh segment
Sheamus cut a promo saying that he’ll be US Champion for a long time. Humberto Carrillo came out to accept his open challenge but Sheamus beat him up.
CHARLOTTE FLAIR vs. ASUKA- 6.5/10
Rhea Ripley came out to watch the match from ringside. There were some very sloppy moments here, but the finishing sequence was really great… up until the finish itself, was which was ATROCIOUS. Charlotte has the Figure-Eight locked in, when Rhea reaches into the ring and yanks her arms to break it up. Charlotte rightfully went after Rhea, allowing Asuka to roll Charlotte up for the win, so the babyfaces cheated for no reason. This was all made worse by the annoying-ass smirk on Rhea’s face when she broke the Figure-Eight up. At this point, I have to assume that everyone in creative is a total dick who was raised by total dicks and all of their friends are total dicks, because they seem to have no idea how to have someone act in a likable manner.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- very bad
Charlotte got angry and instead of going after Rhea, she assaulted the referee. WWE would later announce that she has been suspended, so now they’ve taken the person making this feud feel fresh and removed her from the equation… which I guess is at least consistent with everything else we’ve seen from the main roster for the past week.
Another TERRIBLE episode of Raw. I'm on the verge of giving up. I was much happier last month when I had more time for ROH, NXT UK, wXw, and older shows.
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