We start off with a video package about last week’s Roman & Lashley vs. Revival match. Then we get a graphic announcing that we’re getting yet another rematch. No. I refuse to watch this match for a third straight week.
OPENING SEGMENT- meh
Roman Reigns comes out and says he’s “not going to make excuses” for his loss last week… and then immediately says “but I had the worst tag team partner of all time.” Roman says that he wants to fight Lashley, not team with him, and if Kurt won’t let them fight at the PPV, they should fight tonight instead. Isn’t that match already booked for Extreme Rules? And if it isn’t… why has Kurt not been fired yet? Roman and Lashley want to fight each other but Kurt won’t let them and insists that they have to keep teaming up. Bayley and Sasha want to fight each other but Kurt won’t let them and insists that they have to keep teaming up. Does Kurt just not understand what his job is?
Roman accuses Lashley of being “an egomaniac” for thinking that he is “the guy.” Roman then declares that “I’m the guy! I’m the man around here. The big dog who runs this yard!” Does Roman (or Creative) have no self-awareness?
Roman’s ranting was interrupted by Ziggler & McIntyre. I have gone back and listened to this several times in an attempt to discern what Coach said right after their music hit, and it appears that he said “Pika PIka” as if he were a Pikachu. I’m not even kidding. I listened to this several times, and that is what it sounded like every single time.
The heels came out and pointed out to Roman that, he, too, is an egomaniac (though Dolph came off as one, too… but he’s the heel so he is supposed to!). The heels beat Roman down until Seth Rollins came out to make the save. Maybe this will convince Kurt to actually give us a match we want to see by booking Dolph & Drew vs. Roman & Rollins?
We cut to a commercial in what feels like record time. When we return, we see…
SETH ROLLINS, ROMAN REIGNS, & KURT ANGLE BACKSTAGE- Kurt books the match we want to see for see next week, because G-d forbid we actually change the card of a WWE TV show and not deliver an advertised match. That would be unprecedented and terrible. Roman puts some pressure on Kurt, so Kurt then changes his mind. Could they possibly make Kurt look any worse?
Michael Cole explains to us that Bray Wyatt is not here tonight because he was “injured over the weekend.” Thankfully they didn’t include the detail that it happened in a car accident because Bray Wyatt can teleport so why would he even need a car?
THE B-TEAM CUT A PROMO IMITATING MATT HARDY & BRAY WYATT- for the third week in a row. Their promo made it seem like this would be a Handicap Match but instead it was just a regular match. And we couldn’t even get Matt vs. Bo this week. Instead, for the second week in a row, we got…
MATT HARDY vs. CURTIS AXEL (w/Bo Dallas)- 4.25/10
Matt worked over Axel’s back and they tried to have a decent match but… it’s the clown division, so I really just don’t care. Axel won, keeping up the B-Team’s supposed momentum.
Apparently Roman is wrestling in both matches tonight. This is the sort of thing that it would have been a lot better to have Kurt say in his segment with Seth and Roman so he doesn’t look like a total wimp. My guess is that he was supposed to say it but forgot. F*cking up his lines seems to be a major problem with Kurt, so you’d think they would try to pre-tape these things or something so they can make sure they get it right, but apparently not.
Also, apparently, Sasha also had to go to counseling. Why? What did she do wrong?
We got a video package to promote Ant-Man & The Wasp To do this, WWE showed us a bunch of clips of the Alexa & Strowman team from the Mixed Match Challenge. You remember that, right? That totally irrelevant thing that happened on Facebook Live earlier this year? Well Braun is being pushed as an angry babyface and Alexa is being pushed as an evil heel… so of course WWE thought that now would be a good time to show us a video package that made them look like a fun, likeable pairing together where both are pure babyfaces. This company makes no sense.
SETH & ROMAN BACKSTAGE- dumb
Before Lashley showed up, Seth and Roman had a whispered conversation about some future show where Roman is upset because he doesn’t have a match but Seth has a 30-minute Ironman Match for the IC Title. When the hell is this? And why the hell is Seth having an Ironman Match? Both of their matches involved Dolph walking away with the title because Drew interfered on his behalf. The right stipulation is something designed to prevent Drew from interfering, like a cage or a match where Drew is barred from ringside. An Ironman Match will just let Drew screw Seth over multiple times.
Then Lashley showed up so Seth left and we got…
ROMAN REIGNS & LASHLEY BACKSTAGE- They argued. There were moments where I almost wanted to see them fight, but every time that feeling stated they immediately quashed it by having one of them say something stupid and/or childish.
The announcers were apparently able to glean from Seth and Roman’s conversation that the Ironman Match for the IC Title would take place at Extreme Rules. They said they found this out from Seth’s conversation, once again making Kurt look like an idiot, because you’d think he’d want his announcers to know about this big PPV match so that they can promote it.
SASHA & BAYLEY IN COUNSELLING- The announcers pitched to this as something that happened “earlier today” like they would to an interview or something rather than not pitching to it at all like they do with backstage segments… which means that this is not something that we’re seeing through the magic of TV like with WWE live backstage segments, but rather something that the company taped to play on the air tonight. What the f*ck?! You don’t do that in a counseling session! I hope they got all of these other people to sign waivers because they sure didn’t blur their faces out, thus opening WWE up to a huge lawsuit if they didn’t sign waivers.
They immediately start to argue in the waiting room, as WWE apparently didn’t bother to inform either woman that their counselling session would take place together. I don’t know about you, but based on last week’s segment, I thought Kurt was sending Bayley to anger management or something like that, and apparently Bayley did, too. Even in kayfabe, this company is a complete and total mess.
Anyway, Dr. Shelby, predictably, is the therapist. Oh goody. An annoying, one-note twerp is exactly what we need to make this segment not suck. Said no one ever.
He calls his office the “Friend Zone.” Get it? There’s a picture of Team Hell No on the wall.
THE AUTHORS OF PAIN vs. TITUS WORLDWIDE (w/Dana Brooke)- squash
Titus Worldwide was not introduced as “Titus Worldwide” but rather just as “Apollo Crews and Titus O’Neil.” I have no idea if we should read anything into this, but I do know that either way it won’t be worth caring about.
KEVIN OWENS PARKS HIS CAR- the valet tells him he can’t park there but Owens won’t give him his keys. He walked right past a port-a-potty, so that’s probably going to be what happens to his car this week.
SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS vs. DREW MICINTYRE & DOLPH ZIGGLER- 8/10
Once again an awesome match is ruined by a DQ. In this case The Revival came out and pulled Roman off the apron and beat him up just when Seth was FINALLY about to make the hot tag. Even more frustrating than the fact that it’s yet another DQ (I think we’ve now had four straight top of the hour “main events” result in DQs across Raw and SD, and the one before that was a count-out where the partners fought each other, so that’s five “no one has to lose!” big match finishes in a row), but the fact that this DQ actually makes complete and total booking sense. This is the sort of DQ that I would have called a good DQ because it actually sets up for something rather than just treading water while ensuring that no one has to lose… but the fact that we have seen so many other DQs makes this feel like “yet another bullsh*t finish.” DQs and count-outs and the like are not inherently bad. They become bad when they are overused, and WWE is a million miles on the wrong side of that line right now.
The Revival beat up Roman while Drew & Dolph beat up Seth. Dawson took some shots at Seth, too, because why not. I’d pretend to be optimistic that maybe we’ll at least get Roman & Seth vs. Revival next week, but I’m sure we’ll just get The Revival vs. Roman & Lashley for a fourth straight week instead.
KEVIN OWENS & KURT ANGLE BACKSTAGE- terrible
Owens demands that Kurt do something about Braun Strowman. Kurt responds with his condescending “here on Raw, we settle things in the ring.” Oh yeah? THEN WHY THE F*CK ARE BAYLEY & SASHA AT COUNSELLING?! And why won’t you just book Roman vs. Lashley already?! Kevin Owens even points this out Kurt… and Kurt responds by booking Owens vs. Strowman tonight. WHAT THE F*CK?!
CONSTABLE BARON CORBIN CALLS OUT FINN BALOR TO APOLOGIZE- bad
Corbin’s lines would have worked coming from someone who could deliver them a lot better. Balor was in full John Cena mode, repeating the same stupid, corny jokes as last week. Balor yells at Corbin that “you stopped deserving anyone’s respect the day you became Stephanie McMahon’s stooge,” but the problem with this is that Corbin really hasn’t been Steph’s stooge at all. Sure, he has occasionally yelled at Kurt on her behalf, but mostly he has been making decisions that are good for himself rather than anything Steph seems to have an interest in one way or the other, and oftentimes he actually is making the show better with his booking than Kurt’s. And, as I’ve pointed out several times a week for the past few months, Kurt is atrocious at his job. Now that I think about it, Kurt has actually been more of Steph’s stooge than Corbin has by giving in to “management” (which presumably includes Steph) about not giving Roman a rematch against Brock. Anyway, Corbin attacked Balor but Balor laid him out.
THE DRIFTER & THE RIOTT SQUAD BACKSTAGE- Ruby Riott is inexplicably absent. Liv and Sarah ask The Drifter if he is going to be performing tonight, to which he replies “for them? Not a chance. But for you two? I’ve got a little something in mind.” At this point it occurred to me that these two look a lot more like they should be Drifter groupies than women who hang out with Ruby Riott.
Actually, that’s exactly what they should do with these two. Give The Drifter two hot chicks to help him bury the town but also interfere in his matches for him, and meanwhile he can be a douche by taking them for granted because a guitar-playing douchebag who is also a jacked wrestler like him probably expects that he’s going to get laid just by playing his stupid guitar. That’s how you get The Drifter booed, plus you give him something new for his act, and they’ll be a relatively unique act on Raw because no one else on Raw has men and women hanging out in the same group. When Ruby Riott returns, she can get some women who fit the image better to be the new Riott Squad. Or, even better, she can go at it alone because by hooking up with The Drifter, Liv and Sarah have revealed themselves to be total posers and Ruby Riott does not hang out with posers and will not take the risk of associating herself with possible posers after being so disappointed by Liv and Sarah. Then you can turn her babyface with a “be yourself” message and she can be the awesome babyface she was on the indies. I even book WWE-style silliness better than WWE does.
But no. Instead we get Liv and Sarah pushing over some random sh*t backstage.
EMBER MOON vs. LIV MORGAN (w/Sarah Logan)- 4/10
The match was enjoyable for the time it got and the set-up for the Eclipse was very clever.
SASHA & BAYLEY AT COUNSELING, PART 2- even dumber
THE REVIVAL vs. BOBBY LASHLEY & ROMAN REIGNS- 5/10
Roman is injured but refuses to tag out. The Revival keep working him over, until, eventually… mere moments after Corey Graves talks about how the referee is being lenient on Roman and Lashley following the rules as immortalized below in the Stupid Announcer Quotes section, both Revival members got into the ring and beat on Lashley, so the referee quickly called for the bell for YET ANOTHER DQ. Because G-d forbid Roman’s injuries and hubris cause him to actually lose. Look… if you don’t want anyone to lose then DON’T BOOK THE F*CKING MATCH IN THE FIRST PLACE!
Lashley walked out on Roman and didn’t save him… which is fine, except that it’s totally redundant because you could have achieved the same thing by pointing out that Lashley didn’t come out to help Roman when The Revival were beating him down earlier. The Revival hit Roman with a Shatter Machine, to which the fans responded by chanting “ONE MORE TIME!”
ANGLE & OWENS BACKSTAGE- Owens tries to trade favors for Kurt cancelling his match against Strowman tonight, to but Kurt won’t go for it. If I had to guess, this only happened so that they could mention Owens’ friendship with Shania Twain.
ANGLE & ROMAN BACKSTAGE- bad
Roman isn’t even selling. He wants a match with Lashley. Kurt tells him that Lashley was just in here and wanted the match, too, so Kurt has booked it. DUDE! They’ve wanted the same thing for over a week now!
MOJO RAWLEY vs. NO WAY JOSE (w/his conga line)- no rating, bad segment
This was similar to last week. Except that Jose threw the first punch. He still got laid out, though. Then Mojo just assaulted the guy dressed as a cheeseburger for no reason. It was a different guy than last week, so I’m starting to think that Mojo has some deep-seeded issues with cheeseburgers.
Not only was this poorly acted, dumb, and repetitive, but the fact that they are now doing dual-branded PPVs every month means that there is no way in hell they will ever even get time for something that resembles a blow-off in a situation that in any way feels important, so why are we wasting our time with this at all?
RENEE YOUNG’S SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH RONDA ROUSEY- stupid
Some suspension this is. She’s suspended from the show, but they’ll still tape a special interview with her to air on the show. You can copy and paste my thoughts from the thread about this in the news section about how she really should be suspended from Extreme Rules, too, because it’s a Raw-sponsored show, and how if she isn’t suspended from Extreme Rules then why does she have to buy a ticket? Even more so, though, this whole suspension thing is frustrating because of these idiotic loopholes they try to throw in so that they can still get the angle they want at the big show. If a guy in the NHL gets suspended then he’s f*cking suspended. From all of the games until the suspension is over; not just the ones that air nationally on the NHL Network, NBC, NBC Sports, and Hockey Night in Canada. If you want to have someone still wrestle at house shows (like they did with Roman earlier, and like they are doing with Ronda now) then you can’t do a freakin’ suspension angle!
And really! In what logical world would it make sense for her to be suspended from just Raw, but not house shows or PPV? What does this accomplish? It doesn’t punish Ronda because she still gets to work and earn money (even theoretically a big PPV pay-day, but Kurt is apparently too dumb to book her at the this PPV that she is supposedly not suspended from), it doesn’t protect Alexa or the poor referees who will have to get in Ronda’s way if Ronda attacks Alexa by forcing Ronda to sit out until she has calmed down because Ronda could just attack Alexa at the house shows, and by virtue of those first two it certainly doesn’t act as a deterrent for anyone else to do something similar because the punishment they dished out to Ronda is so damn weak.
NIA JAX PROMO- horrid
First she buried the booking as going around in circles. She announced that she just talked to Kurt, who says that the title match at the PPV will be an Extreme Rules Match… so I guess Kurt wants everyone to run in on this title match? Also, this will make it Alexa and Mickie against Nattle, Ronda, and Nia, so the heel will be the one at the numbers disadvantage. Yeah. That’s some good booking right there.
But as bad as all of that is, the worst thing about this was Nia’s delivery. She needs to just stop cutting promos until she learns how to cut them in something other than this horrendous, nasal but also vaguely whiny monotone she has.
MICKIE JAMES (w/Alexa Bliss!) vs. NIA JAX (w/Ronda Rousey’s Friend Natalya)- 2.25/10
Mickie did what she could with Nia but it didn’t go so well. Nia working submissions is not good. During this match they said the phrase “the X-factor, Ronda Rousey will be watching from ringside” about eight times. Never once did they mention the fact that Nattie made the champ tap out in a singles match last week.
I also really don’t like the way they’re handling the idea that Alexa’s MITB cash-in was unfair. Both Ronda and Nia’s promos have all but said that what Alexa did was technically legal but was total bullsh*t. I’m not going to say that I don’t sympathize with that argument, but if that is the case then they should be angry at the company for having MITB in the first place, and Alexa- as the one who took advantage of it by cashing it in after winning it fair and square- is really just a convenient target for them to take their anger out on when they should be upset at the company.
What they’re forgetting in all of this, though, is that Alexa didn’t just show up in the middle of their match and say “I’m in now, too.” SHE ASSAULTED BOTH OF THEM WITH A METAL BRIEFCASE! But this heinous assault has been completely ignored so that they can push this “Ronda has to get used to the rules of WWE” angle, which- now that the Nia match is over- serves no purpose other than creating a reason for Ronda to be suspended. Why not just say that the beating Alexa gave her with the briefcase has put Ronda out of action for eight weeks, then have her do the big surprise return in five at the PPV, and Alexa can cut promos bragging about how she put Ronda on the shelf and how Ronda will have to get used to not having months between her fights and learn have to work through injuries? You get the same result, but you don’t run into any of the logic issues that they’ve created with this suspension storyline and it makes Alexa look devious and evil rather than making the babyfaces look like whiners.
JINDER TRIES TO TEACH OWENS TO MEDITATE- stupid.
CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS KEVIN OWENS- stupid. He gives your standard lying heel stuff. It’s just silly and pointless at this point.
RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS BOBBY LASHLEY- he was smug, but he definitely justified not helping Roman soundly. He then started to cut a good what seemed like a pretty good promo on Roman until it was abruptly derailed by atrocious WWE writing.
KEVIN OWENS vs. STROWMAN- no rating, horrendous segment
They locked up and Braun shoved Owens down so Owens ran away and got counted out. He went to his car but didn’t have his keys. He hit in the aforementioned port-a-potty but Braun figured out where he was so he taped the door shut, dragged it into the arena and knocked it off the stage, at which point it was revealed that this wasn’t actually a port-a-potty so much as it was a “port-a-blue-paint-dump” because instead of bodily fluids or even blood, Owens appeared to be covered in blue paint.
This show was horrendous, just like Raw has been for months now. Our streak of non-finishes in supposedly big matches on main roster TV is now up to seven in a row, the women’s division consists of a title match with random stips and a whiny babyface being overshadowed by an angle that doesn’t make sense, and the idiotic Sasha & Bayley go to counseling storyline, which will apparently continue next week, and we closed the show off with Braun once again being a huge dick to Kevin Owens for no reason. Who are even the babyfaces on this show? I’m being serious, here:
Balor- I guess so
Sasha & Bayley- who is supposed to be the heel here?
Rollins- was a dick to The Drifter an cheated to beat him
Roman- arrogant, entitled, non-self-aware jerk
Nattie- I guess, but she’s been made to look completely secondary to Nia and Ronda (even though she actually made Alexa tap out last week)
Ember Moon- yeah, but she doesn’t actually do anything
Matt & Bray- goofs
Titus Worldwide- goofs
Gable- yeah, but he’s never on TV
Bobby Roode (he is on Raw, right?)- kind of a dick
Who the hell am I supposed to root for? Then again, it doesn’t really even matter, does it, because I know that whenever a big match comes up, they’ll just f*ck us on the finish.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Corey Graves- “The referee being a little lenient here, understanding that Lashley and Reigns are not a full-time tag team and are maybe not familiar with the rules.”
They’re pro wrestlers and I’m supposed to think they don’t know the rules of a tag team match? Hell… Roman is a former tag team champion!
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