After accidentally locking myself in the under-stairs cupboard again (for four years this time), I find the wrestling world has changed some-what in my absence from Botchamania dot com. Luckily for me, this stray has been welcomed back to piss (and moan) all over the carpet on a weekly basis while keeping everyone up-to-date with the goings on (and my opinions of) MONDAY NIGHT RAW!
Since I missed recapping/ranting about the first Raw of the new era of the new era and since I made a few notes last week, I’m just going to comment on my general feelings for the show/brand going forward.
– COREY FUCKING GRAVES!
– New theme song and intro.
– Authority figures were out once and only once. (time will tell if this one sticks)
– Good booking. (for this show at least)
– Packed roster.
– Naming ANYTHING the Universal Title is horrendous.
– Potential issue with too many stars they want to push at one time.
– Potential issue with authority figures getting too much time on screen and not enough action in the ring.
– Interviewing a jobber while Strowman is marching down the ramp, trying to show off his new theme/haircut. (Hopefully this isn’t something they’re going to make a habit of)
Now that’s out of the way, live from Atlanta, Georgia, it’s Monday Night Raw.
We start Raw with a recap from last week. The key points are Finn Balor’s dominant debut and Prince Vajazzle Face losing the Women’s Title to Sasha Banks.
Speaking of The Boss, Sasha Banks walks out to the ring wearing a big smile. I still don’t feel that she’s as confident on the stick when she’s a face. Just let her be a knob-head since she’s such a natural at it. However, Charlotte comes out, they struggle through a bit of banter until Chris Jericho decides to join the party.
Charlotte tells Sasha’s she’s nothing but a “one night stand” of a champion. Sasha takes a swing at the Flair lifestyle by saying Charlotte should be grateful for one night stands, otherwise she wouldn’t be around. Y2J shuts up Sasha and puts over Charlotte, big time. Even I almost bought into what he was saying about her and I hate the daft bint.
Enzo Amore shuffles his way out and down to the room. He chats up Sasha and then aims his attention to Jericho. Finally, Mick Foley appears and makes a match for tonight; a mixed tag match to start ASAP. Now, I was enjoying the back and forth, but sometimes less is more.
When we return from the break, Kevin Owens has joined the lads at commentary and has adopted Byron’s tie.
Sasha Banks & Enzo Amore vs. Charlotte & Chris Jericho
Dana Brooke distracts Sasha and Charlotte hits her with Natural Selection for the win. After the match, Jericho hits Enzo with a Codebreaker, Big Cass shows up to prevent a further beat down and Jericho scurries away with the two blonde heels.
Sigh, Byron is in the ring. Just like last week, he’s interviewing some soon-to-be unconscious dude in the ring WHILE Braun Strowman is approaching the ring to his new “Huuuuuuugh! *Chugga-chugga-chugga* Huuuuuugh” theme. Oh, El Jobber claims he’s been paid a grand already and there’s a further 5,000 dollar prize if he can actually beat him! Okay, that makes a bit more sense than last week’s Volunteer Bunny vs. Braun The Buzz saw pre-match interview.
Strowman ends it with the Reverse Choke-slam.
Backstage, Mark Henry convinces Foley to give him a U.S. Title Match against Rusev tonight.
The Old, Dull Truth are backstage catching Pokemon again, Goldust thinks that Truth may have an addiction problem and suggests they go have a match.
Golden Truth vs. The Shining Stars
Shining Stars pick up the win. Truth distracted with his phone. Yes, they’re really doing a storyline with Pokemon Go. Moving on.
Michael Cole interviews Finn Balor for about a minute before Seth Rollins rears his smug little face. Rollins starts by sending Cole packing. He puts Balor over several times, but 1-ups every compliment he pays with his own merits, with his cretinous laugh following everyone.
Rollins continues and says that people liken the two all the time, but he disagrees and compares Balor to a tacky movie remake like Ghostbusters or Star Trek instead.
Local sports team dig by Seth Rollins, sponsored by Danny’s total oblivion to all things sports related, other than wrestling:
“Your team sucks. No amount of Tomahawking is gunna change that!”
Balor says the comparisons between them aren’t accurate in his eyes either. He earned his title shot last week, Rollins was spoon-fed his. Rollins rushes Finn, Finn evades, counters and Rollins runs to safety.
After my eyes and brain finally come to their senses and begin to process what’s in front of me, I realise that it’s Lana in a wedding dress. Just to make sure all of our souls have cried every last, jealous tear out of our systems.
Rusev(c) w/Lana vs. Mark Henry
Kick to the back of the head, Accolade, over.
Rusev slags off America and the Olympic committee for being cheaters etc., he says that no American deserves a medal.
Roman Reigns comes down for a word about breaking the rules (I assume) and doesn’t get the reaction that was expected. I mean, it’s not like it was the usual maelstrom of hate, but usually ANY American can fill this role for a night or two and get a better response than that. While Roman squares up to the challenge, Rusev cheap shots him. Reigns recovers, fights him off and then……well, Lana came back on screen and I stopped caring about everything again.
Nia Jax promo.
Darren Young w/Bob Backlund vs. Titus O’Neil
Titus grabs Young’s trunks during a roll-up for the win. I really don’t care about this angle. Titus has always bored me and Young was possibly on the verge of doing something interesting with his relationship with Backlund, but I don’t think having him working again Titus is going to offer anything, except maybe a heel turn from Titus. To which, I still don’t care. Unless of course Kurt Angle is brought in to Make Titus Great (again?).
Steph & Mick backstage discussing what gel should be in the spotlight later when they inevitably run and jump into it later on, they are interrupted by Sheamus and Cesaro. They both say they have something to prove, so Foley makes a match between them for later.
Nia Jax walking towards the arena.
Cruiser Weight Classic promo.
Backlund is in Titus’ face backstage, complaining about his cheating ways. Titus threatens him and Young launches at him and lays Titus out.
Nia Jax squashes this week’s female jobber. Byron in the ring again asking questions. Nothing more to say. Nia looking great, not rushing her and giving too much too soon, good stuff.
Tom Philips with Sami Zayn backstage. Zayn states that Rollins isn’t the only one out to prove a point tonight.
The New Day are here and they had to pick a member that couldn’t be present for the next match.
Xavier lost the backstage game of “bag of fruit”, so he’s the member that will be banned from ringside.
The New Day vs. The Club
Big E sneaks a roll-up win while Anderson is too busy gloating with Gallows. Pretty short match, The Club beat down The New Day post-match. Xavier tries to help, but to no avail. The Club were about to leave, but they realised that the match was so short, Big E didn’t get the chance to attack the floor with his head and visit the doctor yet, so they beat down on him a little more before being satisfied with their efforts.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro
Cesaro puts Sheamus away with the Neutraliser after a short, but stiff match. Great work and nothing wrong with either of these guys, seems they’re just not involved in a great deal at the moment.
Sheamus is pissed at the result and they scrap throughout the ads. Referees drag them apart.
Heath Slater is in the ring and re-introduces us to Jinder Mahal. Foley comes out and pits 2MB against each other for a Raw contract, he’s only got one left apparently. Slater refuses, but Mahal gets the ref to ring the bell while Slater is gobbing off at Foley. Mahal hits a big boot and pins Slater for the win and a spot on the Raw roster.
Tom Philips ducks down again backstage to interview Chris Jericho. Y2J needs someone to watch his back since Enzo has Big Cass, he lies about having someone to watch his back, until opportunity knocks and Kevin Owens stumbles by and aligns himself with Jericho.
Seth Rollins vs. Sami Zayn
Rollins dodged the Helluva kick and defeated Zayn with The Pedigree. Nice match, both guys came off looking great and it was fun to watch. I’m opposed to their match being called the main event and being on before we go to Syringe City, but I guess I’m in the minority and everyone is stoked about the Lesnar vs. Orton match at Summerslam.
Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs is on Raw next week ……………………………
No, I’m not pausing to build suspense, I just don’t give a tiny fuck.
Paul E. Heyman in the ring, smug as shit. He brings out the Beast. Heyman does a fantastic job of selling us something we’ve already invested in, already been disappointed with, already taken back to the shop and already asked for a refund and yet, he makes us change our mind at the very last second and we buy into Brock Lesnar once again. Orton appears out of nowhere (from the crowd) and hits Brock with an RKO out of nowhere (from the perspective of the viewers at home at least, everyone in attendance saw Orton’s approach and the camera shot was so tight in on Heyman and Brock, it was pretty obvious that shenanigans were afoot!)
– Not as strong as last week, but a half decent show. I don’t really care for Orton vs. Brock, Heyman has drawn all my interest in that match and not the two guys that are booked. We all know what Brock can be like when he’s not happy, and he’ll want to go over even more after his public shaming from the MMA world. Orton’s only close to being amazing when he’s happy and getting everything he wants, avoiding all the tantrums and that lot. I can’t see him wanting to come back from injury JUST to put Brock over and risk landing on his dodgy shoulder(s) from a Summer trip to Suplex City. I’m not holding my breath. Wouldn’t be surprised if it turned into Brock vs. Goldberg II.
– Mick Foley having notes/his lines in full on his clipboard/tablet is a great idea. The guy’s been getting a little lost as of late, which is understandable really.
– Awww, I was wrong. I thought they were going to try and get Reigns over by mirroring a Zack Ryder type push, hoping we’d finally sympathise with him after six months down the line when we can see the suicidal intent in his eyes during every show when he’s making Braun Strowman look strong for the tenth show in a row. However, it looks like we’re going with having him beat up the foreigners.
Until Next Time:
Seriously, when are WWE going to start flogging Lana & Rusev merchandise? I’ve said this for about a year now, they need to produce a few items to have around the house. Items to help any new or old couple in their venture into marital bliss.
I’m thinking photos in frames (of them for YOUR house), coasters, place-mats, cross-stitch pillow cases, collector dining sets, balloons, tea towels, even condoms with Rusev winking and Lana on all fours in the background, anything just to rub our noses in the fact that he gets to dip his wick in there and we don’t!
Digest and discuss! You can follow me on Twitter for additional nuggets of wisdom. Thanks for reading, take care and I’ll see you next week!