Hello and thanks for showing up to reflect on the latest episode of Monday Night Raw.
And your host for this event, hailing from a dark corner in the North East of England, it’s Danny Damage.
We start Raw with a recap from last week. The main angles are:
- Balor and Rollins mouth off
- Reigns stepping up to Rusev
- RKO Out Of Nowhere on Brock (Smackdown highlight too)
Now that’s out of the way, live from Anaheim, California, it’s Monday Night Raw.
Later tonight, Mick Foley invites Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan (crowd cheers) to Raw and Puff Daddy (crowd boos) will be the special guest for the evening.
Enzo & Big Cass kick things off tonight They start by saying how well Enzo was chatting up Sasha last week
They move onto slagging off and calling out Chris Jericho. Jericho appears and introduces his backup, Kevin Owens.
The Canadian Destroyers head to the ring. Y2J says TCD are tighter than ever. KO says he used to like Cass, until he brought Enzo into daily view. Jericho joins in and then they turn the hate towards Enzo.
Chris Jericho (w/Kevin Owens) vs. Enzo Amore (w/Big Cass)
Jericho won via disqualification. Owens caused a distraction, leaving Enzo open for a Codebreaker. Big Cass ran in and booted Jericho in the chops. Enzo and Cass challenge Terrance & Philip to a match at Summerslam. It’s on!
Foley is backstage and on the phone to Stephanie McMahon. Sasha Banks appears and asks for both Charlotte and Dana in a handicap match at Summerslam, since it’s going to inevitably end up that way. Foley admires her girl balls, but has a better idea. If Sasha can beat Dana later tonight, he’ll ban her from ringside at Summerslam. But if Dana beats her, it WILL be a handicap match.
We’re getting there, sort of. Braun Strowman strolled down to the ring with the camera on him constantly. Once he was there, it cut to Byron backstage interviewing a jobber. Jobby McJobberface had no answer for Byron when he was asked about his thoughts on going into a match against Strowman.
As expected, it didn’t take long. Strowman chucks him around a little, Reverse Choke-slam, done.
Foley and Puff Daddy are backstage (more boos). Diddy gives Foley some free tickets to an upcoming gig of his, which I’m sure will be fan-tas-tic. The New Day appear (well, Xavier & Kofi anyway) and plug Diddy’s involvement in WWE2K17. PD asks how Big E’s nuts are, they say he’s recovering and decide to go and check in on him.
Darren Young (w/Bob Backlund) vs. Titus O’Neil
Young got a sneaky roll up WITH a handful of tights. Backlund had his back to the ring and didn’t see the cheating. Different match from last week to be fair. Slaps and stiff shots from the start.
Seth Rollins comes out to play. He reiterates that he thought Balor was the Leto to his Ledger. He says he’s learned a thing or two about Balor since then though. He references Balor’s Demon King name, he suggests he calls himself Seth “Rambo Apocalypse” Rollins and states he wants to know who Balor really is. Seth says the more he learns about Finn, the more he dislikes him and claims that in two hundred years time, people will be talking about all the cool stuff Seth Rollins did, including becoming the first ever Universal Champion.
ANOTHER recap of the RKO #OUTOFYOUCOULDSEEITCOMINGACOUNTRYMILEAWAY from last week.
For some reason, Byron is talking about Character when plugging the new Scooby Doo/WWE film. This leads to someone else in the film, Sheamus.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro
Byron STILL gets too excited when Cesaro does his stripper-gram bit, tearing off his suit on his way down the ramp. Cesaro is a mad bastard for this suicide dive.
They beat the shit out of each other. Cesaro won with a roll up after the referee took half a bump and Sheamus failed to cheat a victory. Cesaro used a Matrix style dodge of the Brogue Kick during the match.
ANOTHER recap of Brock hitting Orton with The F5 on Smackdown.
It’s time for the Brock & Randy, 15 years in the making video. I was taken back a little hearing Jim Cornette’s voice on WWE TV when they used footage from FCW. Anyway, quite a nice package they put together here. Brock comes off really well in them when not stumbling through the whole speaking in public live thing. WWE have anticipated fans rejecting Brock because of the whole drug let down issue, so they’ve just turned Brock into a full time arse hole for this feud. I’m still not overly bothered by it though, two part timers with no previous build or anything, it’s just a big name vs a big name to me. More like UFC booking than anything.
The Dudleyz walk out to the ring. Earlier, they had an issue with Neville backstage and let him pick a partner for a match tonight.
The Dudleyz vs. Neville & Sin Cara
Bring out the gimp! Neville hits D-Von with the Red Arrow. Nothing really to this match other than to showcase Gimp Cara. Poor Dudleyz.
Rusev’s Princess get on the microphone., crowd gives her the old “WHAT” routine. Lana rubs our faces right into Rusev’s sticky fingers for what seems like an hour and they show a load of stills from their wedding. The mention of “Jealous American Pigs” brings out Roman Reigns.
Lana still looks gorgeous when sulky and trying to shoo Roman away. Reigns volunteers to be Rusev’s best man, since he didn’t have one on the day.
He makes a toast and a challenge for the Title at Summerslam. Rusev declines, Reigns calls Lana a mail order bride and they fight. Lana gets bumped by Rusev and she ends up face first on top of the table of cakes.
Roman shrugs his shoulders and buggers off with a grin on his face.
After the break, Lana cries backstage and Rusev demands that Foley fixes what happened, so a U.S. Title match is made for Summerslam
WWE’s self-high-five stat of the night: There are now 6000+ hours worth of content on the WWE Network.
Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke (w/Charlotte)
Good match between them. Dana improving every week. In the ring and in my pants. Charlotte took a swing for Dana, missed horribly (I mean that in both a work and a shoot sense), hit Dana and cost her the match. It all looked really shit, really sloppy and just, well, not the work of someone that’s meant to have this shit in their blood. WHO THE FUCK thinks she’s talented, co-ordinated or just useful in the world of wrestling at all? Fuck sake! The narrative of “Charlotte has been training Dana very well, look how much better she is now!” is completely dead when DANA IS ALREADY A BETTER FUCKING WORKER THAN VAJAZZLE FACE!
The two eye each other up now they know it’ll be a singles match at Summerslam.
Finn Balor’s response to Rollin’s is a pre-filmed promo/interview package.
Balor enlightens us a little about Irish Folklore. Nice.
The Scrub Club update us on Big E’s condition and treatments. They show Loads of replays of them taking Big E out last week. It’s nice to see these two playing to the comedic sides of their characters, especially when they’re just making jokes and moving on quickly. Not too much though, please.
Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Dr. Luke Gallows (w/Dr.Karl Anderson)
Gallows put Kofi down quick with his half of The Magic Killer. Anderson caused a distraction, but it was a pretty short match. Xavier and a steel chair scare off The Club as they’re setting up Kofi for a meeting with the ring post after the bell has hung.
Golden Truth and a dude in a Scooby Doo suit = Dog shit on a plate. If anyone wants to review this abortion of a segment where I have refused to do so, the comments section is below. Actually, scratch that. It would be sadistic of me to ask anyone else to put any more thought into this.
Mick Foley introduces Daniel Bryan. There’s a bit of cheeky banter between them until it gets a bit bitchy. Foley reckons The Universal Title isn’t a joke. Rusev comes out and tries to brown nose Foley to avoid Reigns at Summerslam. Cesaro comes out and says he’s proven he’s entitled to his title shot.
DB stirs the pot and says Raw aren’t using Cesaro properly. Foley says Reigns still gets a title shot at Summerslam, but Cesaro will indeed get one too, next.
(c.) Rusev vs. Cesaro
Sheamus appears and lures Cesaro into breaking the Sharpshooter, which leads to another ref bump. Cesaro hits The Neutraliser but the ref isn’t aware enough to count it. Sheamus boots a staggered Cesaro, leaving him wide open for a Rusev roundhouse kick for the 3-count.
Happy with the result, Rusev heads off to finish off getting all the cake out of Lana in the shower, but he’s cock-blocked by a Spear from Roman Reigns as Raw goes off the air.
- Corey Graves = Gold. Between Cole running all over the shop following orders in his ear and Byron waffling utter, moronic shit, Graves is the glue holding the table together at this point. He doesn’t seem like he’s only just stepped up to the grown up’s table either.
- Great Matches. Again, Raw has a great roster and there should be no reason that anyone has a pointless/terrible match. It’s still going to take time to let the general shape of the roster take form though,
- Double Cesaro. Enough said.
- Liking the squash matches. I didn’t notice in previous weeks, but this week’s jobber was actually announced as being a local lad.
- Too much Enzo. Two shows in a row now he’s had the first fifteen minutes. We’re going to be sick to fuck of him very shortly.
- Fuck Off, Diddy PeePee. Now I know he was only on very briefly, but that was still more than I’d have liked to have seen him overall on WWE TV, especially after the amount of promoting they put into his appearance beforehand.
- There were a couple of repeat matches. Now I know you need people to face off more than once for it to count it as a feud, but I feel this is just sloppy booking and somebody backstage is being lazy.
- Too much time with authority figures again.
Until Next Time:
Since they were a large part of the show, let’s stick with last week’s theme of Lana and Rusev. Their segment tonight was painful by the end of it, but I feel they’ve finally cracked it and finally got people to boo and hiss at Lana. I can completely understand why it goes against the fibre of most men’s beings just to shout abuse at her, but for a while she was saying anything and everything to piss people off and the fans collectively thought with their dicks and ignored it. For the last couple of months, she’s been adding something to her intro for Rusev, keeping it fresh and testing the water to see what comments get the best response. I think what they’re doing now is great. You know, great in a bad/annoying/work way.
They are that annoying real life couple that hound your social feeds with gloat-fest after gloat-fest, sickening everyone into wishing they’d just keep it to themselves. Now you can indirectly hate your friends that behave this way by hating Lana and Rusev. Lastly, the best part about them playing the “Rusev gets to whip my knickers off whenever he wants and no one else does! Mwuahahahahahahaaa!” song and dance they do is that Rusev very rarely is the one to do the bragging. The tasty little dish that everyone desires does all that for it for him! All he needs to do is kill people in the ring, chuck Lana over his shoulder and climb the Titantron while beating his chest.
Digest and discuss! You can follow me as I work away on Twitter (@BluntDamage) for additional nuggets of wisdom and also on Instagram (@DannyBluntDamage) to see me shoot photographs of my other hobbies and guilty pleasures. Thanks for reading, take care and I’ll see you next week!