Hello and thanks for showing up to rant, rave and reflect on the latest episode of Monday Night Raw.
During the week.
Well, I’ve been told that I make too much noise and cause too much bother with all the lights on in the office and that at daft o’clock, seven days a week, so I’m back to my ever-loved weekly walls of text.
I will be continuing with my PPV coverage, Putting it Bluntly in the format it’s currently presented in, so don’t you worry your pretty little heads about not hearing me ramble on and on every month or so.
Corey and co. welcome us as they remind us of the Superstar Shake-up tonight and Michael Cole turns his shock-selling dial to maximum and I can tell we’re in for a night of eye-rolling and arse-clenching thanks to our favourite commentator’s ability to sound natural and genuine and not like a malfunctioning, over-worked robot at all! </sarcasm>
The mood is instantly kicked in the balls with the sound of John Cena’s music playing.Luckily for all, it’s The Miz and Maryse in their Mr. and Mrs. Cena cosplay gear.
It appears that Dean Ambrose is on Raw now too! He sells how convincing Mizryse’s impersonations are, only to hit Miz with Dirty Deeds once he realises it’s not John Cena.
Sami Zayn bores Kurt Angle in his office again. That is until he’s saved by two unlikely heroes. The Miz and Maryse grumble and try to nudge Zayn out of the way, so Kurt makes a match for later on.
Xavier and Big E (w/ Kofi mk.II) vs. The Revival
The Revival continue to build momentum using a Brutal top-rope Shatter Machine for the win. They just about killed Xavier Woods in the process.
Backstage we see Neville attempt to groom TJ Perkins/turn him against Austin Aries. Aries shows up and joins in the competition for TJ’s attention.
People just keep showing up out of nowhere! I’m starting to think a lot of this was made up on the fly and that’s why we’ve had zero build or story when dealing with the Shaken-up Superstars.
Kurt Hawkins is on Raw and requests a welcoming committee.
The Big Show obliges, drops Hawkins with a KO punch and leaves.
Neville joins his old mate Corey at the table for the next match.
Austin Aries vs. TJ Perkins
As Aries looked to have things close to being wrapped up, Neville approaches the ring and causes a distraction, Aries buys it and TJ rolls him up.
An amused Aries turns his back on TJ to offer Neville into the ring, but Perkins jumps on the opportunity to assault Aries and Detonation Kick him in the face.
A bit of a strange gimmick transition there for Perkins. He’s gone from “I love video games” to “I love older men” overnight.
Seth Rollins shows us clips of Steph getting wood and Triple H getting pinned at WrestleMania. The crowd thank him and he thanks them back. It seems he’s finally starting to get over as the super blue-eyed, baby face that WWE want him to be.
To be fair, a year or so of his nasal-toned, Authority sponsored, twenty minute promos has left quite the psychological scar and some healing was expected.
Seth’s resigned to the fact that he might be better off on Smackdown because of all that’s happened, but that’s the easy way out and he’ll happily make as much noise as possible to stay on Raw for the time being.
This brings out the General Manager. Kurt makes it very clear that he wants Seth to stay and tells him that as long as he’s the GM, Seth will have a job on Raw.
Samoa Joe jumps Seth and Kurt tries to split them up. Eventually, Joe scurries away up the ramp and gobs off from a distance as Seth invites him to have another go if he thinks he’s hard enough.
Kevin Owens announces that he’s the new face of America and that he’s the best champion in the company.This means that it doesn’t matter if he gets moved to Smackdown or what Raw’s roster looks like by the end of the night, wherever he is will always be The Kevin Owens Show.
Christ on a bike!Nia managed to make it all the way down to the ring without smiling once! I’d started to think that she’d had a bit of Apollo Crews stuffed in her somehow.
Charlotte Flair vs. Nia “The Bitch-Fister” Jax
The match was sloppy as fuck. Both lasses were to blame as neither of them are famed for their grace or rhythm.Nia got about elbow deep before delivering the Samoan drop, putting Charlotte in her place.
Finn needs new music!I’m not suggesting we scrap what he has at the moment, I just feel that it doesn’t suit him when he’s portraying the civilian side of his persona. He could do with something a bit simpler, so we look forward to the times when he has to go to that place and we get the full song and dance.
Who am I kidding?
It’s the WWE!
They’re the kings of over-doing something to its death!
Finn Balor vs. Jinder Mahal
Although he had his brain wobbled somewhat during a stiff forearm/elbow exchange, Balor makes light work of Jinder and finishes him with the Coup de Grace.
Bray Wyatt pops on the Titantron after the match to ask to borrow a cup of sugar since they’re neighbours now as he’s also joined the Raw roster.Bray goes on to mention that his House of Whores Match vs. Randy Orton will be at Raw’s very own Payback PPV and not on a Smackdown platform, just because.
The following talent aren’t cared for enough to warrant anything more than a casual graphic, to which, I’m not going to show the graphics, I’ll just demean them further via bullet points.
- Apollo Crews
- Heath Slater & Rhyno
The Miz vs. Sami Zayn
Maryse’s distractions failed, backfired and caused The Miz to get rolled up.
Corey had plenty of opportunity to lay the foundations for The Miz and Maryse’s fresh start over on Raw, getting in as much as he could as he always does, regardless of positioning on the card. <3 Corey Graves.
We now go to the sit down interview between a lifeless, soulless, corporate puppet and a smug, muscly Samoan.
The crowd aren’t enjoying what they see, that is until they get company.
Braun cuts it short and tries to murder Reigns backstage.
Several times! Much to the delight of the crowd!He even tips the ambulance that Roman and medics failed to escape in.
Despite being able to see ALL of the seams, I really enjoyed what they tried to do with this segment. I liked the Sheamus & Cesaro pub brawl not so long ago as that offered a little over the top, anime/comic book fighting style in a pre-filmed setting.
WWE obviously had their take on the Hardy Boyz stuff from TNA via their Wyatts vs. New Day Clash at the Crazy Compound encounter, so it’s not like they’d be strangers to doing something else pre-filmed and over the top.
Gallows, Anderson & Shining Stars vs. Sheasaro & The Hardy Boyz
Everyone got their shit in. We see a Broken Twist of Fate into a Swanton Bomb for the win.
The fans DON’T remember their Sheamus & Cesaro song from last week, wankers.
We visit the women’s locker room where Dana is interrogated by Emma. Emma wants Dana to turn heel again and walk by her side. Dana refuses and says she wants to stand on her own two feet.
At least Dana’s honest; she say she’s not the best, but she’s having a good go and getting better on a day to day basis.
Sasha Banks introduces Bayley and puts her over as a legitimate champion and then turns off the charm. Banks wants a shot at the title and she wants it now.
This causes Alexa Bliss to arrive on Raw, followed by Mickie James. Sasha doesn’t look impressed with all the attention other women are getting and then Nia shows up to fist some bitches.
Welcome to Raw.
Corey and co. try to make us feel bad for Roman again by showing clips from Strowman battering the piss out of him earlier on
*spoiler*It doesn’t work. The crowd start cheering again and again and again.
They also speculate the results from the second part of the Superstar Shake-up on Smackdown tomorrow night. I’m pretty sure that whatever plans they have for tomorrow, they can and will change at the drop of a hat, or at the drop of a copy of Big Sweaty Men weekly in Vince’s case.
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose
It was a nice match to close the show. Although it offered nothing new, it was entertaining and at least it’s been a little while since we saw these two scuffle.
Ambrose finished Owens with Dirty Deeds.After the bell, Chris Jericho turns up and hits Owens with a codebreaker.
I’m happy that we’ve had an actual match to finish Raw two weeks in a row now. I shouldn’t have to raise awareness about this issue, but since we have the “Sports Entertainment” argument to contend with, I refuse to bend over and act like having wrestling at the pinnacle of a wrestling show is wrong/foreign/get the fuck out of my WWE Universe, Dammit! I invented all of this! You’re fired!
They need to escalate the Roman/Strowman battles. I want to see Goku vs. Brolly and The Hulk vs. Iron Man, these two could entertain me in that manner where I don’t feel they’d come close trying to keep my attention in the confines of a wrestling match.
My main criticism with the show was simply the lack of build towards/coverage of the draft/Superstar Shake-up. It felt like everyone just got pushed out onto the ramp at the last minute.
Now I understand that WWE are trying to emulate that “Oh my god! As if he/she is here!” feeling that you get at the Raw after WrestleMania, but the events of the night all came across as a disposable six pack version to me.
I’m guessing I was just meant to stare at the big, pretty lights and fail to notice the old, steroid filled man with his hand in my pocket. It seems pretty lazy to me; especially when you consider how often Vince/The WWE like to tell you about being in the business of telling stories.
Digest and discuss, please feel free to do so below or via Twitter.