Hello and thanks for showing up to rant, rave and reflect on the latest episode of Monday Night Raw.


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During the week.


I’m still hiding in the cupboard here at Botchamania HQ.  Certain people aren’t too fond of the #FireJBL message that some folk have been trying to get trending and I’ve recently received several bars of soap in the post with hand carved messages on them.


I’m not going to detail what was described on said soap bars, but needless to say, I’d suggest the sender resign himself from their current working position, apologise publicly and then check themselves into some form of treatment centre where they can sit down and talk to a professional like they should have done a long-arse time ago before ever projecting their short-comings onto anyone that appears visibly inferior that gets within barking distance of them.


 


#RAW


We start the show with a recap of Roman Reigns not caring about putting The Undertaker out of his misery, just before he was interrupted and mullered for the rest of the night by Braun Strowman.


The addition of the horror film style score and sound effects AREN’T making me forget that the crowd were absolutely loving every moment!


 


Apparently, Raw “acquired” David Otunga in the Superstar Shake-up, but they didn’t want him. Funnily enough, my opinion still hasn’t changed.1_007As a temporary replacement, Vince’s arsehole sweats like a chocolate doughnut sunbathing on a dashboard in summer as we’re given the antithesis of Otunga’s “Whitest black guy” persona in the form of Booker “I hope he doesn’t say the N-word live again” T.


 


Braun Strowman marches out to what I’m confident is the pop of the week.  He’s gotten so much better regarding both his general microphone work and his ability to deal with a loud crowd.  Braun lists all the things he’s done to Roman Reigns and the crowd cheer him on every point.  He continues and claims that no-one in the locker room is safe and that they’re all next.2_006Kurt Angle comes out and says he’s agreed to give Roman a chance for Payback at Payback.  Strowman wants something to play with tonight, but Angle tries to give him the night off instead.  Braun wanders up the ramp humming “Give me competition, or else” and walks off.


 


Seth Rollins joins the table since it’s Rollins vs. Samoa Joe at Payback and then we’re primed with a recap of Kevin Owens and Joe beating down Chris Jericho two weeks ago whilst Michael Cole fellates Rollins under the announce table.


 


Chris Jericho vs. Samoa Joe

Once again, Samoa Joe gets the better of Y2J and makes him tap out before grabbing a microphone and addressing Rollins.  Joe says it was simply business before, but now it’s personal and Seth’s going to regret causing the escalation.


 


Gallows and Anderson wander around backstage and bump into The Drifter.  They all share an awkward stare and then they continue on their separate ways.


 


Happy days!  The Golden Truth are pissing around backstage, minding their own business when they’re annihilated by Braun Strowman; oh, how the crowd cheered!3_014I don’t think management grasp that having Braun run around and beat the piss out of all the gimmicks that Vince finds masturbatory joy from (whether it’s big, sweaty men or humiliating two middle aged men) ISN’T going to get him over as a heel.


 


After the break, some poor bastard referee is left with the task of reminding Strowman he’s already been asked to leave, to which Braun says he’ll leave when he wants to.  Nameless referee #42 proceeds to piss his knickers and run away.4_024Braun’s then left wondering how best to express himself properly within the confines of one hundred and something characters.


Let’s see if I can lend him a hand and nail it in one shot!


“Dear @JCLayfield, my gimmick of being a massive, bullying prick is sort of getting over, but I feel there’s more that I can do to really excel at it.  I was wondering, do you have any tips?  I know you’re more of a weasel-bully that focuses on people either younger, physically smaller or evidently lower in the pecking order than yourself, where as I tend to just be a be a big, sweaty bastard with pectorals and not flabby man-boobs that imposes my will in the name of competition and not, like in your case, in the name of being a thin-skinned, insecure, inappropriately-timed joke of a little boy.  Lots of love, Berserker Braun. xxx”


Oh dear.  That ended up being a bit wordy, didn’t it?


And people wonder why I struggle to bother with Twitter!


 


Gallows and Anderson demand a replacement team for The Golden Truth and I personally wish they hadn’t bothered.


Enzo & Cass vs. Gallows & Anderson

The Good Brothers score a surprising victory when Anderson dumps Enzo front/face first on/into the turn-buckles and pins him for the win.  It was one of those finishes you didn’t see coming, but looking back, I reckon that would hurt like hell and so I’m convinced.


 


Yet another WrestleMania 34 promo.  WWE behaving like that kid that doesn’t realise other people have birthdays too.  You just had yours, pipe down!


 


#MizTV (w/ guest: Dean Ambrose)

Dean jumps the gun and comes out early and takes the piss out of The Miz and Maryse.5_004So The Miz has a dig at Ambrose being on the pre-show at WrestleMania, ouch.  After a while, Ambrose starts the scrapping, but Maryse causes enough of a distraction for The Miz to escape.


 


#StrowmansFacePush

– We follow Strowman once more and this time he’s Lucha-dragging whichever Lucha Dragon Raw employs at the moment and then dumps him in a nearby skip.6_009Once he’s finished wiping his hands and texting JBL back, thanking him for the advice, he’s blind-sided by The Big Show.7_015Show tells him to pick on someone his own size and I give myself a shudder that suggests this is how WWE are going to attempt to show that they understand what a bully is and that their company is totally void of them.


 


Before the bell rings for the next match, Neville and then Austin Aries decide to sit ring-side and enjoy the action.  Aries aggravates Neville by wanting to sit beside him.8_023TJ Perkins vs. Jack Gallagher

The end saw Perkins shove Gallagher into Aries, this caused Aries to jump on the apron and then be jumped by Neville, this distraction allowed Perkins to get the advantage and defeat Gallagher with the Detonation Kick.


 


Akira Tozawa gets stuck between Apollo and Titus, he feels like he doesn’t fit in for some reason and leaves the locker room.9_017This is obviously because he’s the only one with a reason to smile when thinking about his wrestling career.


 


Not Tom Philips offers the Hardy Boyz the chance to talk.9b_008Sheasaro show up and play nice, for now.  Cesaro is being a little too polite for my liking!


 


Awww.  What was I saying the other week regarding some girls feeling insecure because of other talented lasses rightfully having some of the spotlight?


#Fatal4Way

Sasha Banks vs. Mickie James vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Nia “The Bitch-Fister” Jax.

I’m a big fan of Nia, but I feel they may be giving her too much, too soon.  She got tired pretty quickly during the match and she became noticeably sloppy and lost in and around the ring.10_020The majority of the match showed Nia flattening one of the girls, with one of the others breaking up the potentially decisive pin-fall.  Alexa did a grand job of running in and out when it suited her like a proper chicken shit would do.


In the end, Nia squashes Sasha with a Samoan Drop, but as she’s getting to her feet to make the pin, Bliss gives her the fiercest running drop-kick that she can muster.  This knocks Nia out of the ring and leaves an opening for Bliss to steal the victory.


 


Big Show thinks he’s hearing voices again.11_003But it’s just Charles the Dwarf asking him about getting involved with Braun.  Show says he’s going to teach Strowman a lesson in intimidation, giant style.


 


Curt Hawkins is already in the ring, I think we all know where this one’s going.


Finn Balor takes the challenge that Hawkins and his “Star Factory” sets and vanquishes Curt with the Coup de Grace within about a minute, fantastic.


I know there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a squash match here and there, I’ve stated in the past that I enjoy them when they’re done properly, but the set-up for this was just pointless.


Yeah, Hawkins was antagonising the crowd and he set out an open invitation, but the level 100 Balorchu had nothing to gain or prove by beating a level 10 Ratticurt, it was overkill and a bit mean in my opinion.


 


Chris Jericho = GOLD;  All day, every day.12_019The Drifter wanders through the shot and an irked Jericho is forced to put him on the list.


I’m liking how they’re not rushing this character.  He’ll drift into the ring when he’s good and ready and has a reason to, I’m sure.


 


Bray Wyatt offers us a sermon for Randy Orton in anticipation of their House of Whores match at Payback, the match that may or may not be for the WWE Championship.


 


Emma actually does Dana a favour here and stirs the pot between the girls, causing Foxy to wash her hands of Dana.13_003Emma reminds Dana that last week she said she wanted to stand on her own two feet.


 


Cesaro (w/Sheamus) vs. Jeff Hardy (w/Emergency-taped Matt Hardy)

I’m not slagging them off or anything, hats off to them for ploughing through it, but both Hardys look like they’re saying “Ow, my hip and/or ow, my knee” with every step they take.14_004It was a great match that could have gone either way.  I’m already predicting this match should have gone on last, be it not for whatever over the top ending they have planned to close the show with.


Jeff hit the Swanton Bomb for the win.


 


#VinceMcMahonsWankBank

Braun Strowman vs. The Big Show

Watching the match was like watching a drunk, bearded tractor try to fuck an older, bearded dumper truck.  It went on for far too long and they re-borrowed the Lesnar/Show finish from Smackdown many moons ago.15_025I think it would have been better received if they’d just run at each other from the start and reached their climax within a couple of minutes.  It wouldn’t have hurt whatever credibility The Big Show still has and it would have let Strowman continue with his path of destruction without showing any signs of slowing down.


 


Afterthoughts.


David Otunga was not and will never be missed.  I am however somewhat sceptical of the reason Michael Cole persistently pushed all night saying Otunga was away filming a movie somewhere.  I don’t know what it was about him, I just felt like I was being convinced rather than being informed.


 


It was refreshing to see a few new faces this week.  The first time I noticed this was when they showed the graphic for the women’s match towards the start of the show.  I know that it won’t be long until every combination of matches has been spammed to death with a side order of 50/50 booking, but I’m going to try and enjoy it while it lasts.


Wish me luck!


 


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Thanks for reading, take care and I’ll see you next week!