Hello and thanks for showing up to rant, rave and reflect on the latest episode of Monday Night Raw, Smackdown! and where I’ll also be looking ahead to the SummerSlam PPV.


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During the week.


Since a couple of new cleaners recently showed up at Botchamania HQ, there hasn’t been much for me to crack on with without the same thing being done thrice; I soon realised I had two options, either mind-numbing boredom or I start creating messes just to have something to do.


Since either choice would be counter-productive, I decided to take a little holiday time off before the madness that is SummerSlam arrives.


You may be wondering where I hauled my pasty arse away to. Truth be told, I didn’t go anywhere. My new tan is simply a testament to just how white I actually am whilst presenting the side effects of me spending time in the garden.



Evidently, Casper and lobster are the only colours I’m available in.


 


 


#RAW


 


 


Disclaimer.


Since I’m changing things up a little from here on in, I’m not going to cover every inch of Raw from the last couple of weeks. Instead, I’m going to address a couple of positive notes and also a couple of negative. Any other details will mostly be included with their relevant match-up run-down below……….mostly.


 


Huh?!?


Your Raw Rant is evolving……..


 


 


Gave me smiles:


Six months ago I wouldn’t have expected myself to ever say anything positive about Titus O’Neil. He’d become nothing but a clumsy, drunk baby of a wrestler and he couldn’t have buggered off fast enough for my liking, it’s mad how things turn around by approaching something from a different angle.



It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of stables/factions in general and I feel WWE are heavily lacking in them. Titus stepping out of the ring and into a suited managerial position has been a surprising step in the right direction.


 


 


I’ve really been enjoying the Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose angle. I’m hoping/expecting it to all end in tears when Dean inevitably gives Seth a taste of his own medicine by leading him down the garden path, only to crush his hopes and dreams.



I’ve been suggesting that they just get a room to quash all the sexual tension, but I’m pretty sure Dean got his tip in during their scuffle on Monday, so they might be good for a while. I wonder what’s going to happen with Renee if/when they turn Dean. I’m pretty sure she’d pull off a smug, heel version of her current persona with little difficulty.


 


 


Gave me piles.


I really don’t want to shit on either Bray Wyatt or Finn Balor, but I see another missed opportunity and can’t silence the imminent hissy-fit. Both Bray and Finn are potentially the most creative characters WWE have on their overall roster. With magical abilities and transformations at their respective disposal, anyone would be daft not to put on a show with them whilst telling a story.



This, in my opinion, is where WWE have dropped the ball. In NXT, Finn had his demon out more often than not and it’s been a long time since we last saw it. With this in mind, I feel that Bray’s little “viscous, acidic liquid” (credit goes to Michael Cole for that gem) attack on Finn didn’t warrant the kind of reaction it got.


I’m a fan of a slow burn when it comes to character development. I like to see what reactions come from different actions and how an individual has a new sense of perception because of significant events. Then all the decisions they make after these points are all seen with a different pair of tinted glass and we go on a journey down a path with that person over a period of time.


Not just “Feckin’ ‘ell, ‘e por’d blood on me. Oim gonna giv’ ‘im de demon at SummerSlaaaaaam”.


After getting Carrie’s prom treatment, they should have had Finn go mental, cut the lights, cue the heartbeat and gels, and then bring the lights back on to reveal that Finn had vanished into thin air. This, to me, would have been a better way of reminding us that this is meant to be a battle of the supernatural and we would have had the chance to flirt with our imaginations until Sunday, not being shown a graphic shortly after telling us that Finn’s already bought the face paint.


 


 


I’m not going to take too long with this one as I seem to share the popular opinion when it comes to this whole split condom of an Angle.



I initially suggested that the whole thing was a scam manufactured by Corey Graves and fellow former NXT staff, but now I’m just wishing it would end as soon as possible and I don’t care how.


Jordan’s certainly got potential in the ring, but he’s got loads to work on; let’s just say I’ve had dental surgery that was more enjoyable than any of his promos.


 


 


SummerSlam card.


 


It appears that this match needed a shark cage to spice it up, or it’s possibly just part of some fantasy Vince has over two of his biggest, sweatiest men fighting over the chance to eat one of the normal (weak) sized folk of the world.



Logic tells me that Big Cass will win since The Big Show can play the “I had a broken hand” card after what happened on Raw.


 


 


Handsome Rusev hasn’t had much joy in the WWE as of late, I wasn’t aware that a dashing haircut could get someone into this much trouble with their employer.



Randy Orton’s had more of an advantage in their scuffles from what I recall, so I’m going to pray for Rusev to begin building a little steam at the expense of WWE’s legendary underwear model.


 


 


Despite my rambling earlier, I’m trying to maintain a positive frame of mind going into this match. I’m hoping Bray wins and later reveals he purposefully brought the demon out of Balor (giving meaning to the blood ritual) in order to strengthen his soon-to-be ally/minion. This is what Bray needs, his brief alliance with Orton was at least interesting before it imploded the Wyatt family and sadly turned into a shit feud. I’d like to see more of this sort of thing.



Sadly, I don’t think WWE are on the same wavelength as me and they’re putting Finn over to sell merchandise by the truckload.


 


 


I’ve kept this graphic as a sour reminder that Baron Corbin no longer holds his Money in the Bank contract thanks to John Cena on this week’s Smackdown! Again, I’m possibly overthinking things and delving into fantasy booking here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Corbin totally loses his shit, pulls the last few strands of hair from his £1 mop of a head and batters the absolute piss out of Cena for making him look like a proper bell-end.



The problem with my logic is that Corbin has reportedly spent a few nights in the dog house at the WWE. Super Cena wins, troll-face and all that malarkey.


 


 


Since their first confrontation stole the show when The New Day won the belts, I’m hoping that part two manages to deliver as well.



I’m going with The New Day; simply because I think The Usos did what they needed to with the belts by establishing themselves as a bad-ass pair of meat-heads and they can now move on, maybe on over to Raw to backup Roman Reigns……….fulfilling my fantasy of having a few factions kicking about the place.


This also opens the door to New Day having new matches with new teams, so it’d be a win for everyone.


 


 


I mentioned earlier how I’m anticipating the continuation of the Rollins and Ambrose story.



Although I don’t know when the Ambrose turn is coming, I’m pretty sure it’s lurking around somewhere. WWE may want to sell a few “BELIEVE IN THE SHIE” T-shirts before pulling the trigger and giving them the tag belts for a little reunion tour would enhance that somewhat.


 


After a fantastic yet short match on Raw, my expectations are relatively high for this contest.



I think Tozawa will retain and this will give Neville the chance to break free of the 205 Live/Cruiserweight shackles and start working with the rest of the roster. Maybe put him in a faction with Bray Wyatt (and Finn Balor).


If this is the case, I’m hoping this leads to other Cruiserweights following suit and spreading their wings a bit more too. WWE shouldn’t have let Austin Aries go, here’s hoping they’ve learned from this and start using the lads in the division a little better overall and not just as Vince’s personal band of little people.


 


 


I’ve been incredibly vocal about my distaste for the Diva brand of the WWE, but as always, I’m going to give it a try and hope for the best.



Whether you’re a fan of hers or not, Natalya has worked hard for a long time for WWE. I think it’s about time she had a belt for a while and let Naomi’s glow fade back into her previous bad-ass gimmick and chuck her with The Usos as they jump to Raw and join The Roman Empire.


 


 


See above: it’s sometimes painful to watch.



This one could go either way really. Original plans obviously changed when Bayley was injured by Nia “The Bitch-dropper” Jax a couple of weeks ago and now Sasha has stepped up as a replacement.


I’m perfectly happy having Alexa continue to parade around with the belt for a while longer, she plays the smug, entitled little shit very well and although Sasha is also eligible to make this claim, she’s meant to be a face.


 


 


Regardless of AJ and KO always working well together, Shane O’Mac’s evolving involvement in this one has piqued my interest.



Something tells me that Owens is taking the strap home with him. I’m not sure if it’s Shane that’s giving me that impression or if it’s the fact WWE are STILL using that same mugshot/photograph of AJ that someone took in the car park after he won the title at “The Garden”, all I see are two face authority figures on a WWE show and we all know that dynamic doesn’t often last very long.


 


 


The outlook of this match has completely flipped on its head after Baron Corbin failed to cash-in his Money in the Bank contract on Tuesday.



 


Holy shit. Is Nakamura going to have a proper title reign? My initial thoughts involved him defeating Jinder at SummerSlam, but I assumed his celebration would be short-lived with Corbin always being nearby and taking the glory from him for himself.


I understand that this now makes us look towards SummerSlam with more optimism than before; knowing that Nakamura only has one opponent to worry about simplifies the equation. The point I’m trying to get across is even if Corbin was never going to win the belt in the first place, just imagine him cashing it in on a seemingly knackered Nakamura AND THEN eating a Kinshasa for his troubles. I’d mark the fuck out, I wouldn’t have seen it coming and the question of Corbin cashing in or not would entice more people to watch the match/show in the first place.


 


 


Whatever the result of the main event, I’m remarkably psyched up for this titanic tussle. WWE have done a fantastic job in putting this together, my only criticism with the build to it is the over-use of having half the roster run out and group-hug anyone that’s throwing hands.



My heart says Samoa Joe’s got this. Brock can spit out his dummy and rejoin WWE as part of Smackdown! before Survivor Series lands; maybe even Strowman has a shot, he’s over enough and would easily serve as an unstoppable tank with a belt hanging from it.


The sad thing is though, my head’s telling me Brock will retain……or maybe just Reigns will get the win in another Vince McMahon classic “YOU WILL EMBRACE THIS AS A FEEL GOOD MOMENT DAMMIT, YOU SMARKY SONS OF BITCHES!” ending.


 


 


Final Words.


There’ll be a few of us watching it round at mine, so I’ll probably give the kick-off show a go the next morning. I’m putting any aforementioned apprehension aside and I’m rather looking forward to the majority of the show and I’m expecting there to be a lot to enjoy………..as well as a couple of moments to roll one’s eyes at.


 


Digest and discuss! Feel free to do so below or via Twitter.


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Thanks for reading, take care and I’ll see you again soon!

  • Bushwhacker Puuuke

    > Since their first confrontation stole the show when The New Day won the belts, I’m hoping that part two manages to deliver as well

    Yeah, this is one of the matches I’m looking forward to lots too. The Usos are our boys, so I hope they retain. Both teams always work hard and I’m always glad to see them kick ass.

    Especially whichever Uso used to be on Total Divas. He’s hilarious.

  • Bushwhacker Puuuke

    So do you watch the show and then maybe watch the kick-off after? Man, I can’t do that! Too knackered.

    My house, it’s the kick-off on the night, then the show proper on the Monday. Mind, I don’t work with anyone who’s into it …

    • I’ll have mates at mine after work on Monday. I may be able to get the kick-off show watched before and immediately after work, we’ll see. It all just depends if I feel up for watching the kick-off show live, as you do. Sometimes this causes me to wake right up and then not be able to get any shut-eye before work; kid at Christmas syndrome style.