Category Archives: RAW Review

RAW is never getting laid. Like… EVER!

I feel like we all got to see a picture of my from 7th grade in lieu of RAW last night. So much comedy material. Where do you begin. It’s like all the jabs and insults just bottleneck up and you just sit there silently. The hair? The glasses? The stupid smile, just telling you that it will be years before he ever touches a boob? It is just all too much.

It was the start of the RAW season. Is that really that big a deal on a show that doesn’t take weeks off or show reruns? Chikara runs as seasons as well, but they take breaks and have stories resolve within said season. At the start of this season, we are in the middle of all of the storylines. That makes you look like a poorly run TV show, not a more legitimate one. I get that someone in marketing realized they could use that as a meaningless buzzword (Corinthian Leather! Free Range!), but it has no gravitas within context of this show.

Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt are settling their feud tonight in a steel cage, after building to this match by not having them work each other in a few weeks. I think they were in a 5 on 5 on Smackdown? Anyway, they had a cage match so that they could set up the end of the show (or so it felt). Jericho did a snazzy house show dive off the top of the cage. Well, as house show as it can be form 20 feet up. The finish made fuck all for sense. If you are going to snake the win out from under Jericho, then have him get duped, not just be too dumb to roll and fall to the ground. So Jericho has a bad knee and gets tooken (pronounced Took-hen) out by Orton because Randy wanted to. I am fine with using Jericho’s departure to give someone some steam, but I don’t get why it was Orton. It felt very forced.

Appropriate for Randy.

Look, the Miz doesn’t draw. You can add every bell or whistle you want to a 2×4, but a the end of the day all you have is a well-adorned piece of wood. I have stated he could be there many times… but he is not. This is a better use of Sandow than it is of Miz, and that is saying something. Ziggler can’t get him over. Sandow can’t get him over. Clearly staged pictures can’t get him over. To me, the bigger issue is that Miz never gets over on his opponents, he just escapes. IT doesn’t make him a threat at all, it makes him a geek.

Paige and AJ were tagging against it doesn’t matter, which is sad because Nattie should matter. This was all about the title hunter and the title holder tagging and anTAGonizing each other. HAHAHA! See what I did there? Stuck the landing! Anyway, they are still doing that “tension that makes you think they are going to bone” angle, so that gives Punk a reason to tune in.

Cena, the #1 face of the company, told Paul Heyman, a non-wrestling mouthpiece, that he will beat the shit out of him if the champ isn’t here next week (Did it again! Two for two!) He also said he loves being him and he won’t change just to have a title. Decent face promo (and the plot of The Dark Knight,) followed by a curiously heelish promo. Bullying an out of shape, 60 year old man who isn’t a wrestler isn’t very face. I am sure Noah loved it.

That NXT match was great for what it was: an elevator speech about why you should watch NXT. Adrian Neville is an impressive little ball of motion. He is what the WWE wants Matt Cross to be. Sami Zayne is amazing in how he puts together what he does. Kidd has been underutilized for so long; it is good to see him finally get to be a bigger fish, even if it is in a smaller pond. With some time, Tyler Breeze could be a top heel. I think he already does the gimmick better than Miz.

Oh, I forgot. Cesaro got to have a match without being in a match. He watched Sheamus and Rollins have a match and fuck is it hard for me to remember his as Rollins. I want to call him Tyler Black. But anyway, the idea is that Cesaro distracts Sheamus, then gets in and beats on Sheamus and then will have a match with Sheamus. Sheamus hasn’t learned to not get distracted by other people and pays the price this week.

Side note: Everyone in Pittsburgh popped for this –

Fella!
Taken from Grantland

Man, if Jerry Springer can’t calm down feuding fashion model sisters, what hope is there for humanity? The Bellas are still terrible actresses and probably people. They have a brother? Anyway, they tackle Jerry and the brother takes a slap and Stephanie and Jerry get caught smiling and laughing while he is on the mat hurt. They built the shit out of this and who cares about it? Did that put a single ass in a seat or in front of a TV? Besides Dan Bryan, I mean.

The Dust Brothers are great. No two ways around it. I hope they get the straps. I also hope they build another team so they can have someone to work.

Also, I am guessing that the Bunny is building to a big reveal. Any guesses? I hope not Zack Ryder, as I have never seen him do a super kick or splash. I would love for it to be Punk, but he ain’t coming back. I think the WWE has all his stuff on clearance at the moment. It needs to be someone established; an NXT guy would just kill it.

We end with Orton and Reigns having a match that involved Orton being a master of reversals and counters, a multi person run in, weapons, a rushed steel cage, about 5 reversals of fortune and no one remembering that the steel cage had a door until it was convenient. You need to get Reigns in with someone who has some personality so he can learn how to work with a crowd. He won’t get that from Orton.

Maybe the bunny?

-Ryan

RAW is ready to have a lame PARTY!! WHOOOOO!!

Hey brother! I’m 61 Brother! I can still do the shtick, but the last time I tried to do the big boot, I ended up needing surgery! My last match had zero bumps and I still shattered like Sam Jackson in Unbreakable. Time to block the Titantron entranceway with Red and Yellow Presents! Time to brag about breaking up my daugher’s engagement! Time to make everyone forget that I got kids drunk and then let them go drag race! I am the face of pro-wrestling because the WWE won the GOD DAMN WAR!

Can we talk about basing a 3 hour show around a birthday party for a 61 year old man who still tans like moustache bleach cures cancer? While I think that WWE has used Hogan 1000x better than TNA, this felt long and dull. The only video recorded birthday wish that I popped for was Weird Al. Also, let’s be honest: Hogan could have cared less about anyone who came out during his “surprise guests” at the end of the show. He looked downright annoyed that Orndorf and Piper were there. They didn’t show him shaking hands or hugging anyone. Also, not much of a celebration. No cake. No champagne. IF you have Kevin Nash show up at my Birthday and his job there is to sing Happy Birthday to me… well, just don’t hire Big Kev.

Hire Lita.

So yeah, it felt like 30 minutes of set up for Brock Lesner to come out and disrupt. I thought the legends did a good job of not backing down but still showing fear of Brock. IT was a good spot, but by the time he interrupted, it felt more joyous that the segment was ending than heeling that he was threatening a legend. Cena then Ran out to show everyone he has been getting lean so he looks in better shape and it felt… old. As a certain Pharaoh pointed out to me, “It’s been going on since OVW.”

Steph and a bella did the Clare Lynch angle. They did it better than TNA, but that is like saying that the engine coolant you drank was better than piss: it still isn’t wine. Holy shit, I didn’t want to believe that Steph had the reins this tight, but she must. Who is green-lighting these angles? Holy fuck, I don’t want to watch this. This is getting more coverage than the Champ’s feud. Honestly, who do they think they are attracting with this? Total Diva fans? Women? Misogynists? This makes me want to not watch. What about dead inside bitches as faces and charming heels makes you want to root for ANYONE, let alone a match where the one person can’t wrestle.

Brock called out Cena at the top of the show. Well, Heyman did. He did it with a slowly spoken rap, a la Joel Gertner, but with fewer references to his penis. Then he told Cena to respond, but to choose their words wisely because they will be back. Cena responded with a dead in the water promo. Cena can do a white meat babyface promo, but he was off tonight. The rage didn’t come off as believeable. Telling everyone he would turn heel seemed deflating. Why tell everyone that you are thinking of turning… literally?

Swagger can wrestle. Kane is in a suit again. Reigns can beat Rybaxel all by his lonesome. Orton showed emotion that wasn’t a desire for forced copulation, making him read almost babyface. It would have been great when he was a face… but he isn’t. Also, how did Cesaro lose ALL momentum? I get that the booking derailed him, but I am shocked how much of a dead stop his push seems to have hit.

Scott Hall wanted to fuck Summer Rae.

That is how you end a RAW review!

RAW is making an omelette by busting up some eggs.

I feel like not starting with the glaring point would be like reviewing the execution of Eddard Stark by talking about the scrapes on his knees. You peg your story on the lede, right?

So they end RAW with Stephanie confronting the fired Bella. It was an ok bait and switch. I twas acted well by Stepha, and Flatty Bella tried to act as best as she could, but it came off formulaic: Emphasize the last work that you say to Steph. Bonus points if it is “bitch.” And yes, I thought Steph did a good job of selling the “spoiled rich girl throwing a fit.” It made the “twist” decent. But… and there is always a “but,” isn’t there? The “but is: THIS is the angle you are finishing with? This is the one that gets the weight? I don’t care about this at all. Not even a little bit. There might be some redemption in having Dan Bryan Come back as a result of it, but honestly there feels like there could be a hundred better ways to do that. Your main event of RAW was to push a match between two women that haven’t wrestled in a really long time (couple months and over a decade) and were not known as good wrestlers to begin with.

WE opened with Paul Heyman and Cena. I don’t know that there is a more important man in the WWE today than Heyman. He gets to shine. He can talk circles around anyone else there. Cena comes out alone and gets booed. He says he knows he has an ass-kicking coming. Then Heyman came out and mad ethe match so important that Brock didn’t even need to be there. You don’t need to feed Lesner jobbers (and burn through his contracted dates) as long as Heyman is there for him. Then out comes Cesaro. Heyman rightfully looked confused as to why he was there and then slowly sound the realization as Cesaro referred to Paul as his “friend” and went out to wrestle Cena.

Cena said he was going to wrestle circles around him. He didn’t. He kept up, but Cesaro is a way better wrestler than Cena is, even with Cena actually wrestling. There were some good false finishes, but when you don’t believe that the WWE will let Cena lose on RAW to Cesaro in a curtain-jerker, it kind of kills the believability of said false finishes. It took a “super” AA to finish Cesaro, so that says something. But the win here makes you believe that Lesner walks out with he gold.

AJ still flips out over the word Crazy. Paige got under her skin. Matches work better than promos in this case.

Wow, the WWE really makes me not care about Chris Jericho anymore. He comes out to do old, hack jokes against Steph because he wants another match? Really? That earns him a match against Seth Rollins, who is still with the authority and hits Jericho from behind. Jericho has just come off weak this run.

It feels like they care about Dolph Ziggler again. It feels like they are trying to get him over with the Tag Champs. It feels like they are tryignto do the right thing… but it feels sorta like a failure. I don’t feel like the Tag Champs are over enough to rehap Ziggler. The wins are helping, but a few more single wins would be better than some 6 man wins. Also, the flash at the end of the backstage made it feel like the pseudo-Oppression were the point of the match… not any of the people actually in the match.

The plus side is that if your could actually control Ryback, then Rybaxel could be a decent team that you could push. Big if.

I love the Bo Dallas gimmick. I realize that it doesn’t have legs and funny don’t make money, but I have really enjoyed it. Isn’t that all that matters? His streak was broken by a jobber, so I am guessing they will feud now. Good way to get him some shine without just having him expected to win each match because of said “streak.” What they really need to do is bring back Konnan and reform the 3 Live Crew. Yep, I just advocated for a TNA gimmick. BO-lieve that!

Jack Swagger and Rusev just make me want that match to happen. Coulter has worked well as a mouthpiece. I am glad to see the WWE go back to the Manager system. I have missed it. I want to see the rematch. I think these two work very well together.

Conversely, Rose and Sandow are how you make me not care about a match. They are both the goofball in the pairing and it doesn’t work. I think Sandow could be a great comedy worker… but not in this feud. Let him be more than finisher target and I bet he blossoms. Lord knows you need a new Santino.

Orton beat the shit out of Reigns. Hate to say it, but good. You had been making him out to be Superman for a month now. Time to show he can be hurt, even if it is in a 2 on 1 attack. Also, Orton and Kane seemed to work together tonight. Fine, but don’t have them snipping at each other backstage next week. Kane burned the roast again and the only place Randy takes him is FOR GRANTED!!

Women. You would thing we would all learn how dangerous they all are. And yet, Fandango won’t. He keeps getting fooled. No one in the WWE has any sense of concentration or trickery. I could make a KILLING there. He jobs to one of Los Matadores.

Total Divas match. Fuck that match. Fuck that show. You need to be a much better wrestler to use that submission on a regular basis. You can’t stumble into it. It needs to be crisp.

I don’t know if I am jaded or just old. Jericho’s match was fine, but it didn’t grab me. There was nothing wrong with it that I can put my finger on. But still… it just didn’t grab me. Something is missing. What Noah calls “it.” Finish was Jericho catching Rolling in a codebreaker as he jumped into the move and the lights went out and Bray Wyatt chumped the fuck out of Jericho. Jericho doesn’t seem like a threat. He eeked out a win and then Wyatt has dominated him. IF Wyatt doesn’t go over at Summerslam, it just won’t feel right. Know what I mean?

Then the end.

At least I got to see Fit Finlay and I am glad Jamie Noble still has a job.

-Ryan

RAW serves you a hotdog now to give you steak later?

I feel l like you HAVE to address the PPV in order to discuss RAW, so… It was bad. But it wasn’t bad for the effort of the people in it. They tried. Oh my god did they try. They tried all the time… for this revolution. And yes, this is the PPV before one of the big ones, so you can’t do anything that gets too close to a payoff. However, the Wyatt job felt unconvincing. They have a good match that was killed by the finish. The Usos/Wyatts were the same way, but in that case there were too many false finishes. It felt like they burned through a lot of very good a believable finishes for a title defense that didn’t feel like it was going to stick as a status quo. They just cancelled the Ambrose/Rollins match, which is never the idea you want to project. And Cena won again, which is what should have happened but felt less that satisfying considering all the action in that match.

Thus, all that overbooking led us itno RAW tonight. A RAW without Rollins. A RAW without Cena. A RAW without Cena while they are bringing up his next program with Bork Lazer.

We opened with HHH not announcing his new opposition to John Cena. Of course everyone showed up to say why they should be the next one on one opponent. The heels are arguing, which feel s like Kane is packing up and saying good bye. No evidence to support that, just … it feels weird. Maybe Kane has gone beyond being a true heel at this point? Anyway, this prompts a lot of talking and a handicapped match. Randy Orton walked on Kane and Roman Reigns wins with a continuing strong push.

Nikki Bella got stomped down by 3 divas. Her sister was a t ringside, so Stephanie slapped her. No one here can actually wrestle, so I was actually ok with this match. They did what they know how to do. It was dull and quick, which is a lot better than dull and protracted.

Bo and Sandow were good as a pseudo-comedy match. I mean, it wasn’t pratfalls or Lancashire wackiness, but it wasn’t a serious tet-a-tet. Sandow was Lebron and Bo was… Bo. Sandow took too long on the elbow drop and Bo won. I would let them do a short program and give them the warm up at SummerSlam. I think they can work well together.

Bray Wyatt decided to not let the Highlight reel happen. I was fine with this decision; Jericho’s weakest traits are his interviewing skills and his understanding of how to work in that situation. The Wyatts beat on Jericho until blood was running down his ear. Odd choice for a company who pulls back anytime they have real blood in the ring. Was this to make up for the shitty loss last night?

Also, it speaks volumes that Bray can keep losing on the big stage and maintain his level of heat. They keep on jobbing him and he still comes off as a viable threat with his gimmick.

The Miz was clever at the Battle Royal. He kept doing the Vince “hide outside” gimmick and then snuck in and won. So OGF COURSE you have him job the very next night after winning the strap. I am not going to try and say Miz should be at the top. Nope. WWE already did. They gave him the belt and had him headline Mania. With all of the good will you have invested into Miz, you are squandering it by doing what you did on Monday. You didn’t make him credible by giving him the belt. You didn’t elevate Ziggler by having him win the night after Miz got the title. You just wasted what you spent. On the plus side, Ziggler gets a win on TV!

Speaking of wins on TV, big ups to Zak Ryder! Getting an entrance AND a win! Anyone else equate this to the gold watch & hearty handshake before being future endeavored?

AJ and Paige are enemies again. They can work. Tell AJ to not be so mean girl as a face.

OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS! FLORIDA was on! Singing songs! Dancing! Woman! I would so rather have this that wrestling, amirite? Oh, then Stephanie got arrested for slapping that Bella and HHH is a dick. Not sure what that accomplishes, plot-wise, but there you have it.

Rybaxel pick up a win so that Xavier Woods can come out and complain about how the black man is being held down. It’s almost like he didn’t realize he was in pro wrestling. I get it, you are smart. But this angle has been done. A lot. Kingdom just started this angle like a month ago… and did it better. This whole show has felt like it was less about the matches and more about the talking before or after. Like with Cesaro: Clumsy dismount. “Hey, I am not a Paul Heyman guy anymore!” Show, don’t tell. I am fine with Cesaro joining the Authority, but this change of attitude is as out of left field as it could possibly be. Anyway, he goes out and beats on Ambrose and gets a win via DQed to show his loyalty to the group that hasn’t accepted him yet. Way to take that chair to the arm!

Oh, and Brock is in. Heyman made it awesome as always. His promos have a weight to them that others don’t. What he says feels important. So I am hoping that the payoffs that the WWE swerved us all on with Battleground get settled at SummerSlam.

So worth $10.

– Ryan

RAW: Stompy stomp stomp!

Boy the world is all up in arms. Sting is gunna be there. They are passing the torch to Roman Reigns. Sting is totally hidden somewhere. What about the Total divas? Stephanie looks good standing next to women 10 years her junior. And STING!?!?

So Reigns is not a face because he has no problem beating John Cana. But he is really a face because he opposes the heels. It’s an odd way to both give him the rub and break up his group. When that happens, things get defined whether you do the defining or not. In this case, Reigns is getting defined despite being in some gray areas.

The wild card of the SHEILD is now trying to be the glue holding the Cena/Reigns faction together? Odd choice, but it is easily washed away by a group beating from the Authority. The “curb stomp,” which isn’t really one, looked good. Ambrose takes his beating like a man and then goes to a “local medical facility” to undergo “further evaluation” and possibly “get his balls tickled.” Possibly.

Oh, Miz. You did everything they asked of you… you just forgot how to get over. I, a man of my years, remember you and Morrison getting over as a tag team. You had charisma and edge and a talented partner and stuff. But you don’t have “it.” Or maybe they don’t give you a chance to show “it,” which the same as not having it for all intents and purposes. But you are still in the upper tiers of the WWE, and it seems like they are using you to… turn Sheamus? I feel like they have lit the fuse on that a dozen times and then stopped it from happening. The win actually worked, so that is good. A roll up after hanging up your yam bag on the top turnbuckle/rope is a good reason to get rolled up. So… congrats? Way to go, Miz?

So Layla and Summer Rae are all Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn… and Dolph is Batman? Or The Joker? Or just the good looking guy who gets to take advantage to the women looking to make the same guy jealous? In any case, Fandango gets easily distracted and takes a fameasser to lose. You would think someone would learn to focus in the WWE and become like a God, as someone loses once a week to theme music or standing on the announcer’s table.

Usos meet Wyatts. I look at that line up and I don’t believe that the Usos would EVER win. They aren’t bigger or stronger. They aren’t that fast. They aren’t that extreme. They aren’t that interesting. The biggest thing the Wyatts have going against them are that they are part of a small group. While it works for the shield, it would be odd to have the lower members of a messianic cult have titles. Having said that, I see the Usos keeping the belts because it feels like they are getting a Cena-esque push. A girlfriend on a TV show will take you far, won’t it, Dave Otunga?

My favorite comment I read about RAW was “Jack Swagger went from Jim Duggan to Hulk Hogan in two segments.” I have always touted Swagger’s natural ability. This gimmick is one of the gimmicks that will ALWAYS get over. Ask Jim Duggan. Ask Hulk Hogan. Rusev looks threatening, which helps. Transitioning Zeb into a face is awkward, but he did (and continues to do) the best he could with what he has to work with. The thrust kick into ankle lock spot was way over and was well-executed. I actually want to see this match.

Hey, did you guys know that I really like Del Rio? Huh, I have mentioned that before, have it? I didn’t have a problem with this match as a physical contest. I just find it odd that they are moving Del Rio down the card to go after the IC belt. Can’t be on top forever, but this match felt unimportant.

Women. Want to make Nikki turn or Brie. Or Brie turn on Nikki? I don’t know who is in there. Anyway, I think it would have been more telling had Stephanie been nice to Tits Bella. It provides some psychological reasoning for her turning on her sister when she comes back. Even if she doesn’t come back and just turns heel, it still explains it better than “was beaten into acquiescence.”

Also, Cameron can’t wrestle. Neither can Eva Marie. Alicia can’t really either, but she looks like Kurt Angle in their compared to Cameron. Natalya, who can, is nowhere to be seen. I get that Sara Del Ray is training them, but you can only do so much, no matter how good you are.

Heyman is backstage playing political games while Cesaro is out there losing to Big E. This win felt much more important to Big E than the Del Rio Win over RVD did despite the title implications in the RVD match. Not sure why Kingston was allowed to accompany Big E to the ring, or why it is a surprise that 2 faces can beat 1 heel, but the spots looked good. It didn’t feel like Cesaro paused to have the chair taken from him. This is his third loss to Big E, so it feels like it pushes him up the card a bit.

Heyman makes his move backstage. While all of the Authority have been bickering to HHH about who should get the belt and who WILL get the belt, Heyman shows up and offers a backup plan to HHHs back up plan. I hope everyone knows it is Lesner and not Cesaro. Also, no one could say for sure what was going on with Cesaro and Heyman. Don’t do that shit off camera. Show us the story, don’t tell it to us fresh off a commercial break.

Chris Jericho… talks. Bray does amazing promos, but in this dull, all talking build, it gets him a ”boring “ chant. Bray says he remembers Jericho promising to save us. Problem is, half the audience doesn’t remember that and the WWE is not one to remind anyone of the past (unless they can profit from it.) Virginia wanted action … they got the action. Jericho gets jumped and runs… and gets blindsided by Bray. For a guy who promised to play mind games and get “dark,” Jericho really hasn’t lived up to said claims yet. He is biding his time, funding the next Fozzy album with his WWE paychecks.

I loved the Bo Dallas match. Good spot to win on a count out. Good way to explain a tiny guy beating a giant without blinding speed and lucha spots. Bo’s yell of pain after getting hit was really good for the comedy spot that this match was built to. I just wish he could afford dry shirts.

The last match was all of what you expected and none of what you wanted to expect. No miraculous recovery by Ambrose, showing up with a neck brace and chair. No Sting coming down from the rafters. (Sting’s appearance, like a Goth Where’s Waldo, was in an ad for those who missed it.) Nothing but a group beating that leads to a DQ. I enjoyed RAW until the last match. It was like watching a building being erected that, once completed, is just a big gray block of warehouse.

A warehouse with Cena on it.

– Ryan

RAW is a bottle of Somas and a fifth of vodka.

Have you ever hung out with Sam or Noah? Here is the thing you need to know: If either of them hit a couch, there is a good chance one of them will fall asleep. The Panicos are the masters of falling asleep at inappropriate times, with Sam having an almost mutant, “X-Men ability” to fall asleep at 3 pm while in the middle of a conversation. It’s like hanging out with Jigglypuff.

Well, my $499 in tuition to the Sam Panico Masterclass on Falling Asleep finally paid off. I have tried to watch RAW a bunch of (3) times and I keep falling asleep. So instead of dishonestly reviewing the show, I will talk about the overarching themes that are kind of bugging me.

Let’s start with Dan Bryan having to vacate the title. I get that if you are afraid that he has a broken neck, there is no real way to have him drop the title. But to just have him come out and say goodbye seems like a lost opportunity. The Fed has been reeling since bringing the mountain to Mohammed on this one, not really sure where or what to do with him.

This brings me to a good segue: Dave Bautista. Original reports had it that Batista was to be fed to Bryan before taking the summer off for Guardians. But things haven’t been going Dave’s way as of late and he took off after the PPV. Rumors have swirled that he didn’t want to job to Bryan, which I have a hard time believing. He had no problem putting Rey over back in the day (even if he never dropped the title to him) and he was always very positive on Bryan in the past. Plus, despite my opinion on what he does itn eh ring, I never thought he was unprofessional. My guess is he is confused as to why the crowd hates him and he doesn’t want the negativity to impact his acting career. There is probably a money issue with PPVs being on the network now as well. And I don’t have a problem with any of that.

What I do have a problem with is that he was in one of the “main” programs. For all the complaints of Lesner being a “part-timer” and breaking UTs streak, he did his job and left. Batista just left. He was given hours of screen time and put into a story that affects the careers of a current top star trying to get “tenure” (so to speak) and three up and comers. It kills the reforming of Evolution. It shifts what to do with the world title, as Batista could have just as easily been the paper champ while they drew up new battle plans.

Speaking of title picture, can we talk about John Cena. What the fuck are they doing here? Bray Wyatt needs a push, not a series of flukes and weird coincidences that result in a token victory. Cena should have jobbed at Mania. End of story. Having Cena get freaked out over a weird kid that talks funny… he hasn’t encountered that with Make-a-Wish? Here is a hint: Want to turn Cena heel? Or make the temptation to give into the dark side mean something? Have Wyatt get the belt. John then HAS to stay in contact with the cancer to his legacy if he wants to free the title (and all the screen time that comes with it) from evil, icky, mean, not-so-goodie-mob of a Wyatt family. Then, when Bryan comes back, you can have him and Cena feud over the title and work the Bellas into it because you LOVE that people watch Total Divas.

So what do you do with HHH and Orton? Do you just quietly walk away from the reformed Evolution? Ignore that it happened. You can keep Orton feuding with Reigns, but where do you pit Rollins and Ambrose? Don’t break them up yet; you are just cutting the legs out from under a group that is drawing. Figure out something to transition quickly. Time for that huge 3MB push? Sign Samoa Joe and change his name to Joe Uso?

Oh, and all of this could lead to the WWE biting the bullet, sucking up to Punk and offering him a giant pile of cash to come back. He left after the Rumble… that Batista was shoehorned into and won. With Dave gone and the WWE hurting for top talent, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Personally, my guess is they try again to lure him in closer to September, when the initial re-ups come due for network subscribers. However, they do need a stop gap now and he is only human. Money is a GREAT motivator. If we suddenly see AJ Lee again, we know the trap has been baited.

Huh huh huh huh uh huh huh uh mmh heh huh. Baited.

-Ryan
Graduate of the 2014 Sam Panico Masterclass on Falling Asleep
Minor in Myoclonic jerk.

(I promise, I will get to watch them again some day. Or I can watch TN and see what they were doing 2 months ago in a telanovella fashion)

RAW existed

So i have tried to watch RAW twice. Problem is i strained my neck sucking so many dicks, I can barely stay upright to watch it. I made it though most of RAW. Seriously, it was a challenge. It felt like all anyone did was not wrestle. Cena teased a heel turn before Bray Wyatt brought out a children’s choir. Why is it spooky that he hired a children’s choir? They were all in matching robes. If they were mismatched kids who were is dirty street clothes, THAT would have been spooky. Instead all it does is make John Cena hint at a heel turn that will never happen because Cena sells merch. If anyone else got he rub that Cena got, he would be able to sell the never-ending cavalcade of varied products that Cena is tied to, but the end of the Attitude era also meant the end of the office pushing you.

Seriously, I am a huge Wyatt fan, but that took forever and was boring. It was memorable, but ti could have been that in 5 minutes. Maybe give a match to Yoshi Tatsu or Darren Young or any of the other guys in the side room at Omega Theta Pi.

Rybaxel have to give their win back to the Usos. So they did. I don’t have a problem with any of them, but i was distracted by the pain. It’s tough to chump out guys and then do a 180 and ask people to care about them, even if they aren’t doing anything wrong. Also, terrible neck pain.

Speaking of talking, Kane and Stephanie. Man, i don’t care. I didn’t have a problem with her doing heel promos. They had been pretty good. But damn, i don’t care about her apologizing or Thing 1 calling her a bitch. If Kane is only evil when wearing the mask, and you clearly got him to take it off and give it to you before, then why not just destroy it? Also, thank you Dan Bryan for swinging that wrench like an actual weapon. HHH and his utter confusion at how a sledge hammer is used had me convinced that all of the WWE were idiots. I’d watch you hitting people with wrenches all day. However, you whining in the triage after: I’d rather watch paint dry.

You know, Titus O’Neal is chock full o’ personality. Just downright charming. So OF COURSE the WWE doesn’t let him talk. He needs some of that mic time that everyone else had. Instead he manhandles Sheamus and then takes a foot square in the face. I thought the brogue kick looked nice on that. Set Titus up in a squad with Brodus Clay as a taker and a monster. Watch them soar… as high as you can int eh tag league in the WWE.

Uhm… it got fuzzy here. There was a ladies match. No idea. Van Dam was gunna take on Barrett for the IC shot at the PPV. I assume Barrett won. OH! Hugh Jackman was on. I remember the collapse of the already flimsy Magneto sketch. that was more talking that didn’t need to exist. I am sure that will lead to a Sandow/Ziggler feud that will get SO MUCH promotion and not delegated to Tuesday Night’s Main Event. Uh, i think there was another Cesaro/Swagger match. I fell asleep and was awakened by Ric Flair, speaking of promos that fall apart. I am only guessing he is with the Shield and some of the Shield and Evolution fought.

So yeah. I watched most of RAW. Kinda.

-Ryan

RAW has new talent on it, if nothing else.

A few hours before RAW goes to air, Daniel Bryan, set to make his return to RAW, finds out his father died. He says he will take care of business first and will be on RAW. I wondered just how involved he would be. As it turns out, the correct answer was “just enough.”

He came out, obviously struggling to keep his game face on. He Does a YES chant, gets met in the ring by his new wife, and then Stephanie McMahon comes out and tells him that he will get torn apart by Kane. They now refer to Kane as “Demon Kane” to differentiate him from “Corporate Kane,” despite the fact that it is the same man and the only difference is how he acts and what he wears. I am not dictated by my fashion choices (thank god,) I don’t get why Kane is.

Or why he has hair on his mask.

Anyway, Kane hits a bunch of piledrivers on D. Bry and he gets stretchered out with Brie Bella looking mildly bored over his unconscious body. Your husband of 2 weeks gets the awake beaten out of him in front of you (while defending you) and you can’t muster some tears? Thus, they set a match for the PPV and got Daniel Bryan off TV for a week or two.

Without ever mentioning the passing of Bryan’s father, we go on to the IC tournament. Sheamus gets to take on the revitalized Wade Barrett. I guess they are keeping the “Bad News” moniker, which is fine. I was surprised how much I liked this match. I do find it odd when they run through their previous finishing moves to try and get a win. Isn’t there a reason you abandoned them? Anyway, they trade off a few finishers before Barrett interrupts a dive with the Bullhammer for the win. I will say I don’t like that Cole keeps trying to change the names of moves and make them wordier. Not sure if he is doing that or getting fed the lines in his earpiece, but it is the Bullhammer, not the Bad News Bullhammer. Barrett moves on, which surprised me. I didn’t think they would give him the duke over Sheamus for his push. Clearly, I was wrong.

Hornswoggle is now a heel? He is part of 3MB? The fuck have I missed? Shouldn’t they be 3.5MB now? Anyway, it has beena while since they did anything with Midgets, so they have Hornswoggle and El Torito work each other now. Plus they get to throw in regular sized people to add some humor to it all. See, it’s funny because they are so small compared to us normal sized folks! I think there was a winner? I remember them doing the seated senton drop thing? I remember Hornswoggle looking mad.

Evolution is reformed and it comes at the cost of Trips’ voice. He sounds like he auditioned to replace Corpsegrinder in Cannibal Corpse. I didn’t really follow what he was saying. We disappointed our parents by getting beat up? No shit. My dad still addresses all my Christmas gifts to “His Little Faggot.” I think he is trying to be accepting? Anyway, they growl a lot and Shield come out and Evolution runs to the top of the stage, get backup from all of the heels (for some reason?) and cut ANOTHER promo. Really, why would Rusev have their back? Anyway, Evolution shows ass and runs, setting up their 6-man at Extreme Rules.

They finally are pulling the trigger on the Rhodes Brothers feud. It was smart to keep them together through Wrestlemania. I t was dumb to do that and then not have them in a match at Mania, but what do I know? Anyway, they get a match against he tag team champs, fail, and then Cody storms out of the ring. Don’t do a slow turn. If everything is fine next week between Cody and Golddust at the start of next week (or Smackdown,) it just won’t work. It hasn’t worked for years. You put the whiff of the team turning in the air and everyone just waits for it instead of watching the matches. If you are trying to stretch this out, you could have Cody no-show?

Oh yeah, Rybaxel was on commentary and jumped the champs. So that is something to which you can look forward.

Layla is hot. I’d hit it. There was a match, but honestly all my notes say on this match are “Please have a boob pop out” and a bunch of drawings of boners.

Seriously. Just a whole page of boners.

Heyman came out and is doing a promo where he just keeps talking about Brock Lesner beating UT. They had him do it through a commercial. Then his old protégé, RVD, comes out to take on his new protégé, Cesaro, for the IC match. Being that a heel won the other side of the bracket, it seems like this would have to be a face. However, Cesaro has be getting the push and he isn’t entirely heel. Cesaro gets distracted by Zeb Coulter and Jack Swagger and RVD wins the match because he just doesn’t give a fuck. Swagger teases doing a big swing and it never happens, leaving the crowd to want to see it. Despite the confusing heel/face dynamics, it was an ok match. RVD seems to be going through the motions of his spots, but it is TV and not the title match yet. Cesaro and Swagger will meet. RVD and Barrett will meet. Layla’s butthole and my balls should meet.

Sorry. That went too far. Being part Jewish, I can’t delete past Passover. That wouldn’t be, to use a term from my Jewish forefathers, “kvlt.”

Aksana is a moped.

Rusev tosses Sin Cara around like my dog does one of her toys: Easily and with an inherent joy. I like that they are defining him with a slightly different style. I still don’t like the Camel Clutch on him and I miss having his name in Cyrillic. Sin Cara is good fodder for him. Lana was an actress, so I bet she has no idea what life on the road is like. She will end up burned out or catching a case of the pregnant eventually. Enjoy those miniskirts and cruelty while they last.

The overriding message I got from the main event was that the Cenation has turned on John. They voted him into a handicapped match. He looked disheartened. They can’t ever turn him heel. It makes no business sense. Anyway, the Wyatt family beat on him, he gets his superman comeback and then DQ finish to spare him out and out beating three guys at the same time and killing their gimmick. It ends with Cena eating a Sister Abigail (not “The Kiss from Sister Abigail,” Cole) and Bray sitting in the ring getting everyone to half heartedly sign “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” I imagine the WWE wanted it to be thunderingly loud. It wasn’t. Not sure if they tried to sweeten the sound or not, but it didn’t sound as impressive as I assume they were looking for.

-Ryan

RAW: Ice is back with a brand new invention

Ladies and Gentlemen, Noah fucking hates wrestling more now than at any point in his life. Dan Bryan is at the top of the company. Ultimate Warrior is on a slab. Paul Heyman is still being used by the fed. Por Qua married the Miz. It is just a shit time for Noah, so be nice to him.

Dan Bryan comes out and feeds the egos of the wrestling fans. He somewhat sells his shoulder, but he should have just held both straps in one hand. Sorry, off track there. THEY are why he got there. They are why he stole the Yes chant from Diego Sanchez. They are why he is at the top of the game! Because of … speak of the Game and he shall appear. HHH comes out and says he is getting a title shot tonight and he can because it’s his show. Really good heel work. Didn’t need to bury anyone else, didn’t put himself over. Just acted like an asshole and left.

Bray Wyatt should have won at Mania. His loss to Cena didn’t really make sense. He wasn’t big enough to have it matter if Cena won over him. You can have the announcers put him over all you want on RAW, but having him lose on the PPVs undermines the threat that he should be. He and the fam took on Cena, Sheamus and Big E. Two guys without titles and one with. So guess who does the job? Yep. IC title, much like the Ultimate Warrior who once wore you, your fate is to be buried. Big E does the jizzob and the Wyatt family gets a win over Cena and Sheamus that feels infinitely less important than the Mania match the night before.

Santino and Emma beat Fandango. Clearly, they don’t give a shit about Fandango at this point. They need him as an excuse to have Summer Rae in front of the cameras. He is the Esse Rios to Summer Rae’s Lita. Emma goes over with the Muta lock. Did anyone see the Muta sign in the audience? There was also a guy with cut out heads of Missing Link and Kamala. New Orleans loves them some face paint.

The streak is dead. Paul Heyman was his usual great self at rubbing that in to everybody. While I wasn’t going to talk about Mania in this, I feel I need to touch on one thing. I don’t care that the streak ended. I am all for it. UT is from the time when you went out on your back. I don’t care that Brock ended it. I think it could have helped other people a lot more than a part time free agent type guy, but it could work for them. What bothers me is that UT dropped the streak in a half star snorefest that acted like UT had never had a previous mania match to compare this to. Any of his last 5 mania appearances were easily better than this match (and I HATED his matches with Hunter.)

But that trigger has been pulled, and Heyman will make sure the WWE gets a ton of use out of it.

The rest of Evolution is pissed. They both have legitimate reasons to feel that they should get the first title shot. I actually like the booking for that. It creates a little drama. Orton and Batista’s pity fuck is to have a shot at the tag titles. Predictable, they just storm the match and lay waste to the Usos and don’t give a shit about the DQ. So will they be teaming now? Because if Evolution is reforming in some capacity, that kind of kills the sturm und drang of the rightful heir to the title drama that was just happening.

Rob Van Dog! He is back, all happy and tail wagging. Rob Van Dog loves you unconditionally. He loves you so much, he jobs out Damien Sandow for you! Rob wants some pets and feels that he should have a better place on the card, but he is happy with this for now. ROB VAN DOG! THE WHOLE BARKING SHOW!

Wade Barrett now wrestles as Bad News Barrett, and he was over as FUCK at the Superdome. Seriously, thre crowd loved him running rough shod over Rey. I thought this was actually a pretty good match. Rey busted out a trick or two that he hasn’t done in a while. I really liked the sliding splash and taking the Bull Hammer from the turnbuckle. Welcome back, Wade! Expect Barrett to be jobbing soon at a RAW near you!

Rusev has arrived. Lana’s Russian sounds American. I do like that they put his name is Cyrillic. He brutalized Zack Ryder is a squash. Tossed him pillar to post. Then, the mighty Bulgarian brute locks in a submission associated with Russian athletes, the Bear Hu… the Camel Clutch? How the fuck did that get past the agents? He should be doing something brutal and powerful, not Sheiky’s finisher. Something high impact. I know, I know, a bear hug isn’t high impact and Bulgaria isn’t Russia. But it would fit his character better on multiple levels. My personal choice would be a low buckle bomb. Let the dude hit the middle or lower buckle and sell it like it knocked him out.

The Warrior got to say good bye. He looked like hell. He looked like hell at the HoF and Mania. At Mania he reached for his chest a few times and it looked weird to me, but he acted like he was touched by the applause. Don’t do cocaine and steroids. Really.

So AJ came out, used all of Punk’s lines, and then got her title taken away by a rookie on her first match on WWE TV. What message job? Punk sleeps with the Ultimaniacs. My only real problem with that was the shitty Page Turner she hit for the win. She botched the finish. Frankly, she barely delivered he lines on her promo. She sounded as scripted as humanly possible. I hope she picks up her game, because AJ was a lot better at making the title seem important that Page seems to be.

They finally break up the Real Americans. Cesaro wins a statue that seems pretty cheap and painted gold. Hogan introduces him and then runs, which should tell you there will be some action, as Hogan will shatter like Meryl Streep in “Death Becomes Her” if he gets in too heavy a breeze, let alone an errant fist or, got forbid, have to bump. Cesaro leaves the confines of Zeb Coulter and becomes a Paul Heyman guy, giving Heyman a reason to be around now that Brock won’t be seen for a while. So who is the face here? Heyman, despite the positive reactions, is a heel, right? As is Zeb. And Cesaro. And Swagger. So who is the bad guy here? Logic would dictate Swagger and Zeb, but then does that turn Heyman face for this? Can he be a tweener advocate? Anyway, Swagger jumps Cesaro and breaks the cheap statue. They then have a match that ends in count out, which is how it should have needed. I think these two can have a great match. I also like Heyman holding the Andre statue like a baby doll at ringside.

Did anyone catch that to warn Cesaro that Swagger was going to do the running Vader Bomb, he yelled “NOW IS THE TIME!!” at Cesaro? I popped.

Trips tried to steal the belt. Holy shit, what a great heel move. How the hell does making sense find it’s way into WWE booking. He has the rest of Evolution beat down Dan Bryan, THEN has the ref ring the bell. This summons the Shield, who were meeting with the authority earlier. I guess the Authority doesn’t watch the product? They didn’t know that the Shield weren’t so heel anymore? Well, they attack first, so HHH gets a DQ win, but the Attitude era gets run out of the ring by two former ROH champions. I didn’t think I would like a face Shield, but I do. This means they will decide to do the breakup angle now. But the Shield is a good foil for the heel management group to work against.

We end with Bryan hitting a Baisiku Knee on Trips, and it looked solid. Maybe HHH knows how to bump better than other heels in the WWE. I know it can beat John Cena. Ask Noah.

Just not this week. Cut him some slack.

– Ryan

RAW had so much meaty goodness.

Let’s start with the most basic statement I can: The first hour of RAW was the best hour of RAW I have seen in so long, I can’t compare it to any others. If RAW was that compelling every week, they would be pulling down 7-9 in the ratings again.

We are in Chicago. There apparently is a movement to #hijackraw, which is #gaytarded. I apologize to all of the people i offended with that, but there is no word in the English language (or the portmanteau language I created to come up with “gaytarded”) that describes wrestling fans trying to ruin the show that they are paying to see better than that. The big question was “Will CM Punk return?” it was his hometown of Chicago. Punk, the idealist of the wrestling world, stuck to his guns and was not there. Consequently, the WWE used him without having to cut him any more of a paycheck.

Paul Heyman pulled of the promo of a lifetime. He both was loyal to his friend and at the same time got over the match that he was out to promote. The 20 minutes of Paul in the ring talking were a lesson in how to control a crowd. It could have turned at any moment, but Paul kept them on the path. Then Brock came out and I remember his voice cracking when he yelled his own name, in case you were wondering what it sounded like to be Sable in bed. Yes, she yells his full name. This brings out Mark Henry, who has a score to settle from the last beat down Brock gave him. Everything looked pretty stiff here, especially the shot with the steel steps. Again, Henry ends up laid out and Brock looks like a guy manhandling a drugged gorilla.

We move on to the Usos again taking on the New Age Outlaws. Maybe because i watch both shows, this seemed out of place to me. You don’t follow a win over the champs with a six man before the title shot that is also on free TV. Anyway, it already seemed odd. I am impressed at how well the NAO still move. In any case, no one sees the swerve booking coming and the Usos get the belts off of DX a month before mania. So we are just done with the Rhodes? Or do they get factored in later? The rumors keep saying they will fight each other at Mania, but their has been zero promotion to that idea s of yet and Mania is creeping up on us.

The Real Americans are just fucking with each other now. Twice.

The Wyatts are facing the Shield. I like that they did an individualized entrance video for the city. I hope they do that every night. After a good back and forth between the teams and the tease that Ambrose is not their for them anymore, it is Seth Rollins who walks on the group. He cries like a teenage girl that he is tired of being the glue holding this together. Despite that temper tantrum, they still had a great match and the Wyatts scored a win over the top 3-man unit in the WWE. The Wyats are in two programs. this seems a little fractured to me, but i would rather it be like this than to have them immediately dump the Shield story to concentrate on Cena.

Emma does the Muta lock. This was the beginning of the end of that great hour of TV. At least it was short and Santino is entertaining. Sheamus and Christian was the opposite. It would have been entertaining had it been about half it’s length. It just never connected. The false finishes and unique ways to get people in moves all fell flat to me save for the Brogue kick on the outside to the inside.

The Bellas are terrible. Alicia Fox is still a ball of sex.

Triple H buries Daniel, but see it is so Daniel can rise above it. Except it really doesn’t feel that way. I keep harping on it, but it hasn’t changed at all: I don’t think HHH gets anyone over that isn’t HHH.

I felt like i should have seen it coming. The star of Need 4 Speed is the “guest host” on the show. ADR used to come out in cars. Aaron Paul hasn’t been seen all night. It was a good entrance. Ziggler i guess is done calling out Batista. ADR i Guess is done calling out Batista. Thus they take on each other. Fine match except that I don’t see how ADR is dumb enough to get distracted by someone not even in the match. That is one of his tricks, you think he could guard against it. Ziggler picks up the win and is a champion for reckless drivers everywhere!

John Cena tells the Wyatts he isn’t scared. Bray tells John that he will put him down like a racehorse t hat finally slowed down. Normally you breed those, not kill them. But that is just because of my extensive equestrian background and knowledge of animal husbandry. if they have a 1-on-1 at WM30, Wyatt has to wear the butchers smock. He HAS to! For MEEEE!!!!

The finish was overbooked. Instead of Bryan v. Batista, it ends up Bryan v. Batista, Orton, Kane, HHH and Steph is there too. I get it, the face is outgunned but still keeps fighting. I liked the kick to HHH when he tried to promo. But still, do you have a big enough payoff for how deep you are burying Bryan? I am not saying you don’t, I am just saying that historically, you haven’t.

-Ryan

PS – Why the WWE won’t ever do another animated movie unless it is with South Park Studios: The New Scooby Doo movie they did features Brodus Clay and Sin Cara as selling points. Is the villain Waylon Mercy?