Raw Results 8/25/14 -
This was a rather sad episode of Raw. There was too much talking, not enough wrestling, and a total mess of creative and booking. Looking back, I was shocked that there was about fifty minutes of wrestling during the three hour show, but honestly, most of those matches were lackluster. There were some high points, but it seems like a lot of what's going on backstage could be more interesting than what we saw on Raw. For that I'm tipping my hat to Jesse who will be discussing Ryback and what his leaving could really mean.
Last night, Ryback took to twitter to announce that he was taking some time off. Honestly, it came as a fairly big surprise to me. We had heard nothing about the "Big Guy" being hurt or injured, and for him to do it so suddenly and with the apology to CM Punk, it seemed very out of character. Kendra and I were talking last night, and I thought of four scenarios of what this may be.
1. It's a work. Ryback is leaving his partner Axel and taking some time off after the hot crowd last week and will return a face. The Punk line was a way to show the start of a transformation.
2. Ryback is legitimately taking time off after realizing last week that he has lost the passion of the business he once loved. He got too far in the political side of things and is despising the person he became. The table spot was the peak of his douchery in the back, and he is publicly making amends for it.
3. He's hurt, and with everything he's done since being called up, he realizes that was his spot that he was most reckless in and is apologizing because he knows that his despite his minor injury, he could have seriously hurt Punk and is trying to make peace.
4. He now understands Punk's feelings on the road schedule and is taking time away to evaluate whether what he is doing is worth the time and strain on his body. His apology is a veiled nod that maybe Punk had it right all along.
Now, out of all of those scenarios, I consider an injury fairly unlikely. We would have heard something by now if that was the case. And while he had his best successes as a singles guy and a face, I somehow doubt a hometown reaction would provoke VKM to make a character change on him. So that leaves him looking out for his mental or physical health. And I have been on the record as one of Ryback's bigger detractors. But I will say that if he is doing it for either option 2 or 4, then he has my respect. Many men in this business don't look after their own well being. And while we all know the physical toll of the business, there is just as big of one on the mental health side too. I hope for all of the best for him, no matter where this may lead.
Jesse and Gesus will be joining me for this episode of RIB. They are both writing about things that hit them, and all three of us are going to be writing about the Bellas segment, because we all have very different views on the matter.
WWE Hall of Fame Forum > B+
When I first heard of this, I thought it was going to blow goats, but then I was kind of impressed. They took a serious problem that most of us love to complain about – Cena after losing a big match, especially if it means he's lost a Title – and turned it into something very different. We weren't stuck listening to Cena wallowing in self pity, saying that he let the fans down, but it won't happen again, or rant about how it's all about hustle, loyalty and respect, and he will come back from this! That they had these Hall of Famers out there, talking both sides of it, then Cena out to confront them worked a lot betting than I thought possible.
I loved how they talked over each other, and made it feel more real and less scripted. That's something I have a huge issue with in the WWE. Everything is so scripted, and polished to within an inch of it's ugliness. Okay, that made no sense, but it's one of the worst things about the WWE not having competition, they have lost all the grittiness that made them so fresh and hip – and even though Hogan was there, I'm not talking hip replacement!
Flair even looked sober here, and the way he was going on and on about Cena being a 15 time Champ really has me worried that he will be coming back to beat Brock. I really hope that's not what he was getting at, even though we all know that Cena will be surpassing Flair at some point before too long.
Swagger vs Rusev >B
I was quite impressed with this match. These two really bring out the best in each other. Rusev is looking more interesting, selling better, and looking more realistic in the ring. I don't know why Henry was out last week going off on Rusev, and it looks as though that might be on the back burner with him and Swagger ending Raw and facing Harper and Rowan on Smackdown this week. Either way, I'm really feeling Rusev and Swagger, and the more they work together the better they get together. I'm honestly thinking that they have so much more to show us going forward. Hopefully Swagger doesn't get derailed by Bo, as that would be a huge step backward.
Winner – Rusev (12:15)
Backstage Segment > C+
Crap, more Swagger and Bo! Swagger needs to flatten him and send him back to NXT, as he needs more time cooking before being served.
Cesaro vs RVD > D-
Call me bitter if you will, but this match was just a waste of time. Much like this show, it was just more filler. Both men are directionless in the company right now, so why not throw them together in a meaningless match on Raw? The match suffered as a result. There is nothing worse than matches thrown on a show just for the sake of it. There is nothing that will result from it so why should we care? The men just went through the motions and wasted all of our time.
Winner – Cesaro (3:34)
Nattie vs Paige B-
Honestly, I feel bad for Nattie, she's the one having matches with Paige, yet the storyline has so little to do with her. Nattie is one of the strongest Divas, yet she reduced to this! I feel so bad for her, but at least she's not gassy?
I thought AJ was wonderfully crazy and creepy in this segment. The facial expressions, the hug, the way she said everything, just great. I will say that I thought we were going to get another Mickie James and Trish Stratus kiss, but this is the WWE and they're all PG. But I still think it would work! I'm loving this frenemy feud, and always waiting to see who will step up more each week.
Winner – Paige (2:53)
Ambrose's Eulogy > B
There were parts of this that were great. Kane is the perfect wrestler to give eulogies. He did it for his brother, so it was natural for him to be involved here as well. They looked the part, spoke quite well, and did what they should have have for such a segment. I loved the picture of Ambrose they used, with him barely looking worse than a mug shot. With all the talk about The Shield, it was obvious that Reigns had to come down, and he did a great job of destroying Rollins and Kane, setting up for what's to come while Ambrose is out filming a movie.
Backstage Segment > B
While this segment didn't come off as good as the other segments they did, at the time, looking back at it, I see so much more than I did the first time around. They said a lot here that meant so much more after their match.
Tag Team Championship Match – Usos (c) vs Dusts > B
I am in love with Cody and Dustin for their ability to seamlessly transition into this gimmick and mesh so well. I have stated for a while Usos have had the titles way to long. They haven’t had a major feud since winning the titles and even that was mostly lackluster. I am happy with this way this match turned out. The tag division needs something prominent to really add some importance to that title or what really is the point? I am so over useless feuds. Uso’s need to drop the titles or WWE needs to give them more than a one ppv feud that is over and no one cares. This match proved they have the ability to create interesting elements to have consistent show stealers on any show they’re teamed up on as we saw on Raw. Just a shame Dusts didn’t win the title.
Winners – Dusts (7:38)
Backstage Segment D+
I understand why they gave us this segment, they had to show Rollins' ire, and that Kane is the idea man. They also had to set up for what was coming later in the show, but in reality, it was lame and boring, nothing but filler that felt stiff and plastic.
Video > C+
I tried to hate this video for it being just another way for Brock to get on TV without having to appear. The longer the video went the more I loved it. Talk about a great way to sell the devastation laid upon Cena during his match and making the champ look like a strong monster going forward. My only hope is that the start of the show is a fluke and they make Cena sell some of the beatdown. Only thing that would have made this better is having Heyman in the ring cutting a promo and throwing back to these videos.
Ziggler vs Miz (Damien Mizdow) > C
While I don't like seeing Sandow being screwed the way he is, at least he's on TV? Honestly, the one who's not been impressing me lately is Miz. Yes, he's playing a character, something I've been begging for, but he really doesn't seem to have the IT factor I once thought he had. I'm not at all impressed with him, or anything he's said or done lately. Maybe he should listen to his character and worry more about acting than wrestling. I want to say the same for Batista. Both of them would be better off acting than trying to work the ring in such ineffectual ways.
Personally, the best thing from Miz here was saying that Sandow was fired for losing the match. Beyond that, boredom!
Winner – Ziggler (2:21)
Bellas Gone Wild >
Jesse > BAKA!
Over the years we have been subject to many many horrible angles in WWE, From Snitsky punting a baby to Katie Vick, to the god awful monstrosity that was Heidenreich's poetry and Steph's "miscarriage", we have had a horrible gambit of things that would involve death, babies, and an assault to our eardrums. But last night, we got the absolute worst of it in every single possible way. The Bellas have never been known for their acting abilities, so whomever thought it would be a fantastic idea for the Bella Twins to feud against one another needs to be shot! I swear that kind of train wreck is absolutely unacceptable on any, ANY manner!!! And if the bad acting wasn't just bad enough, we had to get the long drawn out story of how Brie has always been the worst person in the world! For crying out loud, I don't like listening to them talk for two minutes! What makes you think that any fan is gonna want to listen to that diatribe for 10! But then we got the real coup de grace... Nikki's declaration that she "Wished Brie had just died in the womb!!!". I'm sorry, but there was absolutely no need for that. WWE has stated in the past that between 1/3-1/2 of their audience each week is female. And one out of every five women experience a miscarriage. So WWE just opened painful and unnecessary wounds for up to 10% of their fans just for a bit of shock value. The death of an infant is not something to take lightly, yet they used it as a throw away line here. If it was as simple as saying she wished Brie had never been born, then that would be more palatable. But to tell her that she wished Brie had died in the womb was flat out insensitive. And I don't care that she was "heeling it up" or "trying to get heat". For someone who supposedly wants to get married and have kids, how would she feel if her baby died in her womb? She'd be devastated. Show some damn class. After that line, I didn't even bother watching the brawl until later, and that was just as pathetic as anything else they did.
KB > B
Jesse jumped at me as soon as the Bellas segment was over, he wanted to write it. I was all cool with that, but I still need to throw my two cents into it. Who better to look into the psyches of these girls, and the direction this storyline is going, than another woman? I can understand why certain people would have an issue with this segment, but I thought it really showed what female emotions can do when they go crazy. Even when it isn't that time of the month, there's just moments when our brains go screwy, and stay there for too long. I thought Nikki played the irrational woman beautifully. Brie, was a little too pathetic for my taste, but the way she took that beating was insane! All siblings get into it at some point, some more violently and irrationally than others. This was a great way to show that, even though I have to say the, "I wish you died in the womb!" was a bit much, but not an uncommon comment in the heat of battle.
Gesus > B
I heard there has been some heat for this segment from many different people. I think the segment was good, just both women aren’t the greatest actors. I thought they did their best in selling this angle and is finally nice to see the Bellas fight each other, than along side. I’m okay with this segment and think the only real bad part in it was creepy King lingering in the back. So, here is the part few people have been upset about. The part where Nikki told Brie “I wish you had died in the womb!” Moments like that in wrestling that make you pop, uneasy, or purely just look up, are great moments in the business. The question comes down to if this is too far for your moral compass for anything outside of personal experiences, then what can a Heel actually do? This crossed a line, yes, but a line that should never be crossed? Not even close. I’m not minimizing the health issues that is alluded to here by any means, but this is a storyline that seldom happens. It was a mere line, not anything having to due with birthing a hand or punting babies. Heels can’t go around calling people hippopotamus breath and get over. It was a great line that made people uneasy. It helped Nikki get over as a heel and it was well done. Not to mention the fact they’re building towards a match at Night of Champions which is more than we can say for most of the matches presumably on the card.
Handicap Match – Reigns vs Kane & Rollins B+
This match wasn't anything fantastic to write home about, but after the match was interesting. First off, who didn't expect to see a pile of horribly made cinder blocks under something black by announce? That was a given. What they did with it wasn't. I have to say that I love what they did with the crappiest (I hope) cinder blocks in the world. While they did a great job of aiming the block so it wasn't really close to hitting any fans, I think they forgot about the announcers. It sounded as though King might have been hit with a piece of the block. Other than the danger aspect, I thought they did a fantastic job of turning things around on the heels who started it all.
After everything was said and done, I thought King looks a little ragged when they focused back in on announce. He looked really bad there for a few moments, and seemed to bounce back to his senses, but still didn't look right. I'm worried about him, and not just because of the slap from Nikki.
Winner – Reigns via DQ (2:37)
Backstage Segment > B+
This video was short and sweet. Made me really excited to see how they’ll book the match. Will they make Cena sell the beat down or will Super Cena prevail? The promo was great and can’t wait to see where they go.
Los Matadores vs Titus O'Neil & Heath Slater > C-
What the hell was this? Between the before the match with Slater and O'Neil being total idiots, and not at all funny, and then the match, I was in awe of the mess. Slater was doing just fine on his own, he didn't need to be sidled with another wrestler who he will have to carry along until they are released and we go through it all again. I adore Slater, but there's only so much the One Man Band can do without pretty bows on the end of his braids.
Winners – Los Matadores (4:03)
Kofi vs Bo > F!
What a massive curfuffle! I'd actually call it a downright cluster**** if this wasn't a PG site. I've tried to get behind Bo, because I think he's doing a great job with his character, but his ring work is a total mess, and in this match it was the worst I've seen from him. For half of the match he looked clueless about what he was supposed to be doing, and what moves were being hit – by both himself and Kofi. After the match when Swagger attacked him, Bo looked completely lost about what moves Swagger was trying to hit, and completely ducked that up. But the worst of the worst was the Bo-dog. I honestly think I can say that was the biggest botch I've seen in the ring in years! Possibly for as many years as my youngest has been alive. When did Mercury take the ladder to the face? Jesse looked it up for me, Armageddon 2006. Okay, so not 11 years, but still close enough to be really bad!
Winner – Bo (1:43)
KB > B+
This is a Cena we haven't seen in... Ever? He's not a heel, but he's on that cusp in a way that works. Cena isn't that corny pretty boy who loves everyone, no matter how much they cheer, "Cena sucks!" I like this guy, and the fans in attendance were in shock. They were loud, but few chants really came together. I was blown away by this new, and evolved version of Cena, and I'm excited to see more from him in his next match.
This morning I watched Cena's first WWE match, against Kurt Angle. Before, during, and after that match he was the same Cena we've been seeing too much of for too long. Other than the brief time Cena was heel, he's been the same bloody corny annoyance, so it was nice to see a new side of him, and see that Brock destroying him at SummerSlam might have given us something more exciting, more vicious than we've seen for the better part of the past ten years!
Richard thought it was too much too soon from Cena, and that Bray looked weak. Personally, I thought it was great. We didn't see the house show matches, and house show matches rarely fall into storylines, so I'm going just on this match. That Cena came out of the gate so strongly after the beating Brock gave him made absolute sense, and I want more of this Cena going forward.
Gesus > F-
Those of you who are lucky enough to add me on Facebook were able to see my awesome rant on how stupid this match was. Why the heck would the company choose Wyatt for this? Cena had a long feud with the Wyatts that wasn’t half bad to now just squashing Bray. How can he get over if he is just going to get squashed like this? They’re cutting the legs out from under him when he arguably needs them the most. Not to mention the fact that WWE shouldn’t have panicked to make Cena look strong. There is so many issues and reasons why they did I don’t feel like getting into here. They can handle Cena looking weak for a few weeks and sell a beating. This is why I hate Cena. This is why WWE is killing his character. I fully agree with Mick Foleys logic of the companies few on Cena but it’s so annoying and force fed. This match was borderline insulting to anyone who wants strong characters moving forward. I am so annoyed. The only saving grace was that Luke and Erik hopped in and saved Bray. Thus turning it into a triple threat. Which was just added to fill more time. WWE doesn’t know where thee want to go with Show and Henry. It’s blatantly obvious and just one more waste of time filler on this show.
Winners – Big Show & Henry & Cena (6:39)
during Ziggler's match Cole mentioned that the IC Championship debuted 35 years ago on Monday. He and JBL then got into it about when Patterson won the Title and when it debuted. Patterson won the IC Championship on September 1, 1979 in Rio de Janeiro. I couldn't find any info on when the strap actually debuted, but it would make sense that they showed off the strap before the first person won it, but the way it was explained by Cole, it wasn't quite clear. Cole is famous for getting his facts wrong on Raw, and I thought he had here as well, but he might have actually gotten one right.
Okay, much of this episode of Raw was really crappy, and much of my issue comes down to too much talking, and too much Bo trying to wrestle. I didn't even realize until two hours after Raw aired that Trip and Steph weren't there! Well, of course they were there, just not on TV this week. I will say that was a nice breath of fresh air. As much as I love them, they can be a bit much week after week after week.
Queen of WNW
KB, Jesse & Gesus