I think it was Mick Foley who said that watching Cena was now more watching a guy advertise his merch, rather than watching a wrestler. He holds up his arms to show his wristbands, which you must buy. He adjusts his hat to show it off, which you must buy. He even specifically shows off the front of his shirt, which you must buy. Further, Cena's merch seems to change quarterly, so you must restock with all of his new merch each quarter.
While Cena doing that annoys the heck out of me, but the running gag through Raw made me smile. Most of it was in Trip's delivery, and how he made it corny and fun, something he rarely does as a heel, and even less often if HBK isn't by his side. I loved the running gag, and was totally bummed that I missed the Raw Open Thread Discussion, because the $9.99 gag ran rampant! Jesse went back to look, and he counted 200 out of a total 1,290 comments that specifically stated $9.99!
You have seemed to enjoy the addition of writers to the RIB, and I had another of a plethora of appointments today, so I got together with the usual suspects last night to let them know I would need some help today. I stated specifically which segments I absolutely wanted to write, then headed off. When I got home from my appointment I found that Gesus had rallied the troops (Jesse is feeling down today, so he stepped out to deal with his own health), and got almost everything written for me! So, this episode of RIB is mostly written by CJ Blaze, Adam Eaton, and the famous Gesus! I only have a few bits here and there. I hope you enjoy, as this was the most relaxed RIB I've ever posted!
In Ring Segment > C
Starting Raw with the entire Authority on the stage was really exciting. Figured they were going to do something pretty special to add the interest and invest us in this show. Boy was I wrong. The second sentence of HHH leads to the insistent plug of the network for $9.99. I thought it was a shameless plug for the network turns out not only was it that but a “corporate” way to get heel heat while trying to get it stuck in our head. I’m okay with being a heel but having to troll just to get heat is pathetic. I think the setting up the rest of the matches for the night was pretty darn good. Then they give the mic to Stephanie which was just even more trolling. I think the country boots part was hilarious since I make those jokes when I go to fair here but that’s a story for a different day. The only real saving grace from this intro is that it set up the show and Roman Reigns coming out to set up the next match. Setting up a show that is a complete joke.
Last Man Standing Match – Roman Reigns vs Kane > C
When this match was announced I was excited. A last man standing match is the first match on Raw, that is awesome, and it is between two good workers, what could go wrong? The match itself was a fairly decent last man standing match. It wasn’t the best last man standing match we ever seen, but we have seen worst. This was a very good Raw match. The action was great. I loved how they incorporated the steps. These are two big powerful guys, so it makes sense to use the heavier objects. Reigns also got busted open which required staples. I don’t want to bash these guys too bad as for most of the match it was entertaining. What I have a problem with is the end of this match. First Reigns hits a DDT onto a chair and Kane gets right up. Are you serious? Then Reigns hit the superman punch and the ref did not count. Why? Nobody knows!! Even the commentators were asking why the ref wasn’t counting. This is unacceptable. Kane was down for over 10 seconds. Even the audience seemed confused. To top it off, Kane is put down by a regular spear! Really? Even Super Cena doesn’t lay people out in a last man standing match with a regular AA. And the way Kane tried to get up. You have the power to pull yourself up to at least the second rope, you don’t have the power to reposition and get up? The whole ending of this match was horrible and set the tone of the show.
Winner – Reigns (12:27)
Adam Eaton > D
Right after the LMS we are shown a short video of Lesnar before commercial. I have a major problem with what was said here. What I took from Lesnar is he doesn’t care about the title and he just wants to hurt people. Great way to devalue the main title that already means very little.
When we are back from commercial we are shown a more of the video. Yes this cooled me off a little but I was already so mad that they choose to highlight the fact that Lesnar just wants to hurt people over wanting to be champion it really didn’t matter. Lesnar did great heel work about not caring about anybody and wanting to be champion again but I think it should have stopped there because after that it just went downhill. I understand that they are trying to play off of Lesnar beating Taker but how can he say everything put in his way gets destroyed? He LOST to John Cena already. Then he ask “why can’t Brock Lesnar beat John Cena at Summerslam?” To smart fans who know history, let me repeat myself, LESNAR ALREADY LOST TO JOHN CENA!!! It bugs me that they play to it when they need and ignore it when building Lesnar. At least say it was his first match back or something and he underestimated John.
I will admit that I am a John Cena fan. I have always been a Cena fan and I will always be a Cena fan. I loved what Cena said toward the end of this video. He talked about Lesnar leaving the schedule of the WWE to fight once every so often just to come back and fight every so often. This is why I am a Cena fan. This is why I pick Cena over the Rock, this is why I pick Cena over Lesnar. Because Cena doesn’t leave. Lesnar comes and goes. He gets a huge pop because he is different. But if he stayed around would it be different? Would get that pop? I’m not sure he would.
Sandow vs Henry > C-
I’ll admit I was surprised to see Mark Henry and the pop he received in his home state of Texas. Like there was any doubt Henry was going to win. Sandow continues to be a jobber day in and day out. I’m not sure how many people feel this way, but I feel like there isn’t anything left for Henry in WWE. Between the nagging injuries and no consistent storylines, I just don’t see the point. Henry’s return could’ve been seen as a big happening on the show, but it paled in comparison to the crap we suffered during the rest of Raw.
Winner – Henry (0:47)
Backstage Segment > A for Awkward!
Why they had this segment exist or even happen, I have no idea. Apparently they were promoting Oculus. The reason I wanted to write this little part was because I thought of an idea the other day. It may be some time before this ever happens, but here it goes. Adam Rose becomes a jobber or is hardly featured on TV and they are going to change up his character. WWE makes sure Rose is off TV for nearly a month or so before the lights for out on an episode of Raw. On the screen we see this figure with a lighter and he says “Ta Ta!”. Out walks Leo Kruger, Rose’s alter ego. Hey, just a thought that crossed my mind if the Adam Rose thing doesn’t work out.
Beat The Clock Challenge – Ambrose vs ADR > C
I watched Raw live, then when it was decided what I would be writing up for this RIB, I went back and watched the segments over. Lucky me I got to watch this match twice. To me this match was, well it was an ADR match. A bunch of boring stuff with a few high spots. Ambrose made this match somewhat bearable but he was a little held back by playing up the injury angle. Ambrose hit an amazing tornado DDT. I don’t know what he did but it looked amazing. ADR hit a reverse suplex from the top rope and it made me cringe both times I watched it. These wrestlers did a great job playing up Ambrose injured arm and him not being able to hit Dirty Deeds. JBL help with this on commentary by pointing out the fact. I loved that JBL noticed Ambrose used his right arm to hit Dirty Deeds. If not that little thing, which is a big thing, would have gone unnoticed.
Winner – Ambrose (15:42)
Rusev vs Sin Cara > C
The match going to the APP for commercial is really all I need to say. Already I’m upset that I didn’t get to see this. Then Lana singing happy birthday in Russian was hilarious in my opinion. Zeb coming out with Swags really saved this segment from an F+. Lana’s facial expressions is the reason she is over. The reminding us of Nick and Megan who Swagger is fighting for. Not to mention the men and women in uniform. I think personally that’s bit of a stretch for a feud this meaningless but Zeb and Lana are carrying this and not exactly sure the man can deliver.
Cesaro vs Ziggler > C+
I was excited to Cesaro and Ziggler once again get back in the ring to face each other and it was on Raw! The match was overshadowed by The Miz on commentary but at least they were featured in the three hour show. Cesaro’s booking just makes me furious (I’m not sure how else to put it in a PG manner). Of course I’m glad Ziggler picked up a win on Raw, but why does Cesaro have to be the one to go under?! I will be 100% honest when I say that I’m fully looking forward to the Intercontinental Championship match at SummerSlam. I like both Ziggler and The Miz, they put on entertaining matches, and the IC Title is being defended! As for Cesaro, I really, really, really hope things get better soon.
Winner – Ziggler (2:01)
Video B +
I love this feud between Paige and AJ. It's fun having AJ being a face, but an edgy face, nothing too sweet for her. I think Paige is playing the frenemy beautifully, and selling her angst in a way few can. I'm loving this, and can't wait to see what they have for us leading up to SummerSlam, never mind what they give us in the ring that night!
Backstage Segment > B-
Paige was solid here, but she works better when she has AJ by her side. It almost seems as though AJ is a security blanket for her, and I would understand that.
Tom, on the other hand, makes me wonder why Josh was released. I'm sure Josh was getting paid more than Tom and Byron put together, but he also has more personality in his little finger than either of these two guys will ever see.
RybAxel vs The Dusts > C
The match honestly was garbage but the reason I gave it the rating I did was because Stardust and Goldust were finally back in the ring! I’ve loved their backstage promos over the last several weeks, but I miss seeing them where they shine the most. This leaves me still hoping The Dust Brothers will challenge The Usos at SummerSlam in some way. So yes, seeing Stardust on my TV was the best part of Raw for me.
Winners – The Dusts (2:47)
Backstage Segment > F
I am not sure what to say about this other than STUPID! I understand Kane is a versatile worker and can pull off almost any character or story placed in front of him, but this is ridiculous. Mask on, Mask off, mask back on, mask back off. Make up your mind! Kane already lost something by joining the authority and becoming corporate Kane. Then when he put the mask back on it was hard to see him as the Monster/Demon they want us to see him as. Now they are taking the mask back off? Not to mention this was completely ignored by King on commentary who just started promoting the next segment. JBL had to bring it. They should have just stayed quiet, said nothing, and just showed the graphic for Y2J vs Harper. Poorly handled. To make matters worse when we come back from commercial the commentators act like they are in shock. Whatever they were trying to do lost a lot of momentum from the actions of the commentators.
Jericho vs Harper > B+
How do you ruin an awesome entrance for the Harper? Easily, talk about instagram. The match itself wasn’t too bad. It’s hard to get a bad match out of Jericho as he is such a ring general. I just wish the commentators would actually talk about the match not use their voice getting excited for a big move while talking about something earlier in the night we have already seen 2-3 times. Maybe instead King of saying “Oh just missed it” you could say “Oh he just missed the (insert move for it).” I expected Bray to come out and thought it was cleverly done to save the match for Harper. This was a great way to push the feud further.
Winner – Jericho via DQ (5:15)
Diego vs Fandango > F
I feel dumber having watched this and feel it’s not even worth discussion.
Winner – Diego (0:35)
Backstage Segment > B
The switching the entire interview from Renee to Orton’s video was refreshing change of pace from the normal interviews we’ve seen. Showing the beatdown from Orton last week. A clever way to disguise a replay. This segment served it’s purpose.
Bo vs R-Truth > C+
The most hilarious part of this segment was Cole talking about R Truth was Bo’s first ever loss. Then JBL quick to remind him, also his second ever loss. You could just hear the, I hate you in Cole’s voice. The only real thing I’m angry about is how little these guys had. There is potential for this to grow and becoming something but it won’t until WWE gives them some time to work with.
Winner – Bo (1:20)
Announce Segment > B
This segment was good. I can’t really complain about it. Just more shameless plugging of the network. My only real issue is the network barely functions nationally how can it start to expand world wide without even more problems?
DEP! > B
I had to watch this segment back because the first time through I didn’t catch it. Bray to me, has said the same things for a year except now he sings. There really hasn’t been any development to his character for the longest time and it is starting to get difficult to stay focus on his riddle filled promos. I need another layer to his character for me to care about him.
Beat The Clock Challenge – Rollins vs RVD – nope – Rollins vs Slater! > B+
Years ago I had a couple of WWF PPVs on VHS tapes that I somehow acquired from someone. They were not legal copies, and they didn't have any specific markings, except one had a piece of masking tape with writing in pen on it. All it said was, "RVD is a tiger!" I honestly couldn't tell you which PPV it was, other than it being post-invasion. My daughter Ellie always laughed at that tape, and so the phrase, RVD is a tiger, has turned into a joke between us. When RVD came out for this match last night, I almost fell out of my chair laughing, then, because I was writing the Live Raw Results, I asked Jesse to post on Ellie's FB wall for me. He posted, "RVD is a cheetah!" I was so excited to see RVD in such a great singlet, but then he didn't end up working the match.
Personally I thought RVD vs Rollins was biased toward Rollins, because RVD hasn't looked great in the ring this time around. Then again, that's nicer than what I'd say about ADR's ring work on a regular basis, and he proven himself to be even worse than ever on this episode of Raw with that suplex of utter crapitude! But I'm supposed to be writing about this beautiful main event!
When Slater came out the way he did, and refused to walk away for Rollins, I knew this was going to be an interesting match. While I felt Ambrose came off a bit like Fox's fits after losing matches, he handled it with so much more grace and tact. The casual, and somewhat psycho, way he destroyed the contract, and the case was fantastic! I will say that the plant that Ambrose stole the soda from was terrible, wasn't looking at the match, and over-acted his shock over the loss of his soda. It would have been better if he wasn't a plant. I don't know anyone who would complain about Ambrose stealing their soda and popcorn, and I'm sure they'd be compensated for the food and drink, plus some. It's just a role that I don't think needs a plant, and the soda guy was so obviously one. I found it interesting how everyone fled from the flying soda, especially Cole. I understand that they're wearing nice suits at announce, but it's all part of the gig.
As much as I loved Ambrose in this match, I'm most thrilled that Slater got the win, and in a main event match! I have been worried about Slater's career for quite a while, and thought that 3MB was dragging him down, but now I'm excited and hopeful. Now Slater is going to have The Authority up his bum in a huge way for beating Rollins, and hopefully that will lead to something else solid for Slater going forward. What a great night for one Superstar who I was worried might be on the chopping block, even though I think he has huge potential. Yay, Slater!
Winner – Slater (4:49)
For the opening segment Steph came out in black leather shorts. That meant that she was going all out heel. I'd been watching the past couple years, and black leather on Steph usually means that she's going to be particularly heel, but with the WWE Network (only $9.99), I've been able to go back and really watch more of Steph, and what she wears. The first time we saw her in black leather was for her very first heel turn, and she seems to have stuck with the black leather as an all out heel indicator. I didn't understand why she was in shorts until she went on attack, but I have to say that she looked great in them!
I have to say that I loved the glowing look on Brie's face when the fans were chanting "YES!" "YES!" "YES!" for Bryan. She truly loves him, and it shows through her at moments like that. Moments like that transcend scripts and acting. And speaking about going beyond the script, I loved how Brie reacted to the "CM Punk!" chants! She brought him into the segment, saying that he might not have said anything, but karma comes around. I have to admit that I wished she was talking about Kharma, but that's me missing Kia from WWE TV.
Since this storyline started gaining some momentum, I've been saying that we would be seeing a very different Steph in the ring from the young, bouncy, and clueless Steph we used to see during the McMahon/Helmsley Era. I've had the feeling that Steph has been working hard to return to the ring, and working hard with Brie to give us something great at SummerSlam. At this point in Steph's life, I don't see her returning to the ring if she wasn't going to really impress us. She's worked hard to get in serious shape after giving birth to her girls, from the woman who didn't want to be on TV because she didn't like how she looked after giving birth. I've been saying these things, but those two pedigrees Steph hit were just lovely! I was hoping that the pedigree on Nikki wasn't just a fluke, and Steph proved it wasn't when she hit the pedigree on Brie. Those lovely pedigrees make me that much more excited for SummerSlam. I also have to give Brie and Nikki huge props for taking those pedigrees in high heels, something that cannot be easy.
One last comment about this segment. That passionate kiss between Steph and Trip after she hit those two pedigrees was quite the kiss. It felt like Steph's excitement over the pedigrees going so well busted out through that kiss, and it was great to see.
Okay, so most of Raw really sucked this week. There was only a few really strong moments, and that's not a good thing going into the biggest PPV of the summer. I have to agree with Trip that parts of the card look great, but other parts are sucking wind in a huge way. I'm worried about the direction of about everything except the Divas Division, and I have no clue how that happened. Fingers crossed that things will get better, and soon.
Queen of WNW
KB, CJ, Adam & Gesus