I really didn't push hard to get tickets to MITB, because when tickets went on sale, the WWE was in a downward spiral with few bright stars. I was almost in tears during certain parts of RAW, because I know I'm not going to be there, and it's almost killing me inside. The WWE has made fantastic changes with the characters and the wrestling lately, and because of that I'm being all whiny and girly, crying over the fact that I won't be able to go to MITB.
In Ring Segment > A-
I never thought I'd see Vickie turn heel, never mind turn heel with the mention of Eddie. The way they wrote and worked this segment was beautiful. It sucks to see Vickie go after what she showed us at the start of RAW. I never knew she had that side in her, and I'm honestly not sure she'd be able to last as a face, but this was utterly fantastic.
Jimmy vs Harper > B
I didn't think either of these two men looked as good as they usually do, but the match was also too terribly short for them to really work the ring well. It was a decent short look at what's coming between the teams at MITB, but not as much as I'd have liked.
Winner – Harper
Jey vs Rowan > B+
I loved the way Jey called Rowan out as they were leaving the ringside area. I knew the other two would get involved in some way, and that Rowan isn't as strong as Harper, but I actually thought this was the better match of the two.
The way Rowan and Harper work the ring, and work against the Usos, we know that the way these four work together, we know they will give us something to remember at MITB – no matter who wins. With the time allotted, and since they didn't want to put them in a traditional tag match so close to their MITB TTC Match, it made sense that they did it this way, and I really think it worked well, and showed characters as well as ring work.
Winner – Jey
DEP! > B+
I have to say that this wasn't the best segment for Bray. It was still bloody fantastic, and much better than most of the rest of the Superstars on mic, but not Bray's best. He stumbled through words, and was hard to hear at certain moments, and even harder to understand at other.
Video > C
I don't think this video would have been half as bad if we'd have been able to see Lana's curves, but since we couldn't, it sucked that much more. The same rhetoric gets very old, very quickly, no matter how hot she is, and I'm getting over it very quickly.
Fox vs Naomi > C-
Is it me, or does it seem like some of the moves Fox hits look really dangerous. I'm thinking specifically of the way Fox dumped Naomi through the ropes, bouncing off the apron to the floor. But honestly, what killed this match for me was Cameron on announce. I thought Paige was sweet and didn't dominate, but also didn't take any crap. Cameron, on the other hand, was loud and talking smack, as her turning character would, but she stumbled over words and sounded young and really green. So much talk in the ring and the camera on them, so much of the match was missed. Also, Fox looked really rough around the edges in this match. On the other hand, I loved the handshake between Paige and Naomi. They show of respect was great, but also the perfect time for Cameron to attack her from behind, but didn't, and that didn't make sense. I'm thrilled that Naomi and Paige are fighting over the Divas Championship at MITB, but I'm seeing Cameron turn full on heel and costing her former bestie the match and the strap.
Winner – Naomi
Backstage Segment > B
I don't know why Sheamus and Reigns were talking in what looked like a doctor's office, probably the trainer's room, but it looked too much like a doctor's office for my own comfort. Sheamus was a bit stiff, but in doing that, he made Reigns look that much stronger. I had a bit of trouble hearing Reigns. He has that deep voice and doesn't enunciate, or project well, and the female fans were screaming when he was on screen, but he's doing fairly well working more by himself and against someone, rather than working with Ambrose and Rollins. I don't think he was as strong as he was last week, but he still worked pretty well.
Bo vs O'Neil > B
As soon as I heard Bo's music, I knew O'Neil was in a round of jobbing to everyone. It's one thing for someone smaller like Slater, and Ryder to job, but when a bigger guy like O'Neil is jobbing, it's not a good thing. I worry that if there's another round of releases, and they're not all NXT, then O'Neil could be on the bubble.
On the other hand, Bo really came off strong here. I won't say his ring work was fantastic, but I will say his character and mic work was fantastic! The way he talked about O'Neil getting back on the horse, falling off, and getting back on again was just great. Even better was Bo's 'butterfingers' comment when O'Neil slapped the mic from his hands. These Rotunda boys are very character driven, and it's working beautifully for them!
Winner - Bo
In Ring Segment > B+
Trip was downright nasty to RVD, but that's what I've been saying for a couple weeks now; his work just isn't cutting it. I'm impressed that he's been trying to work hard, but he really seems to have lost his IT factor. Jesse made a comment that RVD needs to hang them up before he ruins his legacy, and I have to agree. I've always been a HUGE RVD fan, but this run, and to some extent, his last run, in the WWE have not been solid. RVD is know for his ring work, and he's just not able to give it these days.
I have to comment on Rollins' hair. That man is so on top of his roots, and to me it shows a dedication to his character and his work. As much as I love Ziggler, he's so lazy with his hair. I know it's not comfortable to bleach your hair, but it's a show of dedication that Rollins shows and Ziggler doesn't. I do have to say that Rollins looked a little nervous on mic here, but not bad enough to worry about at this point. He's still finding his character as this heel, and it's his first run in the WWE without The Shield, so he's allowed more leeway to get comfortable up there, especially against someone strong on mic, like Trip.
RVD vs Rollins > B
Back in the day, this could have been a sick match, and while RVD worked this match hard, it just wasn't up to the level I expect from RVD. Rollins worked really well against RVD, and looked really strong out there. It's great to see so many strong young wrestlers who really know how to work a ring coming up through the ranks.
I expected Ambrose to get involved in some way, but it was later than I expected. I love the fighting between these two, and the feud they're having could be something we talk about for years. Fingers crossed.
Winner – Rollins via DQ
In Ring Segment > B+
I had to split Ambrose on mic away from the match because it deserves its own grade. Watching Ambrose on mic is almost greater than listening to him. He's so interesting to watch. He uses his whole body in everything he does, and that's such a breath of fresh air compared to the likes of Orton who is barely more than a robot on mic.
Backstage Segment > B+
I don't know what was so different about this segment from their work in the ring, but Rollins was so much stronger here. Maybe not being in the middle of all the fans, or maybe he was channeling his character and ire at Ambrose more, and let it all out. In the ring it was mostly Trip, here is was mostly Rollins, and he really worked his character against Trip, and it was lovely to watch.
In Ring Segment > B
Nor Bad News Barrett's best segment on mic, but he really did rip it to the local NFL team – no matter what their name might be. Always the best way to piss off the local crowd, attack their teams.
IC Championship Match > A-
Barrett and Ziggler left it out there, and really gave us an awesome back and forth match. Just when you thought one of them hit their big move and had the match, the other kicked out. This would have been a lovely PPV match, but with the next PPV being MITB, they felt the need to give it to us on RAW and show us snips of what we could see at MITB. I thought it was fantastic booking for the go home to MITB, and a great way to push two strong competitors who could have amazing futures. Bravo WWE, and bravo Ziggler & Barrett.
Winner – Barrett
Backstage Segment > B&D-
I thought Vickie was lovely and humble in this segment with Renee. She admitted that she's been horrible, and acted like she really cared about her future. What I didn't understand was Orton. I know he's part of Evo, but we've seen so little of him lately, and even less of him with The Authority. The whole thing seemed very strange, and forced. Maybe it was the only place to fit Orton in before MITB, but I thought it was bad planning, and terribly executed by Orton.
Vickie vs Steph > A-&C-
Watching all the 1999-2000 WWF PPVs, the one thing I was hoping that the WWE would never bring back the swimming pools and mud pits. I love that they're working Steph and Trip the way they did McMahon back in those days. McMahon was in the middle of the big feuds, and getting in the ring as often as not, getting dirty as often as not. I'd been hoping we'd see Steph working the ring against Brie before long, but I was excited to see her working the ring at all. Steph has put so much into her body, and she should be showing it off and working the ring now and then. I don't want her to be Divas Champion, but we know she knows enough to make a very short match interesting. Her father did it, and she's very much in his role now. The thing I absolutely knew was that Steph wouldn't be in the muck, because she's become quite the upstanding businesswoman, and wouldn't want to be thought of that way.
Well, I was very wrong, and she over-sold in the ring, but it was fun to watch. It was great that she was in there, so it wasn't only Vickie flailing around in the muck. And I have to say that the muck looked a lot like a mic of chocolate and butterscotch pudding to get that color and consistency.
What the A- was for was Vickie. Vickie was dressed in homage to Eddie in black with gold and silver flames, just like Eddie's boots. Further, when she came out to Eddie's music, I was choked up. I'm getting a misty thinking about it just now. Further, after the match, the way Vickie hit Eddie's little dance, then pointed up, there were tears in my eyes. I never thought we'd see face Vickie, but those fans were in love with Vickie tonight, even though it was as much for Eddie as for Vickie. Other than the pudding, it was a lovely way for Vickie to go out, and I'm glad she got the love from the fans in attendance the way she's always received the love from me here.
Backstage Segment > B+
I know I'm in the minority about Stardust, but I'm floored by how Cody has completely thrown himself into the character. He's gone above and beyond Goldust with this, and isn't a carbon copy, but he's his own crazy and creepy character, and because of how he's throwing so much into it is why I love it so much. It wasn't the words Stardust sang, but how he sang them, and how he moved as he did it. It was over-the-top, and I thought it worked really well. It helped that it was short and to the point. It was also great to hear the way Goldust say,
"Wow! Now I'm the normal one!" because Goldust really does look normal compared to Stardust. As I said before, I don't want to see Cody in this character for his whole career, but it's working for the moment.
Kofi vs Swagger > D+
I really wasn't very impressed with this match. Neither of these guys did much that had me excited, and their big botch in the match completely killed any entertainment value I was getting from any of it. I don't know what the plan was when that botch happened, but it was obvious that neither of them thought they were supposed to, or should, sell the move, which made it that much worse. The fact that Cole and JBL talked on announce about how great Kofi is in gimmick matches, especially ladder matches, and the Royal Rumble Match, made the work they were doing in the ring look totally lame. This did nothing to make me interested in MITB, which is exactly why they had this match in the first place. This match was a mess, and a total fail for what they were aiming to do.
Winner – Swagger
Backstage Segment > B
Renee sold her confusion of ADR being there well, but it was really Cesaro that stole the segment. Heyman was solid and annoying as ever, but it was putting Cesaro on mic, and what he said that hit the moment perfectly. While I don't speak five languages, and I'm more likely to learn Klingon than I am German, but I don't speak ADR's dialect of loser either. I know that will annoy certain readers, and I will watch ADR in the MITBLM without bias, but most of the time he really doesn't seem to care about his ring work.
Big E vs Sandow > C+
I honestly am not thrilled with Sandow's character, and the only thing I can compare it to is when Big Show came out as different wrestlers each week, and he was enjoying himself when he did it, really having fun. Sandow doesn't seem to be having fun with this, and I honestly haven't seen a real reason behind what he's doing. He said tonight that he didn't want us dictating who he is, but that's the most of what he's said about all these character. Honestly, I was just glad it was slow, because being out there in all those layers had to really suck.
Winner – Big E
In Ring Segment > B
They haven't let Big E on mic enough to really show his skills. Each time he's been on mic he's been cut off at the knees for some reason. In this segment he started slow, just talking, but then he fell into preaching. I don't know if that was the plan for him on mic, but he really ran with it, and did a lovely job of it. It's time to let Big E have some freedom on mic, as this was really starting to go somewhere, and work really well.
Backstage Segment > D-
I actually groaned aloud when Renee announced Cena. Cena must have show quotas that need to be filled, therefore he has to be on mic for a certain number of catchphrases every week on RAW (to be replayed a certain number of times on all other WWE shows for the rest of the week), and in the ring for a certain number of moves (also to be replayed an obligatory number of times on each show through the following week). I'm almost ready to keep count each week to make sure he says something about the Champ being here, something silly or corny that he thinks it cute, showing off each piece of merch on his way to, and inside the ring, and then hitting his five moves of doom, at least once, but the number going up exponentially for the number of other wrestlers in the match. If anyone would have these things written into his contract, it would be Cena.
4 On # Handicap Match > B+
I actually have to admit that this match was quite entertaining. There was a lot going on, and a lot of involvement by all the wrestlers, even if some of the heels were pissy about tagging in and out. Now, I was really annoyed when this match was announced. We saw this match last Friday, and it wasn't very good then, but this one was much better. They really did a great job of setting up for the WWE WHC MITBLM this coming Sunday. They beat on each other, but didn't do too much of the back and forth finishers that can sometimes be great, but sometimes annoying. I will say I was not thrilled that Cena landed two AAs, but it is Cena we're talking about.
Going into this match I pretty much knew who I was going with to win both MITBLMs at MITB, but with the addition of Kane, and how he was added into the match, I'm now completely floored. Okay, floored and really upset because I'm not going to be there to see it live, because these eight together are going to put on one sick match, and this Handicap Match was just the tip of the iceberg.
Winners – Cena & Sheamus & Reigns
Again this week there was a lot of short matches. There were five matches under five minutes in this three hour show. That to me shows that they're still not putting much into much of their matches right now. There was so much talking during this episode that there was no chance of me being kept up with the results. Lately how far behind I get directly relates to how much talking there was during the show. I was almost a half hour late, and it was all because of the big chunks of dialogue. Being the go-home to MITB, I understand that they want certain things to come across to the fans, but telling us everything in big chunks on mic isn't the way to do it. RAW being three hours doesn't mean they don't have to add any extra matches, they just have more time for The Authority to talk.
Queen of WNW