This week was going to be a bloody mess for me, as I knew I wouldn't have the time to write RIB myself, as I was scheduled to be out of town all day Tuesday. Luckily, three WNW and WWENews.net writers stepped up to help me get through this RIB. So Jesse Sherwood, CJ Blaze, and the famous Gesus have each stepped up and taken different segments of Raw to write this week. Now, I have to admit, like usual, I was behind writing the Raw Results, and I handed over the concert and what was to follow to Jesse before knowing what was going to happen. I have to admit I was kicking myself, as I would love to write about one of the greatest moments we've seen on Raw in a long time, but I told him I wouldn't take it back, no matter what happened. Luckily he agreed to let me write about the segment after that, when she was being shoved in the hybrid backstage.
So please treat them at least as well as you treat me, hopefully better, as they really stepped up to help me out of a pinch.
In Ring Segment > A
Talk about an interesting start. I really thought we were going to get another generic HHH intro to Raw. I was ready to blow a gasket just like HHH, but this was a really different style than what we are normally used to seeing. His trolling of the internet whether it be IWC or just an average Joe wrestling fan. I know many people by the name of Mark are in love with wrestling now. This segment with Orton, Kane, and then finally Reigns coming out was set up great and executed even better. I thought the ending where Roman Superman punched Kane was a little weak, but their talent made me overlook it. Without realizing it they really set up storylines going into Summer Slam.
Reigns vs Orton & Kane >A-
I really enjoyed this match. Reigns continues to prove himself, both on mic and in the ring. Actually, like certain members of his family, Reigns can just stand there and be intriguing, and not just because he's yummy and exudes more sexuality than The Rock. At Battleground Reigns showed us all that he's growing into a main event player, as he really held his own, and that's against one of WWE's longest standing Superstars, Orton who is a whiny bitch who complains against anyone he doesn't think is fantastic, and Cena who has helped carry the WWE for the past decade.
We all knew that Orton and Kane were going to break down, we just didn't know when it would happen. I have to say I was thrilled to see that Kane wasn't going to take Orton acting like a three year old and not tagging in without physically going after him. After all that we've seen, I think Kane will be involved in the growing feud between Reigns and Orton, and could make what I hope is a SummerSlam match between the two into something so much greater. Triple Threat Match?
Winner Reigns (12:43)
Backstage Segment > C+
When I heard this was another handicap match and Steph was giving them an out of place pep talk, I was so confused. What this led to was quite a great segment. Alone this segment was really forgettable, and like I said seemingly out of place. What it led to made this rating go up quite a lot. Really enjoying the character progression adding layers to what is already a unique gimmick.
Divas 4 On 1 Handicap Match – Rosa & Eva Marie & Cameron & Fox vs Nikki > A-
I can't say the actual match deserves such a grade, in fact on its own, I'd have failed it, but it's what went down before the match that brought the grade up so high. I thought Nikki sold her trepidation on her way to the ring, and as Steph said, the way Nikki acted so shocked to see Brie really worked. It was sweet to see the love between the twin sisters, but my youngest daughter Sam was demanding to know where Bryan was, and why he wasn't with Brie ringside.
I loved the interaction between Brie and Steph, and have been hoping that this would lead to Steph returning to the ring, as she is very much playing the same role her father did when he was facing SCSA back in the 90s. I think she really needs to get in the ring soon, and we know she's in the best physical shape of her life.
There were a few issues with this segment that I have to note. First off, it was obvious that Brie's chair had been placed in the front row just for this segment, as there were no chairs behind her. Further, there's no way anyone would let a fan take the mic away from a Superstar, or would a member of security let anything like that go as far as it did. And then there's how fast Steph came out to the ring after Nikki and Brie hugged, it felt too fast to be realistic.
I have to admit that I was so busy writing that I completely missed Nikki's wardrobe malfunction. I have to say that things like that can even happen in real life, and she hasn't had those boobs as long as some of us who have had big knockers for most of our lives. She obviously needs to learn to dress her bodacious tatas for the ring so this doesn't happen again.
Winners – Heel Divas (0:32)
Bo vs LeBron Sandow > B
I have to give it to Sandow: he has taken the absolute worst of the draw in gimmicks and is making it work at a level we haven't seen since Charlie Haas. I don't know who he has ticked off backstage, but he is making the absolute best out of an awful gimmick. And I was very tepid on Bo when he joined the main roster, but the way he is immersing himself into his character is just amazing. He's having fun out there, and it shows in his work. I will grant that the match itself wasn't really anything to write home about, but it was a vehicle to show each man's personality and character in a match setting, and they both killed it there. The only real complaints I have is that Bo is seeming to be switched between face and heel on an almost weekly basis. To me, it seems like they just feed Bo whomever they can to keep his "streak" alive, regardless of alignment. And while tonight's wasn't as bad as it normally is, Bo desperately needs a better finisher than the BoDog. He seems to botch it almost as often as he hits it right, and it just doesn't look like an effective finisher.
Winner – Bo (3:39)
Highlight Reel > A+
Bray Wyatt has shown his ability to get his gimmick across while adding more layers. Every time he had a microphone, you listen. Almost a modern day Jake the Snake, dare I say. He was able to bring a new twist to an arguably drawn out segment and progressed a storyline even further. Few people in history has been able to sell feuds by mic work alone and give goosebumps after so many months consistently like Bray. The even more impressive element to this segment is the news Jericho wasn't even at Raw. WWE gave him the ball during the Highlight Reel and in typical Bray fashion he took it to the end zone.
Backstage Segment > C+
Now knowing that this was taped on Sunday, I'm looking at it completely differently. Jericho is one of the best, and he took that Sister Abigail beautifully, but R-Truth killed this segment for me. Something about how R-Truth handled the segment left me really flat and somewhat annoyed.
Miz vs Ziggler > B+
The Miz is the new Intercontinental Champion. Lots of people are complaining about it, but honestly I’m fine with it. However, Dolph Ziggler was my pick to win the title. So this match was pretty solid, but it didn’t go without a few noticeable botches. There’s lots of speculation of where WWE will go with this for SummerSlam. A triple threat featuring Sheamus? I actually was shocked that Ziggler picked up the win. And then there was the debate of whether The Miz’s reign is cursed already after losing on Raw. I think the loss is part of the “plan” or the bigger picture and that fans are crapping on stuff too early anymore. This was worth watching I thought, but they both need to work on little things... especially Miz’s figure four.
Winner – Ziggler (14:06)
Backstage Segment > B-
I thought we were going to get a generic backstage segment explaining why something was unable to happen. I was then pleasantly surprised by Cesaro. I think Cesaro is best for business. His potential is being squandered as a Paul Heyman guy and has been fading into obscurity. I am not a fan of him basically shrugging off being a Heyman guy but really can’t think of an alternative that’d be better. The idea of him being a part of the authority is promising. I’d love to see him in a role where he is showing how truly dominating he can be. It set up something later on in the show that makes us excited. The segment was good for what is up and really only redeeming quality is seeing Cesaro talk and making me interested in what’s next.
Divas Tag Team Match – Paige & AJ vs Nattie & Emma > B
I can't say that this match was very good, but there were some wonderful moments. I was thrilled to see Emma and Nattie tagging together, even though much of the actual ring work was rough for all four of the Divas. There were a couple of shining moments in the match, but the best were after the match was over.
We all have been wondering how long it was going to take, and who was going to snap. I'm thrilled that it was Paige, and I love how she did it. Paige pushed the frenemy thing, and how much she respects AJ, then slammed her back hard by her hair. I was quite impressed with the beating Paige gave AJ, and how AJ sold the beating. I can't remember the last time we saw a solid Diva beating that sent one of the Divas across announce. I'd be shocked if we saw a beat down of this type since Lita and Trish, and I'm hoping these two little girls will bring in a new era. Maybe in fifteen years we will be excited when AJ has already been inducted into the HOF, and she's inducting Paige?
Winners – Paige & AJ (2:28)
Fandango vs Ryder > B-
If I was judging this match based on the actual match, the rating would be lower. But because of the fact that Zack Ryder had an entrance and a win bumped it up. The match wasn’t long at all. We could sit here and think that Ryder is getting another chance, but really it’s just the new version of LayCool burying Fandango. But one has to think, why Ryder? I guess the powers that be thought this would be one way to shut him up for now.
Winner – Ryder (1:48)
Backstage Segment > C
I was fast forwarding past this segment when it came on. Once I saw that Heath was on there I rewound and watched the segment. It was good for what it was but I’m confused on how one bump and Slater is down. The only really good part of this is the nostalgic factor going back to Wrestlemania 28 that I have pretty much forgotten about.
Flo Rida Concert > F
Ok, seriously, has the man not had any more hits in the last two years? He performed the same exact set he did at WM 28 with Good Feeling and Wild Ones, and added Let It Roll, which he did at Tribute to the Troops 2012. At this point, he's barely holding on to the 15 minutes of fame he made back in 2012, and that is simply pathetic. And the girl he had as a backup singer was absolutely atrocious! She was so far off key it was sad. Honestly, I hope this is the last we see of him.
Steph's Arrest > A+
WWE has had a lot of criticism for not pushing boundaries and playing too safe with the product, and this one segment showed why. Steph getting her rights read and being forced to perp walk up "her" ramp was a move that we have been sorely missing. It was edgy, risky, and it worked absolutely brilliantly. And I don't know if the two "officers" they had at the arena were actors or the real deal, but I know a real Miranda Rights card when I see one! And I will say that the two officers played their roles perfectly. Steph showed every Superstar and Diva why she is just nigh flawless on the mic every week. She actually cares and tries to put the work into it. She exudes emotion into what she is doing. And the fans more than showed their approval for it! Creative and the boys and girls in the back need to take note: That is how you handle a segment.
Backstage Segment > A-
The way Steph begged Trip, wailed about her fear, and really sold this segment impressed me. It's been a long time since we've had a great arresting on WWE TV, and I think this one will go down as one of the best. Steph doesn't play certain emotions well on screen, but this wailing was wonderful, and perfectly executed for the segment.
And then there's Trip commenting on the cops driving a hybrid? Normally I'd ask who writes this crap, but I was about on the floor laughing after he asked about the car. I don't know if it was scripted, but it was executed perfectly!
Now, this is me, and I need to comment on what Steph was wearing. During her back and forth with Brie over the barricade, I thought Steph looked great in that red bandage dress. Steph has been rocking the bandage dresses lately, especially that blue one, and has shown me that they're not out of style. But then Steph had the cuffs on and the way she was walking the top of this dress made her boobs look very strange. It's something that happens with some incredibly fit and muscular women who have implants. At this point if Steph didn't have implants, she wouldn't have much boob as she's solid muscle with very little fat on her body. Steph looks great, but because she's so fit her implants are sitting a bit funny on her body. That red dress further made her implants look stranger than normal. The skin against her breast bone seems to pucker in a strange way as it leads to her breasts. I'm not saying that Steph is anything less than spectacular, just that the dress she was wearing made her boobs look really strange and somewhat unbecoming.
Backstage Segment > B+
Mercury is there with him, he has the car ready, and Trip talks himself out of rushing to Steph's side. No, this isn't going to cause serious issues between Trip and Steph, not at all! The way Trip sold his thought patterns, especially through his facial expressions, are what made this segment work so well. I have to admit I was shocked to see them using Mercury in this role, but if they were going to use a producer for it, who would work better, Mercury, Finlay, Noble, or Road Dogg? Finlay is a bit gruff, Road Dogg is a bit obvious, and Noble is still too goofy (at least to me). I'm impressed with how Mercury looks, as though he's grown up a lot, and matured into being an adult, because he sure was goofy looking back in MNM.
RybAxel vs Big E & Kofi > C+
I have to say, the tag team division is quite stacked right now! Between the stellar matches we have seen between the Usos and The Wyatt Family, Goldust and Stardust cutting promo gold each week, Rybaxel getting better and better each week as a team, and Kofi and Big E pairing up now, we are seeing a good resurgence of a long stagnant title picture. However, the match here wasn't anything more than our typical tag team fare. Between the big men's initial show of power and the hot tag, I'm hard pressed to be able to point out anything that just stuck out at me. Even when I watched it the first time, I had barely noticed Ryback had picked up the pinfall! But granted, it was all to set up the next segment.
Winners – RybAxel (3:18)
In Ring Segment > B+
I may catch some heat for that title, but that was the consensus we came to last night with how Xavier Woods approached the promo. And I have to say, he hit it square out of the ballpark. He didn't let the crowd chanting What at him more him down or pull him off of his path, he spoke with a confidence that he didn't show in his feud with Brodus Clay when he came on the main roster, and he made a clear and concise point. It is going to be VERY interesting to see how WWE pulls the trigger on a Nation of Domination 2.0. In fact, I wrote about The Nation a while back and looked at who should be in a revived version that you can read here.
Rusev vs Khali > D
Why? Just why? I want to like The Great Khali, but gosh... I can’t! I’m not a fan of Rusev and the whole pro-Russia gimmick doesn’t please me. I was very interested in seeing how the gimmick would be handled at Battleground and on Raw after the latest controversy. People say the Intercontinental Championship is cursed, but I think the anti-America gimmick may be in the same boat. This was hardly a match and is not worth going out of your to watch!
Winner – Rusev (2:38)
Backstage Segment > B
I just don't see how WWE hasn't seen the level of talent Cody Rhodes has brought each and every time they have given him a gimmick transition. Cody takes everything he is thrown and turns it into a star. (Pun intended) And between starting this with a Willy Wonka reference and his wide eyed wonder listening and interacting with Goldust, he is just simply ON. And while it may be nothing, the "cosmic key" line in Goldust's portion of the promo gives me a strong indication that they will somehow be involved in a Batista segment next week, as you know he will surely be back to help promote Guardians of the Galaxy. Because they surely didn't mean that the Tag Titles are the Cosmic Key...
Cesaro vs Ambrose > B+
There was no way that either of these guys could go over clean, I knew that going in, and was excited to see how they were going to pull out the ending of this match. I thought they booked this match, from beginning to DQ wonderfully, and it was all executed perfectly by two of the best on the roster. That it looks as though they are trying to switch Ambrose's focus onto Cesaro makes me think that Rollins really does need some time out of the ring due to possible injury. I wasn't sure at Battleground because he did take some bumps, even though he didn't work an actual match against Ambrose. Some people were upset, but now that they seem to be moving Ambrose to working with Cesaro, I'm excited and thrilled.
Cesaro hadn't been working really well with Heyman, even though it appeared to be a perfect match from the start. Heyman has to be back with Brock, and that would have left Cesaro out in the cold. That they didn't do that with Cesaro, and sent him to Trip to try to be part of The Authority shows that they really do think a lot of Cesaro, and expect a lot from him in the future. The same can be said for Ambrose, and for that I'm fantastically thrilled. These two feuding is a wrestling fan's pipedream, and for that I can't wait to see what they do next!
Winner – Cesaro via DQ (9:49)
Backstage Segment > B
I've said over and over to the WWENews.net writers that family, health and school comes first, and more people in this world need to realize that this is true – including myself, because I've written live results and run Live Blogs from the hospital. I love that Renee called Trip on this after he had said it, then talked himself out of rushing to Steph's side. I think this is going to cause serious tensions between Steph and Trip, and make The Authority that much more interesting. I have to say it made Renee look that much stronger for calling Trip on it, and I want to hug her for it.
In Ring Segment > A
John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar is finally official for SummerSlam. WWE really made things interesting by carelessly revealing this big news a couple weeks ago. Thank goodness it isn’t Randy Orton, who Triple H originally called out. Paul Heyman cut a very good promo! So much emotion and power was felt. This main event has a big fight feel to it and I’m excited. I’m not sure how many Raw appearances Brock will make before SummerSlam, but I expect to see more promos from Heyman as we go into the biggest event of the summer.
Jon Stewart went off about Lana and Rusev being anti-American. He started it because he was talking about Putin, but then went on a total WWE, "We, the people!", Cesaro leaving Swagger and becoming the King of Swing, and going into SummerSlam before he stopped and said, "What? Wrong room?" I'm a huge Jon Stewart fan, and I love that he's come out of the locker room as a HUGE wrestling fan. He's been talking about the WWE and storylines more and more on the Daily Show, and has mentioned that it's the biggest thing he and his son relate to each other with. It used to be that the WWF was in the middle of a lot of pop culture, and it wasn't something to be ashamed of when you're a fan, but lately it's gone more and more underground, and if you're a wrestling fan and proud of it, you get 'that look' from people. I'm a wrestling fan and proud of it!
Queen of WNW
KB, Jesse, CJ & Gesus