I owe someone an apology. Last night during the RAW Results Justin Mayo suggested a title for the RIB, and Jesse sent it along to me. I missed that it was supposed to for the RIB and not RR. At that hour of the night, after writing three hours of RAW, I'm lucky if I can remember my own name! So Mayo, I'm sorry, but I do appreciate you helping me out with title ideas.
As I stated last week, I am writing this through a text-to-speech program, so I'm going to try to keep it short and sweet today. For the next three weeks Brooks will be covering the RIB for me so I will have time to heal.
Bryan vs Fandango > B+
It was nice to see that the hometown curse was broken by Bryan, but if he had lost this match I'm afraid they really would have rioted. We always joke about it, but those fans in Seattle were wild for Bryan! Hometowns are almost always strong for their heroes, and it might be that the WWE does not make it to Seattle very often, at least not for RAW, but they were crazy, like the night after Wrestlemania type crazy. It was great to see how much they love Bryan, though I hope Trip doesn't think it's just Bryan's home town, and continue moving on with out giving Bryan is due. Bryan is over like Rover, and the WWE really needs to do something about it, now.
I also have to give props to Fandango. He went into that match knowing that not only was he going to lose, but he was going to lose to the hometown hero, and he gave Bryan a solid match. Fandango is not a top wrestler, but he looked really strong in there with Bryan, and that's all you can ask when going into hometown match like that. Not that the WWE presents RAW from Maine, ever, but if they did I'd hope that whoever faced Fandango would give him the best match possible in front of his hometown fans.
Winner – Bryan (8:43)
In Ring Segment > A-
As always, Bray Wyatt was fantastic on mic. That man can turn a phrase like no one's business, and I cannot wait to see what he does next, what he says next. To think that he was almost brushed aside because of a silly character that meant nothing, and now he's one of the greatest young talkers the WWE has right now! You just never know what could happen when a wrestler is repackaged.
Slammy Award > B
I always love seeing the New Age Outlaws. Road Dogg is one of the strongest talkers who I believe never really got his due. His ring work was never fantastic, but the D-O-Double G has always left me in awe when he goes all auctioneer on mic. His voice is one that always brings me back to one of my favorite times in the WWE. I know it was the WWF back then, but it's I always try to refer to everything this company has done as the WWE; it's just easier that way.
I love the tuxes that both of them wore, and they played them off beautifully. I wish I knew where I could find a perfect powder blue tux like that, Ellie knows her boyfriend Nick would love to wear one when they get married, but we have no clue where to find one. Then again, if we could find a powder blue, why not bright orange for Stacy? Okay, I'm just getting silly now, in reality this was a great Slammy for them to announce, though I am sure the, "One more match!" chants were that much more to them than the Slammy.
The WWE did a great job with the video of the winners. That part of The Rock Concert was the best part of that segment, so seeing just that made the segment look fantastic. The Rock is charismatic, well spoken, endearing, and has a passable nice voice, so when he is on, he is really on. Further, Vickie sold that segment every little move, every little look, everything she did. They deserved this Slammy, it just sucks that Rock isn't on the best of terms with the WWE right now, because it would have been nice for him to make some sort of statement about the win.
Santino vs Sandow > B-
This match did not make a lot of sense to me. I know the WWE puts people in the ring was Santino when they need to look strong, even though Santino is so much more than we ever see on TV. But after all of the creative matches with Ziggler, this match for Sandow fell really flat. Further, Big E on announce was robotic and boring. At least last week he was funny with the Skip It comments, but this week he was flushed of any personality whatsoever. It's time for Big E to show we really is, is charisma, his personality, and who he really is. The fans will love the zany, quirky, funny man who is Big E Langston.
Winner – Sandow (2:30)
Slammy Award > B+
I normally keep these things to myself, but The Shield were damn hot cleaned up! Sam is just starting to get to that age, you know the age, and she was in awe. She pointed out that Rollins had left his hair down, while Reigns had tied his up, opposite of the way their characters normally look. She's getting quite observant, in picking apart every little piece she sees from the WWE. Beyond their looks, they were fantastic on mic. Okay, so Reines bobbled a bit, but they were still solid. Honestly, it had to be cool for them to announce HBK the winner of this Slammy, but it was nothing compared to each HBK's speech. The fans were mixed in their reactions, and each HBK worked off that. HBK was not totally heel here, but he sure skirted the issue. Calling a fan a pinhead was absolutely a flashback to the AE, and the fans loved it. Also, I'd love to know who dressed each HBK for RAW, because we all know he didn't do that himself!
Kofi vs Miz > B
I wish I could say more about Kofi and Miz in this match, but they just were not as good as they have been in recent weeks. Miz was more of a heel, and Kofi, while more vicious, was still very much the face. I think there needs to be more questions about the two of them, the way things had been the past couple weeks. That it was so obvious about who was on which side kind of killed the spark of their feud. Hopefully they will go back to doing what they had in weeks past, because those questions made their feud so much more interesting.
Winner – Miz (2:36)
Slammy Award > C-
The best part of this segment was Eve. She was beautiful, poised, and elegant. She carried this segment, which is more than I can say for the Bellas. Both Brie and Nikki stumbled over their words, and seemed completely out of their elements. They might do well on Total Divas, but they sure fell flat here. Honestly, I'm quite shocked that AJ did not win Diva of The Year, as she seemed it the most obvious choice. At the least Evil Marie did not win, though I didn't really expect her to. And yes, it was Sam who started up the Evil Marie name, and very pointedly calls her that now. I have to say, she hit the nail on the head.
8 Man Tag Match > B+
The more I see of Ryback and Axel together, the more I think that they are a great team. They have a certain flow while tagging, and their styles mesh really well. After all this time, after all these questions, it looks as though these two might have found their niche. I don't feel that way about Cesaro and Swagger, but we all know that I think Cesaro is leaps and bounds above Swagger, and that Swagger is bringing him down. There is so much more that Cesaro could do if he wasn't saddled with Swagger.
Rey looked solid in the ring, but still not up to what I expect from him. I guess only time will tell how much Rey really has left in him. On the other hand Goldust and Big Show looked so much better than their years, and we all know that Cody is a star. As I said last week, the Rhodes brothers have done lot to make 2013 worth remembering in the WWE, and this match just continued in that vein.
Winners – Rey & Big Show & Cody & Goldust (11:50)
Slammy Award > A
I am trying very hard not to be biased when I grade these segments, but the ebb and flow of this particular segment was too hard to ignore. HBK carried on being the almost heel, but also playing the silly half of DX. Bringing up the HBShizzle thing again was fantastic, and he sold it as he would have back in his DX days. He further brought up questions him how he reacted when he had to announce Bryan as the winner. The double-take and nervousness were perfect HBK DX face.
Bryan came out and played the perfect good guy. The way he accepted the HBShizzle Award was priceless. The chemistry between these two men is fantastic, and as much as I believe that HBK should stay retired, because he retired from the ring, I so want to see these two in the wrestle at Wrestlemania. Personally that would be so much bigger than Cena vs Hogan, or Taker vs Brock – I still think Taker should face his brother one more time at WrestleMania, but that's another discussion for another time. Back to Bryan, I think this was the best place for Bryan to win Superstar of The Year, and I'm thrilled he won in Washington, so close to his home.
I think that if the WWE was going to say something about Nelson Mandela's passing, they should have done it at the start of the show, but I will give them props for immortalizing him tastefully and quietly.
Sin Cara vs ADR > B-him
JBL and Cole made such a huge deal during this match about how much better soon Sin Cara is looking, and ADR ends up walking out concussed. Actually, they shuffled the camera away from the ring quite quickly after this match, and I am not surprised as I was watching closely to see how ADR was moving, if he was moving. I saw that when they came off the corner, ADR did not tuck, and his head bounced because of it. As soon as ADR landed he grabbed his head, and it was obvious that he was in trouble of some sort. I don't like to see in the one injured, even my least favorite wrestlers, so I hope ADR does well on his impact test, and his back to his normal life, and the ring as soon as possible, without any lasting or long-term effects.
Winner – Sin Cara (10:57)
Slammy Award > B
Prime Time Players were a lot of fun in this segment, and looked great. Young playing up his issues with wearing white after Labor Day. It was a bit too much of him playing to the gay stereotype, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. Under other hand, Bryan was fantastic in his simplicity. "YES!" "YES!" "YES!"
Clay vs Woods > C+
This is more of what I expected to see when Clay faced Woods in the ring, but I still don't think it was great. They both did exactly what they needed to do, but I feel that spark, that something extra that makes a match exciting. I felt more of it after the match when Clay attacked Woods. They set up what they needed to, and were seeing Clay as more than just the happy dancing Funkasaurus. I know that will make a lot of fans happy, but I will miss the man who really seemed to be enjoying himself in the ring with this packaging.
Winner – Clay (0:39)
Slammy Award > B
Miz looked quite dapper, and seem to be more in his element that he is in the ring much the time. I see him as the talkshow host when his time in the WWE is over. He handles himself quite well in this type of environment, and really looks the part. Today in Ask WNW, Richard admitted that he voted for Stephanie to win this Slammy. He is not the only one. I loaded for Stephanie to win, as did Sam. To me it made the most sense, I guess I'm not alone. I really did not think Stephanie would win, but we've seen the voting go in unexpected ways in the past.
Punk vs Ambrose > A-
This was a fantastic match. WWE creative is going to have to pull out all the stops to beat this at TLC, and I'm not sure they're going to be able to do that, even with the talent available. The fans were chanting, "This is awesome!" and they were right! Punk and Ambrose pulled out all the stops for this match and left the fans in awe. This was one of those matches that could be a top ten of this year, but then again I didn't think there are a lot of great matches this year, other than those involving the Rhodes brothers, and The Shield. I know that Ambrose is part of The Shield, but it's the tag matches they have been in that been so great. I had been wondering if it was too early to break up The Shield, but after watching this match of Ambrose's, I know they're ready, even if I still think The Shield has a lot left in them as a group.
Winner – Punk (17:31)
Video > A
I will fully admit that I normally bash and trash most of the WWE's videos, but this one was so beautifully executed that I can't help but smile. WWE's production crew did a lovely job of showing past Champions in all their glory.
Slammy Award > B+
Everyone knows I love Foley, and have trouble not giving him huge props when ever he seen, so I will try to hold back, but it's hard to do. Honestly, I don't think anyone will top Foley's extreme moment, but the WWE has to do what it has to do to push the Slammy's and get Foley on TV. I will say that it makes sense that Punk won for his abuse upon Heyman at the top of a HIAC. I also have to say that Punk accepting his award without pants has nothing on Punk hitting Booker T's spineroonie in his skivvies after the cameras stopped rolling. I normally feel like a dirty old lady when I write about things like that, but I have to say that Punk looked pretty impressive flopping around on the mat, then hugging Steph as if they were besties. I'm just glad somebody cut it on camera, and that it made its way to the Internet.
Usos vs The Wyatt Family > B-
I am not sure this was the Usos best match, but it wasn't too bad for Harper and Rowen. I guess it's good that the WWE is putting Harper and Rowen in matches with different teams, it will help them grow as a team and individual wrestlers. I think it will be good for both teams a long run, even if this match wasn't stellar.
Winner – Rowan & Harper (8:33)
Slammy Award > B
Bret seemed more lucid and focused in this segment then he has his most recent times on WWE TV. As much as I love it and respect Bret, he is not the man he used to be, and it hurts my heart to see him sometimes. All that being said, Bret came across quite well here, and a hug from Nattie on her way to the ring was so endearing to see.
I can't really agree on Match of The Year, but I don't really agree with most of the matches nominated. For me the best match of the four was Cody and Goldust vs The Shield, but the rest of the WWE 'Universe' didn't agree with me. We cannot all agree on everything, which is why we have some of the best discussions during the OTPs. Cena handled himself well, and again it kind of sucked that The Rock didn't even make a statement this year, though it was nice to see him class out on Twitter.
Nattie vs Tamina > D
I was really put out with this match. Tamina looked rushed, sloppy, and an overall mess. She really through Nattie off her game. Nattie was all screwed up when she went for the sharpshooter, and actually had to stop and think about what she was doing to be able to do it. Nattie is a pro, one of the best Divas on the roster, for her to be that discombobulated, Tamina must have really rattled her in the ring.
Winner – Nattie (1:39)
Ascension Ceremony > A-
Parts of this segment made me want to throw things at my TV, but that was mostly Orton's posturing. Between he Trip's inability to shout over the fans, the little grin that grew into an absolute poo eating smile on Bryan's face, and Cena's ability to get under Orton's skin, I was giddy through the entire segment – well, most of it. Bryan's reaction to the fans was so honest, sweet, and endearing that I had to stop the show and rewind a bit just so Stacy could enjoy it with me. That man was absolutely glowing, and I loved how Henry took it upon himself to raise Bryan's hand high in the air, then it acknowledged what you done with it, crossed his throat.
If Trip does not realize what he has on his hands with Bryan after the that segment, the man has his head in a bucket of cement. Yes, they were basically in Bryan's hometown, but that only meant that the chants were a little louder than normal, not that they were only there because Bryan was home.
I love that Cena took the segment into his own hands and really put Orton in his place. Bryan looked a little bit confused there for a moment, but they are dating twins, they obviously hang out with each other fairly often, and Bryan went with the flow and quite a relaxed way – but that seems to be who Bryan is. Orton, on the other hand, not so relaxed, and really did not seem very happy with the segment. Cena told it like it is, if Orton doesn't like it, then maybe he needs to reevaluate his own life, and look himself in the mirror. I see that, but I highly doubt to that Orton will change at this point, and I am sure he's deflecting his issues onto everyone else. Remind you of another certain muscle-head on the roster who has been busted down to mid card purgatory recently? Either way, I was blown away with Cena on mic, us and if we saw more of this man, especially working with Bryan as his wing-man, he might even win over some fans that he's alienated by being so corny and lame.
I have to say really enjoyed the pacing of RAW. They did a solid job of pacing the Slammy Awards between matches. The flow was solid, and really made the entire show feel cohesive, something very unusual for RAW, or any WWE shows these days. If more episodes of RAW were this solid, I think the ratings would go up, and stay up on a steady basis, but not every episode can be the Slammys.
Queen of WNW