I was planning on starting this Raw Is Blogged wallowing in self-pity over the fact that Hell In A Cell is going to be in Boston and I wasn't going. To be honest, until it was announced that Sasha and Charlotte were facing off for the Women's Championship in HIAC, I honestly didn't care that much. But then, when Foley confirmed it, I was almost in tears. I wallowed through the rest of Raw, and much of the day. What I didn't know was that Stacy had been looking at the tickets – after during Raw we saw that the 5th row tickets still available were about $500, and I cannot afford that on Disability. Anyway, Stacy looked more today, and while I should have been writing this, and keeping an eye on the WNW SD Open Thread Discussion, we were buying tickets for HIAC in the nosebleed section. Also, I have to mention that Brendan, who writes SD Live here on WNW, is also attending HIAC. So, two of us will be attending, and I'm giddy. I've not been feeling great, and every weekend of October, and the first weekend of November, have been stacked for me, other than HIAC weekend, so I was planning on taking that weekend to do nothing but relax at home and do nothing. Well, looks as though I'll be driving to Boston to watch a glass ceiling shattering HIAC PPV! I'm so excited! It's been years since I went to Boston for a WWE show, and only the second PPV I'm getting to see live, and this time I don't have to worry about ADR winning the biggest match of the night and ticking me off. Knowing I'm going might make my outlook on the next couple Raws a little nicer, but I'll try to stay my old cranky self.
One last thing before I jump into the show. I doubt it will be seen as I'll be way up in the balcony, but anyone have poster ideas for me? I know I'll lose any sign with WNW on it, and I don't think I will get away with saying it's MNM. Anyway, thoughts?
In Ring Segment > A
What a segment! Sasha and Charlotte wasn't unexpected, or shocking, but Rusev was. Further, Rusev's attitude and how he was taken out by Charlotte and Sasha. I loved Rusev's facial expressions. The way he looked down a bit to regroup, get his thoughts into order, each time they got the upper hand over him. His pissed face was so pissy it was almost comical. Lana stepped right up in there for the comedy as well.
I thought Charlotte was amazing in how she handled him with her mic work. Screeching at Rusev wasn't as bad as normal, but the screeching she did, he deserved. I liked that Sasha and Charlotte banded together for one move, then right back on each other.
Then there's the HIAC question. We had been debating it before it was brought up in this segment, and while I think it could be great, I do see the issues that Joshua Tucker brought up in the WNW Raw Open Thread Discussion. He thinks that the WWE is taking things too far, and that they won't do it because it could be really bad for business. I, on the other hand, think that a Women's Tag Team HIAC Match would carry better, but I'm not against women like Sasha and Charlotte in a HIAC match.
Kofi vs Cesaro > A&B
Big E is going to be pulling Booty O's dust out of his nether-region for days. Especially how he slid around on the mat as he rolled in. The look on his face as he kept digging deeper into his singlet about had me in tears laughing. He is comedic genius, and to think, McMahon didn't want Big E to be himself out there because he didn't think the fans would get him.
I love me some New Day, and I love Cesaro, and they were all great here, but Sheamus on his cell phone on the stairs, back to the post, ignoring it all, stole this segment for me. I heard he was on FB Live? That makes it that much funnier to me. Their relationship is so fantastic, making this, in certain ways, already better than Angle and Benoit were in the same type of storyline.
The way Big E carried Kofi up the ramp made me think that Kofi's being possibly injured was kayfabe, but we will have to hope, wait, and see.
The first grade is for the mic work and character work. The second grade is for the actual ring work. Normally I'd be cranky to see the ring work take such a back seat in anything, but everything was so well executed that I cannot help but let it slide this time.
Winner – Kofi
Bayley vs Jobber > B
Bayley was all smiles. She attended so many WWE events in that arena, and here she is fighting in the WWE as one of the top faces in the WWE. Not just a top female face, but a top and beloved face who is over like Rover! I can't say her Jobber looked great, she botched a bit, and did so on one of Bayley's signature moves. If you're a jobber who is supposed to put the hometown hero over, make sure you can make the Superstars' signature moves look great!
Of course Dana had to come out and ruin everything for Bayley, because things rarely always go right for the hometown hero.
Winner – Bayley
Backstage Segment > A+
I could use a Payday. And a payday. Hey, Richard, I need tickets to HIAC!
Anyway, I really loved the interaction between Jericho and R-Truth here. Jericho can do almost anything and make it work. He's really is the GOAT! And then there's R-Truth who is so visually expressive that I cannot watch him without falling apart.
Lince Dorado & Sin Cara vs Dulak & Tony Nese > B
There was a lot of flying, spots and excitement in this match, but it wasn't as exciting as a lot of the CW matches have been lately. I know all these guys are great in the ring, but this match really didn't didn't do incredible things for me. It was solid, but not stellar, and that's what I've been expecting from the CWs.
Winners – Sin Cara & Lince Dorado
Backstage Segment > A
I love Foley, and his sense of 'style.' Even though most people wouldn't call it style, it's his personal style, and he works it. I also love his chemistry with Steph. There's something growing there, and they're doing a great job with it.
In Ring Segment > A
Steph really went full on face in this segment, and I love it. No clue how long it will last, and if she will end up turning on Foley in a full on raging bitch way (which I'm guessing she will), but until then, I'm going to enjoy Steph trying to be as beloved of a face as Foley is – which we all know will never happen!
And then there's Foley! I don't know who made his suit, but they did a beautiful job of it. I loath to match plaids, and I refuse to buy clothing, even cheap flannel shirts, where the plaids don't match. If plaids are off it makes your whole body look off. If you look at someone from the back and their plaids don't match, one hip looks higher than the other. From the front can be even worse. You can't tell me you've never seen a woman whose plaids don't match in her crotch. It's not a good thing. But Foley's suit was of beautifully matched plaids, and not just at the most obvious seams. Of course the side seams and center lines were great, but also the pocket flaps on Foley's jacket, and even the vertical plaid lines from his jacket continue straight down his pant legs. Continuing plaids from one garment to the next can be incredibly hard to pull off, and wouldn't have been possible before Foley lost the weight he has. I know I talk a lot about specific clothing, but this is what I wanted to be doing with my life before my health became so bad that I didn't have the chance to try. Seeing beautifully made pieces, like this suit, in the ring, makes me almost giddy and I cannot help letting it all out.
Backstage Segment > A
Rollins saying Steph loves to play the game about had me on the floor laughing. It's such a double entendre! Rollins is still a bit whiny. And he called himself a piece. Didn't Trump get in trouble for letting Stern do almost the same thing to his daughter? Okay, that was a piece of ass, but close enough for me. Honestly, I loved Rollins in this segment and the line he toed with his wording, keeping it PG, but making adults smirk.
In Ring Segment > C-
Anderson and Gallows jumping Enzo and Cass? Yes, they can fight, but there's no way they can keep up with the realest guys in the room! How you doin'? Anderson and Gallows would have been a great team for Enzo and Cass to face, but that was before they proved to be more boring than watching dog poo collect flies. I'd honestly rather see Enzo and Cass working with Bo and Axel until something good opened up, because at least they have personality. I never thought I'd say Axel has personality, but he found it a few years ago, and it's growing each time I see him.
In Ring Segment > B-
Ah, here's the personality! Well, not much of it, but I know it's in there! I know it is! And I'm thrilled Bo isn't wearing the same singlet, and honestly, the black looks better on him, it hides the lumps.
Bo & Axel vs Sami Zayn & Neville > B+
I honestly don't have issue with this teaming. The WWE needed to pull together more tag teams for Raw, Sami needed something to do, as did Neville. Further, Sami's personality can help carry Neville, and possibly nurture Neville. Sami learned how to work without the hood and show so much personality and can now talk, so he might be just what Neville needs!
The work in this match was solid, but more than that, the character work added so much. I can't believe I'm saying this twice in one episode of Raw, but it's true. I'm excited to see what happens with these four in the future. I'm all for interesting teams, like Sheamus and Cesaro, or Sami and Neville. Less than a decade ago no one really batted an eye when a main event Superstars stepped back to tag with a mid-card Superstar, or another main event Superstar, but these days we wonder what they might have done to get the humbling. Not everything that happens on the roster, on the shows, on the cards, on the PPVs, have something to do with something good or bad happening backstage. Sometimes it's the best thing available for certain Superstars at a given point, and it's better to be in a holding pattern on TV and in solid matches, then off TV and forgotten about.
Did Bo ditch Axel? So interesting.
Winners – Sami & Neville
Backstage Segment > B+
Something about how Charlotte was holding her face here, she looked a lot like her father. That's not a good thing by any stretch of the imagination. She almost looked as though she was trying to look worse than she actually is. Her face takes on a strangeness when it's all tight, but when she relaxes her face she's pretty. I wonder if she was purposefully doing that because she was working with Lana here. Lana's all about the looks, but Charlotte is a powerhouse wrestler. What I saw here, and without the screeching, I'm wondering if Charlotte is a lot smarter in the things she does in these promos and vignettes than we give her credit for.
Backstage Segment > B
R-Truth stole the Payday negotiations out from under O'Neil? They are stooping to reworking Booker T's feud with Edge over the shampoo commercial in Japan? Okay, I said it's been long enough for them to re-work these storylines, but this one kind of surprised me. It came out of the blue, but I love it! This is a feud for a reason, rather than 'I don't like you!' so they feud. So much more interesting, and doesn't take a lot more work from Creative. It's about bloody time!
R-Truth vs O'Neil > B
I love that R-Truth wasn't going to take crap here and took care of O'Neil. While a bit of back and forth after the start, I like that this was short and to the point.
Winner – R-Truth
Backstage Segment > B+
I've been watching The Brian Kendrick's start in the WWE recently, and I love how this has come full circle, for both his character, and for him. He was such a bright and excited young man, trying so hard to get a job on SD that he did crazy things to get Steph's attention. Now he's so much older and much more cynical, but still as interesting and exciting as he was when he first started.
Then there's TJP. Don't get me wrong, I adore him, but I worry that he's almost too much of a good guy. I worry that he will end up getting Cena-holed if he can't evolve and change over time. I know I'm jumping on this way too early, but it's a gut feeling, so I have to state my feelings early, just so it's out there.
Strowman vs 2 Jobbers > B-
New Day mentioned the Splash Brothers earlier and I had no clue what they were talking about. Guess they were giving these jobbers props early on. The furry diaper look was a bit much.
Byron handled Strowman so well here! I actually really enjoyed Strowman's mic work here. He has the voice, the look, the size, and sadly looks like he doesn't know how to handle his power in how he tosses these little guys around, like he doesn't care if he breaks them. Giant monster heels are great, as long as they don't hurt people by being lazy or careless. I worry that Strowman might.
Winner – Strowman
Backstage Segment > B+
I love when the male and female Superstars have chemistry together. Not saying they're there yet, but I got a bit of Trish and Jericho there. Lana and Rusev are so natural because they are together, but other Superstars working like this and showing chemistry is a different thing, and something we've not seen since AJ was around, and that was a totally different type of crazy chick chemistry. I like this.
Sasha & Reigns vs Charlotte & Rusev > A
It made no sense that Charlotte would tag with Rusev the way he trashed her in the opening segment. Even though they're both heels doesn't make them friends, especially after the way he treated her, and then Lana treated her. It make little sense that she'd want to, other than to get her hands on Sasha.
On the other hand, it was great to see Rusev really be nasty to Charlotte, and Charlotte taking none of his crap. The ire between them was fun and exciting to watch. What hit me halfway through the match it hit me that Sasha and Charlotte would be getting the hot tag in this match, and I was giddy. This is such a great moment in women's wrestling, and I'm thrilled to be able to write about it. Further, Sasha getting the win in a match like this left me all smiles! Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't say that Reigns' spear over Sasha and Charlotte was absolutely beautiful!
I have to admit that in my over-tired mind, this was the end of Raw, and I was ready to go to bed. Yeah, I was unhappy when I realized that I had to stay up for another hour.
Winners – Sasha & Reigns
Backstage Segment > A
Stupid idiom! That took things to a whole new level with this. So much hilarity! Jericho and KO are gold together, gold! Add in Top Phillips and it almost doesn't get any better!
In Ring Segment > B+
I love Heyman, but Goldberg vs Lesnar? Hell no! Is Heyman losing some weight? Stacy thought his face looked thinner, and his suit jacket didn't fit him well at all! His jacket was gaping at the strangest places. It looks like it's Heyman's jacket, but the fit is horrible, and that's not Heyman – at least not recently. Back in ECW Heyman looked like a lumpy sack of potatoes, but since Brock's return, Heyman has been dapper. Sadly what he said here sucks and in such a way that I want to turn off my TV and hope that the worst match from my favorite WrestleMania is never mentioned again. As much as I want that, Heyman had the fans in his grip, and he owned that mic.
Video > D
I'd give this video clip an F, but dang, Emma is fine! I don't have any clue what they're doing to her, and why they're making her looks like a Diva. But we will have to wait and see.
TJP vs Ariya Daivari > A
I'm interested in seeing what Ariya can do, as I am a HUGE fan of his older brother's. What I didn't like was that TJP was the first to the ring. I know this isn't a Championship Match, but still, TJP shouldn't be out first. I really loved listening to The Brian Kendrick on announce here, but I adore him that much more as I watched his start in the WWE just last week on the Network. I know many of you remember, 'Oh he's really, really sorry!', but do you remember the sweater he was wearing when Heyman approached him earlier in the show? EPIC! How about his streaking through the arena and the ring, right up to SD GM Steph? There was so much greatness from The Brian Kendrick from moment one from him. I adore that man!
I said earlier that I worry about TJP turning into the CW Cena, and seeing his match I worry that much more.
Winner – TJP
Backstage Segment > A
In Jericho's seventeen years in the WWE he and Steph have never had an issue. That was another great line. This episode has been full of them! So much greatness in this show, and at every turn there's something interesting happening. Then again, with Jericho around, there's always greatness – at least lately.
Video > A
I actually have a Tito Santana action figure, and while it's a later release (I think) it's not one of the very recently released one. It's a fave in my collection, because he was such a great leader in the industry.
Jericho vs Rollins > B
Jericho is so much better on mic than he is in the ring these days. While I try to stay away from nitpicking on ring gear, I can't keep quiet here. Jericho has some of the best ring gear, and really works it, but I think he needs to go back to wearing tights. The boot covers he wore here are all bunchy, and honestly, they look cheap. Then there's his trunks. They look really nicely made, until you really look at them closely, but really, how closely can one look on TV? Meaning, I saw this on my not really big TV, and while I know what to look for, I wasn't looking, it jumped out at me. It seems as though the elastic used in his trunks might be inferior, as it gapes strangely around his back, and even worse around his legs. Rollins rolled Jericho up at one point and I thought there was going to be a wardrobe malfunction. I was shocked to see the leg openings moving around as much as they did in this match.
Beyond my ring gear complaints, and saying Jericho is so much better on mic, which I've said for most of this run, this match really picked up with the pins and kicking out. They worked quickly and hard, then the craziness was over. It really was great to see, and the fans gave us a "This is awesome!" chant, but they went back to Jericho's speed. It was exciting, and interesting, and I really didn't know who was going to win this. I thought, for sure, that Jericho was going to win this and cost KO the Universal Championship at HIAC. I was actually looking forward to it, but not because I want to see KO drop the strap, or because I want to see Rollins win it, but because I think if KO and Jericho are this great as friends, imagine how they will be feuding with each other!
Winner – Rollins
This episode of Raw had a much better flow, and an overall better feel. There was still a lot of filler and crap, just not as much as there was the past couple episodes. To be honest, I will say it was better, even though I was ready for bed two hours in, and other than Jericho, KO and Rollins, I could have lived without the last hour.
Queen of WNW