This week I was pleasantly pleased to have Joshua Michael Tucker, one of our WWENews.net writers, ask me if he could write a bit of the RIB. I'm thrilled that he's joining myself and Jesse Sherwood in giving his thoughts on Raw!
In Ring Segment > B
I said a few weeks ago that I hadn't heard the fans so pissed off at seeing Cena. I figured, because usually the UK crowd love everyone, that Cena would get solid pop, but he drew even more heat than before. They were singing their hatred louder, their chants and boos were even uglier. Ryback had the fans in the palm of his hand, until Ryback turned on the hated Cena, then they hated him as well. Something that's screwy to me, but that's the WWE fan for you!
I didn't think anyone else would get the heat that Cena had been getting, then The Authority came out. Honestly, I completely agree with the UK crowds' ire for them, as they've blown by two WWE Network release dates. I'm shocked The Authority, Steph and Trip, came out to the ring after how they've let down the UK fans with the Network. They had to know they'd get their asses handed to them, and the fans had every right to do just that. I think I might have been even uglier if I'd been them. I love my WWE Network, and have been waiting years, even before it was announced, for something like this to come about. I love being able to watch wrestling from so many eras, and be able to do it when I want to. I know there's a lot of people unhappy with the Network, but I can't get enough and am completely thrilled with wrestling at my fingertip whenever I like. I just hope the fans in the UK get the joy I get from the WWE Network, when they finally get it.
I also have to give huge props to the production crew and Kane for this segment. The Authority brought up that Ryback could be the biggest monster ever, and the camera zoomed in on Kane's reaction. It was not over done, or even obvious, but it was there for a reason.
Rollins vs Swagger > B-
Here lately, any time Rollins steps into a ring, you know you are going to be in for a treat. The man is a rare talent in that it seems that he would actually have to force himself to try and have a bad match. And Swagger is, if nothing else, a great ring technician. Though I do have to wonder what happened in a few spots in this match. Sure, it was all there, but there were spots where both men seemed confused as to what they were doing it there, to the point during a few moves Kendra thought Rollins was sandbagging Swagger. And while nothing of the sort happened, I think we had some serious communication issues in this. It's almost as if Swagger was the one calling it and he didn't know Rollins strengths or where to call spots for him in the match. Regardless, we got an above average match and a double curb stomp to further exasperate Cena's Survivor Series woes, so it was a positive gain overall.
Winner – Rollins (11:32)
Backstage Segment > B+
I'm loving Ambrose on announce. He could be the strongest talker if his generation if he keeps this up. Bray is really great on mic, but he has a tendency to mumble, and because of that, we miss things. Bray can also be a little too deep for the fans to care, but Ambrose is approachable, creative, endearing, and oozes charisma.
Backstage Segments > B+
Because I'm so behind, I'm condensing Ryback's backstage segments with Team Authority into one. I actually thought of doing that before my life spiraled yesterday.
I loved watching Ryback through these segments. I was writing all that the other Superstars spoke, but it was Ryback who made these segments worth watching. Honestly, I cannot believe I'm saying these things about Ryback. I was one of his biggest champions, until he started spiraling out of control, and then I just wanted him gone! The man has talents that haven't been tapped, but his ego got in the way of the possibilities. Hopefully he will be able to keep himself in check this time around, because that smile, and how he handled all the pressure of those Superstars was just fantastic entertainment.
Fox vs Paige > B-
This was the perfect time for this match. Paige absolutely has to be booked as a face in the UK, and the fans loved her early on, but then fell off in the middle of this match – which is tough with such a short match. While Fox was as sloppy as ever with certain moves, she can hit a northern lights suplex like few others. I actually talked to Jesse about how dangerous this move looks, and how scary it can be to take that move, and he took it from a 20 year veteran of the ring. Heck, in Jesse's early days, he took the Regal stretch from the Brit himself, so while Jesse's wrestling career wasn't long, I trust what he has to say on things like this.
Winner – Paige (2:14)
Backstage Segment > B
Steph can be quite the raging bitch, but she does it so well. Putting Lana, someone else who's more than proven herself as a top bitch and talker, in with Steph is just lovely. I thought it worked quite well, and thought it interesting that Rusev didn't come to Lana's defense.
Backstage Segment > B
It's fun to watching The Authority stutter and scramble for understanding of what McMahon is doing works quite well. Trip and Steph have such a warm chemistry that comes through when they're alone. I don't know how anyone can watch them together and think that it's fake.
In Ring Segment > D
I am so over these little Putin segments. We all know Putin either doesn't have a clue about this, or doesn't care. Yes, it's cheap heat, and they did it because they had a fresh crowd in the UK, but I'm more than over it.
US Championship Match - Sheamus vs Rusev (c) > C-
This was another really good match between these two. I think every week Rusev is winning more and more of his detractors over with his in-ring ability and selling ability. Sheamus can work with anyone and have a good match. But I think Rusev is starting to come into his own.I hope he doesn't get lost in the shuffle once his undefeated streak ends because I think he can be a big time star for WWE in a time when WWE needs them badly. The level of where he can get to is dependent on his ability to learn English IMO. The reason this match is ranked C- is for the botching of the count at the end of the match. The Ref just stopped counting at 8 then checked on Rusev allowing the distraction and then counted 10 without 1) restarting the count or 2) counting the number 9. Completely ignoring the logic of wrestling is something WWE does a lot but this one is extremely stretching it. It also hurts building the championship they seemed to be doing from last week. I'm still looking forward to the next match of this feud because I'm interested in it.
Winner – Sheamus via DQ (15:37)
Backstage Segment > B+
Again, Steph was fantastic as a raging bitch who wasn't taking anything from anyone, especially Lana! Again, shocked Rusev didn't stand up for her.
Los Matadores vs Miz & Mizdow > B-
Sandow and Hornswoggle made this match. Hornswoggle, like Sandow, has proven that he can do absolutely anything that's handed to him. He's proven why he's the only little person who's stuck with the company for so long. He fits into any role, sells beautifully visually, and in the ring. He's just fantastic. Then there's Sandow who I hope doesn't get stuck as a mid-card workhorse for his career. He's proven to be worth so much more. I have troubles watching Miz's matches, because Sandow is so fantastic to watch. I see great things for him, hopefully the WWE doesn't drop the ball with him, yet again. But beyond Mizdow, this match wasn't at all interesting or exciting. It would have been a D match if not for the antics of Mizdow and Mizswoggle.
Winners – Miz & Mizdow (4:44)
Backstage Segment > B
Sadly the work of Cena and Ziggler were overshadowed by Trip, his singing, and his white boy dancing. Not just white boy dancing, but white boy from New Hampshire dancing! He really is quite the goober sometimes. When he acts like that with HBK, it works. When he does it like this, not so much.
WWE Rewind > B+
Normally I don't write about recap videos, but I have to mention how much I enjoyed Kane vs Ziggler on Smackdown in the cage. It's hard to come up with different ways for people to win steel cage matches, but I thought the way Ziggler won was quite creative, and something I don't remember seeing in the past. I know I have a crap memory, so I could be hella wrong, but I thought it was fantastic.
Ziggler vs Henry > C+
I understand plan behind this match, and it was executed in an okay way, but it wasn't anything thrilling. Yes, they're setting up for Survivor Series, and some of the segments won't be as exciting as others. Ziggler looked solid in this match, and Henry looked like Henry, I just wasn't overly excited about much of what they did. Though I have to admit I watched Ziggler taking that chair shot three times, and asked Jesse if Ziggler got his arm up, because I just couldn't tell. At the end, I loved how sweet and caring Big Show was to Ziggler. This role is really suiting him later in his career.
Winner – Ziggler via DQ (2:47)
Video > B
A new day is coming? I'm so excited that Woods and Kofi are being put together. Add in Big E, and they could be an unstoppable force. A new choir backed NOD?
Backstage Segment > B
Shocker that Sheamus and Big Show joined Team Cena! We knew it was going to happen when Rusev and Henry joined Team Authority. I thought it was handled well, and was cute, but a bit corny for my taste. While I love all of these guys, it's time to shake up the corniness of some of them, especially Cena and Sheamus.
AJ vs Brie > B-
While not the best match, it did tell the story between the Bellas, and heading into Nikki's match with AJ at Survivor Series. Brie looks better and better in the ring, and so Nikki's distraction was handled well. Three years ago we'd have been scrubbing our brains with bleach to forget the horrors, but they're actually decent in the ring, so they no longer painful to watch.
Winner – AJ (2:20)
Rose vs Kidd > C&B
Did anyone really pay any attention to the match between Nattie's Husband and Buckets of Bunny Failure? No? Good, then we can move on to what was really important: Rowan's creepy part. It was a simple line and a simple creepy entrance, but it showed just what Rowan became now that Bray has set him free: a lost child. Bray took him in, "fixed" him, and made him into the monster he was. Now without the patriarch to guide him, he's back to being that lost and scared boy he once was, and to make matters worse, Bray fixed him wrong. Bray may have glued the pieces back together, but he made a plate from a coffee cup. As for the Rose/Bunny deal, based on how he's been looking at the camera after each attack, we may see Leo Kruger again soon.
The C is for the match, the B is for Rowan.
Winner – Kidd (2:43)
Backstage Segment > B
I found it interesting that it was Kane who brought everyone together to head for the ring. I was wondering why Steph and Trip stayed backstage, and I thought it was because they didn't want the UK fans to be chanting about the WWE Network and not watching the actual match, but we found out later that it was for Harper.
Backstage Segment > B
It's interesting how Bray is bringing up Ambrose's father. I'm waiting to see where this goes, but in some ways it feels very Jericho on Punk for being straight edge, and for Punk's relationship with his own family. I worry that it's too soon, but I'm hoping that because it's Bray and Ambrose, it could be fantastic. Fingers crossed that they don't drop the ball with Bray again. If it takes him working with Ambrose for Bray to get pushed, I'm all for it. This could be wonderful for all involved.
Announce Segment > B+
I have yet to watch ECW Exposed, but I'm excited to see it. Heyman and Styles together are gold!
Cena vs Ryback > B-&A+
This was another good match. Ryback has looked so much better in this run then he did in the last run. I also enjoyed the way they teased Ryback all night long being in the authority yet giving him reasons not to be in it at the end of the night. Ryback can be a huge face if he is built right. I feel Ryback and Cena seem to have a good chemistry between them. Their matches seem to be fairly good. I wasn't surprised by the Interference at the end and the team brawls, however I loved 2 things about the end of raw this week. The First was how Ryback took out the Authority and walked away without giving his allegience to Cena and his team giving a question as to if he is Cena's #5. The other thing was Harper's re-debut taking out Ziggler and announcing his attention of being part of the authority to get to Ziggler.
B- for the match, A+ for the end of Raw.
Winner – Cena via DQ (15:47)
I love Harper! That man could be the next big thing. I'm so excited for him, and what might come in the future from him.
Queen of WNW
KB, Joshua & Jesse