This weekend my daughter Ellie and her boyfriend Tyler went to see the WWE in Boston, without me. Okay, so I was involved in running a medieval event up here and couldn't go, but still, cranky! To make it worse, they sent me a pic of KO facing off against Sami Zayn in the ring. I was thrilled that Tyler got to see his favorite (he dressed up as KO for Halloween last year) in the ring with Sami, but annoyed I wasn't there with them. Because of all this I was so excited for Raw this week. Then I saw Raw. Read for yourself.
In Ring Segment > B+
Starting Raw with Rollins was something that ticked me off for a while, because he had taken over Trip's twenty minute promos and had become as lame and boring as Trip had been. All that was Rollins greatness was gone and we were stuck with Trip/Rollins, something that was more boring than Trip! But then Rollins said he was going to talk about Reigns because he wasn't supposed to, but he had the mic and it was live TV. I thought Rollins was really going to go off on Reigns' ass here, but he was still all kayfabe. I wanted more! Yes, he said everything he needed to say, and was in control of it all, but I wanted that one thing I've been SCREAMING about for well over a year, grit. Rollins is great on mic, don't get me wrong, but he's not the Tyler Black I fell in love with in ROH, he's still Trip's boy who doesn't say anything wrong, doesn't stumble, and in this segment, didn't give us much of what makes the greats so much better than everyone else, he didn't give us heart! There wasn't any real passion in Rollins in this segment, that passion was reserved for Ambrose who is nothing robotic or scripted. Yes, they have scripts, but Ambrose doesn't feel scripted, he feels real, gritty.
Triple Threat Match? Fatal Four Way? Fatal Five Way? That's a bit much.
Steph really knows how to work the mic in situations like this. Shane's not here again, but it was Steph who wasn't there last week! While I understand why she set up the matches the way she did, not wanting either Cena or Ambrose looking bad in their match, but I so want to see Rollins versus AJ. I could watch that all night long!
Charlotte & Dana vs Sasha & Paige > B+
Charlotte is starting to look a little road fatigued. Her middle is getting quite doughy, as if she's not eating as well as she should, and not spending the gym time she needs to. We all know it happens to them on the road, and they look that much better coming off a break or injury, but staying fit is part of the job, and while she was looking like she was getting love handles a few weeks ago, it's getting much worse now. She's loosing any tone she had to her middle at all, and that will hurt her ring work.
Speaking of Charlotte's ring work, it looks better then Dana's, but I think most on the roster, except Eva Marie, look better than Dana in the ring. She just doesn't have what it takes to keep up with these girls. The only thing going for her is that she's a bottle blonde, and McMahon loves bottle blondes. But it was Sasha who stood out in this match, and Sasha who should be leading the Womens' Division! Sasha is the top female wrestler in the WWE and should be treated that way every week, no matter what! She looked so much better than the blondes in this match, and even better than her partner. Sasha carried this match and it's time for her to carry gold!
Winners – Sasha & Paige
Rusev vs O'Neil > B
O'Neil worked his bum off here, took some solid bumps, and got the win over Rusev. I was so worried he was done when he joked with McMahon and was suspended for it, but it appears as though he's getting a solid mid-card push, and might even be able to go over Rusev soon and win gold. I've not always been an O'Neil fan, but since he won Celebrity Father of the Year, I've watched him much more closely, and he's impressed me. His Instagram leaves me smiling everyday, and seeing how he's raising his boys gives me hopes for our next generation. Stacy has full custody of his kids, and is a great father. Seeing what O'Neil has done with his sons warms my heart, and it's even better that his career is taking off now.
Winner via Count Out – O'Neil
Backstage Segment > A-
Korporate Kane is back again and using the word gosh! And then there's Miz. I wish Maryse spoke more, she's tough to understand sometimes, but her reactions and attitude are great. Not as great as Kane wanting to do lunch and saying 'Ciao!' to Miz. That whole segment was acting genius.
Cena vs Rollins > A-
These two have great chemistry, but this match seems to be moving too slowly for my taste. I know these two can really go in the ring together, which is why I didn't completely plotz when this match was set up over Rollins vs AJ, but it feels as though they both were working too slow before the commercial.
And since I'm so obviously trashing this match (not really), I am so sick of Cena calling matches! That man cannot seem to call a match without calling every move out to the fans at home. I don't want to know what's coming, I want to enjoy the wrestling. I know that's a problem with having wrestlers call matches in the ring, but the person calling needs to be a lot more discreet than Cena ever is!
I actually said, 'WOW!' aloud in this match. Rollins with a superplex off the top, continued to roll through, then planted Cena on the mat. That was a beautiful roll through for Rollins to hit that second move. Then Cena came back with an AA that looked as though Cena hit too hard and Rollins dangerously went flying. For me Rollins really carried this match, made it look that much better, and made Cena look better than he really was on that night.
In the WNW Open Thread Discussion it was quickly decided that AJ would cost Cena his match, then Cena would cost AJ his match, setting up for them to face off at Battleground. Looks as though the WWE is pushing hard to follow the most obvious storyline tonight!
Winner – Rollins
Enzo & Cass vs Jobbers > B
Yup, that was a squash. “Those guys are Brisco Bros workers,” said JBL. JBL went on to say he was down there today. It's nice to hear JBL bring us that blast from the past. Honestly, the best part of this was the mic work.
Social Outcasts were in Marine 5? Ugh! But beyond that, I like SO, and I don't want to see them destroyed by Enzo and Cass who deserve to get to the top, and quickly. So while I like seeing SO, I think they deserve to be in a feud that they're going to get the better of, because against these two, they're SAWFT.
Winners – Enzo & Cass
Video > F
Backlund is sucking my spirit.
Video/Stage Segment > A
Big Show seems to so enjoy working with kids and Special Olympics. All the Superstars seemed to have fun in the video, but it's Big Show who really seems to be the one who is first to step up to work with the Special Olympics each year.
Summer Rae vs Becky Lynch > B
Well, that wasn't much of a match! I wish they didn't just wash matches after fights like that. Becky could absolutely still go, so why not let her beat the heck out of Summer Rae? What I loved about this was the grit. It felt real. Becky is pissed at Nattie who attacked her twice for no reason, and Nattie was falling apart on announce, so it's perfect that Becky jumped her, and even better that they fell at Lilian's feet as they fought. There was nothing girly about what happened, this was all woman, and all fight. Becky wasn't going to let Nattie get away, and Nattie was acting like the injured party in it all. I thought it was great, but would have been even better if they hadn't scrapped the match. That way Nattie could have come back during the match and cost it all for Becky.
Highlight Reel > A
Jericho is still great on mic in this role. I don't think he should be in the ring these days, but this is great.
Then Sami voiced exactly what we've all been thinking, what if these two are drafted to different shows? What will happen then? And from there Sami went off and got it all out there! Jericho milking it was great, but Sami didn't need the help at that point.
KO sure has a way of twisting the truth, but that's because he's the greatest heel in the WWE right now. He really did a great job of working it with Sami.
Jericho is also great, but he has to say so much to get there, something KO doesn't need to be bothered with. Just before Jericho was double superkicked, he was such the rock star, I almost couldn't stand it. He was the epitome of a rock star, something we rarely see from him, but he's getting better at it the older he gets. I wonder if it's because he'd living the rock star life a bit too hard lately?
IC Championship Match – Miz (c) w/ Maryse vs Kane > D
Of course it's Kane. There's so many other guys who could have been great for Miz to face here, but they went with the glaringly obvious, and I'm bored. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a HUGE Kane fan, but this was too obvious for it to feel good. And I have to go back on what I said earlier about Superstars usually looking better, more fit, after time off. Kane is looking chunky around the middle. He'd been looking better than he had in a decade, but he lost all that. Maybe his politics have taken him from the gym too much lately, because he's looking downright pedestrian in his ring gear.
From there nothing got better. The worst of this is that Miz carried an injured Maryse out of there and lost via DQ, which means it wasn't a clean win and Kane will face Miz for the strap again. And how dead was the crowd here? That should show TPB that this wasn't a good idea!
Winner via Count Out – Kane
Backstage Segment > B+
Of course Maryse was faking it. Shocker! But that was well executed.
Cesaro & Crews vs Sheamus & ADR > C
Sheamus tagging out from the start to stay away from Crews is sad. Yes, it's a heel move, but very sad. What's even sadder is how dead the crowd is for this match. Kane vs Miz killed their momentum. The only thing interesting in this match was Sheamus eat an enziguri from ADR. Sadly Cesaro wasn't in this match much, leaving most of it to Crews to show his chops. Crews did just that, but it was really boring.
Winners – Crews & Cesaro
Backstage Segment > B
Ambrose wants a parade, hehehe. I thought he was going to say something about getting sex as Champion, but he wasn't talking to Renee, so the segment wouldn't have worked at all.
Lopsided face? Just makes him more interesting to look at. But Steph's venom for Ambrose hasn't changed, only gotten nastier. Makes me wonder if she might try to make sure AJ wins his match with Ambrose. That could make Cena costing him the match that much more interesting!
In Ring Segment > A
Bray Wyatt's New Day entrance needs to be brought back to haunt him for years to come. New Day was great here, as was Bray, but it's Wood that's the big question. I like what's happening here, and cannot wait to see what answers will be brought about from all these questions that are being brought about. This was a lot of fun, and a great segment for both factions.
Backstage Segment > A
New Day was just as great here, aren't backing down from They Wyatt Family, and Wood is really out of it.
Ambrose vs AJ > A-
This was the match we sat through all the blah to see. Three hours of Raw is just too much! JBL just brought up Jack Tunney! He's big on bringing up the obscure old names tonight! What I don't like is how negative Rollins and Steph are about Ambrose as Champion. The man has all it takes, more than most of the WWE Champions of the past five years, yet they're being so derisive of him, possibly because the IWC loves him so much. Ambrose has more than what it takes, he can be compared to all the greats in one way or another, and while I know Rollins and Steph are heels, you can only talk down a new Champion so much before there starts to be issues with the fans watching. I know McMahon used to do this, but the way they're trashing Ambrose feels dirty to me. Ambrose has what it takes, and has had what it takes for longer than the WWE gave him credit for, yet they still trash him in this way. Okay, I know this is the way McMahon treated Austin, it just feels different now, and I cannot put my finger on why. It might go back to the lack of freedom, the lack of control over their own characters, and the lack of grit, reality, that the WWE has polished away and keeps cleaning off every chance they can get.
It's almost impossible to sell a fake leg injury when you're running across the ring and diving through the ropes onto AJ. And I have to admit that I didn't like that Ambrose didn't go down to pele. The brain buster worked better, but still, it feels a bit Super Ambrose, which is the last thing Ambrose needs to be. Ambrose really did look whipped as he got the three, and sold the leg injury after the match was over, so it all worked itself out in the end.
Even the post-match fighting didn't hurt the overall match, and actually enhanced it a bit. Cena taken out by The Club, and two pedigrees on Ambrose, it made sense, I just hope Ambrose doesn't drop the strap at SummerSlam, it's too soon.
Winner – Ambrose
To be honest the show felt so much worse than the grades give it credit for. By the grades it doesn't look bad, but it felt so much worse when it was all together. Each segment didn't feel as horrible as the whole did. Raw dragged on and on for those three hours, and makes me worry what's going to happen to Raw after the WWE Draft, because with only half the roster, the three hour show will have that much more filler in it. Honestly, they have more than enough Superstars to fill a three hour show, but they fill those three hours with so much crap, like Young and Backlund, that it makes the shows seem monotonous. Fingers crossed that Raw will get better, not worse, after the Draft, because the way things look now, it could be an epic mess.
I as going to post this last night right after Raw, but something told me, after last week when I posted the RIB early and then it came out that Reigns popped his piss test and I didn't get it in the RIB. Well, this wasn't as groundbreaking as Reigns popping his piss test, but it's worth writing about, so I'm going to. After Raw and after the local news last night, I turned on Colbert. Actually, it would be The Late Show with Stephen Colbert these days, but in my house he will always be Colbert, no matter what show he's hosting. I will fully admit that I'm not a basketball fan, haven't been since I was quite young, but when the Cavs won, I was very happy for them. Being a Red Sox fan, I understand how it feels to have your team win the Championship, whatever Championship it might be, after more than half a century. I still remember watching the Sox win. I was watching with Ellie who kept falling asleep. Being superstitious, we were watching with Mortimer, her taxidermied fox who had been moved into the living room just before the Sox won the first game of the series, so he was still sitting in a chair by the TV. Anyway, hanging out in the WNW Open Thread Discussion during MITB, a number of the guys were also watching the final Cavs game, Ellie had two TVs going at her boyfriend's house, so they could keep up with both. Well, last night Kevin Love was on Colbert and he had the NBA Championship trophy with him, but he also had the WWE Championship belt with him with the Cavs plates on it. They showed that off with as much love as the NBA Championship trophy. They also showed video of Love wearing a Stone Cold Steve Austin shirt, shotgunning two beers. Love talked up the Superstars of the 90s, specifically Austin and Taker, and did so with a childlike glow in his face. I don't normally watch late night TV, other than after Raw, and I'm so glad I did last night, because watching Love with his WWE Championship belt was a fantastical, beautiful thing.
Queen of WNW