We are dropping DISH. Now, we are doing it because the ONLY thing we really watch on 'regular TV' is wrestling and Doctor Who. Now, we can get creative about Doctor Who, but I will have to get more creative about wrestling. I know it can be found, like much of Raw is on Hulu on Tuesdays, and I'm hoping that SmackDown Live will be on Hulu the same way. The segments of Raw that are not shown on Hulu will be picked up by Jesse, Goat, Moose, Big M, and a number of other WNW writers. We made the decision that we watch more Netflix, Hulu, and WWE Network that it's just not worth the $100 a month for the little we watch it. Further, we are getting more into our hobby and that extra money can really help us play the way we want to play. Further, we might be able to take that trip to Pennsic we've been wanting to take for a number of years now. I find it interesting that my two huge loves in this world – other than my family and friends – are so opposite, but you love what you love and those things don't have to match up. So I'm not taking time off (until we go to Pennsic in a couple years, and that's only two weeks), and I'm not stopping this craziness that is the RIB, but things might change a bit when we drop DISH and streamline our TV spending. Please just hang in there with me, and I promise, this will not be happening until after the Draft! I put my foot down on that one!
IC #1 Contender Battle Royal > B
I was shocked and impressed with Crews' pop as he came out the ring to round out this opening match. Not as thrilled to see Backlund out there with Young in the ring, but Backlund is who he is. While boring Corbin looked great with his Andre The Giant trophy out there, and showing off how great he is. Corbin did all that to show off, but there's no way they'd have heel vs heel, especially since Corbin is so bloody boring! Has to be a face winner. While I'd like Crews, with Backlund out there, it's pretty obvious who would win this.
To be honest, I would have rather seen more than just a try to get one Uso out by the other, then them going back to laughing and working together. Goes back to one of my biggest complaints within the WWE at the moment. Not saying they need to hate each other, just saying that they're happy and boring!
Winner – Darren Young
Backstage Segment > B
I love the sibling rivalry between Steph and Shane, but it's because they are sibs. Rollins was good here too, but nothing as good as Shane and Steph's simple banter.
Backstage Segment > C
I thought Sheamus was going after the new generation. Ryder isn't the new generation, yet Sheamus was all over him. Is Sheamus just going the route of the bully? Is he doing this because they have no direction for him? Are they doing this because he's not American? I see all these things happening, and because of that, I'm really annoyed with Raw already. I know they are in a holding pattern for next week, but they still have to deliver us a solid show for the ratings. So far I've not been impressed. Yes, the ratings will be up next week and a few weeks after, but this show is hurting the WWE in my eyes already.
Sheamus vs Ryder > C
Why is Ryder getting screwed at every turn? I honestly am starting to feel bad for Ryder these days. It was almost better when he wasn't on Raw, but winning the IC Championship and losing it so quickly, then being the jobber to everyone is just icky. It's leaving a bad taste in my mouth, worse even than Sheamus' lack of personality.
Winner – Sheamus
Breezango vs Lucha Dragons > B
Why is Breeze still on the roster and Sandow isn't? I'm so confused and disgusted. But then Kalisto made me a very happy WWE fan. That man should be closer to the top of the roster than he is. The man hits moves Rey never even thought of, and I was a huge Rey fan from his debut in WCW. Yes, Breeze and Fandango can go in the ring, but nothing compared to Sin Cara and especially Kalisto, and while I know Lucha Dragons cannot win all their matches, I hope they, especially Kalisto, gets a much better push after the Draft because he deserves it.
Winners - Breezango
Rollins Report > A+
I love when the WWE actually gets creative in what they're doing and using this split interview is fantastic. Rollins is the perfect person to play this straight, and I giggled through much of it. He's better than most the politicians we've been seeing lately. The more Rollins does, the more he shows that he can do almost everything.
Ambrose talking about being suspended or going after other sports was fantastic. Further, the way he delivered it was beautiful! He was Ambrose, but so ON, I was blown over! Quite possibly the best Ambrose promo I've seen, and that's saying something! Wow, just wow! There's so much I could say about this promo, but it's one you need to see for yourself. Just go watch it and soak of the glory that is Ambrose, and his chemistry with Rollins.
Backstage Segment > A-
Owens being a wimp backstage, especially about Sami, is hysterical. I love that Steph stayed in her heel roots and sided with Owens and had the refs go out to get Sami out of there, even though he went out too soon and got into it wish Sami out there and acting like he wanted to fight with Sami after Sami was being dragged away.
Backstage Segment > B
While McMahon looks good, I wonder how his health is doing. I know he's become a caricature of himself, but something in his eyes has me more worried than not. I hope I'm wrong, but he seemed like he was making sure he got his lines right and looked the part, than being something real.
Owens vs Cesaro > A-
This match started really great, possibly the greatest match on Raw tonight, and it's not the main event, even though they could more than hold their own in that slot, and they put a commercial right in the middle, so we have to go to WWE Network to see what's going on. I know that works for some people, but not for everyone! I was (badly) trying to do CJ's job with the news during Raw this week, and (failing miserably) therefore didn't have the time to do everything I needed to get done and catch that part of the match. It's just not feasible for everyone to see it, and we pay enough for DISH that I shouldn't have to find the App to get the whole match!
On the other hand, this match was exactly as I said it would be, one of the best of the night, and could have been the main event because these two are just that good. These two have such great chemistry, and they're some of the best on the roster, so they just give us all they can. I'm blown away that they're not right up there with Rollins and Ambrose. Honestly, Sami should be there too, but McMahon doesn't think he's big enough. Look at Rey, and realize the reaction Sami gets from each and every (awake) crowd!
Winner – Owens
Backstage Segment > A-
Is this the same AJ who could barely get his promos out in TNA? No clue what happened, but this man is eloquent, well-spoken, and charismatic. Gallows is great, and Anderson can talk too. The Club is solid all the way around.
O'Neil vs Slater > C+
I'm a huge Slater fan, and have been since early on, and while I wasn't an O'Neil fan, I am now. All that being said, much of this match was really blah. Only their personalities kept this thing going, as most of the moves weren't really exciting. The match felt slower paced than these two should be going at in a match of this length, and it wasn't really interesting. I loath to say that about these two, but the Bo-Train was one of the best parts of this match.
Winner – O'Neil
Backstage Segment > A
Sasha is The Boss in all she does because she has more personality than almost anyone else on the roster. She's The Rock of the Women's Division, something the Division has never had. She's the one who should be leading the WD, not Charlotte, not Dana!
Video > A
I've been begging for grit, this is grittier than I could have begged for, and I love it. It reminds me of something I've seen somewhere else, possibly TNA? That's neither here nor there, but what I did see was something much better and more interesting than we've seen in the WWE in a long time. They Wyatt Family fighting New Day with strange lighting, out in the middle of nowhere, using weapons, really looking more hardcore than I thought the WWE would ever be again, and it was fantastic.
Okay, it was a bit more choreographed than most of what they show us, but the location and lighting more than made up for that. Then all the fireflies in sheep masks made it that much more eerie and confusing.
I want to say that I've not seen Final Deletion, so I cannot compare to that, though I know many of you did. I'll be watching it this week and will put in something comparing the two in the next RIB.
Enzo & Cass vs The Club > A-
Cena always needs help, but rarely runs out to help other people. I'm glad they stated that he wasn't there, so he couldn't run to the aid of Enzo and Cass because I'd have been annoyed if they'd needed Cena and he hadn't shown. That being said, these two teams match up quite well. I would have thought Enzo was much smaller than even Anderson, but they are of a size. And Cass might be thinner than Gallows, but he's still huge in his own right.
And more proof that I write this as Raw goes along here's Cena taking care to save Enzo and Cass after they saved him last week. It's one of the first times in a long time I've heard the fans really chanting for Cena. Won't last long, but it's nice to see that they're willing to chant when he's really doing something good, the way he used to. Now, before that, Enzo was killing it with his eyes as he was sitting on the mat surrounded by The Club. So much good in these teams!
Winners via DQ – Enzo & Cass
Sasha vs Dana > B+
All that Piggy James crap and now McMahon wants Dana to lead the Women's Division? What happened to McMahon wanting swimsuit models in the ring? Not saying anything negative about Dana, just about how McMahon has been running things and his lack of consistency. Further, the more interesting and quirkier women are the ones we want to see in the ring, and I think that's because they have personalities and can wrestle, they're more than just blondes who show off what they have. Now, Trish was more than just T&A, but she had to overcome that, and it was a different era of wrestling. The women now are showing much more fight and creativity than they did back then. Nothing against any of those women, they ushered the way for the likes of Sasha, Becky, Paige, etc. I just worry that McMahon is so set on blonde Dana that he again overlooks some of the best female wrestlers that have ever been in the WWE.
I will admit that Dana is hard hitting and knows how to work the ring, but she's nothing like Sasha and Becky. Those two women have charisma, personalities, and can work the ring with creativity few other have. And then I stopped tending to the Raw Open Thread Discussion and typing away here, and I watched the second half of this match and was quite impressed with both of these women. I need to watch Dana closer, but I still believe that Sasha should be the face of the Women's Division because she really is the best there is in the WWE right now.
Winner – Sasha
In Ring Segment > F
Why do they continue to give Charlotte the mic? I really don't understand why they keep letting her talk! All she does is screams in a monotone, nasally voice. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
In Ring Segment > D
Honestly, I sat back and watched this segment before writing it, because I was expecting something fantastic, a twist that left us with our jaws hanging open. Yet, there wasn't anything fantastic, or any twist. It was just McMahon naming Shane for Live SmackDown and Steph for Raw. But, that they each have to name a GM next week makes things a bit more interesting, especially since if they don't, McMahon will do it for them. There's many names that have come to mind, and I have to wonder if both of them will want Trip to be their GMs, and what will that lead to. And who else could be named GM? I'm hoping that they are fresh pics, with guys like Bryan, Graves, and others being tossed around. Heck, get JBL off announce and have him as Raw GM, would be better than him on the announce table any day of the week!
And then there's the competition between the siblings. I don't care if you break the law, just don't get caught. Now that is quite the line, and quite the poke at a lot that's going on in our world today. So while I wasn't thrilled with the way Raw ended, they set up well for next week, got our minds reeling, keeping us thinking for the future and what other surprises might come.
I have to admit, I hope that Shane gets more freedoms to really change up SmackDown, because it would be interesting to see what could change. There was a huge upheaval when nWo started in WCW, it was a huge change in how professional wrestling was created, pushed, looked at, filmed, wrestled, everything! It was a big change in the game, and led to some of the greatest times in wrestling. That being said, we can look back further to Rock 'N Wrestling and what that did for wrestling! Wrestling wasn't just that thing you didn't admit you watched because some of the biggest stars in mainstream pop culture were involved and showing how much they loved it. That led to the first WrestleMania and so much more. There's been a couple of huge changes, evolutions you might say, in professional wrestling, and I can't help that hope that SmackDown Live will be another one of those. We've been saying that the WWE needs competition to come back to some sort of greatness, and NXT had been giving that competition, but this will be more mainstream, so hopefully it will do something great to bring wrestling back to those who stopped watching for some reason or another, and bring in new fans. I wonder if that internal competition is what led to this Raw/SmackDown re-division and feud between the siblings. Whatever it was, now is the time to make professional wrestling, or sports entertainment (if you must), great again. I can't believe I just wrote that, but I'm so over some of the boring lack of creativity they've been showing us for so long!
Queen of WNW