The best lines of the night weren't PG, and therefore, I couldn't use them as my title here on WNW. I love that WNW is (mostly) PG, and I try to uphold that bar most of the time, but this episode of Raw was as not-PG as we've seen in a long while, and because of that, some of the best lines we've heard in a long time were uttered. Not saying that the WWE can't be PG and relevant, but they sure haven't seemed to be both since they became PG.
I'm sorry this is so late. I wrote most of it during Raw last night, but my daughter Ellie came to visit and I've not seen her in almost a month because she went to Alaska with her cousin, so I thought it more important that I spend some time with her before I got this out. Thanks for understanding.
We Stand With Orlando > A+
The WWE started Raw as they should have, and it was beautiful. I just this week watched the 9/13/01 SmackDown on the WWE Network and was moved by how they handled it, so I knew they would step up and start Raw correctly.
In Ring Segment > A&D+
Mean Street Posse reference about Kofi's old lady shoes. And then the vibrator comment! “I'm the only one who blows my girl!” They really went there, and they sold it. I know some of the guys in the Open Thread Discussion weren't impressed, but I was blown away (pun intended) by how they went there, and how natural it was for them to go there. I want to see more of them facing off on mic, because Vaudevillains were a wet blanket that almost destroyed all that was fun in this segment! Okay, English has a beautiful voice, but them on mic, then The Club on mic, I was over it. That's why this segment had two grades, one for the faces, one for the heels.
New Day & Enzo & Cass vs The Club & Vaudevillains > B+
This match should have been better than it was. I expected a lot more from these guys, but that being said, I'm excited to see what they will do in the ring in a Fatal Four Way for the Tag Team Championships. What I will say is that I'm shocked there weren't any major breakdowns between the teams, and I'm glad there wasn't, because that's so cliché going into a big match like they have scheduled at MITB.
Just when I think it's only Wood who is nasty, Big E gets to grinding and slapping on Gotch's posterior. Other than that, I cringe whenever Gotch throws a move. His work is really stiff, to the point of being dangerous. We saw that in the ring with Enzo, and watching him since I'm more and more worried about his work. That being said, I've liked Gallows since he first debuted as Fester, and still think he has a huge upside for the WWE. He's got a great look, great moves, and his charisma was so lost in TNA. Adding I Anderson and they are quite possibly the team to be reckoned with for years to come. Though through that, Cass will be WWE WHC.
Winners - Heels
Video > B
Okay, Backlund is normally horrible, but the one set of clothes, and his delivery of that and the bow-tie comments were fantastic!
Backstage Segment >
I love the banter and chemistry between the sibs are so great, but Steph's comment about first Teddy, now this! I really thought Kane would have something gross in his case, but his resume and letter from Taker? That's funny, but funnier is Steph leaving it to Shane. The chemistry there was wonderful.
Backstage Segment > D-
Sheamus, as I said, so little personality and charisma. Last week I mentioned two guys I thought had the look and ring work but weren't able to get over because of lack of personality and charisma. One person got one name correct, another person threw out four names, and two of them were correct. Aaron got Test, Snap got both Test and Billy Gunn. I truly believe that if either of them could have broken through to the fans, because I never saw them do it on their own, only with guys like Road Dogg and Albert carrying them. Both were big guys, great looks, solid in the ring, but little to no personality, charisma, and absolutely no character that mattered to anyone watching. I honestly wonder if Steph was supposed to marry Test on WWE TV until they saw that he really was a dud and couldn't get over without paying the fans to care. They tried to have Test as a big part of the Alliance, and while his size was a factor, his presence wasn't. And then there's Billy who was great with Road Dogg, but when RD's personal demons got in the way, Billy was on his own and just couldn't get anywhere. The most personality he showed was when he was looking out for his good friend Chyna, and that worked better than anything he did – other than DX – and I think that's because who he was, and he really was looking out for his good friend Chyna.
That's what I see in Sheamus. He has a look, his ring skills are solid, but he has such little charisma and character that he just cannot seem to reach what should be his potential. I don't know if he's milquetoast in his real life, or if he just cannot break through to the fans, but there's something there that's really not working. If it was, we would be seeing him at the top quite often, not just when there's no one else who can carry the WWE WHC at any particular point. Yes, that's harsh, but it's how I feel.
O'Neil vs Rusev > D
So much for an actual match. I was thrilled to see O'Neil back, had hoped that he was out of the doghouse, but I guess not. And he broke an LED piece on the stage, I'm sure he will be in trouble for that as well! All that being said, Rusev did look that much stronger, something he needed.
Ambrose Asylum > B+
Ambrose started this well, then it really fell apart. It took too long for the 'Party pooper!' chant to catch on. It took too long for much to catch on. The fans want to like Rollins, and they hate Reigns, so they're not following this as the WWE wants them to. “Bluetista!” chants are great, but not as great as the Bluetista action figure is that much better. If only they had packaged it with the Bunny, I'd have shelled out $30 for that on the spot.
But, as hard as Rollins tries, the fans like him and want him to be face. And there's no question that Reigns cannot carry himself as Cena. He's not the top face who gets all the heat, he doesn't have the intestinal fortitude for it. As great as Ambrose is, he's not being shown off as great as he is here. He can go hard on mic with Rollins, but he's being made to look the fool here. Reigns is the fool if he thinks it's not X-Pac heat, but the WWE are fools for not pushing Ambrose to the top.
But the best part of this was Ambrose talking about winning the MITBLM and taking out whoever wins the WWE WHC at MITB! That's what we all want to see, and after seeing a solid feud between the three, they need to come back together. The Shield, like New Day, are two factions I see coming back together numerous times, like the two best, DX and nWo. I see The Shield being one of those top factions talked about into the next decade and on.
Backstage Segment > B
Steph really has it out for Ambrose. I know it's good to have the boss hating on you in the WWE, but there's not been much of an upside for Ambrose since Shield broke up.
Paige vs Charlotte > B-
Paige gets the jobber entrance and wins? I have to admit I like seeing someone good take out Charlotte, even if it was because Dana cost Charlotte the match. I also really enjoyed Nattie and Becky on announce. Yes, I follow Nattie's cat on Instagram
Winner – Paige
Backstage Segment > B
Cesaro is trashing Sami? I know McMahon doesn't like Sami, but this was a whole other layer of crap! These two were in ROH together, are friends and I know that the best storylines are between friends with a bit of reality in them, but if we are looking at reality, Cesaro only really was allowed to have a chance as of recently. Before this McMahon changed his character every three weeks when things 'weren't working' when in reality, he was just starting to get over each time they changed him up. He didn't ooze charisma from day one, but he did catch on quickly. This is an issue I have with McMahon when it comes to him being a creative genius. Yes, he has done a lot of great things, but with a lot of great people around him. Now that he's getting older, and the people around him are either older or the age of his children, he won't let go and let times move forward. He doesn't have the best grasp on what the fans want, and has proven that with Reigns, but also proving that with guys like Sami, he's not always right!
Backstage Segment > B
Charlotte wasn't screaming here and was much better. She so obviously was the popular girl in school and knows how to dress down someone who doesn't do as she was told. I was having flashbacks to my worst nightmares of what high school could have been if I'd noticed what was going on outside my own little bubble. Charlotte was actually kind of solid here. If she could channel whatever it is that made this work into her regular promos, she might not be thought of as the worst on mic.
Sheamus vs Ryder > D+
Squash much? Yes, Ryder did get a little bit of offense in there, but not enough to matter. I'm so over these wrestlers without personality getting pushed over...well, Ryder doesn't have a lot of personality either, but at least he has some!
I really like Crews, but I worry about his personality too. He's like Bobby Lashley on happy pills (Liz, that's for you). His smile is so endearing, but he needs to be more than a great body, a great wrestler, and a great smile. The man needs to make us feel something, and he hasn't done that yet. It's time for the hard truth, he needs to watch the WWE Network and learn how the greats got over and figure out how to make it work for him.
Winner – Sheamus
Backstage Segment > A-
Owens ratting ADR out? That's funny. Calling airport security on ADR? Hysterical! But even better is Owens going all French Canadian on ADR's bum! I grew up in one of the two largest French Canadian communities in the USA, and then moved to the other in my 30s, so hearing Canadian French puts me right back to my childhood and put a huge smile on my face. The two of them spouting in different languages was too hysterical, but I wonder why Paige was able to get to the arena and ADR wasn't, because I'm sure they were traveling together!
Cesaro vs Sami Zayn > A-
This makes me want to pull up ROH matches between El Generico and Claudio Castagnoli. Sadly I can't just pull it up on the WWE Network, but I should be able to find one, or more, on YouTube after Raw is over. This match was destined to be the match of the night, but I also thought Sami's match last week could be decent, even though he was in the ring with ADR, and look what a $u(& up that was!
Holy crap! They let Sami win this! I'm shocked and blown away! I know it took a while for McMahon to realize that Cesaro is good, and to have Sami go over after what happened last week on Raw has left me blubbering over my waffle – in a good way.
Winner - Sami Zayn
Contract Signing > A
President of the Bitch Club? Gotta love it. Cena played this really well, and AJ did a great job of working off Cena, being indignant, and pissy. This is some of the best we've seen AJ on mic. It seems to me that all the issues AJ had on mic in TNA are quickly going away. No clue why he struggled so much there, but it seems to be there was a real issue if he couldn't get it in gear there, but has come together so quickly in the WWE, and in front of more fans than TNA has ever seen live!
I love how Cena set things up, it was a huge change of pace from the typical contract signing, showed that side of Cena that we actually enjoy much of the time (edgier), and pushed AJ to be that much stronger. It was also great that there wasn't any fighting. Too many of them end in a fight just because people think they should. This was different, creative, made sense, and was well executed, something I can rarely say about a contract signing.
Owens & ADR vs Lucha Dragons > D+&B+
I swear the WWE reads what I write (which they do, but that's just them monitoring internet wrestling sites) and does things just to piss me off. Taking one of the best in the company today and teaming him with my most loathed of wrestlers. I'm honestly not sure I can come up with another wrestler (even those who have blocked me on Twitter for challenging what they say) who I dislike as much as ADR. Further, I cannot think of any I dislike on so many levels. He's a turkey and the only reason I can think that Paige is dating him is because he's older and has abs. She's young and we all do stupid things when we are young, I did. I just hope she gets it out of her system and the biggest thing she has to deal with afterward is tattoo removal. The man should never have been brought back to the WWE for any reason, especially knowing that there's guys like Kalisto around who can fill the demographic that McMahon thinks ADR is there to fill. I know the WWE has been doing more of turning down the house mics and piping in chants, I didn't see anyone chanting for ADR, but I heard them. How daft do they think we are? I'm so over ADR and this crap! Yes, I can go on and on trashing ADR all night, but I'm just going to sit here and hope Owens gets more ring time and the win to show ADR up.
I did enjoy KO here, especially having to carry this match and ADR. We all knew they'd win, but KO through it all almost made it worth watching, at least when he was actually working.
Winners – KO & ADR
Backstage Segment > B
This was fun banter between Owens and Steph, but then ADR had to get into it. I am excited that Sami and KO are going to be on announce, they're so much fun.
Backstage Segment > A
Back to that great banter between the sibs. But that Kane went there with the electruction to the testicles! September 2003 and they didn't act like we forgot! That's a HUGE step for the WWE. But they will think we forgot other things from last week. There's such a rich and hysterical history in the WWE, they should play off it when possible, as they did right here!
Ambrose vs Jericho > B+
Cesaro as Special Guest Ring Announcer is just great! He has a lovely voice, so why not let him play more? It's right up his character right now. And ADR on the bell? That's better than he deserves, but as I said, I could trash ADR all night. Sami and KO on announce are fun, especially KO. Interesting that KO helped Sami on announce a bit, even though they're better enemies. Guess that friendship is too strong to be hidden, but I can't say that we haven't seen the same from some of the most famous besties while feuding. I'm thinking specifically of Trip and HBK in their huge feud when HBK returned to the WWE.
Beyond that, Ambrose is great and Jericho did fairly well keeping up with him. I will say that he'd better be good at keeping up if he's not going to be destroyed in the MITBLM at MITB Sunday night. Because Jericho lost here, I actually wonder if he has a chance at winning the match he (is this kayfabe, or real?) he created so long ago. I'd like to say it's just a thought, but they jammed it down our throats for three hours, just like they showed the shortest MITB reigns there were. Does either of those things mean anything? We will find out Sunday night!
Winner – Ambrose
In Ring Segment > C
We all knew that a fight would break out with all six ringside, but this was rather lame. I know they didn't want to do too much going into a MITBLM, but I really did expect a lot more from this six.
It seems as though the WWE is a teeter-totter lately. One episode of Raw sucks, the next is good, followed by sucktastic. There's no continuity and almost no reason to tune in every other week. While the good shows are good, it's not enough to bring the WWE back to what it once was. It's time they really push these guys who have the ability to carry the shows, rather than the guy who isn't ready and is flopping so badly they're afraid to show him on the last hour because he will drive down the ratings. Obviously they're screwing up with a lot of things and we can see it from the outside, how can they not see it from the inside.
Queen of WNW