I honestly don't understand who watches and enjoys Kathie Lee and Hoda, or why they would be brought onto Raw for a segment like they were. The whole thing was a mess, and they got more heat than most of the heels on the show. How did the powers that be think KLG and Hoda were going to be received? Did they actually think the fans would welcome them in any positive way? Makes me think this was McMahon's doing, as he's really out of touch these days, but Trip and Steph should have stopped this before it got so out of hand.
This week I'm being joined by WWENews.net writers Joshua Tucker, and Seth Iser. Seth is one of our newest writers over on WWENews, and I hope you make him feel welcome. I stated to the WWENews writers a few weeks ago that if there was a segment that jumped out at them during Raw that they absolutely had to write for the RIB, all they had to do was IM me, and let me know which segment(s) before Raw is over. I was impressed to see a couple of segments were specifically jumped on, though I jokingly jumped on Seth to write about Kathie Lee and Hoda before the segment started. We all knew it was going to be a curfuffle, but I don't think the WWE realized just how pissed off the fans were going to be when they came out. This is one of those moments where McMahon is so out of touch that he should have been overruled. The heat was so bad that I almost felt bad for KLG and Hoda – ALMOST!
In Ring Segment > B-
While visually this was interesting – Rollins stomping around the ring, Cena out after him, Ambrose showing up behind Rollins in the stands, more fighting and Ambrose flying – but beyond that, there was more talking without anything really coming of it. I was not overly impressed with this segment, other than watching Ambrose and Rollins, but they can only carry a segment so far when they're carrying three other people.
When Steph came out in leather (possibly pleather) pants, I was hoping that she would go all out heel, as she usually does, yet she didn't. It seems as though The Authority hasn't been very authoritative lately.
Dusts & Cesaro vs Usos & Ziggler > B
How many weeks in a row has Cesaro tagged with the Dusts? The addition of Ziggler helps this, but just barely. We've seen these two teams face each other almost every week, and it's getting old. The addition of extra wrestlers only change things up so much, but not enough to really make things exciting. The Tag Division is basically these two teams right now, even though Rowan and Harper are sitting off TV twiddling their thumbs. I really don't get this, and the fans are getting bored because of it. If feel bad for the Rhodes brothers and the Uso twins being stuck in this rut together, because it's not their fault. Their ring work is great, and they try to change things up, but like the forever feud of Orton and Cena, there's only so much they can do when going into the same match week in and week out.
Winners – Usos & Ziggler (12:22)
In Ring Segment > F-&B+
As a wrestling fan there are very few times where I sit here with my jaw agape with the veins popping into my forehead in absolute disgust and rage. God bless Adam Rose for being a professional there having to do a tough job in bringing in these two…I don’t want to slander the term ladies but those two Neanderthals to the ring in one of the most sickening displays I’ve ever seen knowing full well that WWE wasted that time that could’ve went to maybe the ENTRANCES for their CHAMPIONS in the previous match…but instead…we had to see time given to KLG and Hoda drunkenly disrespect every wrestler who has ever laced up a pair of boots by not taking it seriously…maybe even half way drunk or completely drunk. I'm not recapping their dialogue...because neither of those two deserve it just because it stunk of 'let's just say something to get some cheers even though we think we're above all these people' in the condescending sort of way...and that's not in terms of a character, either. They ‘danced’ and I put that word in quotes because I wanted to vomit at their dancing…they broke their wine bottles over themselves…which is a fitting metaphor because I felt the sanity break in my brain even further watching this horrific piece of garbage continue to die a miserable death over the airways. Kathy Lee and Hoda then followed it up with the worst trust fall in history and I was just hoping the rosebuds would be lemons and let them splat on the floor so I can at least get one laugh…but no…they just went off in their marry way laughing…wasting all of our time on a wrestling program by making a mockery of EVERYTHING. WWE has put out more offensive programming in terms of taste but in terms of slapping the boys and girls in the locker room as well as all of us in terms of deliberate time wasters…this is way up there. These two should NEVER be welcomed back ever again on WWE programming for that horrendous display. Again…God bless Adam Rose…the bunny and the rosebuds for having to do this. This wasn’t the mainstream media attention they wanted…and judging by the mockery and crap they’ve gotten over twitter and hopefully more…they’ll get the message that what they put on in this segment was absolutely unacceptable.
(The B+ was for Adam Rose and the Rosebuds for their professionalism through it all.)
DEP! > B+
I'm enjoying these Wyatt Family videos, because, as I said last week, it's going back to where they were so great in the beginning. I'm excited to see where this could be going for Harper.
Bo vs Henry > D-
The only redeeming factor for this match was that Henry didn't have to carry Bo through the paces of his finisher again. What a steaming pile of excrement! I know it's not winter yet, but this segment left me so cold that the excrement would absolutely be steaming.
Winner – Bo via Countout (1:53)
In Ring Segment B+
I was quite confused as to why Ambrose came out at this point. Yes, he did a great part of carrying Raw, and only was out Superstared by The Rock (according to some), but this segment came out of the blue and seemed rather obscure. Yes, it made sense later on, but the reasoning behind it in the first place didn't make a lot of sense to me. Ambrose isn't one to care what people think about him, or where things are going with those around him. He's Lunatic Fringe, not feelings-boy with neediness and worries.
After the ball got rolling, I really enjoyed how things went down. The way Cena wasn't overly into it all, wasn't planning on staying, but then ended up giving Ambrose his props and being completely lost over the hot dog thing. It set up quite well for later, even if it seemed screwy to start.
The one thing that left me grinning from ear to ear was the fan reaction to Cena. Jesse said he's heard it before, but this was the first time I've heard the fans singing along with Cena's music. I was brought back to the era of 'Angle sucks!' each time he came to the ring, because his music was so conducive to it, no matter whether he was heel or face. The singing of, 'John Cena sucks!' with his music was fantastic, as was the way he handled it. It's so rare that Cena is at all phased by the heat he gets. Yes, I have seen him obviously shaken and hurt, but for the most part, the man smirks, laughs, and moves on. I give him monster props for his upbeat attitude, and I cannot wait to see if the fans continue to sing to Cena's music!
Video > B+
Ambrose getting on that train was great. He was full on in character through it all. Every bit of him was Lunatic Fringe, which made this segment that much better. I also admit I loved that only one person even really looked at the camera that was following Ambrose. Shows you how almost nothing can surprise New Yorkers at this point.
Backstage Segment > B
Trip talking down Cena felt old school Trip, and worked quite well. Honestly, I think Trip came off better here than Cena. He really seemed to enjoy ripping down Cena, and because of that, I think the fans enjoyed it that much more.
Brie vs Summer Rae > D+
This was bad enough that the fans were chanting Derek Jeter! It does seem as though it's the crappy Divas match of Raw gets the wonky chants of the night, and honestly, Derek Jeter was less wonky than many. It's Brie I feel most bad for in all this. Okay, I feel bad for Nikki too, but it's so painful to watch her on mic that I feel less bad for her. I don't know if that makes any sense, but it's how I feel.
Winner – Brie (1:56)
Backstage Segment > C+
Eat all the organic, gentle treated, harm-free California fruit that you want, but I have a feeling that you'll be eating a brogue kick later tonight. I think that says all I think about Miz right now! Sandow, on the other hand, had me laughing! It seems as though this role for Sandow was an afterthought, but he is selling it better than Miz!
Swagger vs Kidd > C-
I know that this is all because of TJ's storyline on Total Divas with Nattie, but I think TJ's acting was terrible in this match. I was blown away at how TJ came off last night. It wasn't good, and not because he's being an ass to his wife. TJ is so much better than this, and while I should be thrilled that he's getting TV time, I'm not after that display.
Winner – Swagger (3:24)
Backstage Segment > B+
I miss E&C and their comic stylings. They are gold on camera together, and it feels as though it's been so long since we've seen them together, even though we can see them at any point, for only $9.99!
Announce Segment > C-
A lot of people have been ripping on this segment, and some have been ripping on Reigns for it. Honestly, I feel bad for Reigns. I know that his line, " With the right attitude, focus, and positive attitude, it will happen sooner, rather than later." was a total mess, but he just recently had major emergency abdominal surgery! He looked washed out, and his eyes looked spacy, but that's not unusual after a surgery like that, to be honest, I'd be shocked if he's not still on pain meds of some sort.
The ball was dropped on this segment, there's a number of fingers to be pointed, maybe they should let Reigns recover, then return with a bone crunching flourish when he's ready.
El Torito vs Mini-Gator (Hornswoggle) > D-
Normally I enjoy comedy segments but this just fell flat. WWE is flat out missing the boat on Heath Slater. Slater has talent and has a lot of charisma. He somehow manages to make the most out of awful segments and gimmicks and he’s done it again with Slater Gator. The Crowd was very right with the “This is Stupid” Chants. The only reason I didn’t give this segment an F was I laughed at the He’ll Drown Heath Slater line when Mini-Gator did the gator roll on him. The match wasn’t very much to comment on as it was very short and we know Hornswoggle and El Torito can put on decent matches, so I was very sad at that fact. But maybe this match was setup to be so bad to lower the fans expectations so when Rock came out they’d pop even more.
Winner – El Torito (2:17)
In Ring Segment > A
I'm giving this segment an A because compared to much of the rest of the show, but not all of it, it was fantastic. The Rock has almost always been one of the best talkers in the company, so bringing him back usually brightens up the show. Yes, giving him a guitar and putting him on mic isn't the best thing in the world, and matching him with Foley only makes him better, but compared to almost everyone on the roster right now, The Rock is better on mic. Okay, so it seems as though he's getting paid per catchphrase, but he's rarely around, so he has to get them all in! Honestly, if I was there live, I'd want to hear them all from him, so I cannot knock him too much for that. He garnered chants of, "Holy shit!" and "This is awesome!" from the fans in Brooklyn for a reason.
As soon as The Rock's music hit, I was impressed that the WWE didn't advertise The Rock for Raw. Yes, we knew that both him and Jericho were in town, but it's bloody NYC, not like they were in Portland, Maine (not that they tape ANYTHING up here), so why would we think that The Rock would actually be appearing on Raw? That's a great surprise, something that the WWE hasn't been able to pull off in a VERY long time. I have to say that I'm quite impressed with how it was handled, and that there weren't any major slips going in.
After it was all said and done I thought about it. Have any of the Divas on the roster been in a segment with The Rock? There's been such a turnover since TTC was around full time, and because of that, I think that Lana is the only Diva on the roster to have worked with The Rock. I give her huge props for how she handled herself with The Rock, especially when he was talking about her beauty. Of course, typical Rock, he had to slap her down after building her up, but the way he slapped her down was just fantastic! And Lana worked it really well.
Heck, not just Lana, Rusev sold things fantastically too. These two have been getting serious heat for their anti-American rhetoric, but with The Rock is the first time I remember them garnering, 'Asshole!' chants. So while Rusev had to work to send himself over the top rope from The Rock's final blow, he and Lana worked really well and held their own against The Rock.
Fox & Paige vs AJ & Emma > B+&D+
While it was nice to see Emma back, I worry that she was only out there to be the joke and to take Fox's stiff ring work. The drama going on around this match, and the ending from Paige were great, the rest sucked sweaty, athlete's foot infested toe jelly. Okay, maybe the last Divas match was closer to that, but this really was close. Fox is dangerous in the ring, but because she's good – not great like AJ – at being a crazy chick, it's being overlooked. They did the same with Aksana and look what happened there. Oh, wait, Naomi couldn't look for how long? The first grade is for the drama, Paige's ring work, and Emma's dancing return, the other is for the rest.
Winners – Paige & Fox (2:51)
DEP! > B+
Wait, this one was for Rowan! What's the plan Stan? I'm excited to see what's going to happen from here, even though I'm not sure Rowan is ready to be out on his own, and I'm not sure what's going to happen with any of them, because they haven't been seen on Raw, other than in these videos, for a couple weeks.
Happy Birthday! > A+
I'm thrilled that the WWE and Bruno Sammartino mended fences and are doing so well. Wishing him a happy birthday was very sweet.
Miz vs Sheamus > F
Damien Mizdow during match rating A+
Match Rating C-
I give up on WWE building any respect with their championships. They are nothing more than props anymore and have nothing special about them. For no reason The Miz who should by all logical reasons should still be feuding with Dolph over the IC championship is suddenly feuding with Sheamus with no reason ever given for it other than Mizdow being put in a match with Sheamus to punish him for speaking out of turn to The Authority. The best part of this whole segment was Mizdow mimicking everything The Miz does in the ring. It’s far more entertaining than anything that Miz himself is actually doing on this run. Miz is another guy that has had the ball dropped on him. Miz is a very talented heel that is being made to look weak and is saddled with a really bad gimmick that is just not working. I hope something big comes out of this for Sandow and I hope that is a face turn cause I think he’d do well in that role. The biggest thing of all is how sorry I feel for Sheamus. He is a work horse and a main event guy put has been lost in the shuffle in a stagnant face run that has nowhere to go because of the unification of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He needs something to freshen up his character and a Heel Turn would probably be best though the company has a serious lack of faces right now. Another thing he could be doing is facing Lesnar. A match between them would be good and Sheamus because of his brawling style would be a believable match-up for conquering the 1 in 21-1.
Winner – Miz (10:17)
In Ring Segment > A
KLG and Hoda were almost booed out of the ring, and Joan brought tears to our eyes. I guess it shows just what jokes KLG and Hoda are, and how well respected Joan Lunden is. I grew up watching Joan on GMA, and to see her in such a condition is heart wrenching. Joan had tears in her voice from the start, but gave such a strong and heart wrenching speech that I was impressed that she got through it without actual tears. Cena coming out to huge her and walk back with her was so sweet and endearing. Some might think it was too obvious and staged, but to me it just seemed like Cena being Cena.
Backstage Segment > B+
Bag of yogurt? I've heard Cole called a lot of things, but this is the one I see sticking with me for years to come. I so miss Edge's way of turning an insult! I was so excited for E&C Reeking of Awesomeness, and watched it as soon as I got settled into bed after Raw.
3-1 Handicap Match – Cena vs Kane & Orton & Rollins > D&A-
What was up with that DQ? The first time Kane came in illegally the ref called for the DQ, when the heck does that ever happen? To me that's the epitome of bad booking! We all know that heels get away with tons of illegal moves in a match until finally the ref has had enough, or the face does something to cause the DQ. To have the ref all it that quickly showed me that one of two things happened. 1- They didn't know how to end this mess so that Ambrose could arrive with his hot dog cart, or even when to have Ambrose arrive with the cart. 2- The Rock went way over time, so they had to rush this to get it all finished before they ran out of time. Honestly, I'm willing to bet it was The Rock going long that made this match seem so disjointed and screwy. I'd have rather seen The Authority beat Cena down hard for two minutes and cause a serious DQ where they all do something really horrible to Cena than what they gave us.
Ambrose did save it all with the hot dog cart. I'm done talking about how great Ambrose is, how he's so on with every bit of his being. We see it every week, and I talk about it every week. I feel like a broken record, and I'm so sick of saying the same things. So, what I will say is, I hope Ambrose didn't get any mustard on that beautiful gray leather jacket. If any of it sunk in, it will stain terribly, and mustard is one of the most noxious smells in the world. I think that's why I was so happy that Orton was the one who was doused in mustard.
Winner – Cena via DQ (4:40)
In Ring Segment > B
Finally it feels as though The Authority is doing something proactive, rather than running around picking up the dog's breakfast that Rollins has been making of things at every turn. While there should be some issues and backsliding with The Authority from time to time, and the good guys should have the upper hand now and then, but it has been looking like John Cena and Dean Ambrose have been running things and The Authority has been trying to place catch up each week, not being the strong heel power they should be most of the time. I will say that I love that Steph is the one who has things in control the majority of the time, she is her father's daughter, and that's coming through quite clearly. Finally they are pitting their two adversaries against each other, making them fight things out for the honor of trying to destroy Rollins in HIAC, and setting up two solid matches for the PPV. This is great for Ambrose's career in that he'll be in the ring with the face of the WWE in a singles PPV match. This can only help elevate him. The only question is, when will Ambrose dethrone Cena? Only time will tell!
If TPTB in the WWE don't get the hint that the fans love Sandow that much more than Miz and Sheamus combined, then they really need to watch Raw and evaluate who the fans were cheering for beyond Ambrose, The Rock and Derek Jeter! Honestly, I was shocked and impressed with how the fans reacted to Sandow, though I've loved him from word one. I think in this character he's showing that he can do anything, like his former partner Cody, and that will help him in the long run. Miz, on the other hand, was visibly shaken from the fan reaction, and his work suffered for it. How I could tell, I'm not sure, but his money-maker looked upset.
Hopefully things will pick up from here, because other than a few moments, this Raw was one of the worst we've had in a long time. I think McMahon needs to really look at the issues and decide if he's a big part of the problem. Maybe it's time for the kids to run Raw for a few weeks and see what happens. I think many of the problems are that McMahon is out of touch and won't let go, and the issues there are making Raw harder and harder to watch.
Queen of WNW
KB, Seth & Joshua