I have a correction, and apology to make, and where better than right here. Last week I commented on Dana's lipstick smudging all over her mouth during her match. Last night, on Twitter, she told me that it was blood. Of course I now feel horrible about what I said, and I apologize to Dana for thinking it was her lippie smudging all over the place. I hope she accepts my apology, because there was no ill will behind it.
In Ring Segment > A
Bliss is fantastic on mic. The way she talked up, then down Mickie, the way she got into it with Banks, both were top notch. But then with Nia Jax, someone who needs to work on her ring work before she hurts someone badly, both of them were really strong. Nia's looks and simple comments when Bliss was so obviously nervous was fun to see.
But, in the end, it was the work between Bliss and Bayley that stole this segment. Bayley pouted through it all, and Bliss was downright nasty, but to see Bayley snap like that was something I wasn't expecting at all, and I love it!
Bliss, Emma, Nia & Foxy vs Banks, Mickie, Dana & Bayley > A-
Wait, Bliss said she couldn't wait to tag with Nia later, but this match was suddenly created by Angle? Did Bliss say something she shouldn't have in her segment?
The back and forth in this match was fun, but it was Bayley getting the hot tag, and the fans being right there to cheer her on is what made it that much better. Of course everything went to heck in the ring then and everyone got involved, but there were less botches than normal from Dana and Nia, and Mickie's face before she flew out on Nia almost completely won me over. Almost! Her facial expressions up there should be made into memes of some sort, but I'm not the tech type to make that happen. All in all, this was a solid match, and they didn't suddenly make the new Champ lose for no apparent reason.
EDIT – I rewatched this match and I'm not sure where Bayley got that horrendous scratch on her neck!. I hope it heals well and without a scratch.
Winners – Bliss, Emma, Nia & Foxy
Enzo vs Big Gal > C+
On Twitter Missy Hyatt asked if this was the best of a 100 series, and I snorted coffee out my nose. She is so much fun to follow on Twitter. She's industry intelligent, real-world smart, and twists a lovely phrase. I have to admit I wasn't a big fan back in the day, but on Twitter she really shows her spunkiness and true personality.
Other than this becoming the feud that will never end, I like how Gallows and Anderson jumped Enzo and Cass from behind before they were finished with their schtick. It's a change of pace, and that's always a good thing.
Beyond that this was another ugh from Enzo. I'm a huge fan of Zo, but that doesn't mean he should be working the ring. He just doesn't have the sense he was born with, and while he has a great look, and is amazing on the stick, but that doesn't mean he's destined to be a wrestler. Zo would be a fantastic manager, something I know I've been missing in the WWE, and I know I'm not the only one.
Winner – Big Gal
Backstage Segment > B-
TJP has personality? I'm kind of shocked at what we saw here from TJP! He showed some emotion, and worked well taunting Neville, until Neville turned it back on him. The more I see of these two together, the more they grow on me. Though TJP needs a new entrance if he's a heel, because all the bouncy video game schtick really doesn't work for a bad guy!
In Ring Segment > A
Miz commands the fans on mic, but Ambrose has something so different! We all know Miz has total command on the mic, and few can keep up with him, but this segment showed my point that some superstars shouldn't be scripted to within an inch of his life. SCSA wouldn't have been anywhere near as great as he was if he'd been so overly scripted. Same for Rocky, Trip, HBK, and so many others. In the end things need to be tailored to the superstars, and I think Ambrose needs more freedom to show his grit. I also think both Ambrose and Balor would do better with looser reigns, but trying to convince McMahon of that is something that will never happen.
Oh, I also have to mention that it's nice to see a superstar with a long entrance that the fans love. Only a few superstars have been able to get away with it, and Balor is so one of them. The fans are always right there with him, arms flinging into the air, showing that he is absolutely a top superstar, even through the injuries he's had to deal with.
Noam Dar & Kendrick & Nese vs Swann & Tozawa & Gallagher > A-
The work in this match is what I've been wanting from the CWD! They all left it out there and killed it without being corny or silly. Yes, Jack handed out umbrellas before the match, but that was the extent of it. The other thing that I found interesting was how hard the announcers pushed Tony Nese during this match. Personally I was doing the same on Twitter @WNW_Universe, and then was shocked to hear how hard they were pushing him on the show. Now, Nese is a great worker, but he absolutely needs character to build on, and so far the WWE had given us nothing. I know nothing about the man other than he's great in the ring and looks like he could be Sandow's brother. I'll fully admit that is part of the draw for me, but they need to give us more if they expect us to give a shit. Yes, the Cruiserweight Division is getting more character/storyline/feud, but Nese is one who hasn't displayed any of it yet.
Winners – Gallagher & Tozawa & Swann
In Ring Segment > A-
I loves me some Sheamus and Cesaro together, and those jackets! I want on! Further, I want on for Stacy, and a Utilikilt! I just haven't wanted to spend the money on a Utilikilt which he cannot wear to work, and he cannot wear to medieval events, because kilts really aren't medieval, and Utilikilts are absolutely not medieval. Anyway, I really like Sheamus' explanation of why they went heel all over the Hardys. Too often the reason to turn is muddled at best, and downright stupid more often than not, but this was fantastic, and well executed.
Going back to my overly-scripted issues, Matt stumbled over a line, went back and restated his issue. He handled it well, but if they weren't told to follow the script, no matter what, he might have done something less obvious.
I love that the IWC has been waiting with baited breath for the Hardys to DELETE. The chants have been there since they returned, and all they had to do was slash with their arms and it was on like Donkey Kong! What a moment for the fans in attendance!
Backstage Segment > B+
Charley is so tiny! I know Maryse is tall, but still, Charlie is short, like JoJo. It was because of her height that it was obvious that the mic was changing hands as Miz was proselytizing!
I love Ambrose on mic, and him taking over the backstage interviewing is genius. Further, it goes back to my begging for storylines that carry through an entire episode of Raw. I love it when they do this, and even better when it's someone like Ambrose.
Backstage Segment > C+
How many kids? I love Slater, and Crews talking to him about kids, but then O'Neil had to jump in. And while I won't say that Crews was good here, he wasn't as blah as he usually is.
Crews vs Slater > C
Nothing special. Maybe they needed more time, because they're both good in the ring, but this short match didn't hold my attention at all. Further, the selfies in the ring after the match annoyed me then, and made my eyes roll as I write this.
Winner – Crews
In Ring Segment > A
Angle is always great, but Wyatt has been taking his promos to a whole new level, which is a good thing after that debacle we saw at Payback. Wyatt's promos have been better than ever since coming to Raw, which is great after Payback!
Angle looked truly scared looking at Wyatt a few times. Interesting to think that Angle bridged the gap between IRS's generation and his sons' generation, but I think that's why this relationship between Angle and Wyatt will work so well.
Backstage Segment > A-
Ambrose is killing it with these interviews! Love it!
TJP vs A Double > A-
TJP actually looked better than ever in the ring! He really climbed all over Aries, and the way he tied him up in the corner was beautiful! A Double's counter to TJP was unusual, exciting, and something that's almost always missing from the WWE these days. Too many superstars only do certain things in the ring, and since things are so scripted, they seem afraid to react in different ways. I get so frustrated being on the outside looking in, because a few little, tiny even, changes would boost excitement to a whole new level, but it appears as though McMahon has gotten to a point that he's unwilling to change, and it's hurting a lot of people in the process.
Winner – A Double
Backstage Segment > A-
Eat a carb! Normally I say eat a sandwich, but I would absolutely take a donut offered by Ambrose! The chemistry between Ambrose and Balor was stellar, which made this segment that much better.
Backstage Segment > B+
It's been a long time since we've seen a Shattered Dreams Production! Seeing Goldust and R-Truth in there talking to Angle brought back memories!
And then they trolled the IWC. I don't know how many discussions the writers at WNW have had about wins/losses meaning something. Heck, a number of us have had this discussion with Road Dogg on Twitter, but nothing has ever been resolved. So many claim that win/loss records don't mean anything in the grand scheme of things, but in the long run it really can hurt a superstars' overall look in the eyes of the fans. A superstar can only lose so many matches for so long before it looks like the WWE just hates them, no matter the push they appear to be getting, especially when they keep losing in the biggest matches! Think of Big Show's WrestleMania losses. We all know those things stick with a superstar.
#1 Contender Triple Threat Match – Miz vs Rollins vs Balor > A+
I have to admit that I hoped Miz wouldn't win this match, but the way things worked out, it makes complete sense.
On top of the jaw-dropping work in this match, the psychology was astounding. Miz worked the ring as only Miz can do, and his avoiding the fray was well executed.
Just so much greatness, and so much created from one little match. Now there Miz going after Ambrose's IC Championship, Rollins and Joe's feud is continuing, and Balor is in a feud with Wyatt. This match wasn't just great work, but it built so much moving forward, hopefully all six will have great feuds through spring into summer.
Winner – Miz
While Live Tweeting Raw last night I commented on the crazy expressive faces Mickie James made before flying off the corner onto Nia Jax. She actually liked my tweet. I wonder if it's because she realized that she didn't really want to do it once she got up there? Or maybe she didn't realize she'd been making faces up there. Either way, I have to admit it was fun to get a tweet like that liked when I was mostly hoping she wouldn't be upset by it.
Queen of WNW