I have to apologize for being out the past couple weeks. I had to focus on my small business so that I could attend a show/sale over the past weekend. And now I have to apologize for this RIB being shorter than normal. I caught the Birka plague at the medieval event where I showed and sold my weaving, so I didn't end up watching Raw when it aired live. Since we no longer have DISH, and I cannot DVR Raw off from Sling TV, I have to watch it on Hulu, so anything that doesn't get covered here it's because that's what the WWE cut out before sending it to Hulu. On that note, I'm going to jump right in and write the RIB straight through as I watch Raw, but be warned, I'm more medicated than usual, so if anything gets wonky it's because I have the plague. (It's my takeoff of Monty Python's, 'I've got a cold.' which is a long running joke in my house.) Lastly, I should mention that I only vaguely remember part of the Royal Rumble, but I was awake for most of the Royal Rumble Match.
EDIT – I hope to never have to do this again. It felt as though Raw was so ripped apart, like I missed so much not watching it live, especially with my favorite WNW readers. I will work hard to make sure it doesn't happen again, because it's not cool for all of us.
In Ring Segment - B
The start of KO on announce was a bit Enzo, but I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay with is KO's yelling. Maybe it's because my head hurts already, or maybe because he needs to be showing as more heel than Reigns, who was very much the heel at the Royal Rumble. Though, if Taker can work WrestleMania, Reigns has to be the heel.
Huh, I was wondering if there was a solid reason for Jericho to last so long in the Royal Rumble Match, other than teasing that he might win. Jericho was my very first pick for this past Royal Rumble Match, the first on my white board, and still the only Raw entrant that made it to my whiteboard. When Jericho hangs up his boots, he might be one of the most well-rounded Superstars in history. When it's to that point, he should be the one to headline that HoF.
And then there's Strowman who I think could have won the Royal Rumble Match and done well with it, even though he's so new to the WWE roster. I think he could have handled that win. Further, I would have no issue if he won the Universal Championship against KO on an episode of Raw. It seems like it's been forever since someone won a big one on Raw or SmackDown, so why not throw a huge wrench into things while we are on the Road To WrestleMania? To me it's better than the so much obvious that we've seen lately, specifically Roman Reigns.
Holy shit! I love Foley's suit! I really want to know who made Foley's suits, because they deserve huge props for their plaid matching! I have a huge bolt of wool plaid that I need to make a medieval dress out of, and I've tried to get numerous people to make it for me so I wouldn't have to match the plaids. I have no takers, so I'm going to blog the making of this dress so that people really understand what it takes to match plaids, and why they need to be matched. You know you've looked at someone wearing plaid pants and the plaids didn't match, one hip looks higher than the other. That's on a normally healthy person, now imagine trying to get plaids to match on a body that's in the condition of Foley's! Normally I only blog about my weaving, but something like the number of pieces this dress will have, it's worth blogging about, and when I get there, I'll share it here to show just why I'm so impressed with Foley's suits.
Jericho vs Sami Zayn > B
And since I'm on a clothing rampage, the one thing that really hurt me not writing the RIB last week was these tights on Sami. They are beautifully cut and put together. The SZ that forms when his legs are together is a thing of beauty. The plaids match up beautifully as well. The problem comes in at Sami's crotch. No clue who made them, and while the detail is great, the crafting of the actual tights holds a lot to be desired. For some reason two moves in and the crotch of Sami's tights are about four inches too low. Anyone who wore tights or nylons know how uncomfortable it is when the crotch starts sliding. I don't understand how someone put so much work into the details but couldn't be bothered to build the tights so they fit Sami correctly. It's so frustrating, and distracting.
Okay, I'll get off the ring gear and pay attention to the match, such as it is. Not saying the match is bad, because it isn't, it's just not fantastic. That being said, I don't know how either of them are standing after the Royal Rumble. I sure as heck wouldn't even want to run the ropes the way I'm feeling right now, and they've done a lot more than I have these past couple days.
I don't know how it happened, but Jericho had been looking rather rough in the ring with his latest return, but he's started to pick up his pace again. He will never be the young buck he was in WCW, but he sure doesn't look as slow and off his mark as he had a couple months ago. Jericho really is awe inspiring in the ring, and on mic. While he'll never be regarded the way SCSA or Rocky is, he should be for the work he's done over the past couple decades. He can work with anyone and make it look really good. Winning or losing, Jericho is a top Superstar and has been longer than anyone else on the roster today.
Winner – Sami Zayn
Video > A
I normally don't review videos here, but this Rollins build has been fantastic. I was blown away by his appearance at NXT, and that he didn't sneak into the Royal Rumble. I'm really excited to see where this is going, and what their plans are. Also, the production crew deserves huge props for their work with this piece.
Backstage Segment > B+
KO whining at Steph was very funny. How he could look anywhere but her amazing cleavage, I don't know, but he appeared to do just that! What does seem odd is that Foley and Steph are on such different pages, yet things haven't really come to a head between them. In some ways I hope it doesn't happen until after WrestleMania, and that's me being selfish. On the other hand, he needs surgery and should be getting that taken care of, not being on Raw each week.
In Ring Segment > A-
Even being banned from the Royal Rumble, I was shocked this didn't go down in some way during the PPV. I love the way Rollins talked to Steph before she came out, and after! He wasn't only eloquent, he delivered well. He was impassioned and not afraid to say exactly what needs to be said. Rollins is one of the best for staying in character, and bringing his character to that next level.
Steph, as always, handled herself wonderfully. She's really great in this role, and she doesn't hold back when it comes to entertaining the fans. She's grown up so much from the McMahon/Helmsley Era, and owns her character.
I was shocked that they went as far as mentioning Steph's kids. That's a line that shouldn't be crossed beyond a comment here or there. Steph handled that quite well, being the proud mama bear she is, even though it's all storyline.
Sheamus & Cesaro & Bayley vs Anderson & Gallows & Charlotte > B&F
I don't know how this worked out, but I really enjoyed Anderson in the ring at the start of this match with Cesaro. No clue why, and it very well could have been Charlotte's distraction and screaming, but Anderson wasn't as stark and boring as I usually find him, even when he's in the ring with Cesaro. Sheamus seemed even more driven in his work with Gallows, making Gallows look a tiny bit better as well.
Cesaro recovered really well from not keeping his balance on the top rope, and managed to hit his mark outside the ring. What did bother me was Bayley getting the three so easily over Charlotte, even though she was beaten down all over the ring at the Royal Rumble. I know it's all in the booking, but this made less than no sense after their PPV match. I know Charlotte had to keep her 16-0 PPV streak going, but this was too quick to look at all believable.
The work was incredibly strong and looked great, it was the ending that garnered the second grade.
Winners – Sheamus & Cesaro & Bayley
Backstage Segment > A-
Foley's green shirt clashes with his green and blue suit, but if he perfectly matched, he wouldn't be Foley! Beyond that, I really like the chemistry between Steph and Foley. It is a constantly changing entity, and he doesn't let her get away with as much as she'd like, so it works well. Speaking of Foley, I watches his first match as Mankind the other day. I'd forgotten how creepy his first segments were, and that first use of the mandible claw on 'Sparky' Hardcore Holly.
Backstage Segment > A-
More petty arguing between the besties. They are so great together. Normally I think that the best talker should be put with those who struggle on the mic, but the banter between these two has made Raw that much more worth watching recently. With the brand split there's been a lot of issues, but these two together is one of the best things to hit Raw in a very long time.
Universal Championship Match – Kevin Owens © vs Strowman -
Strowman still has a lot to learn, and while I still think he could have carried a Royal Rumble Match win, and could handle being Universal Champion heading into WrestleMania, he has a lot of time to fulfill all his WWE dreams. This match was unexpectedly interesting, but there's so many things they could have done here before bringing Reigns out. In fact, you'd think Reigns wouldn't have issue with Strowman winning the Universal Championship because then he can just go after Strowman!
Bringing Reigns out was the stupidest thing the WWE could have done at this point, but I'm willing to bet it was McMahon's idea. I understand why he has such a hard on for Reigns, but he needs to listen to the fans and get over it. I was watching the Royal Rumble Match with a friend who doesn't really watch wrestling, but reads a blog that has some wrestling info in it. She asked why everyone hates Reigns. I explained that he has the look, the size, and the family that McMahon loves, and because of that McMahon wants him to be a top Superstar. The problem is that the fans don't like him as a face, won't cheer for him, and really can't abide by how he's been pushed on us as a face. She then asked why they didn't just turn him heel? I looked at her and smiled. A thirty second tutorial on Reigns and Amanda got it. Sadly, McMahon still doesn't!
Winner via DQ – KO
In Ring Segment > F
Why is The Beast Incarnate on Raw? For so long I was the only one who loathed him being in the WWE, but during the Royal Rumble Match many readers trashed Brock and I felt at home. I continue to say that he is making too much money for very little work, and couldn't care less for the fans. I love his Suplex City shirts, but I'd never buy one as I won't support him in any way, shape, or form. Even Goldberg gives the fans more than Brock, and that's saying something.
Heyman was fine here, nothing fantastic, but he was solid. Honestly, it was hard not to tune him out. Heyman is so great, but he can only do so much with what he's got, and what he's got is bleeping Brock! I'm so over Brock, and in connection, so over Heyman until he is the advocate for someone we actually want to see on Raw.
In Ring Segment > A
It's been so long that I really wanted a twenty minute Trip segment. I used to about cry when Trip got talking and I had to write it live, because he just rambled and screamed. Further he seemed to do it every week, no matter what was going on. I know it's not true, but it sure felt that way. Now, going into this segment, it was already spoiled, as Ellie messaged me about it not knowing that I was sick in bed. I'm still really jealous that she went to NXT and the Royal Rumble this past weekend without me, but as sick as I am, I'd still be in bed after all she did over the weekend. But Trip here was the old Trip, the man who carried the WWE.
Joe looked great out there! I'm so thrilled to see Joe on Raw! Joe deserved the chants of, “Holy shit!” Joe has been favorite of mine since I first saw him on TNA. He looks to be in better shape than ever, and he's exactly what the Raw roster needs right now. I love how enough of the roster (Raw and SmackDown) are indie guys who we fell in love with and thought would never be brought into the WWE, or, if they were, wouldn't be used well. But with Rollins, KO, Cesaro, Ambrose, AJ, and now Joe, there's so much greatness that seems to be used well, not at all the crap I expected they'd have to work through.
Sami and KO really touched my heart with their arm bands. At first I had no clue why Sami had it, and then I saw KO's and it clicked. The area of Maine where I grew up was a huge tourist area for French Canadians. It still is, just not to the point it was when I was a teen, and most of that has to do with the exchange rate. But growing up I was used to hearing Canadian French, and the French Canadian accent that comes out of KO the more riled up he becomes. That blue and white Fleur-De-Lis was part of my childhood, and my heart goes out to those who have been affected by the horrible terrorist attack in Quebec. It wasn't right, and I'm shocked to see something like that happen in Canada. I'm impressed and proud of both Sami and KO for showing their support for those who were injured and killed in that terrorist attack.
Rather than keep on about all the excitement over the weekend and on Raw, I'm going to get this up for your reading pleasure, and plan to be back to normal next week. I also have a few articles in the works, so if there's anything you'd like me to address in an article, please let me know.
Queen of WNW