"When are we going to visit Lanny again?" asked Sam earlier today. When my daughter starts talking about wrestlers, and not local indie wrestlers, as if they're friends, my life is starting to feel really surreal. Honestly, Lanny is such a lovely guy, and will sit and talk to me for as long as he can, it really feels that way. The man really is a genius, living up to his character's name, but he's also very warm and endearing. Since Sam asked, now Lanny's on my mind, and I can't wait to see him again.
Talking about how surreal parts of my life seem, but now it's time to come back to earth. I just want to say that I have stepped back from doing the Live Raw Results. It's something that I've done for over twelve years of my life, and it was starting to turn into a chore. Part of the reason for that is Raw being three hours, but also, my health has started roller coastering again, and I feel as though if I don't step back, I'm going to lose my smile for wrestling. Wrestling is such a huge part of my life, and the last thing I want is to is start to dislike it in any way, shape, or form. I'm not leaving WNW, it's a big part of my life, and I've met some of my best friends here, and I will always be around writing what I think of WWE and wrestling as a whole.
Video > B+
It was great to see Trip and Rollins at Titan Tower, showing off the statues of the best ever. We all know it was a kick in the teeth to at least a hundred men who deserve statues before Rollins, Trip being just one of them – and many others will precede him. All that being said, it was great that they actually stood there with the other statues, and I think it's horrible that I live so close and have never been there. Heck, I live less than two hours from Stephen King's house, a Maine landmark, and I've never been there!
In Ring Segment B
We all knew that Heyman would be in the ring with Brock for his tirade, and he was great, as always, but Brock was right back to lack of personality that he's shown us for the past couple years since his return. I had hoped after seeing Brock in Minnesota that he might have returned to caring about more than money. He was pandering to his home state fans, but more than that, Brock was giddy. Brock showed true emotion, and looked almost as amazed by it all as Bryan does whenever the fans mark out for him. After what happened to him at the hands of Taker, the timekeeper, and Little Naich, I expected to see Brock seething, threatening, throwing things, as volatile as he was after his WrestleMania loss to Rollins! Yet he all we got was Cole telling us how upset he was, because Brock just stood there with that blank look on his face, possibly calculating how much money he was earning for ever second he was actually on WWE TV. I was not impressed.
Now, I know Bo Dallas is the jobber of all jobbers. He goes out to the ring only to be beaten down. The man might have been something in NXT, but he's become such a nothing on WWE TV that on Tough Enough last week they handed off his finisher to Amanda! The Bo-dog is going to be the Aman-dog before we know it. Honestly, I feel horrible for Bo, other than the fact that he is in the WWE, and does actually get airtime on WWE TV now and then. Why anyone, even Bo, would come out to the ring to approach Brock at that point, makes no sense to me. Now, this was the only time we saw passion from Brock, and that's because he was hanging in Suplex City. It's sad that he won't – not can't, but won't – show emotion any time other than when he's working the ring. It's one of the many things about Brock that continues to piss me off. In the Raw Open Thread last night, we were all discussing how Bo looked like little more than a body Brock was working with. He took the suplexes well, but otherwise, it could have been anyone out there. Why start Raw after SummerSlam with the best talker when the two workers actually working the ring show absolutely nothing to the fans.
I have one last little kvetch I have to get out about this segment. Yes, I know Heyman is great at saying anything and making it work, but with so many kids watching the WWE, and I mean young kids who truly believe in their heroes, and all the magic in the world, I don't know why Heyman would say the things he said. Stating that there was no Santa or the Easter Bunny went too far, even for Heyman.
Lucha Dragons vs New Day > C-&A
I have to admit that I wasn't at all into this match. Okay, maybe I have to give Woods props for remembering his middle school trombone lessons, but Big E should never sing! Lucha Dragons have been pushed aside because McMahon has lost any interest in them, even though Kalisto is the closest they have or will get to Rey Mysterio, short of Rey returning to the WWE. That's something I'm not adverse to, if it was for a very short run, and he put Kalisto over in the end, passing the torch to a man who would be able to sell merch if pushed correctly. Yet Lucha Dragons are not getting pushed against New Day. It could work really well for all involved. Or, I thought it would work really well until...
Honestly, when that pyro hit, I was both shocked, not sure what I was seeing, and so used to seeing it in the WWE – watching so much WWE Network – that my mind was split, but there wasn't any fight within my mind. It was very surreal within my mind, looking back. As I wasn't writing the Raw Results last night, I was able to be in the Raw Open Thread Discussion. It was so much fun to be in there with the guys, and the few women who popped in, especially after being in there the night before during SummerSlam. Now, WNW is a PG site, and we work hard to keep it that way, even through the PPV chats, before they were open to the public, not just Premium. But, sometimes, when something huge happens, we loosen the reigns for the chatters to mark out, and I make sure I'm the first one to throw out a cuss, just to alert everyone that it's (briefly) a free-for-all. Things like Sting's first appearance in the WWE, Taker returning at Battleground, etc. The Dudley Boyz's music hit, and I immediately cussed so that the rest could get it all off their chests. It was one of those beautiful moments in the WWE, made that much greater because we know about the bridges between Trip and Bubba Ray, but also because none of us had ANY idea that the would be showing up on Raw, or even if they truly were returning. It was fantastic.
The reason I gave The Dudley Boyz an A for their performance was partially the surprise, but also because they looked great, worked the segment with as much energy as every other segment we've seen them use, in ECW, WWE, and even some of the time in TNA. They worked every moment of their segment to give us the best experience possible. Yes, they were so obviously thrilled to be back in the WWE, seeing people they've worked with for years throughout their career. Heck, Heyman was there! And even more than all that, they hit all their famous moves and moments, gave the fans every bit of what they have, and what we love from them. I'm thrilled that they're back, and they won't get an A each time we see them, but for this segment, they more than deserve the grade.
I wonder if it was Woods who took the 3D this week because he's the one on the roster who's taken the move most recently. I couldn't point to a specific moment that Consequences Creed took a 3D, but I'm sure he did.
Winners – New Day
Video > A+
I have Cena on Today on my DVR, but I haven't seen this whole segment yet. The fact that Stacy's mother came over yesterday and asked if I'd seen Cena on Today shows that it was a heartwarming segment. I have gushed many, many times about Cena's work with Make-A-Wish, and why it's so close to my heart, so I won't go there this week, but I will say that he's amazing in what he does for the kids, especially sick kids, and while I like to complain about his character, I also have to remember that he's the only one who puts out so much for the sick kids.
Backstage Segment >B
I love the looks Trip gives when he knows his character is being fed a load of dung. I wonder if he gets that same look in business meetings when he knows he's being snowed. I'm not sure he has enough of a poker face to not let that slip into his face. Further, I love the loads of dung that Rollins can shovel to get what he wants.
I have to wonder what Rollins' statue is made out of. I'd hope it would be chocolate, but I have the munchies at the moment. (No, not that type of munchies!)
Reigns & Ambrose vs Wyatt & Harper > B+
It seems as though every Raw after a PPV has a rematch that leaves me rolling my eyes. That's how I was feeling about this match, as there really wasn't much different happening, until Braun Strowman appeared. That guy is a monster! Further, he's a monster that could work well in the WWE. Most of the monsters on the roster these days are either old, or so over-paid that they can't be bothered to work regularly.
Braun is going to be a game changer in this feud, and for any others going forward. I don't know how Ambrose and Reigns are going to even the score, or even if they can, but I have to admit that I wish Braun appeared during their match at SummerSlam. Some might say that it would have been too much for one night, but I disagree. I think his appearance at SummerSlam would have meant that much more to the match, and their storyline. Personally the timing for this would have been better the night before, and I don't think anything could change my mind on that.
Winners – Ambrose & Reigns Via DQ
Miz TV > B
Miz really is that much better being an annoying ass and leading 'interviews' than he is actually working the ring. He's so great at pissing off the fans, and really seems to enjoy doing it. And, while I know I've not spoken about his clothing lately, even I'm not sure about the scarf/hood things he's been wearing lately. To me, it's something I might think about wearing to keep warm in the fall, just before the snow flies and I actually have to break out my alpaca socks and heavy winter coat. Basically saying that I'm not sure about it, that's why I haven't commented on it.
I really enjoyed Team PCB on mic together. Paige is endearing, and Becky's was a lot of fun on her little tangent, and taunting Fox, so they pick up the slack for Charlotte. I'm not saying that she's bad on mic, but she is always going to be compared to her father in that way, and she doesn't ooze charisma the way he did in his heyday. He wasn't called Slick Ric for nothing, and Charlotte just doesn't have as much as I'd have thought she would at this point.
I can't say that Foxy saying that she's been in the WWE for nine years is a good thing. Further, in those nine years, she's held the Divas Championship once, and for only 56 days, after winning it in a Fatal 4 Way Match! I know that she was supposed to look like a veteran, but she looked pathetic because she's the third wheel of Team Bella. (As much as I trashed Fox here, I have to say she impressed me with how she worked the ring with the Tough Enough rookies. She worked them hard, but didn't look at all worried going in there with girls who have only been learning bits and pieces from the WWE for ten weeks. I have to admit that Fox earned more respect from me on Tough Enough than she ever did on WWE TV.)
Team PCB vs Team Bella > C-
The WWE keeps talking about the Divas Revolution, but if they don't stop giving us too many Divas in the ring, in the same matches over and over, then the Divas will not have any revolution, and McMahon will end up blaming the fact that they're not bikini models on the failure. We all want to see these women go hard in the ring, and the fact that so many fans are touting the NXT Women's Championship as the best match of the weekend is a great thing – because it really was that epic of a match – shows that these women have what it takes for the revolution.
The problem now is in the booking. Yes, they want to get as many Divas involved as possible, but these 6 Divas Matches are not working! The fans only break down when they're really bored, and this was the match that bored them, and it bored me too. Too many in there, and none of them were Sasha. Also, they need to get the Divas strap in the mix, and soon, or some really ugly signs are going to be appearing. The rumor is that Cena went to McMahon to keep the strap on Nikki longer, and while I cannot state the truth of that rumor, if it's true, I'm disgusted. Nikki shouldn't have been holding the strap before, and with these new Divas, she's the bottom of the mountain for skills, and should have lost it weeks ago. I don't care about AJ's reign, I care about what's going on with the Divas now, and if they don't mix things up, things will crumble fast.
Winners – Team Bella
Barrett & Stardust vs Neville & > B-
So much for their heel team! I know they were only put together for Amell, but I thought they could be a very interesting team amid a strange Tag Division, but I guess they aren't needed with The Dudley Boyz being back. Also, looks as though this feud between Stardust and Neville is nowhere near over.
In Ring Segment > B
I found it so interesting that Stewart wasn't at all a heel to the fans in Brooklyn. He was great in working with the ("What?") from the fans. Stewart started his segment wonderfully, he was ON and worked it. Stewart had the fans captivated, and had a wonderful reason for doing what he did at SummerSlam – even though it was so terribly executed and made it so both main events had screwy endings – he was over like Rover. Then Flair came out and Stewart fell apart. It was as though he was starstruck over the bleary-eyed drunk legend. I know they needed Flair out there for the storyline, but I don't know why he was allowed from gorilla. Flair obviously was stealing shots somewhere, and Trip didn't know it. Previously McMahon has put anything Flair might said on Trip's head, because it's usually Trip who wants Flair on Raw, and is the one willing to put a live mic in Flair's hand.
I thought Stewart's reasoning was sound, and I love that Flair didn't agree and told the haters to shove it. I'm all good with that. Further, this kept Cena from wallowing in self pity. It kept end from crying into his towel for 20 minutes on mic!
I have to admit that I was shocked at some fans calling out Cena for hitting the FU (because when it's out of anger like this, it's absolutely an FU) on Stewart. They said it wasn't the way he should be showing kids how to handle their issues, by attacking someone. Now, you cannot have it both ways. Either Cena should stay face, such as he is, and do all he can for the kids, or he has to turn heel and get it over with, as he's getting more heat than the top heel in the company right now (Rollins). Now, I highly doubt that this FU was Cena turning heel, but this is the best time and the best poised he's ever been. I just worry that if they do pull that trigger, all the fans will still hate him, and find any other reason to crap on the man who has done so much for children (personally and in the ring), and for wrestling as a whole. Only time will tell.
I know almost everyone in the Open Thread was completely disgusted with this segment, but re-watching it, I found it had some charms. Stewart was great to start. Flair told everyone where to shove it, because he knows it will happen, and really seems to want it to be Cena. And honestly, better Cena than Orton! Lastly, I loved that goody-goody Cena hit the FU on Stewart.
Backstage Segment >B+
Cena backstage was also rather heelish. It was quite unexpected, but so well executed because of how short and to the point it was. It really worked for him, and left more questions than answers. That's how I love segments like that leave me feeling, questioning.
Ziggler & Cesaro & Ryback & Orton vs Rusev & Owens & Big Show & Sheamus > B
The fans are not into Big Show, and I think the WWE needs to do something with him, other than let him yell out at the fans, "I'm a damn giant!" Yes, we all know he's a damn giant, but his character needs more than that! He's been heel and face so many times that no one believes him at this point, and it's killed any chance he has of being believable. I really feel for Big Show, and if he's going to stay in the WWE ring for more than a couple more months before retiring, he needs to make a big move. I'm not saying he needs to go for the WWE WHC, because that wouldn't be right, but he needs to do something huge to be noticed again, and stick with whatever that is so he can continue in the ring getting the respect that he really does deserve. Other than the turns, look at Big Show's career. The man has worked with the biggest and best, he's done so many amazing, and sometimes silly, things, but he's always willing to do whatever it takes for the WWE. Well, now it's time the WWE to step up with something great for Big Show. Before The Dudley Boyz, I'd have said that maybe it's time for him to tag again, but that's off the blocks for now, but that doesn't mean there's nothing else he can do. Big Show has been interesting in the past, and I think with a huge move, he can be interesting again, it will just take some real creativity to get him over again, and that man is a workhorse like few others, and he deserves the brain cells to get him over with the fans again, damn it!
Yes, there's more to this match than Big Show, and I have to wonder when they're going to pull the trigger on Summer Rae and Lana. They will need to get I/n the ring and get this over with, but as they're not really wrestlers at the level of Paige, Becky, Charlotte, or Sasha, I think they need a gimmick match. Maybe it would be time to bring back the pudding. They did it for Vickie's last night, so why not? I have nothing bad to say about it, and while they used it too much back in the day – along with evening gown matches, bra & panties matches, pillow fights, and so many others – I think those things should be brought back for special occasions between Divas who are just not up to the level of the best of the best. I'm a woman and I think it's a great idea.
Typical heels cannot keep things together after a loss! Why they'd go after the biggest heel of them all, I don't know, but that cannonball on Big Show was epic! It looked great! So much better than the three man RKO. Who thought that would be a good idea?
Winners – Orton, Ryback, Ziggler & Cesaro
Backstage Segment > B
Going back to my feelings that Braun should have debuted at SummerSlam. They could have expanded upon this Wyatt segment, having him explain that he was her greatest gift, Sister Abigail's black sheep. There could have been an attack or two on Reigns and Ambrose throughout the night, and then this segment, and it would have been fantastic. But, I will say Wyatt was really strong in this segment, better than he has been much of the time.
Backstage Segment > B+
Of course they threw Cena out after he attacked Jon Stewart in the ring with an FU. In doing this they set up for what we thought was the most obvious segment we thought we were going to have to suffer through. Like being tossed out would stop Cena in this mood? I sure didn't think it would, and I thought Cena would be back to cause some sort of issue with Rollins before the end of the night.
Happy Birthday Vince! > A+
I loved how Steph and Trip handled McMahon's birthday. They were not going to follow McMahon's orders about that, and had to show their love for him publicly, even though they knew he'd be pissed and wouldn't come out. That's very much my father, and I did something on his 50th to annoy him as well.
The look on Trip's face when he said, "He is so pissed off back there." was fabby. And, ever being the good daughter, Steph had to say, "Not why we did it!"
I had really hoped that McMahon would stick his head out when the fans were chanting for him, but I guess he just couldn't bring himself to do it. Even so, that break in kayfabe, the show of love from the kids, it touched my heart. Oh, and Trip should never sing again either!
In Ring Segment > A
Knowing what I know now, watching them bring that base with the shroud around it, the one that was supposed to have Rollins' statue in it, I realize that there's no way they would bring it to the ring the way that they did. Further, it had to be strange for Sting to be in there. He had to be crouching, or sitting down in there, because if he was standing and stumbled to the side in any way, he'd have ruined the surprise. The Internet would have blown up by people in the audience telling the world that Sting was in there, well before Sting would be revealed. Just shows how the Internet has changed so many little things that the WWE used to get away with much more easily. Even the way they sneak people under the ring has to be just that much harder.
So, they threw Cena out of the arena, then Trip goes on and on about hustle, loyalty, respect, and attributes it all to Rollins, because he's a winner! The Cena distraction, the build of this swerve, was so wonderfully executed that there was no way anyone but Cena could be within that shroud. At that point, I think we'd all forgotten about the rumors of Sting being in NYC.
Rollins further fueled the fire that it would be Cena under there, and did such a great job of it. Rollins is fantastic, as I said earlier, at shoveling dung. The fake emotion was so well executed as they chanted, "Justin Bieber!" at him was hysterical. He was all about trashing Cena and continue to build everything to look like it was Cena, and in doing so, we were all annoyed at they were building to exactly what we didn't want to see, because the WWE has been that annoyingly daft in the past.
Lucky for us they gave us something that we could only dream about! I honestly never thought we would see Sting strapped in the WWE – but if it was to ever happen, it should be the WWE WHC. It would be only fitting. I'm excited to see them work this storyline, and of course they will cut Sting down because he didn't win at WrestleMania, but that only means he will win the WWE WHC from Rollins at some point. Some in the IWC says it will degrade the title. Personally, I think if it was like Hogan or Flair holding the strap, it would, because they just cannot go in the ring. Yes, Sting is slower than he used to be, but that man can still go like few his age. Further, he doesn't need to hold the strap long. Also, it's not Rollins will never get the WWE WHC back at some point, he's going to be a multi-time WHC, and I'm excited to watch his career in the WWE play out before our eyes. Lastly, Sting can drop the strap to someone unexpected who really deserves the rub from someone huge like Sting. I think that could be the second most important thing about Sting being strapped, behind Sting winning the WWE WHC.
I didn't mention the "We want Sasha!" chants during the body of the RIB so I could address it here. I really thought it was great that the fans wanted to see her, but I'm annoyed at the rumors that are flying around about Sasha and what went down Saturday night after her match with Bayley. I've heard more people than not within the IWC who have claimed that Sasha is being humbled, is in the doghouse, has lost her push, all because of what happened in the ring after she lost the NXT Women's Championship. The only thing I can think is that these are people who don't normally watch NXT, and don't know much history within the WWE. First off, NXT is a place where kayfabe gets broken a lot more than it does on WWE TV. Things are a bit more relaxed because of where these wrestlers are in their careers, but also because their Full Sail fanbase eats that stuff like candy. Further, they were in NYC, and that location means so much – even though they weren't in MSG. Lastly, Triple H was the man who got humbled, his push taken away, and he was in the doghouse when the Kliq did the exact same thing. Hall and Nash were leaving for WCW, so there was nothing McMahon could do to them, and he surely couldn't humble the top guy in the company, HBK, so Trip was the man to take the punishment for the MSG Curtain Call. NXT is run by Trip, and he's not about to humble someone else for something he's done himself.
Now, I know most of you reading this knows all the info I just wrote, but I've encountered so many people who have forgotten, or didn't know, one component of all of that, and were therefore sure that Sasha was being humbled or punished for joining Bayley celebrating her NXT Women's Championship win with Becky and Charlotte. They were the Four Horsewomen of NXT, they have history, and the love between all of them showed through in the ring after the match that stole the weekend. The following night Sasha was the first pinned in the Divas Elimination Match, and then she wasn't seen on Raw. Now, I don't know if the pain Sasha was in at the end of her NXT match with Bayley was part of that, or what might have come from her holding her neck after that match, but Sasha put everything she had into that match with Bayley and deserves some time to recuperate, I just hope that she isn't actually injured.
Looking at it all laid out, I hope those members of the IWC who have argued with me over Sasha this weekend can see why there's no way that Sasha is being humbled for hugging Bayley on Saturday night.
Queen of WNW