Oh Boy. I’ve got the tissues and a pint of Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream all ready for you. If you’re more like Ron Swanson when it comes to emotion, then crack open a beer and have a seat. I have this week’s RIB ready for you and it’s been marinating all night.
So, this was the season premiere of Monday Night Raw (or as JBL called it, “Season Premare”). We get started with a recap of last week and an Authority promo. It’s weird when people who are supposed to be heels are trying so hard to rile up a crowd. The Authority goes through their usual spiel and introduce The New Day! It was nice to see HHH and Steph channel their “Inner Vince.” Let’s hope that’s as far as that goes. And let’s hope someone teaches HHH how to keep a beat.
New Day vs. PTP
The trombone better be playable on WWE 2K16 or I’m going to be pissed. I’ve also decided that I’m ok if Xavier never wrestles. People need managers and The People need Trombone. I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription, is more Trombone.
“DO NOT TOUCH MY TROMBONE!”
This match was fast-paced, fun, and Xavier is amazing as the annoying heel. New Day was getting “John Cena-ed” in Memphis with “Let’s go New Day” and “New Day Sucks” chants filling the match. This makes me think that The Dudleys vs. New Day at NOC should be crazy fun as far as the atmosphere is concerned. New Day retains the titles with the assist from Xavier w/ Trombone.
Favorite Quote of the Night: “DON’T YOU NAE NAE!”
We get a backstage segment with Seth Rollins and The Authority that sets up John Cena vs. Sheamus. Meh. It's then followed by Renee interviewing Charlotte and Ric Flair. Woooooooooooo!!!! Whatever Ric had before getting to the arena, I’ll take three.
Wyatt Family on MIZ TV
This felt so weird. At first. Miz botched and mentioned the wrong PPV (HIAC), but it was undeniable that Bray and Miz have great chemistry together.
“Yes, but, what do you want, Bray?”
That was a spark of a moment. For a second, I had wished it was these two feuding. Ambrose threw out Miz and I was actually saddened by it. I wouldn’t have minded Bray and Miz going back and forth a bit more.
Roman Reigns spoke for a bit too long, but he has improved. Roman and Ambrose found a third and now the speculation begins. Who is he? Eric Rowan? Randy Orton? An NXT call-up? Mark Henry. It’s probably Mark Henry.
Who Looks Stupid Now?
Still you, Sheamus. Sheamus and Cena put on a decent match together and I should take this time and compliment the announce team. We give them sh*t all the time (and rightfully so) but, there was a sequence where I was in shock because I was so impressed. Michael Cole called the sleeper - held by Sheamus - and noted that it was released into a chin lock. JBL then provided brief analysis on the sequence. It’s as if they could actually be good if they wanted. It’s always pleasing when small things like that are called. The attention to detail is appreciated and adds to the story being told in the ring via a match.
Now, what completely takes me out of it and snaps me back into the shitty reality of things is when Cena is smirking and no-selling. What the hell are you smiling for? It doesn’t add to anything. Sheamus is a former World Champion for whatever reason. Pretend for a moment that you are in there with such a man. Sheamus is notorious for being “physical” in his matches. I don’t know what the hell is so damn funny. Brock Lesnar laughs, but it’s usually because he’s thrashing people and has a face full of blood. It adds to his “Beast” character. I don’t know what you’re doing it for. All it says to me, story wise, is, “I’m a douche and I know I’m going to win. Hustle. Loyalty. Respect. Be sure to buy my new colored jizz rag on your way out.”
Anyway, the ending sequence by both men was damn impressive. Cena is a great wrestler (he is, stop hating). Just cut it out with the smirking, smiling, and no-selling.
Ryback cut a promo. It was awful. Kevin Owens came out and we’re going to get Ryback vs. KO at NOC. Kevin NEEDS that title. There was little build for this, but the IC title has been lost in the wilderness for some time. There is no amount of build that could fix that. Owens should win the strap. The End.
Stardust came out with The Ascension to no reaction. Neville and the Lucha Dragons came out. What followed was the WTF sequence of the night that filled two minutes and set up the kickoff match to NOC. Okay, moving along.
Cesaro beat Rusev via distraction by Dolph. I don’t care enough about this to write more about it so I’ll let JBL sum this up:
“You See? Dolph is just a bad person.”
Main Event – Sting vs. Big Show
I must be honest here. I didn’t think this match was going to happen. I didn’t think Sting was going to wrestle on Raw. They kept going through his history for the whole night and it just felt like a giant rib was about to played on the audience. Nice to see I was wrong.
Seth came out and ambushed Sting, which lead to Cena making the save, which lead to a tag team match being set up. Cena caught the beat down, Sting got the hot tag and Seth tapped almost immediately to the Scorpion Death Lock. Not bad, but now there are so many things in play for NOC.
If we’re are going by the tried and true laws of “Opposite Momentum,” then John won two last night which means he should lose at NOC. Sting made Seth tap, which means Seth should retain the WWE Title. Where does that leave Sheamus? Will he cash in? Will Sting actually lose two major singles bouts back to back? Will Seth leave NOC with nothing thus setting him on a crash course with The Authority? Or, will sneaky, slimy, Seth “Freaking” Rollins manage to escape again with both titles in tow? Find out next time on Dragon Ball…
Oh, wait. I forgot something.
Let’s Talk Divas
Paige vs. Sasha Banks was a good match. I did not like the commentary during the bout.
“Paige is upset because Sasha was preventing Paige from beating the clock, costing her a shot at the title.”
Well, no. Sasha was trying to “win the match.” That’s what she should be doing. She should be trying to win, and since she’s in Team BAD, she should be trying to do so by any means. Paige and Sasha do work well together and I thought Paige killed my girl with that German Suplex. That was a nasty one. Looks like Paige ripped that right out of the Brock Lesnar school of Germans. The Beast Incarnate would be so proud.
Paige makes a costly mistake and taps to Sasha. She fails yet again. Paige is the Starscream of the Divas Division. Not all is lost though.
Now, let’s get to the match that has driven the IWC into a fit of humbuggery and that is Charlotte vs. Nikki for the Divas Title.
Ugh. It was a damned good match with the shittiest finish imaginable. It felt like this was the result of a backroom “Best for Business” deal. Nikki gets to beat the record which she should now ride off with and become the biggest heel in the division outright. Don’t let that energy of universal disdain go to waste. And Charlotte gets her rematch at NOC and will probably win the title. Or will she? Hmmm.
I think something should be done with Paige at NOC. I don’t like to see failure go to waste. I know that’s a weird sentence. Paige’s constant failure should be used as a catalyst to break up these groups, or at least one of them. The Divas are going to need substantial feuds moving forward. Bailey vs. Sasha level feuds. Otherwise, this “revolution” is all for naught.
I also would like to take some time to talk about Attitude, when it comes to the Divas. Commentary kept bringing up the success and focus on women athletes lately. Ronda in UFC, Women’s Soccer, Serena since ever, etc. Their success has a lot to do with the attitude of the people who cover them.
If you ever want to see women being treated equally as men in the same athletic arena, you’d be wise to pay attention to how MMA (UFC in particular) treat and speak about their women. The coverage is the same for men and women. The rhetoric and analysis is the same. The presentation is the same. Ronda Rousey and Joanna Jedrzejczyk are covered and treated like any title holder. And, more importantly (in my eyes), they carry belts and hold titles that aren’t so absurdly gendered.
I hate political correctness, but imagine this scenario:
You’re an Olympic winning Gold Medalist in Judo. You have a rough patch and sleep in your car for a time all while maintaining your training. You get into Mixed Martial Arts, which is about as male dominated an institution as the church or military. Not only do you win bouts, but you are dominant in all of them. The largest MMA organization in the world takes notice, opens two divisions for women, and signs you. You continue to dominate and get a title fight. You dominate some more and become the UFC’s first Women’s Bantamweight Champion of the World.
As emotions run high and tears stream down your face and you burst into uncontrollable fits of laughter, Bruce Buffer, the ‘Veteran Voice of the Octagon’, proclaims you as, “THE NEW REIGNING, DEFENDING, UNDISPUTED Bantamweight Champion of the World…”
Dana White, President of the Company, then walks up behind you, and straps a giant fucking hair beret around your waist.
Do you see what I’m saying? Can you feel what I’m saying? It’s difficult to get behind something that, by design, was never meant to be taken seriously in the first place. The Divas Division, and that title, was never meant to be anything more than filler. That’s why it’s hard for me to take any “records” being broken seriously. Quick, name the last two Nikki Bella title defenses. I’ll wait. (Don’t look it up, Cheater.)
There needs to be a fundamental change in attitude when it comes to the Divas Division and it can start, symbolically, by dumping that embarrassment of a title.
Triple H standing in the middle of Sasha Banks and Bailey, holding the NXT Women's Title as they face off and promote their IronWoman’s match at NXT Takeover, is a great image. It gives me hope for the future of women in this business. This same attitude needs to be brought to the main roster and it doesn’t come by simply bringing up new talent. The Divas should demand it and we should expect it.
The table of opportunity has been set. Now, who in WWE is going to step up and bring about a true “revolution” for women? Can we start by calling them that at least? Women.
I’ll see you after NOC.