Welcome back! Raw was awful last night. I was debating whether or not to write something because The Walking Dead season 5 is on Netflix. I had to make a decision and The RIB won by a slight margin. Also, because Narcos. Go see Narcos. Wait! Read this first, then watch Narcos. And The Walking Dead.
Raw opened up with a great video package recapping what happened last week with Kane and Seth Rollins and John Cena recapturing the U.S. Title. We get some pyro, a welcome and John Cena opening with a promo. Ugh, ok. We get the announcement of the return of U.S. Title Open Challenges. Yay! We also get an all too familiar promo. Booooooo. For all those who want Cena to turn heel, you’ll have to explain to me (and please be detailed) as how Cena isn’t one already. His whole, “I’m the standard-bearer” and the, “Future goes through me,” shtick sounded more menacing than heroic.
Right when I was about to shed manly tears, The Lord blessed me with The New Day! answering the challenge!
“You’re championship reign has been booty!”
Preach Big Brother E!
“We will make WWE great again!”
“Preach Auwn, Brother!”
“New Day will be Tag Team Champions and U.S. Champions at the SAME DAMN TIME!”
Just as I was lost in this divine image of greatness, reality hit me with a swift kick to the nads. This wasn’t going to happen. How dare you get me all giddy when we know good and DAMN well you all won’t be champions AT THE SAME DAMN TIME! The Plains of Silence is just hope for the damned. I succumbed to the reality of things and found myself filled with meh.
Xavier Woods vs. John Cena – U.S. Open Challenge
Cena comes off as a total schmuck. New Day is trying to get the crowd hype, and Cena’s “seriousness” comes off as bullying. It just sucks the air out of the room. We know Xavier doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Miami to win the match.
New Day gets ejected, then Xavier and Cena have some great back and forth action. That powerbomb Cena delivered… it looked like it snapped the back of Wood’s neck. That made me cringe a bit. Big E and Kofi come to rescue their friend from the STFU, which leads to the Dudley’s immediately coming out for the save. Impromptu 6-Man Tag! New Day then “steal” one.
“No Michael, they won one.” Tell ‘em JBL.
Backstage Vignettes – Kane/Authority and Ambrose/Reigns
So Kane is still being really weird you guys. Turns out, someone sent an anonymous complaint to Human Resources and Kane will be undergoing a performance evaluation. A lot of credit should go to Kane. He’s been consistent for nearly two decades. We then go to Roman and Ambrose. Reigns talks about how he’s, “gonna finish it, tonight.” No outsiders! Slightly less leathery Randy then comes out to remind them that once Roman takes care of things it’s, “Open Season.” Right on.
Mark Henry vs. Big Show
Ugh. The squash of Henry. Broke my damn heart. Mark even got the jobber treatment in that he was already in the ring with his music playing when they came back from commercial break. Considering how the night started, I knew how this was going to go down. To Big Show’s credit, he’s really pissed. I think crowds have sincerely pissed him off and he’s using it to fuel the MSG show. Good for him. Big picture-wise, I’m worried that this is the result of someone overstaying their welcome. The constant heel/face turns makes people not care one way or the other and perhaps Show is just another victim of poor booking decisions. Just playing devil’s advocate here. Either way, as a fan, this was a head shaker.
MIZ TV – Charlotte and Becky
This seems so petty right now. Has a revolution happened? The constant Total Divas plugs on commentary tell me, “No.” I was watching a clip of the Opie and Jim Norton Radio Show with Chyna and X-Pac called in. I’m not bringing up their drama, but Sean Waltman said something that’s difficult to disagree with:
“You want to talk women’s empowerment? Before revolutions, before Ronda Rousey and all these ladies, there was Chyna.”
Everyone on the show agreed emphatically. I agree completely with that statement. I think most thought of that when there was talk about a “Revolution.” The cattiness of everything makes this seem like we’re right back where we started. The only difference is that now, more time is devoted to it and we get better quality matches (which I am grateful for).
During the 6-Diva Tag Match, all JBL kept bringing up was Total Divas, and how all these women do is argue and they don’t get along in the locker room. Very little about what was going on inside the ring was being discussed. Isn’t this counterproductive? Maybe I’m the only one who feels this was, and that’s ok. Well, it’s not ok, but I’ll live.
So now all this feuding has boiled down to the question, “Who started the Divas Revolution?” I think the correct question is, “Has a revolution actually started yet?” As of right now, this feels like the Kanye West-ifcation of a brand: a fake revolution(ary) for profit. I’ll still watch, of course, but I hope this has a great payoff. Oh, and Nattie is still here! Hi, Nattie! Bye, Nattie.
I can’t wait for NXT: Takeover on Oct. 7.
We go backstage and Seth wants to know, “What’s in the box, Kane? Kane, what’s in the Box?!” I’m a sucker for the Se7en reference.
PTP vs. Luke Harper and Braun Strowman
I wish Titus O’Neal could get better. By better, I mean a singles push or just something worthwhile. The people want to get behind him. He’s getting older, much like Cesaro, and I think the window is closing. On both.
A quick, ok tag match. People are still rag-dolling for Braun so it seems the game now is to find someone who can knock him down. Like the Open Challenge, I wonder who’ll get that rub.
Stardust vs. Neville
Great, fast-paced match up by both guys. Right when Neville was going for the Red Arrow, Wade Barrett returned! Yay! But he’s back as King Barrett. Booooooo. He bullhammers both guys, grabs a mic and says, “All hail the return of the King.” Meh. Every time I look at Barrett, I think about what could’ve been. He’s looking to be in phenomenal shape. I hope he remains healthy. I like him.
Again, Kane plays his role so damn well. And a HUGE shout-out to the production team that puts together these videos and montages. I don’t think any credit ever goes to them for these great packages. Wasn’t that part of what Ultimate Warrior was talking about during his Hall of Fame speech? Whatever. I won’t go there.
Seth talks about his audience with the Pope and how he has confirmation that he’ll go to heaven. That’s not how Catholicism works, Seth.
Anywho, Kane gets cleared and is the greatest WWE employee of all time (OF ALL TIME!) and Seth didn’t buy it. He delivered on of the worst Pedigrees of all time (OF ALL TIME!) and beat the crap out of Kane with a chair. Kane gets taken out on a stretcher and placed inside an ambulance while Seth rambles on in the ring. The ambulance stops and Demon Kane limped out! He stomps his ankle back into place like some sort of Sylvester Stallone. He comes out, returns the ass whoopin’ in kind to Seth, and then Seth scurries out. Kane wants the WWE Title. Meh. At least we can say that this is the best thing Kane has done in a while. It’s been a great storyline for him and he’s been entertaining the whole way through.
Bo Dallas vs. Randy Orton
The good news is that Bo Dallas is the go to jobber for some of the biggest names. Rock, Brock, and now Randy. Randy let the Bills yell in Bo’s face for a bit. Looked like fun. The crowd was trying to fight a nap (like I was at home) but Kudos to Randy for trying to hype them up a bit.
Kevin Owens vs. Rusev w/ Ryback on Commentary
This wasn’t a match. KO immediately throws Rusev at the Big Guy. Big Guy fights back. Big Guy gets jumped. Dolph Ziggler made the save again. I wonder if they are going to drag Dolph and Rusev through this feud until Lana heals up. If that’s the case, I’m going to need to restock on whiskey. Hopefully, Ryback gets his rematch and the I.C. belt remains the focus of all this.
Paul Heyman Promo!
Heyman, as always, was really trying to sell the MSG event. I loved his analogy, comparing Big Show to a genius C+ math student who is just complacent because he’s bored. That’s great stuff. But with this kind of hype, this match needs to rival one of their classic Smackdown matches or Royal Rumble 2003, not 2013. There needs to be an actual clash. Big Show has something to prove and Heyman looked worried. Let there be some sort of payoff.
Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
Great match up by both guys. Roman called Bray a “Bitch.” Bray is more of a Dick. He’s the dick, and Braun and Harper are the balls.
They were trying their hardest to leave a lackluster Raw on a high note. Things got chaotic as the match spilled to outside, Roman was thrown through the barricade, then Roman speared Bray on the announce tables. A great spot and a great finish to a ho-hum show. Is this really the end of the family feud? I think not.
Raw Was Bleh. What did you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.