Raw Is Blogged – Hardcore Hugger?

I went four days without watching the WWE Network, and I have to say that I wasn't doing well. I went on one of my medieval excursions in the Green Mountains of Vermont, and I didn't have any connectivity up there. Yes, I know, if I'm being medieval I shouldn't be watching the WWE Network, but I'm so used to taking the Network to bed with me that I miss that quality we have when I'm unable to enjoy what $9.99 gets me!

Raw Starts

Miz TV > A

It seems as though Raw has been starting with Miz TV a lot since he came over to Raw. I know he's one of the best talkers on Raw, and he can get the fans riled up, but how long before he becomes tiring and more like Trip's 20 minutes rants starting most Raws? Not saying he's there, but we keep being reminded of how great Trip is on mic when we haven't seen him in a while. Being inundated with someone can absolutely turn the fans off, and I'm just worried because Miz is doing so well, and is so over with the fans. Further, I'm so worried that they won't do right by Miz after he's put so much greatness into the company.

Love this look Sheamus and Cesaro has going on. Utilikilt has to be getting a huge push for these two guys wearing them out to the ring each week. I sent an email to the company to ask, but I've not heard back from them yet. I will say their prices have gone up, but I don't blame them, those things last forever! They are some of the best made articles of clothing I've seen mass produced.

Ambrose with Matt and Jeff Hardy? I'm giddy! This makes so much sense, and I want this to turn into a BROKEN faction, until it implodes. This is something that makes me almost as happy as “That will put butts in the seats.” and Foley winning the WWF Championship to win the ratings for the first time in a long time. (Yes, I watched Foley vs Rocky this morning. Going to watch the competing episode of Nitro tonight after SmackDown.)

Sheamus & Cesaro & Miz vs Hardy Boyz & Ambrose > B+

These guys together in the ring makes so much sense. Sometimes when the WWE puts together a tag match at a go-home to a PPV, one that combines two or more feuds, they're wonderful, other times, horrible. It all comes down to the superstars in the match. Ambrose with Matt and Jeff makes so much sense. Further, Ambrose could work really well with Matt when he's (at some point) BROKEN. Not that Ambrose really needs to work with anyone, and should be in the main event scene, but it's something that looks like a natural looking at characters, personalities, and types of ring work. I'm almost drooling thinking of the possibilities!

Winners – Ambrose & Hardys

Backstage Segment > B+

Why is Corey backstage? Honestly, putting him into a storyline is something I was just thinking about this week. I was actually going to write about it here this week, about how the announcers have become so removed from the rest of everyone on the show. It has felt strangely disjointed to have them not involved in any way in anything happening with the superstars, backstage or in the ring, so I'm ecstatic about this!

Jobber vs Drifter > C-

Zac Evans actually had his name announced, I wonder if he is just a jobber for Samson, or if he might be more at some point – though I doubt it. I will say the jobber did his job, he sold well and made Samson look solid, but nowhere near as good as I've seen Samson look. I don't know why, but this match really didn't translate well to TV. I hope things getting better for this for Samson, because he's so much better than this! (Is he the person behind what Corey brought to Angle? Just a thought after hearing what he sang before the match. I have to say that his singing is a hell of a lot better than the grade he got for this match!)

Winner – Samson

Backstage Segment > B+

Joe is so decisive on mic, and comes across as gruff and annoyed, which is great for his character. His mic work might not be as entertaining as others, but it's perfectly spot on for his character.

And then there's the entertaining and rather creepy Wyatt who has his spark back, and is doing a great job on Raw. I wasn't happy about his move to Raw in the middle of his feud with Orton, but now I'm thrilled. He's more interesting than he's been in a year, and only seems to be getting a foothold and climbing fast.

Triple Threat Match – Wyatt vs Balor vs Joe > A

This match, on paper, was an amazing PPV-esque match that they gave away for 'free' on USA.

This match, in reality, was an amazing PPV-esque match that they gave away for 'free' on USA.

If you haven't watched it, please do so, it's more than worth it.

Winner – Joe

Backstage Segment > A-

Rollins was great on mic! He has grown so much since ROH that in some ways I'm shocked he's the same guy. He's so well-rounded and can do almost anything handed to him.

Dar w/ Foxy vs Swann w/ Banks > D

I wanted to like this match, but we've seen this match more times than I care to count, and the addition of Foxy, and then Banks, doesn't help 205 in any way, in fact it really hurts the Women's Division in a HUGE way by making them look like little more than arm candy! Further, this is Sasha Banks! She is much more than arm candy, and McMahon needs to stop screwing over superstars that he doesn't like for certain reasons, because he's not all that in touch with the fans, and really has never been, other than when playing the Mr. McMahon character.

Yes, Banks and Foxy got into it outside the ring, but that's not at all enough! Further, they won't let the women work the ring against men any longer, not even the 205 Division! I really am unhappy about this, because some of these women would work well with the men!

Winner – Swann

Backstage Segment > B+

Revival really worked her over, and she gave it right back to them with the video clip. Dash was great in this segment, without saying a word. You all know how much I'm into visual emotion and reaction, and when someone is great with it, I have to mention it. Dawson was great on mic, but with Dash backing him visually was what made this segment so much better – as did seeing the wires in Dash's mouth.

Announce Segment > A-

When it rains, it pours! So Corey has gone from being great on announce to being involved in two storylines in one night? Holy smokes, this is crazy! Not unhappy about it, but it seems as though they are taking something that they haven't done in a while, and tried to over-do it. I hope they don't mess this up the way they did Heel Cole, but I have high hopes.

I still think it will come out that it's Cass, because that's the smartest thing the WWE could do with this storyline at this point, but only time will tell if they go in an obvious but smart direction, or they will pull Rikishi out of left field and have his say he did it for Reigns.

O'Neil w/ Crews vs Kalisto w/ > D

Like O'Neil needed to hold Kalisto's tights!

The best part of this was after the match when O'Neil was all happy and chatty while Crews was more confused than ever.

Winner – Titus

This Is Your Life > A&F

The A is all for nostalgia and Bliss being able to make it through the segment without looking up the ramp and screaming, “Why the fuck are you making me do this old man?!?” (Sorry, I don't have an interrobang, or I'd have used it there.)

This segment was more painful than the original. I went back and watched the original after Raw last night, and while I will say they did the segment was as awkward and painful and long as the original, and Bliss did a solid job of it, it was just BAD! And I don't mean the 90s meaning of bad.

Bayley keeps catching that kendo stick, week in and week out, which (according to the old rules) means that she will end up taking everything out of Bliss' hide Sunday night. Fingers crossed that Bayley not only goes hardcore at Extreme Rules, but stays hardcore after the PPV. I'd love to see Bayley as a hardcore hugger, it would be so much better than her turning into a Cena-whiner, freaked about the side of her that came out at the PPV. It's more than possible for her to be the Hardcore Hugger and still be the role-model for all the little girls who look up to her. Personally, I wouldn't want my daughter to look up to someone who couldn't stand up for herself. Bayley has all the love and compassion I hope all my kids have through their lives, but I also want them to be able to stand up for themselves, take care of themselves in the real world. I think I've done my job, and will continue to do that job, because they should be able to stand up for themselves, as I hope Bayley does at Extreme Rules on Sunday.

Backstage Segment > B

Still think it needs to be Cass who did it, not Rikishi!

Aries & Gallagher vs Neville & TJP > Q?

I loves me some A Double. I absolutely adore him, but I've seen this match, in many forms, every week for way too long. There are more guys in the Cruiserweight Division than the six we've seen on Raw, yet we get the same matches over and over. Yes, feuds mean something, but when we see the same match each week, we get over it pretty fast. I keep bringing up the days between facing only jobbers on free TV, then feud matches at PPVs, and the days of facing only those you're feuding with and never anyone else! Those days were fun, and we saw a lot of great, and unexpected, matches. Yes, there were many matches that ended in DQ, but in reality, the matches were usually fun until that point. We almost always got a resolution to the feuds, and they were fun to watch because other feuds came up in the process of working against any other superstars, depending on alignment at any given time. I'm not friends with only one person at a time, and I'm surely not mad at only one person at a time! Heck, if I was I'd only be mad at Big M 24/7, and I have more anger than that to go around. (Just kidding about the Big M thing, he and I get along wonderfully, but he takes my abuse kindly.) Speaking of Big M, he asked if he could slip something into this segment, because he just cannot keep his mouth shut about it!

Big M
The CW's came in so hot during the CWC! WWE writers and higher ups have completely ruined these guys!

Winners – Aries & Gallagher

Backstage Segment > B

Reigns is never going to be Rocky, but he's slowly working into his own character and way of working. Not every wrestler can talk, and I think we have put too much pressure on him being The Rock, because he isn't The Rock, and will never be The Rock. It's time to let Reigns be Reigns.

Backstage Segment > A-

Neville was pissed and sold this wonderfully! That was great!

Shattered Dreams Production > B+

Not sure about the black paint on his neck. Last week it looked okay, this week there's too much there and it makes him look like he doesn't have much of a jaw here. All that being said, I'm excited that Goldust has returned to his roots. I love it, but I'm sure a lot of fans really don't get it. I just re-watched Goldust's start on WWE TV, and I'm excited.

Wow, R-Truth has evolved with Goldust's turn, and I like it. He's a much smarter man than he's played through the years, so I really like this serious and well-spoken side of R-Truth. This could be a great feud, if the fans get behind it. Fingers crossed.

As this segment aired last night there was a lot of ruckus on Twitter. A number of people wondered if maybe Marlena might be making a cameo, and Terri retweeted many of the tweets, and responded to some. 'Never say never.' was also thrown around. Lastly, even Dakota's name was thrown out there. I didn't see her reply at all, or even acknowledge what was being written, but, never say never. Fingers crossed that we see the petite blonde in gold return to the WWE with their little girl by their side, even if just for one night. What are your thoughts on Goldust's return to his roots, and maybe Marlena returning to bring it all full circle?

Reigns vs Rollins > B+&F

I wanted to be excited for this match, but I want so much more from Reigns, need so much more from Reigns before I'll be truly excited about seeing him in the ring. I know I just gave him props for really starting to feel like he's finding his character, but in the ring he's just not giving the fans enough. It's like the difference between someone who can dance, and a true performer. Reigns has the look, the family history, the moves, and his mic work is finding a groove, but I feel nothing from the man. It's like, for years everyone loved Orton and I didn't, and I didn't because he was so boring! Orton knew all the moves, and executed them quite well, but there was nothing more than the moves. Neville can do anything in the ring, but until he turned heel, he was a wet dish rag, and not even one soaked in tequila! So while they have pushed Reigns too hard and have total disregard for the fans, Reigns has his own issues as well. He's not getting out of this mess spot free for me.

Cole said the fans were giving Reigns and Rollins huge respect for the work they've done in the ring. The problem with that comment was the chants that happened as he said it. Dueling, “Let's go Rollins!” and “Roman sucks!” I can't say that's a huge amount of respect for both superstars in the ring!

Big M > A&F
You will never hear me complain about the actual match! These two can put on a great show any night of the week. The problem is the same problem WWE’s creative team and higher ups keep booking themselves into. Namely, the wrong person went over. The fact that everyone in the arena for Raw this week (despite WWE’s best attempts to mute them) were either chanting “lets go Rollins” or Roman sucks” during this match is further proof that the Roman Reigns mega babyface push is not, has not and will NEVER work!

Given the fact that WWE has mostly butchered Seth’s face turn, he NEEDED to win this match. He needed to win it and hold the fact that Roman has never beaten him over “The Guy’s” head. Meanwhile Roman, being booked to be invincible even in those rare moments of defeat for years now DID NOT need to win this match at all! WWE continues to book themselves deeper into these holes that they can’t seem to get themselves out off. And in my opinion, it’s already starting to bite them in the arse!

Winner – Reigns

Post Show