Welcome to the very first edition of Raw is Blogged starring Me: Chris Luxama! I know! THE Chris Luxama! Ok, calm down. There’s a lot to get to so let me give you a brief bio of myself and what the fine readers here at WNW can expect from me and this blog. I’m actually not new around these parts. I used to work for both Ryan and Richard Gray when they owned WrestlingUnlimited.com. I then briefly wrote a column called The Big Bad Truth for what is now WrestlingNewsWorld. So to all one of you who probably remember that: Hi! I’m a Navy vet (Hooyah!), a lover of ice cream, and a WWE fan since childhood. This site has come a long way and nothing makes me happier. You guys should be proud. You’ve helped create the friendliest wrestling community on the internet. That’s a big fricken deal, especially if you ever find yourself wandering into other parts of the IWC. It’s like drifting out into The Great White and there isn’t nearly enough nitrous to sniff to put up with it.
Anywho, hit the pyro because I’m back like a Dudley Boy and taking over for Kendra Bunyon who can never truly be replaced. I won’t try to replicate her format or style because that’s just impossible. I’m thinking about changing the blog title to: The RIB. Get it? Raw is Blogged? A joke? A delicious rack of barbecued meat? We’ll talk about it later. As of now, I’ll talk about what worked, what didn’t, all while blending in my perspective. People don’t like change and that’s cool. Nothing I can do about that. Maybe one day, Kendra's pyro will hit once more and she’ll put me through a table after telling me I suck. Here’s hoping I find my niche.
Raw began with a great video recap of Seth Rollins on his quest to be immortalized with a statue and the return of STAAAANNNNNGGG!!!! Great package. We open the show with a Sting promo in front of a lethargic Tampa crowd. Did Tampa even know what they had in front of them? Did they all stop at the Golden Coral buffet prior to going to Raw? It was a charismatically filled promo that saw Sting plant the seed for dissent among The Authority. If that was the purpose of the promo, that is. I wouldn’t understand the fawning over Triple H otherwise. I’d have a very difficult time showing respect to someone who had his friends beat me up, then hit me in the face with a sledgehammer. Bull-Caca. But what a great way to open the show. The only thing that could have made it better would have been the Tampa crowd awakening from its food coma.
First match of the night was Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler (who has new pants!). It’s great to see Dolph managing to recover from his debilitating “Megadeath” scandal. Shame. Shame. Shame. Dolph and Rusev work well together in the ring and put on what just seemed to be a Rusev clinic. Seriously, the man is physically impressive. It’s a damn shame that the Bulgarian Brute had to run into the brick wall that is, John Cena. Anywho, this seems to be leading to a mixed tag match at Night of Champions between Ziggler/Lana and Rusev/Lana Lite. I was always hoping for Lana and Rusev to get back together because they just work so well as a package. Ziggler and Lana have about as much believable chemistry as Bill and Hillary Clinton. Seems the entire evening was spent planting another seed. Oh Dolph, you dirty scallywag. It’s not that I want to see Dolph suffer, but I don’t like having Lana wasted. She doesn’t talk, she doesn’t wrestle (even though there is rumor she can and is very good). Wasted Lana just makes me sad. We’ll see how this plays out.
Let’s talk Divas.
The first ever Divas Beat the Clock Challenge was hosted last night. Winner got a shot to take home the giant butterfly. I’ve never been a fan of these BTC challenges, but whatever. It’s nice that this “Revolution” is no longer a zero sum game. Something is on the line and there was actually a spoil to collect. The Bella Army(?) is prepped for battle as they are now in possession of something called a Bellatron, which I imagine is a decepticon that liquefies your eyeballs and causes perforated eardrums.
Becky Lynch defeated Alicia Fox in a 3:21 in a solid outing for something so quick. Charlotte beat Brie in 1:40. Brie Bella did one hell of a Floyd Mayweather impression. The only thing that would have made it perfect is if she actually beat the woman in front of her. Last was Paige vs. Sasha Banks. Now, I would have LOVED to see Sasha come out and make her case for why she should be a contender, or at least, participate in the challenge. She lost her NXT title in a Match of the Year candidate to Bailey. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, go do it. Now. I’ll wait. I was glad to see Sasha be competitive and actually go for the pin in her match. Happy to see JBL point it out and make a big deal of it. Another seed of possible dissent has been planted among Team PCB and I dig it. This revolution should be like Highlander: There can only be one and someone must rain hellfire on the Bella Army.
Am I the only one hoping for a rib, as in Nikki Bella somehow comes up short in breaking AJ Lee’s record? Meh. We’ll see how this plays out. As of now, it’s Charlotte vs. Nikki Bella at Night of Champions for the Divas Title. Meh.
I love you Sasha!
Ryback and Big Show did something. I was shocked to see Show grab a mic in the middle of everything and acknowledge the “Please Retire” chants. I understand the fan frustration of the constant heel/face turns, but that’s a bit harsh, no? I grew up watching the man, so I’ll actually be sad when he does hang it up. They’ll be more tears than John Boehner cutting onions at an Adele concert.
The Dudleyz were backstage with Renee and Bubba cut a great promo. Side Note: There’s a huge disparity between the quality of promos from “blasts from the past” and everyone else. It’s clear Bubba is a student from the Paul Heyman Academy. State who are, what you’re here for, and what you’re going to do. Classic and works so damn well.
Match of Night honors goes to Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro. I don’t think that should be surprising to anyone. These two are workhorses and they mesh so damn well together. The only thing I was thinking about is how it’s a damn shame this program between them isn’t for a title. What a waste. The crowd woke up from their slumber for this one. My only concern is, what now? KO is up 2-0. Do they continue? Do they move on to new feuds? I don’t want either guy, especially KO, left out the hunt for anything come NOC. Oh, and more Kevin Owens shouting random things during matches to Michael Cole. I’m all about that.
The debut of Braun Stroman was impressive. So impressive in fact, that there was a part of me that thought John Cena was going to make the save and he would be the one fighting alongside Roman and Ambrose. Those guys need a third. I have no idea who it’s going to be so that’s kind of exciting. Braun was just throwing those two around like trash bags. I wish they would keep the camera away Braun’s face and not have him talk. He looks like Eugene if he hulked the eff out. He does have perfect duckface and he looked like a dog with peanut butter on the roof of his mouth when he spoke. That, plus the clear baby-face underneath that nest of facial hair makes him adorable. I don’t want my monsters adorable. I need them to be monsters. So less talking and close-ups and more throwing and hugging people until they’re limp.
New! Day! Rocks!
It’s amazing to see three talented individuals take a complete sh*t sandwich and turn it into gold mcnuggets. The work between The Dudleyz and New Day should be tons of fun. If you saw the interview with New Day and Michael Cole on WWE’s YouTube channel, then you know one of the D’s stands for disrespect. According to Kofi, The Dudleyz don’t respect furniture. Fricken Gold. A great match by both teams. Xavier Woods looked like a majestic stallion. TRICEP MEAT! It’s crazy to still see The Dudleyz still being able to go as they do. I hate when contenders go over the champs clean in a non-title bout, but PTP is still a factor here. So these 3 teams will probably be going at it past NOC. Some on the interweb are already griping about an “old” team taking sunshine away from the young flowers. Don’t we want veteran teams working with young guys and eventually putting them over in the end? Right? That’s what we want, right?! Yes? No? Sigh. The IWC flip-flops on a position more than John Kerry ever did.
The closer of Raw was a bit Ho-hum. I forgot that Cena never showed up, then he showed up and I was reminded that I was ready for bed. Steph and Seth continued to pour water on the HHH vs. Seth Rollins seed and Raw closed with both Cena and Sting at the top of ramp as a bewildered Seth realizes he’s pulling double duty against two of the greatest on the same night. Which leaves sooooooo many possibilities. I’ll think about it for a bit and get back to you with theories.
So a decent Raw, no real complaints other than the crowd. I think I’m being a bit unfair though. Spending a weekend in NYC then going to Tampa is like spending 3 days on a bender with Jordan Belfort then leaving to Florida to visit your old Jewish grandmother. So back to regular Raw crowds. Oh, and please don’t try to attack any Superstar with a sharp object or throw things at them. Bad form. With the Performance Center and everything else happening in the world, I think maybe we should chill and recuperate a bit. So, good job, Tampa?
Thank you for reading. Let me know what you think. I’m sure I’ll find my footing over the weeks, but for the most part, things written by me will be lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek. I’m pretty chill. I’m just like Becky Lynch… if she happened to be a sad, swole, Blatino New Yorker.