BRM Reviews the 8/19/2019 Raw

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 8/19/2019 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 20th, '19, 22:42

Corey Graves is on vacation this week, so instead we get Jerry Lawler. Oh boy…

ROMAN REIGNS vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER- 6.5/10
This match is happening because Dolph said some mean things on Twitter, which they showed us on the Tron. Despite this, someone felt it was important to have Dolph come out and waste a bunch more time whining. This isn’t “now I want to see him get beaten up” heat. This is go-away heat because I know he’s going to get beaten up in the end every time but they still waste time subjecting me to Dolph’s constant whining. Each week’s whining contributes nothing to the character and doesn’t make me want to see him get beaten up any more than I did before.
Dolph superkicks Roman before the match started. We then waited almost a whole minute for Roman to recover. The referee called for the bell and Dolph charged in at Roman… and was immediately punched in the face and went to the outside to sell it for a while, so Dolph’s sneak-attack had zero effect on the match. Meanwhile fans chanted “GOLDBERG!” at Dolph, revealing that- as most people predicted- this whole Goldberg thing would do nothing for Dolph or for any of his opponents.
We then got another thirty seconds of Dolph selling on the outside and Roman stalking towards him. What is this, a Cody match? Actually, that’s not fair of me. At least in this match things are moving very slowly because the wrestlers are selling. In a Cody match things go slower than a turtle caught in a tar pit because Cody thinks that stalling forever is good heat.
These guys actually had a pretty good slow-paced match where they did a good job of making everything count (basically everything but that sneak-attack spot before the match). The announcers pushed the idea Dolph’s mouth has once again gotten him in trouble, and Renee even tried to present us with an example of this happening during the match (Dolph taunting Roman instead of following up when he had the advantage).

BECKY LYNCH PROMO- didn’t like it
Becky came off like an egomaniacal asshole, taking credit for Sasha’s newfound aggressiveness and making her a big deal again. She is basically encouraging everyone to be violent heels. This is a character that could work elsewhere, but isn’t cut out for the black and white world of WWE. In a way she’s like Dean Ambrose was in early EVOLVE in that she has the noble babyface goal of wanting to prove that she is the best but just dislikes the restrictions that she feels are placed on her and is basically trying to convince everyone else to not play by those rules, either. She definitely has an honor code, but just because she’s not a hypocrite about it doesn’t mean that the things she seems to be encouraging people to do aren’t still immoral.

JERRY LAWLER PUTS OVER KING OF THE RING- hated it
It’s not that King didn’t make the things he was given to say sound natural, but this still came off as phony because Lawler felt like he was being paid to come out here and explain to us what King of the Ring is and why it’s so important. Yes, I know that that is literally what his job is, even within kayfabe, but this felt so ground level (he actually explained to us that it’s “a sixteen-person tournament” and a “launching pad” for the careers of hall of famers like Hart and Austin) that it felt more like we were watching an infomercial instead of something where the emotion was genuine.
King showed us the brackets and started to talk up the various great Superstars™ who were in the tournament. Then I guess Bray Wyatt thought this plug was going on too long because his magical effects started to occur. King got out of the ring, which Cole said was a great idea, but in reality it didn’t matter because BRAY HAS MAGICAL POWERS OF TELEPORTATION. He can go anywhere. Did Cole think that Bray can only teleport into and out of wrestling rings or something?
Anyway, Bray appeared behind Lawler on the stage and put him in the mandible claw. They’ve done a great job on the choreography and blocking and whatever with the visual effects… but as we’ve seen in the past with WWE (and especially with Bray Wyatt) they seem to think that the spiffy visual effects mean that the character doesn’t need to develop or have any sort of depth to him.
At the sight of this old legend who has already died once from taking a wrestling move being throttled by this force of demonic evil, the WWE fans… chanted “yowee wowee!” Idiots.

When we got back from the commercial, we were told that Lawler was receiving medical treatment. He was replaced on commentary by Vic Joseph. Why are you adding another play-by-play man? Why not put Nigel out there to be a heel color commentator? Knowing how WWE usually operates, I was quite annoyed that they took Lawler out because I figured it meant we were getting screwed out of the promised interview with Sasha, so I was shocked when Cole actually acknowledged it and said that they were hopefully Lawler would be well enough to conduct the interview later in the show.

DREW MCINTYRE & BARON CORBIN vs. THE MIZ & RICOCHET- 6.5/10
Did anyone else see that weird thing with the color filter, or did I hallucinate it? These two makeshift teams had a good little tag match… unless I hallucinated that, too.

They showed us Sasha Banks sitting down in front of a camera while Cole tells us that we will indeed hear from her later.

MICHAEL COLE INTERVIEWS BOOKER T- He asks for Booker’s thoughts on Bray Wyatt attacking hall of famers, then asks Booker T about King of the Ring. Cole told us that he thought Booker T’s “King BOOKAH!” shtick made him “the most entertaining king” in KOTR history, which was all the excuse I needed to skip this.

WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH: AJ Styles(c) (w/the OC) vs. Braun Strowman- no rating, fine segment (with the benefit of hindsight)
If you’re wondering why Braun is getting a title shot, it’s because of a promo AJ cut on YouTube after last week’s show offering to put the title on the line if it would get him a match with Braun tonight, which is a very babyface thing to do. Suspiciously so, in fact. These guys wrestled for just long enough to make me really want to see this match before the OC ran in for the predictable DQ. The heels beat Braun down but Seth Rollins came out to return the favor to Braun for saving him last week.

ROLLINS & STROWMAN BACKSTAGE- fine
Seth acknowledges that Braun clearly wants his Universal Title and endorses the idea of Braun challenging him for it, but says that first they need to get rid of the OC. He tells Braun he’s going to try to get them booked against Gallows & Anderson in a tag title match tonight.

SAMOA JOE PROMO- awesome

CESARO PROMO- very good

KING OF THE RING FIRST ROUND MATCH: Samoa Joe vs. Cesaro- 6.75/10
Why could they not give this more than eleven minutes?

During the previous match, Cole told us that Rollins & Strowman vs. the OC for the tag titles has been made official. This despite these guys having done nothing to earn the shot and despite the McMahons (aside from maybe Hunter) all being heels at this point.

VIDEO FROM YOUTUBE OF THE DRFITER IN HIS RECORDING STUDIO- Drake Maverick was in a disguise and tried to roll him up but failed to do so. Elias proceeded to beat the living sh*t out of Maverick. This actually looked rather vicious. I will grudgingly call this good.

THE DRIFTER SINGS- no rating, meh segment
Clearly faked “audio problems” occurred. These things were so clearly sound effects that I was certain Bray Wyatt was going to show up and attack him. Instead it was R-Truth sneaking around behind him, dressed as a stagehand. I love how The Drifter wasn’t suspicious of two stagehands who were clearly dressed in such a way as to make it obvious they were trying to keep their faces covered, even though he never has any sort of stagehands out with him at all when he performs. Truth also failed to pin The Drifter, even after hitting his finisher.

CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS REY MYSTERIO JR.- GREAT!
Rey gave an excellent retirement speech and was about to unmask himself when Dominic showed up and stopped him, saying that Rey had promised him that when he makes his debut, Rey would be his partner. Rey’s promo set up for Dominick’s very well, and while Dominic’s words were good, he really doesn’t have much in the way of poise or charisma. With all of the talk about family in this promo, it’s clear that Dominick did not inherit any of his father’s charisma. And he hasn’t gotten any from Rey, either.

THE REVIVAL vs. THE NEW DAY (Xavier Woods & Big E.)- no rating, frustrating segment
Michael Cole mentions the wildcard rule for the first time in months. For those keeping score at home, our wildcard count for tonight is currently at two. Cole pushed the fact that New Day are unhappy that they have never been able to beat The Revival. We’ll be generous and say that they only mean in a straight-up tag team match and not a six-man tag or an eight-man tag where New Day’s team won but they didn’t pin The Revival. In fact, in this exact situation on June 24th of this year, The Revival were actually the ones to pin New Day. This fact really should have been brought up by the announcers at some point, just to create a feeling of finishes mattering for more than one week after they happen.
Vic Joseph reminded us all that The Revival made their main roster debut by destroying New Day’s ice cream cart. Cole responded to this by making fun of Vic for remembering something, which shows why Michael Cole will never be anywhere near as good as Vic is. I, on the other hand, am allowed to call Vic out because it would have been even better to remember that in that same segment, The Revival put Kofi Kingston on the shelf for several months.
These guys had a short match with Woods as the babyface in peril. He eventually made the hot tag to Big E., who ran wild until Randy Orton ran in out of nowhere and hit an RKO for the DQ. Kofi- who is always at ringside for his buddies’ matches but wasn’t this time (he must have been on the toilet) ran in and got taken out, and the heels beat the babyfaces down. In other words, this accomplished nothing that they didn’t already accomplish on last week’s Smackdown, and at the cost of actually giving New Day a win over The Revival and wasting ten minutes that could have- and should have- gone to other matches (for example, both KOTR matches would have greatly benefitted from an extra five minutes.

MICHAEL COLE INTERVIEWS SASHA BANKS ON THE TITANTRON- annoying
Sasha was a great heel, but Cole’s script was in full “ignore the facts” melodrama mode. Nattie and Sasha are friends? Since when? I don’t ever remember seeing them be friends. Becky and Sasha “grew up together” in the wrestling business? I don’t think so, considering that even in kayfabe Becky Lynch trained and wrestled in Ireland a bunch and then stopped for a while to become a flight attendant (remember Ronda making fun of her for that?), while Sasha is basically a kayfabe WWE-original production, and in kayfabe was already almost a main eventer when Becky first showed up. Also, I’m pretty the reason that Sasha attacked Becky last week was that Becky came out to attack Sasha. The fact that Becky was being noble and trying to save Nattie is almost irrelevant. Cole’s framing of the question is horribly disingenuous. I almost don’t blame Sasha for refusing to answer Cole’s questions.
That being said, this is yet another big thing they have hyped on this show and then f*cked us out of.

FIRE & DESIRE vs. ALEXA BLISS! & NIKKI CROSS- 3.5/10
Mandy and Sonya bring out wildcard count up to four. The babyfaces won a short match cleanly.

ROLLINS & STROWMAN BACKSTAGE- They’re arguing about who should be the leader. Uch.

CEDRIC ALEXANDER PROMO- good

SAMI ZAYN PROMO- GREAT!

KING OF THE RING FIRST ROUND MATCH: Sami Zayn vs. Cedric Alexander- 3.5/10
Cole can’t even remember the snazzy name they gave what he merely called “the cruiserweight tournament.” This was yet another match that was great but WAY too short.

THE STREET PROFITS BACKSTAGE- see… this right here is the sort of completely pointless segment that could have easily been cut and its time given to Zayn vs. Cedric to make that match better.

NATALYA PROMO- She started to cut a decent promo on Sasha when attacked her from behind, rammed her into things, slammed a drawer on her injured elbow, and then said “go to hell, Nattie. Tell your daddy I said ‘hi,’” and then slammed her head into an equipment case. Now that is how to be a f*cking heel!

WWE RAW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: The OC (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)(c) (w/AJ Styles) vs. Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman- 6.75/10
Not quite good enough for a main event. I also really don’t like the double-champion angle, and WWE has a particularly bad history of failing to do anything entertaining with it. That being said, I can’t complain too much about his decision because they did at least make good on screwing us out of the advertised title match earlier in the show. That last show of Braun having his hand on the Universal Title was very good artistically, but it also serves to remind me what this is really about, meaning that the tag titles are being reduced to props for the sake of a singles title once again.

This was a fine show WWE. I wish they had used their time better so that we could have had longer matches, but the mere fact that I was almost never board while during these three hours and nothing offensively stupid happened is a win for WWE at this point. The product definitely seems to be improving as of late, but there is still a hell of a lot of room for things to get better.


Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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KILLdozer
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/19/2019 Raw

Post by KILLdozer » Aug 21st, '19, 02:11

I'm kinda curious as to why we haven't seen the Bank statement on Natalya's injured arm lately....are they simply saving this moment for later or what?
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Big Red Machine
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/19/2019 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 21st, '19, 07:53

KILLdozer wrote:
Aug 21st, '19, 02:11
I'm kinda curious as to why we haven't seen the Bank statement on Natalya's injured arm lately....are they simply saving this moment for later or what?
My guess would be saving it for later. That being said, I could also see them giving her a new finisher to go along with her new disposition and new hair, but I think that wouldn't be a great idea, as submission finishers work well for heels due to the drama of the babyface strugglg in the hold, and the move originated when she was a heel anyway.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/19/2019 Raw

Post by KILLdozer » Aug 21st, '19, 09:42

Big Red Machine wrote:
Aug 21st, '19, 07:53
KILLdozer wrote:
Aug 21st, '19, 02:11
I'm kinda curious as to why we haven't seen the Bank statement on Natalya's injured arm lately....are they simply saving this moment for later or what?
My guess would be saving it for later. That being said, I could also see them giving her a new finisher to go along with her new disposition and new hair, but I think that wouldn't be a great idea, as submission finishers work well for heels due to the drama of the babyface strugglg in the hold, and the move originated when she was a heel anyway.
I thought of that too, but also it's such an established move, at this point it wouldn't be the right idea.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/19/2019 Raw

Post by KILLdozer » Aug 21st, '19, 10:32

One thing I noticed about this show is that, the way they went about putting things over seemed much more fluid, natural, and therefore better.
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Big Red Machine
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/19/2019 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 21st, '19, 10:52

KILLdozer wrote:
Aug 21st, '19, 10:32
One thing I noticed about this show is that, the way they went about putting things over seemed much more fluid, natural, and therefore better.
That's because Vic Joseph is great at his job.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/19/2019 Raw

Post by Thelone » Aug 21st, '19, 10:59

Also Vince wasn't there apparently.

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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/19/2019 Raw

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 21st, '19, 11:57

Thelone wrote:
Aug 21st, '19, 10:59
Also Vince wasn't there apparently.
I'm sure that contributes to it, but Cole and Renee were both still buzzword/phrase machines, and Cole still has his horribly unnatural delivery where he feels like a teacher telling fourth graders which phrases to highlight so they know what to study for on the test
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/19/2019 Raw

Post by KILLdozer » Aug 21st, '19, 14:11

Big Red Machine wrote:
Aug 21st, '19, 11:57
Thelone wrote:
Aug 21st, '19, 10:59
Also Vince wasn't there apparently.
I'm sure that contributes to it, but Cole and Renee were both still buzzword/phrase machines, and Cole still has his horribly unnatural delivery where he feels like a teacher telling fourth graders which phrases to highlight so they know what to study for on the test
I mean...with what's been said...keep Vic Joseph...send Renee back to interview where she BELONGS AND EXCELS....and of course we have to Cole as the centerpiece...so just let Graves actually have someone COMPETENT to play off and bounce off of and watch the massive turn-around.
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