BRM Reviews the 6/22/2020 Raw (AWESOME! Best one in YEARS! WATCH THIS SHOW!)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 6/22/2020 Raw (AWESOME! Best one in YEARS! WATCH THIS SHOW!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jun 22nd, '20, 23:21

This was different than usual, and made this show feel like a BIG deal.

Drew comes out to cut a promo but is interrupted by “Dolph Ziggler… from Smackdown,” so I guess this is a Brand-to-Brand Invitational thing. Or not. Dolph tells us that he is the guy who Raw got in return when AJ was traded to Smackdown. I call bullsh*t. AJ first showed up on Smackdown a month ago. Dolph was on Smackdown less than two weeks ago! And if Dolph were the guy traded for AJ, you’d think someone would have told the announcers about it, right? It not like when Clayton Kershaw is inevitably traded to the Yankees, he’ll show up in the players’ parking lot at Yankee Stadium one day and some interviewer will say “Oh my G-d! What is Clayton Kershaw doing at Yankee Stadium when the Dodgers are supposed to be playing in Miami tonight?!” They’ll know about it beforehand.
It’s not just Dolph that was part of this trade, but Bobby Roode, too… which has me suspicious that an ambush is coming.
Dolph claims that Drew owes him a title shot because Dolph was the one who brought Drew to the main roster after Drew got fired. I’m fine with heels lying, but Dolph thinking he can get away with just completely ignoring Drew’s run in NXT is too blatant for me. He can’t possibly think that anyone is dumb enough to believe him, can he?
Drew doesn’t believe him, but is willing to give Dolph the title shot he wants at Extreme Rules to show Dolph that Dolph has become the kind of “entitled jackass” that they used to hate. This is going to be Drew’s fifth world title defense by my count (including last week’s tag match), and not once has anyone done a single thing to EARN that title shot. Only Lashley has even really been on a winning streak before being given his title shot.
Wait… now the announcers are backtracking and telling us that we “may” see that match at Extreme Rules but telling us that it “hasn’t been made official yet.”

NIA JAX PROMO- the actual promo wasn’t bad, but…
She thinks she should be getting a title match tonight and not Charlotte. She presents some solid points. R-Truth comes out to be a clown, while Nia sits there, looking just as bored as me. Tozawa shows up and so do his ninjas. They chase Truth away. Why must we do this sh*t?
Once the goof patrol left, Nia started to talk again, but was interrupted by Charlotte. Nia was a good heel here with her rhetoric. First she claimed that Charlotte’s success is due to her father, to which Charlotte responded by first hinting that Nia’s familial connections have helped her as well, and then pointing out that her father hasn’t been wrestling her matches for her. Nia said that Charlotte knows she can’t beat her (Nia won their only match) and thus she has been “going after easy targets to be successful.” Charlotte started a sight that was quickly broken up by security.
I was fine with all of the sentiments expressed her and thought Nia’s delivery was passable and Charlotte’s was pretty decent, but the fact that this is so obviously going to result in YET ANOTHER F*CK FINISH in the Raw Women’s Title match tonight has me extremely annoyed (especially with how much I loved the last match Charlotte and Asuka had, which also ended in Nia coming out and causing a f*ck finish.

STREET PROFITS PROMO- The Viking Raiders showed up, and while the idea of a “we might respect you, but we’ll pull out all of the stops to win/keep our titles” promo segment between these two teams would have worked for me two months ago, they have spent the past two months doing moronic comedy bullsh*t, and thus totally killed it. Even here they had to do a stupid “Viking Profits” thing.

WWE RAW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Street Profits(c) vs. Viking Raiders- 7.75/10
This was nine minutes of GREAT wrestling, including a double-heat and some spots that played nicely into the “anything you can do, we can do better” mantra of the feud. This was so good that it made me even more angry at WWE for wasting so much of my time with their dumb comedy bullsh*t over the past month and a half when they could have been showing us this.

We get a nice show of respect, after which the losing team leaves. The winners were then jumped from behind by Angel Garza and Andrade. The losing team then ran back out to chase the heels away.



Charly asks Charlotte if the fact that her arm was injured in her brawl with Nia earlier makes her want to postpone her title match. She says no, and vows to preserve.

Charly apparently saw them standing five feet away and having a private conversation, so she figured she’d try to get an interview. She did say “excuse me,” first.
Zelina saw her coming and said “look what the cat dragged in.” I liked the fact that Zelina said this in a normal tone of voice like she was talking to her charges, rather than in a tone loud enough that made it clear it was meant to be picked up like the camera the way you often see in wrestling (and especially in WWE).
Charly responded to this bitchiness by saying hello to the other two but not acknowledging Zelina, who got offended by this. Zelina is fantastic, and yet she’s not even the best manager on this show. That’s how great MVP is.
Charly asks them about their new-found ability to work together. Angel tries to seduce her. Zelina interrupts and tells him “now is not the time.” She then cut a promo about how everyone will now understand that her group is a “united front.” Andrade said something similar.
This Charly Caruso/Angel Garza thing has to actually start moving forward at some point because if we don’t actually see him succeed at… sealing the deal with Charly (whether you want to interpret that as getting into her heart or just into her pants), then you’re really not showing us being a ladies’ man because he’s putting so much effort into Charly and yet not getting anywhere.

WWE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH: Asuka(c) vs. Charlotte Flair- 7.75/10
Holy f*ck, they gave us a clean finish! Charlotte worked the knee and Asuka worked the already-injured arm. Asuka won, but due to Charlotte going in hurt, Charlotte can claim there is an asterisk there for set up for a rematch.

Nia was shown watching the Raw Women’s Title match on a monitor in the back several times throughout. Charly asked her if she thought her earlier brawl with Charlotte caused Charlotte to lose tonight. Nia said it would be a shame if someone kicked Charlotte while she was down, then went off to presumably do just that.


Randy’s subtle show of fear here was AMAZING!

Charlotte cuts a good not-quite-gracious loser promo putting Asuka over. Nia jumped her from behind and slammed a heavy lid on her injured shoulder.

24/7 TITLE MATCH: R-Truth vs. Akira Tozawa (w/his ninjas)- no rating, fine segment
Before the match could start, Bobby Lashley and MVP came out and COMPLETELY OBLITERATED everyone other than Tozawa, who escaped by hiding under the ring. Since coming t WWE, MVP has been an absolute harbinger of death for stupid comedy crap, which makes him my new favorite character. Once Lashley and MVP left, Tozawa covered Truth and won the Goofball Championship.

She talked about feeling bad for Charlotte in a way that made it clear that her intent was to make you think she was a nice person rather than to show actual sympathy for Charlotte. Her cat ears now have writing on the ears. One says “Nattie Cat” and the other one says “Paws Out, Claws Out,” both of which are tremendous “lame heel who thinks they’re being cool” material.
By the end of this, Nattie was a full-on arrogant heel. She teased a big announcement, but said we’d have to wait until after her match to hear it because her match is next.

LIV MORGAN vs. NATALYA (w/Lana)- 1/10
Nattie won cleanly and decisively. She and Lana celebrated. Byron Saxton told us that he was “really uncomfortable with this new attitude of Natalya’s,” which is ridiculous when you consider that she has barely done anything wrong yet, and nothing that we don’t see five times a week over the course of all of WWE’s shows (never mind all of the other promotions).

He plugged his Netflix show and made a meh pun, and then felt the need to explain it to us. He reminded us that he is not just the fun-loving guy we see on Netflix, but he can also be a “heartless angry giant.” He says that that “heartless angry giant” is headed to the ring right now (which the announcers made sure we knew meant he would be interrupted Flair’s scheduled anointing of Randy Orton as “the greatest wrestler ever.”

Drew vs. Dolph for the Universal Title has, in fact, been made official for Extreme Rules.

First, though, he cut a promo on Nia Jax on behalf of his daughter, who he said would destroy Nia when she came back from her injury.
We then got on with the promised segment, including the promised interruption by Big Show. Flair was awesome, and both Orton and Big Show spoke passionately and I thought Orton’s stuff at the end was great, but there was way too much non-kayfabe here. I must have missed that part where Big Show took Orton under his wing. I certainly can’t find footage of it on any WWE TV show, and Big Show’s comments about Orton needing to attach himself to others because he doesn’t have the drive to succeed on his own just plain doesn’t match up with kayfabe, as he has won most of his world titles without being a part of a team or stable.

WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Sasha Banks & Bayley(c) vs. the IIconics- 5.5/10
Sasha and Bayley win clean to retain.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- didn’t like it
Sasha cuts a promo and it seems like she’s going to politely ask Bayley for a title shot at the PPV, but- SWERVE- she challenges Asuka instead. I will admit that this fooled me… but only because Sasha challenging Asuka MAKES NO SENSE! She’s not on the right show!
I mean… I guess you could argue that she’s allowed to be on Raw because she’s one half of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, but that feels like the sort of thing that while it might technically conform to the letter of the law, certainly goes against the spirit of the law.
Asuka came out and accepted Sasha’s challenge, at which point she was immediately blind-sided by Bayley and got the crap beaten out of her. I thought this made Asuka look dumb for not seeing this coming.

Both of them were awesome! Lashley, too. In just one segment, they have me really invested in this burgeoning story with MVP and Apollo Crews that I apparently missed the start of (along with a televised Shelton Benjamin match) last week.

Liv blew her off in the most polite way possible.

MVP’S VIP LOUNGE WITH SPECIAL GUEST APOLLO CREWS- F*CKING TREMENDOUS! EVERYONE GO WATCH THIS NOW! MVP IS SOOOOOOO F*CKING GREAT and Crews held up his end of the bargain, too. The ending to this also transitioned perfectly into…

I wish this had gotten more time (it only went 2:10!) and was shocked that MVP didn’t interfere in the match. What he did do, however, was stand at the top of the ramp and clap, like he did when he recruited Lashley when Lashley had seemed to reject him at first. But this time, when Crews rejected MVP again, they were set up perfectly for Lashley to run out and attack Crews from behind, locking him in the Full Nelson and putting him down. An excellent post-match segment.

Rey and Dominik come out and Rey cuts this AMAZING, touching promo about Dominik sneaking off to Raw last week and bond between parent and child. Seth comes out says he’ll take one eye from each of them. His lackeys come out behind him but Aleister Black and Humberto Carrillo come out behind them to make the save. This did make it four on three in favor of the babyfaces, but I thought they did a tremendous job of keeping Dominik as much of a non-factor as possible while still letting him do just enough for the announcers to praise him for standing up and fighting for his family.
Eventually the babyfaces go to try to take Seth’s eye out, which was the only part of this that game me pause. Murphy and Theory made the save and restrained Rey to make him watch Seth take out Dominik’s eye but Black and Carrillo grabs some chairs and ran them off.

Despite there being a bad match or two and several things that I had logical issues with, this was probably the best Raw in a LONG time. Just by skimming the tags I’ve given reviews of quality in either one direction or the other, this was the first Raw in over two years that I would describe as “awesome,” and was probably the best show in the past two and a half years. There were some great matches, all clean finishes, and several absolutely fantastic segments. Maybe the Bruce Pritchard era won’t be so bad after all?
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
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ROH Validation
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DGUSA Open the Ultimate Gate 2013
ROH/CMLL Global Wars Espectacular: Day 3

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Re: BRM Reviews the 6/22/2020 Raw (AWESOME! Best one in YEARS! WATCH THIS SHOW!)

Post by XIV » Jun 23rd, '20, 01:30

First thing to notice (Big Show's promo aside) is that things made sense. Much of the show was building towards something more and not just there for a pop or just for that show, it felt like there was more to come.
Have A Nice Day!

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Re: BRM Reviews the 6/22/2020 Raw (AWESOME! Best one in YEARS! WATCH THIS SHOW!)

Post by Serujuunin » Jun 23rd, '20, 12:14

I feel you on McIntyre’s opponents lately, and while I like Ziggler a lot, he feels like the last person right now who should be getting anything. He’s basically been invisible!

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Re: BRM Reviews the 6/22/2020 Raw (AWESOME! Best one in YEARS! WATCH THIS SHOW!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jun 23rd, '20, 12:41

Serujuunin wrote: Jun 23rd, '20, 12:14 I feel you on McIntyre’s opponents lately, and while I like Ziggler a lot, he feels like the last person right now who should be getting anything. He’s basically been invisible!
It's one of those things where if this was Daniel Bryan as the champion on Smackdown after Bryan had cut that promo about giving people opportunities and being a "fighting champion" a few weeks ago, or Cena during the open challenge era then I wouldn't think it was the best way to do things, but I could kind of get behind it as a storyline (especially if you can give me a way that the challenger can at least kind of justify themselves and have some sort of semi-understandable kayfabe mechanism to it, a la the first six months of Bryan's ROH World Title reign where he was doing the "open contract" thing). The big problem with Drew, though, is that he made a big speech when he won the title about making sure that challengers were "worthy," and yet here he is, giving out title shots like Halloween candy.
With Dolph in particular it really exposes the lack of planning, because if they actually had this "trade" planned out from the moment they moved AJ to Smackdown (which they clearly didn't because Dolph was still appearing on SD after AJ showed up), they could have moved him to Raw right away and let him spend the past five weeks getting winds over undercard guys like Shelton, or even given him a win over Owens in a way that plays into the Garza feud, etc. so that he would feel like a credible challenger by now, but they didn't.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
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ROH Validation
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
DGUSA Open the Ultimate Gate 2013
ROH/CMLL Global Wars Espectacular: Day 3

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Re: BRM Reviews the 6/22/2020 Raw (AWESOME! Best one in YEARS! WATCH THIS SHOW!)

Post by KILLdozer » Jun 23rd, '20, 13:46

I'm really hoping this leads to Crews somehow actually joining MVP and Lashley. Even though he's finally received a title, something like this seems to be his only fair chance to go forward in WWE.
When they come, they'll come at what you love.

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