BRM Reviews the 8/12/2019 Raw (frustrating)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 8/12/2019 Raw (frustrating)

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 13th, '19, 21:41

OPENING SEGMENT- fine
After a long video package about Rollins winning the title from Brock, we get Rollins out to cut a boring promo. He is soon interrupted by the OC, with AJ challenging Rollins to a match tonight so he can prove he is the better champion. Rollins says that he doesn’t respect AJ anymore, but he never backs down from a challenge no matter how injured he is, so he accepts AJ’s challenge. I find Gallows’ face paint to be extremely distracting. They did some little stuff to make us wonder whether AJ would have Gallows & Anderson get involved on his behalf or not.

They are advertising the Kabuki Warriors challenging for the Women’s Tag Team Titles, Miz vs. Ziggler, and a 2 out of 3 falls match between Rey Mysterio Jr. and Andrade. Three thoughts here:
1. Anyone remember when they started to have Rey and Andrade feud six months ago and then pulled the plug on it? Well that doesn’t leave me too optimistic that they’ll let things play out this time, either.
2. In the three matches they’ve advertised, half of the wrestlers aren’t even supposed to be on this show.
3. Please, G-d, let Miz vs. Ziggler be short.

SAMI ZAYN & THE STREET PROFITS BACKSTAGE- bad
The Street Profits are wearing Blue Jays sweatshirts to get a cheap pop. They start talking about the matches announced so far on the show. Have we ever gotten a reason for why they have been turned into hype-men for a brand they’re not even on?
Sami Zayn- who hasn’t been on TV in forever- shows up on TV again this week and picks up exactly where he left off as if we hasn’t been missing for a while- came up to them and told the Street Profits that the parasitic fans would eventually drain them of happiness and coolness. He used Seth Rollins of an example of this… and I found Sami’s criticism of Seth to be pretty spot-on. He went from a kind of edgy guy to this vanilla dork with a meaningless catchphrase and who panders to the fans in a way that feels very empty to me.
His comments about Becky were a little more off-base, but I don’t think he’s wrong that “The Man” has become completely corporate. That’s an issue of presentation that WWE has. Their need to push their branding on everything via the announcers makes everything feel corporately produced and less cool because their announcers feel corporately produced and completely uncool.
The Street Profits asked if someone like Samoa Joe also got all of his coolness sucked away and got Sami to go on a rant about Joe having become soft because Joe checked on Roman Reigns last week when someone tried to murder Roman with a car (Karma’s a bitch, huh, Roman?), but Joe was standing right behind Sami. He challenged Sami to a match tonight, and also pushed him into an equipment case.

Next week’s show will be King of the Ring. I was initially excited about this, but then I remembered that pretty much every time they’ve done it since 2006, it hasn’t meant sh*t. And I’m not optimistic about this year, either. Michael Cole pushing it as the “classic King of the Ring tournament” did not help one bit, because whenever WWE throws an adjective in front of something that is supposed to tell you that you should think something is important (“the prestigious Intercontinental Title,” “the legendary Godfather”) it’s usually an indication that they’re not actually going to try to make that thing important, but rather just expect you to believe them that it’s important so that they don’t have to put any effort it.

SAMOA JOE vs. SAMI ZAYN- squash
Joe choked Sami out very quickly.

SAMOA JOE PROMO- good
He makes it clear that he’s still pissed off that everyone thought he was the one who tried to murder Roman, so he is definitely not a babyface.

THE MIZ vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER- 2/10
Dolph comes out selling from last night, dressed in street clothes, and holding a mic. He points out that it’s BS that Miz got Dolph booked against Goldberg the night before Miz’s match against him. He says that Miz’s plan has failed because he isn’t medically cleared tonight. To ensure that he got booed, he used the line “Miz screwed Miz.”
He turned to leave, but then jumped Miz when Miz let his guard down. You’d think that if Dolph wasn’t cleared to wrestle, someone in WWE would have told Miz about it and not sent him out to the ring for his match, so I have no sympathy for Miz falling for Dolph’s trap. Dolph eventually won with the Figure Four, but when you take into account that Dolph got his ass kicked last night while Miz didn’t even have to wrestle, it really doesn’t make Miz look any better.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- terrible
Apparently cutting promos after getting his ass kicked and then getting his ass kicked again like an idiot is Dolph’s new gimmick.

BECKY LYNCH PROMO- bad
She says that she is still angry at people who “did [her] wrong” and encourages them to “get me before I get you.” I have no idea who she’s angry at right now, and going around attacking people backstage instead of calling them out for a match is not a very babyface thing to do.

THE DRIFTER SINGS- Multiple times during this Corey Graves literally begged us to not change the channel, in those exact words. Ricochet is the one who interrupts him tonight. Insults are exchanged, and a challenge is made, and we get…

“THE DRIFTER” ELIAS SAMPSON vs. RICOCHET- 2/10
An ugly match with two badly botched spots, including a finisher where Elias’ shoulder was pretty clearly up.

2 OUT OF 3 FALLS MATCH: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/Zelina Vega)- 5/10
Andrade wins the first fall quickly after Andrade gets illegal leverage from both the ropes and Vega. That’s a good way to do a quick first fall. Andrade won the second fall cleanly in a five-minute match that felt a lot longer. They put Andrade over big.
I really hope there is some extra padding under the mats tonight, as both Ricochet and Andrade have taken some HARD bumps out there.

MICHAEL COLE INTERVIEWS STEVE AUSTIN VIA SKYPE- There were some audio problems, but mostly this was just Austin putting Rollins over.

CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS REY MYSTERIO JR.- Rey put over the enormity of this loss for him and very much seemed to be at a legitimate loss for words, eventually just talking about his need to support his family.

THE STREET PROFITS WASTE TIME- waste of time

SARAH SCHREIBER INTERVIEWS DREW MCINTYRE- Drew cut an awesome promo on Cedric Alexander to build to their match later tonight.

They announced that KOTR will be a 16-man tournament, which means we’re getting more than the usual one-night squeeze everything in show-killing crapfest. HOORAY!

DREW MCINTYRE vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER- 7/10
A great match for the time it got (just 8:40). Cedric was an excellent underdog babyface and Drew was… well… Drew McIntyre. Drew won clean with sick-looking finish, but Cedric definitely felt elevated a bit by this loss. If I were booking this, I’d have them get matched up again next week via random draw in the first round of KOTR, with Cedric winning. Drew would then be furious that he just beat Cedric the previous week but when Cedric beats him in much less dominant fashion Cedric’s win counts more, so he would cost Cedric his quarterfinal match and then they’d have one last match the PPV.

They tease that Brock Lesnar is here.

BOBBY ROODE vs. NO WAY JOSE (w/his conga line)- squash
Roode’s full beard is back. He squashed Jose.

CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS PAUL HEYMAN- Heyman is unhappy that WWE has declared that Brock will not get a rematch. Hasn’t that been standing policy for months now? In fact, that was the only change the McMahons made back in December when they promised us that everything would change. So why is Heyman so surprised by this?

THE REVIVAL vs. LUCHA HOUSE PARTY (w/Kalisto)- no rating, frustrating segment
So they start this match that I badly want to see… and then they almost immediately interrupt it for 24/7 bullsh*t. First of all, whoever had the idea to play Truth’s music before he ran out to the ring is an idiot. They never play the wrestlers’ music when they run in, so why did they do it for Truth. It just made everything feel more staged.
The camera had to show us Drake Maverick tripping so we missed the actual finish of this match, which was apparently Truth attacking The Revival for a DQ. All of the geeks fought for a while. Revival hit Truth with a Shatter Machine and both pinned him so they were declared to be co-champions. Kalisto then laid Dawson out with his finisher but got pulled off of him by Wilder. Having co-champions is stupid, but two guys working together to keep the belt would at least be something new for this belt. Instead we had Carmella pull Truth onto Dawson and cover him, so Truth is once again the champion, but this time he doesn’t deserve it.
The geeks all chased them away but Truth and Carmella hid and came back out. They went backstage where Truth was a moron. Then The Drifter came up behind him and gave him the El Kabong. Instead of trying to defend Truth, Carmella screamed in terror and ran away. #Women’s Evolution. The Drifter is your new Goofball Champion.

BIG WOMEN’S SEGMENT- Nattie’s arm is in a sling and she’s getting an MRI tomorrow. She vows to earn another match against Becky, then begins to cut an emotional promo about her father, who died one year ago today… when she was interrupted by… SASHA BANKS.
Despite the fact that Sasha just interrupted an emotional promo, Nattie just accepts her hug. Then Sasha floored Nattie with a big punch. This is not how I would have brought Sasha back (more on that in a moment), but it did get a huge reaction, and definitely let an impact on me. I certainly wouldn’t say this will go down as being anywhere close to an all-time great heel, turn, but it’s going to be one that people remember in vivid detail for a long time, like Mark Henry’s turn on Cena in 2013. This has been a pretty good day for heel turns in the world of pro wrestling, hasn’t it?
In the biggest swerve of the night, Sasha pulled off her purple wig to reveal that her hair is now blue. Sasha beat the sh*t out of Nattie, taunted her about her dead father, Nattie and worked over her injured arm. No one came out to help Nattie, and just to make things worse for Nattie, the Canadian crowd that had been cheering for her just moments ago started to chant “THANK YOU, SASHA!”
Becky Lynch FINALLY showed up to put a story to this beating and they had a brawl. Sasha got the advantage and beat the sh*t out of Becky with a chair. FINALLY some referees came out to try to stop Sasha, but they’ve all apparently been taking advice from New Japan referees so they just stood there and yelled at Sasha rather than doing something that had a chance of being effective.
This was a well-executed segment, but the crowd completely ruined it for me. I’m not demanding that everyone only cheer the faces and boo the heels, but I do want some f*cking consistency. Cheer for wrestlers to the degree that you like them and boo them to the degree that you dislike them, whether that like is a kayfabe one or not. But do not be like this crowd and constantly shift your allegiance to the next person who comes out. When Daniel Bryan said that fans were “fickle,” this is the kind of sh*t he was talking about. These fans loved Nattie until the moment that Sasha came out, then they loved Sasha until Becky came out. Then they switched back to Sasha when they saw that she was winning the fight. WHAT THE F*CK? That’s not being a fan; that’s being a mark for your own vocal cords.

As for how I would have brought Sasha back, I would have waited a week and had her jump Becky from behind. The reason for this would be that Sasha thinks she is one of the people who Becky had hinted that she was going to “come get,” so she felt the need to strike proactively. You could even have her face covered and use the blue hair to make people think it’s the “real” Liv Morgan we were promised a month ago.

THE VIKING RAIDERS vs. TWO JOBBERS- DUD on principle
Why did you even bring them up if you had no idea what you were going to do with them? Didn’t you learn anything from last year’s disaster with SAnitY? Or Ember Moon the year before? Or the many mistakes you’re made over the past five years with the likes of Apollo Crews, EC III, Heavy Machinery, Mojo Rawley, and probably a bunch of others that I’m forgetting?

CHARLY CARSUO INTERVIEWS ALEXA BLISS! & NIKKI CROSS- fine

WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Alexa Bliss! & Nikki Cross(c) vs. the Kabuki Warriors- 4.75/10
Paige isn’t here because she has to have neck surgery. We never saw more of her hat than the underside of the brim, but it’s entirely possible she was wearing a witch’s hat.
They did standard babyface in peril stuff with Nikki. Bliss pinned Kairi. I cackle with glee as the rest of the internet screams in rage.

SETH ROLLINS PROMO- good build to the main event

SETH ROLLINS vs. AJ STYLES (w/the OC)- 6/10
Once again, I feel like an idiot for getting excited about a match only for it to go to an annoying DQ. The OC ran in for the DQ, leading to Ricochet coming out to make the save, but he got laid out, too. Brain Strowman then made his big return just in time to save Rollins from the certain doom of an avalanche Styles Clash. Braun then gave Rollins his Universal Title belt. You might think that this builds to a six-man tag in the future, but we just saw Braun beat the entire heel faction up on his own, so what is there to really pay off with that match?


Despite some highlights, this was a frustrating episode of Raw. Quite frankly, the fact that I don’t have an even more negative impression coming out of it is due entirely to the hard work of the wrestlers (and particularly Rey, Andrade, Drew, and Cedric) for putting together such great matches in the criminally short amount of time they were given. The longest match on the show was the main event, which went 9:20. Only that match, the women’s tag title match, and Drew vs. Cedric got more than 5:35. Our grand total of wrestling on this three-hour show was 43:15. That’s LESS THAN ONE QUARTER OF THE SHOW devoted to the thing the show is supposed to be about.


Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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KILLdozer
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/12/2019 Raw (frustrating)

Post by KILLdozer » Aug 14th, '19, 10:24

Some things coming away from this show:

HAHAHAHAHA finally the return of Sasha Banks. That was TWELVE chair shots btw. I counted. Take that, The Rock and Dick Foley. This is a definitive change and finally someone of big value to face Becky. I know some people out there wouldn't like it, but I'm hoping we get the title change and fully pull the trigger and run wild with this heel turn.

Sasha bias aside, it's time for a new champion and to end this MAN crap. I don't even watch the 2k20 commercial because she's in it so prominently. I loved the turn on Charlotte and stuff that immediately followed. It was and has been butchered and well, botched up, since then.

Fuck this shit for Asuka And Kairi Sane losing again, bias once more aside, I actually believe the loss would have opened even more possible storyline doors for Bliss and Cross. Not to mention it could tease a possible angle with Paige and company that they "actually won the belts finally when she was NOT there", if they so decided to do so.

I'm not really into this whole "the inverted Alabama slam" move. Does it really need a new unique twist and variation? The shit just looks ridiculous every time during the set-up.

I'm really hoping we see AJ Styles go all the way with this Seth Rollins stuff and become a double champion. I mean it doesn't need to be said-this latest Lesnar crap and the shit with Becky killed off all love for face Seth Rollins. So let's move that title elsewhere. I was actually hoping Styles would get the clean win to set up a shot.

Strowman getting involved is good because at least he's being put in the right storylines.

Here's hoping he moves back toward the top.

Yeah, Ziggler's a fuckin idiot, and this will obviously and absolutely be better then "DUDE! IT SHOULD! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!", (*while almost falling on all over the floor of course*), lol.

No idea what we're gonna see with Miz coming out of this, probably more Ziggler.

It seems we might actually go all the way with Andrade and Rey this time...which is the right move and the match going like it did was also right.

And to add to another point- Balor and Joe were pretty the much only things to come from NXT in years that weren't completely and entirely fucked up and overlooked absolutely. Nakamura to an extent as well but that's about it.
When they come, they'll come at what you love.

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