Bah Gawd, that dumpster is broken in half!
Well, ok not really. But, it’s about as close to 1998 as we’ll get these days.
Welcome back to the Spoils of Raw, STC Wrestling’s weekly look at the Scores, the Flaws and the Snores from Monday night Raw. We’re in for a bit of a rough ride this week friends, so strap yourselves in, and let’s get down to business.
- THE CRACKS ARE STILL THERE
Matt Hardy vs Sheamus was the highlight of the night. It was a sloppy, rough match, but they told a WONDERFUL story. The Hardys and Sheamus & Cesaro clearly respect each other but the tension between them is growing, and could come to a head this Sunday. Interestingly the usually more calm Cesaro was the one getting more frustrated this week. Matt is skirting the line of Broken/Unbroken fantastically as well. Using the V1 symbol, the Hardy’s symbol AND the Delete symbol, makes it seem like he has multiple souls trapped in his vessel, and they’re fighting for control. I’m fascinated to see where they go with it.
- Kurt Angle – Comedian
Kurt Angle was fantastic tonight. I’ve been making my way through the history of Raw and Smackdown, and lately I’ve been getting into 2001, where Kurt’s comedic talents began to shine through, so seeing him bring that out as GM is great. He may still be a bit nervous, maybe because it’s live TV, but he nails his part well.
- Seth’s new finisher, oh and those other guys.
The 6 man tag match, aside from one specific thing that we’ll get to later, was a really good match. The focus was clearly all on Seth Rollins, with The Club, Cass and Finn feeling like they were just kind of there. Seth’s new finisher is a great subtle hint that he’s completely done with anything to do with being Triple H’s lackey, and that he’s moved on, and moved forward. Not to mention, it looks brutal.
- The ending.
Bray Wyatt. I was frustrated with his promo this week, and in week’s prior, so to see him appear at the end of tonight’s show was a nice surprise. He looked dominant, and slightly not in control. Let’s face it, the house of horrors match is going to be awful, but at least we can hope that Bray comes out of it looking good.
- Kalisto DUMPS Braun
Did anyone think that Kalisto had a chance? Or did I miss something, because I gave him no chance. Until the “Rey Mysterio eliminates anyone at the rumble” spot, that’s when I realised what was going on. Yes, Braun looked dominant, and like a monster (especially after the match), but Kalisto didn’t give up. They’re showing his heart. They didn’t just throw him away like literal garbage two weeks in a row. Also his new mask is awesome. What is also awesome, is Braun picking Kalisto up by the throat FROM THE GROUND and choke-slamming him. That was intense. Kalisto winning was the right move, and the post-match shenanigans were also perfect, EXCEPT….
- Braun dumps Kalisto right back
Don’t get me wrong, as I said in the Scores section, Braun monstering Kalisto after the match was wonderful and exactly what should have happened. My problem here is the dumpster off of the stage spot itself. It seemed to be a nod back to 1998 and the New Age Outlaws pushing Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie (Terry Funk) off of the stage in a dumpster. But, that stage was high off the ground. The Raw stage nowadays is maybe a metre (3 feet or so) higher than the floor. It just didn’t have a strong impact, and it honestly didn’t look like it should have done the damage they wanted us to think it did. Roman’s stretcher spot looked worse.
- Dana “Green as Grass” Brooke.
How? HOW is Dana ready for the main roster? Why is she being pushed as a babyface? Who thought that finisher was a good idea? These are just a few questions I have. This week she nearly dropped Alicia Fox on her head. I guess that’s not as bad as Nia actually dropping Charlotte on her head, but it’s still not good. Not to mention she screwed up her own finisher.
On top of all that, we got a 2 minute women’s match. Did we time travel back to 2011?
- Mean Girl.
Speaking of the Women’s action this week, we also have Alexa Bliss. Whoever wrote that promo needs to go back to school. Firstly, she said that everyone on Raw just wants to talk but she was there to win. And then proceeded to have an extended in-ring promo segment with Sasha and Bailey, and then purposely lost in her match. And let’s talk about that “Have you ever kissed a boy” thing. Since when is Bailey socially awkward? Again, is this 2013? Be a Star WWE, we don’t need the mean girls “you’re not like me so therefore you are bad” stuff. It’s 2017. The TITLE should be the focus.
- Enzo’s knocked out again.
Now I may be a little biased on this one, I’ll admit, I’m a big Enzo fan. But I’m getting a little sick of him being the guy taken out before or after matches. And tonight he was completely taken out of his match and “knocked out” again. This rubs me the wrong way because he’s actually had concussion before as well. We’ve heard that Vince likes “seeing Enzo get beaten up” but if we hardly get to see him do anything but that, he’s going to lose favour with the crowd quickly.
- A BIG Miz-take.
4 weeks ago, The Miz and Maryse were delivering incredible, well thought out, biting promos, calling out John Cena and Nikki Bella’s relationship and claiming their success wasn’t deserved. Miz was on Talking Smack lighting the world on fire with REAL emotion and passion. Miz made himself relevant when he was given a chance.
This week we have Miz saying everyone should be giving him presents and being hit with every finisher possible, and he’s not even getting a match at Payback.
Well done WWE. You’ve taken someone who was making, who had made a huge credible name for themselves with their own words, and turned him back into a joke. Good stuff.
- Cruiserweight Doublevision
The Cruiserweight match (aside from TJP of course) was fine tonight, the parts that I saw. To be totally honest, when it was shown to be the same 4 cruiserweights as last week again in action, I tuned out for the most part. Where is Kendrick, Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander, Tozawa, and the rest? If you want people to watch and take interest in an entire division, please keep the variety up. Yes, it’s the main storyline that centers around the Cruiserweight Championship, so they need screen time. But it’s a 3 hour show. Surely there’s time to at least give an interview segment to someone else or something. Let us get to know the whole roster. I know I haven’t watched 205 live for months because I have no connection to most of the roster.
- Bray “Stock photo” Wyatt.
Bray Wyatt’s in ring activity was great this week, but the promo was … just ok. It was fine, but the use of bad stock photos and generic “spooky” music is overkill. Go find some of his promos from NXT in 2012 or 2013. What makes them creepy, apart from the man himself, is that they’re just out in the woods. Now he’s skirting the line of being a supernatural character, akin to The Undertaker. But, he’s not Undertaker. Jumpscares aren’t frightening when you can predict them. And neither are bad promos.
- Apollo Snooze
Somebody GIVE THIS MAN A CHARACTER. He’s got a great dropkick. But a man can’t get by on dropkicks alone. He needs substance. And also to not be near Titus.
- Count-out Bliss
I covered most of this in the Flaws section, but specifically, the Count out win for Sasha was frustrating. And where is the continuation of the character build for Sasha that we’ve seen the last few weeks, the slight subtle nods to her turning heel? It doesn’t have to be much.. Maybe just stare at the title a little longer than she should. Count outs, even deliberate ones, are frustrating.
And there we have it. Do you agree with my assessment? Overall this Raw was a chore to get through, with only a few real highlights to break up the frustration and boredom. If it’s going to be like this, I see myself fast fowarding a lot more than just the commercials.
THE VERDICT: C
Stay tuned for Smackdown results tomorrow, and then later this week, our first Top 10 List article is coming. Follow us on twitter @_stcwrestling_ and on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/squaringthecirclewrestling