Welcome back to STC Wrestling, and the Spoils of Raw.
Let’s get down to business!
Opposites Attract (viewers)
Co-Acting-GM’s. With Kurt Angle not making the UK trip, Dean Ambrose and to his surprise, The Miz were named Co-Acting-GM’s for the night. Which gave the opening segment a big dose of humour but for the second week in a row, didn’t make Miz look like a complete joke. This is a very good thing, and it continued through the night with bickering and one-upsmanship, with Miz putting Ambrose in a match against Bray Wyatt, after he himself had been put into a match with Finn Balor. All excellent stuff. Very entertaining, except when Kalisto came out to the entrance ramp, flubbed a line, and sounded like he’d just run all the way from the USA. But, that one little hiccup doesn’t take away from a great start.
Stock standard but fun finish
Finn Balor vs The Miz was the opening match, and it was good. Nothing too special. Finn did his Finn things, Miz did his Miz things, including hiding behind his wife as usual. Because he’s a heel don’t you know?
What was interesting and entertaining was the finish. I do wish the “restarted” portion of the match had been a little longer and not just “let’s beat the Miz really quickly”, but it was again a nice way to play up the Co GM’s for the evening stuff, and it worked well. Miz still looks good, because he was forced back into the match after doing a bad guy thing to get out of it, and Finn looks good because he picked up a good clean win.
Next up was Alexa Bliss, with her new best friend (we’ll get to that) Nia Jax vs Mickie James with Bayley. Not that you’d know that. Bayley’s music was the theme playing during Mickie’s entrance. If you know the crowd want Bayley so much that you play her theme to get a better reaction, maybe put her in the match? Especially after how many times we saw this match on Smackdown.
And then there’s Nia. She had one job during this match. To take a jumping move from Bayley. And she was out of position for it. Because of that, Bayley had to pause on the steps for what felt like forever. Maybe that was meant to happen, but it looked bad to me.
After the match, with Alexa picking up the win (which makes sense, so maybe Bayley not being her opponent was for the best), Nia decided to beat down Mickie. And from my vantage point, dropped right onto her face with an elbow drop. When are the WWE going to realise she isn’t ready? Bad ending to a lackluster match.
Braun vs Obviously it doesn’t matter
So next up, one-armed Braun vs Kalisto. Braun refused to take the match, but then the bell sounded so he started taking part. Then Roman Reigns made his return to THUNDEROUS boos, which of course was played off as a “raucous” crowd. Then Kalisto just kind of disappeared and Roman took advantage of an injured Strowman, to many more boos.
Now the reports say that Strowman is out for 4-8 weeks. So why was he even taking bumps if the long term plans are for him to go up against Lesnar? Are we really just trying to make Roman look strong at the risk of injuring a fast-rising star? Roman almost doesn’t need to get one back on Strowman, he’s already seen as Superman. Bad move WWE.
Also, what the hell happened to Kalisto??
Tag Team Term Oils
So, Enzo and Cass’s chance of winning a title, that’s just gone out the window now right? They’re the funny guys, the guys who can hype a crowd up and say the funny thing, and then Enzo gets tossed around a ring for a bit and loses? That’s what it feels like more and more. The only good thing is, at least they were beaten by a fresh Sheamus and Cesaro. It would have looked worse if they came out later and were beaten after their opponents had run through multiple teams beforehand.
Slater and Rhyno were out next. And were pretty much just punching bags. NEXT.
Next we have the club. Unfortunately, the crowd pretty much all died. Two heel teams who people aren’t really behind make it hard, but they warmed up eventually. Too many commercial breaks and a quick finish when the show came back made their appearance fairly forgettable.
Finally, The Golden Truth came out to face a tired Sheamus and Cesaro. And once again, unfortunately, the last few weeks of building up a little glimmer of hope that we’d get a fresh match were dashed, with Cesaro pinning R-truth.
Now, this is great in the sense that it really solidifies Sheamus and Cesaro as a top heel team, but every week since Wrestlemania, The Hardy’s and Sheamus & Cesaro have been involved in segments together. It’s getting repetitive and bordering on boring. There are ways to keep feuds going without having the participants only interact with each other. WWE just seem to have forgotten that.
The match was ok, but sort of pointless and far too long. And just seeing the Hardys for 30 seconds was a bit annoying too.
Seth Rollins vs Samoa Joe (again) is next. I’m writing this at the start of the match, and my prediction is 50/50 booking. So Joe wins. Let’s see if I’m right at the end of this segment.
So after a backstage brawl, we get the same match we had just over a week ago on Pay Per View. And the same match we had two months before that, also on Pay Per View. Again, there are ways to further a feud, without having the two participants always wrestle. WWE showed they do know that with last week’s main event, but it seems like we’re just back to the same old stuff. At least this match isn’t all about Seth’s knee though. The crowd was dead for a good part of this match as well. That’s a problem.
Also what’s with this particular ref, repeatedly I’ve noticed him not looking at the wrestlers when he’s counting pinfalls. Isn’t that a little bit important, to know when someone kicks out?
And now as the match finishes, I guess technically I was wrong, but Joe certainly looks like the winner doesn’t he? Overall, a good match, but just more of the same which isn’t good, especially if we’re heading to at least one more match on pay per view between Rollins and Joe.
Cruiserweight action followed. Unfortunately YET AGAIN it’s the same 4 wrestlers involved. And of course, because Gallagher is in his home country, he gets pinned by TJ Perkins. Jack did deliver probably the most brutal headbutt in history to start the match, but unfortunately after that, everything was fairly by the numbers. Even the post match stuff.
Bank(s) of London
Sasha Banks vs Alisha Fox. I guess they’re trying to start something after that intense mini brawl last week. Disappointingly the crowd seemed to be more interested in something happening in the arena, and not in the action going on in-ring. Which is a shame, because Sasha and Alicia had a great, fiery, hard hitting match. It was only short, but Sasha picked up a good win, and got her momentum that she’s lost a bit back.
VERDICT: SCORE (Except the crowd)
I’m The Miz and I’m Important!
And finally tonight we have the main event. Bray Wyatt vs Dean Ambrose. My first thought, and it’s based on something The Miz said, is why is the IC title not on the line for this match, just to add to the hype? Oh, right, because we can’t possibly have a title match unless it’s between two people who are feuding. Miz pointed out that the belt hasn’t been defended since Wrestlemania, and that when he was IC champion, he was defending the belt every week, which made it mean something. And he’s 100% right.
Having said all that, Bray and Dean put a fairly good, if brutal match together. That suplex from the ropes to the floor looked like it would have hurt more than just about anything. Unfortunately this match suffers the same thing that every match with a guest commentator suffers. The focus is about the guy talking, not the two guys fighting. Now, maybe that’s just how good The Miz is, and I guess it fits with his character that he just talks about himself all the time, but it’d be nice if the match was the main focus.
In fact, right after Miz made his way to the ring, Cole even said “Now we can turn our attention to the match”. So the casual fan thinks the two in the ring aren’t as important as the guy talking. Great work.
The problem is too, that the match was really good and it deserved the focus. Except that no-sell clothesline of Ambrose’s. That thing is awful.
Bray picked up the win with interference from The Miz. I guess, at least Bray got a win. Definitely doesn’t help with that whole Intercontinental title prestige though. Miz just looks like a champion. Hopefully next week is his time. That belt needs to be important. Especially at the moment, with a champion that just isn’t there ever.
- Nia Jax, number one contender.
It was teased that Nia Jax will be getting a title shot soon. NO. Please NO. She’s not ready. Give it at least a few more months.
- Corey “One Liner” Graves.
Corey’s commentary has been dropping off in quality recently I feel. Maybe it’s because he’s in a 3 man booth, maybe he’s got less freedom. Whatever the reason, he’s becoming the one liner bad guy, and it’s not the best he can do.
- DON’T LOOK AT THE CAMERA!!
One of my pet peeves with WWE is the wrestlers not looking into the camera when delivering promos. They look off in the distance, or down at the ground. It doesn’t connect with the audience. Samoa Joe was struggling big time with this tonight, and I have no idea why WWE are so against it. Don’t they want us to connect with our favourites?
- Sling Blade.
This move either needs to be Seth’s OR Finn’s. Both of them using it, especially when they’re in matches together, doesn’t work. Someone needs to make an executive decision.
It appears that Emma has been injured yet again, along with Braun Strowman, and Ember Moon from NXT, which is a huge shame. Let’s hope everyone can make a speedy recovery and get back as quick as possible. Especially Emma, the girl has just had awful luck with injuries, not to mention the terrible Emmalina storyline.
And there we have it folks, that’s the Spoils of Raw for this week. Check back tomorrow for The Smackdown Shakedown.