WWE: Then, Now, Whatever.
Let’s Michael Cole and get it on. You’ve
got the healing that I want. Just like they say it in the song. Until the dawn,
let’s Michael Cole and get it on. Along with JBL and Byron Saxton,
Heidenreich’s ol’ bopball is eager to welcome you to another jam-packed edition
of Raw. Who’s here? Effin’ everybody, that’s who. So, cram it with walnuts,
ugly. Let’s Michael Cole and get it on.
Raw kicks off with a man that’s tired of hearing Internet
B.S. What? It’s the Texas Rattlesnake Steve Austin and he’s at Raw after
all. To the delight of all in
attendance, the Ring Master masters his ring and raises both fists on each
corner. He addresses the Lone Star crowd
and takes us through time to the Chris Adams Sportatorium Days, up to the
Houston Mania with Rock, and right back to tonight’s Raw with a “Hell Yeah!”
“I am proud and glad to be back here in Dallas,
Texas. Hell, I stomped so many mudholes in this town and walked them dry that
sometimes I got to drink a cold beer and reminisce about it at all.”
From binge-drinker to podcast-pusher, Austin plugs his
post-show interview with Brock Lesnar and then gives us a What-infused
introduction for the American Bad Ass himself…The Undertaker.
Oh no, mommy! The Undertaker is so scary!
Yo, Bobby. Get off my arm. How much acid did you take?!
The Phenom earns his spot as WWE’s favorite star by eating
up half the show with his entrance. After some persistent cheers, the Dead Man
begins to hype his final battle with Brock Lesnar at Hell in a Cell. He promises that the gates of hell will look
like the gates of heaven compared to what he sees on Sunday. Those, of course, are fighting words to the
Beast Incarnate. He hates gates.
Hopping mad, Brock bops his way onto the ramp along with his
weebly-wobbly partner in crime Paul Heyman. Paul E. does his classic over-pronunciation
of Lesnar’s name and a dramatic explanation of what this upcoming battle
means. It means revenge for past losses
like…WrestleMania. The W-word draws boos from the crowd (JG Note: That’s never
a good thing.) Heyman promises that Taker won’t take the win on Sunday. He’ll
take a buttkicking and a legacy tarnished with the Beast’s stank. Yeah. That’s
right. Enjoy it, Deado. Enjoy your beast stank.
Under takes no joy in revenge, though. He relishes in losing
all he had to Brocktune back at Mania. Because, with nothing to lose, he can
fight like he’s never fought before.
These words, like the ones earlier, are fighting ones to Beast Stank.
Brock marches up the aisle and Paul tries desperately to
talk some sense into him. At one point,
he was screaming so frantically that it seemed like he was talking in
tongues. Lesnar finally backs off and
these two are on a warpath. The feud
will be settled on Sunday. And you’re gonna pay to watch it. Vince told me. He
also said you pick your nose.
Commercial Break. Catch the Stone Cold Podcast tonight after
Raw. Just don’t tell him you heard he has Twitter.
The Awkward Birth of a Gimmick
Hi, Mr. McMahon.
How’d ya like to blow my big trombone on Raw?
Do you mean…uh, what?
You can do it. Just get in the ring. Then slide your hand up
and down and blow into the long tube.
Uh…is this like some weird version of the Kiss My Ass Club?
What?! No! I mean an actual trombone, you sicko. You thought
I wanted you to…? On TV…?! To me…?! Wow. I never thought…hold on. Hunter, write that down. That’s actually a
really good idea.
1. The New Day defeated John Cena and the Dudley
Boys when Xavier Woods pinned D-Von
So yeah, 21 minutes in and we’ve got Brock Lesnar, John
Cena, New Day, Dudleys, and Undertaker. After the next commercial break,
they’re bringing in Andy Kaufman and Elvis. Packed from the start, it might not
be the type of show WWE can put on every week, but it’s fun on the days that
they can. New Day was amazing from the moment their intros began and just
stayed that way. As one of the few WWE acts with the ability to ad-lib at will,
the happy clappers played into the audience, attacked the local sports heroes,
and liberally dropped the word “booty”. With the fans calling for blood before
the tag champions even got in the ring, it was a great way to kick off the
night’s action. Bubba Ray, while reverting back to his old round shape, has a
new found enthusiasm since returning to WWE. Along with a top level star and an upcoming six
man team, it only leads to a solid outing. In the end, it was tromboners
getting the victory when Xavier Woods covered a distracted D-Von for the
After the bell, the good guys attacked and JBL, rightfully
so, called them sore losers. Then, in keeping with our “please watch Raw again”
theme, they tell Reverend D-Von…to get the Tables!
…And Xavier goes through the Wood. Creed feels the
consequences as the Dudleys of Thuganomics pose for the blood-thirsty masses.
Breaking news…Michael Cole and JBL say that Randy Orton
no-showed the weekend’s Mexican shows, isn’t here tonight, and might no-show
Hell in a Cell. Alberto El Patron immediately sues him for gimmick
Commercial Break. Chili’s should just make their motto,
“Come To Chili’s and Get Drunk. Then You’ll Like Our Food.”
Renee Young interviews Dean Ambrose about missing Randy
Orton and rumors that the Wyatts might be responsible. Dean thinks so and,
since he’s batshit insane, he’s still up for the challenge. Ambrose has a score
to settle and he’s going to settle it with the cartoony Manson Family tonight.
2. Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox defeated Sasha Banks
and Naomi when Bella pinned Naomi
I sometimes forget that Tamina is even there. She’s like a
ring post. As for Naomi, it’s easy to be outshined by the woman who’s
(arguably) leading the divas revolution. Neck and neck with Charlotte, Sasha
Banks is the division star and, by her side, Naomi might not be soaring…but
she’s not drowning. That’s a tough thing
to do and she deserves credit. Unfortunately, it was another week of throwaway
tag challenges for these four women. If you’re trying to get the audience to
appreciate and relate to the stars, you can’t throw them out there into
X-Division moshpit matches. Sadly, although the match itself was pretty good,
no one had any reason to care about it.
A story seemed to develop in the ring after a Nikki Bella
clothesline-botch and she found herself exchanging some pretty stiff looking blows
with Banks. The match was pretty good and worthy of much more than the
uninspired finish it had. Basic Rack Attack lays out Naomi and gets the pin.
The Filler Revolution continues.
Breaking News: Kane has been suspended for the day after
defying the Authority and putting himself in a match with Seth Rollins. I knew
a kid in elementary school who was suspended. Funny enough – for the same
Commercial Break. Subway should stop making commercials for
a while. I forget all about Jared until I see their commercials. Then I go, “Oh
yeah. Remember that dude likes middle school girls?” I doubt that’s their
Shawn Michael is here and the crowd doesn’t seem as amped as
you’d expect when his music hits. Looking a little less homeless than usual,
HBK rocks up the ramp and takes the microphone. Years removed from his dropped
storyline with Daniel Bryan, the legend has things to talk about with the WWE
Universe. Michaels kicks the Hell in a Cell pitch with some light comedy and
transitions to his history in the epic match. In fact, he was in the first HIAC
with The Undertaker and kicked the whole thing off. Now, 18 years later (JG Note: You feel old?
You should, oldie.), Taker is going back in.
However, he’s not the only Cellar on the show. There’s a little matter
of redemption between Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt. The Boy Toy believes those two matches will
tear the house down.
This brings Seth Rollins to the party. Dripping wet about
the face, head, and neck, Rollins is wedged into his pleather pants and has a
bone to pick with the DeGenerate. He goes face to face with Michaels and asks
“What the hell are you doing out here, Shawn?”
– Seth Rollins
The WWE Champion goes
on to explain that the Head Ache Kid wasn’t supposed to come out and wax
philosophic on Hell in a Cell. He was brought out to introduce Seth Rollins.
That’s it. Michaels laughs him off and says that’s his thing. He tears up the
run-sheet and breaks all the rules. Seth
points out that Triple H made those rules and if Shawn wants to ignore them
like Chyna at a DX Reunion, that’s fine. But for what? To talk about Roman
Reigns? Bray Wyatt? Repo Man? Nah. You should be taking about the man that
everyone is calling “Shawn Michaels Version 2”.
“If I had a nickel for every guy that was
supposedly the next me, dude, I’d be a billionaire.”
Billionaire Shawn actually finds the whole thing funny. Why
would you be content to be a Version Two of anything? Michaels never did. He
was too busy becoming “the greatest wrestler who ever lived.” After dropping
truth bombs all over the Champion, Kid Heartbreak reminds him of Demon Kane
challenging him on Sunday. He tries to
change the subject. It doesn’t work.
An irate Seth Rollins goes buckshot all over the Rocker. He
calls him jealous, badmouths Kane, and calls for his music to be played so he
can leave. When it doesn’t, he gets even
more irate. It seems silly since he can
leave anyway. It’s not like there’s an electrical force field surrounding the
ring that’s only deactivated by shitty music. It all seems like a setup for
them to play Shawn’s music, which they do, and for Seth to remain in the ring
so he can face…Ryback.
Yeah. The crowd didn’t pop that much either.
3. WWE Champion Seth Rollins pinned Ryback after
Why do I have to “Wake Up” for “Feeding Time”? If I’m
sleeping and it’s feeding time, just let me sleep. I’ll eat when I get up,
Ryback. Speaking of the Big Guy, he was dressed in a full pink breast-cancer
awareness singlet. It was a nice gesture, but he looked like the Susan G. Komen
Monster. Rollins did what he could to
avoid the Pink Panther and it ended up being a great strategy. While he took a
pounding in the opening moments, a missed attack by Rybo on the outside allowed
the Champion to take a small amount of control. It didn’t last long as the
nearly-silent crowd watched Ry come back briefly and then fall again. Seemingly
out of nowhere, Triple H Version Two hit the Pedigree and scored himself a
Version Three Count.
Still to come: Dean Ambrose versus Bray
Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Super Luke Harper.
Commercial Break. “WWE Network –
Reality TV Is
Still A Thing, Right?”
Are you following the whole Rusev-Lana-Summer love triangle?
You probably are, fruitsnack. But if not, no worries. Cole and company show us
some videos to help us understand the nonsense without directly saying that
real Rusev engagement leaked a week after fake Rusev engagement. Rather than
ignore it, WWE acknowledged it. If this
storyline ends with something on a pole, I’m calling Titan Tower and putting
“RUSSO” into the spell-by-name directory.
4. Rusev, King Barrett, and Sheamus defeated
Neville, Dolph Ziggler, and Cesaro when Sheamus pinned
This is the part of the night where the hot opening starts
to really cool off. The realization sinks in that the night has been mostly
filler. Every match has been inconsequential and even the big surprise stars
have turned into glorified PPV sales pitches.
With yet another six man match, complete with full entrances that paused
for a commercial break, it seems obvious that things are being done for the
sake of filling time. It definitely feels
that way more often than not lately. One of my favorite moments in this one came
about when the fans broke into a USA chant while Neville was in the ring with
Rusev. Yeah. That old gag. Like when the MSG crowd would roar for the USA while
Bret Hart battled Yokozuna. It’s like chanting, “We Hate You Both! We Hate You
Both!” I have to say too, that Sheamus is nowhere near where he needs to be in
order to make his eventual Money in the Bank cash-in seem exciting. He’s so
forgettable, even with all the crap in his face. As usual, everyone gets their
spots in and things seem to go as expected in this one. Neville’s the Ricky
Morton with both his Roberts reaching for the tag. The Foreign Fanatics work
him over and, by the time he gets the drop on Sheamus and tags to Cesaro, we’re
all calling for blood. The Artist Formerly Known as Antonio does his thing and manages
to bring in Dolph Ziggler. Shawn Michaels Version 1.5 opens up a can of Spirit
Squad on everyone in his sights and looks ready to finish things off…until
Rusev came running in. This lead to a confusing and awkward break in the action
before Ziggy hit a sloppy Fameasser and earned a two. Some more audible in-ring
discussion followed by a series of near falls and exchanged head kicks, finally
came to a close when Mr. Money in the Bank hit a kick of his own. From the
floor, he floored Dolph with the ol’ Brogue Kick. Zig zagged and Barrett
covered for a royal three. The Team That The Creative Team Forgot look sad as
the Bad News Bulgarian Fellers celebrate.
Commercial Break. WWE
a week away from being released and my WWE 2k15 disc is a week away from being
a little shiny Frisbee.
This week on Smackdown – Miz TV with Summer Rae and Dolph
Ziggler. Miz better not be on a pole.
Ric Flair’s music starts while he’s already in the ring.
It’s weird. Instead of walking out when
it kicked in, he just nodded, stood in place, and smiled. Yeah, definitely weird. It was even weirder
when it became apparent that Ric doesn’t know if he’s on. He eventually
realizes he’s all the way live and comes up with some Von Erich namedrops and
local crowd pops. Much like the legends before him, Flair has little reason to
be here. He’s simply the deliverer of
big news. The news? Roman Reigns is going to be teaming with Dean Amrbose
tonight against The Wyatts. You might be wondering, why is Ambrose having Flair
tell everyone? Because he’s shy, silly.
Roman roams through the crowd and steps through the ropes
WWE Fun Fact: Bray Wyatt smells like
The Eater of Worlds suddenly appears out of the
darkness. That’s when Roman starts
talking. He offers to get two chairs.
While he does that, we realize three things.
1. This isn’t the match. It’s another
2. Erick Rowan is standing with the Wyatt
3. I forgot to buy cat food.
In the ring, Roman, all super cool, takes a seat and calls
Wyatt out. He tells the Braydy Bunch to
answer the call and that’s exactly what happens. Wyatt steps between the ropes and
apprehensively sits down, Reigns begins a dumb interview. The crowd “Whats” their way through it
because, you know, he responded to that last week. Plus, as mentioned, it’s a dumb interview
thing. Here are the talking points:
Bray: A bully. Gets off on being a bully. Surrounds himself
by mountains. Scared to be alone. Enjoys taking part in dumb interview-style
This leads to a sudden fist fight and Dean Ambrose running
out from the back. Rather than sticking
around and starting the match, the Wyatts leave and WWE managed to squoosh an
extra segment out of a match they still have booked. Eater of Worlds? Eater of
Time. Good work, Waylon.
Backstage, The Authority and Seth Rollins are talking about
the surprising appearance of Roman Reigns as Dean Ambrose’s partner. That’s when Shawn Michaels goofies his way
into the scene and suggests that Seth Rollins team with his former Shield
partners to even the odds against the Wyatts.
Seth refuses at first, but HBK’s reverse psychology works wonders. He uses it to convince Rollins to bury the
hatchet into the Shield and join the contest. It works and the soaking wet WWE
Champion agrees to the match. It’s the same trick Shawn used on Jannetty to
borrow his Blockbuster Video card.
Commercial Break. I was going to post it when the Raw Theme
played, but they never played the Raw theme. So, here ya go -
5. Charlotte defeated Brie Bella with the Figure
This is the one-on-one style match that will make a solid
push for the respect of female stars. While people might come down on the
Bellas, they can do their thing in the ring. They’re not wrestling Gods, sure, Some
might be better, but there have been many worse. Speaking of worse, one of the
worst parts of Team PCB came out when Michael Cole referred to Paige as the “P”
in PCB. Before anything, it’s funny that he’s calling someone Pee. But even
more crazy is that this, of course, makes Becky “The B” in PCB. Funny for us.
Crappy for her. Another thing that needs to go is Brie Bella screaming “BRIE
MODE!” It’s kind of ridiculous. It’s like an eight year old playing robot
superhero. The match itself was good with some slow moments here and there.
Charlotte continues to demonstrate amazing conditioning and flexibility. This
match was another showcase for that as she looked like a true star before
eventually earning a Figure 8 tap out.
Renee Young is standing by with Crazy Paige and asks her
about all the...well, craziness. With
the P going on the attack against various superstars, it seems obvious that she
might be Natalya’s secret attacker from last week. With Renee pushing for
answers, the British tweener pushed back. She named everyone from Eve Torres to
Alundra Blayze as possible attackers and threw some shade Young’s way in the
process. Anyone could have attacked Nattie. Maybe it’s one of Matilda’s
grandpups looking for revenge against Jim Neidhart. That’s my hope. How awesome
would that be? Book it. Put it on a pole.
Commercial Break. Subway – ‘Member Jared?
Hey! That’s the last Ding Dong! I want it!
No! I want it!
Screw you! Let’s settle it in the ring!
6. Kevin Owens pinned Mark Henry after the Pop-Up
Kevin Owens hates Texas and makes sure to share that fact
with Mark Henry just as the match began. Henry responded by tossing him from
the ring and making things look believable until he eventually lost. Mark has
gone so up and down between being unbeatable and totally beatable that, if
wrestling was a shoot, people would legitimately think there was a magical
curse on him. How do you go from being the monster that can’t lose to being the
monster that always loses and repeating the process over and over for twenty
years? This is one of his downtimes, though. In the end, Sexual Chocolate made
a strong showing and added credibility to Kevin’s win after Poppa Powerbomb hit
his trusty namesake and earned a three.
Michael Cole asks “Are you kiddin’ me?” No, Michael Cole. No one’s
kidding you. It’s a powerbomb.
After his victory, Kevin Owens appears content to talk trash
in Henry’s fallen face. That lasted until Ryback’s music hit the speakers and
Kevin hit the road.
But then Mark Henry, suddenly back to life, tossed Owens
back into the ring.
That’s when Ryback hit K.O. with a powerbomb of his own,
asked the crowd for food, and did the arm thing while we watched replays.
JBL tells everyone how stupid they are for paying cable
companies for Hell in a Cell rather than getting the WWE Network. Seriously. I’ve
never had someone sell me something and laugh at me before I even bought
In the hallways of the arena, Renee Young happens to cross
paths with a walking Seth Rollins just as the cameras come on. Amazing timing.
She asks Rollins about reuniting with the Shield. He laughs at the notion. It’s
a match, not a mixer, Goldilocks. The architect has it all together.
Commercial Break. With new WWE Create a Superstar figures,
you can make your own superstar! Anyone you want! Except Cesaro. Not him. Gotta
keep it realistic. Anyone else though.
Video Package of Brock Lesnar versus Undertaker. You know, I
wish Gordon Solie was around to do commentary for Brock Lesnar. He would call
Suplex City “Suplay City”. It would sound like Soufflé City. And it would make
7. The Wyatt Family defeated The Shield by
This match went the way you’d expect. The Shield started
things off by arguing but seemed to settle into a groove soon enough. Rollins was back in semi-babyface mode as he
eagerly reached for tags and showed no signs in turning his back on his former
buddies. That is until he, you know, turned his back on his former buddies. Just as Ambrose came in for a tag, Rollins
hobbled off on his suddenly injured leg and left his two partners to battle the
three on the other side. That ain’t no
thing to Reigns. He was fired up as he
took it to Rowan and nearly pinned him with a Superman punch. When Strowman broke it up and went after
Roman, the Lunatic Fringe knew he could only do one thing. Get a kendo stick and get disqualified.
With no sign of Luke Harper…or Randy Orton…or Kane…the weird
night of surprise legends and missing regulars comes to a close when Roman and
Dean fought back the Wyatts and stood in the ring with their music playing. To
call it anticlimactic would be an understatement as we fade to black.
All in all… I didn’t get it.
I guess Kane’s the reason WWE is thinks things are in a
funk. I haven’t seen a PPV World Title challenger ignored so much on the Raw
prior to his match since Kevin Nash was basically ignored before facing Triple
H at Hell in a Cell. It was bizarre and,
when you include that JBL laughed at everyone for buying the show from the cable
companies, it didn’t seem like Hell in a Cell was that big of a deal.
Sure, they did Lesnar and Taker. That’s the selling
point. Rather than ending the night with
them, they started the night with them and never brought them back out.
Disappointing and, when you realize that Kane wasn’t anywhere near the show, it
seems like the only way they should have gone home at 11:05.
The Shield reunion was sadly just like the legends and every
match – needless. Stone Cold, Ric Flair, and Shawn Michaels all served no real
purpose and could have been replaced by Tom Philips in each segment. The
teaming of Rollins with Ambrose and Reigns was over before it began. It all
felt like filler and that was sad.
So, yeah. Order Hell in a Cell. Don’t pay too much for it
though. JBL thinks that’s funny. That does it for me. Be Well!
Thanks for sharing my Insanity.