How was this week’s WWE Raw? Better than last week’s abysmal performance? Bobby checks in with The Good, Bad, and Ugly for this week’s show!
Last week we were subjected to a show that was in fact not a pleasure to watch. It was one of the worst Monday Night Raws on record among a lot of Bad and Ugly for the “A” Brand as of late. Although I understand the significance of the brand, has the damage been irreparable? Was this week’s any better?
Firstly, wrestling is so patriotic, always has been. The fans show out every time, and tonight was no different. RIP George H.W. Bush.
Alicia Fox and Mickie James w/ Dana Brooke vs. Bayley and Sasha Banks
The crowd was into this one. They were reacting well to the action which was abundant. Alicia Fox looked Good tonight. Bayley and Sasha Banks also were sharp. Mickie James just seems to have lost her touch. She really seemed to struggle tonight. Overall this wasn’t Bad, Bayley pins Mickie James with a Bayley to Belly for the Win! It was short and showcased some decent wrestling.
Drew McIntyre Appreciation Night w/ Baron Corbin
Corbin is unquestionably hated. Rightfully so, he is horrible on the mic and overrated beyond reason for his ring prowess. Drew McIntyre is greatly impressive. He has come into his own as a force and potential top guy with his exceptional size, ring awareness and mic skills. He is the total package and the push he has gotten is deserved and a Good move. His feud with Finn Balor is a tremendous match-up and well received by the fans. When promos like this are done well, they can make memories that actual wrestling cannot bring. However this was another pointless, over the top failure, until Dolph Ziggler unexpectedly interrupted and got instant heat with Drew McIntyre. This is an interesting feud with two very talented people and made for some great content. I’d say with the unique gift of a surprise, this went from Bad to Good.
Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler
This being unexpected added a Good feeling to it. It is rare that fans get surprised anymore. No one expected this tonight. Drew McIntyre destroyed every spec of the talented “Show Off” Dolph Ziggler. We had some decent wrestling and storytelling. Ziggler put McIntyre over every chance he had. McIntyre looked great out there with such talent working with him. Everything was going well, but a promo in the middle of the match is a Bad move. Luckily it was short and they got back to action. Finn Balor came out, making things interesting as he acted as a distraction to an otherwise squash match. What little offense Dolph Ziggler had, was done well. The spot with the ref and interference with Finn Balor looked Good, and did it’s job. Ziggler hits a sharply placed Superkick for the victory.
As usual we started out with the crowd ready to “Walk with Elias.” His fan base has grown immensely. We have seen some decent action between him and Bobby Lashley. Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush come out and interrupt. Lio Rush is Good on the mic, sometimes a little too much though. However it is a Good thing that someone can enhance Bobby Lashley as he hold his own in the ring but can’t handle the mic. This was a pretty standard ending with Finn Balor literally throwing Lio Rush to the wolves leading to Lio getting slammed by Elias’ guitar. The purpose was clear and effective. So dare we say, this was Good enough.
Dean Ambrose Promo
Dean Ambrose’s new entrance is Great! I like the sirens and the cockiness. All of it is Good. The cheap heat suits him well. This Dean Ambrose is a Good Dean Ambrose. Pretty regular promo, nothing new, Rollins comes out and attacks from behind. Rollins “burned it down” destroying the swat team that accompanied Ambrose. After giving chase, Rollins got some good shots on Ambrose. Ambrose got the upper hand and put a good beating back on “The Architect.” Decent hype segment and Good enough that we got the message.
“Loser is Fired Match” Heath Slater vs. Rhyno
It is wonderful seeing them on Raw. The trend tonight of putting different talent in front of the camera is a Good one. Someone getting fired is a shame. It was quick and the right man won. Heath Slater Wins and will be able to keep feeding his kids. Rhyno has been around a long time and given wrestling fans, his all. Thank you to him! Corbin making Heath Slater as a Ref could make for some entertaining times ahead.
Jinder Mahal vs. Finn Balor
We have been seeing a lot of Finn Balor which is Good. He is a top contender and heavy fan favorite. Jinder Mahal not too long ago, like Balor was a Champion. This is a decent pairing. We have a big powerful guy vs. a fast high spot guy. Both have gotten a push and made it to the top. Finn Balor did so much on this show. It is exciting to see the potential. Jinder Mahal wore Balor down in textbook fashion. The placement of the match was well done. Balor came back hard but was stopped by the Singh Brothers outside antics. Apollo Crews ran in for the save leading to a decisive win for Finn Balor. This match was a Good move. It was smart booking and showed major improvements to the decision making backstage.
Ronda Rousey (WWE Raw Women’s Champion) and Natalya vs. Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka
Raw opening with the most hated person on Earth Nia Jax and Rousey in any capacity seems like a safe choice to wake up the crowd right away. However it is also a huge risk including Tamina. Natalya isn’t exactly a safe bet for a positive boost in crowd participation either. Rousey looked fierce tonight and the crowd noticed. She came out hot. Nia got booed accordingly and Tamina looked like she got forced out of bed and hassled to be there. Raw got it right getting the Riott Squad more involved as more of them is a Good thing. Aside from the ever popular Liv Morgan, and the hell of a bump Natalya took through a table, this was a jumbled up mess. Everyone was all over the place, and it just didn’t do anything to help the show. The only plus was it was very short lived and over quickly. The after segment was worse in case you are wondering.
Baron Corbin Rise to Power
Baron Corbin is Bad. Even with his over the top WWE Style Promo Video.
Lucha House Party vs. Scott Dawson of The Revival (Lucha House Rules 3 on 1)
Scott Dawson is a great talent. The Revival has so much potential and are great for the sport. They bring this traditionalist mentality and style missing from so many now. Lucha House Party is rough. They have their moments but overall are way to hyped. This match had some decent moments however this whole Lucha House Rules is Bad. We need less of this crap. The trend of the evening seems to be short, effective matches. This one was not Good though. Lucha House Party Wins!
Bobby Roode vs. Drake Maverick (Tag Team Championship Match Implications vs. AOP)
Bobby Roode being on is vital and an important person that should be used as much as possible. With leadership qualities and skills to be a Top Guy, he must be seen. I sensed we were going to get an overdose of cheese here given the set up. While Roode had his way with Maverick. AOP destroyed Gable backstage and AOP was added to the match for a second 3 on 1 match of the night. This was really Bad. Roode got killed in there. The crowd did not enjoy this, and AOP really cannot do Good. This was pointless yet again, as was Gable coming in and fighting. After AOP destroyed Roode and Gable, Maverick picks up the Victory.
Ronda Rousey (WWE Raw Women’s Champion) and Ember Moon vs. Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka
I always get excited when a mystery partner is involved as it can lead to something special and different. When the opportunity is wasted I equally can hate it. Ember Moon is a great choice. She is talented, exciting and not mainstream yet. The energy was bright with Ember getting the crowd and Rousey fired up. She brings a great presence with her. Unfortunately even as great as Ember Moon looked tonight, she was not bright enough. This was a rough match. Some miscues, and awkwardness filling the air. The crowd seemed to love it. Tamina taps to a Rousey Armbar after an Eclipse for the Win! The only reason this was spared the Ugly Stick is because the crowd was super-hot in the end.
Alexa Bliss’ Open Forum: Sasha Banks and Bayley
Alexa Bliss is Good for business. I say it often. However this open forum is Ugly. It really has no place on weekly programming. Banks and Bayley are great and more of them is better but in the ring wrestling. This extra promo, waste of time is an ugly look for Raw. Another planned round of planted questions. Just horrible. The crowd couldn’t wait for it to end under any circumstances. Alexa Bliss as always was the only Good here, but not Good enough to save this ugly segment. Mickie James, Dana Brooke, and Alicia Fox run out and are called down by Alexa creating a Tag Match with Fox and James vs Bayley and Banks.
- Good – 7
- Bad – 5
- Ugly -1
The show Gods have spoken. We had ourselves a “better” show than we have seen in sometime from the “A” brand. Nothing is Perfect. This was barely Good. In fact, the promo’s may have stolen the show here. The promo’s filled up the Good tally. They were effective and less Bad. Will tomorrow give us another Good Show on a stacked SmackDown Live? SmackDown should be Good. Hope you enjoyed, please comment, like and share.
Rob: Looking At The AEW TV Follies
Rob takes a look at the near comedic nature of the AEW television deal and the internet’s treatment of it.
Rob takes a look at the near comedic nature of the AEW television deal and the internet’s treatment of it.
This past Thursday brought out a lot of chatter on Twitter about AEW and their very unclear prospects at landing a TV deal. We’ve been hearing for some time now that they have multiple bidders offering good money and that it’s a matter of picking which one. We’ve also heard that Warner Media appeared to have decided to go in with them and that an announcement of some kind should be coming soon. But now a new rumor surfaced, that they might have to pay for the TV themselves.
Checked back in with an AEW/Turner negotiations source. Person still believes any hefty rights fee is “highly unlikely." A "time-buy" could also just be worked out via adjusted ad rev split. Lots of ways to account for TV money, as we know. (Complex) negotiations continue.
— Tony Maglio (@TonyMaglio) April 19, 2019
Which brought on the jokes from a lot of different people and in turn brought out the ‘you guys are a bunch of WWE stans, why do you want AEW to fail?’ responses from some supporters of AEW. So yes, Thursday night on Wrestling Twitter became the clusterf@# that most nights tend to be. Now before I go any further, let me put out a little disclaimer here.
I am not anti-AEW. I got no quarrel with any of the people there. I’m not a fan of some of them as performers but it’s nothing personal. At least from what I’ve seen Cody in particular has been nothing but gracious towards his former employers and co-workers, and has shot down many an attempt by fans to goad him into bashing WWE and/or Vince McMahon. I don’t know him personally but he seems like a good dude all around, and I respect the hell out of him for not just leaving WWE but leaving with a plan to accomplish what he did not there and not going on and on about his push or lack thereof. I do however take issue with the constant bombardment on my Twitter feed from overzealous fans predicting that AEW is going to take down the WWE, the constant rumors about this WWE wrestler or that one being unhappy why they could/should go to AEW, and with Dave Meltzer’s state run media treatment towards them. Dave has always loved those guys but since the run up to All In he’s become co-opted by The Elite and has spun everything they do as successful and a big deal. He’s already declared that they are the number two company even though they haven’t run a show yet.
So yeah, when something pops up that runs contrary to all the bragging and boasting that the worst AEW fans have been doing….yeah, there are gonna be some jokes fired off. That doesn’t mean we want it to fail, ok? To be honest most of the people I’ve talked to are curious but not necessarily interested in it at all, and would be perfectly fine leaving it to exist and not saying a word one way or the other. As for myself, I’m more interested in the operational side than whatever kind of content they’re ultimately going to be producing. Quite frankly I’m not that pressed to see more wrestling than what I already watch, and that’s not where their success is going to come from anywhere. The thing that rarely gets talked about re: WWE is that how they’ve run their office vs all of their former and current would be competitors has been the real difference maker and not the quality of their wrestling. There are plenty of guys and gals who can get in a ring and put on a good match but there aren’t as many people who can competently run a wrestling company. But anyhow…..
Does this thing have any credibility? We don’t know of course, but consider that virtually every other wrestling company outside of WWE is in a less than prime spot as far as television. Even if the Turner folks don’t hate wrestling like they did 20 years ago there hasn’t been much demand shown for anything that’s not WWE, which has 35 years of branding and trust built up working to it’s advantage. AEW or any other start up company is walking into a network environment that, while it may be friendlier than before, still isn’t looking to do any favors to a wrestling company that may not even out rate some of the reruns that they carry. While them having to pay or maybe just not getting any rights fees may not be what happens, I’m willing to bet they don’t get some huge amount of money. Why? Take off your fan hat and look at things objectively. What kind of audience they’ll bring in is purely speculation at this point – just how many people fit into the pool that might be interested but will actually tune in to watch? That’s the real question, and we don’t know yet. So far they’ve only announced special events, one offs that are easier to sell because they’re rare. But when it’s the middle of July and you’re running the third week in a row of matches between the same people to further an angle, are there enough people willing to do that for a company they’re not already invested in? That’s the key, in my opinion. Can you get enough people in the tent who will stay with you through that?
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!
Be like Elisa and get yours at:
We’ll see what happens. Network upfronts are coming soon and then all will be revealed. The TV deal, should they get one, is an important building block in any success they have. TV rights don’t just get you exposure they often pay the bills. The NFL has been dining out on TV rights fees so much that attendance at games is an afterthought now. A good timeslot where they have a chance to draw a good number will be the difference between them doing well or going down the tubes in short order. But this whole thing is also a referendum on Dave Meltzer, as he has been doing a full Baghdad Bob routine and insisting that they have multiple big money offers and it’s just a matter of choosing which one. Dave sounds like a full on shill at this point and has been straight up cheerleading them the whole time. And look it’s fine to be a fan/shill for someone, but you just got to admit it and not play objective reporter. Dave is All In (pun intended) on AEW, to the point where he’s venturing into crazy talk land to boost them up. We’ll find out soon enough just how this thing plays out, and then we can go back from pretending to be TV experts to pretending we know how to book wrestling shows.
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE Monday Night RAW (4/22/2019)
Tiffany offers her real-time takes on WWE Raw, including AJ emerging as #1 contender and Bray Wyatt…emerging…
Tiffany takes a look back at WWE Raw in the first (official) edition of Tiffany’s takes!
At Greg DeMarco’s suggestion, we’re trying something new, so let’s see how it goes starting with Monday’s edition of WWE Raw!
WWE Universal Championship
The Seth Rollins Era of RAW kicked off with two HUGE triple threats to determine just who would be the first challenger for Seth Rollins’ Universal title. I LOVED the interaction between Triple H and Rollins, it felt KIND of like the old Authority, but they were on more equal terms. Everyone coming out to run their mouths was funny considering that, except for Styles, Rollins had faced and beat all of them either one on one or as part of the Shield.
The first Triple Threat was AMAZING and could’ve easily been the main event. Styles vs Mysterio lived up to the Dream Match hype, so poor Joe felt like a third wheel, and the final sequence was amazing.
After that, the second triple threat was pretty much a ‘meh’ for me. Corbin stealing the win from McIntyre wasn’t surprising and would probably lead to a feud if one of them was a face. Other than that, it was just blah.
I’m honestly surprised that Styles won tonight. Styles vs Rollins is a Big Four level match and I don’t see why it’s being put on a B-PPV, especially Money in the Bank, but we’ll see but it should be a great match.
Naomi vs Billie Kay
I’m not sure what to make of this match. The IIconics running their mouths took longer than the actual match. That said, I’m glad that the Women’s Tag Titles aren’t exclusive to SmackDown after all, but since Naomi doesn’t have a partner, I don’t see what the point was.
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!
Be like Elisa and get yours at:
Bray Wyatt’s Promos
Well, we’ve finally gotten an answer to who was behind the creepy puppet promos and it was resident creep Bray Wyatt. This was just super fucking creepy and the fact that they were spoofing PBS children’s programming was just…ugh. This is another ‘wait and see’ but honestly, I’d burn the tape and forget that promo ever happened.
With Owens being a babyface now, apparently Zayn feels he needs to be an extra obnoxious heel and nothing is more obnoxious than forcing people to sit through your vacation photos. That said, this new gimmick seems to be a clapback about all the ‘Unhappy Wrestler’ reports that the dirt sheets are so fond of reporting. The most intriguing part of the segment was the staredown between Cedric Alexander and Zayn because that’s a match I’d love to see.
Cedric Alexander vs Cesaro
Well, either the Bar is no more or Sheamus will be joining Cesaro on RAW as soon as he’s back from injury. Either way, we got a FANTASTIC match between Cesaro and Cedric Alexander. I’m very disappointed that Alexander lost, but he definitely showed that he can hang with the vets.
The Usos and The Revival
Jimmy and Jey didn’t have a match this week, but we got another tease of a feud with the Revival along with a bangingly funny promo that managed to be a little self-deprecating, but still fun.
Viking Raiders vs Lucha House Party
What’s Viking for ‘squash’? Seriously, that was a brutal as hell non-match (bell never rang). Sadly, the crowd was either worn out from all the good matches thus far, or they had no idea what to make of the Viking Raiders, which is a more interesting name than ‘Viking Experience’.
Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
Talk about success going to your head! Ryder and Hawkins have only won two matches as a re-formed team, but the way they talk, you’d think they’ve been hugely successful and relevant for the ten years they’ve been in WWE, or Ryder has, anyway. I honestly want Viking Experience to squash the hell out of them because they are annoying me.
Becky Lynch vs Alicia Fox
So the Becky Lynch vs Lacey Evans feud has barely started and I’m already over it. I don’t like Lacey Evans and don’t like what she claims to represent. I’m also confused as to why Alicia Fox, who supposedly went AWOL after showing up to a house show drunk in an incident that cost Arn Anderson his job, was give a match against the RAW Women’s Champion on her first night back. I’m glad that Becky won, but WWE is risking making her look bad by letting Evans get the jump on her with that horrible finisher of hers. Hopefully, this will end at Money in the Bank.
Robert Roode vs Ricochet
With Aleister Black sadly gone to Smackdown, Ricochet was left on his own on RAW against Robert Roode and his porn-stache. The match was really good, and I’m glad to see Roode regain his edge, but I just couldn’t get into it and I’m mad Ricochet lost, but I don’t think it’ll hurt him long term, but we’ll have to see.
The Rollins Era kicked off with a bang and did a pretty good job of delivering on the potential of the Shakeup with the two Triple Threats. I’m not really sure giving us Styles vs Rollins so soon is a great idea, but it’ll definitely be a huge match.
I think Rollins will be fine as THE Man on RAW, even without the Shield, he’s come a long way from where he was in 2015 and it shows in his confidence in speaking to Triple H. Gone is the whiny, over-confident, eager-to-please, Seth Rollins of 2015. 2019 Seth has hit rock bottom and found his way back to the top with the help and support of the fans and his Shield brothers and became a better person for it. He doesn’t NEED Triple H’s approval anymore and that made their interaction much more interesting.
Click in tomorrow for SmackDown coverage and Use your head!
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