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The Good, Bad and Ugly: WWE Raw (01/14/2019)

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Bobby Lashley Seth Rollins WWE Raw

Last week WWE came out hot, all three shows were successful, special and memorable.  Is it the competition with the new AEW?  Is it that Vince McMahon is holding everyone more accountable than usual?  Or did WWE just wake up and this is all a coincidence?  No matter the case as a fan, this has been most enjoyable.  Can Raw continue to battle back and win over the wrestling community or has this been too Good to be true? 

THE GOOD

Vince McMahon Promo

You have got to love seeing the Chairman, Mr. McMahon strutting to the ring.  It is always a chance for greatness in front of the masses.  Before the Bossman could talk, John Cena decided to come out, and wants his spot for the Championship against Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble.  It all seemed to be falling in place, the perfect storm.  Out comes Drew McIntyre.  McIntyre looked great out there, and he made some Good points here about how it is now his time and Cena should just leave.  Decent segment until Baron Corbin ruined everything.  Fortunately Finn Balor saved the day!  He also pleaded his case and most convincing of all.  This quasi shoot on Balor with Vinnie Mac was awesome, and Balor just decided to attack to prove himself but got leveled by a “Claymore Kick.”  Then to Cena, another “Claymore Kick.”  Vince was pleased.  He set up a Fatal 4 Way with Cena, Balor, McIntyre and Corbin.  Winner faces Lesnar at Royal Rumble.  This was a Good Promo and set up for a decent and important match later in the night. 

(Winner Gets in the Fatal 4 Way) Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers vs. Finn Balor

Instead of this pointless match, they could have just not had Corbin in the match later on and just had Mahal in his place.  Jinder Mahal just brutalized Balor before the bell, it looked like he would have an easy victory.  Mahal controlled the match almost exclusively.  Balor had little to know offense.  The match looked Good though.  Mahal working with a guy as Good as Balor shows his best work.  Once Balor got fired up though he went ballistic.  He took out everyone in his way, it looked like he had it all sewn up, and he did.  “Coup de Grace” for the victory.  Balor moves on to the Fatal 4 Way later in the night. 

Intercontinental Championship Match (3 Way)  Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush

These guys were just on fire last week.  This has a huge amount of potential to be a repeat.  Rollins came out hot, but got ultimately flattened by Lashley.  Lashley and Ambrose took turns beating down Rollins early on.  Lashley again this week looked aggressive, and it’s working.  Rollins had a spirt of offense but got spiked through the mat by Lashley.  Ambrose then turned on Lashley and Rollins got control again.  Lio Rush got the save and looked Good again, doing his part.  Lashley is just a monster.  If he continues as he has been, he more than earned a push.  Some would say this match is a push but he deserves something bigger at this level.  In a rare bit of nostalgia Ambrose and Rollins teamed up on Lashley stomping, and crushing Lashley down to nothing.  Sometimes rivals are better friends than enemies but sometimes they are both.  Rollins and Ambrose proceeded to go at it.  Rollins almost won with a “falcon arrow” but Lio Rush again came in with the save.   Lashley looked like he had it, but was kicked in the face by Ambrose, then Rollins came back in and took over.  Then Ambrose again took control.  Lashley and Ambrose out of nowhere hit a “Doomsday Device”, Lio Rush interfered again taking out Rollins.  Lashley hits a sick “spear” for the victory.  Bobby Lashley, more than deserving, is your New Intercontinental Champion.    Hopefully this is a decent run for Lashley and maybe lead to a Champion vs Champion situation.  If not maybe a Good feud for EC3 to start with.  We shall see.

Fatal 4 Way (Winner Faces Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship at Royal Rumble) Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin vs. John Cena vs. Drew McIntyre

Anyone but Corbin and it’s a winner.  That is the whole point here.  There are a decent number of people that could run with “The Champ.”  Rarely do you have so many options.  Here you have 3.  Cena winning would be huge, no doubt and McIntyre vs. Lesnar could be insane.  This is a decent Main Event and could bring better the overall lackluster Monday Night Raw if done well.  The Tom Brady of WWE, John Cena, gets the job done, even though it is unorthodox, it works.  Balor and McIntyre need to work a lot more, as they just “get” each other.  Such perfect chemistry out there.  Even Corbin did his part, as the instigator and interrupter.  McIntyre was being put over constantly in this match.  No matter what the future hold for this group, McIntyre has full potential to rise fast.  This match was full of action and callousness.  It was anyone’s match, everyone had their chance for victory.  Shockingly, it was Finn Balor to stand above the reckage, hitting a stiff “Coup de Grace” on none other than John Cena for the victory and a shot at “The Beast” for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble.  WOW! 

THE BAD

The Riott Squad vs. Bayley, Natalya and Nikki Cross

The Riott Squad are always entertaining.  Bayley also Great!  Natalya is hit or miss.  Nikki Cross, however is a sick addition here.  A feud with Ruby Riott if that is what is coming can and will be incredible.  All that being said this was a rough match.  Although the spot with Nikki pulling Ruby Riott into the apron and beating the hell out of her looked Good.  Bayley also had some decent moments.  The Riott Squad seems to improve every week.  However, this was an Bad Match.  So many awkward moments and subpar action for the names involved.  Bayley hits a beautiful “elbow drop” off the top for the win. 

Ronda Rousey and Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka

It is just fantastic to see Sasha Banks more, she is money.  Rousey also has improved immensely as of late and obviously has been putting in work at the performance center.  Jax and Snuka though require a lot to cover for their shortfalls, and this week is troublesome at the least.  This week was rough, it was boring at times, the crowd was flat, and we had a ton of awkward moments which can kill the vibe of a match.  Rousey still is improving a lot but has a long way to go.  Feuding with Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka will not help her cause.  After a terrible exchange in the corner, Sasha Banks rolls up Tamina into a “Bank Statement” for the victory.  This was followed by guess what, “heat” between the two opponents at Royal Rumble.  That match should be decent, hell even Great, but tonight, that was just Bad. 

Lucha House Party (Kalisto and Grand Metalik) vs. The Revival

The Revival is criminally underused in the WWE, and having to face Lucha House Party as often that they have is proof.  It is a shame.  To show just how much the WWE doesn’t care about The Revival, they had a ridiculous backstage promo during the match.  That is just insane.  It is a 3 hour show and they chose to do a promo during a match.  The commentators were quiet, and missing spots, the wrestlers were missing spots, just a mess.  Dawson hits a DDT on Metalik who was pinned with his foot on the ropes before Wilder pushed it off for the win.  This again was a mess, and a Bad way to see such talent showcased. 

A Moment of Bliss w/ Paul Heyman

Alexa Bliss is just always a treat for everyone.  She unveiled the New Women’s Tag Team Championship Titles, and they looked Good.  Paul Heyman of course had a lot to say, and did what he does.  Same rhetoric, and usual “Heyman Hustle.” Interestingly enough he really gave Drew McIntyre a hell of a review.  Everything he said was true.  McIntyre really is impressive and it was great to see Heyman give him a nod.  Out of left field Otis from Heavy Machinery came out talking gibberish.  Otis took a liking to Little Miss Bliss, although who can blame him.  The segment then ended quickly and awkwardly before the Main Event was announced only to go to a horribly placed commercial break.  Heyman was Good, Bliss was Good, but overall this was a Bad deal.      

THE UGLY

Opening Segment w/ Braun Strowman

After such a horrendous promo last week, I’m surprised they are letting the “Monster” open the show on the mic.  Strowman is crazy over though, so maybe he can pull the nose up.  He is big, hungry and “all healed up.”  Things were going splendidly, then of course Baron Corbin reared his ugly head.  Some people hate this kind of cheap heat, and some love it.  Honestly, this was a very corny promo.  What did we get out of this crap?  Strowman playing hide and seek with a heel, again.  We also got saved by the fact that the promo was short.  And the best of all, we have Elias blowing Corbin’s spot in song.  Corbin looked terrified as Strowman ripped the door right off of the limo that Corbin was hiding in.  One problem, it was Vince McMahon’s limo.  I like the unexpected twist in an otherwise largely predictable disappointing opening, but it still wasn’t Good and a hell of a waste of time.  Strowman then was fined $100,000 and had his Championship Match striped from him.  He then flipped McMahon’s Limo over.  This was just horrible. 

FINAL

  • GOOD- 4
  • BAD- 4
  • UGLY- 1

OVERALL- Eh! We had a show that could have gone either way, but when something was just plain Ugly and it is a tie, we had ourselves a Bad show.  Unfortunately Raw did not deliver a repeat of recently Good content.  It just was a rough night.  SmackDown will almost certainly be better but you never know.  It was nice to have a decent run but after tonight, we are possibly less hopeful. 

So was the recent success a fluke?  Hardly, they just lost a little steam, but it has been plentiful as of late.  WWE knows what it has to do, and knows that victory is far from guaranteed.  WWE will predictably win and will pull out all the stops to do so.  We the fans just need to sit back and enjoy. 


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Opinion

Cook’s Top 5: Miz Moments

Cook brings the most must see Top 5 of the week! Is it obvious or a MIZtery?

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The Miz WWE

This week is all about our new WWE Champion, The Miz!

Let’s be honest, Miz might not hold the Championship for too long. He’s got a big match with Bobby Lashley next week. We wish him luck, and maybe something unlikely will happen resulting in Miz holding on to the title longer than anybody expects. Still, I feel the need to get this particular edition of the Top 5 out there as soon as possible.

Here are the Top 5 Miz Moments!

5. Main Eventing WrestleMania

The match itself…not so great. Miz was obviously the third most important person in the match. He also suffered a concussion. But the guy still main evented WrestleMania and beat John Cena, which is something that not too many other people can say. This will remain Miz’s biggest WrestleMania match unless they get Bad Bunny to wrestle him this year.

4. A Ladder Match with Dolph Ziggler

Miz & Ziggler have quite a bit in common. Both hail from the Cleveland area. Both prefer to think of themselves as being from Hollywood. They’re both egotistical characters that make up for what they might lack in size with ego. They’ve been in WWE forever with limited changes to their character, pretty much on the same level of the card. Naturally, they get along pretty well & have good chemistry.

2016 saw the best incarnation of their on-screen issues, with Miz & Ziggler trading the Intercontinental Championship back & forth. The Ladder Match ending the feud at TLC is considered by most to be Miz’s best match. I don’t have a ton of other options off the top of my head, so we’ll go with that.

3. The First MITB Cash-In

You always remember your first. At this point in time, much like here in 2021, Miz wasn’t seen as the most believable choice to be WWE Champion. However, the man had a briefcase, and, importantly, this was back before the briefcase gimmick was completely run into the ground. So when Miz ran down at the end of Raw to cash in on Randy Orton, it got a tremendous reaction.

People were either really happy or really angry. I was on the angry side of the spectrum, especially since I had a cold and was writing a news column during all of this. Man, I remember when the week or so a year I would a cold was the only time I really felt like crap.

What can I say, Miz has grown on me over the years.

2. Feuding with The King

A lot of old school wrestling fans found it hard to believe that The Miz had become WWE Champion when more deserving wrestlers from their childhood never had been. Heck, Jerry Lawler, a God of Memphis rasslin who piledrove Andy Kaufman into oblivion, had never even gotten a shot at that title, even though he’d worked for WWE for nearly twenty years. Seemed wrong to a lot of people, but nobody expected that wrong to be addressed.

Lawler was celebrating his sixty-first birthday the week after Miz defeated Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. One thing led to another, and Lawler got his very first WWE Championsgip opportunity. In a TLC match! They got the fans believing that Lawler could win the title…until that pesky Michael Cole kept Lawler from climbing further up the ladder.

It was nice to see the King get another important run on WWE television long after we thought it was possible. A large part of the reason it was possible? The Miz. He portrayed himself as just beatable enough that the title change could happen. Also held up his end of the bargin in the promos, which was never easy for Lawler’s opponents.

I know everybody likes a title change, but this was the best work Miz did during his first WWE Championship reign by a wide margin.

Honorable Mention: Marrying Maryse

You knew I had to mention this, right?

1. Talking Smack to Daniel Bryan

I’ve always been a Daniel Bryan guy. Back when he was Miz’s “rookie” on NXT, I thought the idea that Miz would have something to teach him was a bit outrageous. It was an interesting pairing though, and the Miz/Bryan relationship/rivalry has provided plenty of compelling moments over the years.

None moreso than the night where Miz did something that a lot of people didn’t think was possible: make himself seem right & Daniel Bryan seem wrong. The way Miz defended himself in this tirade was pretty much impossible to argue with. Maybe Miz doesn’t wrestle the way that hardcore wrestling fans would like, but he is pretty much the prototypical WWE Superstar of his era. He always works hard, is never hurt, and you don’t have to worry about him embarrassing himself or the company.

This promo raised Miz’s character to another level at the time, and definitely added some fuel to the fire for Bryan’s eventual return. If you want to see one Miz promo that sums up who he is & was, this would be it.


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Bodeen’s Top 5 Moments: WWE Elimination Chamber 2021

Bodeen Green is back with your look at his Top 5 Moments from WWE Elimination Chamber!

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WWE Elimination Chamber 2021 Kevin Owens Jey Uso

Bodeen Green is back with your look at his Top 5 Moments from WWE Elimination Chamber!

Due to the short build between the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber, there was a general lack of excitement from fans heading into the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View, especially with the lack of established matches on the card. Despite this, the Elimination Chamber was still a solid show to watch, mainly due to both chamber matches being fun to watch, with the last chamber match, having a shocking but awesome twist.  So as we leave the Elimination Chamber and take yet another step forward on the Road to WrestleMania, let us look at the top 5 moments that stood out on this short but solid show.

5. Riddle becomes United States Champion

Heading into this match, it seemed highly unlikely that Riddle would beat the United States Champion, Bobby Lashley. Even though the match was a triple threat match and Riddle did not have to pin Lashley to win the title, fans had seen Riddle lose to Bobby time and time again, making it seem the only real threat to Lashley’s title reign in the match was Keith Lee. However after Lee was taken out and John Morrison won a match on the pre-show earlier in the night, things seemed somewhat possible for Riddle.

All three men looked good in this match, as Lashley dominated the start of the match, helping fans get their breath back from the opening Elimination Chamber. This would force Riddle and John Morrison to team up on Lashley, despite being teamed up on Lashley would fight back and seemed to have things won as he put the hurt lock on John Morrison, only for Riddle to attack Lashley with the crutch belonging to MVP and pin John Morrison to become United States Champion

Yet again, special credit has to be given to MVP as a manager, he serves a purpose and actually looks like he’s being effective in helping Lashley. An example of this was MVP encouraging Lashley to stay outside the ring to recover as Riddle and Morrison treaded blows inside the ring.

4. The Tribal Chief reigns supreme for now

Instead of defending the Universal Championship inside the Elimination Chamber, Roman Reigns would use his power to face the winner of the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match, straight after the match. This was yet another great heel move from Roman as it once again showed how much power he has backstage due to his bloodline and role as a main-event player.

After Daniel Bryan survived a brutal chamber match, Roman Reigns would come out straight after the match, giving Daniel Bryan little time to recover. Roman would go to spear Daniel, only for Daniel to reverse it into the Yes Lock, making the impossible seem possible, only for Roman to counter and punish Daniel, locking in the guillotine for the win.

After holding the Universal Title, Roman would be hit with a spear by Edge, who seemed to copy Roman from earlier on SmackDown as he whispered in Roman’s ear, before pointing to the WrestleMania sign, giving fans his answer on who he’s gonna face at WrestleMania.

3. An Awesome finish

After The Miz won the Money In The Bank briefcase at Hell In A Cell against Otis, it seemed like every Pay-Per-View he would give Drew McIntyre a threat, stating he was going to cash in, however as time went on, it seemed more unlikely he would ever successfully cash in the Money In The Bank briefcase and win the WWE Championship from Drew McIntyre.

Each after he pulled out of the Elimination Chamber match, it still seemed unlikely Miz would cash in successfully, especially with it being so close to WrestleMania. However, after we saw backstage footage of The Miz talking to MVP backstage before the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship, things started to become interesting.

After McIntyre had won the Elimination Chamber match to retain his WWE Championship, Bobby Lashley would come out and dominate Drew, leaving The Miz to cash in on Drew, allowing Miz to win the WWE Championship, putting a massive twist on the Road to WrestleMania.

2. McIntyre survives the Elimination Chamber   

The Elimination Chamber match was filled with heaps of sub feuds, especially with the WWE Champion, Drew Mcintyre who had old rivals in Randy Orton and AJ Styles, as well as a new feud with his former best friend Sheamus, despite this, Drew would keep a level head and dominate everyone in the match, before eventually hitting a claymore on AJ Styles to win the match and retain his title before The Miz would cash in.

Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton would start the match before Drew would come in and dominate both men. Kofi Kingston would come in next and hit Orton with a roll-up to score a shock elimination. Orton would RKO both Hardy and Kofi, allowing Styles to have an advantage as Omos helped destroy his pod, so Styles could enter early in the match. Kofi would be eliminated by Sheamus, as well as Hardy who was eliminated by Drew.

AJ, Sheamus and Drew would trade blows, with Sheamus hitting Drew with a Brogue kick, only for Styles to hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Sheamus to eliminate him. With Drew now battered and broken Styles would attempt a Phenomenal Forearm on Drew, only for Drew to hit a Claymore Kick in mid-air to survive and win a great Elimination Chamber match.

1. Daniel Bryan goes the distance 

Despite the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship being a great match I personally found the opening chamber match earlier in the night much more enjoyable. It felt much more smooth and natural than the later chamber match with all 6 men involved looking strong with Daniel Bryan, being the clear MVP of the match as he entered the chamber first with fellow dark horse Cesaro and went on to win his third Elimination Chamber match.

Cesaro and Daniel would start things off slow as they entered the match first. King Corbin would then come out, followed by an irate Sami Zayn who could not believe we entered forth. Corbin would be the first eliminated after Cesaro put him the Sharpshooter. Kevin Owens and Jey Uso would then come out with Owens eliminating Sami. As Sami exited the ring Jey would trap Kevin’s arm in the Chamber door, superkicking him then eliminating him.

Cesaro would then mount a comeback only for Jey to ruin his momentum as he superkicked Cesaro and hit a splash to eliminate him. Jey would then attempt a splash of a wounded Bryan, only for Bryan to get his knees up and hit Jey with the running knee to win the Elimination Chamber match.

These were my top 5 moments from the Elimination Chamber. What were your top 5 moments and what did you think of both Elimination Chamber matches? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 


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