Connect with us

Opinion

Andrew’s WWE Raw & SmackDown Star Ratings & Review (2/25 & 2/26/2019)

With the return of the Samoan Sex Machine and WWE Fastlane in the horizon; how do the shows match up?

Published

on

With the return of the Samoan Sex Machine and WWE Fastlane in the horizon; how do the shows match up?

Returns galore, twists and turns…WWE definitely gave everyone stuff to work with. Now even though both shows have a solid amount of talking points, that doesn’t mean they were both great, or even good.

Time to see what happened.

 

Raw Ratings:

  • Ricochet & Aleister Black vs The Revival: Aleister wins via Black Mass – *
  • Ronda Rousey & Natalya vs Sarah Logan & Ruby Riott: No…contest?  – * ½
  • Jinder Mahal vs Kurt Angle: Angle wins via Ankle Lock – *
  • Intercontinental Championship Match: Finn Balor (c) vs Lio Rush: Balor retains via Coup de Grace – ** ¼
  • No DQ Match: Drew McIntyre vs Dean Ambrose: McIntyre wins via Claymore – **
  • Bayley vs Nia Jax: Bayley wins via Flying Elbow Drop – * ½

Raw Review:

So we kick off with Roman Reigns giving his update. The crowd showers him with love, you can tell his touched by the moment, so yes, maybe it runs a little long, maybe he gets a little too in love with biblical imagery, but it was a great feel good moment. He announces the Leukemia is in remission and he’s back! Funny note there was a brief swell of boos, but they were quickly stopped, and Roman noticed and kinda smirked at the situation. Great way to kick things off with the Samoan Sex Machine!

The first actual match, gets like no time and is even interrupted by commercial. Then to boot, you have the still new tag team champions, lose for a second week in a row to call ups. Yes you’re trying to make the new guys look strong, but making your champions look inept isn’t the way to go.

Corbin says something about his job as GM and being an active wrestler was more stressful than cancer. I mean I guess this was an attempt at douchebag cheap heat, but we need to care what Corbin says to react…and we don’t.

Elias! And he’s still being interrupted immediately, firstly it’s Lacey Evans, so that’s okay. She’s a snack and I’m just curious where this is going, but I still have hope for Lacey on the main roster. THEN – Dean Ambrose comes out, starts requesting songs and ends with a request for Dirty Deeds. One telegraphed spot later, he hits Elias with Dirty Deeds and walks off.

Now we get a women’s tag that actually doesn’t matter. Riott Squad are positioned as a joke, Ruby has no chance against Ronda, and this was just an avenue to get to Becky showing up. The odd thing I’ve noticed about a lot of matches involving Natalya are, well, how they just end. Ronda was in position to get a pinfall win after Piper’s Pit, but when Becky shows up, things just fall apart. I’m not sure if this is officially a No Contest or DQ in favor of the Ronda team, but as a match it was a dumb ending.

Hell even the scuffle was awkward. It looks like Ronda took the crutch from Becky and then gave it back to her, and there wasn’t the right level of heat. Sure the fact that it was more security, agents and cops keeping Becky at bay, opposed to the usual pile of mid carders holding both back, was different. But it still wasn’t great. Then Ronda stamping her feet to reinstate Becky, no immediately getting her way, dropping the belt at Stephanie’s feet and stomping off…was…immature. What was supposed to be a significant moment of a meal ticket walking off, turned into a super fake ‘arrest’ and a temper tantrum.

Jinder is mad he wasn’t invited to Ric Flair’s birthday. So he sends out an open challenge to anyone who was invited. REALLY?! REALLY?! REALLY?! What the f– nope…just nope. This is stupid, premise is dumb, of course Angle wins, this made me lose brain cells, I’m sure of it.

Moment of Bliss! Surely we have no reason to assume this will get ruined like every other one since the inception of the show! Alexa tells Finn he shouldn’t wear the belt around his waist, and to show his abs. She says if he shows his abs, she’ll show him her – LIO RUSH! Yup, to no one’s surprise, and only many male fans’ broken fantasies of what she was going to say. Yadda yadda yadda – Finn says you lost the match, you should try to win it back for yourself or something. Alexa makes the match happen right now, cause apparently she can’t get an uninterrupted show, but she can make matches.

The match itself was alright, but there’s problems with that. Lio has already proven in the past to be no match for Finn, so even taking advantage of an injured leg, shouldn’t make the match this close. Plus, we all knew there was no chance in hell that Lio wins this match. So suspension of disbelief was a severe detriment. So ring work was probably a little higher than the final rating, but the overall package of the match is what sank the rating.

Heavy Machinery are working with the Wasteland Job Squad. This is dumb as well…so I’ve got nothing.

Strowman and Lashley are supposed to have a match, but Lashley tries to get an early jump, Braun eventually gets his bearings and then runs everyone over and just leaves – content with his work. What?

As for the match, the most entertaining part was listening to Renee yell bias commentary and things like “MOVE!” when Dean was about to get run over. Elias interfered as pay back for earlier, Drew wins, then Lashley and Corbin show up. BUT WAIT! Rollins actually comes out this week and Roman follows him to the ring. Superman Punches for everyone and even one spear, as the crowd pops huge for the save…but mostly Roman.

Nia is painful in the ring. Oddly though she wasn’t as bad as usual in this match, save for one Sunset Flip Sitdown, that she aimed forward, so it looked like Bayley didn’t even need to move. But this match just kinda happened. Bayley picks up the win with the Flying Elbow, so I’m guessing Sasha loses next week to Tamina to set up an event playing field going into Fastlane.

Ric Flair’s birthday celebration is the main event! A nice video package plays after legends like Ricky Steamboat and Sting enter the ring, awaiting Ric. When Ric doesn’t come out, we see Batista dragging a camera man to a dressing room and then he drags Ric out by his suit jacket. Basically asks Hunter if he has his attention now, and that was all that needed to be said. Trips ran to the back to check on Flair and Batista was gone.

 

Overall Score: 5/10

Aside from the feel good moment to open the show and the actually cool/interesting ending, I don’t get the positive response for this show.  On a whole we didn’t get any stories moving forward. Ronda/Becky isn’t forward movement, it’s awkward lateral movement. Sure maybe the obvious foreshadowing to a Shield match could be there, but it wasn’t built by this show. The in-ring work was lacking. So really it was a show of 2 segments.

Hell I was going to give it a 4.5 if it wasn’t for my personal hatred of Lucha House Party, so a lack of their presence bumps it up a half point. (For backstory, listen to Raw Reaction)

 

SmackDown Live Ratings:

  • Hardy Boyz vs The Bar: Hardys win via Swanton – ** ½
  • United States Championship Triple Threat: R-Truth (c) vs Andrade vs Rey Mysterio – Truth wins via Roll-up – **
  • Ricochet & Aleister Black vs Rusev & Nakamura: Black wins via Black Mass – *** ¼
  • Kofi Kingston & Kevin Owens vs Rowan & Daniel Bryan: Owens wins via Stunner – *** 1/2

 

SmackDown Live Review:

We kick off with the contract signing and a video package showcasing all of Kofi’s accomplishments over the 11 years. Shane and Stephanie seem very happy with what they’re presenting, and right before Kofi can sign the contract, Vince’s music hits. Vince basically says Kofi has done well, but he’s not a big enough ‘box office’ name of Fastlane. FOR FASTLANE, the B Rated SyFy movie of a PPV. ANYWAY- he tells Kofi he’s out and inserts a returning Kevin Owens!

Kevin Owens talks to Shane and Steph in the back and says that Kofi is just as deserving, and he’d like to tag with him against Daniel and Rowan later. The McMahon’s grant the request.

AGAIN, another return! Even though they were expecting DIY, The Bar gets surprised by…the Hardy Boyz! Being in Carolina, it makes plenty of sense to have the Hardys back together. Solid match, signature Hardy stuff and Jeff ending the match with the Swanton is so 2002.

Aleister and Ricochet talk…not a strength of either of them. Let’s not do much of this WWE, kay?

R-Truth and Carmella head to the ring, so he can continue the tradition of his childhood hero John Cena, in doing US Open Challenges. Andrade answers first, but Mysterio’s music hits and he rushes down the ramp, bowling over Andrade and sliding in the ring first. Truth has a decision to make, Carmella tells him John Cena would take on both. Truth initially doesn’t like the idea, but decides if his hero would do it, so can he.

Charlotte talks, I have to go wash dishes as to not slip into a coma. Mushmouth from Fat Albert cuts a better promo than Charlotte.

So then we get the tag team match of two fairly new teams. Ric and Aleister versus Rusev and Nakamura. This wasn’t a bad match, quite competitive and had decent moments where you could buy in to the NXT team losing. One of the highlights was Rusev berating both Ricochet and Aleister with calling them rookies. Rusev really commits to the gimmick and I appreciate that. Nakamura eats the Black Mass and the pin, which I suppose is alright. But at some point it would be nice to see main roster guys get a win over the NXT guys. Especially a throw together team.

The main event happens, and delivers well. Kofi continues his saga of being the good employee, just like they were getting across with the past 11 years. Hell, even Owens stayed true to the concept of not being a bad guy. He tagged himself in for hot tags, tagged out to Kofi and even after the match seemed to maybe have on of those “If I win you’re first up” kind of conversations. So seeing what Owens does in the coming weeks should be interesting.

 

Overall Score: 8/10

See now this show moved stories along well. Everything mattered, hell there was even a backstage interaction with AJ Styles and Orton that will probably lead to match. They continued the feud with Andrade and Rey, all while adding a logical wrinkle. The whole shake up with Kofi sent the IWC into a tizzy. So yeah, this was a great episode, did so much better with the time it’s allotted than Raw.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
Advertisement
Comments

Opinion

The Ronda Rousey Situation

Can Ronda handle the WWE Universe?

Published

on

Ronda Rousey WWE UFC 2018 Royal Rumble WrestleMania

Maria Elisa kicks off her Chairshot career with a look at the state of Ronda Rousey in WWE!

I am probably not the first to say this but when WWE signed Ronda Rousey, I was skeptical if this was a good idea for wrestling. Several questions went through my head

  • Can she actually wrestle?
  • Will the WWE be a good environment for her?
  • Will her ego and personality get in the way of making her successful in this business?
  • Is wrestling even a good move for her?

UFC and wrestling are two extremely different businesses. The norm is anyone can be a wrestler however, you need to put in the time, dedication and training. This is something I knew Ronda will be able to do however, one thing I am still not convinced is whether she can wrestle. The past year every single match she has been in has been in my opinion somewhat dry and lacking in technique.

Let’s be honest, the only reason she was getting by in this business is the fact when you speak the name Ronda Rousey, there still comes to mind the bad-ass, dominating persona that we all saw in UFC. To fans like myself, that still gives us an incentive to sit down and still watch her matches. She is still an imposing figure whether you like her or not. Another thing that I am not sure she could handle is the WWE Universe.

The WWE Universe

WWE Universe is not exactly like any other sport fans. They cheer who that like and they will boo who they do not like. If a wrestler has a slump or has a bad match, the crowd will eventually let them know “hey, you suck”. That is just the way this particular universe works. This is why character development, story line writing, gear change, entrance music change, or turning heel or even baby face keeps a wrestler marketable and in touch with the WWE Universe.

However, Ronda is somewhat different. She left the UFC after coming to terms with two things: 1) She cannot handle losing and 2) Her technique and fighting skills in the UFC just did not help her cut it with opponents like Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes. We all saw this when Holly Holm exposed her by simply fighting fist to fist with her and avoiding submission card Ronda always plays.

We are now seeing this emotional side in which she cannot handle certain outcomes or reactions from the crowd in the WWE. Ronda Rousey coming into the Staples Center for Survivor Series against Charlotte Flair, who was handpicked by ‘THE MAN” Becky Lynch to represent Smackdown, turned her into the automatic enemy to the WWE Universe. You can see the reaction on her face coming into the ring that being greeted her to boo’s was not a reaction she expected. Even through the acting, she could not phantom why the fans were booing her and you can tell, it bothered her on a personal level.

I do not feel that Ronda has completely learned from the devastating losses she experienced in the UFC.
It took Ronda a year to come back to UFC after the first loss and even then so, the results of her comeback weren’t any better as Amanda Nunes knocked her out in the first round.

So if the rumors are true that Ronda is leaving the WWE after WrestleMania 35, it only solidifies that Ronda cannot handle losing or the WWE universe for that matter. She is used to winning and having the crowd and when someone with her ego hasn’t had enough experience with being critique on a negative basis or most importantly, with losing in their respected sport, they can react emotionally and irrationally. In turn, it shows they cannot handle the situation. Take The Miz for example, who embraces his heel and uses it to his advantage. I mean look at where he is now and it is possible he might be going to WrestleMania as a baby face. I actually prefer seeing THE MIZ a heel than a baby face, but either one, he embraces it and it shows through his promos.

Can Ronda Be The Top Star?

Ronda is great but not enough to carry the company in my opinion. There is a lesson that should be taught to every child while growing up and that is “the great ones treat failure as a necessary part of their journey. It’s not win or lose. It’s always win or learn”. Quite frankly, I do not feel Ronda has fully learned from her failures. This is what separates her in this business from the Becky Lynch’s or Charlotte Flair’s or Sasha Bank’s.

It will be interesting to see after the heel turn last night on Monday Night Raw, where Ronda takes this change. However, by the look of the crowd last night, It looked like they were not convinced. Her promos were a little too shaky and one could even argue that some things were spoken out of truth to what she is really feeling about WWE from a business perspective. But again, it will still be interesting to see where this goes leading up to WrestleMania 35.

As far as where I would like to see her, I honestly would like to build Ronda’s character after WrestleMania. I would love for her to stay and have WWE put her in the “underdog” category and see where she can flourish. I have always said that for certain wrestlers, character building should start from the bottom and work their way up. Great example of this, Stone Cold Steve Austin. The way he began was terrible but him being able to stay true to self and basically not give a damn, developed a character that the WWE Universe could relate to. I would love for WWE to develop her into a great heel similar to what they did with Becky. I would love to see her develop more technique in her wrestling that could boost her confidence and see her in some solid one to one competition. One thing I can agree on is her leaving WWE after WrestleMania can only do damage to her character and perception of the WWE Universe.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
Continue Reading

Opinion

Andrew’s WWE Raw & SmackDown Live Ratings & Analysis (3/18 & 3/19/19)

Andrew tries not to gauge his eyes out during WWE Raw. But that’s why Vince invented SmackDown right? Right? Please?

Published

on

Andrew tries not to gauge his eyes out during WWE Raw. But that’s why Vince invented SmackDown right? Right? Please?

Batista told us what he wanted, what he really really wanted last week. McIntyre is on a mission to single-handedly break apart the Shield and Kofi is going to literally be put through the ringer. So there’s a couple big points to keep both shows interesting.

Or well, there should be.

Let’s just see.

Raw Ratings:

  • Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush vs Finn Balor & Braun Strowman:  Strowman wins via Running Powerslam – ** ½
  • Elias vs No Way Jose: Elias wins via Drift Away – * 1/2
  • Kurt Angle vs Chad Gable: Angle wins via Ankle Lock – ** ¾
  • Sasha Banks vs Natalya: No Contest – N/A
  • Jinder Mahal vs Ricochet: Ricochet wins via 630 Senton – * ¼
  • WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match: Ronda Rousey vs Dana Brooke: Ronda retains via Armbar – N/A
  • Baron Corbin vs Apollo Crews: Crews win via Roll Up – *
  • Seth Rollins vs Drew McIntyre: McIntyre wins via Claymore – *** ½

 

Analysis:

Heyman says words, talks about how a match with McIntyre is stupid. So McIntyre comes out happy someone acknowledged his imposing force-ness…then the only slightly interesting part here was Seth holding a grudge and attacking McIntyre over and over again with a chair.

A tag match I don’t care about. I mean Braun threw around Lio. And much like I mentioned on Raw Reaction even though I dislike Lio and don’t mind seeing him get used like a chew toy…I equally don’t care about Braun. So when two bland forces of underwhelming meh collide, you can call me Captain Apathy.

Moment of Bliss with Elias. Alexa says this time they won’t get interrupted, they announce Elias as the musical guest and…then get interrupted. Apparently Heavy Machinery is leading Jose’s conga line, and it was a planned bit but they came out too early. So as Alexa scolds, the cheeseburger attacks Elias and reveals himself to be No Way Jose. WHY? It’s his music, his conga line, why did he have to go undercover as the Pentagon Burger, Cero Calories, but mucha mierda.

Now we get a match between Elias, who people used to care about, and Jose who really doesn’t matter. He’s a waste of space with dancers. Apathetic to this match too.

Kurt Angle makes the announcement no one wants to hear. I’m still hoping there’s a swerve at Mania where Angle squashes Corbin and then we get a real match that doesn’t suck. But Chad Gable getting a dream match on Raw is a nice moment.

The match was perfectly fine, would’ve been better with some more time to put together a bigger story and if Angle was 5 years younger, but for what we have to work with, I’m not mad.

This whole Sasha/Bayley/Divas of Doom/Samoan Slaughterhouse…I don’t care. Sasha and Bayley are great, but I have no nostalgic love for Beth Phoenix, Nattie is a charisma vacuum and the Samoans…ugh. Though I agree Nia is prettier than Beth, everything involving these women was painful.

Is it sad I look forward to Mojo screaming at a mirror? He’s one of the more consistent moments that haven’t sucked last few weeks.

Ricochet and Jinder are a prime example of the problem with WWE lately. Jinder has done nothing and most people don’t like or care about him, so fans disengage. Ricochet has no personality. All people know is he can do cool flippy stuff, but you know nothing else…unless you count not being able to cut a promo. So yeah, the crowd was so quiet I thought it was a Japanese show.

Another announcement of a largely worthless but WWE specific award we are supposed to care about. Neat.

Dana died, that’s the summation. Then we got Ronda’s husband laying out security and scooping her up with one arm cause he’s mammoth.

Baron. Corbin. Sucks.

God even Batista’s promo was hard to watch cause Cole was so lame. Batista tried to carry it with tone changes and generally bad ass comments, but it just came off as not saying much.

Hey this was a solid match, and a rather meh episode at least rewarded people who didn’t click away or fall asleep. Rollins falls for the old wrestling trope of faces are weak to entrance music. It’s basically a Pokemon game.  *Heel used Rival’s Entrance Music* *Super Effective! Face is confused!* *Heel uses Finisher* *Face Fainted*

 

Overall Score: 5.5/10

Average, meh, whatever you really want to call it. A few storylines moved forward, a lot of wheel spinning happened but at least Drew went over in the main event. So nothing was awful, but it was just a ton of apathetic…and just pathetic moments.

Expected a little more from a show 20 days out from WrestleMania.

 

 

SmackDown Live Ratings:

  • IIconics vs Bayley & Sasha Banks: Peyton wins via Dirty Pin – * ¾
  • Gauntlet Match: **** 1/4
  • Kofi Kingston vs Sheamus: Kingston wins via Trouble in Paradise
  • Kofi Kingston vs Cesaro: Kofi wins via S.O.S.
  • Kofi Kingston vs Rowan: Kofi wins via DQ
  • Kofi Kingston vs Samoa Joe: Kofi wins via Cradle
  • Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton: Kofi wins via Roll-Up
  • Kofi Kingston vs Daniel Bryan: Bryan wins via Knee Plus

 

Analysis:

Miz is tremendous. This was one of the most impassioned promos he’s ever given and the crowd reacted correctly. Face Miz could really be where the money is at. Great way to start off the show.

Boss and Hug show up to actually answer the IIconics, go figure. The match is non-title and the IIconics pick up a cheeky win, so I guess we’re on the road for a 4 way…or maybe even more…ugh. We’re on the way towards a mess, that’s what we have to look forward to.

Dominick is so much taller than Rey…maybe Eddie really was his father.

KO Show was actually funny. Owens is great and playing them against each other to egg on the brawl, while being mindful of his position so he moves stuff and gets out of the ring. It was all great.

Kofi and Sheamus would’ve been a damn solid match alone, let alone kicking off the gauntlet. The sight gag of more and more faces crowding around the TV to watch was actually cool. The gauntlet played out really well, Rowan purposely getting DQ’d to inflict more damage with weapons made perfect sense as well. Just really really great stuff. Kofi beat the original 5 and then Vince continues to screw Kofi by adding Daniel Bryan at the end. So it’s all good story telling, a really good gauntlet and generally just great way to cap off the show. It was a gut punch to people rooting for Kofi, but also another wrinkle to overcome with a few more weeks til Mania.

 

Overall Score: 7.5/10

Great show. SmackDown is the shining light of hope for WWE main roster. The promos, the stories, the wrestling, just everything flows better and feels more organic. It really does baffle me that there have to be similar people shared on the production teams between shows…and SmackDown feels like a completely foreign animal sometimes.

So even though I think Raw did beat SmackDown twice this year, when SmackDown isn’t slacking for a week it tends to blow Raw out of the water.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
Continue Reading

Trending Today