Back on the course of regularly scheduled programming, Andrew brings us the Ratings & Review of WWE Raw and SmackDown Live!
Well with these being ‘Go Home’ shows for Elimination Chamber or WWE in general, I come into these shows…let’s say…pensively.
Raw always tends to be the bigger unknown of these two. But the fact that SmackDown was a little flat last week, let’s just hope that was a hiccup and not a trend.
Let’s get to the shows!
- Sasha Banks & Bayley vs Nia Jax & Tamina vs Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan: Nia Jax wins via Samoan Drop – **
- Finn Balor vs Drew McIntyre: Balor wins via DQ – *
- Finn Balor, Kurt Angle & Braun Strowman vs Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley & Baron Corbin: Balor wins via Coup de Grace after restart – ** 1/4
- Ruby Riott vs Nikki Cross: Riott wins via Riott Kick – * 1/2
- EC3 vs Dean Ambrose: Ambrose wins via Cradle – 1/2
- Raw Tag Team Title Match: Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (c) vs The Revival: Revival win via Shatter Machine – **** – TITLE CHANGE!!!
Stephanie and Trips start off the show talking, yay. Becky comes out since she saw a doctor, they say she’s cleared, but if she wants her spot she needs to apologize for last week. So the whole show is based around an apology and if Steph and Trips will screw her somehow. Hooray, “The Decision WWE Style” – ugh.
Conceptually the match is dumb since it punishes getting tagged in, but the women all played within the confines of the rules well. Forced tags on opposing teams and heels purposefully dropping off the ring apron, were all good. Sasha manages to get hurt again, so Bayley is alone again. She tags out to the Riott Squad at some point and that gives her a break. When Bayley does come back in, she shows good fire, a little bit of aggression, and overall a much needed layer to the character. But the numbers are too much, Nia Samoan Drops her and Bayley & Sasha are now one of the first two teams to wrestle in the Chamber match.
Now we get the beginning of making Raw look kind of amateurish. Elias starts his Hello, they cut to Becky Lynch talking to Finn, then he starts it again and they cut to a video package for Seth Rollins. Back to Elias a third time, visibly frustrated, tries to start again and the Lucha House Party interrupts. The most directionless, pile of crap group in WWE is the payoff, of a bad joke, in which the crowd is dead. No one cares, even Elias can’t make them care. Kalisto eats a guitar and Elias bails. This was a waste of time, but I guess Elias will be in a meaningless midcard angle with the Lucha morons. Yippee.
Lashley and Lio are ringside for the Finn versus Drew match. Writing clearly on the wall, Lashley interferes to DQ Drew, but they beat on Finn. Angle shows up, Corbin lays out Angle, Braun comes out. 6 man match of mediocrity, punctuated by an idiotic use of the in-ring ref missing a foot on the ropes, but a backstage ref corrected him and they restarted the match. THE REVIVAL LITERALLY HAVE BEEN SCREWED BY THIS A FEW WEEKS AGO! ALONG WITH NUMEROUS TECHNICALITIES THAT CAN BE OVERTURNED WITH REPLAY! -breathes- The selective application of things is very WWE, yes we all know the saying ” nothing matters, unless it does”. But the Revival being on the show later just adds to the idiocy of this bit.
Kevin Owens is back next month, yay!
Cross and Ruby was so unimportant, they interrupted the match for a backstage segment with Ronda. Can’t even pretend like the women in the ring have a shot, gonna overshadow them completely for talking. Suuure.
Rollins gives some kind of typical speech, Heyman comes out, gives a typical Heyman promo. I don’t care. Rollins will probably beat Lesnar, just cause someone has to. But I’m not looking forward to that reign at all.
Ambrose comes out while Rollins is in the ring, tells Rollins to beat the beast, and immediately babyfaces himself and repairs the bridge a little in case he doesn’t leave after Mania, or returns at some point. As for the EC3 match, I gave it half a star, it did nothing, it wasn’t good, Ambrose won with an awkward cradle.
The Revival, Roode and Gable put on a hell of a match. Gable’s speed and athleticism to crank the gears, Revival’s ability to put on solid, masterful tag team matches is great, and Roode is also a decorated tag wrestler, playing his role very well. This was such a pleasure on a show that would’ve been kinda bad up to this point. So congratulations to the new champions!
Now the main event talking segment was done well. Becky apologized half heartedly, Trips and Steph didn’t screw her, said she’s getting her match. Ronda comes out happy that the match is going to happen because she wants it as well. HOWEVER – Vinny Mac shows up, says he’s THE MAN, and Becky is suspended for 60 days and Charlotte is his choice to take her spot and take the title from Ronda. Yes, many of us saw this coming one way or the other, but the framing of this is great. It frames Becky as the underdog, Ronda as the fighting champion who wanted her face off with Ronda and Charlotte as the corporate face of disdain. So after 2 weeks of Ronda getting booed to frustration, Ronda is now babyfaced since she is framed to be “pro Becky”. So if Ronda plays a part in getting Becky back into the match, I won’t be surprised.
Overall Score: 5.5/10
Honestly, the last two bits, the tag match and the Becky, Vince, Charlotte segment made this show a little better than average. It dragged and was downright awful or dumb looking at times. But they had a great wrestling match, where the deserving team finally won. As well as giving more depth and breathing time to their main storyline. At least they’re doing the big ticket stuff well.
SmackDown Live Ratings:
- Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose vs Carmella & Naomi vs The IIconics – Naomi wins via Thicc-Legged Moonsault – **
- Chamber Gauntlet Match:
- Daniel Bryan vs Kofi Kingston: Kofi wins via Trouble in Paradise
- Kofi Kingston vs Jeff Hardy: Kofi wins via S.O.S.
- Kofi Kingston vs Samoa Joe: Kofi wins via Sleeper Hold Counter Pin
- Kofi Kingston vs AJ Styles: Styles wins via Calf Crusher
- AJ Styles vs Randy Orton: Orton wins via RKO – **** 1/4
Video package review of how Raw signed off Monday, followed by Charlotte in the ring. Gives a solid nasty bitch heel promo, plays well to the crowd for the heat. I’ve never really been a fan of how Charlotte gives promos, but this was actually pretty solid. The “point to the sign and chant Becky” line came off awkward, but still not terrible.
The same as Raw, Triple Threat, loser is first to fight in the chamber match! Peyton starts off with Carmella and immediately tags Mandy. The IIconics did the perfect thing in this match for heels, they never got in the match. They literally dropped off the apron and ran away from confrontation at times. Naomi pins Mandy with the Thicc-Legged Moonsault and the former Absolution duo will start off against Sasha and Bayley. IIconics ambush the other teams after the bell to stand and look strong, after not being involved in the match. Clever girls…
Mustafa Ali video saying his injured but he’ll get even.
McMiz TV, Shane will be on NCIS:LA, Miz is acting super happy and babyface. The fact that Miz is just happy and loses the snarky douche persona is refreshing and nearly cute. He literally seems ecstatic in this angle with Shane, so if they lose at Chamber and break apart, I kinda hope Shane turns on Miz, keeping Miz more of the babyface/fan support side of the feud. Usos dominate the promo aspect, though Miz and Shane have a great moment when they were trying to prove they knew each other as well as Jimmy and Jey. Usos just weren’t having their shit and Superkick them and leave them laying.
Now comes the gauntlet and the New Day reveal of who they’re picking as the fill in for Mustafa. Kofi and Daniel Bryan start things off, and this alone was a solid match. Now it did great things by showing Daniel is vulnerable without help. New Day got banished, Rowan did as well, and in his scrambling to try and win quickly, Bryan gets caught by a Trouble in Paradise, Kofi gets the pinfall. Jeff Hardy comes out and immediately tries to throw some of his bigger signature moves on an already weakened opponent. Hardy misses a lot, and then gets caught in the S.O.S. Now with Joe coming out at 3, most of us probably saw this going the same way as Rollins from last year, and here’s where the plucky workhorse loses, but nay! Kofi manages to reverse the Sleeper Hold into a pin. Joe being the angry man he is, sinks in the Coquina Clutch after the loss, so AJ has to break it up. Now AJ does what Cena didn’t do well last year. Trying to play the whole ” You don’t need to continue, you’re hurt, just stop” angle. AJ showed real concern cause he helped him back into the ring and seemed sincere. Kofi got fired up and what we saw wasn’t bad at all. Kofi versus AJ could definitely be a good number 1 contender match, maybe at Fastlane or Mania. AJ catches Kofi with the Calf Crusher, and awaits Randy Orton. As the crowd gives Kofi the standing ovation, Randy flies in from off camera and hits and RKO out of nowhere for the 1-2-3, right at 10 eastern. Perfect punctuation. Yes a couple spots here or there were a little sloppy, but generally speaking this was a great match. Maybe even better than last year’s Raw gauntlet.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
When a gauntlet takes up an entire hour, it doesn’t allow for many talking points, but yeah, that was great. Fantastic story telling, legitimizing Kofi, Kofi showing the hunger to be champion after 11 years during his stand off with Styles. It’s all great. And of course, Orton out of nowhere is always magic. Damn good show, not a ton of storyline beats, but everything it did do, moved things along nicely.
King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE
Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.
Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.
I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a superstar that’s being overshadowed right now, ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. After RKBRO lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Uso’s, Orton vanished from the company. There was speculation about his serious back injury and, it wasn’t until The Viper’s wife herself posted a candid picture of Orton after successful surgery.
While the focus in WWE right now is either on The Bloodline, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy, or the returning Cody Rhodes, I felt this was a good time to start plotting The Viper’s return to WWE.
Randy Orton’s Return to WWE
On the Raw-After-Mania ‘The American Nightmare’ opens the show after a tough battle over Roman Reigns to win the WWE Championship. Rhodes with tears in his eyes is giving an emotional promo about his family’s legacy, and how much this title means to him. The WWE Universe is chanting “You Deserve It,” and out comes Finn Balor flanked by The Judgement Day.
‘The Prince’ starts by congratulating the new champion for dethroning ‘The Tribal Chief’ but, now he wants his title shot. Rhodes being the resilient hero accepts Balor’s challenge for the main event. The American Nightmare and The Prince are putting on a clinic of a match, delivering multiple finishers but unable to put the other away. Judgement Day starts to interfere when Orton’s music blares throughout the arena. Orton takes out the heels and helps his former protege. Rhodes capitalizes and hits Crossroads for the 1.2.3.
The former Legacy members are celebrating and embracing with a hug as Rhodes goes to raise his newly-won title. In the blink of an eye, The Viper strikes and takes out Rhodes with an RKO Outta Nowhere! The champion is knocked out as Orton hoists the title above his head while trash-talking his now rival. Orton violently throws Rhodes out of the ring and delivers a nasty-looking draping DDT onto the floor.
The Build–And Culmination–of Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes
Orton stares giving 2009 vibes as Rhodes’ head raises, so The Viper runs and delivers a punt kick. WWE officials come out and break things up and the champion is stretchered out of the arena. The show closes with Orton grinning over the destruction he has caused to his former protege. Over the next few months, Orton and Rhodes enter into an extremely personal rivalry over the coveted prize. We finally make it to SummerSlam where both men agree to raise the stakes and do war inside HELL IN A CELL!!!!
This is how I would book The Viper’s return to WWE. If you feel like this should be written differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
AJ’s Phenomenal Opinion: Bray Wyatt
So everyone loves Bray’s return right? Right? Well the McDonald’s Sprite spicy opinions of AJ…may feel differently.
Well, just because my work schedule changed, doesn’t mean I’m not going to drop some opinions of mine, of which, I haven’t done too bad with. I got Three out of Five for my returns right a few months back and this is going to be about the last entry on that previous list. I knew for a fact that Bray Wyatt would return to the WWE in some way shape or form and time for some… controversy.
As my favorite ratings winner of 83 Weeks once said, Controversy Creates Cash and boy HOWDY… Do I have something to get off my chest here so sit back, order some Chairshot Merch and lets get on with Adam’s… Rants for a bit.
Bray coming in and making a return to the WWE was an inevitability. Death, Taxes and I guess WWE Returns are always guaranteed anymore and maybe we could get some new creativity with a supernatural gimmick. Bray has always had that supernatural to him ever since he had the Wyatt Family in Erik Rowan, the late Luke Harper and in the end, Braun Strowman. The Wyatt’s had a control like no other and were beloved for a moment in the WWE.
Bray did a lot to make sure things were in motion but for some reason any massive feud he had, he failed. Following a bunch of injuries to the rest of his family and even releases later on, he seemed to at least get some traction going for him. WWE Champion, somehow got Randy Orton with him, Universal Championships and got those big match wins that eluded him in the Wyatt Family beginnings. Let me also say this as well, I actually liked the Firefly Funhouse Match with Cena as a “This is Your Life” match of sorts. I was tickled and entertained… Then much like Bray in character, something changed.
Dark and Terrible Lurk with Fiends
We had a lot to figure out during the Pandemic. Like A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT. Through it all though, WWE figured it out but the person that helped these types of ideas, soured them drastically. Lets go back to the WWE Championship run in 2017. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble that year and he wouldn’t betray Bray, right? Well he does and Mania for the two is set, Orton against Wyatt for the WWE Championship and it was… terrible. Random images of maggots and decay (Not the IMPACT Stable) popping up into the ring as the match goes on and Randy still wins. Through head game attempts, Bray comes up short in the big match moment. That’s odd but maybe it will be a bigger pictu– and Jinder Mahal wins the Championship. Okay.
Wyatt returns as this Mister Rogers character and has a darkness inside of him with The Fiend. Now we had this amazing theory or maybe that’s what happened but the story was, anyone The Fiend fought, they revert back to their best selves. The Miz returned to be the A Lister, the guy who grabs a microphone that you love to hate. Finn Balor doesn’t have the Demon Gimmick anymore because after his loss, he’s the Prince again. The cocky guy that walks around because he is the best, he gives no care in the world. Seth Rollins, who he took the WWE Universal Championship from, went from a dorky sweetheart back to the asshole taking every opportunity that he could get because he’s that much of a weasel and when he lost… He lost to Goldberg. The one guy that has been the same since 1997. Drums, Pyro Bath, Spear, Jackhammer, “Who’s Next?” and during that time, he sucked at points. One of those Rollins matches was in a Hell In A Cell match, the red cage with the red lighting. Match ending with a Stoppage from the referee… INSIDE OF A HELL IN A CELL (I think Sean Waltman said it best… Why did the match stop? It’s supposed to be Hell?) and it’s one of the rare times that I agreed with wrestling’s favorite Uncle… That was Negative Stars for a match.
After Goldberg, he didn’t have a commanding presence. He recruited Alexa Bliss who was already over whether she was a Heel or Face and made everything so unbelievably… boring. Alexa had to carry that idiotic demon gimmick and doll, not having anything really supernatural. Just some wrestling and Brock Lesnar cleaning up everything faster than a Chop Shop in main events and segments. He tried to return and make his grand return, beating the Universal Champion Braun Strowman at Summerslam just to falter a literal week later to Roman Reigns, who proceeded to never look back from that win. Bray gets fired after and no more supernatural ideas. Undertaker isn’t around really and retires, Kane is a mayor. Paul Bearer is no longer with us and everything is just… normal.
Wyatt’s Six (Reasons I Tune Out)
In 2022, Vince retires seemingly from everything and Triple H is at the helm, could he bring balance to everything? He makes a bunch of returns that people love seeing. Johnny Gargano, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumus just to name a few and of course, the big one that everyone wanted. Bray Wyatt.
Bray makes this heartfelt return and everything seems great. We get him as him, he makes this weird build to a Wyatt 6, assuming we think it’s the Firefly Funhouse and he’s just talking, building. Alright well who is going to be these six figures because they are more than just puppets this time around. A masked man named Uncle Howdy that people think is Vincent Marseglia or maybe a bearded Bo Dallas who is Bray’s real life brother and he……… pops in and out to confuse people. Okay… (1)
Alexa might return to the 6 because of all the segments and gets darker and a heel. Alright that is perfectly fine but, WHY IS VINCENT DALLAS HERE AGAIN TO JUST INTERFERE WITH RANDOM THINGS? Okay… fine. (2) Alexa has a Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair, that will make sense of thi– it’s a clean finish… Why is it clean? No Howdy, No Wyatt just a random VHS tape like I’m watching The Ring about her being dark after the match. Okay…… (3)
Oh Wyatt finally gets a feud for his return. I almost forgot about that! Who will be this first victim? LA Knight.
Maybe this will be good. They are both great on the microphone, maybe Bray has new moves that he can do and I know all too well how good LA Knight is, I have been an Eli Drake/Shaun Ricker fan for years. This could be a great match that they have, they announced it for the Royal Rumble so it’s going to be big and it’s a… Pitch Black Match presented by Mountain Dew.
The Royal Rumble is upon us, the Men’s Rumble starts the show and we all have adrenaline in our soul for it and now is this weird Pitch Black Match and it’s not a cinematic match. It’s in the ring, No Count Outs and No Disqualifications. LA Knight comes out in his iconic Yellow Attire and Wyatt is talking… with a mask on. The lights turn off and the ropes are glowing a neon greenish-yellow… with an announce table spot that… has Nickelodeon Slime inside of it when they break it? Okay fine… I knew the match was going to be dumb and gimmicky from the Mountain Dew Sponsorship. Bray wins, yay. LA Knight comes back with a Kendo Stick and… we get invulnerable Bray again… they don’t hurt. Lets go to this crash pad and Bo Marseglia shows up from somewhere and just elbow drops him from maybe fifteen to twenty feet with pyro and the Firefly Funhouse Puppets appear at the top, to watch a fire… And there is number six…
Actual Thoughts on Current Bray Wyatt, Post Rumble
I absolutely hate it.
This was awful. You build whatever insignificant thought process of the Wyatt 6 has going for it when Uncle Howdy does the best Cap’n Shane O elbow drop for a hellfire effect. At least the pyro was better than the AEW Explosion Match I guess…
Regardless, how does LA Knight come out of all of this moving forward? He lost an idiotic gimmick match and looks presumed dead. This just makes me think that whoever in whatever interview said Bray Wyatt is a creative mastermind needs to put whatever they have down before we hear about their T.O.D. posted somewhere. This Pitch Black Match is somehow worse than that Rollins Hell in a Cell Match and that takes talent. At least a good amount of alcohol lulled that from my brain but this made me remember that and enjoy the thought of that match happening with its finish. The best way I can picture how this was pitched was Burnt Dogshit, wrapped in a Kerosine Blanket with… sorry had to look at what I wrote, not putting that on websites but… people saw a Creative Quesadilla and when we got the actual product, it gave Salmonella poisoning and E Coli at the same time.
I really don’t want to see another Bray Wyatt match… again. Whoever gave him creative, take it away immediately. As much steam as Bray Wyatt gets in promos or possible matches in the past, the only steaming he gets at the end, is steaming piles of shit. You can say, he’s getting paid millions where I’m a little troll on the internet with typing power and I really don’t care but to me, Triple H… you finally got your first failing grade with something in your leadership role in WWE.
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