David takes a look at the hot button topic involving the IWC’s favorite daughter Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair
Watching the saga between Becky Lynch and WWE unfold is an old-school wrestling fan’s dream.
As someone who believes in the foundations of the old NWA, I see a lot of similarities in building the character of “the man” and how other superstars begin their road to fame. Lynch would enjoy success as a dominant figure in any one of the promotions in the early 1980s, whether it be down in Florida owned by Eddie Graham war in the Pacific North West owned by Don Owens or possibly in Texas with either Fritz Von Erich or Joe Blanchard.
Lynch has become the figure in the women’s division, adding balance to what the company has done with Charlotte Flair’s character. The build and storyline the writers have developed is nothing short of brilliant. Add Ronda Rousey to the storyline, who may have become the forgotten figure in a potential triple-threat match as the main event at WrestleMania 35, and professional wrestling has hit gold.
I have said this before on many occasions, but I think it bears repeating. Just like other sports, professional wrestlers need other superstars to make them better. Ric Flair needed Ricky Steamboat and Dusty Rhodes. The Rock needed Steve Austin. Jack Brisco needed Dory and Terry Funk. Lita needed Trish Stratus. Today, Becky Lynch needs Charlotte Flair.
The best part of this feud is that the current Raw women’s champion is almost a non-factor. When you look at the body of work that WWE has put together to create history with a women’s title match closing out WrestleMania in April, it’s hard to believe that the woman holding the gold isn’t as important as the storyline that’s built in spite of her.
Bravo! Take a bow. Give yourself a pat on the back. WWE gets it.
The fact that it crosses brand lines is even more genius. Now that WWE has broken it’s blue and red barrier, the setting for more cross-brand competition has been established. This will make the fans happy, this will make the McMahon family happy and this will make the business of professional wrestling happy.
And as a sidenote, as AEW continues to gain steam, I will be interested to see how many more of these storylines in Connecticut get some legs and run for a while.
Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, professional wrestling was based on an antagonist who challenged the fans to come out to house shows. Business was predicated on a Saturday morning show that irritated the masses, that force them to come out and see what would happen, where the babyface would lose most of the time on television but won with a live audience. This could have been Countyfair in South Carolina or a school gymnasium in Ocala, Florida.
WWE has taken this rivalry cross country and made it the best thing going today. Given that the current women’s champion will no longer be part of weekly programming after WrestleMania, the creative team has punched all the right buttons to make this the feud of the year. And with it, there is a chance that Lynch could do something that maybe should’ve been done along time ago. Maybe she becomes the top performer and wrestler in the world, leapfrogging the men who are good, but in this case, not good enough.
WrestleMania is two months away. There are plenty of layers to this storyline. The inclusion of Stephanie McMahon is reminiscent of the old Steve Austin/Vince McMahon storyline. It works well with what WWE is trying to accomplish. I’m curious to see how far the company will go to achieve wrestling perfection.
If done properly, this is a spot the company can go back to many times over, just like Flair and Steamboat almost 20 years in the making. It’s one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon, and could be the catalyst for more women to be involved in dramatic story lines in the future.
Greg DeMarco’s 205 Live, NXT UK, and WWE NXT Star Ratings (2/12-2/13/19)
The WWE Network brands delivered in a big way this week!
Greg DeMarco rates this week’s WWE Network shows, and they deliver in a very consistent way!
Three shows. One week. I was a busy man this week with the new job and the birthday, but I finally got the rest of NXT hammered out! I hope you enjoy the ratings as much as I enjoyed the shows because they delivered in all three this week.
WWE 205 Live
Lince Dorado vs. Jack Gallagher – ***1/4
Underrated match here. Great mix if styles and both men had a chance to shine. Loved the finish. Don’t sleep on this one. I like that the match was left open-ended. I feel like we’ll see Gulak/Gallagher/Humberto Carrillo vs. Lucha House Party, and I’m not upset by that.
No Disqualification – Noam Dar vs. Tony Nese – ****
I’ve been wondering out lout about who steps up to challenge Buddy Murphy at WrestleMania. Now, the answer is really simple. That challenger should be Noam Dar. Hell of a match here, both men kicked each other’s ass, but told a story while doing it. I’ve never been the biggest Tony Nese fan (in WWE, I loved him on the independents), but he delivered every bit as much as Noam Dar. This could have sold a crowd on a main roster show.
WWE NXT UK
Noam Dar vs. Jordan Devlin – ***3/4
One hell of a match between Dar and Devlin. From a televised perspective, Noam Dar low key had a hell of a week. I won’t get off of my Dar vs. Murphy idea anytime soon, and Jordan Devlin would be a fantastic addition to 205 Live. The Travis Banks involvement didn’t hurt it for me, as that story is a big part of 205 Live. Plus it keeps Devlin strong in the loss.
Jinny vs. Mia Yim – ***1/4
I enjoyed this way more than expected, since Jinny is in it. The match built from the start, kicking it up another notch in the middle and finding a third gear in the end. Can Jinny win me over? The jury is still out on that, but I highly recommend this match.
WWE UK Championship Match: Pete Dunne vs. Wolfgang – ***1/2
Gallus is a vastly underrated heel stable. Dunne should be in NXT Takeover main events with Tommaso Ciampa. I would love to see that match at Takeover: New York. This match delivered, yet another in a great week.
Dominik Dijakovic vs. Shane Thorne – ***
Good match that, for me, did way more for Shane Thorne. Don’t sleep on Thorne, he deserves a chance. As for Dijakovic, it’s gotten to the point of repetition. Give this man something more to do.
Side Note: Interesting that they basically declared that Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly were a tag team again, and Strong and Cole were going after singles gold. Could Undisputed Era hold all the (men’s) gold at some point this year? I’d be shocked if that happened.
Side-Side Note: Kassius Ohno, who I love, still looks like a fat dude wrestling in his pajamas.
The Street Profits vs. Humberto Carrillo & Stacey Ervin Jr – ***1/4
This match, for me, might end up being viewed as the night The Street Profits “got it.” They turned up the intensity in all aspects, from character to ring work, and it really enhanced the match. Carrillo is also a star in waiting, and Ervin shows some promise as well. This was really good.
Taynara Conti vs. Aaliyah – **3/4
Aaliyah being paired with Vanessa Bourne is…odd. But for me, this is the best Aaliyah has ever looked in the ring. Props to WWE for being patient. Conti is a missed opportunity. When she helped Undisputed Era (that one time lol) she should have become a member. That would have done wonders for her, and given them yet another wrinkle. Outside of the post-match attack, this felt like an NXT Florida house show loop match (which it probably has been in the past).
Ricochet vs. Adam Cole – ***3/4
If you know me, you know my Adam Cole man-crush runs deep, BAY BAY. So I am obligated to tell you that the wrong guy won here. But if I set that love aside, it makes total sense for Ricochet to win while Undisputed Era stands tall at the end. It was all set up during the earlier promo.
That said, both men delivered another Takeover quality performance in this match.
The WWE Network shows (205 Live, NXT UK, and WWE NXT) had a total of 9 matches this week. One of them had 4 stars, one was below 3, meaning we still had seven other matches in the 3 star range. This was an entertaining three hours of content, and one of the most consistent weeks I have ever seen. Good on the fine folks on all three WWE Network brands, both on and backstage.
#RAWisDVR: Greg DeMarco’s Accelerated Review of WWE Raw (2/11/19)
How much got the FAST FORWARD treatment this week?
Each week Greg DeMarco watches WWE Raw on DVR with a stopwatch and sense of urgency. How much time will he save?
Let’s see how we go home to Elimination Chamber!
FAST FORWARD the opening nope. They did that for us!
Stephanie McMahon & Triple H start WWE Raw
- Fake excitement Steph is so terrible
- Okay, FAST FORWARD the PPV talk
- It’s WrestleMania season when the Brand Split means nothing
- FAST FORWARD Becky walking
- Triple H should know better than telling women to calm down–he’s married!
- The McMahon family is still in charge of the WWE–and this is about reminding everyone.
- Enter Sasha & Bayley–super fast start to Raw!
FAST FORWARD the entrances and commercials
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan vs. Nia Jax & Tamina (losers enter the Chamber first)
- FAST FORWARD some of the boring match
- Watch some wrestling, FAST FORWARD the commercials
- More wrestling, FAST FORWARD Tamina
- Bayley stealing offense from Ronda!
- And that’s finally over.
- Nia Jax has become such a strong character
FAST FORWARD the replay, talking, and commercials
Hello I Am Elias
- The multiple interruptions were stupid
- FAST FORWARD the commercials
- Elias is JUST NOW talking? This must suck live.
- Thas was one hell of a guitar shot
- Enter Lashley (and Lio).
FAST FORWARD so much stuff. Seriously, what is up with this episode?
Timestamps: 22:09 (real time 58:47)
Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre
- FAST FORWARD the entrance and video for Finn Balor, and McIntyre’s entrance
- The problem with this match–and it’s not a bad match–is that we are just waiting for Rush & Lashley to get involved
- And there’s the expected DQ!
- FAST FORWARD and now we have Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin Sucks. Braun NOVELTYman, anyone?
- Yep, 6-man tag time, HOLLA HOLLA PLAYA!
FAST FORWARD the commercial
Timestamp: 27:03 (real time: 1:11:39 )
Finn Balor, Braun NOVELTYman, & Kurt Angle vs. Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, & Baron Corbin Sucks (plus Lio Rush)
- SHIELD camera shaking only works for SHIELD
- Angle Slam and there’s no way that finishes it
- FAST FORWARD Baron Corbin Sucks
- FAST FORWARD more commercials (geez!)
- WWE’s attempts to keep us from going away during commercials are so transparent. I don’t blame them one bit.
- FAST FORWARD Baron Corbin Sucks
- I just hit 30 minutes on the clock.
- Finn takes out Lio to sell Sunday’s match
- And Finn eats the fall. So terrible, “blown call from the official.” That shit is dumb.
- And here’s DEAN AMBREF to restart the match. Because we can do that now?
- WWE just reminding us that things are never going to be consistent. To quote Batista, DEAL WITH IT.
- FAST FORWARD the commercials
- I feel like the entire stretch of Balor/McIntyre to this has taken 90 minutes.
- Love the way Lio holds the Intercontinental Championship on the outside.
- You know, what if Finn Balor is The Demon this Sunday?
- BRAUN SMASH! NOVELTY ACT!
- At least he’s good at what he does.
- 8 hours later, this is over.
Kevin Owens promo from the bowling alley
- “One more month or so.” You can set your watch by it!
FAST FORWARD the entrances
Backstage Becky–this really is an Austin episode of Raw
FAST FORWARD more entrances and commercials
Timestamp: 1:44:00 (real time: 38:37)
Nikki Cross vs. Ruby Riott
- Nikki crazy, y’all
- Nice touch for Ronda, wearing Reebok UFC gear backstage
- See, Ronda wants to see the match, too!
- I hate the mid-match interruption, this is a good match so far
- Michael Cole voice change signifies commercial? NOPE! But lots of fake Ruby hair on the floor.
- Riott Kick CONNECTS! (with nothing)
- Do not fast forward Paul Heyman
FAST FORWARD the commercials
Timestamp: 44:49 (Real time: 1:55:24)
Seth Rollins promo
- Seth here to remind us that he exists
- Accomplishment, accomplishment, attach by Brock, good news
- BROCK not here–crowd went nuts, too
- Babyface Seth is the worst Seth. HE BROKE UP THE SHIELD!
- FAST FORWARD the commentary
- And here’s DEAN AMBROSE, who supports Rollins?
FAST FORWARD stuff
Timestamp: 50:09 (Real time: 2:11:22)
Dean Ambrose vs. EC3
- Who else is in the Top 1%?
- This whole show has become a chore as we wait for Becky’s decision.
- Dean wins. YAY.
- Don’t know if you know, but Becky must apologize tonight.
- One does not FAST FORWARD Alexa Bliss.
FAST FORWARD the entrances
Timestamp: 55:50 (Real time: 2:25:07)
WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (c) vs. The Revival
- Gable & Roode are no makeshift team
- FAST FORWARD the commercials
- Computer and timer issues hit, but THE REVIVAL WON!
- Don’t give me that “it should have been on PPV,” THE REVIVAL WON!
Becky Lynch Promo (with Ronda Rousey, Vince McMahon, and Charlotte Flair)
- Masterfully done yet again, Charlotte Flair is in the match (like I told you), Becky Lynch now has to fight her way back in (like I told you), and this story continues its twists and turns all the way to (and at) WrestleMania.
- Note that this was the central focus of Raw, as it’s the most important program in the company. This will main event the show.
Estimated Timestamp: 1:25:00 (real time 3:00:00)
Time Saved: 1 hour an 35 minutes!
Overall this edition of Raw was just…weird. The show was cued up different than normal, and it showed. Let’s not yearn for the Attitude Era ever again. Onto the Smackdown!