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Opinion

Andrew’s WWE Raw & SmackDown Live Ratings & Analysis (4/29 + 4/30/2019)

WWE Raw and SmackDown were surprisingly entertaining last week. Does this week follow in the footsteps?

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WWE Raw and SmackDown were surprisingly entertaining last week. Does this week follow in the footsteps?

We got War Raiders adjust name last week, we got a few more shakeup reveals and we know that Money in the Bank needs some participants.

Also on SmackDown we had Kevin Owens turn on the New Day to no one’s surprise.

So, some of these things could fall flat, but maybe we’ll get 3 good WWE weeks in a row!

 

Raw Ratings:

  • Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs Drew McIntyre & Baron Corbin: Ricochet wins  via Shooting Star Press – **
  • The Usos vs Gallows & Anderson: Usos wins via Uso Splash – **
  • Lashley vs The Miz: Lashley wins via Spear – N/A
  • Viking Raiders vs Lucha House Party: Raiders win via Thor’s Hammer – *
  • Naomi vs Alexa Bliss: Naomi wins via Thicc Legged Moonsault – * ¼
  • Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins vs The Revival: Ryder wins via Back Slide – *
  • Samoa Joe vs Rey Mysterio: Mysterio wins via Stack Pinfall – * 1/2

 

Analysis:

In the most boring way to decide people for Money in the Bank, Alexa Bliss kicks things off by just announcing the 4 Raw participants. And to make matters worse, it’s just all four talking over one another, and people try to run down Ricochet…which isn’t hard since he has the promo skills of a toddler learning the alphabet.  This was bad and the obvious tag match ending made no real sense aside from it being a wrestling trope.

The match itself was painfully uninspired and, save for Drew’s interception Claymore on a rampaging Strowman, who really cares? Yes Drew remembers Corbin sucks after 1 week of getting screwed, not really clever writing.

Now we get a throw away tag match with the Usos and a team that hasn’t mattered in what feels like 6 months or more. Who thought this was a good idea? The match was fine, but again, who cares?

THEN we get some moronic back shaving candid camera moment? I lost IQ points watching this garbage this week.

Lashley comes out and thinks he’s Bo Jackson with the third person stuff. Okay…sure, but then even The Miz wasn’t great. The crowd reacted which allowed Miz to just drop out, instead of trying to carry the bad segment. But come on now…nothing has been good so far. Oh but Lashley insults Miz’s dad, so “impromptu” match time.

The match was just a plot device to get Shane to come out, continue the feud and then instigate Miz into demanding a Steel Cage match.

Lucha House Party is on my TV….that’s always negative for me. They felt embarrassed by Viking Raiders, tried to get the jump…but failed. The House Party sucks. Even if they’re decent wrestlers, they have no real personality and their existence is beyond pointless. This show is pretty damn bad so far.

Alexa is back to announce the Women’s MITB Raw participants. Natty and Dana Brooke aren’t interesting, but at least Dana Brooke needs to be built up, so she’s a good addition. Naomi is third, and we have the same issue as the Men’s MITB. A bunch of worthless bickering that feels forced and poorly scripted, then Alexa announces herself as number 4. Naomi takes a shot at Alexa’s ego which prompts a match.

YOWIE WOWIE! Firefly Fun House! Rambling Rabbit looks like he enjoys Donnie Darko, Abby getting annoyed after the painting was revealed, Sociopath being the Word of the Day and Bray’s mannerisms being a little creepier were all fantastic. Not as good as the first episode, but now this is the best thing on the show so far!

This match wasn’t good, but Alexa tying her shoes and complaining the entire time is amusing. So when her shoes come off and she asks for time to get her shoes back on, Naomi takes advantage of it and wins. Alexa has the built in excuse of not being dressed to wrestle and wearing borrowed shoes, so story wise this was fine…and continuing the momentum of the Fun House.

Becky insinuating that ‘currying favor’ is basically being a whore, is amusingly catty. But the way Lacey responds with “I told you not to let your emotions get the best of you, but you didn’t listen…I’m done talking”. Was a nice mic drop into a solid back and forth brawl. Hey look Sonjay Dutt!

Oh great, another useless tag match. So we tease The Revival for something that’s not even funny and then have them lose in a fluke way to a nostalgia act that are the definition of transitional champions. Ugh…

I’m not completely over Sami’s new gimmick, but if they don’t introduce a foil, I got nothing. I don’t watch Raw for an IWC parody Ted Talk.

50/50 booking pal. Since Mysterio wasn’t announced for the MITB match, it made sense that he would get a win to drag this Samoa Joe feud out further.

Oh our main event is a contract signing with two guys who aren’t good promos. Again, just fantastic, in a laughably sad way. God this was bad.

Overall Score: 3.75/10

This show was crap. It makes complete sense why it fell out of the Top 5 in TV ratings because this sucked hard. Coming off of two shows which I enjoyed and were generally well received, we get this worthless pile of disappointment.

 

 

SmackDown Live Ratings:

  • Becky Lynch vs Bayley: Becky wins via Disarm Her – **
  • Kair Sane & Asuka vs Jobbers: Sane wins via Insane Elbow – *
  • Handicap Match: B-Team & Elias special Enforcer vs Roman Reigns : Reigns wins via Spear – **
  • Finn Balor & Ali vs Andrade & Randy Orton: Ali wins via 450 Splash – ** 1/4

 

Analysis:

The show opens with Michael Cole? Why the hell is he on Tuesday? Then Kofi comes out, says a lot of nothing, tries to validate why they gave Owens a chance and Owens interrupts. Owens plays up being an ass, Woods tries to jump him, but Owens lays his out and then bails. Really? Okay I’m already getting that sinking feeling that this show is gonna suck.

Becky faces Bayley! This is actually kinda interesting since Bayley gets a better reaction than the last few places, but she has a different energy about her. The match was fine, but my favorite part was the finish when Bayley got her Elbow Drop disrupted, Becky goes for the Disarm Her and Bayley looks annoyed at herself for being in the situation. The Charlotte attack isn’t surprising and I don’t care.

Aleister Black says a whole lot of nothing, in a deliberate and uninteresting way. Huzzah.

Hardys vacate the tag titles because Jeff is hurt, Lars Sullivan comes out to finish what he started. Ugh..

SmackDown MITB reveals, in such a lame matter of fact way. Go Andrade, McIntyre or Orton.

Kairi and Asuka kill some jobbers. They didn’t even mention their gimmick names because the IIconics and Graves were busy saying nothing and trying to be clever, but failing. This was a heard segment to sit through.

Sonya gives Mandy the MITB slot without an argument. So we’re either going to see them split soon, or Sonya is really just a good friend.

Roman gets put in a handicap match against a joke tag team and Elias. Yeah…was anyone supposed to care about the B-Team? I mean I’m looking around, but I can’t find anyone.

The match was plodding and corny, but I guess some story beats were hit since they’re just trying to stack the deck. I wasn’t impressed but I suppose it was okay.

Heels versus Faces, because that’s what is expected. Imagine a normal tag match, involving these four, no real tension and no excitement for them to clash. Yup, that’s this match.

Women’s MITB SmackDown participants are finalized, and I’ve hit the point of not caring. Love Ember, but I still don’t care.

KO Show – so wait, Raw and SmackDown are both main evented by a crappy talking segment? KO wanted Woods, Woods didn’t come out, but he starts talking to action figures. I had flashbacks of Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair. KO is great, but this segment sucked. Kofi coming out for the attack doesn’t even save this.

 

Overall Score: 5/10

Lame show. I feel like this wasn’t much better than Raw, but the 2 hour made it easier to swallow and didn’t overexpose the problems. Still just a generally sad and underwhelming episode.

Such a huge let down since the last few weeks were trending upwards. Again, this show ending up outside of the Top 5 didn’t surprise me either, since bad shows with no sense of intrigue, feel like a wasted 2 hours.


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Opinion

AJ’s Controversial? Wrestling Opinions 10.12.21

AJ feels like spouting off about a few wrestling topics that bug him. How controversial are they though?

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As Eric Bischoff, President of WCW once said, Controversy Creates Cash…no I’m serious; it’s even the title of a book that he did. Everyone has their hot takes on professional wrestling and some are always wide eyed and kind of shocking to some. There are some of us that will have same opinions or chastise me on a show or an article maybe but hey, don’t hate the player, hate The Game.

Maybe there are some that the readers at home agree with or you want to also be the one to chastise me, @PhenomenalAJB on Twitter. This one is going to be fun!

#1- There are more things than just WWE/AEW and are better majority of the time

There are many people that will rant, rave and complain that the mainstream product is so bland and boring and the classic, “Who even watches this trash?” Whether you love the flippy dippy do’s like I don’t or long drawn out storylines that peter out very quickly because fans aren’t invested in a story or character. To those people, I will say something very bold, very confusing and very… very controversial…

THERE ARE OTHER COMPANIES YOU CAN WATCH ON VARIOUS PLATFORMS IN VARIOUS MEANS ON YOUR OWN TIME!

I don’t know how and I don’t know why that this is even a topic. “TNA has been dead for years” No it hasn’t. Pay $1 USD for Impact Plus on YouTube so you can watch it without commercials at 8:30 Eastern. “Two hours is too long!” NWA and MLW both go for an hour on their respective YouTube Channels as well and if you want to watch, you can hop in at any time. Everyone has something for everyone and you might find your new favorite wrestler in a matter of minutes into an episode. I would never have known who Eli Drake (now LA Knight on SmackDown Live), Alexander Hammerstone or even in the early stages of TNA Impact, AJ Styles, was! You can watch more than what is broadcasted on your TV. Is it easier? Of course but, there is so much more than just the popular option.


#2- Belt Collecting now is just redundant and moronic

Back in 1996, Ultimo Dragon famously has a picture of him holding TEN championships looking like an amazing superstar with amazing defenses. What people don’t know is, that was because eight championship belts were united in a tournament called “The J-Crown Championship” with the adage of ‘All or Nothing’. He lost them one by one but, it was to show that he was the best Junior Heavyweight (or Cruiserweight/Light Heavyweight) out of everyone in various promotions.

People after that really haven’t belt collected other than unifying championships to a grand caliber… then Austin Aries showed up. Aries kind of revised the gimmick and brought it back to light. Newer fans might have thought this was cool but older fans kind of groaned and grumbled. I was one of them but, nothing is original in anything anymore so it’s a fresher concept at the time back in 2018. He did surpass Ultimo with ELEVEN championships but it seemed everyone started doing it to an extent after. Matt Cardona, after being released from WWE, started doing it, getting up to six championships before dropping them. As of right now, not necessarily solo belt collecting, The Bloodline has a stranglehold of the World Championships for both Singles and Tag Teams, we had Becky Two Belts, Bayley wanted Dos Straps but nothing makes this worse than Kenny Omega’s stint as a belt collector.

I am not and will never be a Kenny Omega fan. I don’t see the appeal, I don’t see the amazement or anything like that out of him. I’m impressed he did three 35+ Minute IWGP Championship matches against Okada because that takes a lot of stamina to do so but, that’s about it. When he won the AEW Championship, alright. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with that since he helped build the company up. The Triple A Megas Championship… nothing too wrong here. I hate that he had five defenses in two years but he vacated it due to his injuries. It wasn’t until Don Callis and Omega popped into Impact and made the Hogan Era of TNA look like a dream… okay ALMOST but still. Kenny defeats Rich Swann and Moose in two different matches and has everyone else carry the belts while holding the AEW Championship. I understand heel tactics and mentality but at one point in an interview about going for the Impact Championship, he compared it to a common Comic Book and the AEW Championship as Superman Issue #1. I understand trying to be a heel in this story but you boost your clout, not rain on what you are going after. Heel or Face, belt collecting has just been a cluster within itself in the past four years and it honestly needs to stop.

#3- Overuse of Certain Moves

This one is a more recent problem that I have seen and no, I wish EC3 paid me to say this but it is true and very annoying to even bring up but here I am, wishing for Carter money and a fifth Rum & Coke…

Stop. Overusing. Moves. Because you think. They were cool.

If I had a shot for every time a Canadian Destroyer, Superkick, Suicide Dive, Avalanche (Insert High Spot here), Dual Dropkick spots where they cancel each other out or opposing members do back to back high spots on the prone partner spot… I would not have written this article due to death… even if it was water, I would have died due to drowning. They don’t look cool anymore when everyone does it. It’s bland. When Petey Williams wrestled in his last return to Impact, the Destroyer looked very… stale. Superkicks are the new DDT apparently (another Finisher turned common everyday move) and most people that do dives mess it up in some way shape or form whether it’s their feet get caught in the ropes, they didn’t get a full launch or they overshoot it. Having your own move special to you is difficult now but different wrestlers do their own styles or the pay homage to a family member or a wrestler that they interact with or ask permission… or asked to stop.

How’d you feel if you watched WCW and WWF in 1997 and saw DDP do the Diamond Cutter and HHH did the Pedigree Pandemonium and say they do the same move? That is exactly what happened too if Dallas didn’t ask Hunter to stop using it. We might not have the RKO out of nowhere or an iconic move that seldom bigger names use today.


That’s my list. I said before if you agree with my list and if you don’t and want to throw hate my way… @PCTunney is the hate mail account so enjoy!


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Opinion

AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns

With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

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With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.

With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.

1. Johnny Gargano

Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?

WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen  the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.

2. James Storm

This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.

Watch your Money and your Alcohol.

Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”

3. Big Cass



Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.

Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.

4. Bronson Reed



The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.

Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?

5. Bray Wyatt

And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.

To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.

– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!


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