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Andrew’s WWE Raw and SmackDown Live Ratings & Analysis (6/10 + 6/11/2019)

Does Raw continue to be more enjoyable than SmackDown? Do they both suck? Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?

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Does Raw continue to be more enjoyable than SmackDown? Do they both suck? Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?

Last week did a lot for character work. Sometimes I appreciate good story telling moments, even if the wrestling was lacking.

With that said, SmackDown only having 19 minutes of wrestling last week, was awful. So maybe they can go back to being the ring work focused brand.

 

Raw Ratings:

  • 3 vs 1 Handicap Elimination Match: Lars Sullivan vs Lucha House Party: Sullivan wins easily – -** (that’s negative 2)
  • Bobby Lashley, Samoa Joe & Cesaro vs Ricochet, The Miz & Braun Strowman: Ricochet wins via 630 Senton – *** ¼
  • Lacey Evans & Alexa Bliss vs Becky Lynch & Bayley: Lacey wins via The Woman’s Right – **
  • IIconics vs 2 Jabronis from San Jose: IIconics win because it’s a job match – N/A
  • Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Revival vs The Usos vs Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder (c): Dawson wins via Splash – ** ½ – TITLE CHANGE!!
  • Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens w/ Sami Zayn special referee:  Owens wins via DQ – * ½

 

Analysis:

The open is a typical opening segment. Sami and Kevin just happen to ally a bit, a fairly throw away promo for everyone, but it feeds towards the main event and maybe the Stomping Grounds stuff. But my desire to care about any of this is pretty low.

Now it’s the dumbest most worthless bunch of 4 pieces of crap on the roster. I’d rather drink ram urine, while being held upside down in Thailand with my legs on fire.  This was a travesty. You’ve got a dumb monster guy, against 3 guys with no personality, no desire to care and the crowd was dead.  Raw is off to such a great start…ugh.

Cole asks like half a question, and then Lacey Evans and Becky Lynch drive the interview. It wasn’t a bad, but didn’t really add anything. Lacey knows her character and Becky added a few cute Irish flairs to her comments, like “Dirt before the bush” feels very not American, yet adorable. So this didn’t add much, but did grant some entertainment.

Alexa and Nikki have another interesting moment. Alexa apologizes for getting the number one contender spot on SmackDown, and tries to start painting Bayley as fake. Nikki doesn’t seem to totally buy it, but she and Alexa are still friends, so she’s not turning her back on her now. This will be interesting since it seems like Alexa is just being manipulative but Nikki could always be waiting out the advantages to the friendship. Hopefully they don’t take an easy way out.

Miz TV starts out interesting with Samoa Joe being the guest. Joe and Miz start what could’ve been a nice promo, but then it turns into “Oh Captain My Captain”, but a bunch of people suddenly caring about the US Title. It devolves into a 6 man because, it always does, but I really would’ve been more invested if it was Joe and Miz.

Surprisingly, the 6 man for how poorly it was set up was a damn good match. Lashley looked great, Braun even looked more competent than usual, just generally a nice match. Yes the finish looked a little rough, but I didn’t like how Cesaro was tilted on his side to take the 630. So that looked like a few weird elements.

This women’s tag match was more of a story telling match than a ring work match. Yes a few spots seemed awkward, but the way everyone played off of each other was great. Lacey getting the win and also using Nikki as a weapon during an out of the ring portion was great. Nikki gave Lacey the stink eye, and Alexa had to snap Nikki out of it, as the reverse of what happened last week. Nikki and Alexa’s subtle threads are what are really driving the Raw Women’s division current.

Heyman says things, which are usual Paul Heyman things. I can’t say I cared nor paid much attention, but it’s always “Lesnar is impending doom, maybe he’ll be there, but be scared, blah blah”.

Oh yeah there’s been an ongoing trapped in an elevator section with the 24/7 Champion and a few challengers. Cedric Alexander, Drake Maverick, Carmella, R-Truth, Heath Slater and EC3 are all having quirky comedy moments.  I wasn’t bothered by the whole elevator thing. It was a different take on the 7/11 European Television Championship and I was okay with the pivot.

IIconics face jobbers. IIconics are adorable; I appreciate their obnoxious, mean yet cute thing. Their matches tend to be a rough watch, but they know their characters.

Best in the World celebration time! Now, I don’t mind Shane winning with McIntyre’s help and being delusional. The biggest issue I have with it is that no one cares. The crowds tend to die for the most part; there isn’t that palpable heat that Vince used to have. So if it was more effective, I’d be all for it. But this seems to have outlived its usefulness.

It’s disappointing to admit the Triple Threat wasn’t exactly impressive. It was fine for what it was, and the finish is what made everything better. A solid underhanded victory from The Revival that screwed over The Usos. So it all works itself out decently.

So as per usual, Firefly Fun House has become the highlight of Monday Night Raw. From the sign on the door, to the referencing of the first murder, to Bray murdering Rambling Rabbit again and then making some kind of breakfast spread…it’s just good dark twisted entertainment.

Now I appreciate Kevin Owens as much as the next guy, but Sami Zayn took things to a different level in this match. Not only was he just being a heel, but he even bumped like a referee and played the part of weak/easily intimidated. It works well with his character and it was the best aspect of the match. The match was nothing special, but Sami was tremendous.

 

Overall Score: 4/10

Now the show wasn’t good, or bad, just so average it was mind numbing. My final score is purely because of my own amusement math that I do. So a 5, minus 2 because of Lucha House Party, plus 1 because of the Fun House, is 4. Now where’s my ram urine…

 

SmackDown Live Ratings:

  • The Miz vs Elias: Miz via Skull Crushing Finale – N/A
  • The Miz vs Drew McIntyre: McIntyre via Claymore – **
  • Shane McMahon vs The Miz: Shane wins via Triangle Choke – N/A
  • Jobbers vs Heavy Machinery: Come on now, don’t ask dumb questions – N/A
  • Sonya Deville vs Carmella:  Sonya wins via Step Up Knee Strike – * ¼
  • Bayley vs Nikki Cross: Bayley wins via Bayley to Belly -**
  • New Day vs Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn: Kofi wins via Trouble in Paradise – ** ½

Analysis:

Miz TV opens SmackDown Live, and it’s bad when I feel like Miz is just being wasted the last few weeks. This goes back to what I said on Raw, when I don’t mind Shane winning, but the crowd doesn’t seem to be into it, and they don’t seem to lead anywhere. On Raw Miz is now shoehorned into the US Title picture and Shane gives Miz a shot at redemption by telling him he has to get through Elias and Drew to get to him. Ugh.

This goes the way we all expected. Miz beats Elias and then gets outclassed by Drew McIntyre. Shane, as the classic heel he is, decides to give Miz a match while he’s basically dead and makes quick work of him. The tactics employed are fine, but the fact the angle doesn’t have any real fan engagement makes it harder to watch.

So I guess Ember Moon is a nerd with a short fuse? That’s her gimmick? Deville and Mandy Rose just keep picking on her choice of reading material, and she gets huffy. Wow, I guess the WWE primarily watch anime geared towards teenage girls.

Rowan and Daniel Bryan come out against the Yolo County Tag Team Champions (real county in California, not real belts). Heavy Machinery, another duo of winners (big oof), wants a shot at the SmackDown belts. So Rowan and Bryan tell them to go through the jobbers first to earn their shot.

UUUGHHH! Yes that’s my analysis for this crap job match.

R-Truth accidentally gets himself stuck in a trunk whilst hiding from the horde of challengers.

Sonya Deville and Mandy continue their feud with Carmella. The numbers get the best of the Princess and Sonya lands a Step-Up Knee to knockout Carmella. The obvious path is Carmella getting annoyed that the numbers game keeps getting the best of her, so Ember will probably offer her services.

Again we have Alexa trying to manipulate Nikki, but you keep seeing that Nikki isn’t totally under her spell since she asks the logical questions. Alexa trying to get Nikki to soften up Bayley is obvious, so again, we’ll see how this story continues.

New Day comes out since Big E is back and healthy. These are always amusing and the fact that Ziggler, Sami and Kevin are involved mean only good things.

Aleister Black says nothing again. For someone who wants a conflict, he apparently needs to be approached, like he’s special. This is dumb because it’s counterproductive. In a fighting world, even a scripted fighting world, someone who runs their mouth for a month, but wants people to come to him, is a punk ass bitch. People don’t fear you, people don’t care about you.

Bayley versus Nikki was more of a statement to Alexa. It was competitive for a while, but towards the end Bayley proved she’s not the same softie that couldn’t pull the trigger during the Kendo stick on a pole match. Alexa didn’t really look shaken, but she also didn’t look like she was expecting such a different Bayley.

The main event was entertaining. A full blown Unicorn Stampede, solid ring work, good character work from everyone. Not bad at all. Kofi clearing out the last few problems by himself continued to make him look good.

 

Overall Score: 4/10

Well, I think I’ve figured out what it is. SmackDown just feels like a continuation of Raw anymore. It doesn’t feel unique, it hasn’t really focused on the in-ring work in a while and it’s just looking bad. Ratings reflect a disinterest in the new format, and I can’t really tolerate it. SmackDown used to be a nice palate cleanser after the overblown mediocrity that Raw usually is (it’s been better more or less lately, I mean in general), but now SmackDown is just lame.


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Opinion

NXT Minus 6: Let’s Make History!

Bradley Jay makes history in this week’s edition of the NXT Minus 6. What kind of history is he making? Well, that’s for you to read and see!

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WWE NXT Undisputed Era Breezango

Bradley Jay makes history in this week’s edition of the NXT Minus 6. What kind of history is he making? Well, that’s for you to read and see!

This will be the most historic column in the history of history!

Less than half of Americans know that alcohol is a carcinogen. Big Booze wants to keep it that way.

6. Did you notice how many people want to make history? It’s all anybody talked about this week. I turned it into a drinking game. Every time someone said they wanted to make history, I took a shot. After 10 minutes, I died from alcohol poisoning. So much history.

NXT's Shotzi Blackheart Reveals Ember Moon as Women's Dusty Classic Partner

5. Shotzi Blackheart will make history as the first person with green hair to win a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament. Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro will become the first tag team in history to win a DRTTC whose collective weight would qualify for 205 Live. Ember Moon will make history as the first person to leave NXT, return and win a tournament that didn’t exist the first time she was there. BTW, the tag team I want to see is Kayden Carter & Ember Moon.  

MSK Revealed After Debut on Tonight's WWE NXT

4. Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory will make history as the first mentor/mentee team to win the DRTTC. KUSHIDA will make history as the first wrestler to win in all caps! MSK will make history as having the most God-awful name of any team to win. Unless it’s a shout out to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, then the name is doo doo on a stick.

Killian Dain | WWE3. Grizzled Young Veterans are sssssooooooon to make history as the first team to lose in the finals and win it the next year. Killian Dain by himself will be the hairiest team ever to win the DRTTC. Bollywood Boyz will make history as the first…I can’t finish that sentence. Those gomers aren’t winning Jack Squat. 

WWE NXT Releases the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Bracket

2. Overall, it was a good start to the tournament. Every match was 3.5 stars. Nothing memorable, nothing horrible. Breezango versus Undisputed Era was the best of the bunch. It would have been better without the horribly overbooked end. I’m not sure the point of it all if Breezango couldn’t use it to pick up a victory.   

Video: Wade Barrett sits down with Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher before NXT Fight Pit on WWE NXT - Wrestling Inc.

1. “You look like a man who is questioning if he’s still got it.” It was a filler line, but that’s the story! I’m slightly excited for Tommaso Ciampa versus Timothy Thatcher, primarily because of the Fight Pit. Right now, it’s two tough guys wanting to beat each other up. I want to see Ciampa fighting to prove he’s still got it. I want to see Thatcher fighting to crush the soul of the locker room leader. That’s the story.  


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NFL

Cook: Breaking Down The 2021 NFL Divisional Round

Steve Cook breaks down the NFL Divisional Round Playoffs, getting you ready for one of the best football weekends of the year!

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NFL Divisional Round Playoffs Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers

Steve Cook breaks down the NFL Divisional Round Playoffs, getting you ready for one of the best football weekends of the year!

Many experts say that the Divisional Round is the best weekend of the NFL season, and I agree with them. The Wild Card Weekend gets rid of all the riff-raff, and we’re left with teams that deserve to be there. A bitter pill to swallow for me as a Cincinnati Bengals fan whose team can never win one playoff game when they get there, due to the Bo Jackson Curse. I still have to swallow it because it is what it is. The cream rises to the top, and any team that manages to win one playoff game has earned their position on the stage.

I know everybody out there is wondering who will win these games. Fortunately, I’m here to break it down for you, and let you know what’s going to happen. After all, I did win 3 out of the 3 fantasy leagues I was in this season. Just saying, I know what these folks are capable of statistically. Ask anybody here on The Chairshot. I broke them all down and made them humble at some point during the fantasy season. Laid waste to all these folks, who all are intelligent in their own right. No disrespect to anybody I was up against. Their arms were just too short to box with God.

Saturday, 4:35 PM: LA Rams at Green Bay Packers

You know it’s a stacked weekend of action when this is the curtain-jerker. We got the best defense in the NFL going against Aaron Rodgers, on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Where there will be 6,000 ticketed fans, along with first responders. Not enough to make a difference like a typical Packers home game.

As good as that Rams defense is, you don’t like them nearly as much when Aaron Donald is off the field. Donald says he’s ready to do, so does Jared Goff, so the Rams are heading into Green Bay with all hands on deck. I went with the Rams at +6.5, largely because they’re looking as healthy as possible heading into this one, and you have to be impressed with what they did in Seattle. That being said, the Packers represent much stiffer competition. And I don’t care if Aaron Rodgers has only won one Super Bowl, I’m still picking his team to win in Green Bay. They don’t have to leave Wisconsin until the Super Bowl, though they might want to leave before then.

Yeah, I know. Kentucky guy talking state smack.

Cook’s Pick: Green Bay Packers

Saturday, 8:15 PM: Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills

Lamar Jackson finally got that monkey off of his back and won a playoff game. I was in a tough spot seeing Lamar compared to Andy Dalton, a perfectly competent Bengals QB that couldn’t win a postseason game. This is the closest line right now, because Vegas and everybody knows this: Once you let Lamar Jackson out of his cage, he’ll pile the bodies to the sky. One of the most fun athletes to watch of my, or anybody else’s, lifetime. I mean, if you don’t like Lamar, what do you like?

I’m a big fan of the Bills’ story, and I’d like for them to go a long way. Josh Allen is a talented SOB and fun to watch. I’m not sure he’s as fun as Lamar Jackson, but then I’ve seen many more Lamar Jackson games. This will be a big game for the future of both men, and might not be the last time we see them face off in the playoffs. I picked Baltimore at +2.5 largely because of my Lamar Jackson fandom, and the fact that the Ravens are just one of those franchises that excel in the playoffs. You always see them making a deep run. Buffalo? Well, they had four pretty deep runs, and you don’t mention any of those in Buffalo if you want to get out alive.

Cook’s Pick: Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, 3:05 PM: Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs

One of those games that will be closer than it should be for most of the game. Imagine the Browns going into an overly loud Arrowhead Stadium against Patrick Mahomes. It would be ugly. The fact that this stadium won’t be crowded as usual kind of gives Cleveland a chance. The spread is -10. I’d typically take Cleveland on those odds in this environment. Except…man, that offense is pretty awesome and I bet KC wants to put on a show. Pittsburgh couldn’t do it because they’re awful, but Kansas City definitely can.

Browns fans are hoping that the Chiefs overlook them, and the team itself is trying to use Chiefs quotes as bulletin board material, but I just don’t see Kansas City overlooking these guys. The “NOBODY RESPECTS US!” motivational tactic is as old as time and more often than not is based off of nothing. Listen, if you’ve made it to this point of the NFL season, there is somebody out there that respects you. This is the best Browns team since the days of Bernie Kosar. Just don’t ask Cleveland fans of a certain age what happened when they played an AFC West team in the playoffs. Still a touchy subject.

I’m kind of hoping the Browns go away for one simple reason: It’s awkward being a Bengals fan and seeing everybody in love with these guys. Not to be “NOBODY RESPECTS US!” guy, but I sure don’t remember the Bengals getting the same type of good vibes from the people when they were good. What’s up with that?

Cook’s Pick: Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday, 6:40 PM: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

We got Tom Brady & Drew Brees up past their bedtime. Nah, we need to get past the old people jokes, as honestly I’m pretty happy to see a game with two quarterbacks older than me playing in it. Makes me feel not quite as old. They still got skill too, both men were in the top 10 QBR rankings for the 2020 regular season. I’m pretty sure QBR gives Brady & Brees 50 points just based off of being Brady & Brees, but they still had impressive seasons. We’re talking about their buddy Ben Roethlisberger possibly retiring, but nobody’s really talking about either of these guys doing it. Unless they just want to go out on top, which with Brees is definitely a possibility.

The Saints won the first two meetings, and we all know the old saying about teams that meet three times. We also know that it’s dang near impossible to beat a Tom Brady-quarterbacked team in the postseason. Dude’s won more postseason games than some teams have won games over the past twenty years. OK, a little exaggeration, but would you be surprised if it’s true? Betting against Tom Brady in the postseason is like betting against Undertaker at WrestleMania. You just don’t do it.

Unless it’s in New Orleans.

Wrestling Fans

See what I did there? I like the Saints because I like their skill position players better. Alvin Kamara looks good and recovered from the rona. Michael Thomas is back in the mix, which can only be a good thing for the Saints’ passing game. They also have a slightly better defense, and we all know that as much as we talk about the shiny quarterbacks, defense wins championships. Saints in a barn burner to end the weekend on a good note.

Cook’s Pick: New Orleans Saints

Thanks for reading! Fun to do the ol’ sports again, maybe I’ll do more of it in the future…


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