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Andrew’s WWE Raw and SmackDown Live Ratings & Analysis (6/17 + 6/18)

Even though the shows are leading to a B rated PPV that no one seems to care about; do we at least get decent shows? Will WWE surprise us?

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Even though the shows are leading to a B rated PPV that no one seems to care about; do we at least get decent shows? Will WWE surprise us?

The US Championship scene is a bit of a cluster right now, so hopefully this Raw figures that out. Alexa and Nikki Cross could be in trouble if Bayley can get through to Nikki.

SmackDown has Kofi and Roman’s stories, but they also feel like they’ve bled over to Raw a bit as well. So maybe, just maybe, we’ll get something interesting, a decent match here or there and something to start caring about.

Raw Ratings:

  • #1 Contender for US Title Elimination: Bobby Lashley vs Cesaro vs Braun Strowman vs Ricochet vs The Miz: Ricochet wins via 630 Senton – ** ¼
  • Viking Raiders vs Jobbers: Raiders win via Viking Experience – N/A
  • 2 out of 3 Falls: The New Day vs Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin & Sami Zayn: New Day wins via Trouble in Paradise (2-0) – ** ½
  • The Usos vs Gallows & Anderson: Usos win via Double Superkick – N/A
  • Women’s Tag Team Championship: The IIconics (c) vs Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss: IIconics retain via Roll-Up – * ½
  • Seth Rollins vs Daniel Bryan: Rollins wins via Stomp – ***

 

Analysis:

So Elias kicks off the show with a song and declaration of being the special guest referee for Corbin’s match at Stomping Grounds. Seth decides to start his rampage by taking a chair to anyone and everyone who allies themselves with Corbin.Then everyone in the 5 way Elimination match just tries their hand  at beating the crap out of him. It was a little amusing, but also got a little old honestly.

This 5 way wasn’t that bad, and the last two got a decent amount of time. The part that killed it for me is the same thing they’ve done with Braun for the last few years in Elimination matches. They eliminate power threats early and then have them “take advantage of NoDQ” and gang up on his to make sure Braun doesn’t win either. It’s just very tired and lazy, and would make more sense if they did that while they were still legal in the match. It’s just a dumb cliché. Ricochet getting the win is nice and the crowd seems to be coming around to his in-ring ability. Cause let’s be honest, they haven’t built his character, so any reaction is because he does cool stuff in the ring.

I get that Becky is sick of Lacey, but she comes off more whiney than commanding. Lacey came off looking great since Becky tried to say she attacks people from behind, but she met the situation head on. Becky jumping on her before she’s in the ring with the Becksploder basically disproves most of what Becky just said. So yeah, hopefully the match ends up being ok, because the build has felt pointless for a few weeks.

Corbin gets a backstage segment which does nothing really, except grant him a chairshot, since Seth is on his warpath.

Bryan and Rowan kind of re-introducing the Viking Raiders is a little odd. Not a pairing I would’ve expected, but we got to see War Machine do their thing against a few jobbers. So, no real complaints.

Carmella and R-Truth are in the crowd in costume, but the camera finds them and then the rush of humanity spills out for them.

Heath Slater walks into Shane’s celebration, asking for a raise. Shane says no, and then sends Drew after him. Now what happened was obvious, but the small nod to their past and a somewhat believable friendship was dashed since Drew is just an ass at the moment. Hopefully this builds to something for Heath and it’s not just a throw away interaction.

Corbin thought he figured things out by then revealing EC3 as his new referee on the Kevin and Sami show. EC3 gets sideswiped with the chair and laid out. New Day shows up and reenacts Weekend at Bernie’s with EC3’s limp corpse to sanction a 6 man match. Was the set up amusing?  Sure. Does the match make me want to keep watch? Nope.

The point of this 2 out of 3 falls 6 man, was really just to get Kevin and Sami away from Baron. A miscommunication during the second fall had Kevin Superkick Corbin and walk off with Sami.

Alexa and Nikki is still a pairing I have hope for. By that I mean, I hope they keep Nikki keen on how Alexa is, so even if Alexa thinks she’s a puppet master…Nikki might surprise everyone. But for now, they are still a great pairing, and I like Alexa getting them a tag title shot.

Heyman does his usual thing, and he’s the second person to make a Lakers reference. Well this is already getting old. But yeah, nothing you haven’t heard before was said here. Moving on…

Eric Young is the next person to feel the wrath of the chair. I’m getting tired of this honestly.

Styles and the Good Brothers had a moment backstage where AJ said they were complacent and The Usos were the best tag team. So in an attempt to prove AJ wrong, the Good Brother show off a bit too much and end up losing a match they seemed to have won. Should be interesting where this goes.

Roman Reigns comes out for a promo segment, and he’s cut off by Shane’s crew on the Titantron. Drew starts cutting into the Samoan Sex Machine, and then mentions his family. That’s a no-no. Roman then marches through the crowd, to the party area and lays out all of Shane’s party. Shane ran towards the ring to try and lose Roman, but Roman catches him and sends an impactful message.

The Women’s Tag match wasn’t a complete mess, but it was rough at points. Bayley sitting on the outside to try and diffuse Alexa’s claims actually did nothing but solidify them. Bayley cost Nikki and Alexa the titles by keeping Alexa from helping out Nikki. So Nikki is starting to come around to Alexa’s narrative.

Firefly Fun House is great! It was dark, sinister, and creepy. I love the remixes of the Muscle Man Dance song during the montage and it was just fantastic. It did feel like the last episode before Bray is seen in person again, but I’m not going to be mad if it isn’t. This has been the highlight of Raw for the last few weeks.

So Bryan vs Rollins definitely started off dumb. The fact that Rowan interferes to get Daniel DQ’d, and that’s how it’s announced. Then after a scrum with an assortment of heels and faces, we get some random decision to restart the match.

From there, the match was fine, but that first match and the weird interlude started the match off a bit flat. Plus I don’t think anyone bout that Bryan would win since Seth has a title match Sunday and Daniel is on SmackDown. So it really felt like filler.

 

Overall Score: 6.5/10

The show was above average, but that’s also a bit inflated since Fun House was so good. Nothing was really awful, but I can’t say that I was really engaged. It wasn’t a painful 3 hours, it just…was 3 hours.

 

SmackDown Live Ratings:

  • Dolph Ziggler vs Xavier Woods: Ziggler wins via Superkick – ***
  • Heavy Machinery vs B-Team:  Heavy Machinery wins via Compactor – N/A
  • Elimination Tag Match: The Miz & R-Truth vs Elias & Drew McIntyre: McIntyre wins via Claymore – **
  • 2 out of 3 Falls: Seth Rollins & Kofi Kingston vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn: Rollins wins via Stomp (2-0) – ** 3/4

 

Analysis:

Dolph is about as captivating as the first 100 laps of NASCAR with no accidents. I don’t care how much conviction he tries to say his lines with, I don’t need him on my television. New Day is New Day, so that’s never a negative, but the end to this Ziggler angle can’t come fast enough.

After the talking we get a solid match between Xavier and Dolph. Xavier had a few interesting spots including a Gorilla Press Gutbuster. Dolph of course needed the win for momentum going into Stomping Grounds. But it was a good match.

Corbin gets a line outside of his locker room for the referee spot. We all know what’s coming later in the show.

Moment of Bliss breaks down with Bayley trying to say her piece, but she gets irritated and goes after Alexa. Nikki sticks up for her friend even though Bayley is trying to say Alexa’s just using her like she has everyone else. But Nikki believes what she sees, and Bayley is being a bitch, so she draws her line in the sand. I can respect it.

Heavy Machinery versus B-Team. The announce team really tries to frame the B-Team as a legit threat by throwing their tag title reign around. That says more about how bad the tag division was, than them being credible. So yeah, Heavy Machiney destroys B-Team and then Rollins shows up to chairshot B-Team since they were in the line for Corbin earlier.

Aleister keeps saying nothing. I swear, if we don’t see Bray walk through his door and into Aleister’s janitor’s closet…then I really have no clue where this is all going. If he really wanted a fight, he’d be proactive instead of waiting for someone. Writing him like a complete punk.

Shane comes out for more talking, but this time Miz cuts in. Miz actually frames the last few months in a clever way. Miz takes responsibility for creating a monster since he got hurt, and Shane stood in to become Best in the World. He wanted to tag with him because of the distinction and then he couldn’t keep him in check during their feud earlier this year. All good stuff, Shane grants him a tag match if he can find someone in 10 seconds, and R-Truth just happened to be hiding under the ring with the 24/7 title.

We see Author of Pain, and Kairi, Asuka and Paige! Apparently the Pirates of Tomorrow will get a non-title match next week. If they win, then they get a title shot. Good segment between the 5 women.

The tag match is an elimination style match, because apparently we just like those currently. Elias and Drew go over, no real surprise. It was decent enough, but Truth got eliminated first and it was a little lame. I would’ve liked one of them to knock out Elias at least.

Ember attacks Mandy and Sonya because they’re mean and pick on her. I did really like how quick Sonya proved her hands were though. Fire and Desire were eating donuts, Ember went after Mandy first and Sonya caught her immediately with a punch/smack to the face. Sonya could be money.

R-Truth gets tricked by Drake Maverick posing as Carmella. Drake actually pins Truth and wins the 24/7 title and is now taking it to his wedding.

Another 2 out of the 3 falls match? Really? Really? Really? Do we have to keep reusing ideas that just happened the day before?

Kofi hits Sami with Trouble in Paradise as soon as the bell rings to get the first pin, and then they go to commercial again. These commercial breaks really don’t help the product. The rest of the match wasn’t bad, but it started off so slow because of all the commercial time and never fully recovered from the awkward start. Still salvaged something alright, but it would’ve been much better with different timing and if it’s wasn’t another inane 2 out 3 falls match.

 Overall Score: 5/10

Again, SmackDown felt like the overflow reservoir for Monday Night Raw. The show wasn’t bad, but it was painfully average because nothing felt unique or like anything really got accomplished. Undercard stories had a little movement, but since they probably won’t play into Stomping Grounds nothing will matter until next week.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Andrew’s G1 Climax 29 Ratings & Analysis: Night 7 A Block

KENTA and Okada may start pulling away in A Block! Who falls first? The Rainmaker or The NOAH Outsider?

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KENTA and Okada may start pulling away in A Block! Who falls first? The Rainmaker or The NOAH Outsider?

Aside from the big names being stuck in the middle of the pack, we’ve got poor little Zack Sabre at zero points. Can he twist Fale into a pretzel and figure it out?

Then we have Okada facing a banged up Ospreay, while KENTA takes on a rising EVIL.

Do we still have any undefeated participants in A Block after today?

Ratings:

  • Yota Tsuji & Juice Robinson vs Jon Moxley & Shota Umino: Shooter wins via Boston Crab @3:55 – ** 1/4
  • Taichi, Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto & Yuya Uemura: Kanemaru wins via Deep Impact @8:50 – ***
  • Yujiro Takahashi, Chase Owens & Jay White vs Jeff Cobb, Tomoaki Honma & Toa Henare: Chase wins via Package Piledriver @9:50 – ** 1/2
  • Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito vs YOSHI-HASHI, Ren Narita & Tomohiro Ishii: BUSHI wins via MX @7:35 – **
  • A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs Bad Luck Fale: Sabre wins via Countout @6:30 – ** 1/4
  • A Block: Lance Archer vs Hiroshi Tanahashi: Tanahashi wins via Victory Roll @12:00 – ** 1/2
  • A Block: KENTA vs EVIL: KENTA wins via Go 2 Sleep @15:05 – *** 1/2
  • A Block: Kota Ibushi vs SANADA: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye @19:15 – *** 3/4
  • A Block: Will Ospreay vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Rainmaker @21:55 – **** 1/2

 

 

Analysis:

Still a lot of heat from their NXT past and Moxley’s debut match in NJPW. Juice and Mox don’t face each other until the end of their block schedule, but if this needed more heat…well this was gasoline. Juice and Mox stay on each other, brawl to the back while the Young Lions fight, but Mox apparently gets the best of the brawl. He returns to the ring to help Shooter, hit their Hart Attack tandem move and Shooter sinks in the Boston Crab.

There’s history between Taichi and Goto centering around the NEVER Openweight Title, Yano and Suzuki have fun history and it looks like Uemura is stepping up to Suzuki. So there’s a lot of fun moments, Uemura has a death wish trying to fight Suzuki, but it’s still fun. A lot of moving pieces in this one that kept it very entertaining.

Honma got put through the paces, Jay White got tossed around a little bit by Jeff Cobb, but the Bullet Club tag partners proved to be more useful than Cobb’s. Chase has picked up a few wins in the tag matches, so he might get some kind of push coming soon.

BUSHI continues to pick up pinfalls in these tag matches, and this sort of builds for Ishii and Naito, but not a ton happens. YOSHI-HASHI is there, Shingo looks like a million bucks and BUSHI wins the match, LOL. This was very paint by numbers.

Sabre jumps all over Fale at the start and tries a plethora of submissions to no avail. A kendo stick shot from Jado pushes the action to the outside. Fale and Bullet Club look to have an advantage, but Sabre dodges some double team tactics, grounds Fale with a Triangle Arm Bar, and then races to the ring to beat the 20 count. Fale couldn’t make it back fast enough, so Sabre gets the first Countout win of this year’s tournament.

Tanahashi is really showing the age and injuries this year, so all of these flukey wins just come off as forced. The match was slow, had moments of being interesting, but Tanahashi not even being 50% of what he used to be makes these hard to watch at times. Archer is getting over well, but Tanahashi winning at this point does hurt the credibility a little. I get the story they’re telling, but unlike last year where Tanahashi could push through injuries, this year, they are much more obvious, and he’s much more hampered.

EVIL took the fight to KENTA and then they went to the outside. Through the back and then into the crowd area next to the ramp. EVIL went for Darkness Falls on a bunch of a chairs, but KENTA stopped him and suplexed him onto said chairs. When it got back in the ring, EVIL tried to weaken the legs and KENTA went after EVIL’s upper body to mitigate the power advantage. Heavily booed, KENTA played up heel nicely (I guess WWE did help for something), and eventually he gets the best of EVIL and lets him take a nap. KENTA moves to 4-0.

We get a solid match between two guys who are right on the precipice of the Main Event scene. Kota outsmarts SANADA early by not going for the stupid dueling Dropkick spot, and from then on it was an interesting struggle. Between fan support and the general “anything you can do, I can do better” pacing, this was entertaining, yet slow and felt too long in some spots. Both looked pretty good, but this could’ve been told faster and SANADA’s perpetual struggles are a little frustrating for anyone who is a fan of his.

Okada and Ospreay were expected to blow the roof off, and well I’d say this was a damn good shot. Ospreay is obviously dinged up, but he fought through the pain and pulled off numerous flipping counters and found a few different ways to hit the Os-Cutter. They both let their personalities fly and this was a lot of fun to watch. Okada always has this older brother aura since he’s the one that brought Ospreay to New Japan and Chaos, so whenever they get together, it’s very much like two siblings trying to outdo the other. Ospreay had a great flurry at the end, flipping through a Rainmaker attempt, to try his Stormbreaker, but Okada flipped through that and hit a short arm lariat. Rolling Rainmaker and a normal Rainmaker later, Okada edges out the little brother. Great match.

 

Overall Score: 7/10

Well this night struggled cause the first two Block matches were really weak. The next two amped-up the intensity a little, but fell short of a memorable match. The main event was fantastic, but generally speaking this felt like it was slow, plateau’d for a while and only picked up at the end. Nothing out right awful, but a lot of matches that could’ve been a little better.

Still a solid enough night if you’re following it all, but only the main event is worthy of seeking out individually. It is nice to see that everyone is on the board with some points. So if Okada and KENTA stumble a little, the rest of the block could plausibly catch up.

 

Block A Standings:

  • Kazuchika Okada: 4-0 (8 Points)
  • KENTA: 4-0 (8 Points)
  • Lance Archer: 2-2 (4 Points)
  • EVIL: 2-2 (4 Points)
  • Kota Ibushi: 2-2 (4 Points)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi: 2-2 (4 Points)
  • SANADA: 1-3 (2 Points)
  • Will Ospreay: 1-3 (2 Points)
  • Bad Luck Fale: 1-3 (2 Points)
  • Zack Sabre Jr: 1-3 (2 Points)

 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Rob: Brock Is Back! But What About Seth?

Rob evaluates the fans’ role in the run of Seth Rollins and the excitement around Brock Lesnar’s third reign as WWE Universal Champion.

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WWE Brock Lesnar Seth Rollins Extreme Rules

Rob evaluates the fans’ role in the run of Seth Rollins and the excitement around Brock Lesnar’s third reign as WWE Universal Champion.

So we are now back in the era of Brock Lesnar as Universal Champion, after he cashed in on Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules.  The WWE did a decent job of putting some suspense into it by throwing out the possibility of Brock choosing to cash in on Kofi Kingston instead but by the time it happened most of the people I interact with on Twitter were strongly in favor Rollins being the victim and weren’t the least bit discouraged when Brock brought his reign to an end.  There are a lot of reasons for that, and I’ll have to get into them another time, but it really seems that there weren’t too many people happy with Rollins time as champion from his biggest supporters to his biggest detractors.  So with that in mind I’m gonna do what usually do when it comes to stuff like this – that’s right I’m going to throw some blame at the fans.

Now I am not one that was underwhelmed by Rollins run with the title.  The match with AJ Styles at Money in the Bank was really good and I did not hate the Baron Corbin feud like a lot of you did.  I think Corbin is a good heel and a pretty good worker.  By Wrestling Twitter standards he’s no good because he doesn’t check any of the boxes that one needs to in order to pass their test – never worked indies, doesn’t have 5 star matches, doesn’t do 100 moves or work work 30 minute matches, and he isn’t charming or funny in his role.  But a lot of you guys were so appalled at the mere idea the Baron Corbin would get a program for the Universal Title that you either complained nonstop or checked out entirely.  But I gotta ask you guys a serious question here – do you really support him like that, or is it more the idea of Seth Rollins as Universal Champion?  Is Rollins the guy who should be champion in your eyes or is he the best representative of the type of wrestler you think should be Universal Champion?

What I mean is that Rollins checks all the Wrestling Twitter boxes – indie cred, workrate guy, is popular enough – and he’s also a big enough guy to not look like a joke standing next to guys like Roman Reigns or Samoa Joe or Corbin.  And because of that he gets favored in those circles over guys like Reigns or Brock Lesnar or Braun Strowman.  But none of that has stopped the crowds from checking out of some of his biggest matches – Summerslam 2016, Extreme Rules and TLC last year.  Meanwhile Strowman can get 11 million views for an arm wrestling match with Bobby Lashley even after a lot of people on Twitter think the ship has sailed on him, and Reigns got maximum crowd participation last year even in filler matches with Jinder Mahal and Bobby Lashley.  There’s a real gap between how he’s viewed on Wrestling Twitter and how the general public takes him for sure.

And what I mean by that is that the Corbin feud shouldn’t have been a deal breaker for someone who you guys really are invested in as the top guy.  Reigns didn’t check out during those programs with Lashley and Mahal last year and they didn’t check out during the whole Shane McMahon feud despite being pretty vocal in wanting Roman to move on ASAP from Shane and Drew McIntyre.  Rollins singles champ counterpart on Smackdown Kofi Kingston hasn’t had any issue maintaining his support even through a multi Pay Per View program with the often groan inducing Dolph Ziggler (I’m not a Dolph hater but a lot of you are).  You’re supposed to just want to see your favorite as the champ; being in a program with a top level guy or gal isn’t supposed to be a requirement, especially in what is supposed to be a post WrestleMania honeymoon period for a new champion.

So it’s pretty simple to me if you’re a big fan of Seth Rollins or anyone else.  Yes you want them to face the best people and have the best matches all the time, but if they’re going to hold one of the top two titles then sometimes they’re going to have to get through a month or two against somebody who isn’t one of those people and you’re gonna have to ride it out and support them.  The card has to be balanced out and the champion is supposed to be at least somewhat of an attraction by themselves.  But if you’re crapping on what turned out to be some perfectly fine matches (his last two main events with Corbin were not bad, they just weren’t five star movefests like some of you guys think big title matches should be) because of, who the opponent is then you’re not helping your favorite out here at all.  He’s not above doing a couple of gimmicked up sports entertainment matches with Baron Corbin, ok?

But if you say he should be the top guy and then you demand that he only get to work with certain people under certain circumstances then well……that runs contrary to pretty much all of wrestling history.  So you’re gonna have to either change your demands, or maybe change your assessment of the guy.


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