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Opinion

Chris’s WWE Raw Grades & Analysis For 7/15/19

Chris takes a look at Monday’s edition of WWE Raw

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WWE Raw Finn Balor Bray Wyatt

RAW is live 24 Hours after The Beast in the Bank made good on Heyman’s word, and cashed-in on an emotionally spent Seth Rollins. A four-year story came circle, with Brock Lesnar returning the favor from Rollins’s Heist of the Century at WrestleMania 31. What will the self-proclaimed Beastslayer have to say?

Chris’s WWE Raw Grades

  • 2/3 Falls Six Man Tag: Ricochet & The Usos VS Robert Roode & The Revival–B
  • The Viking Raiders VS Vinnie Rooner & Jackson James–D
  • Drew McIntyre VS Cedric Alexander–B+
  • Finn Balor VS Samoa Joe–C for the match, A for The Arrival of The Fiend
  • Zack Ryder VS Mike Kanellis w/ Maria–D
  • Six Man Tag: The Club VS Lucha House Party–A-
  • Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender Elimination Fatal 4 Way: Natalya VS Naomi VS Carmella VS Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross; Natalya wins and will face Becky Lynch for the title at Summerslam–C+
  • WWE 24/7 Championship: Drake Maverick w/ Renee Michelle VS R-Truth–B
  • WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender “Cross-Brand 10-Man Over-The-Top-Rope Battle Royal–B+

WWE Raw Analysis

We go live as the new Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and his advocate Paul Heyman make their entrance. We see a recap of last night’s Winners-Take-All Match, and the inevitable cash-in by the Beast Incarnate. I TOLD YOU SO! Heyman gives a history lesson of how many times HE told us that Lesnar would cash-in, and HE told us that Rollins wouldn’t be defended his Universal title at SummerSlam.

Brock wants to do what Brock wants to do! Tonight there will be a 10-man  cross-branded over-the-top-rope battle royal to determine Brock’s opponent for SummerSlam. Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Big E, Cesaro, Braun Strowman, Rey Mysterio, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Bobby Lashley, and, last but not least The Big Dog Roman Reigns! Apparently, we’re all Brock’s Bitches.

Here comes The One and Only Ricochet making his electric entrance as The Beast looks on from the apron… could Brock want to go one-on-one with the high-flyer? Ricochet is in action… Commercial.

It’s Six-man Tag Action as The Usos team up with Ricochet vs. Robert Roode and The Revival ⅔ Falls Match. Jey and Dawson start off… Superkick and Dawson is rocked, here comes Ricochet. Dawson eats a Recoil and a running Shooting Star Press for the 1-2-3. I am expecting The Club to cause a distraction and allow the heels to get the win. Recently, WWE has been giving six-man tag matches it’s like we’ve traveled back in time. Dawson gets the second fall with a Pancake Slam… Commercial.

We return to Dawson hitting multiple suplexes… two-count. Dawson and Wilder are absolutely brilliant with old-school wrestling 101, Wilder gets arm-dragged however he still makes the tag to Dawson to prevent Jey. Ricochet comes in and firing on all cylinders…Jimmy flies to the outside. The One and Only is hitting everything that’s moving…Recoil…The Dazzling 630 1-2-3! While The Usos and Ricochet celebrate guess who shows up…The Club.

Before they even make it to the ring, Ricochet hits a suicide dive on AJ Styles. A massive brawl ensues as all the tag teams fight all over the place. Usos are having a Superkick party! Ricochet hits a cross-body splash on Roode and The Revival! Ricochet you need to keep eyes in the back of your head… Phenomenal Forearm that turns him inside out! It’s not over yet… Magic Killer and Styles shoving HIS United States Championship in the face of the former champ, while screaming “NO ONE, NO ONE, I’M THE MAN!”

Its Raid Time as The Viking Raiders is shown in a red-lighted room preparing to obliterate when we return.

A commercial for Next Week’s Monumental Raw Reunion with all. the legends and greats are making an appearance! I got no problem with that, as long as they don’t steal the spotlight from the Full-Timers!

Which jobbers are Erik and Ivar going to destroy apparently, it’s Vinnie Rooner and Jackson James? No matter how many jobbers they annihilate; and no matter how much Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young sell The Viking Raiders as real threats, WWE isn’t doing these two badasses any favors with one-minute squashes. When the hell are these two going to get a real feud? At this point, they’re just another name on the long list of NXT teams that have been mistreated. Rant over… Viking Experience for the academic win.

Recap of the No Holds Barred Match last night, The Big Dog and The Deadman handled their business! Taker looked really good.

Earlier today, The Scottish Psychopath is ready to eviscerate Cedric Alexander for his masked trick on Shane and McIntyre last week. Alexander is not scared and stands up to him, ahead of their match tonight… Commercial.

Apparently, their match is up next as McIntrye is out first, followed by Alexander. The Scottish Psychopath is in a foul mood tonight as he bulldozes through his opponent. Alexander springboards off the ropes and delivers a beautiful Neutralizer enzugiri that sends McIntrye outside. Alexander takes out his foe with a jaw-dropping overhead splash to the outside.

One of the highlights of the match is when The Scottish Psychopath hits a ferocious Belly-to-belly that sends Alexander into the turnbuckle. The Age of Alexander is showing why he was the soul of 205 live, long before Mustafa Ali was. McIntrye sets up for the Alabama Slam but Alexander counters into a rolling pin and hooks the leg for the shocking 1-2-3. RUN Alexander! Looks like another joke on McIntrye!

Recap of  Shinsuke Nakamura defeating Finn Balor. Balor gives a Focus-driven promo about finding ways to move forward, but rest assured, he’s going to find a way back to HIS Intercontinental Championship! He says he’s going over, under or through Samoa Joe. Joe responds on the other side, “YOU’RE GOING TO DO WHAT?” The Samoan Specialist is not fazed! I am hoping these two get a good amount of time, going back to their exhilarating battles in NXT! The match is next… Commercial.

We come back as Charly Caruso is interviewing Reigns “Tonight is his week, from winning the Espy’s to Hobbs & Shaw Movie Premiere to Whooping ass with The Deadman last night…The only way to cap it off is to win the battle royal and taking back HIS Universal Championship!”

Back live as Balor is making his entrance. The Bell rings and both competitors tie-up…Break and Joe locks in an armlock, Balor attempts a Russian Leg Sweep… Nope. Wow, this one was quick…Quite disappointing as both rivals could tear the house down! Anyways, Joe rolls Balor and hooks the arms for the surprise pin. After though, Joe locks in the Coquina Clutch…Maybe not as Balor slips out, and hits the slingshot dropkick and the Coup de Grace!

All of a sudden the lights go out and shrieks echo…HOLY SHIT when they come back on The Fiend in mask and all is in Sister Abigail position! The Crowd is going nuts!!!! I predicted this about a month ago since we never got a truly good program with Balor and Wyatt. The dreaded Sister Abigail character was thwarted by The Flu or something. This is how you make an impact! While the lights go out again, sounds of Wyatt laughing echoes through the arena!

Mr. and Ms. 24/7 Champion are checking into a hotel to well you know…consumate the marriage. Drake Maverick is hilarious with his facial expressions like a teenager about to get lucky. Truth is hiding behind the wall with a referee. He asks the front desk if Hornswoggle is there?  These vignettes are entertaining but what’s the end game here? I’ve been saying for a while now that Maverick vs. R-Truth in a real match at SummerSlam is the next step in the 24/7 process.

The Street Profits are backstage and give another 100% FULL OF ENERGY HYPE for the Fatal-4-Way Elimination Match tonight where Natalya, Naomi, Carmella, and Alexa Bliss Dawkins goes…”Is Nikki Cross going to be with Bliss?” The hilarious Montez Ford pulls down his shades with a hilarious sly grin and says “That’s what the graphic says”. Dawkins has Big E for the battle royal, while Ford has MONDAY NIGHT ROLLINS!

We head back to the ring as Zack Ryder is waiting for his opponent. Maria Kanellis is degrading Mike again… and apparently, she’s taking the match and pushes her loser husband out of the way. She comes down the ramp and the official stops her…Here comes Mike to save the day…Nope Ryder hits the Rough Ryder for the 1-2-3. What was the point of that? How is this verbal abuse going to even help Mike become a credible superstar?

We finally see that the Fatal-4-Way is to determine Becky Lynch’s opponent for SummerSlam. The Club is in six-man tag team action when we return.

We’re back as The Lucha House Party are their opponents. Styles blasts Gran Metalik to start the match. Hot tags and a brutal onslaught so far as its been all Club. Out of nowhere Ricochet snatches Styles from the apron and drives him into the barricade. Officials come out to break it up as we’re taking another commercial break? What the hell!

We return to see Kalisto taking it to Anderson…hits a hurricanrana and Anderson goes outside. Double suicide dives from Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado, followed by a stunning Corkscrew splash from Kalisto to wipe everyone out! I’m pleased to see for a moment the luchas got some form of offense. Kalisto and Anderson are back in…The boot of Doom. Styles gets the tag and locks in the calf-crusher. Styles keeps it locked in despite the tap-out!

How many recaps of The Winners-Take-All match are we going to get tonight?

Sarah Schrieber is interviewing a LASER-FOCUSED Seth Rollins, who says The Man will be fine after Baron Corbin dropped her with The End of Days last night. He’s pissed that Lesnar holds HIS Universal Championship that The Beast Incarnate doesn’t deserve. He is prepared to fight and destroy anyone who stands in his path to regaining the Universal title including…Roman Reigns.

We see a recap of The Fiend’s shocking return to attack Balor.

I apologize, folks, my power went out so I didn’t see much of the Fatal-4-Way Elimination Match. So here are a few highlights, before the bell rings the Courageous Lynch proudly walks out battered and bruised but still the Raw Women’s Champion! Bliss kicks Natalya and slaps Naomi, she gets chased out. Mella is tossed out as well, now the two friends go at it. Natalya and Naomi hit dueling dropkicks to each other, and clotheslines. Mella gets some good offense in now and she hits a Stunning Steiner for a two-count. This is the point where I can pick up as my cable is back on.

Mella-Go-Round to Natalya…Naomi with the Rearview… nope Superkicks to both her and Natalya and the crafty Bliss rolls Mella up for the first elimination. Noami drops Bliss with a dropkick. She drills Bliss with some high kicks in the corner, followed by one that has Bliss rocked and almost gets the elimination. Both Bliss and Naomi collide with clotheslines and we go to commercial.

We are back as all three women are ready to continue the fight. Again we see Bliss rolling outside and appears to be “hurt” leaving the two friends to battle. Natalya wants a Suplex on the outside, Naomi counters…she almost gets sent into the steel steps, blocked and hits a gorgeous Blockbuster! All three superstars get some offense in and several near falls. Bliss is extremely crafty and picking her spots. The crowd is chanting “This is awful!” Natalya stacks Naomi up from a roll-up pin for our second elimination… commercial.

We return as the wily Bliss is in control…Insult to Injury. Natalya wipes out Cross by accident. This is a distasteful crowd tonight as a “Let’s go, Cena, Cena Sucks” chant begins. Granted this isn’t the best fatal-four-way but still have some respect! Anyway Bliss drives Natalya into the steel steps and rolls her in the ring, she was playing possum and locks in the Sharpshooter and Bliss taps out. Natalya is the Number-One Contender for SummerSlam.

Post-Match Interview with Charly Caruso, she is proud of competing for the Raw Women’s Championship in her hometown of Canada! The Man has something to say! She and Natalya her “friend” share some mince words. The typical I’m going to kick your ass threats! I would be much more thrilled if WWE actually made Natalya seem like a real threat… instead, she’s just another victory for The Man.

Orton gives his hype for the battle royal… courtesy of R.K.O. The Miz is coming out now for his Miz TV as we go to commercial.

We return and The A-Lister welcomes his guest Dolph Ziggler. Right off the bat, Ziggler is passive-aggressively throwing jabs about Miz. He used to prove he was the best and now he’s just a Yes-man and has a show. Ziggler tries to fire back at Miz about not being on the card last night, Miz says well it’s better to not be on than to lose to Kevin Owens in seventeen seconds. Ziggler crosses the line as he claims that all Miz cares about is fame and fortune…just like his wife. The A-Lister pounces on him and unloads right hands. As much as I love both Miz and Ziggler, I would rather not see a recycled feud again.

It’s Maverick’s lucky night or so he thought! Room service arrives with their champagne that his wife ordered. Maverick is wearing nothing but the 24/7 title. The attendant doesn’t leave and, Maverick notices its an official. He frantically starts lifting up the bed and looking for someone. Truth crawls out from under the beverage cart. He rolls Maverick up for only a two. He hits a version of a cross-body splash and gets the three! Truth has his baby back all is right with the world!

We return from commercial as all 10 competitors in the Cross-brand Battle Royal are in the ring, and Heyman and The Beast are watching from the entrance ramp. To keep things not confusing I’ll just be naming superstars one-by-one who gets eliminated.

Cesaro eliminated by Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley eliminated by Braun Strowman
Big E eliminated by Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn eliminated by Randy Orton
Rey Mysterio eliminated by Baron Corbin
We’re down to four Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman and poor Baron Corbin!

6. Baron Corbin eliminated by Seth Rollins

Roman Reigns inadvertently speared Rollins as Strowman sidestepped.

7. Both Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns eliminated by Seth Rollins.

He starts to celebrate but The Viper strikes.

8. Randy Orton eliminated by Seth Rollins

Winner: Seth Rollins

Rollins says at SummerSlam it’s going to resemble WrestleMania. He will stomp The Beast and become THE REIGNING DEFENDING UNDISPUTED WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPION! Brock marches down and throws a chair at Rollins and exits.

That’s the show folks!


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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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Opinion

King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy

As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!

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Jeff Hardy WWE Smackdown

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI.  Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.

Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.

I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”

Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match

Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!

Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect

On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.

Swanton Bomb From The Heavens

When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.

Hardy Wins The WWE Championship 

In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.

Straight Edge Problems For Hardy

The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.

The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.

Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut

From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.

This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.

As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.


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