Tiffany MC takes you on a journey into WWE Raw Reunion in this edition of Tiffany’s Takes!
Ah, the family reunion, where we meet relatives we haven’t seen or spoken to since the last reunion and air out the drama that can’t wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas. How did WWE’s version of this unsung summer ritual go?
I’m not a John Cena fan, or not much of one, not like I used to be, but there’s no denying that the man gets the crowd on its feet. Of course my feelings of nostalgia died the minute he started doing one of his twenty minute promos (YAWN!). I’m always down for a rap off between the Doctor of Thuganomics and the Usos though. Also, loved seeing Rikishi again, rare guy that could make any gimmick work. Not thrilled about Revival interrupting the dancing. Have to have Rikishi and the Usos dancing, but D-Von Dudley and Revival works for me.
For all the criticism of Hulk Hogan, the man still gets a pop, and it was great to see him with Jimmy Hart again, even if Jimmy is as annoying as ever. Where did Cena go? I get Rikishi and D-Von not wrestling, but did Cena fly the coop or something? Good match, but we didn’t get a stinkface!
Loved seeing Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, Santino Marella,and Torrie Wilson, but of course Drew McIntyre had to ruin the fun because that’s what unhappy people do.
R-Truth survived Comic-Con, I see. I hope the moderators were told ahead of time about this, so it didn’t seem too weird, but it it Comic-Con, so who knows? I will give Drake Maverick all the props in the world for being man enough to be seen in that costume. If we get Carmella vs Renee Michelle out of this, I’m game. Also, GODFATHER, no ladies since this is PG and the MeToo Era.
So, Drew McIntyre was so incensed by Cedric Alexander’s surprise win yesterday, he wanted another go. The match never got going since McIntyre attacked before Alexander got in the ring, so he couldn’t even even up the score. But at least he thinks he got his balls back or whatever.
Ew, who invited the Boogeyman? At least Pat Patterson is here to save us and take off with the 24/7 belt.
Christian is here! Wish Edge was too, but we’ll take what we can get! We also have Lilian Garcia as ring announcer for the murder of the Major Bros by the Viking Raiders! RIP Major Bros.
So the swanky RAW reunion was going on with Mike Kanellis chatting it up with Eve Torres and Eric Bischoff before Maria interrupted. I am HATING the Pregzilla thing, seriously, they’re making her into every person’s nightmare of a pregnant woman. Hello, Ron Simmons, with or without the megaphone.
So, the Club plotting Seth Rollins’ destruction, I do wish the Shield was here because that would’ve been so epic, but Jon Moxley is having the time of his life in Japan and we want him to be happy.
Gerald Brisco struck again and got tricked by Kelly Kelly, so there’s that.
So, we’re getting a reboot of an old feud between Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns, which answers the question of who Reigns is facing at SummerSlam. God help them if Samoa Joe spouts on about Roman ‘faking’ his cancer. The match was great, so I’m eager to see this at SummerSlam.
Seth Rollins started off his ‘Take the Title Back’ campaign with a stop at MizTV with a hilarious Brock Lesnar impersonation. Not as good as Cena’s but it wasn’t awful. I did enjoy watching him and Heyman promo off each other. This also interesting because it was the first MizTV to not end with someone, usually Miz, getting their ass kicked.
Everyone’s got that one relative that loves to stir up trouble at every reunion, and it looked like Sami Zayn played that role. LOVED Kurt Angle putting his GM hat on and making a match.
It’s been so long since I’ve seen Candice Michelle or Melina, those two were so great in their prime and Candice won her first championship in…a VERY long time by becoming the 24/7 champ, just to be beaten by…Madusa, I think? Good luck, knocking her out.
Jonathon Coachman is back in time to call Sami Zayn vs Rey Mysterio for us! I’ve said before that Mysterio’s most recent run in WWE hasn’t impressed me due to all his injury issues, but this was a good match, even got a spot for Rob Van Damm, Sgt. Slaughter, who still looks like he could hurt you, and Hurrican Helms, who isn’t quite as scary, and Kurt Angle.
Of course, the Nature Boy Ric Flair had to make his appearance, even though he’s not looking like he’s in the best health these days, it was good to see him again.
I still haven’t figured out what the Street Profits are doing on RAW.
Alundra Blayze made her…triumphant return to RAW by selling the 24/7 Championship to Ted DiBiase.
Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler made his return to the show he called for nearly twenty years to call the rematch of Seth Rollins vs AJ Styles. This match was definitely the highlight of the night, in my opinion. It really looked like the Club was going to cause Rollins some misery, until he was saved by…DX? I’m not sure who was more shocked, Rollins or the Club. I think we would’ve all loved to have seen a Shield reunion, but Jon Moxley is having the time of his life in Japan, so Rollins getting an assist from DX will have to work. We didn’t get the six man tag, but the odds were evened up. The match ending in a DQ doesn’t really bother me since we got DX and the NWO in action…or was it the Kliq? Oh, who cares, it was cool and it happened. I literally turned into a teenage girl again squealing over Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman (Yeah, I had a crush on 1-2-3 Kid, mullet and all). Also, kudos for mentioning Chyna and Billy Gunn and for Seth marking out.
Mick Foley and Mark Henry are always joys to watch. Not a fan of Mick being attacked since he really isn’t in shape to fight back.
Well Moment of Bliss didn’t go quite the way I thought it would. I thought Alexa Bliss would find a way to shoehorn herself into the title picture, but she seemed happy to stir the pot between Becky Lynch and Nattie. I love how the Lynch/Nattie feud and seeing what the belt means to Lynch. Still curious to see what’s in store for Bliss and Nikki Cross, but that brawl was fun.
Our long nightmare is over, R-Truth is 24/7 Champions again. I said in the past that I had some reservations about the 24/7 Championship and things like this are why I had reservations, but the way this was handled was really fun and actually kept the Truth vs Maverick storyline going, not sure what happened to Renee Michelle.
Strowman crushed a jobber, so that happened.
Ah, time for everyone at the reunion to gather around and remind themselves that for all the drama, they still share a gene pool…or an employment history, in RAW’s case. However, is it me or does Ric Flair NOT look that good? That said, I loved seeing all the legends of RAW turn up for a beer bash with Stone Cold Steve Austin playing the relative that shows up just for the fuck of it and drinks beer all night. Great way to end a fun episode!
NXT Minus 6: A Tale of Two Champions
Bradley Jay is here with the WWE NXT Minus 6, and we have new champions. Two very, very different new champions.
Bradley Jay is here with the WWE NXT Minus 6, and we have new champions. Two very, very different new champions.
Our two new champions could not be more different…
6. Doomsday Saito comes to the ring and gives a painful, cliched promo. Any wrestler in the back could have said those exact words. Train harder and beat people up. He’s angry. We get it. The only thing Saito could do that would interest me is move to RawDown. On the other hand…
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Not gonna lie, that promo was wasn’t even hot garbage. It was cold garbage.]
5. Raquel Gonzalez delivers a genuine, heartfelt promo that only she could give. Tears of joy. It told her story, and it’s exactly why she got the pop and the chant she deserved. The addition of Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair, complete with throwback pic, was icing on the cake. I’m excited for whatever Gonzalez does next. Speaking of…
4. Fantasy booking alert!!! Two weeks ago, Raquel Gonzelez told the world I was the one who believed in her. I was the one who made her a champion. Then Rhea Ripley shows up, and Bianca Belair shows up, and I’m the one sent to the back. How quickly you forget who your real friends are. I was the one who took you to the top, and chicka, I am the one who is going to drag you to the bottom. I used you to get to the top and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I am Dakota Kai.
3. No more Santa Claus Ice Cream Bar. Santos Escobar has earned his name back. His match with KUSHIDA is everything great about NXT. Say it with me. Good things happen when you let wrestlers wrestle! Fast paced. Great action. Surprise ending. I’m going 4.5 stars. Give me a match that good every Tuesday and I’m a happy camper.
2. Right now, I don’t know if any two wrestlers have better chemistry than Swerve Scott and Leon Ruff. Every time they get together, it’s electric, and this week was no different. This is quickly climbing into Rivalry of the Year territory. I thought I was happy to see Swerve pick up the victory and move on. Then Ruff goes insane in the membrane and now I’m excited to watch them fight forever.
1. This week’s That’s Why I Love Wrestling goes to…Roderick Strong. Kayfabe. Work. Shoot. I don’t care. Strong deserved a better goodbye than what he got. He is the Perfection of Performance (shout out to the Hitman). He and Kyle O’Reilly were the best version of the Undisputed Era tag team champions. I always got excited for a Strong match because I knew he’d deliver. Roderick Strong is exactly the kind of wrestler that makes me love wrestling. Until he returns, he will be sorely missed.
Steve Cook’s Fave Five: April 2021
It’s a little more than halfway through April! You know what that means…
It’s a little more than halfway through April! You know what that means.
It’s time to talk about my current five favorite wrestlers like I’m Booker T. Let’s break down the Fave Five!
5. Samoa Joe
A gentle reminder that Samoa Joe is one of the greatest talkers in the game pic.twitter.com/p4TZeZIAV7
— Kenny Majid – A Kenny For Your Thoughts Podcast (@akfytwrestling) April 15, 2021
I figure what happened between Samoa Joe & WWE was the following: WWE offered Joe an announcing contract since either they didn’t want to use him in the ring or their doctors wouldn’t clear him to wrestle. Joe looked at the contract, noticed the financial discrepancy, realized he could probably get NJPW to let him train young boys in California for that kind of money and said “thanks but no thanks”. Nothing else really makes sense to me.
Unfortunately, those who thought that WWE wouldn’t utilize Joe to their fullest potential were right. It wasn’t all WWE’s fault though. Joe had a lot of miles on his tires when he got there. Injuries are always more of a concern with larger wrestlers the older they get. And when Joe was healthy, he did get to do some good stuff and show people a glimpse of the Samoa Joe that people like me raved about back in the mid to late 2000s.
In any event, Joe got his WWE run. It was a thing that happened. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t wind up in AEW because he seems like the kind of guy Tony Khan would throw all the money at. Should be fun!
4. Kris Statlander
— All Elite Wrestling on TNT (@AEWonTNT) April 15, 2021
AEW does have a pretty insane number of factions right now. It risks the possibility of all of the groups blending together, with none of them really capturing the attention of fans. However, there are positive things about AEW’s faction warfare that shouldn’t be overlooked. It makes booking fresh matches to fill cards pretty easy. You can have groups facing off each week, but in different combinations that keep it fresh.
Another good thing: It can help us decide how we feel about characters that we might be on the fence about. Kris Statlander’s character was a topic of discussion from the moment she entered AEW. A lot of people weren’t sure how to take her. Wrestling aliens, or wrestlers who think they’re aliens, aren’t exactly common. Its the kind of thing that gets over in the indies, because those feds attract fans that are more willing to buy into unique concepts. Mainstream is a tougher sell.
Aligning Kris with the Best Friends makes sense to those in the know, since she came up working shows with them. It also helps people that don’t know about her figure out more. The Best Friends are a happy go lucky group that are the whitest of white meat babyfaces you’ll find in AEW, and that’s a good thing. They’re welcoming to people with unique personalities, as Orange Cassidy’s presence establishes. A friendly alien couldn’t ask for a better group to surround herself with, and from their appearances so far she seems like a perfect fit.
Add in the fact that the time on the shelf helped her get into better shape and refine her look & presence, and the sky’s the limit for Statlander. As long as she can stay in the ring, I’m expecting big things from her in 2021.
3. Tay Conti
Sometimes, all one needs is a change of scenery to approach their true potential. Tay spent a few years at the WWE Performance Center learning how to be a professional wrestler. During her time there, Tay never showed much in the way of potential. Even though she had a combat sports background and had the type of physical appearance that gets attention, Conti’s TV time was very limited and uneventful. She seemed like one of those wrestlers that was bound to stay in developmental until WWE gave up on them, then drop off the face of the earth without most wrestling fans noticing.
Tay’s story took a different route. She ended up being one of the cuts that AEW took an interest in, and was brought in for the Deadly Draw Women’s Tag Team Tournament. Her teaming with Anna Jay worked well on & off-camera, and she pretty much fit right in with the group immediately. She started training with Dustin Rhodes, and pretty much immediately started looking better in the ring & figuring out what worked for her. Now, she’s one of the people helping AEW’s women’s division go to a higher level.
This isn’t meant to denigrate WWE’s Performance Center or its methods. There just isn’t a wrestling training center out there that’s going to work for everybody. Tay had to find what worked for her. The people that recently got cut will have to do the same. Hopefully, the people that recently got signed by WWE will thrive in that environment.
2. Bianca Belair
We’ve recently seen three new Women’s Champions under the WWE umbrella, all of whom are great in their own way. I’ve talked about Rhea Ripley before, she’s got unlimited potential and so far she’s done very well on the main roster. Raquel Gonzalez is doing very well on NXT and her push to the championship made perfect sense & got over. I do think the best of the title changes was Bianca’s defeat of Sasha Banks in the main event of WrestleMania Saturday. It was a special moment for Bianca, a very fun match to watch, and a great performance from both Bianca & Sasha Banks, who did everything she could to make Bianca in that match.
You see the video of the NXT segment up above, with the three current Women’s Champions under the WWE umbrella celebrating together. Apparently there was a picture taken in 2019, and there were pictures taken after this week’s NXT, with Triple H making sure to get in there as he likes to do with all new champions. I’ve never really been a fan of that sort of thing, even the “Horsewomen” celebrations on previous NXT shows didn’t do much for me.
Besides the usual complaints people have about things like that, the thing that I didn’t like was how Rhea & Raquel came off. They were all smiling & happy like they were Big Daddy Cool Diesel after beating Mr. Bob Backlund in 1994. Completely against what Raquel has been up to this point, and what Rhea has been when she’s been at her best. Hopefully this is just a one-time thing for Rhea for the portion of the NXT audience that likes their lady wrestlers crying & happy after their performances, and hopefully it’s leading to Raquel getting dismembered by Dakota Kai, who can’t be happy about her heater winning the championship and then turning into Smilin’ Diesel.
Fortunately for Bianca, it does nothing to affect her character or our opinion of her. That’s why I think her title run will go best. I’m also putting her here because I’m pretty well convinced there isn’t a wrestling move or spot she can’t do well. Insanely talented, and the more experience she gets the better she’ll be.
1. Darby Allin
Sometimes you just want to watch something that’s stupid fun. Something that doesn’t need too much thought in order to enjoy it. Just people doing crazy things to entertain an audience. Darby Allin matches are just what you need when you’re looking for something like this. There isn’t anybody crazier in pro wrestling today than Darby, which is probably for the best. I’m convinced this kid has a death wish.
The one thing that kinda gets me about Darby sometimes is how he kicks out of everything. Poor Matt Hardy wasn’t going to beat that kid unless he shot him with a gun, and apparently there’s a metal detector at Daily’s Place. (Shoutout to Matt by the way, hell of an effort in that match.) But then I remember that Darby Allin is a daredevil and constantly posting videos online where he’s jumping off high places and doing crazy things. Obviously, it’s going to take a little more to beat a daredevil than your average pro wrestler.
What’s it going to take to beat Darby Allin? That’s a good reason to keep watching.
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