Drake Maverick is back from his honeymoon, can he get the Cruiserweights under control on WWE 205 Live?
Am I the only one who finds the prospect of Oney Lorcan vs Ariya Daivari, Anything Goes a little frightening, but at least Maverick’s back to keep things under control…hopefully.
I just realized that I really don’t care about Drew Gulak vs Tony Nese. I looked at the picture of them and thought ‘Wow, they both look really generic’. It’s not a great inspiration to watch during a very crowded wrestling weekend.
Brian Kendrick was back after missing a few weeks, and he’s taking on one of the Singh Brothers. No, I don’t know which one, I call them Pants and Briefs. Let me rephrase that: Brian Kendrick took on Briefs Singh. At least Kendrick appreciates the dancing, even if he stinks at it. I’m glad WWE didn’t completely reset from how great the Singhs looked after last week’s amazing match against the Lucha House Party and I’m excited to see Kendrick and Akira Tozawa teaming up again, so the Singhs still have people to fight. Is it too much to hope for a Cruiserweight Tag Team Division?
I honestly don’t get why we’re suddenly having vignettes about Humberto Carrillo. He’s been on the show for a few months, so it’s not like we don’t know who he is. Then again, I’m not really into Carrillo, though I admire his talent, so maybe it’s just lost on me.
I’m a fan of 205 having more than two matches in a show, makes writing this article a lot easier. Gentleman Jack Gallagher took on young Dustin Devin, or was it Justin Devin, either way, the name Devin was involved, so we’ll go with that. One good thing about watching New Japan Pro Wrestling was recognizing that Gallagher used SANADA’S patented Paradise Lock on Devin and would’ve likely had the match finished if Mike Kanellis hadn’t thrown an absolute shit fit at ringside. I’m also here for Maverick’s unimpressed look. The show at ringside didn’t help Devin get the win, but it was more than he would’ve gotten.
I love that Mike Kanellis vs Maverick is still going. I wish Maria wasn’t sitting on the sidelines due to her pregnancy so we could have Maverick and Renee Michelle vs Mike and Maria Kanellis, but we’ll get back to it. I can’t wait to see what happens next week because this feud keeps getting nastier.
So, we’ve got Lorcan, who is a nasty brawler on a good day versus Ariya Daivari, who is something of a brawler but also a dirty fighter. That said, why was the ref trying to enforce the rules? It’s Anything Goes, including hitting your opponent with a closed fist. That modified Camel Clutch around the chair looked painful as hell, so I hate to think what it felt like. The match was a lot better than I expected it to be, WWE’s often pulled back on getting really crazy in these matches, but it definitely felt like they loosened the leash a little bit. The match was so good that it doesn’t really matter who won, but I’m glad Lorcan won that war. I don’t think this feud is over, but it definitely felt like a blow off.
Even though the Cruiserweight Championship should be the focus of the show, I really didn’t care what Gulak and Nese had to say about Extreme Rules. I did like the focus on their friendship in the beginnings of 205 Live, but I’m not into this feud. Let’s end it at Extreme Rules.
That’s it for Tiffany’s WWE 205 Live Takes! Tune in tomorrow for NXT!
The WWE TV YouTube Experiment (Week 5: RAW/ July 15, 2019)
Monday Night RAW happened. Or did it? Let’s talk about what we saw on YouTube and discuss whether anything actually occurred at all.
The WWE TV YouTube Experiment
Monday Night RAW/ July 15, 2019/ Long Island, New York
I had Night 3 of New Japan’s G1 Climax to watch on Sunday (and Night 4 on Monday), so I didn’t see Extreme Rules. The results seemed okay, but it’s worthless to cover it here if I didn’t actually see it. I did, however, take advantage of a 3-month subscription for 99 cents a couple of days ago, which follows the 2-month subscription for 99 cents that ended this week. So that’s awesome. I can justify spending what translates into less than 40 cents a month on the WWE Network. I can’t justify 10 bucks a month. And it has nothing to do with the current product.
I’m not going to get on a soapbox, but in short, I signed up on day one and kept my subscription even after I stopped watching regularly, and even after I stopped watching altogether. But when they signed the Saudi deal, I was not happy. And then they doubled down by continuing on with the show after the murder of an innocent journalist. It runs deeper than that, but that’s the gist. As soon as they decided to run that show, I decided that morally, I couldn’t give them $120 bucks a year any longer. So that’s that. I started a free trial at the end of January. Got a second one at the beginning of April, and then accepted 2 months for 99 cents in May and 3 months for 99 cents in July. A buck ninety-eight for 9 months? Yeah, I don’t have a moral obligation that stops me from throwing couch change at someone. In reality, when my subscription ends in mid-October, I’ll have paid 22 cents a month. Hey, I’m even doing numbers analysis up here. How about that?
Monday Night RAW 7/15/2019
Total Number of Clips: 13
Total Time: 34 minutes, 18 seconds
*Note: In the interest of saving space, I won’t be embedding every clip, only the ones that I feel are necessary.*
Brock Lesnar’s SummerSlam opponent to be revealed (4 minutes, 56 seconds)
This was the longest clip of the small batch this week, running more than a full minute longer than the second longest, and that one (Truth, Maverick, and the 24/7 Title) was one YouTube clip but 3 actual TV segments. The next longest video that was only one segment was a full minute and 56 seconds shorter than this. The Women’s 4-Way and angle afterward got a 3-minute video. More on that later. This was fine, standard fare from Heyman, and although the outcome at the end of the night was disappointing, at least based on this segment it felt like maybe someone fresh would get a title match. Good enough. (1 for 1)
2-out-of-3 Falls Six-Man Tag Team Match (2 minutes, 59 seconds)
This got Robert Roode on TV, which is good. He actually feels like a guy who would fit well as a regular partner/ally for The Revival. Match seemed fine, and the aftermath was good, with Ricochet getting taken out by The Club, which means they aren’t done with him even though AJ took his belt at the PPV. I hope something big happens with The Club and it’s not just AJ as a mid-card guy with 2 guys as his backup. Or even AJ as a main event guy with 2 guys as his backup, like they did in his feud with Roman Reigns in 2016. If that’s all they do, eh, it’s fine, but it’s nothing special. Finn has to become part of this when he returns in the fall, right? (2 for 2)
The Viking Raiders vs. Vinny Gruner & Jackson James (1 minute, 36 seconds)
Man, they came really close to killing that guy with the pop-up powerslam finish. It’s good to see these guys aren’t getting the Ascension treatment, but they have been on TV for exactly 3 months as of this episode of RAW. It’s time to start doing something with them because the crowd doesn’t seem to care very much. It was just an inoffensive squash and they’re not being beaten up by 60-year-old men every week, so I’ll take it. Next week is the RAW Reunion, though. If I were these guys, I might consider not showing up. (3 for 3)
Cedric Alexander vs. Drew McIntyre (2 minutes, 17 seconds)
After the unbelievably bad angle they did last week to close the show, they needed to give Cedric something, and thankfully they did in the form of a quick win over Drew McIntyre. I get the feeling Drew probably isn’t going to be challenging, much less defeating, The Undertaker at SummerSlam. He’ll probably just be in Shane’s corner for his match against Kevin Owens. Oh well. That’s close, right? I’m interested in seeing if they follow up with Cedric now, or if this was just an apology match for the shit that happened on the previous show. Either way, this was exactly what they needed to do. (4 for 4)
Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe (1 minute, 47 seconds)
Joe picks up another win in extremely quick fashion (the match was under a minute and a half long), which is good after losing his 50th title match in a row. Getting beat up by Finn immediately after was completely unnecessary, though. I know that Finn is a fighter, but why bother? Instead of Joe getting what was essentially just a fluke roll-up, why not have him tap Finn or choke him out? Finn is leaving in a few weeks, and it’s going to be The Demon, not Finn Balor, who is going to take on Bray at SummerSlam, so at this moment Finn Balor is a disposable entity. This did nothing for Joe. (4 for 5)
Bray Wyatt returns and attacks Finn Balor (1 minute, 21 seconds)
I will say, the mask is definitely scarier in the ring the way it was presented here than it was when it was revealed in the Firefly Fun House vignettes. It looked like a corny, failed attempt to look scary, at least to me. I liked the outfit with the striped pants and whatnot since it’s a different attire than he was wearing when he left, but the mask was uninspiring. It was scary as shit on Monday, though. This was very well done, and I really hope Bray beats The Demon at SummerSlam. Hopefully, they can do that and then drop the silly gimmick that The Demon is a creature that uses Finn as a host (that’s pretty much what they’ve made it) and just let Finn be Finn, a cool dude in a leather jacket who sometimes likes to paint himself up because he enjoys the showmanship of it. This was about as good as they were going to get for the re-debut of Wyatt. I hope, almost exactly 6 years after his original main roster debut, they get it right this time. I also wonder if he’s going to wrestle in the mask and if the mask looks a little different because it’s not the exact same one from the promos, and instead has been altered to be worn in the ring. (5 for 6)
The Street Profits predict Brock Lesnar’s next challenger (1 minute, 59 seconds)
Can they be done with this now, please? It started off as amusing, but now it’s getting annoying. This is a terrible use of a pair of guys who are absolutely terrific. If they aren’t joining the RAW tag division, please just keep them in NXT. (5 for 7)
Zack Ryder vs. Mike Kanellis (1 minute, 50 seconds)
Next. (5 for 8)
Lucha House Party vs. The Club (2 minutes, 51 seconds)
This was exactly what it needed to be, with AJ, Gallows, and Anderson picking up a win as a team in what appeared to be a solid match. My big issue with this is similar to other omissions that don’t make much sense. Ricochet interfered in this match and went after AJ (it’s what they used to stop the match for the commercial break). Why not show that? It’s important in the build of the feud that Ricochet isn’t going to let these guys walk all over him. Outside of that, this was still an entertaining clip and the right thing to do for The Club, so I won’t let that drag it down. (6 for 9)
Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss
I assume that between entrances, the match, and the post-match promo this probably took around 40 minutes of the show to itself, and that would be why this week there are only 13 clips instead of the usual 17-to-19. The only parts of the match that they showed were the 3 eliminations, which means I only saw a minute and 21 seconds of what everyone is agreeing was a Very Bad 25-minute match. That means to me, as a viewer of only the YouTube content, this was actually just fine. Sadly, the last fall did include the “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” dueling chant, along with a very, very brief “Goldberg” chant immediately after. Natalya is suddenly a heel, maybe, or maybe she’s just trying to get on Becky’s level in terms of being a loose cannon on the microphone. I guess we’ll see next week. It was a bit cringeworthy, but I also like Natalya more than a lot of people do, so I’m okay with this. Thanks to the fact that the only parts of the match they showed here were good, this gets a thumbs up from me. (7 for 10)
The Miz pummels Dolph Ziggler on “Miz TV” (2 minutes, 57 seconds)
It was a different promo than the one that Ziggler has been cutting for the last 3 years, so that was good. The last thing we need is another feud between these two. I have enjoyed most of the stuff they’ve done together over the years, but we don’t need more. I sort of thought this was going in the direction of Ziggler helping Miz get his head back on straight, possibly leading to them forming a tag team that would be somewhat similar to the Awesome Truth. Maybe that is the plan. I’ll wait and see with this. I also might be the last person outside of Vince McMahon and Dolph Ziggler himself who still thinks DZ can be rehabbed and do something good, so I may be judging this on a bit of a curve. Going with a thumbs up for this. (8 for 11)
R-Truth Invades Drake Maverick’s hotel room (3 minutes, 52 seconds)
As I mentioned earlier, this video was all 3 of the night’s segments all put together, which made sense to do. This may have been the best 24/7 stuff I’ve seen since I started 4 weeks ago. This was a lot of fun. (9 for 12)
Cross-Branded All-Star Top 10 Battle Royal (2 minutes, 53 seconds)
Boy, oh boy, there is a LOT to unpack from the name of this match. I won’t do it, but wow. That’s something. I don’t know… the excerpts from the match itself were good, as you would expect with the talented guys involved. The winner was disappointing but Seth was really the most obvious winner, and nobody should have expected WWE to go an unexpected route like Big E, even though the crowd seemed to be supporting him the most, and the fact that he’s been ready for the spot for like 3 years, or more. Again, this was fine. I don’t really care very much. I will say, though, that I thought Rollins was showing a ton of fire in the post-match promo, and it almost made me care. And then he had to shoe-horn in the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion” line, and it ruined the whole thing for me. I’m listing this as a negative because I wish they would explore different directions. This was a perfect opportunity. Whatever. (9 for 13)
The July 8 episode, the final RAW before Extreme Rules, was really quite awful. I hated it. This week is a step above that. I’m mostly apathetic toward it. I felt nonplussed by pretty much everything. I’m glad that it was under 35 minutes long because it went by extraordinarily quickly, but when I was done it felt like I watched a whole lot of nothing. With the exception of the Bray Wyatt return, this week’s episode could have not happened at all, and nothing would be different.
Come to think of it, that’s probably worse than a bad show because contrary to what I said last week it wasn’t bad TV that drove me to stop watching. It was the fact that with the exception of some really strong matches, the show was the same thing every single week. There were a number of occasions where I would miss 2 weeks and not check out the reviews, and when I saw the show again, there had been such a minimal amount of storyline progression that the episodes I missed might not have even existed at all. I hope something happens next week. At least they appear to be doing fun stuff on SmackDown, with Kevin Owens if nothing else.
Average Clip Length
Week 5: 2 minutes, 38 seconds
Week 4: 2 minutes, 10 seconds
Week 3: 2 minutes, 33 seconds
Week 2: 2 minutes, 44 seconds
Week 1: 2 minutes, 32 seconds
The average length of each clip is back on par with the first 3 weeks after last week’s sizeable drop. After a little under 48 hours, here are some viewership numbers:
- Bray Wyatt’s return has over 2.5 million views
- Just over 2 million views for R-Truth pinning Drake in the hotel
- The Battle Royal has over 1.7 million views, as one might expect
- The Women’s 4-Way has 555k views
- Over 400k for Cedric vs. Drew
- Viking Raiders at under 87k views, by far the least-watched
Bray’s return came very close to outclassing, in under 48 hours, the most-watched clip from last week’s show, which was the Roman/Cedric vs. Shane/Drew match. That had around 2.6 million views as of last Friday night, more than 2 days longer than the Bray return clip. As of the writing of this, Wednesday evening July 17th, that clip has only earned about another 100,000 views, at just over 2.7 million.
The 24/7 Championship saga must have had some buzz, which it hasn’t had for the last 2 weeks. It’s the second-most-watched clip for the July 15th RAW. The 24/7 stuff didn’t even earn enough views last week for me to even mention it in more than a single sentence — there were 3 clips (probably should have just put them all together in one) and only one of them was over 100k. The one with the word “consummation” in the title was just under 300k last Friday and sits at 662k as of Wednesday evening. The other two videos are well below 350k. Hitting over 2 million views this week is back up to form and makes me happy.
I don’t recall any other video featuring the women’s division going above 300,000 views, especially not in under 48 hours. I would wager that the reason it’s at more than half a million views is that people heard the match was awful, and they were curious to see it for themselves. Those people were likely both disappointed and relieved at the same time. No disrespect to the women, but this match had a ton of buzz online and it wasn’t positive attention. Very few people checked the 4-way match video out because they were interested in the outcome, and Becky Lynch isn’t in the thumbnail, her name isn’t in the title of the video, and the title doesn’t even specify that the match was for a title shot.
The Viking Raiders continue to be one of, if not the least-viewed videos every week. After just under 48 hours, they have well under 100,000 views, Even the Street Profits hit 104k. Also, after hitting 1.4 million for Maria’s in-ring destruction of Mike Kanellis a few weeks ago, that angle has stalled out big time both in development and in YouTube hits. Ryder squashing Kanellis has only 284k views. The “pickles and ice cream” video from the July 8th episode, which was the awful follow-up to the original angle from July 1st (which peaked at 1.8 million as of this writing) is at a pitiful 184k after more than a week. Maybe they should be glad that nobody is checking them out. The fewer eyes, the better.
Well, that’s all I have for this week. I’m officially at the halfway mark, as there are 3 more episodes of RAW before SummerSlam and my last will be the night after. So far, I’m not leaning toward going back to being a regular RAW viewer. I might start checking out SmackDown, though. It seems like fun.
Nick Marsico/ Writer (kinda)
The Chairshot Dot Com
Steve Cook: Are The New Day the Best Wrestling Trio Ever?
Steve Cook isn’t afraid to explore the tough topic and see if New Day is wrestling’s best trio ever.
Steve Cook isn’t afraid to explore the tough topic and see if New Day is wrestling’s best trio ever.
One of my pet peeves about sports media coverage is the idea that everything happening now is the Greatest of All Time. We no longer revere history as a people. Things that happen on our viewing devices now are what matter.
Indeed, the athletes of today do some amazing things and smash through inconceivable records. But to suggest that Mike Trout is already one of the greatest baseball players of all time strikes me as a slap in the face to guys like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio & Willie Mays. Even though I wasn’t alive to watch these gentlemen in person, I read about their feats as a youngster and listened to the old heads that told me that these were the greats of the game.
Even if Trout’s WAR is on track to surpass everybody ever and his exit velocity angle blows theirs away, he’s still got some work to do before we hail him as the GOAT. Sure, Cecil Fielder hit 51 home runs when I was seven years old, but he wasn’t on Hank Aaron’s level all-time, and anybody suggesting such would have been laughed off of television and print media. Now? It’s all good.
Wrestling fans do the same thing.
People out here talk all the time about how pro wrestling is better than it’s ever been. Matches these days get two more stars from the critics than anything from thirty years ago. Most wrestlers are doing their part, with crazier movesets and kicking out of anything remotely resembling a finish. Maybe fifteen Meteoras are more aesthetically pleasing than a good old-fashioned sleeperhold.
People will tell you that the Okada/Omega series blows Flair/Steamboat out of the water. I think they’re out of their minds, but a lot of people think this is true. They’ll tell you that The Miz has been one of the greatest heels of all time, that the Young Bucks are easily the best tag team ever, and that Corey Graves is the most hilarious & informative commentator ever. OK, nobody’s saying that last one. I don’t think so, anyway.
However, I’m starting to wonder if, in fact, something from this era we’re currently living in is the greatest of all time. They’ve won six tag team championships, including a reign that ranks as the longest in WWE history. They currently hold the WWE Championships & SmackDown Tag Team Championships. If you go to the mall (I know lol who goes to the mall right) you can find their merchandise in pop culture stores, at a higher rate than anybody else in WWE right now.
It’s been five years since they got together, and they’re still going strong. The question has to be asked…
Are The New Day the greatest trio in wrestling history?
Crazy what five years can do 😉 pic.twitter.com/vwR9CwCA2R
— Austin Creed sees with his mind (@XavierWoodsPhD) July 15, 2019
There are four obvious contenders for this title from where I sit. You have to mention the original nWo trio. Hollywood Hogan, Scott Hall & Kevin Nash definitely set the world on fire and took WCW to a whole new level. I don’t rate them ahead of New Day because they had a hundred people join their group after a very short period of time.
There’s also the Shield. Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins both became top stars. Dean Ambrose was for a minute before he got tired of it. They won every championship in the company at one point or another. The only problem: they accomplished more apart. The first year & a half was amazing, but the reunions never quite captured the same magic. Mostly because Reigns went out of action right after each reunion. It wasn’t meant to be.
Then we have the Fabulous Freebirds. Michael “P.S.” Hayes. Terry “Bamm Bamm” Gordy. Buddy “Jack” Roberts. The men that feuded with the Von Erich family for years & built the World Class territory bigger than it had ever been. They got together in Bill Watts’ Mid-South territory in 1979 & bounced around there, Texas, Georgia & even brief stints in the AWA & WWF over the next seven years.
The New Day even inducted them into the WWE Hall of Fame!
If I was to come up with a weakness for the Freebirds, it’s the fact that their WWF stint was only for a cup of coffee. Wikipedia tells me its because the WWF brass wanted to split them up. Other wrestlers around at the time will tell you its because of the heat they engendered in the locker room. Regardless of which story is true, the fact of the matter is that the Freebirds didn’t become one of the top acts in the biggest promotion in the country. World Class was big, but it never got to the level of the WWF.
The Freebirds also appeared in WCW later on, but that was the version with Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin. They were fun in their own way, but not really part of this conversation.
Can New Day surpass the Freebirds?
They can. If they stay together and remain interesting for a few more years near the top of WWE, they should. There’s still some shelf-life there. People online complain sometimes and wish they’d split up, but the people attending the shows seem to love them.
I think there’s one thing missing for me to raise New Day to the top slot. When you think Freebirds, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? The Von Erichs. Who are New Day’s greatest rivals? The Usos? OK. There’s been some great matches there. But are people going to talk about Usos vs. New Day in forty years the way people still talk about Freebirds vs. Von Erichs today? I don’t think so. There just isn’t the storytelling there, outside of the great matches on PPVs.
The Freebirds are still the best. But it’s getting closer by the day.
New Day needs a really hot feud to set them apart from the pack. They’ve got all the gold right now, so there should be plenty of people interested in being in that really hot feud.