The WWE RAW YouTube (And Hulu) Experiment
Final Analysis (June 17th thru August 12th, 2019)
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WWE SummerSlam 2019
Toronto, Ontario, Canada (August 11, 2019)
The show was… fine. It happened. There was pyro, which was awesome. And if you don’t include the pre-show it was only 3 and a half hours long! That’s the real story. Pyro and a big event that squeaked in at just under 3 and a half hours.
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya (RAW Women’s Title, Submission Match) was a good encounter and not a bad choice to start the show. The crowd was on Becky’s side, although she did get booed when she went for the Sharpshooter. Nattie got cheered when she did it, but that was it. I guess she got cheered for a minute when she walked to the ring wearing the Canadian flag. The right woman won, for sure, but I’m glad Nattie got the match. I like her more than most and outside of the awkward promo where she DIDN’T challenge Becky to a submission match, she did great on the road. Becky will move on to Sasha now, it appears.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Goldberg was exactly what it was supposed to be and I absolutely loved it. There’s not much more to say. Goldberg looked awesome thanks to Dolph letting himself get rag-dolled and the crowd ate it all up. If this is the last time we see Goldberg in the ring, then they definitely did it right.
AJ Styles vs. Ricochet (United States Title) was fine. It was slow and they stretched a 5-minute match into the ballpark of 15 minutes. AJ won with the cool Styles Clash counter of the Phoenix Splash and I think Ricochet hit a springboard clothesline on one foot. That might have been Ospreay or Ibushi, though. Someone did it and it was cool.
Bayley vs. Ember Moon (SD Women’s Title) would probably have come across better if the crowd cared. They worked hard and it was about as good as they were going to do with 6 minutes and a crowd who was busy texting. I guess it’s Bayley vs. Charlotte next.
Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon went pretty much as expected. It was good. Owens fought against the odds and won in the end. He didn’t earn anything, because he’s already been kicking Shane’s ass all over the place. It was a dumb angle because there was nothing for Owens to win, and he wasn’t forced into the match. He wanted the match and Shane only gave it to him if he put his career on the line. They went under 10 minutes, though, and outside of Goldberg and the Rollins/Lesnar match, this was the match the crowd cared the most about, and that’s one of the most important parts. The crowd was happy.
Charlotte Flair vs. Trish Stratus was the best match on the show up to this point (not that it had much to go up against) and was the exact opposite of Ziggler vs. Goldberg. And that is exactly what it should have been. Trish looked great, Charlotte was fantastic, and they had a really, really good match. It was also the longest match on the show at just under 17 minutes, so they were given the time they needed to have the match they gave us. Great stuff, and if that was Trish’s last match, it was perfect.
Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton (WWE Title) was okay. I think I probably liked it more than a lot of people who wrote about the show or opined about it on social media, but holy cow, what a terrible finish. It was bad when they did it last year with AJ vs. Samoa Joe, and it was bad here. What was even worse was that the audience (along with everyone else, myself included) had no idea why the bell rung. Kofi… continued to wrestle the match. At least wait until Kofi grabs the Kendo stick. Stupid.
The Fiend vs. Finn Balor was pretty much what it should have been. I will stand by my statement that this should have been Fiend vs. Demon to once and for all kill the stupid Demon character. It’s not a separate person. It never has been. It never was until He returned from his shoulder injury a couple of years ago. No need to complain about it now. Maybe some other time. This was about Bray. It was pretty great. The entrance was cool and the in-ring was fine. The entrance was what I was most worried about since the original was one of the best things about his character and one of the best entrances ever. Looking forward to what’s next for Bray.
Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins (Universal Title) was definitely the best thing on the show. That’s what the main event is supposed to be, and it’s what Seth desperately needed after dropping piles of shit in the ring for months with Baron Corbin. The crowd was on fire for this and pretty much fully behind Seth, which I was somewhat surprised by. They went balls-out for 13 minutes and it was freakin’ great. Also, Brock doesn’t get a rematch, so that’s good. I’ll be glad if he doesn’t show up for the rest of the year.
Final Analysis of SummerSlam 2019
It was a show. If you cut most of the show out and leave Brock/Seth, Charlotte/Trish, Bray/Finn, and Ziggler/Goldberg (and put Oney/Drew on the main card with the amount of time AJ and Ricochet got), you have something pretty special. I mean, that’s not a thing that happens, but if it was, this would be classified as great.
WWE Monday Night RAW/ August 12, 2019
Week 9/ Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I’m going to do this like last week. Run it down, then get out of here. The Hulu version of the show was quick and easy, like an hour and 30-minute show should be.
Seth talked about his win at SummerSlam in a quick segment. It didn’t take 20 minutes to say “hey, I did good, thanks wrestling fans”. That was nice. AJ Styles’ challenge was ended pretty abruptly with Seth accepting, but again, brevity is a good thing. Nothing wrong here.
Samoa Joe killed Sami Zayn in a segment that really had no reason being on this show. If they’re going to play out the “Roman almost getting killed a bunch” stuff on SmackDown, then leave it there. No replays on RAW, just let it be a SmackDown thing. Between the bad segment with the Street Profits, the replays of “Roman Almost Dies, the miniseries” (which happened multiple times, not just before the Joe match), and the match itself, they could have instead slotted the Drew vs. Cedric match in there and given us something much better. This didn’t need to be on the actual show, let alone the truncated version. Blah.
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz was a short match, but not bad. I’m not really sure what the point was, though. Another thing that could have been cut. Bobby Roode had a match, and it looks like they might be getting ready to try to give him a push. Why not put that on the Hulu version instead? The Ziggler/Miz thing isn’t going forward and this served no purpose. It was short overall, so that’s fine, I guess, but they didn’t need it. Not on the main show, not on the shortened Hulu version.
Andrade beat Rey Mysterio two falls in a row in a 2-out-of-3 falls match. It was really short, but I think that was the point. Rey pondered life, the universe, and everything later on. No problems here. Are we getting a Tranquilo King? Nah, it’ll be Corbin. We all know it.
Sasha Banks is back and I don’t really care. I didn’t miss her. I’m sure she and Becky will have some kick-ass matches, but whatever. I’m not going to be watching. What’s the significance of wearing a purple wig over her blue hair? Am I missing something? Did they only do it because Corey Graves thought of an awesome line about Sasha showing her true colors? I’m going with that, and I’m okay with it.
Bliss and Cross successfully defended the Women’s Tag Titles against Kairi and Asuka. The match was fine. I’m glad to see the tag titles being defended. Other than the IIconics and Rose/Deville, do they have any other teams? Alicia Fox and The Bottle, maybe.
AJ Styles and Seth Rollins had a match and they did some stuff. It was mostly slow motion, sort of like Ricochet vs. Styles at SummerSlam. It wasn’t bad by any means, but I was nonplussed. I’m interested in seeing Rollins vs. Braun. I know they just started getting people back behind Seth, but the people want Braun, and he should get the title at Clash of Champions. Important to note: Paul Heyman said that Brock wasn’t getting any more rematches with Seth Rollins. I think they’re going to set up Brock’s yearly Survivor Series match by taking the belt off of Seth and giving it to Braun, and finally give Braun the win he should have gotten in… 2017? 2018? I don’t recall. Whenever they did that stuff with Joe and Roman and Brock and Braun. I think it was the summer and fall of 2017. No big man vs. little man match for Brock this year. Giants Collide, and the right giant wins this time. I’ll take back what I said about Brock not showing up again this year. Have him show up once or twice before Survivor Series, have Braun kill him dead, then no Brock until, at the very, very, very earliest, the Royal Rumble. And turn Seth heel. Or whatever. I don’t care.
The Stuff Hulu Missed
- Ricochet and Elias had a match. From all accounts, it was a thing that happened.
- Drew McIntyre vs. Cedric Alexander was left off of the show, in another example of dropping important things and leaving in meaningless crap. Miz vs. Ziggler and/or Joe vs. Sami could have been dropped to put this in there. I know it was on the actual show, and I don’t know who chooses what does and does not make the cut, but this should have made the cut.
- No 24/7 stuff! It appears that they showed up during the Revival/Lucha House Party match. One of the Revival guys (maybe both of them?) won the title, too, before Truth won it back.
- Bobby Roode, as mentioned earlier, beat No Way Jose in a squash. I mean, I don’t really care that much, and squashes should be left to guys like The Viking Raiders in this day and age, but maybe he’s going to get a push.
- Or… he’ll be stuck beating up losers for 3 years like Ivanson and Rowik. Good Lord, would you do something with them already?
This Is The End, My Friends
The *final* final analysis is as follows:
I’m not buying what they’re selling. For the most part, nothing I watched was actively bad. At the same time, these past 2 months were mundane, if you want to sum it up with a single word. Nothing big really happened, not much has really changed, and I don’t feel like I saw anything that felt truly important or special. I didn’t hate this trial run, however, I am not enticed to continue watching WWE going forward. It’s not must-see TV for me. I’ll read other peoples’ reviews, but that’s all the time I have for this company. It’s simply not exciting to me.
Nick Marsico/ Writer (kinda)
The Chairshot Dot Com