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The Good, Bad and Ugly: WWE Raw 11/19/2018

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Bayley Tamina WWE Raw

The Chairshot’s resident post-show review is expanding as WWE Raw gets the Good/Bad/Ugly assessment!

Well it was bound to happen, let’s start giving the Good, Bad and Ugly treatment to Monday Night Raw!  Honestly, my cynical side may be prevalent tonight, if it is anything like the usual post PPV Raw!  But things happen sometimes, let’s see if tonight’s the night.

First off, I hate the opening promo 90% of the time.  So I never look forward to it, even though it technically sets the pace for the night.  Baron Corbin doesn’t help this matter what so ever, and as much as I love Stephanie McMahon, promos are not her strong suit.  Apparently Braun Strowman agreed and came down to settle the score with Baron Corbin.    Braun has some good stuff ahead, after he kills Baron Corbin in a TLC Match he gets Lesnar at the Rumble.  Wow!  “Welcome to Monday Night Braun!”

THE GOOD

Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin vs. Braun Strowman, Elias, and Finn Balor (Elimination Match)

Bobby Lashley is impressive as a heel.  It suits him well.  I also have become a big Drew McIntyre fan.  There are some top caliber talent opening up the action tonight.  Hell we even got to walk with Elias!  Our broadcast had an insane amount of commercials which really killed the vibe.  I wasn’t hating what I saw of the action early on.  McIntyre continues to impress me, Balor worked very well with him.  Bobby Lashley’s new found aggression is refreshing.  This was a Good showcase of some of the Top Prospects to make a title run.  I like the moxie.

Elias really came out hot, and people just love him.  McIntyre Claymores Balor out of the match!  Elias then took a ton of punishment by his opponents.  Great action, Elias really works hard out there, it’s no wonder he is popular.  Also have to love the heel move of isolating and beating down Strowman outside the ring keeping him out of action.  Lio Rush added some flash to the pan as well.  Elias was counted out by a Bobby Lashley Spear.  3 on 1 Braun Strowman vs Everyone Else, and would we have it any other way.

Strowman really got pounded and just when he gained he was beaten by McIntyre with a chair.  Braun was helplessly beaten.  No one saw that coming.  He was a bloody mess.  The beating was overkill but overall I liked it.  It was almost an hour long, but overall Good Opening.  No winner really.  But Corbin, McIntyre and Lashley raised their arms in victory.

Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Tamina Snuka and Nia Jax

This match is exactly what the Good, Bad and Ugly are all about.  It’s always good to see Bayley, Nia Jax is such a bad guy (girl) right now, and anytime Tamina wrestles, it is just Ugly in there.  She is just not WWE caliber talent.  I respect her background and family but for real, she is tough to watch wrestle.  The match itself was good.  Alexa Bliss is always a great addition, on broadcast or otherwise.

Sasha and Bayley were sharp tonight.  I also will never get sick of the crowd booing Nia Jax.  It seems that she is loving it also.  Even after putting up a good fight, Nia Jax ended up being to much picking up the win.  This match didn’t blow anyone away but it was enjoyable.  In this age, enjoyable is Good.

Lucha House Party vs. The Revival (Lucha House Rules 3 vs. 2)

We have some major talent on here.  Fast high flying lucha antics versus pure grit and hammering power of the Revival.  The Revival is very entertaining and I hope to see a push coming up.  They would be great Tag Team Champions.  It was a quick match, but did the job. It wasn’t perfect but Good enough, and certainly not bad.  Lucha House Party Wins.

Natalya vs. Ruby Riott w The Riott Squad

Natalya had some swagger tonight and it was noticed.  Ruby Riott is immensely talented, and I would love to see her have more and more air time. They told a decent story, and it was pretty textbook overall.  Not bad.  Except for the excessively long ridiculous amounts of commercials now and throughout the night.  The match had it’s moments and again overall it was not Bad.  Ruby Riott did some unique moves that got my attention.  Natalya wins with a reverse roll up!




THE BAD

Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose Promos

Seth Rollins vs Ambrose is fantastic for business and of course you have to hype it on Raw.  Both guys are extremely over.  Overall this promo was predictable and nothing spectacular.  Some plugs, some heat. The crowd was pretty much over it with “What” Chants.  And after a lot of talking and a typical Let’s Go Right Now deal, we got nothing.  Just a pre-taped video and a flat disappointment.

Rollins put on the chase to bring up a to be continued type of feeling and some fake-o tough guy fighting with Rollins.  Man these promos can be Bad.  This continued on throughout the night not impressing anyone no matter how “funny” the Lunatic is.  We finally at the end of the night had Ambrose in the ring.  Nothing unexpected came of this as we thought Seth Rollins left, said no one ever.  Of course he didn’t leave.  They fought, Ambrose Wins! The End, fade to Black.   I enjoyed the Piss jokes a lot more.  What is that smell? It’s this promo.

Rowdy Ronda Rousey Promo

I am enjoying the mixed reaction to her.  She isn’t as over as she once was but that makes me like her more.  She got killed yesterday, and came out tonight shows some guts.  You know she is hurt.  Becky Lynch is so over that Ronda Rousey is getting hated on!  I liked the Fire behind her words.  She had a lot of heart and feeling.  It was one of her better promos.  Then, it just went to far to long.

We had some awkwardness.  Some weird stuff about sickness and in health.  This lead to an open challenge which Baron Corbin ruined because that is what he does.  This somewhat waste of time was Bad.  I will not “in good conscience” sit here and tell you otherwise.  This will lead to a match tonight with Rousey, which is interesting depending on who gets the shot.

Non Title Match:  Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs. Raw Tag Team Champions AOP w Drake Maverick

Bobby Roode is so freaking talented.  I am not happy with his current situation.  Taking nothing away from Gable, Roode shouldn’t be in a tag team currently and should be a more serious singles contender.  AOP is really tough to watch.  They are pure brutes and I respect that, but they are sloppy sometimes in there.  “AOPeePee” is pretty good, for a cheesy chant.  The high spots were Roode’s involvement which lead to a genuine upset Gable picks up the roll up Win!  The ramifications of winning against the champs mean something great is to come for them.  However the match was Bad no matter the outcome.

THE UGLY

Raw Women’s Championship Match Rowdy Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Mickie James

Although Mickie James has a long impressive history she doesn’t always do very well out there.  We have seen some pretty awkward situations with her work.  Rousey has her fair share of botches as well.  The striking in this match were horrendous.  They just kept on going, miscues, more horrible striking.  This was a train-wreck.  Ugly waste of a time, Ronda Rousey Wins!  Anyone surprised?  Then to make matters worse a worthless standoff leading to nowhere to finish this piece of work between Tamina, Nia and Rousey.

To be honest, and I always am, it wasn’t all bad, in fact it was a better Raw than there has been in recent memory.  I will be for the foreseeable future telling you my Good, Bad and Ugly for both Raw and Smackdown so come back tomorrow and see how Smackdown fairs.  Thank you for reading, please comment, like, and share!

Final Tally

  • Good – 4
  • Bad – 3
  • Ugly – 1




What did you think of this week’s edition of WWE Monday Night Raw? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!


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Opinion

Greg DeMarco’s 2024 WWE Royal Rumble Reaction

It’s the Royal Rumble! A favorite of many fans, the Rumble kicks off the Road To WrestleMania. Greg DeMarco is here with his live reactions to the event!

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WWE Royal Rumble 2024 Results

It’s the Royal Rumble! A favorite of many fans, the Rumble kicks off the Road To WrestleMania. Greg DeMarco is here with his live reactions to the event!

The WWE Royal Rumble is upon us, and while the Men’s Royal Rumble Match isn’t for the World Heavyweight Championship like I suggested, it’s still the most anticipated event of the year.

Why? The Unknown.

That’s right–in this age of the internet (usually incorrectly) telling us everything it possibly can about what is going to happen in the world of wrestling, the Royal Rumble stands out because despite what we’re told (or, more importantly, what we choose to listen to), the event is always full of fun and surprises.


Check out Steven Mitchell’s 2024 WWE Royal Rumble Results & Review!


Women’s Royal Rumble Match

  • They really are driving home the “main event WrestleMania” point this year–strengthens my thought that women will main event Night 1. Triple H would catch a ton of heat if he keeps women out for the third straight year.
  • NAOMI! Good to see her back, and the emotional response she had.
  • Love Michael Cole calling out Naomi’s time in TNA, and recognizing her as a former Knockouts Champion.
  • Entering #3 doesn’t bode well for Bayley. I honestly don’t think she is gonna win.
  • JORDYNNE GRACE! I saw the reports earlier today. This is a much bigger deal than Mickie James, because Mickie was a returning legend.
  • “TNA HAS A WEAPON!” So glad to have Pat McAfee on the call.
  • Honestly, Jordynne Grace belongs in WWE.

  • Asuka comes in, and they sell the surprise of Bayley. STORYTELLING, people!
  • Something tells me when we get Kairi Sane in there, The Kabuki Warriors will eliminate Bayley.
  • Ivy Nile enters, and I immediately want to see her go toe-to-toe with Jordynne Grace.
  • What if they pulled some crazy sh*t and had Jordynne Grace win???
  • Just step through the ropes next time, Bianca.
  • When I first saw the C4 clock, I thought I would get tired of it But I am already used to it.
  • Here’s Kairi Sane, time to set the plan into motion!
  • This crowd does not appear to like Tegan Nox.
  • Welp, there goes my idea o Asuka and Kairi eliminating Bayley.
  • That was a hell of a way for Jordynne Grace to go out.

  • I think Michael Cole secretly loves to call a Meteora.
  • There’s a reason Maxxine Dupri doesn’t wrestle much.
  • That tandem Code Red was very Young Buckish. And that’s not a compliment.
  • Hair,…gear…this might be the messiest Royal Rumble yet.
  • Ah, here comes the winner, Becky Lynch (I am calling Becky eliminates Bayley to win her second Royal Rumble).
  • LOVE the scoreboard of time in the Rumble for selected wrestlers.

  • R-TRUTH?!?! (Funny story, it was Truth’s spot that Nia Jax took in 2019.)
  • If you push Mia Yim, she’ll take it further than you could imagine.
  • “How is everybody the most athletic person on Earth?” – Pat McAfee
  • Surprising that Roxanne Perez, at #27, is the first NXT entrant. I don’t think we’ll be seeing Tiffany Stratton of Blair Davenport since we only have 3 more to come.
  • Amazing reaction for Jade Cargill. Give her time, she’s definitely going to be a huge star.
  • JUST GIVE HER TIME.
  • Seriously, Nia Jax had to help Jade eliminate her–A LOT.

  • Greg Was Wrong: It is indeed Tiffy Time in the Royal Rumble.
  • Back to Jade–she is insanely over.
  • I know it won’t be, but this should be Tiffany Stratton’s official main roster call-up.
  • Liv Morgan returns at #30, and good for Liv. She nearly went wire-to-wire last year.
  • Liv Morgan: “Thank you!” Pat McAfee: “No problem.”
  • Tiffany Stratton eliminating Roxanne Perez is, to me, an invitation for a match with them on Raw this Monday.
  • Still love the scoreboard as Naomi passes an hour.
  • The camera is catching a lot of in-ring communications right now.
  • And Jade Cargill eliminates my pick to win. Bye Becky.
  • Jade Cargill in the final three of the Royal Rumble (with Liv Morgan and Bayley) is huge for her.
  • Hell of a debut for Jade Cargill.
  • And a huge win for Bayley.

Winner of the 2024 Women’s Royal Rumble Match: Bayley (eliminating Liv Morgan to win)

Fatal 4-Way Match for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Randy Orton vs AJ Styles vs. LA Knight vs. Roman Reigns (champion, with Paul Heyman)

  • Glad to see AJ Styles got his tights back. Pants AJ Styles (but still with the football gloves) was not working. Not just bring the beard back to your face Allen–the think beard also ain’t working.

  • Pat McAfee campaigning for Roman Reigns to be given at least a 26% chance is amazing.
  • Say what you want about LA Knight, he’s a damn star and totally belongs in this match.
  • Roman completely sandbagged Randy on the table drop. I don’t think it was on purpose, but he definitely didn’t jump.
  • Roman Reigns is very much like Gunther in that he does the simple things SO WELL, like a jumping clothesline. That’s how you do it.
  • Yes, I compared Roman Reigns to Gunther. Don’t @ me, I’m right.

  • RKO City, Bitch.
  • Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here’s Solo! (At some point, Solo will get tired of saving Roman’s ass.)
  • Solo ’bout to go through that barricade.
  • Solo indeed went through that barricade.

  • Yes, we had the Solo interference mid-match, but honestly in the end Roman won that clean.

Winner, #ANDSTILL your Undisputed WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns

WWE United States Championship: Kevin Owens vs. Logan Paul (champion)

  • Kevin Owens wearing Zubaz shorts in the Performance Center fight makes me very happy.
  • Logan Paul talking about a full time run, and now he’s putting on size.
  • Logan’s headband didn’t list very long.
  • I honestly hate it when modern-day wrestlers bust out a crotch chop.
  • If you were watching the Royal Rumble and didn’t know who Logan Paul was, you’d just assume he was a pro wrestler. That says everything you need to know about how good he is at this.
  • ANOTHER crotch chop. Now we’re at 2 too many.

  • Cue the “Better Buckshot Than Hangman” tweets. But they might be right.
  • I love the idea of a Logan Paul, Austin Theory, and Grayson Waller stable.
  • C’mon, there’s NO WAY Ryan Tran could see the knucks on Kevin Owens’ hand given his placement. It’s the little things.
  • Finish here tells me we’ll see KO vs. Logan Paul again. I’d guess on TV, if not in Australia.

Winner by disqualification, #ANDSTILL WWE United States Champion: Logan Paul

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

  • Jey Uso coming at #1 was expected thanks to the internet reports. But I still think Jimmy should be #1 and Jey #2, for the reaction shots on Jimmy.
  • Grayson Waller talking himself to the ring is perfect.
  • “No Yeet!” Grayson is a brilliant performer. I’d make a Roddy Piper comparison here, but y’all would get at mad at me.
  • Good to have Andrade back in WWE. Great reaction for him when the mask came off.

  • SmackDown superstar Carmelo Hayes! I really really really hope Trick is also in this match, just for the chants.
  • Melo pointed to the sign, C’mon, man.
  • Do you send Andrade to Smackdown, or do you send him to Raw and let him do his own thing?
  • Oh goody, Karrion Kross is here. Yay.
  • (Yes, that’s sarcasm you read.)
  • Dominik Mysterio is so good. Give him time, he’s going to be a huge star.

  • The Royal Rumble was a great place for the Apple Spot.
  • Here comes Bob Lashley–please just eliminate Karrion Kross.
  • Lashley wearing the WrestleMania white gear more than 2 months early.
  • Austin Theory still gets his concussion effect entrance, despite it being the Rumble.
  • What if–hear me out now–Finn Balor wins the Royal Rumble to get the shot at Seth Rollins, and Priest uses his briefcase to make that match a triple threat at ‘Mania?
  • I know he didn’t, but it sure looked like Jimmy was swerving while he drives in that interaction with Gunther.
  • Kofi did tell us the Rumble Magic wasn’t happening anymore.
  • Give me Ivar vs Gunther!
  • Bron Breakker is a star. It’s inevitable.
  • Of course Omos would be in the Rumble. Good to see MVP on my TV as well.
  • “I didn’t know humans came that big!” – Pat McAfee
  • I half think Pat McAfee didn’t know he was entering the Rumble.
  • Nice moment for Bron Breakker eliminating Omos. WrestleMania match?
  • R-Truth trying to get Dominik (Tom or Nick?) Mysterio to tag him in is brilliant.
  • DOM MADE THE TAG!!!
  • “And now R-Truth is the legal man.” – thank you Michael Cole.
  • Michael Cole delivers multiple TNA references tonight, along with a Dolph Ziggler reference. God Bless Michael Cole.
  • Imagine for a second that this was CM Punk’s actual WWE return.
  • The reaction to Drew McIntyre’s entrance is a reminder that they don’t actually need him.
  • Sami Zayn enters at #30, also known as “Not The Rock.”

  • In the ring, Drew McIntyre is amazing. Just keep the microphone away from him. (And stop the damn counting!)
  • And there goes my choice for the Men’s Rumble!
  • Love having both Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in the press boxes watching to see who wins.
  • Punk kinda looks like Chris Jericho in there. Seriously.
  • Between Punk and Cody, Cody is the right choice. I really don’t want to watch Punk right now–he needs to hit the cardio, and hard. Given Seth Rollins’ injury and Punk’s conditioning, WWE would be smart to make the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 40 a multi-man match.

Winner of the 2024 Men’s Royal Rumble: Cody Rhodes


Overall thoughts on the 2024 WWE Royal Rumble

For at least the second straight year, the Men’s Royal Rumble Match was kinda disappointing. Not the result–that’s fine. But the match itself. It just wasn’t nearly as exciting as the Women’s. Of the four matches, I would place it 4th in terms of enjoyment.

Great moments for both Bayley and Cody Rhodes. Logan Paul continually shows that he deserves to be considered a pro wrestler, not a celebrity who is wrestling. Pat McAfee is a joy on commentary. Jordynne Grace is a WWE Superstar, regardless of what company she is signed to. Bron Breakker is a star.CM Punk is very out of shape. Cody Rhodes is about to become THE guy, and he deserves it.

Overall I give the event a thumbs up, but they have to do something about the Men’s Royal Rumble Match moving forward.


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WWE Raw Heads To Netflix: What Does It Mean?

Monumental news drops as WWE RAW is moving to Netflix. Is it truly a game changing move? Greg DeMarco analyzes this shift for the TV wrestling business.

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Monumental news drops as WWE RAW is moving to Netflix. Is it truly a game changing move? Greg DeMarco analyzes this shift for the TV wrestling business.

Being a wee little kid in the 80s, I am “lucky enough” to remember having 3 TV channels, and my dad explaining what an 8-track is, how shocked I was when I say a laser disc for the first time, when I bought a 6 CD changer, installed my own car stereo, and all the way up to the fact that I have now been watching WWE pay-per-view/premium live events on the WWE Network and Peacock for 10 years. Hell, in the same month (February 2014) I signed up for the WWE Network, cut the cord to drop cable and got Sling TV. I have since moved onto YouTube TV which is highly recommended.

Over the last two years the NFL has put Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime, simulcast to various streaming services, and less than 2 weeks ago put a playoff game exclusively on streaming when a Wildcard Weekend showdown between the Chiefs and Dolphins was only shown on Peacock.

And now it’s fully permeated into pro wrestling.

WWE and AEW are both in the midst of a very important time on the business side, with all of their TV rights up for grabs. The first domino fell when SmackDown On FOX became SmackDown on USA Network, and soon after we learned that WWE NXT was moving to broadcast television and joining The CW (which is also rebranding, but just to CW).

The AEW suite of programming that includes Collision, Rampage, and their most successful show Dynamite is up for renewal with Warner Bros/Discovery, and Tony Khan has been optimistic about the relationship and potentially an increase in rights fees.

That brings us to Tuesday morning, and the likely groundbreaking WWE announcement that Raw is moving to Netflix, starting in January 2025. Triple H tweeted that they’re changing the game, and TKO President and COO Mark Shapiro (who knows a thing or two about shifts in media consumption) used the word “transformative” in his statement, and I really think he couldn’t be more right.

But what does it all mean?

Wrestling Remains A Strong Media Product

I have been claiming this for over a year now. As many online will cite a decline in TV viewership for both WWE and AEW, the TV product has been a strong value to networks. Even in dropping SmackDown, FOX themselves said they didn’t pump enough resources into the show, and that the advertising return wasn’t what they wanted. That doesn’t mean the product (TV value, we’re not talking about creative here) isn’t strong. It’s so strong that USA Network picked up SmackDown for $280 million per year, giving WWE an increase over the FOX deal. CW is paying $20-$25 million annually for NXT, and now Netflix is paying $500 million for RAW.

Why? Because wrestling isn’t just a strong media product, it’s consistent. And that is key.

Look at this quote from Netflix Chief Content Officer Bela Bajaria:

“Raw is the best of sports entertainment, blending great characters and storytelling with live action 52 weeks a year and we’re thrilled to be in this long-term partnership with WWE.”

Now cross reference that with a comment from CW President Dennis Miller from back when the CW/NXT deal was announced:

“We are thrilled to welcome the WWE brand into the CW Sports portfolio as they play an integral role in our mission to bring live sporting events to the network year-round.”

What do those statements have in common? The year-round, 52-week nature of wrestling programming. It’s an unbeatable value for networks. It’s cheaper than a deal with a major sports league, and it’s not finite. Wrestling joins news, talk, and sports talk as the only year-round programming available to networks. And WWE and AEW have shows that essentially always land in the Top 5 after you factor out live sports. You can’t beat it.

What Does This Mean for Netflix?

Don’t get it twisted, this is also a huge leap for Netflix. Prior to the WWE Raw deal, Netflix has only experimented with live events, streaming the live Chris Rock “Selective Outrage” special, and showing The Netflix Cup live (a golf event featuring athletes from their F1 series “Drive To Survive” and their golf series “Full Swing).

WWE is the perfect partner for Netflix as it gets into live programming. It’s sports entertainment: sports like programming (which Netflix has done) that focuses on storytelling (which Netflix has obviously done). And no one does it better than WWE. It’s essentially plug-and-play for Netflix, the perfect solution for their live programming aspirations.

The perfect solution that they were willing to pay $5 billion for.

What Does This Mean for AEW?

The biggest risk to an AEW renewal with Warner Bros Discovery was WBD picking up WWE Raw–and that risk has been eliminated by Netflix. Don’t discount that fact–Netflix did Tony Khan a huge favor by throwing $500 million per at WWE. The path is clear for AEW to remain on the Turner networks.

But at what price?

I know I usually write as if I have all the answers, but I have zero idea either way on this one. WBD no longer has any other options if it wants to keep wrestling (except for TNA, who recently expressed a desire to be on a bigger network), and AEW (at least, Dynamite) is a weekly Top 5 program for them on Wednesdays, on cable.

On the other hand, AEW doesn’t exactly have another network begging for their services. The reason WWE could get a yearly increase for Raw, SmackDown, and NXT is because it was truly a bidding war. Unless Tony Khan gets another network involved, any threat of walking away from a deal doesn’t really hold water.

So if I were a betting man (and who would ever bet on this) I would expect an announcement of a renewal for AEW and WBD relatively soon. We may not know the terms of the deal, I will take a shot in the dark and say that AEW gets a small increase (not the “nearly double” that had been reported last year).

Regardless of the increase (or not), given AEW’s recent attendance challenges, this likely renewal would have to be viewed as a win for the company.


Personally, this is simply an amazing time to be a fan. We’ve seen WWE go from one live TV show per week with Monday Night Raw, through the Monday Night Wars, the addition of SmackDown and later NXT, to being this global juggernaut that is commanding half-a-billion dollars per year for Raw. I also think this makes Raw the flagship once again. All of this comes after Vince McMahon is largely out of power, Triple H has taken over creative (and holds a pretty good success rate so far), and the company was sold to Endeavor, and merged with the UFC as a business entity under the TKO banner.

If you know me, you know I am a huge follower of the business side of the wrestling business. I often care less about WHAT wrestling companies do, but HOW they do it. I have always gravitated towards that, since middle school. And for the past near 24 months, I have been like a kid in a candy store.

The Peacock deal for the WWE Network runs out in 2026, right? The fun never stops!


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