Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of #WWE #Raw

From behindthesteelcurtain.com

From behindthesteelcurtain.com

Chuck Noll, the coach who has more Super Bowl wins than any other coach in the history of the National Football League, passed away on Friday. I didn’t really get to enjoy those four Lombardi Trophies that he helped bring to Pittsburgh. I was 3 when they won #3 and 4 when they lifted #4 but I was too young to remember. By the time I had started to really watch football, the Steelers were pretty terrible. I didn’t know him as a winner but rest assured that my Grandpa Sheehan and my father have filled me in on some of that past glory. If you want to read more about what he means to Pittsburgh, I suggest reading Dejan Kovacevic’s Noll Made Us All Steelers article in the Pittsburgh Tribune -Review, which had very little to do with football.

As for wrestling, I will be attending Smackdown tomorrow so you won’t hear my lovely voice until at least Wednesday if not later. I’ll be wondering if everyone that loses is going to get fired considering Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre and Aksana all got to take losses before being “future endeadvored” on Wednesday. It’s time for Raw though. Let’s roll.

We get the locker room on the entrance stage. HHH & Stephanie McMahon greet us from the middle of the ring.They run down Daniel Bryan more. Giving rise to even more speculation in my mind that he’ll be back for the PPV. I don’t feel like they played Dr. Maroon’s part last week that said he would be re-evaluated to get him back in the ring as soon as possible. Steph announces a battle royal. Only the idiots in Cleveland would cheer for that pile of trash style of match. (Next Day Note: Since I didn’t comment on them for the rest of the night, that was a second consecutive good crowd in Cleveland.) HHH boots Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & John Cena from the match. Can I say they’re doing a solid smarm job but still not like having to endure this garbage? Evil Authority. HHH acts like Kane hasn’t lost to Cena more times than I care to remember.

Dolph Ziggler heads to the ring. He gets to lose to Seth Rollins in another good match that he won’t be rewarded for. We get a video package about Rollins betrayal. The match doesn’t go much of anywhere when the break hits. Rollins in control after it. Jaw jacker by Ziggler. Rollins tosses him outside. Ziggler cracks Rollins when he goes for a suicide dive. Rollins kicks out the back of Ziggler’s leg to take over. The big DDT gets Dolph a two count. Ziggler slaps on the sleeper hold. Fame Asser for a two count. Ziggler goes for the DDT a second time but Rollins turns it into a buckle bomb. That looked like a good recovery. Second buckle bomb leads to the Curb Stomp. Dean Ambrose attacks for the DQ win. He then gets some mic time as Rollins backs away. He challenges him to a match. HHH gives him Bad News Barrett. I wish he’d drop the fascination with the cape spot for his entrance.

Ambrose is dressed in a black tank top & jeans. Is this a new look? If so, why is he the first to change his in ring gear? Ambrose gets tossed off the top rope to the floor for the first significant move. Ambrose re-injures his shoulder. Barrett works it over. A back elbow and Tornado DDT gets Ambrose an opening. I keep trying to block out the announcers but it’s not working. They bicker so poorly that it drives me bananas. Ambrose hits the catapult clothes line. Rollins distracts Ambrose. Ambrose side steps a charging Barrett. Ambrose nails them with a suicide dive. Ambrose gets counted out fighting Rollins in the crowd. Ambrose attacks Barrett and nails Dirty Deeds. JBL makes one valid point “That sneak attack is okay?” No answer from Mitchell Cool or Jerry Lawler. Ugh. Roman Reigns tries to sweet talk Vickie. It’s just a ploy to spike HHH & Steph’s drinks with what I’m assuming is pepper since Vickie sneezed. Do cartoons still do that gimmick? Seems like a dated reference to me.

From occultspace.com

From occultspace.com

Bray Wyatt comes out and talks in low light around a ladder. Power is his game. He points to the belt and says that’s all the power he’d ever need. Wyatt then starts to hype Luke Harper & Erick Rowan. I would be perfectly happy to see them as tag champions. I just hope the Usos don’t hang it up since that tends to happen when losses happen. Sing along time. Sheamus reminds us that it’s bad luck to walk under ladders. Wyatt welcomes the fight that Sheamus promises to bring. Sheamus works over Wyatt at first. In what looks like a botched spot, Wyatt falls down. He gets up and tackles Sheamus. It looks like Sheamus is going to be attacked by Harper & Rowan when the Usos decide to show up.

It remains a singles match after the break. I was expecting a six man to start. Sheamus fights back. A high running knee was missed by Sheamus. Wyatt ends up hitting the cross body block. Sheamus power slams Wyatt. Sheamus backs into the corner when Harper & Rowan grab him. The Usos join the fight. The Usos end the fracus by running up a ladder and diving onto Harper & Rowan. HHH whacks Vickie as she tries to give him his coffee. So just Steph is going to be sick.

Steph is still drinking away as she is interviewed by Renee Young. She ends up running off. Paul Heyman thankfully is the replacement. He runs through the possible champions but then tells us that Cesaro being the next champion is not a prediction but a spoiler. Heyman even makes the most of short ones.

Rusev is out to face the One Man Band. Did Mitchell cool just call him simply Slater? If so, they have gone too far with the single name status. Lana gets to talk from the middle of the ring this week. She gives us a Mount Russiamore. He speaks. He is the super athlete. Slater gives us the go back speech. American rock star, baby! Kick to the face. Crush. The Accolade. I hope I don’t see him tomorrow. (Next Day Note: I still don’t want to see him tonight.) Vickie has to check on Stephanie and gets puked on. Sigh. Vickie is now in charge but is told to take a shower. Scream by Vickie. (Next Day Note: I’m was so confused. Vickie sneezes in the segments to imply pepper was the spiking agent but Steph is puking so much that she has to leave the arena. Reigns didn’t go with laxative, which has more potential for pervs who want to see Steph on the toilet, so what did he use exactly? Pepper won’t make you violently puke.)

Roman Reigns lobbies Vickie Guerrero again. Smart plan by Reigns. He gets what he wants. Why would she do that? (Next Day Note: Just send the clip of Reigns spiking their drinks. Or how about HHH & Steph watch their own product so they don’t fire Vickie wrongfully. Now you really are screwed.) They advertise “Think Like a Man Too” which I won’t see no matter how great Kevin Hart is in this segment. He gets to meet Adam Rose. Hart won’t be a Rose Bud. He’s going to do commentary? That’s probably going to be better than a dumb segment with him.

Kevin Hart is on the head set next. I don’t FF as Hart starts cracking on Fandango & Layla. Did they have him out just to ask that question for Mitchell Cool to throw to replay? It appears as if it’s a ladies match with Summer Rae. Oh, Adam Rose is joining her. The guys start the match. Summer Rae goes hell cat on Layla. Layla tags out ASAP. Party Foul by Rose for the win. What the fuck? Kevin Hart joins Rose for a victory dance. They both crowd surf. I’m just shaking my head. It should be noted that one of my lady’s co-workers will be taking his eleven year old girl to Smackdown tomorrow. I’m wondering if she isn’t as disgusted by that segment as me. I doubt it. Boo-tista Unleashed where he gets to cry. Hey man, don’t say the internet didn’t like you. As soon as you played what you should be playing (ahem a heel who won’t be cheered) your run was fantastic. Said it then, will continue to say it now.

Dark Royalty by Shiroin.com

Dark Royalty by Shiroin.com

The Battle Royal is on. Santino & Damien “Lebron James” Sandow were eliminated early. A Matadore then another got tossed by Rusev. They talk about Bo Dallas a lot. Titus O’Neil gets tossed by Reigns. Sin Cara gets tossed. Ziggler gets staying in the match. Jack Swagger should toss Kofi but it’s ass backwards. The US beat Ghana 2-1. I don’t care that it was bowling shoe ugly. 3 points is 3 points. I can keep track of this garbage on the app. No thanks. No eliminations so it really didn’t matter. Ryback eliminates Ziggler. Reigns goes bananas in the ring. Ryback slows him down. Reigns spears Rybaxel. Fandango gets eliminated. Ryback gets low bridged. Axel leaves. RVD gets occupied with Barrett and Dallas. RVD fights them both off. RVD goes for a monkey flip when Dallas tosses him. Dallas hugs Barrett who clothes lines him. Bo gets tossed but holds on. Dallas gets speared and tossed by Reigns. It’s down to Reigns and Rusev. They aren’t giving this to Rusev. The heel kick by Rusev finally looks significant. Reigns fires back on Rusev. They fight with Rusev on the apron. Superman Punch to eliminate Rusev. John Cena just saw the impossible become possible. He’s happy about the stretcher match. Whatever dude. (Next Day Note: What I should have typed was “Even Cena realizes he’s beat Kane more time than he can count.)

Naomi & Cameron both still have jobs. Paige gets to wrestle Cameron. Oh goody. Cameron’s main offensive weapon is a slap. Not good news. Naomi acts disappointed in Cameron. We’re getting a break up angle. Good for Naomi, bad for Cameron. Paige locks in the PTO.  The announcers go back over the Rhodes saga. Byron Saxton gets to interview Goldust. He is excited about his new partner who is super galactic. Definitely Cody in some kind of gear.

Goldust is the first out. Stardust is out second. Cody with a star on his face. Dear lord. Stardust makes short work off Curtis Axel. (Next Day Note: I just feel bad that the king of the one trick pony gimmicks has another gimmick. It has kept him on TV so maybe it isn’t so bad.)

John Cena & Kane allow me to nearly catch up. The announcers have to sell Kane’s mean streak. Kane tries for the stretcher before the first break. Several times. Stupid. Cena tosses Kane into a chair wedged into the ropes. Kane choke slams Cena. Kane goes to attack Cena with the stairs when Cena drop kicks his legs. Kane cracks his face off the stairs on the way down. Kane reverses an AA into a DDT onto the stairs. Cena rolls off the stretcher. He tosses Kane into the post. Cena bounces off the barricade. Kane cleans off the announce table. Cena pops up and gives him the AA thru the table. Cena is a moron so he carries Kane to the stretcher. Take the stretcher to him.How about lowering the stretcher? Seth Rollins and Randy Orton attack Cena. Ambrose makes the save. He gets choke slammed by Kane. Cena dumps Kane to the outside. Cena tosses the stairs at Kane. Rollins & Orton had the numbers to finish the job. Kane sits up near the finish line. A reverse gets an AA onto the stretcher which poor Kane has to sell. Cena pushes him across the line for the win. – Kevin

 

Class Is In Session: #NXT Review

Shadow from slowbuddy.com

Shadow from slowbuddy.com

The show opens with a very good hype video for the Adrian Neville vs.Tyson Kidd rematch. The video focused on Kidd’s attempt to get out of his wife Natalya’s shadow.

Tom Phillips, Alex Riley, and Renee Young are on commentary

Paige, Emma, and Bayley vs. Charlotte, Summer Rae, and Sasha Banks

The baby faces all make separate entrances which makes sense seeing as Emma and Bayley’s acts center around their entrances. There’s a lot of that in NXT. The heels come out together to Charlotte’s music but spent the whole time pushing each other out of the way so they can be the center of attention

The match began with Emma holding her own until the BFFs were able to work the numbers game to their advantage and work her over. Charlotte used the Figure-Four Necklock on Emma as Summer Rae hopped off the apron to take selfies with fans and just generally hog the spotlight. Summer entered the ring and began hogging the match refusing to tag Charlotte back in. Emma was able to use the dissension to her advantage and make the hot tag to Bayley. Bayley ran wild until all six women were in and Bayley ended up winning with a roll-up on a distracted Charlotte.

After the match a replay revealed that Charlotte had kicked Summer out of the ring before being rolled up by Bayley. Decent match that forwarded the BFF break-up storyline.

Backstage, JBL was shown greeting a masked man and signing him to a contract. The masked man said the he “Bo…believed” that he would do well in NXT.

Elsewhere, the BFFs were in the women’s locker room where Charlotte and Sasha were blaming Summer for the loss. Alexa Bliss walked into use a locker but she was stopped by Sasha who told her to leave. Alexa ended up challenging Sasha to a match.

CJ Parker was seen in the audience with another hippie sign. End this gimmick please.

Colin Cassidy vs. Sylvester Lefort (w/ Marcus Louis)

I’ve never seen Lefort wrestle before and I wasn’t missing much. Cassidy is the world’s smallest 7-footer. Nothing match. Cassidy won with swinging side slam into a sitout for the pin.

Backstage, Natalya told Tyson she was going to be in her corner using the word “I” more than anyone intending to be a baby face ever should. I really hope she ends up turning heel  soon because if not the writers, across all shows she’s on, and Natalya herself are tone deaf to how she comes off.

Aiden English was singing before being approached by a man I would later read on the Internet was Simon Gotch. No attempt was made to let viewers know who this man was or why he was there. He never spoke but ended up walking off with a piece of the set. Weird segment and yet another NXT wrestler is being groomed for an opening match “comedy” gimmick. Comedy is in quotes for a reason because I have a pretty dumb sense of humor and this segment didn’t even earn a single chuckle from me.

Sami Zayn vs. Mr. NXT

The crowd obviously knew who Mr. NXT was as they played along with dueling chants of “you can’t fool us”and “yes you can”. Now that was funny. Short match that was more about the Mr. NXT gimmick angle than showing off either man. Zayn would unmask Mr. NXT as (surprise, surprise) Bo Dallas. Zayn hit the Helluva Kick in the corner for the win.

After the match Zayn brought out security to take Bo away who ran around the ring. They finally got a hold of him and were attempting to take him to the campus police office presumably but Dallas broke free and ran around outside scaring the hell out of some students who did not appear to be in on the act at all. Funny stuff.

Adrian Neville vs. Tyson Kidd (w/ Natalya) for the NXT Championship

The crowd started on Kidd early with “Nattie’s Husband” chants. Good back-and-forth match that saw both guys play to their strengths. As the match went on Tyson was playing more the heel which allowed Neville to fight from underneath which is where he excels. Kidd threw everything he could at Neville but he kept kicking out. Kidd was finally fed up and went outside to grab a chair but he was stopped by his own wife Natalya. Once again, if Natalya is expected to be considered likeable by these actions them I am at a loss for words. Neville was able to take advantage of the distraction to connect with a superkick and finish Kidd off with the Red Arrow. The show ended with Natalya attempting to console her husband.

Grades

All six women- Everyone performed well in a decent match that was designed to forward the BFFs break-up storyline. B

Colin Cassidy- Just a tall guy with no upside. F

Sylvester Lefort- Lefort is not a good wrestler and needs to stick to managing. F

Aiden English and Simon Gotch- Bad comedy. F

Sami Zayn- Zayn is arguably the best wrestler in NXT but this match was not a showcase for him. He was still very good with what he had to work with. B-

Bo Dallas- Bo was hilarious here allowing himself to play the fool as a good heel who’s been caught cheating the system should. A-

Adrian Neville- A great outing for him here. He played a great babyface in peril and made a great babyface comeback. A

Tyson Kidd- A great outing for him as well as he develops his new heel persona.

Natalya- I HATE HER!!!!! F-

Overall show- Aside from the bad squash and even worse commentary this was a good show featuring a great main event, a great comedic performance from Bo Dallas, and storyline progressing in the Womens Division. B+ – Chris

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