SPANIELS DOES A RAW REVIEW GOD HELP US
Good evening, Blog humans, I’m Blog of Doom moderator and generally friendly large number of dogs Spaniels. You may know me from an illegible sign on last week’s episode of Dynamite, but I’ve been a wrestling fan for something close to 25 years, and am generally up to date on the programming. Today my good friend Thomas Hall is expecting his first child today (Update – Child has arrived safely, but I’m still doing this in case he needs to do y’know… fatherhood instead of watching RAW so we don’t have to, I’m still going through with this thing.) so I’ve decided to give reviewing and summarizing the June 13th broadcast of Vince McMahon branded wrestling like entertainment content a go. I hope everyone’s ready for some restaurant quality cringe, because I don’t do this sort of thing professionally
Let’s go over some ground rules, as I’m not a Tommy Hall, nor should I be –
I’m not including match times.
Instead of star ratings or letter grades, I’ll give a loose indication of how much RAW kept my interest over the episode of the CW’s Riverdale I’ll be watching at the same time. In essence, I suppose this is mechanically identical to the HIT/MISS format internet wrestling personality Scott Keith uses for his miscellaneous who gives a crap reviews of youtube playlists and weird pointless compilations. So I’ll generally just state whether the segment is worth one’s time.
Out of respect for Thomas Hall, I’ll abstain from swearing. Is crap a swear?
Wrestling, like all media, is viewed from a subjective lens and my own biases and preferences will creep in of course. It might be likely that you enjoy something I don’t, and vice versa, and that’s a-okay. I like my wrestling a little silly, if you need to calibrate.
I probably won’t be reading the comments, maybe.
Okay, let’s watch one (1) Monday Night Raw, Live from Wichita Kansas! AJ Styles vs Seth battle to qualify for Money in the Bank! A message for Matt Riddle from the Tribal Chief Roman Reigns as Paul Heyman shows up on Miz Tv!
THEN NOW FOREVER TOGETHER
We’re live with Byron Saxton, Jimmy Smith and Corey on commentary and MizTV is already in progress- Miz is in the ring with a legend of this business, Paul Heyman, who does his usual customary introduction. Miz seems to hate Kansas, but they’re here to talk about Money in the Bank. Miz claims his 100% success rate is because Miz chooses the perfect moment to take advantage of his opportunities. Paul Heyman assures us that whomever tries to cash in on Roman Reigns will fail, because Roman Reigns is so dominating that the chances of a successful cash in against him are 0%.
Paul’s Announcement: This Friday night, Roman will defend the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship against Riddle. Paul went to WWE Management to make the stakes even higher, but before he can elaborate Matt Riddle comes to interfere, scooter and all, to get an answer “straight from the horses’ ass” and Miz takes an unusual amount of offense at this interruption. Is ass even a swear? It’s someone’s name, right? Miz starts to yell at Riddle, but Paul de-escalates the situation. Paul tries to cool off this confrontation, but Riddle promises Reigns will have to kill him to stop him from taking the championship. Heyman says he respects Riddle, but is certain he can’t beat Roman Reigns. Heyman continues – If he beats Roman Reigns roman on Friday he gets the title, but Riddle will get another title shot if he loses as long as Roman holds it – “Do or die on the Island of Relevancy”. Heyman calls out the Usos to join the discussion, but the Street Profits also come out to join the conversation. Montez takes on Jimmy Uso after the commercial inexplicably.
Rating – There’s nothing here we haven’t seen before, mostly hyping up the next even and this Friday’s title match. Skippable fluff like most MizTV. 0/1.
20 YEARS! CENA! BE THERE! IN TWO WEEKS! RETURNS!
Montez Ford Vs Jimmy Uso
Match starts, Montez and Uso circling and locking up and wrestling into the corner with a dirty break from Uso, before rolling into a side headlock on the mat. Montez grapples to a stand, shooting Uso off into an irish whip, taking Uso down with a drop kick and shaking the ropes like the Ultimate Warrior. The crowd’s getting pretty loud with the WE WANT THE SMOKE chants. Uso throws Montez into a corner, Ford selling it like a shotgun blast. And a second one. Montez exchanges a tricky clothesline, before pinning and going for an armbar on Uso, and starts talking trash to Jey outside the ring. Uso fights to a stand, headbutting to end Montez’ assault on his arm, and tries to toss Montez outside the ring – Montez landed safely on the apron. The pair exchange strikes before Montez is stunned long enough for Uso to step out onto the apron and deliver a suplex onto the apron. Montez tumbles to the floor as we go to commercial.
Back to the action, Jimmy and Ford exchanging blows before Jimmy Uso drops Ford with a side suplex, covering for a two count, and rolling into a sitting bear hug. Ford uses the crowd’s energy to pry himself free and takes Uso down, both men landing on their backs, with Ford seeming to take the worst of it. Uso and Ford exchange blows and right hands, criss cross some Irish whips, but Ford flips out of a back body drop. The pair exchange dropkicks and superkicks before Ford slugs down Uso and covers for a long 2. Ford looks legitimately angry, and is really selling his back. Ford goes for a spinebuster for 2. Enzuigiri sends Ford for a loop, before an impressive Irish Whip Samoan Drop for a long two. On the apron, Uso seems to want another suplex but Montez breaks free with a kick, and wants a suplex of his own. This gives Uso an opportunity to drive him back first into the outside of the ringpost. On the ring apron, Uso goes for a stinger splash to follow up but eats the ringpost. Ford climbs the ropes inside the ring to snatch Jimmy up into a superplex over the ringpost but Uso shoves Montez off the ropes and he lands hard on the ring mat. Ford pulls himself up and bolts for the corner, hopping up to very loosely Frankensteiner Uso off the top. Ford tries to close the deal with a splash, but Uso gets the knees up to counter, leading to a rollup for 3.
Rating – Montez and Jimmy seem to have pretty meshing styles and this was an inoffensive little watch that mostly flew by. Montez might have the best facial emoting in wrestling right now. 1/2
We’ll hear from Seth Rollins after the break, and to tide us over we’re offered a package about Cody last Monday. Seth’s very very purple suit seems very wearable.
Returning from Commercial, Kevin Patrick is talking with Seth, in some comfy leather chairs, while stroking a sledgehammer affectionately. Seth starts to cackle instead of answering questions. Seth claims to have meant what he said to Cody in the ring, but still views Cody as a virus infesting WWE. He claims that he had to make a hard unpopular decision to keep Cody from being a danger to the WWE and himself with his injury. In Seth’s WWE it’s adapt or perish. Seth has no remorse – he’s proud of what he did. The American Nightmare is over.
What’s next for Seth Rollins? He seems to have his sights on Money and the Bank so he can top his infamous cash-ins. He’ll have to battle AJ with that later in the program. Seth doesn’t consider AJ on his level. More cackling, but it’s thankfully interrupted by AJ.
Rating – While I’m not 100% sold on Seth’s act of being as unwatchably annoying as humanly possible to be heel heat, he did a reasonable enough job explaining his actions for me to give this a pass. It’s certainly not worth youtube or anything unless you really are in the market for a purple suit. 2/3
Previously on Wrestling: We’re treated to a recap of Becky Vs Dana last Monday, with Asuka helping Dana get a sneaky 24/7 roll up.
Dana Brooke is coming out to defend her 24/7 championship vs Becky Lynch, it’s not adequately explained why this rematch is happening. Becky’s loitering motionlessly backstage in a jacket that looks like it’s made out of mirrored leaves, presumably brooding until after the commercial break. Good thing Dana’s out there to entertain the crowd.
LASHLEY! THEORY! POSEDOWN! MAIN EVENT! BE THERE! YOU BUY THE WHOLE SEAT BUT YOU’LL ONLY NEED THE EDGE!
24/7 Championship Match – Becky Lynch vs Dana Brooke
Becky mopes down to the ring with her upbeat crowdpleasing music. Corey Graves calls Jimmy and Byron homers for not being angry about Asuka’s interference while trying to cover for Becky getting bamboozled last week.
Becky opens with an ambush and some stomps before the bell. Becky throws some Kevin Nash style back clubbering before tossing Dana out of the ring. Dana somehow lands gingerly into the ringside barricade, before Becky returns to bash her into the announce table. Oh boy! Becky demands a microphone in the middle of this beatdown! She has a lot of problems with you people and now you’re gonna hear about it! She’s sick and tired of the disrespect she’s getting. Becky says she’ll climb back out of this slump, but she’ll also climb her way to the Money in the Bank briefcases and this time she won’t be cheated out of them.
She returns to beating up poor Dana Brooke, before Asuka’s music interrupts and now it’s on. Asuka dribbles Becky’s skull off the ring apron for quite some time, before they roll into the ring and start brawling back and forth. A flurry of backfists, European uppercuts, and kicks before Becky bails. The bell didn’t ring that makes this a no contest.
Alexa’s music interrupts Becky’s exit, and Alexa and Lily are coming out for their qualifier match. Becky shouts as the leaves that she wants Alexa to win so she can get her revenge. Looks like we’re gettingLiv and Alexa vs Nikki and Doudrop after the commercial, winning team gets into the Money in the Bank Ladder match.
Rating – Man, Becky and Asuka beating each other up is fun to watch and almost made enduring the rest of this 24/7 filler stuff kind of worth it. Is Becky elevating the 24/7 content? 3/4 segments.
No one else apparently came out to the ring during the commercial, which must have been lovely for the crowd. We get a recap package of Becky getting tossed off a ladder and Alexa swiping it from 2018.
Liv’s coming out in a lovely pink ensemble with her name on the butt which’ll help distinguish her from her petite blonde hot pants wearing partner. Nikki is still in costume, but in black and gold now that she’s evil.
For those that missed all that fun from last year, we get a recap of last year’s Money in the Bank ladder match, which Nikki snuck away with.
Money in the Bank qualifier Match – Nikki A.S.H and Doudrop Vs Alexa Bliss and Liv Morgan
Nikki and Alexa to start, Nikki berating her former best friend. Alexa wins an exchange of blows before Nikki tags out. Doudrop slams and splashes Alexa for 2. Doudrop tags out and Nikki viciously ground/pounds the weakened Alexa, going back to much of her NXT rabid animal offence. Alexa reverses out of the assault with a jawbreaker, before Nikki bulldogs her back down. Both ladies tag out, Liv trying to kick down Doudrop, before dropping her finally with a springboard Codebreaker. A dropkick from Liv gets 2. Liv tags out, and Alexa jumps on Doudrop with a flipping neckbreaker for a 1 count, Nikki breaks it up. Alexa tries to pull Doudrop up to a stand for another move, but Doudrop does drop Alexa with a headbutt, tags in Nikki. A Sidewalk slam/Scorpion Death Drop on Alexa gets 2 with Liv breaking up the pin. Doudrop pulls Liv out of the ring, and bodyslams her on the floor, which Liv sells like a beloved pet has been murdered before rolling out of the way of Doudrop’s attempt to followup with a senton. Nikki runs at the ropes to dropkick Morgan who’s still on the outside, but Alexa catches Nikki sleeping with a punch when she turns around and spikes her with a DDT to get the win for her team.
Rating – It’s nice to see some of the old Nikki back, but this was still pretty dull despite all the participants trying really hard. This was somehow more boring that the Dana Brooke thing. 3/5 so far.
Recap of The Judgment Day’s internal politics from last week.
Here’s Kevin Owens to scream at the camera and have a match with Ezekiel again. I know I say this a lot, but Kevin Owens was out there in the ring for the entire commercial break and I can’t imagine doing that in a live show in front of people is much fun for anyone involved.
Money in the Bank is brought to you by Half Price Appetizers and WWE Visa cards. Terms apply.
Back from commercial – even Owens is complaining about having to be kept waiting through the commercials. A recap package of last weeks Ezekiel faking a confession to trick Kevin into a rematch.
Ezekiel Vs Kevin Owens
Ezekiel runs at Owens with a jumping knee to start, but misses and eats a superkick, is cannonballed into the corner and landed on by the world’s beefiest Swanton Bomb. Ezekiel bails outside for a brawl, which ends up with Owens eating the ringpost. Ezekiel rolls Owens back into the ring, but gets hung up on the top rope. Owens is caught by a surprise spinebuster for 2, and gets a few more stomps for good measure. Ezekiel goes for the top rope, but Owens rolls away to avoid whatever that would have been.
Ezekiel meets Owens on the apron, where Owens tries for a stunner which Ezekiel avoids but gets socked in the stomach to break up the apron exchange. On the floor, Ezekiel grabs Owens into a fireman’s carry and Death Valley Drivers him onto the ring steps. We go to commercial.
We return with Owens locking Ezekiel into a chin lock, and we get a replay of a frog splash onto the floor from the apron that happened during the commercial, a cactus frog splash if you will. Owens and Ezekiel slug it out, both look exhausted. Ezekiel gets thrown into the corner, reverses with that weird mule kick that doesn’t have a name as far as I know. Ezekiel barely gets Owens up into a suplex so incompetent that the announce team calls a ‘unique suplex’, then whomps Owens into the corner with Stinger splash, another suplex gets reversed into a stunner attempt, reversed into a jumping knee to Owens who rolls outside. Ezekiel joins him, they exchange big kicks before Ezekiel Stinger Splashes the ring post. Owens overhears the announce team calling Ezekiel Ezekiel instead of Elias and just freaks the heck out at the announce team, missing the ref’s 10 count and gets counted out during his tantrum
Rating – I can’t imagine anyone wanting to watch this except to watch Ezekiel fail to wrestle a hefty appointment at times. If a reviewer was giving this match star reviews, he’d just move on to the next match and not bother. 3/6
Ezekiel has a microphone to speak to his ….ugh… Zeke freaks. He’s not done with Owens, but he has bigger fish to fry. Money in the bank is coming up and he wants in on this thing, he’s so Zeked up about it. So much so he got a hold of Elias, who is so excited about it all that Elias will be at Monday Night Raw next week.
TONIGHT! POSE DOWN! EXCITEMENT! UNDRESSED OILED UP MEN! ICO PRO!
Recap of Cedric trying to get back with the Hurt Business, and interfering at Hell in The Cell.
MVP has a match, coming out to his awesome underrated entrance music. With Omos!
A recap of Make A Wish Legend John Cena doing more Make A Wish in the meantime to cover the amount of time it’ll take Omos to walk to the ring. I’m not recapping charity work.
Now to commercial. I’d say that the crowd will get to hear more of Baller’s Anthem and good for them, but I remembered they cut the music the second they started talking about John Cena.
Back from commercial, MVP has a microphone to express his annoyance with Cedric always inserting himself in an unflatteringly desperate manner, and always failing and says it’s time to realize that Cedric is like all the other bottom feeders, and Omos and MVP belong up at the top. Once MVP disposes of Cedric tonight, we can all focus on Omos in the Bank.
Omos in the Bank Match – Cedric Alexander Vs Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP)
Is Vontavious a real name? Cedric comes out to his music, wearing a sweet fur collared ring jacket. MVP piefaces Cedric to start, but Cedric runs at him with spirited punches. MVP Irish whips Alexander but Cedric upon his return dropkicks the legs out from under him. Cedric crawls through the ropes for a jumping DDT for 2. He tries to run the ropes to gain momentum to follow up, but Omos grabs the ropes to deter him, and MVP takes him down while distracted. More strikes from MVP, and a Ballin’ elbow for 2. MVP puts Cedric away immediately with the Playmaker for 3. Post match, Omos throws Cedric out of the ring like garbage.
Rating – What a huge waste of time for everyone involved. Cedric has some talent, but no avenue to show it off on a stage that matters, and can’t even get more than 5 minutes with Omos’ manager. Why does WWE hate Baller’s Anthem? A clear miss. 3/7
AJ can’t wait for his match for Seth (NEXT!), because MITB has eluded him all his life, and he wants it to spite Rollins, what he did to Cody makes him sick. Seth Rollins is beneath him, so AJ is going to teach him a lesson.
Seth is cackling again and mocks AJ for doing it “for Cody”. He says he’s in AJ’s head. Seth dedicates this match to the American Nightmare Cody Rhodes. Man, they’re talking about Cody a lot. I hope Cody made it back to his home planet for his surgery okay.
AJ comes out for his match, which will take place after the commercial naturally.
Money In the Bank Qualifier – AJ Styles Vs Seth Franklin Rollins
Crowd seems to love chanting to Seth’s music, which I don’t really get aside from chanting being fun. The announce team seems to be really selling Seth’s behaviour as being something he’s specifically doing to mind game people into making stupid mistakes, which isn’t something that’s often discussed since the Roman Reigns feud.
They grapple to start, AJ clobbering Seth and goes for a backslide for 2. Seth attempts to reverse, but the reversal is reversed into another rollup by AJ for 2. The fun is stopped with a punch by Seth, who shoves AJ down down and mounts for some sloppy punches. Seth chops AJ, turning to run the ropes only to eat a dropkick from AJ. Seth takes a powder, and AJ chases him out. Rollins gets his Irish whip attempt reversed into the barricade. AJ rolls back into the ring to Phenomenally Forearm Seth on the outside. AJ tosses Seth back into the ring, where Seth begs for a break. AJ grabs him and backbreakers him down to slow the pace. AJ punches Seth down against the ropes, before Seth tactically retreats to the outside. AJ in hot pursuit, but gets gutbustered on the top rope, AJ landing roughly into the announce table. A suicide dive from Seth smashes AJ back into the table. Like after all brutal spots, here’s a commercial!
We return to AJ elbowing Seth in the head, over and over. A knee to the gut drops AJ for 2. Another pin for 1. Seth looks annoyed with the ref, who’s only doing his job. The crowd is chanting for CODY of all people. The two exchange forearms over and over before AJ drops him with a clothesline. AJ tries to lift into an ushigaroshi attempt which Seth struggles out of before AJ decides to facebuster Seth down but the messed up pin doesn’t have the shoulders down, but AJ wriggled him down for an eventual 2. Seth reverses into a roll up for 2, tries a superkick for 2. This is Awesome chant, for those that keep track of these sort of thing. Seth poses for the crowd while AJ languishes on the mat and gets booed. Seth goes for the stomp, which is awkwardly countered into the calf crusher Seth smashes AJ’s head into the mat to reverse, allowing Seth time to struggle to the bottom rope. Seth and AJ grapple to their feet, but AJ fells Seth with a Pele kick. The prone athletes exchange strikes, headbutts, forearms, chops, before Seth goes for a ripcord elbow which misses, then turns to snags AJ into an attempted powerbomb to the corner which AJ wriggled out. AJ ends all this nonsense by suplexing Rollins into the corner for 2 – too close to the ropes. AJ is up to his feet first and prepares a phenomenal forearm which misses, and gets chop blocked down by Seth. Seth pulls AJ up into a pedigree attempt, AJ plants his feet and pulls Seth onto his shoulders for ushigaroshi. AJ’s back up first, and climbs the ropes, but is caught by Seth looking for a superplex. Both get off the rope, and Seth grabs AJ and finally bucklebombs him. Seth climbs the rope and tries for a frog splash, but he looks at the briefcases a second too long and misses. AJ hobbles over for a Styles Clash, Seth pummels the worked over knee to reverse, and a crafty rollup by Seth clinches the victory.
Rating – A fast paced and well worked match outside of one sloppy rollup, ending our fun streak of questionably relevant segments. Probably the match of the night unless you really like colorful women punching. 4/8
We get our first recap of something that happened on this show – the opening Miz TV segment. Riddle’s coming to the ring again, for some reason! I don’t know why! That snake is wearing a hat! Snakes don’t wear hats! Riddle has a match! Riddle’s music has words now I think. Commercials! NEXT!
Matt Riddle Vs Tomaso Ciampa
Ciampa clearly doesn’t get an entrance bcause he just sneaks out to attack people from behind like the Babadook. Miz is out for commentary to contribute nothing and maybe talk about his balls. Riddle takes Ciampa down to the mat and locks in an early arm bar, Ciampa shifting his weight to stack Riddle into a pin before hiking Riddle up with freakish muscle power to carry him over to the ropes to break the still applied arm bar. Ciampa stomps Riddle into the corner and clearly loves doing so. Miz is very impressed with Ciampa, according to his commentary. Riddle and Ciampa exchange forearms, before Ciampa stomps on Riddle’s ridiculously bare foot and DDTs him for 2. Ciampa locks in a chin lock, and Miz is finally talking about his enormous balls very loudly. Riddle lifts Ciampa into a driver position, before Ciampa slides off and reverses into a Scorpion Death Drop. Ciampa stomps Riddle in the middle of the ring and is very proud of himself. They keep cutting away from the match to look at Miz on commentary which is beyond agrgavating. A kick from Riddle turns the match in his favor, pummelling forearms to Ciampa in the corner. Riddle backs off, but Ciampa charges him and Riddle snatches him up into a powerslam then a draping DDT. Riddle pounds the mat for an RKO, but Ciampa sneaks in a rollup for 2, then an ankle lock to Riddle, mangling Riddles’ toes. Ciampa charges at Riddle with a running knee to Riddle’s face for a long 2. Ciampa goes for the Fairytale Ending, but can’t lift riddle, and eats a ripcord knee for his trouble. Riddle nails a floating bro hip first in Ciampa’s crotch, and starts telegraphing an RKO, which hits this time for the pin.
Rating – Short, but fun and smooth, and Riddle had us buying some of Ciampa’s nearfalls. I didn’t notice the shirtless hunks of the CW for the entire runtime of this match. 5/9 acceptable segments so far.
Recap of last Monday’s main event for the #1 contender’s spot for the RAW Women’s Championship.
Kevin Patrick is here to welcome Bianca to the ring. Tommy would like to remind you that she’s dancing and twirling her hair as she comes down to the ring as we go to commercial.
Upon return from the break, Kevin asks Bianca about the threat Rhea poses, but Bianca assures us she’s looking forward to it – they’re at the forefront of this new generation of WWE women’s wrestling. They know each other, they’re both terrific – but Bianca doesn’t like this turn Rhea’s taken since joining The Judgment Day. Bianca asserts that she is not afraid of this Rhea, and that she will walk the walk and come away victorious.
Rhea on the Titantron interrupts Bianca for some “girl talk”, even with the two lads flanking her. Judgment Day talks through their actions and does what they want when they want, and are not taking orders anymore like every heel stable ever. Damian explained Edge has the right idea, that they shouldn’t do anything to please others, but that’s contradictory instructions. A leader who tells them not to do as people say, but… barks orders to them? Now they just think for themselves. Rhea asserts doesn’t have to tell people she’s intimidating, she just intimidates, she doesn’t have to convince people like Bianca does. The greatEST thing Money in the Bank will be is Bianca’s downfall, and Rhea will become a two time RAW women’s champion.
Rating – I’ll rate this. Bianca’s getting to be a very natural promo outside of her catchphrases, and I actually sort of finally buy the premise of The Judgment Day even if it’s basically every heel stable’s story ever “We do what we want, when we want, we’re taking over.” It’s all fine, let’s move on. 6/10
Theory is asked about his upcoming posedown in a very green hallway, but doesn’t understand the question and admits he doesn’t know what he’s doing. I’m clearly misconstruing his comments because this is silly and doesn’t matter. Theory will prove Lashley isn’t on his level and doesn’t deserve a US Title shot.
Chad Gable comes to the ring accompanied by what is apparently some form of treetrunk, and he’ll face Mustafa Ali after the break. Cena return package =2.
Chad Gable Vs Mustafa Ali
Otis is in Chad’s corner, naturally. Maybe that’s the corner that smells like gravy. Gable and Ali lock up, Gable chain wrestles Ali down into an arm bar, a standing headlock, but eventually Ali ranas him down, and tosses in a few arm drags. Corey Graves claims Gable can dribble a bowling ball, which is just ridiculous. Chad wrestles Ali into the corner, and Ali somehow baseball slides into the corner ringpost in a painful looking spot. After the ref backs Gable off to check to make sure Ali doesn’t need to be airlifted out of the ring, Gable hammers into Ali short arm chops and clotheslines until Ali finally falls back over, hooking the leg for 2. Gable pulls Ali into a surfboard over his knees, which he eventually releases once he gets bored with it. Gable hooks the arms for tiger suplex on Ali for 2. Chad climbs the ropes for a moonsault, but Ali rolls out of the way and starts taking down Gable with the usual babyface clotheslines. A jumping tornado DDT from Ali takes Gable down, but Otis saves him from whatever top rope move Ali intended to follow up with. Gable snags the distracted Ali for 3 with a textbook german suplex.
Rating – It’s not fatshaming, part of Otis’ character is his love of food. While the booking of Ali’s sort of depressing and pointless, the ringwork is perfectly manageable, and this would make a fine match for Main Event or whatever show is on Saturdays now. 7/11
Did I engineer it so that Otis’ match would be the one with a 7/11 rating? No, I’m not some kind of hack. A recap of Veer Mahaan beating up Mysterios for fun. Rey takes on Veer after some commercials.
RAW What’s The Point Of This Again Challenge – Veer Mahaan vs Rey Mysterio
Rey is accompanied by his idiot son who I’m sure is a FINE YOUNG MAN. Rey dances around Veer like he’s a bear but Veer eventually snatches him and drives him face first into the mat. Rey tries to take out the legs unsuccessfully, so Veer shoulderblocks him down. Veer does a delightful ho train style splash in the corner, before sliding Rey outside the ring like it’s a saloon fight. Veer rolls Rey back in the ring, but misses a followup elbow drop. Can we talk a moment about how high Veer can jump? I’m 100% certain he could hop onto the top turnbuckle from a stand. Veer bounced Rey off the turnbuckle with an Irish whip, and starts kicking him into the corner. Veer smashes Rey into another corner with an Irish whip, but can’t follow up as Rey hurricanranas him into another corner. Veer knees Rey in the gut, lifting him off the ground. Veer charges Rey in the corner, eating the ring post as Rey moves out of the way of his charge and … doesn’t seem bothered? Outside the ring, Veer ditches Dominik into the crowd. Veer ambles back into the ring and snatched Rey up into a fallaway slam position before slamming Rey into his knee. A cervical clutch finishes this quickly, Rey taps almost the second the hold is applied.
Rating – We’ve seen some variety of this exact match for months now, even if this time I saw some glimmers of fun athleticism in the man that I hadn’t noticed up until now. Technically it held my attention more that whatever’s happening with Baby Anthony again, so 8/12, fine, shut up.
Asuka vs Becky is set for next week in a Money in the Bank qualifier match, which from what we’ve seen this week and last should be entertaining.
Elias has a concert! I’m sure Kevin Owen won’t ruin that.
Main Event Pose Down Challenge – Lashley vs Theory
Theory is in the ring, tanned and ready to pose, though less oiled up than one might expect in this situation. Adam Pearce is hosting, because I guess he really loves oiled up dudes and officiating them. I promised I’d stop doing this, but they couldn’t have Lashley come to the ring during the commercial break because then they’d go to prison, so he’s one his way out now. This is the only review I’m ever writing, so I’m allowed to complain about the one thing I hate, it’s the only thing I’m being paid for all this work.
There’s one little platform in the middle of the ring. Adam Pearce spells out the rules for us all: Each contestant will do three poses – Double Bicep, Side Chest, Most Muscular. Winner is chosen by the audience. Theory argues with him on the headset mic he has inexplicably, but Adam Pearce threatens to disqualify him unless he gets on the platform right then and there. Theory poses. Lashley promises to embarrass Theory in the contest, in the ring, and take his championship, then poses. Theory argues as they try and determine a winner on his headset mic but it’s clear Bobby Lashley won the crowd over. Theory’s still arguing – he needs one more pose to settle it – and squirts baby oil in Lashley’s eyes to blind him and drop kicks him out of the ring. To end the show.
Rating – I’m not dignifying this nonsense, and we’ll consider that taking the high road. Let’s just all pretend we didn’t watch it, despite my having documented quite thoroughly that I had. 9/13.
Overall Thoughts: Tonight was a fine little show and even the downpoints were more dull than offensively dumb or insulting to one’s intelligence. Some breezy action made the show fly by for the most part, and I won’t lie I usually find RAW a show I can put on while washing dishes or whatnot because it’s so infinitely missable, but I found myself really sitting down and enjoying some of the action we got. If we pretend like the posedown doesn’t exist, I’d say it’s one of the better RAW outings in recent memory.