Last week’s Raw had me all amped up, and I went to Smackdown this past week so I am loving Wrestling! I wonder how that will stand up against tonight.
Raw begins and I almost think I must be watching the wrong show because a wild Brock Lesnar appears! The Universal Champion has decided to grace us all with his presence. Wonderful! Paul Heyman talks about how Joe cannot hang with Samoans because he is no better than a dog. The only Samoan other Samoans won’t associate with. I bet someone doesn’t mind Joe coming around though. I mean, mostly they’re laid back dudes right? And like, the Usos probably think Joe is pretty cool….He also says Joe will never be able to get the coquina clutch on Brock Lesnar and this is what Joe takes exception to and comes down to the ring not wasting any time headbutting Brock and getting a fight started. Nice! Kurt Angle gets security to come out but they are not sufficient. Kurt Angle then gets the locker room (outside any upper card guys) to come out, and they succeed in holding Brock back briefly before he gets absolutely smashed in the face with a kick from Joe. Yikes. It looks rough and I can’t imagine Brock is particularly happy about it… they brawl a little bit more before it all rolls outside of the ring and they have a staredown on the ramp separated by, if you ask me a disproportionate number of men on each side. Brock needs more than people like Enzo Amore and Heath Slater.
This was a really great segment. It made Samoa Joe look incredibly bad ass just attacking Brock with no fear. The pull apart brawl was good and that kick looked vicious. Samoa Joe will probably not win this match, but he looks so strong leading up to it so far.
The Drifter vs Dean Ambrose
The Drifter gets some singing time! Excellent! He puts down the state of Louisiana and then also his opponent – Dean Ambrose. I think I just like singing gimmicks. I may not have been a big fan of Double J Jeff Jarrett because I hated bad guys, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t know every word to “With My Baby Tonight”. I am digging Elias Sampson. I also love Dean Ambrose, but they CAN fight other people aside from each other. The match is fine, it’s entertaining enough and they’re not putting the Drifter over as a one trick pony so that’s pretty interesting. Miz and Maryse come down to distract and annoy Ambrose, and he successfully gets the better of them and evades an initial pin attempt from The Drifter, but eventually he lets himself get too preoccupied with the IT couple and meets his downfall courtesy of a swinging neck breaker. Oh Dean, you lunatic.
Winner: The Drifter
Goldust ~ Shattered Dreams Production ~ Talks about how he turned on R Truth before he could turn on him. Says he knows he makes R Truth uncomfortable though surely R Truth accepts Goldust the way he is! He’s back to his old self.
Kurt Angle confronts the Miz backstage about his actions, but Miz says they’re justified after Dean Ambrose ruined his celebration last week. He says Kurt shouldn’t have let it happen but was too worried about his personal problems to stop Ambrose from reentering the building. Kurt gets all flustered asking what Miz knows about his personal problems, but Miz just says to deal with the person who’s doing things he shouldn’t be – Ambrose.
Cedric Alexander promotional package followed by a confrontation with Noam Dar. Cedric says he’s done fighting Noam Dar and he’s done dealing with his ratchet ex girlfriend Alicia Fox. OOOHHHH NO HE DID NOT. But he did and Alicia is on Noam’s phone face timing and she wants them to fight tonight to make her feel better. So they are. For what Cedric claims is the last time.
Cedric Alexander vs Noam Dar
Noam Dar comes to the ring still on his facetime with Alicia Fox and the sound is carrying throughout the entire arena as she demands he stay on the phone with her despite having a match. It’s kind of a hard segment to watch, and that’s all it really is since as soon as the bell rings (with Alicia still screeching) Cedric picks up the win over the distracted Dar. Alicia continues to screech into the break. I really like all three of these people and I think all three do whatever they can to make this work but it’s kind of painful.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
Bray Wyatt starts his big speech today on the titan tron before making his way to the ring and going on about how if you take his name in vain he’s going to come for you. Seth comes out and asks him if he’s really only mad at him because he called him some names, and honestly that seems exactly why. If that’s all it takes then I better watch my back for all the shit I talk on Bray Wyatt. Seth tells him that it’s not taking his name in vain – really is a false prophet. Bray does some magic mumbo jumbo with the lights and disappears only to reappear on the Tron once again.
Chuck Caruso has an interview with the Hardys in the back about their 2 out of 3 fall match and I gotta tell you I just watch Jeff Hardy the whole time and wonder if he’s alright. He’s stiff as a board during the whole thing and it’s absolutely awful. So, it happens.
Apollo Crews vs Kalisto
Well this is happening again. Tonight Apollo wins and afterwards Titus and Apollo drag poor Akira Tozawa in a suit from the front row into the ring and manhandle him into a selfie. It’s pretty fun actually. I like Titus Brand and I like Tozawa joining it, but it needs to go further than Kalisto.
Winner: Apollo Crews
Backstage Rhyno is squirting Cheese Whiz onto crackers because I think it’s all he does, when the Miz interrupts he and Heath Slater and appeals to Slater to join him in his fight against Dean Ambrose. JOIN ME he says, and they will rule the galaxy. That’s not entirely true but he does say he’ll give him anything. Heath wants an Intercontinental Title shot. Miz says he’ll get it…someday, but Rhyno interrupts and says Heath already has a partner – HIM. Now he wants he and Heath to fight Miz and a partner of his choosing tonight. Sigh. Heath turning on Rhyno confirmed.
Alexa Bliss is out to say how unfair it was that she was forced to defend her title against Nia Jax last week. Before she can get too far Nia interrupts and Alexa says of course she was happy to give her a match. Mickie James and Dana Brooke come out to cause trouble and drive a further wedge through Nia and Alexa and they’re all interrupted by EMMA!!!! So Happy to see Emma though she does not get a great reaction. She wants to take her place atop the women’s division, but she’s interrupted by Sasha Banks who definitely gets the best reaction of this whole group. She doesn’t talk too long, just takes tells Alexa she’ll show her how a boss throws a party and wallops her in the face. Brawl ensues.
Alexa Bliss & Evil Emma & Nia Jax vs Sasha Banks & Dana Brooke & Mickie James
What a shocker, it turns into a 6 person tag match. It’s not long enough to get anybody over with the crowd who is not that interested outside of Sasha Banks or Alexa Bliss. Alexa bails on her teammates, Mickie takes Nia out and Sasha taps Emma out in the Bank Statement. Poor ladies need and deserve better.
Winners: Sasha & Dana & Mickie
There is a Bayley sit down previously recorded with Corey Graves discussing how she’s been feeling after losing at Extreme Rules. She says she wants to regain her championship again, she has always wanted to be the best, etc. Honestly it is the same thing we always hear from Bayley. She ends it hugging Corey who doesn’t look incredibly pleased.
Rhyno & Heath Slater vs The Miz & a mystery partner
So I really thought Heath or Rhyno would turn right away but instead WE GET THE BEAR FROM LAST WEEK! He’s here to be Miz’s partner. Most of the time Miz is getting the brunt of the pain because he won’t tag in the bear obviously thinking it’s Dean Ambrose. He eventually unmasks him after attacking him, and it is NOT Dean. He gets beat down by Heath some before the bear re enters the ring and Heath tries to help him stand up straight. He gets a dirty deeds for his trouble though and as Maryse tries to make her husband turn around and look, Ambrose unmasks and reveals he IS the new bear. Miz knocks Maryse off the apron accidentally angering her and making her leave ringside as Dean finally gets his hands on Miz and puts Slater over him so he can get the win. Afterwards Dean puts the bear head on Miz and leaves. Nice. THIS WAS A GREAT SEGMENT. Miz and Dean are the best together.
Winners: Rhyno & Heath Slater
Rich Swann vs Neville
Well this match doesn’t really happen because Neville just comes out and destroys Rich Swann before putting him in the Rings of Saturn and beating him. I love Neville. He is absolutely killing this. He cuts a great promo afterwards saying how he keeps beating all these pretenders. He calls out Akira Tozawa and tells him he’ll destroy him too. Whoa whoa whoa. He’s with Titus Brand. That’s not a smart call out.
Enzo & Cass vs The Club
Before they can have a match Cass is found attacked backstage again. Enzo runs onto the scene but you gotta think by this point one of these guys would be watching the back of the other. It’s okay though because Enzo convinces Cass to come out anyway despite probably having a concussion. Cass is clearly struggling what with his ~injury. Because of Cass being knocked off the apron and selling his concussion, The Club easily take care of Enzo because he is absolutely useless. As they attempt to continue their assault, Big Show enters to save the day and cause Cass to look at Enzo with eyes I’ve seen before…
Winners: The Club
R Truth is back to quoting movies again to say he’s coming after Goldust. So that happens.
Enzo thanks Big Show in the back for helping him, but then suggests that maybe Big Show took Cass out to get himself some TV time the last two weeks. Show takes exception to this and I don’t think they’re friends anymore..
Backstage with Mike Rome Joe is fired up. He says his plan hasn’t changed at all. He’s still going to put Brock in the Coquina Clutch and win the Universal Title. He delivers the promo with a crisp efficiency. He gets his point across. This match with Brock should be really good.
Sheamus & Cesaro vs The Hardy Boys
My dislike of the Hardys is well known, but I will try to watch this with an unbiased opinion. It starts off quick and Cesaro gets Matt to the outside while Sheamus hits Jeff with a Brogue Kick in the corner as Jeff tries to leap to the top rope. It’s actually a pretty good spot and the announcers sell it like garbage. It’s enough to get Sheamus the first fall! After the break Sheamus continues to work solely on Jeff, but he does get a tag into Matt eventually as Sheamus tags Cesaro. Matt cleans house…I guess…and hits a twist of fate getting a pinfall on Cesaro. I just don’t think The Hardys are very exciting to watch. They seem so stiff. This isn’t a terrible match though, it’s just that I feel like SheaSaro carry it. My bias 😦 Jeff hits a Swanton on Sheamus and almost wins but Cesaro pulls Sheamus out. It turns into a brawl on the outside and…both teams get counted out meaning nobody wins. Sigh. I should have seen it coming. There’s some more flying spots from Jeff and he and Matt get their music played as they stand tall in the ring, but it’s a draw.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This Raw was alright. As much as I hate Jeff Hardy I think the Main Event probably needed to start a little earlier. The ending was lame as well, though really I don’t know why I expected a definitive winner. The Samoa Joe/Brock Lesnar face off in the beginning was awesome and well worth the watch, and I again loved the Miz/Dean stuff during Miz’s match with The Bear against Rhyno and Slater. The Drifter match was fine too. I thought the women’s segment was not good again but it may have been the crowd bringing me down from that a bit because I actually like all of those women. The Cruiserweights didn’t have a strong showing, but Neville continues to be awesome. It was a mediocre Raw outside the really good segments. I had less fun this week than last.
WATCH THIS MATCH: Sheamus & Cesaro vs The Hardys. There’s no question it was the match of the night. I might not love Jeff, but the match was given some time and told a story and allowed both teams to have a chance to do what their fans love them for. The ending spoils it, but we should have expected it.
SKIP THIS MATCH: Well, I’ll say skip Cedric Alexander vs Noam Dar. It was kind of a painful segment as much as I like all three people involved.
You can always find me to talk wrasslin @ HM_Pufnstuf on twitter, so if you so choose that will be where to look.