Wrestlemania is now less than 2 weeks away. Let’s talk about this week’s Raw and Smackdown.
I honestly don’t know where to begin with my Monday Night Raw review. This show was so bad. This show was so boring. This show did absolutely nothing to further anything for Wrestlemania. Last week Raw took a step back. This week Raw fell off the face of the Earth. I am going to review every segment which my man BC Amplified counted 11. I wasn’t going to originally but I want to bury every segment of this show.
OMG Ronda. Who is writing her promos. When the announcement came Monday afternoon saying the triple threat women’s match featuring Ronda/Becky/Charlotte was the main event of the card, all it did was officially confirm what we have known all along. Twitter exploded with everyone making comments. Becky and Charlotte’s comments were what you would expect any woman who helped build up that division and revolution. Ronda’s comments were what you would expect someone who is not a lifer in the business. And it was brilliant.
Let’s face it. For as talented and beautiful and amazing as all these women are this does not happen without Ronda. Case closed. Truth hurts. But this angle has been screwed from the start and WWE botches it in every way possible. I won’t give them grief for Becky getting injured by Nia before Survivor Series which did change a lot of things. I will give them grief for copying what they did the year before with the women of SmackDown Live going to Raw and jumping all the women in the locker room setting up Survivor Series.
Copying and recycling angles and pushes and characters doesn’t always work. Especially when you are trying to copy an iconic angle and character like Stone Cold Steve Austin. No one should ever try to duplicate that. The Austin/Vince McMahon feud was done brilliantly. Becky is not Stone Cold. She can’t cut promo’s like Stone Cold. She can’t sell that angle like Stone Cold. This is in no way putting Becky down. Becky is a great worker. She needs to be her own character.
We already have Charlotte using her father’s legendary gimmick. For Ric it was a lifestyle. He lived that life. Charlotte does not. What Charlotte has become is the female face of the company. I have much more to say about this on my Smackdown Live review.
Ronda’s tweet was perfect. In case you missed it or need a reminder here it is:
Well said Ronda.
So as we open the show on Raw we already know there is going to be a beat the clock challenge with Ronda/Becky/Charlotte. For what reason I don’t know. At least they are all on the same show this week. I have been critical of Ronda’s promos. I think she tries hard. She is just not as polished and others are. To be fair there are still some wrestlers who have been doing this for far longer than Ronda who still can’t cut great promos. But Ronda is in the main event. She needs to deliver.
As she hits the ring her comment was brilliant. “For the first time ever women are going to be the main event at Wrestlemania. For the Raw women’s championship, it’s going to be me vs Charlotte vs Becky. And I only have one thing to say. Your welcome.” Boom she drops the mic. Perfectly done. That is all she needed to say.
Then she grabs the mic and says something else. Drops the mic again. Then grabs the mic again and says another thing. Then drops the mic again. I really don’t care what she said. To me the whole spot was ruined. Then out comes the Riott Squad, who we haven’t seen for a while to get buried even more. Out comes Becky to ring side. Cuts a stupid pointless promo. Stop with the Ronnie and weirdo please. Becky’s promo made absolutely no sense. Becky got hot and WWE forced her into this match. Anyone who has any common sense knows what Ronda’s presence means to this division. Then Charlotte. I am the reason we are in the main event. These women are supposed to hate each other and no one attacks one another.
Ronda beats Sarah Logan in 90 seconds. Charlotte can’t get Ruby Riott to tap out in less than that. She gets mad and kicks Becky who does win in less than 90 seconds. Big deal. This whole angle was very poorly done. It was just the start to an awful night.
Next up we have Finn Balor facing Lashley and Lio Rush in a handicap match. Finn needs to win to force a title match against Lashley at Wrestlemania. Haven’t we seen this exact scenario before. OMG. Just horrible. Lio comes out and says he is injured and can’t compete. So here comes Jinder Mahal into the match. Which pretty much means with all the extra people outside the ring becomes a 5 on 1 which we all know Finn will win because “The Demon” is coming to Wrestlemania as Finn probably wins the strap back as Lio turns on Lashley. This intercontinental title has become a joke.
Now we see Elias in the first of a few promos on the streets if NYC. I love the Elias gimmick. Always have. I would like to see him wrestle more and out in a good angle. Funny thing about these promos. You didn’t need to script this angle. This is what happens every day in NYC.
Next up we once again have Aleister Black and Ricochet beating the Raw tag team champions The Revival in a non-title match. How many times has this been? Another repeat match that maybe gets on the Wrestlemania card. I told you this was going to get worse.
Out comes Drew McIntyre to cut a promo no doubt wanting Roman Reigns’ answer to his challenge. Once again another Wrestlemania match with no build. I will give WWE a slight pass because maybe Roman came back earlier than expected and they had no idea what to do with him. They did the stupid Shield reunion for the I don’t know 10th time. We all know Roman is accepting the challenge. But we got Joe who was not happy that Drew mentioned his family. Roman beats up Drew. Drew gives Roman a low blow and there you have it. A main event worthy match that was not built the right way.
You want a time check. We still have 2 hours to go.
Now we see Dean Ambrose confronting Drew in the back about his comments calling him a cockroach. Dean challenges Drew to a last man standing match. There is your main event. I thought Dean was dead after the last time he fought Drew. Is Dean staying or going? Who the hell knows. At this point I don’t even think Dean knows. If he is leaving why is he main eventing Raw.
Next up we have the Boss Sasha Banks vs Nattie in a repeat from last week’s match that Nia and Tamina interrupted. We still have not been told who Boss & Hug Connection will be facing at Wrestlemania. Well at least confirmed. Smart marks know it will be a fatal 4-way match with Nattie & Beth vs IIconics vs Nia and Tamina. WWE is sure doing a great job getting their entire women’s division tag team division in a match at Wrestlemania. They sure don’t care about the Smackdown Live women. More on that later.
More of the same. Nia and Tamina break up the match and we see Beth Phoenix get pushed even more. Sasha and Nattie are too good of wrestlers to have their match continuously interrupted. This was another segment that we just saw last week. Are you kidding me WWE? Wrestlemania is 2 weeks away.
Next up is the announcement of the Hart Foundation going into the Hall of Fame. We see a video of them with Nattie crying for her father. I like this Hall of Fame class. I will be there for the ceremony. I would have liked to see the entire Hart Foundation go in together. Please Martha Hart let Owen get inducted into the HOF to take his rightful place among the elite.
Next we have a backstage interview with Kurt Angle. Baron Corbin crashes the interview. Please Vince replace Corbin with John Cena. Please Cena just show up and take out Corbin and let Angle have his moment. The best part of this segment was the beautiful Charly Caruso.
Now predictable we see Boss & Hug backstage and here comes Charly Caruso again. Giving her more camera time is always a good thing. Sasha said we will take on all opponents at any time. So boom there is your official fatal four-way match for the Women’s tag team titles.
Next up “A Moment Of Bliss” with Braun Stroman and via satellite Michael Che and Colin Jost. Again another waste of a segment with both SNL members now in the Andre the Giant battle royal taking up two spots that is more deserving to actual WWE superstars. This segment was longer than Bliss’ previous spots. I am starting to get concerned that WWE is going back to using the women just as pretty faces.
Next up is another Elias segment in front of Madison Square Garden. You knew he would put in a Billy Joel reference. If anyone has not seen Billy perform at the Garden, I suggest you do. It is quite the performance.
Time check we have 1 hour and 15 minutes to go. I had to re watch this because I was falling asleep.
Next up is yet another rematch from last week with Apollo Crews Vs Baron Corbin. ZZZZZZ.
Then we see a promo for the big Wrestlemania event. We are told all three will be on ESPN Sportscenter the next day at 7:30 for an in studio interview. No doubt they all took a ride together on Vince’s private plane. These women are supposed to hate each other yet on Sportscenter, which I watched they were all smiles. Just unreal.
Out comes Seth Rollins for yet another promo about his match with Brock Lesnar without Brock in the building. Out comes Paul Heyman who again cuts a great promo as he always does. This match has no build and I feel bad for Seth because he had worked so hard for this.
Next up is the continuation of the Kurt Angle retirement tour. Samoa Joe is coming from Smackdown to face Kurt because of their extensive history at TNA. Kurt just can’t do it anymore and it is painful to see him in the ring at this point. It is even more painful to see the United States champ lose on TV for the second week in a row. While I can understand losing to Kofi Kingston but not to Kurt Angle. WWE does a great job of burying their champions.
Here comes the Game for another segment about his match with Batista. Batista wants The Game to put his career on the line in this match. Wow is this supposed to create juice for this match. They should have stopped after the face to face and left it alone. The Game wrestles what 2 or 3 times a year. He is the boss so no matter what happens if wants to wrestle again he will.
Elias promo number 3. Would have loved to see him in a brawl with another wrestler. But no. And why? Because WWE refuses to put him into an angle with another wrestler. Instead he will be just a comic foil at Wrestlemania either getting jumped by Cena or Taker or someone like that or being put into an impromptu match with Bliss against R Truth and Carmella. Anything that gets Carmella camera time is fine by me.
Next up is the main event that we just saw two weeks ago. Of course Drew wins.
This was 3 hours out of my life I can’t ever get back. Make that 4 hours because I had to go back and watch the parts I fell asleep for. If there was a lower grade than F to give this, I would do it.
Now for Smackdown. There were a few things I was looking forward to. The fatal four way to decide who faces Asuka at Wrestlemania and the continuation of the Kofi and the New Day angle. We had no idea what was going to happen with this. I thought Kofi might be putting his career on the line for a match with Daniel Bryan. I also wanted to see if the Uso’s vs The Hardy’s was going to be set for Wrestlemania. But curve balls were thrown at us right from the start.
The New Day starts the show which was kind of expected. Big E and Xavier are really selling this great. They are talking about quitting the WWE. Big E and Xavier are both great on the mic. It’s more of the same spiel as we have heard for a few weeks now. They politely call out Vince McMahon. They didn’t demand it like Ronda did. So that was an interesting touch. Out comes Vince and says “let’s get serious. You guys are not quitting.”
Daniel Bryan comes out and starts saying Kofi has had several shots and didn’t get job done. Then finally Xavier called him a hypocrite because not too long ago he was in the same spot as Kofi. Vince then told Kofi he had done all he could do and his partners need to run a tag team gauntlet match to get Kofi to get to Wrestlemania. HMMM could they be setting up a huge swerve with the New Day. More on that later. But I started to wonder who is going to be in that tag team gauntlet. That match will close the show and most likely needing an hour of TV time.
Daniel Bryan admitted on Total Bella’s that he loves to play the heel. Granted that show was taped in November of last year before his full heel turn actually played out. Daniel is such a good worker in the ring and on the mic. Thank god Brie kept pushing him to fight for his dream.
So what do we have next. In a huge curve the WWE threw at us. We see Becky getting interviewed backstage. Becky can’t sell this anymore if she ever did. The same old stuff gets said over and over in her promos. Can’t we get her something better to say? Charlotte comes out to the ring in her wrestling gear. She was not advertised for a match as far as I knew. So immediately I start to do the math. Gauntlet match around an hour of TV time. The opening segment took up about 13 minutes of TV time. We have the fatal 4 way women’s match that you figure is 10 to 15 minutes of time. Is this the whole show?
So Charlotte says on the way to the ring that she is no third wheel and she is about to show you that she is not. We go to commercial and I am like who is she going to face? 4 of the women are already set to be in a fatal 4-way match. It’s not Becky. Asuka in a non-title match? It was clear Charlotte was going to win the match but is beating Asuka the right way for Asuka to go into her Wrestlemania match? There is Lana but she has not wrestled in a while. So what is the plan?
It’s Asuka in a title match. Wow. Can you imagine if Charlotte wins the belt? What would happen to the Wrestlemania main event? I doubt Charlotte would be doing double duty at Wrestlemania. So as we put the pieces together if Charlotte wins then the fatal 4-way match gets scraped and not only Asuka but one of those four or more get screwed out of a Wrestlemania match.
This match was bad ass. I can watch these two in a match any day of the week. Why does Asuka get buried so much when she is so talented in the ring? She makes Becky tap out at the Royal Rumble and gets buried after it. Then she loses to Mandy Rose. Then beats Mandy and Sonya Deville with both Mandy and Sonya in advertently costing each other the match. Asuka should not need any help to win a match.
Would they really give Charlotte the strap going into Wrestlemania? At the 40-minute mark the match ends with gasp Charlotte winning the strap from Asuka. Even though this was a great match why does Asuka get buried? Is the WWE going to unify the Raw and Smackdown titles? That would be a huge mistake if you ask me.
Social media has exploded after this match. Everyone is hating on Charlotte. It’s not her fault. If she is doing a lot of behind the scenes politicking, then yes you can blame her. But don’t hate on her for doing what her bosses want her to do. I feel so bad for all the women that are seemingly getting left behind.
Aside from Asuka we have Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. WWE were working on an angle to split them up. What happens to that and do we even care anymore. I feel bad for Carmella who works so hard and treats the fans so amazingly great. I feel bad for Naomi who has seemingly fallen out of favor despite being a talented performer. I even feel bad for Lacey Evans who we did not see on either show doing her cat walk. I am sure she would rather be in the ring but this is what the WWE creative gives us.
I love the Women’s Revolution. I think the women were out performing the men every week. This was until they stopped pushing the women. I wonder what Stephanie McMahon thinks about all of this. All the work the women did was for Ronda/Charlotte/Becky to have a moment at Wrestlemania. Or is the plan to have all the Horsewomen have a title and do a pose in the center of the ring in Met Life stadium. That leaves out Ronda who in her year plus time did as much as anyone to make that moment. It does not happen without her.
I heard a rumor that Vince was afraid no one would care about the Asuka match at Wrestlemania. Well that is the fault of the WWE Uncreative and booking. Asuka who didn’t lose a match at NXT and was billed as a top tier talent is being treated like a glorified jobber. Well maybe not to that extent. But her tile reign was awful. If she is not booked on TV, there is nothing she can do to get over with the fans so that her match at Wrestlemania becomes interesting.
Another rumor is why the Raw and Smackdown women’s title should be unified. The thought is that with the tag team division now being brought in there isn’t enough women to compete for the Smackdown women’s title. What? I can name 7 women on Smackdown roster that are not tag teams. Here is the list: Carmella, Naomi, Mandy, Sonya, Lana, Zelina and now Asuka. The only real tag team on Smackdown is the IIconics.
How about Raw. We have Alexa, Alicia Fox (whatever her status is), Dana Brooke, Ember Moon (when she returns from her injury), Mickie James (I know she could be getting phased out) and Ruby Riott. So that is 6. If you unify the titles than 2 of the 3 participants in the main event join that group. I don’t buy it unless the WWE is going to release a lot of talent.
I have been wanting the women to get their own weekly show. Now I am not so sure anymore. WWE Uncreative can’t do anything right. I have wanted the Horsewomen angle to start in the worst way possible and that is the only thing that can save the main event right now. So maybe that is what is going to happen. But why build up the women’s division only to tear it down. I don’t get it.
There is just too much male and female talent on the roster getting wasted. TV time is precious and probably a huge task to get done every week. But this company needs more TV time and getting the women their own show makes total sense to me. If you are now going to spotlight the Horsewomen, then please give these very talented and much deserving women their own platform. It is obvious with FOX on board there will be pretty significant changes being made.
Next up is Kurt Angle taking on AJ Styles. AJ says he respects Kurt and this is not an exhibition match. He is taking this match serious. Quick time check AJ walks to the ring at the 47-minute mark. Just after one minute of actual wrestling time we hear a buzz which only means one thing. Here comes a run in. It’s Randy Orton and he RKO’s Styles. He looks at Angle then continues to beat down AJ. Then Angle Slam to Randy. Angle picks up AJ and they hug. What a waste of a spot. WWE needed to burn some time so they threw in a match they advertised prior to the show and this match got the short end of the stick. If you saw Angle the night before then you knew it was for the better.
We now see an interview back stage with Rey Mysterio and his son Dominick talking about the Samoa Joe match at Wrestlemania. Good lord his son will be involved in the match. I bet he turns on his father. That is the only thing that will interest me. Let him turn on his father helping Joe win and then Joe takes out Dominic. Also we find out Mysterio will be on Raw to face Kurt Angle. Looks like Kurt is facing all his best opponents over the years that are under WWE contract. This gives me hope Cena gets into that Wrestlemania match. Since Cena does not have any set match yet.
Next up is the Miz for another promo on his match with Shane McMahon. We get word Miz had a Wrestlemania proposition for Shane. He wants this match to be a falls count anywhere match. I like it. Shane will definitely do something sick during this match. Another great promo by the Miz. He is so good on the mic.
Out comes Shane with security guards in front of him. Plus, he has Sanity, Shelton Benjamin and Andrade. Shane says the security guards are to protect Miz from Shane. Shane comes out and has the great line of saying “My only regret is that I didn’t do more harm to your father and truly punish him for spawning his greatest MIZTAKE in life and that’s when he impregnated your mother.” This angle has super heat now.
Miz attacks the security and breaks through them. He then fights off Benjamin, Andrade and Sanity. This match is going to be all over Met Life stadium.
So we have past the one-hour mark and now it’s time for the tag team gauntlet match. First up is Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Xavier and Big E win this match quickly. WWE buries another talented tag team who are most likely AEW bound. Next up is Nakamura and Rusev. This match was a little more physical. Xavier and Big E win this one too. Much like last week we see a crowd of wrestlers watching in the back cheering on New Day.
Out comes the Bar. Big E seemingly hurts his leg during the match. The Bar are getting the better of Xavier and Big E. Xavier wins by a rollup on Sheamus. Xavier and Big E are exhausted. The Bar attacks Xavier and Big E after losing. They put Big E through a table. Finally, The Bar leave. Who is coming out next?
It’s the Uso’s. Once in the ring they grab the mics and start a promo. They said we have had wars with the New Day. We respect Kingston and feel he deserves to face Daniel Bryan. Kofi has the respect of the locker room and the fans. Then the Uso’s forfeit the match. If you weren’t a fan of the Uso’s before you are now.
We see in the locker room Daniel and Rowan going crazy tearing up the room. Out comes Daniel and Rowan. Around the 1:55 mark of the night with only 5 minutes left the match needs to get completed. Bryan tells Rowan to clear the announce table. He does and also throws the chairs out of the way. Hmmmm. That is usually not done. Xavier takes out Bryan outside the ring. Rowan goes for his iron claw on Xavier and he reverses it and smashes him into the steel post. Then Big E does the same thing. He throws Rowan over the table against the barrier. I immediately saw how this was going to end. It’s the same thing Alberto Del Rio did to the Big Show in a last man standing match. Big E dumped the table on Rowan who was the legal man in the match. Big E goes into the ring and the New Day get the count out victory to win the match. Out comes Kofi who hugs his boys.
Kayla Braxton interviews Vince as he is getting into his limo. He says Kofi is going to Wrestlemania. But can a B Plus player beat Daniel Bryan?
Out comes the locker room to celebrate with the New Day. Some are saying that Xavier and Big E were looking at Kofi saying to themselves what about us and suggesting a heel turn during the Wrestlemania match. Anything is possible I guess. But I would be shocked if that happened. I do expect Kofi to win the strap but he won’t hold it long.
Overall the show was good. The Angle/Styles spot was bad. They also did Asuka wring but the match itself was great. I say this was a B show.