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Killam’s 6/11 WWE Raw Review: Olive Branches & Awkward Clapping, Red Brand Limps Into Money in the Bank

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Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall

So No Way Jose came out with the Rosebuds and danced around the ring for awhile, but Curt Hawkins attacked him, dressed up as one of the ridiculous dancers. Their “match” lasted about three seconds, as Jose tossed him up in the air and socked him in the mouth.

I don’t really mind these segments, as they make for a good opportunity to catch up on work or make some dinner, but I don’t know what they’re accomplishing. Jose’s not going over. They gave him the same exact gimmick as Adam Rose – if it didn’t work the first time, why do it again and ruin another wrestler with potential? Here’s another thought. How do you present a show full of fighters all scratching and clawing for top spots as the best athletes in the world, and then also justify a guy who’s 0-200 still getting a segment?


Saving Private Lashley

Is WWE actively trying to make me hate Bobby Lashley? Did they see him in Impact Wrestling, notice how awesome he was and how they treated him like a top star, and just sign him out of spite? Where did this ridiculous booking even come from? They toned down on stuff like this years ago, and then all of the sudden Lashley gets signed and every idea they give him is the most cringe-worthy concept humanly possible. Sami’s doing his best to sell this, but good lord is Bobby D.O.A.

Owens vs. Strowman vs. Balor vs. Roode

After multiple lame duck segments that had me down on the show’s final hour, we wrap things up with a main event that actually turned out to be pretty great. I suspect how you feel about the ending really depends on how you feel about Braun Strowman in general.

Most of the match was actually a 3-on-1 handicap beatdown on the Monster Among Men, as organized by Kevin Owens repeatedly throughout the night. Of course things broke down in the end, but even still they go on the same page long enough for K.O. to splash Strowman off a ladder, through the announce table. Like the love child of Hulk Hogan and John Cena, the Monster somehow came back from THAT to take finishers from all three of them, kick out at two, and slam Owens through a ladder to secure the victory.

I haven’t fallen off the Braun bandwagon yet so I didn’t mind him Super Hulking through thee top stars at once, but I imagine that probably rubbed some people the wrong way. Traditional booking says him winning here in such destructive fashion means he’s likely not winning on Sunday, but it’s been a long time since you could consistently rely on that methodology. It’s one thing to make a dude look strong – it’s a whole different thing when it starts becoming at the expense of every other top star. They should be careful, because I can already hear the crowd starting to turn, despite the fact that Strowman’s enormous push is 100% due to the fans getting behind him instead of Reigns.

Final Thoughts

The optimist in me wants to believe this week’s show was more good than bad, but I think if I’m really being honest and objective – you know, as objective as you can be with a fully subjective review of a wrestling show – they probably broke even. The actual matches were totally enjoyable, with both the Fatal 4-Ways delivering and appropriately drawing my interest for this Sunday’s pay-per-view.

As a go-home show I’ll label it “satisfactory”, in that I still want to watch the pay-per-view after sitting through another three hours of Raw. I don’t know if I want to watch it more or less than I did before, but I consider any three-hour program these days that doesn’t completely kill my interest to be a relative success.

There seemed to be an overabundance of comedy/filler segments, but maybe that’s just the state of the tag team division on Raw right now. That and the opener, which took a full fifteen minutes to say absolutely nothing, and announce absolutely nothing, really sucked the life out of me as a viewer because I feel like WWE lacks URGENCY. I almost need somebody to spray me with a water bottle every 20 minutes just to keep me awake and paying attention. SHOW ME THAT YOU CARE!

There were also a lot of segments I feel I could have enjoyed if they were just tweaked, or presented difference. For instance, Sami Zayn’s ridiculous anti-Lashley rampage might have been more digestible if it didn’t feel like it took an hour to sit though. The same with Seth Rollins’ overly long promo earlier in the night.

But I don’t want to be too negative because I enjoyed both the opening and closing matches, the women’s bout with Bayley and Ruby Riott, and I even found the Reigns/Mahal segment highly entertaining. So it’s not all doom and gloom, but it’s just harder to see the light through the trees when it’s all so doomey and gloomey.

FINAL VERDIT:

WWE RAW WAS… SATISFACTORY

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We Ranked: 5 Ways WWE Should Utilize The Legends On WWE Raw

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hulk hogan

Tonight is WWE Raw Legends Night, and plenty of familiar faces will be coming back to the company, but how should WWE use them? It’s going to be a blockbuster episode of WWE Raw to kickstart 2021 in style, and there will be a real element of nostalgia about the show, with a lot of legends being confirmed for the event.

While not every legend is going to have a significant role to play on the show, some of the talents are going to have a very big part to play in things. WWE has heavily pushed the legends aspect of the show, so there’s no doubt going to be some involvement. But what are the best, and most logical ways the talents could be used?


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Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #52)

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Break It Down

Well, here we are week #52, the final weeks worth of wrestling for 2020 (even if one show was technically 2021), and what a year it has been. When I started this feature series at this time last year, I certainly wasn’t expecting shows with no fans and the difficulties that the world has faced, but one thing that is worth mentioning is how hard everyone in the industry has worked.

But it’s time for the final Break It Down of 2020, taking a look at how each show wrapped up their year, and which show was actually the best of the bunch with all things considered. So strap in, and remember… 2020 is done!


4. WWE Raw

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

The show kickstarted in a great way this week with Sheamus and Keith Lee having a really fun one on one match as the Limitless One became the number one contender. The promos worked well for both men in the build-up and that led to a physical encounter that established both wrestlers.

AJ Styles and Elias had a match that certainly was better than expectations, but there was also a large chunk of the show that was incredibly forgettable. The work with the women’s division continues to leave a lot to be desired, and overall, the show lacked a lot of energy.

The work with The Miz and the Money in the Bank was an odd one, having him lose to Gran Metalik and then regain the briefcase in the same night. The briefcase has been handled so poorly that it’s no surprise fans are losing interest. The show ended with a cliffhanger with nobody knowing what Randy Orton actually did. For some people, that’s something that people loved, but for others, it was a frustrating finish.

3. WWE SmackDown

Photo Credit: Youtube.com/WWE

While this was technically in 2021, it makes this article as it was in the final week of the year. However, because it was technically 2021, WWE did push the New Year vibe, which provided a fun energy to the show, and throughout the night it was a very entertaining evening.

Seeing Sonya Deville return was excellent, as she will add a lot of quality to the women’s division on the blue brand which has proven to be entertaining as of late. Big E’s first match as champion was entertaining, with Corbin being a smart person to put him up against, while Daniel Bryan and Otis proved to be a fun team together on the night.

The main event was the shows strong point though, with Kevin Owens and Jey Uso having a great match together that was full of fire as KO continues to be one of the most exciting stars in WWE at the moment, with him being launched off the ThunderDome set being a great moment to end the night.

2. WWE NXT

The black and gold brand ended the year in a really strong manner with a great show that built towards New Years Evil really well. Every segment and match felt important and like it was necessary in order to build up certain matches for the upcoming show.

The End Of Year Awards throughout the night was fun and well put together, with nice segments following each one. This was particularly strong when Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly had a confrontation, with their promo segment being very well done.

In the ring, Grizzled Young Vets and Breezango had a good solid tag team bout, and it was also good to see Bronson Reed back in a competitive manner. However, the match of the night was between Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne, who had an incredibly hard-hitting battle that really showcased the best of both men.

1. AEW Dynamite

Brodie Jr. TNT Championship

There was absolutely no doubt about what show was taking the top prize this week to end 2020, and that was AEW Dynamite. While this was ultimately a very sad show, it was also a beautiful one that was put together with heart, compassion, and love from everyone within the company, and Tony Khan deserves massive credit for putting this together.

Normal storylines were thrown out of the window for one week with a tribute show to Brodie Lee, following his unfortunate death, and it was done perfectly. From having Erick Redbeard pop up to the way -1 was treated throughout the night, this show was incredible.

It was arguably the best AEW Dynamite of the entire year. The in-ring quality was superb throughout the entire show, with the touching messages being done incredibly well as the entire show just ticked the boxes that the entire wrestling world needed at this point.

Fourth place=1 point
Third place=2 points
Second place=3 points
First place=4 points

2020 results (each week, the points tally will be added up below):

WWE Raw- 108
WWE NXT- 158
AEW Dynamite- 146
WWE SmackDown- 112

So there we have it, my ultimate ranking of the three shows with WWE NXT just edging it over the course of the year, and for my personal taste, I think that’s accurate. The two Wednesday night shows have absolutely been head and shoulders above the two main WWE events, with great consistency and quality within those two events.

WWE Raw started the year quite well but has really suffered for quality towards the end of 2020, while WWE SmackDown has pretty much done the opposite.

But, that’s 2020. A year that most people would likely want to forget, and now here’s to 2021, one which we all hope will be more positive and while we are still a while away from a world of full arenas and sold-out stadiums, there is a hope that it will happen at some point this year.

For 2021, the Break It Down article will be making its return, and I look forward to seeing how the shows work in quality throughout the year. But for 2021, the article will be having a slight tweak, and that’s because I will be adding two more shows to the ranking.

As well as the four that have been used this year, I will also be bringing in WWE NXT UK, and IMPACT Wrestling. These are two shows that people have asked to be included throughout the year (IMPACT especially), and you ask, I will deliver. So, who will take the top spot at this point next year? Join me next week as once again, I Break It Down.

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Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #51)

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Break It Down

It was another busy week for the wrestling world, in a busy festive period that included a show taking place on Christmas Day itself! The week saw plenty of highs and lows, from poor and forgettable segments all the way to excellent title changes.

The difference in quality between some shows really was night and day this time out with some delivering massively and others falling very flat. But, which show was the highlight of the week? Let’s break it down and find out!


4. WWE Raw

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

Once again, WWE Raw wasn’t a good show this week. Despite the fact it was coming off a hot WWE TLC PPV, this show didn’t capitalize on the momentum. The show started well with a good promo from Charlotte though, which allowed her to be herself, which is something that she needed to do more of.

The Miz TV segment wasn’t bad, as he used a good excuse to moan about his Money in the Bank failure, with John Morrison having cashed it in. However, it didn’t exactly create too much excitement at the same time, which was the problem all night with random matches such as Angel Garza facing Drew Gulak.

The Holiday street fight wasn’t anything special, and fell into the classic WWE trap of wanting to tell these types of stories during this time of year. But thankfully the work between Randy Orton and Alexa Bliss was fantastic, if only it had a better spot on the show.

3. WWE NXT

Photo Credit Youtube.com/WWE

WWE NXT started out hot this week with Killian Dain and Drake Maverick challenging for the NXT Tag Team Championships in a street fight. It showed a different side to the team of Dain and Maverick, and that they aren’t just there for comedic value, which worked out great here.

It was good to see Bronson Reed return to action, although the show did lack a physical appearance from Killian Kross, who is someone who needs to be re-established. Aside from that, the work with Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott was great with his heel turn becoming more apparent.

Rhea Ripley and Dakota Kai had a good match too, but this was all done to set up a further confrontation between her and Raquel Gonzalez. Sadly, the main event fell flat, as there was simply no heat behind the match between Adam Cole and Velveteen Dream.

2. AEW Dynamite

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/AEW

Despite the fact the show itself was delayed due to the NBA action on Wednesday, AEW Dynamite came out swinging with a fun episode. The work with Sting on this show was excellent, and was easily the best use of him in AEW to this point, giving him a real purpose.

While the six-man tag team match was a little sloppy, and the opening tag team bout didn’t set the world alight either, the rest of the matches on the show were all really good. It was also good to get a date for Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford’s wedding, as that is a segment that could be a lot of fun.

The main event of this show certainly delivered though. It was an excellent match for the AEW Tag Team Championships, with The Young Bucks defending them. However, The Acclaimed came out of this looking like absolute megastars.

1. WWE SmackDown

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

 

It was a festive episode of WWE SmackDown this week, taking place on Christmas Day itself, and WWE certainly provided a real treat for people who watched. From start to finish, WWE SmackDown was incredibly entertaining this time around, with a lot of noteworthy moments.

Kevin Owens continued his push for the Universal Championship with an entertaining steel cage match which continued his storyline with Roman Reigns really well. The Women’s Tag Team Championship match was great for a bout that had no real build, and Jey Uso and Daniel Bryan’s singles match delivered as well.

But the show ending with Big E winning the Intercontinental Championship from Sami Zayn was an incredible moment. It’s something Big E has earned, and having it take place on Christmas Day just felt fitting for his character.

Fourth place=1 point
Third place=2 points
Second place=3 points
First place=4 points

2020 results (each week, the points tally will be added up below):

WWE Raw- 107
WWE NXT- 155
AEW Dynamite- 142
WWE SmackDown- 110

 

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