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.

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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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