In a pretty damn good PPV, we got two winners, one everyone saw coming and the other a genuine surprise. Asuka was a forgone conclusion thankfully, Earth-32 wife, you know her as Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly and a few other legends made it really good. Sasha's heel turn helped as well. What didn't was the fucking Bellas and the fans stupid nostalgia pops for them. They are why we had a revolution in the first place. Then we got Rhonda. Yea..your mileage my vary there.
Nakamura winning was a giant welcome surprise. I throw my wallet at the TV when he said he would fight AJ. AJ, who won via Shane paying off a ref. Who knows..who cares.
The rest was good. Usos win a weird quick fashion after ten minutes of boredom. The Bar win thanks to Jason being in concussion protocol. Bobby also quickly took care of Mojo.
Then we have Lesnar. Kane as usual was their to eat the pin and we still have a shot at Lesnar/Reigns. A match no one wants, but we are still going to get. Still, Mania is shaping up fine if we get AJ/Nakamura, Sasha/Bayley and even Finn/Cena.
I thought the women's match was booked pretty well but whatever that was at the end of the show with Rousey should not have been at the end over Nakamura challenging AJ. Rousey didn't seem to know whether to smile or act tough so she like went back and forth between the two. That was also the most awkward point at the Wrestlemania sign ever. Does she not know how to point? Has she never pointed at things before?
The highlights for the women for me were Molly Holly busting out a Molly Go Round, Beth Phoenix and Nia Jax staredown and Trish and Mickie reunited. Sasha was great as expected and we got a couple of awesome Kairi Sane elbow drops. Oh and Ember Moon only used one arm and still looked better than almost everybody in the match.
I don't know if Sasha turned either, but if Sasha isn't in either title match then Sasha/Bayley is the best way to get her on the Wrestlemania card. I'm hoping they swap her out for Alexa in the title picture though. Raw's next PPV is Elimination Chamber and I suspect they'll want to do a women's Elimination Chamber too so Alexa could easily drop the title to a number of people.
(edited by Quezzy on 28.1.18 2320) Lance's Response:
As soon as the Men's Rumble went on so early in the card, it was obvious that Rousey was there. Good on them for not ruining it by having her actually win the thing, though.
There was very little filler in either Rumble. In the men's match, at most it was Titus, Cruz, Rhyno, and Slater, but they've had prominent TV roles lately, so while there was no chance of any of them winning it, you can't really argue they aren't deserving of the shot.
In the women's match, I could have done without Torrie Wilson or Kelly Kelly and would have replaced them with Sarah Del Rey and Sarita. They've shown Amato on enough videos/specials that people should have some idea who she was and while I'm not sure that Stock has ever been shown in any specials, they acknowledged Kairi Sane as a former Stardom champion, they could have easily explained that Stock was the woman she beat for the title and also an NXT trainer. (For that matter, I probably would have replaced Vickie Guerrero with Zelina Vega as well.) At least they were smart enough to put Stratus in at #30, she might have been the only person capable of keeping the crowd from turning when it wasn't Rousey.
Seeing as how it's unlikely that Strowman will face Lesnar again before Brock's contract is up, he should really go into business for himself and brag about how he took a legit punch to the face from Lesnar and wasn't knocked out. Fuck Brock Lesnar, though. I'm hoping now that they have Rousey, they'll let Lesnar fuck off into the sunset and we never see him again.
Add me to the list who didn't think that was a Sasha turn. It might be the start of one (or maybe the start of a Bayley turn) but I didn't think it was a final decision kinda thing.
Fun show, I thought. It was interesting watching the women's Rumble and seeing all the different ways they were protecting themselves going over the top rope and to the floor. You could tell that was an area of concern and an area of emphasis. And I thought Naomi out-Kofi'd Kofi. C'mon, one foot on a plate of pancakes?? If you want to get technical, none of their feet hit the "floor" -- they all hit the mat covering the floor.
I liked the Raw title match, too. Lots of bludgeoning (speaking of, where were the Brothers? They were in the prematch video for the Rumble but no-showed), and lots of fun physicality. Lesnar's fist that InVerse references looked like it was a legit response to a too-stiff knee (the one they kept replaying). They're not REALLY going to let Brock leave without a one-on-one with Strowman, are they?
Both tag titles were a little confusing in their booking, I thought. Two in a row for the Usos, IMHO, only tells me "Hey, these guys shouldn't have been their opponent for such a big PPV." And I thought the way they handled the Raw tag match made Rollins look like a dick. With all the emphasis on concusions, he's berating a "clearly concussed" Jordan into getting back into the ring? I thought for a minute they were going to have a doctor come out and stop the match -- losing the titles for them -- when Jordan tagged in, but guess not. But you can't blame a guy who is supposedly concussed for tagging right back out.
Thought the men's Rumble was the best in years, and I was legit excited for the finish. I cheered out loud, and that's not a frequent thing for me. The women's Rumble was okay, in my opinion. I've seen plenty of men's Rumbles that were filled up with old-timers, so it's not like that was especially damning or anything, but I really wanted to see some fresh faces in those 10 open spot. Loved seeing Molly and Trish, of course, but how on Earth have Peyton and Billie not been called up from NXT yet? Speaking of, loved having the precedent of the NXT champs each getting Rumble spots, and they should do that every year.
Anyhoo, both of the right people won their Rumbles, and when was the last time they could even manage getting one winner right? So they deserve credit for that. On the other hand, I totally hated Ronda Rousey coming out to steal Asuka's thunder. That was a total dick move, especially when she didn't even call anyone out. It was just, "I also would like to go to WrestleMania, but I don't want to have to fight my way there." Pretty lame, honestly, and as much of a name as Rousey is, let's not pretend she's a good wrestler. She might get there, but she's had zero matches, so c'mon.
Originally posted by HokienauticAnd I thought the way they handled the Raw tag match made Rollins look like a dick. With all the emphasis on concusions, he's berating a "clearly concussed" Jordan into getting back into the ring?
I kind of agree here, but let's not forget that Jordan's whole thing so far has been faking injuries to duck opponents, so I think that's the actual story they were trying to tell there.
Would Ronda's appearance have gone better if the women's Rumble was on first with the crowd having more energy than the end of the night? Although people were pleased to see her, I'm not sure the ending made a lot of sense. Pointing at the sign repeatedly (which we had better get used to over the next way too long) without saying who lost it's appeal. Maybe tonight will make more sense and help.
Mens Rumble was good. How pissed are Lesnar and Strowman with each other? Brock obviously didn't like the knee/thigh to the face, but that shot to Braun was harsh.
Nakamura winning was good as it meant Roman didn't win, but for 30 odd minutes in the Rumble it wasn't that impressive apart from the last few. Hopefully they will let him be what he can be with AJ.
Womens Rumble was alright but too many old stars coming back. Should have done a 20 women match instead so there wasn't such a reliance on cheers for the old stars. And Kelly Kelly! I would have loved to have seen a McCool tombstone - that would have been the pop of the night by far!
Originally posted by kellogsI would have loved to have seen a McCool tombstone - that would have been the pop of the night by far!
McCool had trouble even throwing basic kicks and punches, so a tombstone might've led to a broken neck.
George Michael weighed his options. Maeby had chastised him for not taking risks, and what would be a bigger risk than perpetuating a lie about software just to ignite the passions of a woman? Of course it would be a lie, and since Maeby wouldn't know it was a lie, he wouldn't appear to be taking a risk. Perhaps the bigger risk was to tell his father he was lying, that he came up with it because he wanted his father to leave so he could enjoy what remained of his senior year. After all, he wondered, wouldn't that be the course of action taken by an overtly sexual man, a man who owns a pair of matador pants? He had not responded now for 41 seconds according to his unfailing internal clock, and it was time to come clean.
Like everyone else I enjoyed the Rumble a lot this year. Agreed that the inclusion of the NXT champs was really cool to see. In particular the huge pop for the Ember/Asuka showdown a surprise (but well deserved).
Some odds and ends that I haven't seen mentioned yet:
- Dolph had his "big" return at the Rumble only to basically...do nothing? It didn't even seem like it set up a new feud. Wasted opportunity for a surprise or run-in on SD or down the road.
- I thought the Heath Slater bit of getting beat up on the way to the ring was great. Definitely making the most of what he's given. Same goes for Aiden English embracing being Russev's buddy.
- The pacing of the Smackdown tag match seemed backwards. They should have went with the quick first fall, and then do all the great double-team near falls for the second. The way they had it there was not a ton of drama since everyone knew it was only the first fall. The wrestling was great, just an underwhelming ending.
- What's up with Rollins doing the slingblade all of a sudden? I thought that was one of Balor's "signature" moves.
- I thought the Bellas being the final women vanquished by Asuka was appropriate on some level. While I would have enjoyed seeing Becky/Sasha/Nia/anyone active instead, it felt like a metaphorical "that era of the Bellas is done" kind of moment. I thought they would've fought longer on the outside of the apron though.
- Speaking of "moments". Michael Cole constantly screaming "What a MOMENT!" and "This is a MOMENT!" immediately makes it feel super fabricated and negates any chance that it could ever become a "true" moment.
- Asuka slapping away Rhonda's handshake, and Rhonda responding with a nodding smirk was a nice character moment.
- Rollins' "heh heh" expression after getting tossed by Roman was also spot on.
- I generally don't mind the quick camera cuts but they're starting to get pretty sloppy. A quick camera change meant we didn't actually see the phenomenal forearm connect and instead had to watch a slow-mo replay. Same for the Kinshasa. The wrestlers are setting up these moves and building anticipation and *just* at the moment of pay off they switch angles and disorient you for a brief moment.
- The crowd chanting the 10 second countdown including the buzzer on the pre-show was awesome.
- Whoever is building the announce tables is doing too good of a job. 300lbs men are landing on them and they barely collapse.
(edited by Jericholic53 on 31.1.18 1246) It says so right here in the wcw handbook!
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The simplest thing would be to have Triple H and Jericho drafted like everyone else. The world champion, whoever he is, still belongs to one of the divisions -- he can just appear on either show as needed.