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The W - Pro Wrestling - Raw 1056 7/21/15
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JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01

Since last post: 688 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.09
Let me pounce on this window where I am happy about WWE. Last night I was not!

Undertaker and Lesnar's knock down drag out offered more intensity and excitement in one night than their entire Wrestlemania build. It still feels like an unnecessary and unwanted booking corner to back yourself into when it comes to having a finish (and there's only one that should be on the table), but I will apologize to the Undertaker and high five him if he pulls off a redemption performance.

Triple H and Stephanie marking out over the Taker/Lesnar were absolute dorks and the alternate timeline where the Authority doesn't come back in power STILL effectively changes nothing now going on 8 months later.

Cena vs. Rollins. I mean, sure. At least it justifies Cena going over Owens in that WWE "let this make sense right now while it short-circuits anything long-term" ephemeral circle of Snapchat logic. I was looking forward to a hypothetical Cena/Owens/Cesaro/Rusev fourway but I was not looking forward to a hypothetical Rollins/Kane SS title match. Cena has been on an extended run of SummerSlam title match ass beatings by hardcore faves. If we're real lucky maybe Rollins will cost Cena the U.S. title to Owens as part of the lead-up. Of course that means Cena would win the WWE title, but, well, hey. WWE title open challenges.

Reigns and Ambrose vs. the Wyatt Family is a nostalgic reminder of a bygone time when Roman Reigns was cool and Bray Wyatt was fresh. I feel bad that Big Red Rowan is missing out on this reunion. There's a

Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
Venice Beach-based vigilante who's supposed to be a part of this match, making one wonder who would get to join the Wyatts. I just don't think Bo can grow a beard in time.


Cena, Cesaro, and Orton elaborate teamwork and ebullient friendship is the best thing. Of all the trios formed in the last week they are the best.

Within the forced parameters of the factions and the perpetual namechecks of Stephanie and her groundbreaking new vision, the stuff with the female competitors was not bad for week one of a longterm work-in-progress uphill battle. Charlotte would seem to have the pole position as the one who's going to get to dethrone Nikki and be the symbol of the inexorable march of progress trampling the Bellas underfoot.

PROJECTED SUMMERSLAM CARD
Undertaker vs. Lesnar
Cena vs. Rollins
The Nominal Shield vs. The Wyatt Family
Ziggler vs. Rusev
some consolidated clean-up with Orton/Cesaro/Owens/Sheamus (make it for Owens' U.S. title ya filthy animals)
9-woman tag or whatever
the withheld satisfaction of Ryback vs. Miz vs. Big Show
Stardust vs. that man from the show?
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CRZ
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.16
1156



Millerek
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Since: 12.10.12
From: USA

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#3 Posted on
Is Nattie out because of Tyson being hurt? Because her instead of either Brie or Tamina (OK mainly Tamina) would add a little to this whole thing. Either way, I hope the Stephanie mentions get less frequent and they keep giving them time to work matches. I just hope that Stephanie doesn't decide that whoever winds up coming out the best in this has to wrestle her...because we know how that will end.



Ma'am, there is only one God, and I don't think He dresses like that.
BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.59
As fun as the pull apart was Cesaro, Rusev and especially Owens should not have been part of it especially if Randy Orton doesn't have to be.

Rollins is kind of bad when he is out there alone cutting a promo, but really good interacting with others. Cena-Rollins looks a lot better than Rollins-Kane.

Harper and Bray are just a pair that is so much better together than apart.


I didn't find myself checking the time or flipping around bunch. Enjoyable show this week.
JimBob Skeeter
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Since: 2.1.02
From: MN

Since last post: 602 days
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.57
Give Diva's a chance? Great. As long as Nikki gets her ass handed to her, loses the title to Charlotte and we don't have to put up with them on commentary any more. Holy crap, they are SO unbelievable uninspired when talking. You would think their respective signifigant others would be coaching them on that. Also, when was the last time there was TWO divas matches on a show?

Everything else: not bad.

Oh, and:

"I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!"


"YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO!"

Loved it.

(edited by JimBob Skeeter on 21.7.15 0802)
Matt Tracker
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Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 128 days
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.26
We have four more weeks of potential exposure to really bad Taker promos. The guy can't sell a match with the mic. This is why he had Paul Bearer. Or they go the usual route of having Heyman carry the angle with weeks of promos.

They could fix some glaring booking problems by making Bray the avatar of the Undertaker. He does the talking and some matches while Taker stays at home between PPVs. Make the Wyatt family the new Ministry. Wyatt gets more heft behind his angles by association, and the Taker brand stays active in his absence. More importantly, Taker doesn't have to talk.






"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Dr Unlikely
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Since: 2.1.02

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.59
If they ever want to know what they're doing wrong on a macro-level, this is the show they should be forced to sit down and re-watch.

To be clear, I didn't dream that they had Stephanie and HHH literally address 99% of the Raw roster and tell them, to their faces, "none of you are as important as Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker, SummerSlam is doomed if we don't have them and have to rely on worthless garbage like you that nobody would ever pay to see", right? And they did have the US Champion come out and tell the WWE World Heavyweight Champion that he's also worthless and that the US title is, in fact, the title that now matters?

The problems with the first one should be clear, but in case anybody is maybe in the "well, Rollins' title reign was a disaster, so..." camp, yeah, they booked Rollins' title reign to be a disaster. HHH, Stephanie, Vince, Cena, they're all complicit. They took their most talented guy and instead of booking an angle of "Well, Rollins is so devious and hyper-talented, maybe he can find a way to beat Brock", they made him look like an incompetent stooge for months with a planned payoff of Cena coming and saying "You're an incompetent stooge, and I was the one who spent this year beating all the super-talented indy workers, and your title is meaningless compared to me!" He pulled a classic Cena '12 on him. Ruck John Cena, man. Of all people, HHH should know better. He got over being the exact opposite of how they've booked Rollins as Champ.

Back to Undertaker/Lesnar, I said a month or two ago that I'd pay $10 when Brock wrestles, but they've managed to make a liar out of me, I think. The booking made it clear Rollins/Lesnar wasn't going to be a "real" match, so I thankfully passed, and Undertaker/Lesnar is pretty much the only Lesnar match I don't want to see now. 2005-2010 One Match A Year Wrestlemania Miracle Worker Undertaker was a beatiful thing and I will always love the dude for it, but Undertaker/Lesnar 2015 makes me nervous on all the levels I don't want to feel nervous about.

That said! That said! Once it came down to Undertaker and Lesnar brawling, that was amazing Raw right there. I don't want to see the match that comes from this, but yeah, that was a roller coaster ride. Some thoughts, as it developed:

-HHH books himself a segment where he gets to go over Heyman on the mic by having Heyman played by a cell phone that HHH can yell "SHUT UP PAUL!" at a bunch of times. Got the feeling like HHH wanted this to be his Emmy reel submission episode as he kept trying to sell "conflicted" and possibly "constipated".
-That garbage segment with Stephanie shouting over the locker room and the two of telling everyone how worthless they are.
-Undertaker's solo promo was...ew boy. So, have we retconned Undertaker/Wyatt out of continuity?
-Once the brawl started...OK, yeah, this is good
-Brock sneaking out of the back of the ring during the pull-apart was some Sun-Tzu shit there.
-Why doesn't Undertaker just teleport away from all the guys holding him back?
-Is that Brad Maddox?!
-If you have to have Owens out there - and you don't, by the way, you don't have to have Owens out there reduced instantly to "guys who aren't Cena and Orton" level - how great would it have been if he'd been more of a troublemaker and kept pulling away the pull-apart guys to let Lesnar and Undertaker fight?
-That's Brad Maddox!
-Remember the Cena/Lesnar pull-apart where Daniel Bryan singlehandedly pulled Lesnar out of the ring and subdued him?
-"I'm gonna kill you!" "YOU JUST MIGHT HAVE TO! - OK, I just straight up holy shit marked out for that exchange, and the shot of Undertaker with his crazy old man eyes. Star rating for that moment: **********
-Truth talking down the cops to leave Brock alone was weird, endearing and weirdly endearing.
-Brock agreeing to let the cops wrist-tie him and his willingness to calmly be led away tempered with his insistence that the cops absoultely do not touch him was great. Nobody books Brock Lesnar better than Brock Lesnar.

So, yeah. That happened. It was great. I don't want that match. I am complex.

Another good thing, while I'm on good things: both Stephanie McMahon Presents Women's Wrestling matches were noticably better than pre-Stephanie McMahon Presents Women's Wrestling matches on Raw, especially the tag match. Loved how smooth the finish was with the backstabber floatover into the Bank Statement. Sasha is on a level above everybody else now and I can only assume that once they realize it, they'll put her over strong by having Stephanie beat her at a PPV.

Another good thing: Ziggler/Lana vs. Rusev/Summer was one of the most radioactively bad angles they've ever had, so I can only assume they handed this over to somebody else, because Rusev doing a remake of Vertigo was unbelievable. Rusev is so great that he's seconds away from turning face accidentally, and booking him, intentionally or not, as an underdog two weeks in a row isn't going to help stem that tide.

Superman's Pal Dean Ambrose!

(I continue to be fascinated by how they are booking Roman Reigns in 2015 they way they so obviously needed to book Roman Reigns in 2014. This guy, this Roman Reigns? This is a guy who I could see developing nicely over the next six months into a powerhouse, a juggernaut, a man I'd call The Big Dog who I could buy beating Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania.)

I'm so off John Cena right now, but I looooooove CesaRKO. Orton is maybe a week away from turning back into wacky, insane, cheerleader split kick goofball Orton, the best kind of Face Orton. You know he spent all the build-up to that match backstage trying to get Cesaro to figure out a way they could do the Giant Swing into an RKO, and when Cesaro finally convinced him it was physically impossible, Orton finally relented into the catapult into RKO spot. I want a Swiss Death into RKO finish next. And then a Cesaro/Orton match where Cesaro does the UFO and Orton counters into an RKO. I want these guys vs. the Wyatts. I want Orton vs. Lesnar. I demand Cesaro vs. Lesnar.

Biggest missed opportunity: not having Stardust attack Celebrated Celebrity Jake Gyllenhaal because he starred in a movie called Nightcrawler, only to sheepishly admit he hadn't seen it when someone at the Performance Center finally informs him that it wasn't about that Nightcrawler.
BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.59
    Originally posted by JimBob Skeeter
    Give Diva's a chance? Great. As long as Nikki gets her ass handed to her, loses the title to Charlotte and we don't have to put up with them on commentary any more. Holy crap, they are SO unbelievable uninspired when talking. You would think their respective signifigant others would be coaching them on that.>


Except Nikki is a better worker and Charlotte has all the charisma and presence of David Flair when talking. Charlotte isn't awful, but she is the most overrated person in the company right now.

    Originally posted by Matt Tracker
    We have four more weeks of potential exposure to really bad Taker promos. The guy can't sell a match with the mic. This is why he had Paul Bearer. Or they go the usual route of having Heyman carry the angle with weeks of promos.



I still believe Undertaker still has another great motorcycle story about riding through Death Valley with Big Show in him.

I hope we don't get four weeks of Heyman promos. They all sound the same now and he is better than that.



(edited by BigDaddyLoco on 21.7.15 1027)
Matt Tracker
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Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 128 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.26
    Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco
    I hope we don't get four weeks of Heyman promos. They all sound the same now and he is better than that.


"You took food out of the mouths of his children!"



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Stefonics
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Since: 17.3.02
From: New Jerusalem

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.19
    Originally posted by Millerek
    Is Nattie out because of Tyson being hurt? Because her instead of either Brie or Tamina (OK mainly Tamina) would add a little to this whole thing.
Wrong skin tone. In the Vince McMahon Grouping Playbook, she belongs in Charlotte's spot with the two European women.
    Originally posted by Dr Unlikely
    Orton is maybe a week away from turning back into wacky, insane, cheerleader split kick goofball Orton, the best kind of Face Orton.
Stop teasing me.
    Originally posted by Dr Unlikely
    You know he spent all the build-up to that match backstage trying to get Cesaro to figure out a way they could do the Giant Swing into an RKO, and when Cesaro finally convinced him it was physically impossible, Orton finally relented into the catapult into RKO spot.
I'm positive Orton spent his time on the apron still trying to talk Cesaro into the Swing-RKO, even though Cesaro told him 45 minutes ago why it can't work.

Cena is like the quarterback who doesn't hang out with his receivers. His receivers don't like him, but he's their quarterback and the face of the team so they have to occasionally make it look like everything is cool and they all totally hang out all the time. I'm sure that Orton and Cesaro have fascinating conversations backstage and when Cena walks by, they stop talking.

Charlotte has just over 2 years of ring experience. The Bellas have almost 8. 8 fucking years and this is the best they can do. Charlotte isn't her father, but she's trying and progressing at a rate that makes sense. The other two? I've spent too much of my time being frustrated by them and voicing those frustrations on various forums. I'm done. Give Nikki her 287 days so we can all move on already.

When Sheamus yells his Gladiator quote, the audience is missing a huge opportunity by not shouting back "NO!"
thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

Since last post: 366 days
Last activity: 199 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.42
    Originally posted by Millerek
    Is Nattie out because of Tyson being hurt?


This is what's said to be going on - she's not going to be used as much for the moment.



thecubsfan.com - luchablog
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Since: 2.1.02
From: PA

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
I want to know who is back in the Social Media Lounge deciding which tweets make the crawl during the show. Obviously it's always of the "OMG THE BEAST VS. THE PHENOM #RAW #SUMMERSLAM" variety...but maybe they should have weeded out the one that said "#THE DAED MAN" because that person doesn't know how hashtags work or how to spell "dead." But hey, my wife and I cracked up about it for a while.

Sasha is on such a different level when it comes to her comfort and confidence in the ring, it's really amazing when she's juxtaposed with the old guard. You can't take your eyes off her when she's walking with Naomi and Tamina. And that hot tag to Paige was a moment that just proved This Is Working and the Fans Are Invested.
thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

Since last post: 366 days
Last activity: 199 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.42
Sasha's utter disdain for the stupidity of the announcers was also pretty great.



thecubsfan.com - luchablog
geemoney
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Since: 26.1.03
From: Naples, FL

Since last post: 6 days
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.02
    Originally posted by Dr Unlikely


    They took their most talented guy and instead of booking an angle of "Well, Rollins is so devious and hyper-talented, maybe he can find a way to beat Brock", they made him look like an incompetent stooge for months with a planned payoff of Cena coming and saying "You're an incompetent stooge, and I was the one who spent this year beating all the super-talented indy workers, and your title is meaningless compared to me!" He pulled a classic Cena '12 on him. Ruck John Cena, man. Of all people, HHH should know better. He got over being the exact opposite of how they've booked Rollins as Champ.




I think you may be giving WWE too much credit for thinking ahead here. I never got the impression the end-game of Cena's U.S. Title run was to put him back in the main events against Seth Rollins; rather, it seems like WWE pushed the panic button due to low ratings, causing them to (a) bring the Undertaker back to face Lesnar, leaving Rollins without a challenger for Summerslam, resulting in (b) John Cena, the one proven draw for WWE, going back in the main event/title picture.



@gregmparks - live Tweeting of Raw and Impact, wrestling thoughts and other slices of life.
lotjx
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Since: 5.9.08

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.36
HHH seems to give the same "All of you suck expect Part Timer" speech once a year. One time, I would like someone to either punch HHH out or just point that what the PPV doesn't need is HHH there. That will never happen though.

Charlotte once again is fine. There is no upside to Cena being in a main event anymore.



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Now reviewing Better Call Saul and a ton of superhero TV shows.
andy1278
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Since: 11.1.02
From: Brunswick, GA

Since last post: 20 days
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
This is the first full Raw I have watched in years, thanks to returning to the world of cable... and I enjoyed most of it. I was a few minutes behind so the DVR FF helped me through a few things, like Taker's long entrance and the majority of the Reigns-Harper match.

LOVED the Taker-Brock story. It made it seem big and it made me want to see it. The "I'm going to kill you/You're gonna have to" exchange was perfect.

I didn't mind the Rollins-Cena stuff. I'm actually kinda interested in that match, but the U.S. title needs to come off of Cena so we have something to do with Owens/Cesaro/Rusev group. I could see a ladder match for the vacant belt at SummerSlam, since they seem to be wanting to make this show special.

Brie... Brie, Brie, Brie. Having to go one-on-one with Charlotte exposed just how bad she is. Can't we just seperate the Total Divas from the wrestlers?

Enjoyed the ladies tag match. Sasha is just on a whole different level both in and out of the ring.

More New Day! We need more!

Production screw ups were glaring tonight. There was a camera shot to the empty entrance area at some point when it was supposed to be on the announcers, and the first replay of the divas ended up with Superstars graphics. Oops.

Dr Unlikely
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Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 1095 days
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.59
    Originally posted by geemoney
      Originally posted by Dr Unlikely


      They took their most talented guy and instead of booking an angle of "Well, Rollins is so devious and hyper-talented, maybe he can find a way to beat Brock", they made him look like an incompetent stooge for months with a planned payoff of Cena coming and saying "You're an incompetent stooge, and I was the one who spent this year beating all the super-talented indy workers, and your title is meaningless compared to me!" He pulled a classic Cena '12 on him. Ruck John Cena, man. Of all people, HHH should know better. He got over being the exact opposite of how they've booked Rollins as Champ.




    I think you may be giving WWE too much credit for thinking ahead here. I never got the impression the end-game of Cena's U.S. Title run was to put him back in the main events against Seth Rollins; rather, it seems like WWE pushed the panic button due to low ratings, causing them to (a) bring the Undertaker back to face Lesnar, leaving Rollins without a challenger for Summerslam, resulting in (b) John Cena, the one proven draw for WWE, going back in the main event/title picture.
I agree that Cena is definitely Vince's In Case Of Emergency Break Glass option, but Taker's need to get healthy and back into shape for any match means they must have had Taker/Lesnar in their plans for more than the few weeks since that record low rating, right? Which means either they were planning on Cena/Rollins for the title match, or they really were planning on Kane/Rollins, which, is perhaps more damning in its own way.

Either way, no matter what the plans were, they apparently involved making Rollins look like trash for months to get some combination of Kane and HHH and Stephanie over for unknowable, unfathomable reasons. There's no excusing that. And even with that damage done, salvaging it by having Cena come out and tell everyone how Rollins, and transatively, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, are trash is equally inexcusable. I can't think of a scenario where business and ratings would be any worse off if they tried even slightly to make the new champ and "future of the company" at least look even remotely like a match for Brock and Cena.

Anyway, weird subplot with Cena back in the title(s) picture: any title shot he gets now needs to play up that this one ties Flair. That's a pretty huge thing and it would be weird for that not to be a motivating factor now.
Lexus
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Stafford, VA

Since last post: 386 days
Last activity: 102 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.29
    Originally posted by CRZ
    1156


7/20/2015



"Laugh and the world laughs with you. Frown and the world laughs at you."
-Me.
JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01

Since last post: 688 days
Last activity: 340 days
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.09
    Originally posted by Lexus
      Originally posted by CRZ
      1156


    7/20/2015


Look, I'm not a scientist, ok.
Dr Unlikely
Liverwurst








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 1095 days
Last activity: 702 days
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.59
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro
      Originally posted by Lexus
        Originally posted by CRZ
        1156


      7/20/2015


    Look, I'm not a scientist, ok.
You're not even a real journalism!
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