Hey, kids. This week, it’s your Botching one covering Dre’s “The Getback”. This was a pretty good episode so I’m happy to step in. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
In ring segment: Samoa Joe (eventually w/ The Shield and The Bar)
It’s hard to believe this is the same guy that was struggling a bit on the mic in the Florida company. He’s just platinum here. I never knew he could be this good. He’s just got so much poise and he never gets lost. Combine that with his obvious in-ring skills (which were never in question) and you have an all-around incredible performer. I loved the mini-backstage break with Seth and Dean reaction. I don’t remember the last time I saw that and it worked well. The Bar and The Shield getting involved was just perfect and set up the match we got at the end of the show.
Bayley & Mickie James vs. Mandy Rose & Paige
Sonya’s “symphony of carnage” line was perfection tho! Paige’s return has been a smashing success. Sir Mitch mentioned in the “Dignified Discussion” from Monday night that she hasn’t lost a step and I completely agree. She’s lost nothing! It’s incredible that she hasn’t after all this time. She’s been plying her craft since she was 13 so I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised. Absolution has been the best thing to happen to Paige. Sonya and Mandy have been interesting foils – both of whom will flourish with Paige as time goes on.
Backstage segment: Bray Wyatt and “Woken” Matt Hardy
To be clear, this version of the artist formerly known as “Broken” Matt Hardy is slightly different from what we got previously. The great part of this is that we get a bit of a break from Bray’s overdone, repetitious promos. Bray’s character hasn’t grown a bit but this seems to be giving him something new to chew on and he’s taking advantage of it. Good for him! The back-and-forth is a completely different thing and I think I like it so far. It got a little overly-comedic at the end with the dueling laughter but I’m cool with it as long as things don’t get cheesy. So far, I’m good with this. We’re supposed to the “Woken” king in the ring next week and I really want to see how that manifests itself.
Backstage segment: Enzo Amore & Drew Gulak
Fun interaction. I like their obvious chemistry. They work off of each other extremely well. It was short but it did its job nicely.
Finn Balor vs. Curtis Axel (w/ Bo Dallas)
I’m legitimately happy for Curtis and Bo. Both had essentially been put on the shelf and forgotten about. The Miztourage has shown how much fun both can be. I like them in that role. Let’s hope that when they break out of it and turn on Miz (or Miz turns on them), it works out better for them than it did for Damien Mizdow.
The match itself did its job very well. Finn is a beast in the ring and he’s completely OVER, regardless of what Vince thinks. Here’s hoping Vince begins to see it sooner than later and treats him like the star that he really is.
Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus
These two can just flat-out go. This was a very enjoyable match. If Sheamus is suffering from stenosis, he’s doing a great job of blocking it out and getting the job done. He took the sling blade, a lariat over the top rope, and a superplex and he did it all very well. Sheamus even put on the Cloverleaf and he did it really well. I haven’t seen it in a while. The match itself went back and forth very nicely and the pacing was just perfection.
Backstage segment: Dean Ambrose and Renee Young
Dean is just hilarious and he comes across so well. There’s also an obvious connection between Renee and Dean and they just look so “aww shucks” together. Their roles are well-defined and they pull them off well but we can always tell and I think it’s really cool.
Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Tony Nese vs. Ariya Daivari (w/ Drew Gulak on commentary)
There was little doubt this would be good but I didn’t know it’d be this good. Mustafa’s flipping dive off the top onto Cedric and Tony was a thing of beauty. Another beautiful sequence was the flipping-whatever-that-was into a DDT from Mustafa onto Cedric. WOW! It went by so fast that I can’t break it down. This is the stuff that advertises “205 Live” in the best possible light. The near-finishes were fun and the outcome was exactly what it should have been. Can’t wait to see how this pans out.
Backstage segment: Enzo Amore & Drew Gulak
The heeling from Enzo is long-overdue and here it is. Enzo went in on Drew and it was beautifully done. Even better was Drew’s reaction to it. He was seething.
Nia showed up and cheesed this out big time. She just doesn’t cut it as a teasing coquette (yeah, I like that word). It was all going so well until she showed up. An actress, she absolutely is not. I don’t like this direction at all and hope it’s quickly abandoned, though I know it won’t be. It took the grade of this one down for sure.
Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro
In Roman’s defense, he is very underrated as a worker and, of course, Cesaro can go with anyone. I also liked the rather “old school” attack on Roman’s arm. It’s a very Arn/Ole Anderson thing to do and Cesaro did it very well. There’s really no reason to hear that Roman can’t work anymore after matches like this. He can and he did…beautifully. He may not be a fan favorite but we can’t deny his capabilities in the ring.
Asuka vs. Alicia Fox…err…Absolution (Paige, Sonya Deville, & Mandy Rose)
Paige makes a great, dismissive mean girl. Of course, this broke down and Absolution went after Asuka. Soon after, much of the women’s division came out to take out Absolution. To be honest, I didn’t like any of it. I feel they should have continued to avoid Asuka, thus making her look stronger. This attack on her did her ZERO favors. Further, this intervention by the women’s roster came way too fast. Absolution hasn’t really had a chance to do much and now, all of a sudden, the women’s division has had enough. The whole thing is entirely too rushed and I’m not feeling it, honestly. I don’t want Absolution to become weak. All of them are talented and I really want them to soar. They need to remain unstoppable for a while longer. Sadly, they may not be anymore. We’ll see where all of this goes but I don’t have high hopes for it as it stands now.
Backstage segment: Kurt Angle and Jason Jordan
Jordan is going to make one heck of a sniveling heel. I like that Kurt is starting to stand up to him. The “ok, Kurt” line Jason through at him was just great for moving the story along.
Dean Ambrose vs. Samoa Joe
As is always to be expected, these two worked well together. Jordan’s interference was nice to see and it told a nice story. I like that his interference both helped and ultimately hindered Dean. The outcome was as it should have been with Joe taking the victory.
Backstage segment: Titus O’Neil, Apollo Crews, &…Dana Brooke?? (interruption from Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson and ultimately…Braun Strowman
Statistician/Head of Research and Development! Way to go, Brooke!…I guess. Apollo’s forced emotional outburst, a little bullying from The Club, and that segment was over. Of course, this was really about Braun barging through them to get to the ring to face Kane.
Braun Strowman vs. Kane
It’s pretty amazing what a 50 year-old is willing to give to make this feud work well. Kane is really putting his body out there for Braun’s advancement and it’s commendable. The standoff with dueling ring stairs was EPOCH! They really took it to each other just like they should have and it looked really good.
This was a very good episode of “Raw”. They aren’t always so this is notable. I’m honestly most excited about what’s going to happen with the Cruiserweight title. They’ve built it up very well and I want to know the outcome. In spite of what happened this week, I remain high on Absolution. I love the name and the ladies themselves and want to see where all of this goes despite my low rating of their last segment.
It’s been fun subbing for the incomparable Dre but all good things must come to an end. Join Dre next week for another episode of “The Raw Getback”!