Hey, kids! It’s the Botching One again with another “Spot”. It’s nice to get back to this again. It’s also nice to be active on the site. The angle we ran got Marie on the site full-time and that’s what we were going for. We hope you all enjoyed it. I assure you I did… 🙂 Okay, onto “Raw”…
In-ring segment – Kurt Angle, Stephanie McMahon, Roman Reigns, and Kevin Owens
Again with this nonsense. Stephanie was supposed to play the heel to Roman Reigns and the crowd was fairly silent while they did it. No one cares about this and WWE aren’t paying attention at all. Stephanie was cheered for what she did when she was supposed to be getting heat. WWE isn’t bothering to listen to its audience – plain and simple. The segment didn’t wake up at all until Kevin Owens got into the ring and even then, it was still pretty deadly.
I always feel the need to point out that this isn’t Roman’s fault. The fault lies with the booking. Roman is doing what he’s told and doing it well.
Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens
We can say what we want about Roman, the character, but he absolutely can get it done in the ring. Kevin quite obviously can so this was a fun match. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone fall as gracefully from the ring apron as Kevin did. It was almost…elegant. Jinder’s interference made perfect sense as they have to keep telling that story. Seth came out for the obligatory save too.
I’m only thankful Jinder isn’t in the MITB match…at least I think I am. I have a feeling we’re missing out on a glorious botch or two (which I always love) but his exclusion will definitely make the match better.
Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal
Inexplicably, we then got this. It wasn’t needed but we got it. Rollins is always fun so it’s good to see him work. The existence of the match itself just feels like lazy booking. I didn’t hate the match or anything; it was just a lazy way to get to it and I had no substantive reason to be invested in it. The Roman/Jinder feud certainly isn’t a reason. The inability to care weighed on the rating I gave it.
I did like Jinder’s chair shots at the end. Given what Roman did to him the week before, it makes total sense.
In-ring segment – Cathy, Francis, Jessica, Sami Zayn, & Bobby Lashley
What a total waste of time. Even Sami, as amazing as he is, couldn’t rescue this. Lashley certainly didn’t help matters but sucking wind on the mic. It’s such a shame when they saddle great workers with horrible ideas. The less said about this, the better. I’m giving it a star because Sami did his best to make this mess work and this totally isn’t his fault.
I do want to know who the indie guys are. I’m a huge indie wrestling fan and I didn’t recognize any of them. I feel very badly for them and hope they get used again in a far better way. I also can’t wait for Sami to get out of this feud and on to something I care about.
Lashley is in a tremendous amount of trouble. Dre asked during last night’s “DD” if the IIconics or Lashley was in more trouble. I’m honestly not sure and that’s what I said. Our Queen will say horrible things about them on her “Flush” but Lashley has emerged as a non-personality. He’s just big dude with no personality and no reason to care about him. Teaming him with Braun did nothing. The interview he did with Renee Young made things even worse. If WWE doesn’t do something fast, he’s going to become Bootista version 2.
Alexa Bliss (w/ Mickie James) vs. Ember Moon
Ember is the Queen of everything (well, not WR but everything else). She has the brightest of futures and is being used well. Her Eclipse is a thing of beauty. Alexa Bliss has been a completely rockstar at everything she’s done. They seemingly aren’t quite sure what to do with her next so she’s in a holding pattern. Ember took this because she’s on her way up…as she should be.
Mickie was there too. She was beyond cartoon-y – all overselling and silliness. Next…
Backstage segment – Finn Bálor, Braun Strowman, & Stephanie McMahon
Stephanie is a master instigator and Finn and Braun played with her well. Finn’s and Stephanie’s reaction to Braun crushing that apple was an absolute riot.
No Way Jose vs. Baron Corbin
Not much to this, really. Given how well Vince loves dancing acts (sarcasm…extreme sarcasm), it’s nice that he’s still on TV. I’m trying to be fair so, really, the match has no apologies to make. The word is that Vince is high up on Corbin so his win here is no real surprise.
Backstage segment – Kurt Angle, Chad Gable, Dolph Ziggler, & Drew McIntyre
Dolph and Drew are great mean guys. Chad makes a great underdog with guts and Kurt is a decent mediator. This was pretty good, really.
The B Team (Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas) vs. Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)
Breezango’s promo prior to the match was quick and fun.
I love both of these teams and wish both were succeeding more. Still, Tyler’s right. Both are on TV every week so it’s hard to complain. They’ve clearly got some idea for the B Team so I’m cool with that. Axel & Dallas’ reaction to winning was, again, an absolute riot. I was dead. They are UNDEFEATED and it is beyond fun.
Contract signing – Stephanie McMahon, Nia Jax, & Ronda Rousey
Imagine a contract signing without violence! That’s what we got here. Steph comes out there with a purpose and nails it every time. Again, she’s the best instigator in the world. She fanned the flames beautifully here. They had to avoid too much of a promo war between Nia and Ronda because Ronda specifically couldn’t have handled it. Steph made this segment work from stem to stern. If not for her, this wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good.
Dolph Ziggler (w/ Drew McIntyre) vs. Chad Patton?
The amateur wrestling was much fun here. Both of them were amateur stars in school so Dolph was more than up for it. These two know what they’re doing it so this was a very good match. I’d love to see a feud between these two. I even liked Drew getting his vulture on and picking the bones.
We can also be thankful that Coach’s insipid “Word for the Hour” was avoided. No one cares, Coach. By the way, yes, he really did call Chad Gable “Chad Patton” at one point. What??
Dana Brooke vs. Liv Morgan vs. Sarah Logan vs. Natalya (Ruby Riott outside)
Sarah & Liv blew the opportunity to go after each other when they were alone in the ring. They then broke out in completely odd laughter. Whatever. The right person won so there’s that.
They’re continuing to build the Ronda/Natalya feud we’re gonna get too. That ought to be fun. Natalya’s a real sweetheart when she’s face and I like her this way.
In-ring segment – Elias
A MINOR! Must be time for Elias! He is such a rockstar. Watching him play guitar while Road Dogg and Jeff Jarrett sing “With My Baby Tonight” on “Table for 3” is one of the most fun things ever.
Elias holds the crowd in the palm of his hand…then pours cold beer all over them. He picks the perfect time to heel them. Okay, so he blew the “city of a dump” (should have been “dump of a city”, clearly) but who cares. Few have better timing than Elias and it showed here big time.
Elias vs. Bobby Roode
Are they ever gonna do anything meaningful with Bobby. His U.S. title reign meant nothing and he himself has meant nothing since his debut on the main roster.
As for the match itself, I did like Elias interrupting Bobby’s entrance. That’s the first time that’s happened and it generated the expected shock. They did what they could here but this is again another case of my not being invested in this. All the ingredients are there; WWE just hasn’t made me care. I can’t kill it because they did well with it. I am hopeful that Elias and Bobby can now move on to something else.
Braun Strowman vs. Finn Bálor
The story told here was brilliant. Braun ate Finn alive and did it with great pacing. Finn kept coming back but, of course, Braun had to take this. Finn is the perfect person to do a match like this with because few tell better stories than Finn does. You can’t do this much better than these two.
Everyone’s hating on this episode but it just wasn’t that bad. There were problems with seeing matches that we weren’t invested in, one truly terrible angle, and one that treads down a path no one believes, but beyond that, it wasn’t horrible. See you next week for another “Spot”!