Hey, kids, it’s the Botching One with another “Spot”. I want to start this one off by saying that this is the last time “Monday Night Raw” will emanate from Richmond Coliseum. The word I’m getting is that they are currently planning its demolition. There are no events planned from July to October. Disney will be there in November but that’s likely it. The building is very old (opened in 1971) and it’s not in good shape so it has to go. There’s much history there for WWE for sure. The Richmond Coliseum has hosted all kinds of sporting events, rock concerts, graduation events, and other things too. I’ve had some great times there myself unrelated to WWE and I’ve been going once a year for the last twenty years. If walls could talk. I’ll miss it terribly.
Okay, on with the show…
In-ring segment – Braun Strowman, Finn Bálor, & Kurt Angle
Braun is in complete control of how he comes across. This is the guy Vince wants Roman to be. He can both get it done in the ring and get it done on the mic. WWE also built him properly without shoving him down our throats. He got over organically. Odd how they can get it right with Braun but not with others.
Finn actually came out to some boos! Wow. Why are we getting this match again. I didn’t hate it last week but it was just last week. Why?
Braun Strowman vs. Finn Bálor (w/ Kevin Owens on commentary)
This was a good match (how could it be given who’s in it?) but the best part of this was KO on commentary. He’s absolutely golden and he can’t be tripped up no matter what happens. Odd listening to him side with Coach. I didn’t know anyone did that.
The best part was listening to KO get on the mic and “encourage” both of them. Inspired idea! Of course KO came out to interfere before Bálor could get off the second Coup de Grace.
Backstage segment – Kevin Owens & Kurt Angle
Kevin Owens is a master. He handled his frustration and manic-ness like the pro that he is. Kurt was a little less than but he did well too. Fun segment that sold Kevin’s fear of Braun really well.
Cinéma de iPhone – Sasha Banks
This is usually Queen’s department but Sasha was wearing more makeup in this segment than Tammy Fay Bakker. She’s gorgeous so she doesn’t need so much. As for the segment, she came off well like she always does.
In-ring segment – Elias
He is the best heel in WWE right now bar none. The title is one of his lines. How he delivered it with a straight face is beyond me. I was dead. He’s just so quick.
Out came Seth to interrupt as his match with Jinder was in the offing. The disrespectful way he jettisoned Elias’ chair was just great.
Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal (w/ Sunil Singh)
Is there nothing that Seth can’t do? He can even make Jinder look good! Seth made this match work through sheer force of will. It’s like he refuses to be in a bad match. Jinder, believe it or not, wasn’t terrible here either. He sold well and made the stuff Seth threw at him look good. I did enjoy Sunil’s interference. He sold the “you are OUTTA HERE” really well too.
As a side point, I hope Samir comes back soon so he can tag with his brother and add some more fun to the Tag division.
Of course, Seth decided he’d had enough of the shenanigans and snapped on Jinder with repeated chair shots. They were delectable.
Elias, of course, hadn’t forgotten the disrespect and took a nasty guitar shot from him. Poor Mitchell guitars… Seth sold the damage well – even back from commercial break.
It was also fun seeing indie worker James Anthony among the paramedics. He was the African-American guy. He’s such a great worker and worth checking out on YouTube if you’re interested.
In-ring segment – Nia Jax, Michelle Webb & Ronda Rousey
Nia has such an expressive face. When Ronda’s music started to play, Nia’s face just killed me.
Nia was completely in this and did everything she could. The issue wasn’t Nia at all. It was the segment. Out of nowhere, Nia is now a heel…and a bully. So much for the Alexa/Nia stuff, I guess. There was no build to bully-dom; it just…happened. I did like the “She knows her name…you can shut up now” line.
Ronda was completely useless on the mic. She had no clue what to do with any of this. She’s gonna have to start improving with this or she’s gonna be in a whole lot of trouble. All of us in DD were just left shaking our heads at what we’d just seen.
Nia’s efforts were the only thing that saved this from total tedium.
Cinéma de iPhone – Dana Brooke
I love her. I’m sorry but I do. She did well here, though it was short.
Deleter of Worlds (Woken Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt) vs. Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)
Our Queen talked about this yesterday during Facebook Live’s “The Royal Inquisition” (which can still be found on our Facebook page) but I’ll go there too. Matt’s character is becoming as stale as it was prior to the Ultimate Deletion. I’m sure they’re trying to space those things out but we need more nuance to Matt’s character.
Corey is Woken and it’s…WONDERFUL. Love listening to him school Michael Cole.
The Ascension are nothing more than job guys so, of course, they were gonna do the job here. They came to the main roster after having mattered in NXT and were immediately cast down and have never recovered. As a result, they weren’t gonna win so there was no reason to watch the match.
Backstage segment – The B-Team (Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas) and Kurt Angle
I honestly never thought Bo and Curtis would be anywhere but somehow, they are…and I like it! Kurt was the perfect straight man here for the zany Curtis & Bo. “I can hear what you’re saying”. Dead.
Bobby Roode vs. Kevin Owens (w/ Braun Strowman interference)
They have done almost nothing with Roode since his…ahem…ascension to the main roster. I have no reason to care about him and I really don’t. He’s a theme song and an entrance. That’s it, really. Until they turn him heel, that’s not likely to change either. That’s when he’s at his best. He’s completely vanilla as a face.
Kevin can get away with both and do it well. He’s shown us that.
The match itself was, of course, quite good. These two are great in there so we’ll always get a good match from them. Of course, Kevin’s boogeyman had to come out of the shadows and Braun did exactly that – doing the typical “chase ’em around the ring”. For good measure, he also chokeslammed Roode from the second rope. The story of course is that, at Money in the Bank, it’s every man for himself.
In-ring debacle – Sami Zayn & Bobby Lashley
Last week’s segment involving these two was truly awful last week. It’s one of the worst of the year. It was poorly conceptualized and even more poorly written. There is a way to make a silly “man in a dress” thing funny but WWE doesn’t have a clue of how to do that. It’s not Sami’s fault either. He was fully invested and did everything he could to get it over. He never should have been confronted with that nonsense to begin with.
Sami is giving it all here for this one too. He was all in his feelings here and it was great. He’s right, you know. He should be in the Money in the Bank ladder match. He should be involved in something that matters. You can’t do more than Sami did here. It’s Sami that saved this from the skeleton rank.
Then, Lashley came out and completely ruined it. He’s like melatonin for a wrestling ring. He went for the cheap “USA” pop and it went downhill from there. Sami was the only thing was that was remotely compelling about that dog of a segment. He even brilliantly sold Lashley’s handshake. I’d go over the rest of it but you don’t care and I don’t either. Whatever. It set up a match at Money in the Bank that Sami shouldn’t have to be in.
Cinéma de iPhone – Mickie James
More Valium…great. She’s been a total waste of time since her return. Next.
Drew McIntyre vs. Chad Gable
As I said last night in DD, Drew’s issues now are as they were the last time he was here. He was boring then and he’s boring now. He’s just angrier. The commentators are putting him over as hard as humanly possible and it’s really annoying. Chad basically jobbed here. It appears the same glass ceiling that greets his former partner, Shelton Benjamin, also applies to Chad Gable. Shame, too, since Chad has more to offer than Shelton – on the mic specifically.
B-Team Memorial Day Barbecue
This was a riot. All the teams that don’t matter (I hate saying that) were there. Curtis’ botch on the names of the Tag champs was an absolute riot and Cole completely fell apart.
Titus had to be the monkey wrench and Apollo showed some personality too.
This dialog was just awful. They were following a script so it’s not their fault. Of course, the food fight had to happen and it did…epically. Rhyno sitting there while it was all happening was an absolutely riot.
This was a purely comedy segment and it was fun for what it was.
Backstage segment – B-Team (Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas) and Kurt Angle
The hug on Kurt. Dead. Kurt, again, plays one heck of a straight man. I love the B-Team and I hope they can really make something of this, though I’m sure it’s just a comedy angle. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.
It occurs to me I died a lot last night. I should probably have that checked out.
Gauntlet match – Mickie James, Bayley, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan, Sasha Banks, & Dana Brooke
This was more a gaunt-lette. The matches were very short. It goes like this: The Riott Squad doesn’t matter except for Ruby, they’re not that concerned with Dana or Mickie either, and Sasha took it. It almost took me longer to write that than it did for the matches to end. I would like to have seen Ruby go but I totally get why Sasha was chosen instead.
This episode seemed to drag in parts while watching it but taken as individual segments, it wasn’t bad at all. Money in the Bank is shaping up nicely too so it should be fun. See you guys next week for another “Spot”.