In-ring segment – Roman Reigns, Dolph Ziggler, & Drew McIntyre
Putting Reigns & Lashley together is dubious to say the least. It seems to be getting some reaction but not enough to warrant this. He said, “you weren’t the guy because you couldn’t handle the role”. Sound familiar, Roman? Not that it’s his fault, mind you – most of it isn’t. He’s been booked…ahem…foolishly for a couple of years now and character recovery will be very difficult.
Dolph & Drew came out and made this watchable. Dolph is Mr. Reliable on the mic and Drew wasn’t terrible either. As has been the case since his WWE return, he’s been a bit of a black hole character-wise. He’s going to need more edge going forward if I’m going to care about him.
Of course, someone had to come out to even the score and, of course, it had to be Seth. We now have ourselves a match for later, guys.
“Woken” Matt Hardy vs. Curtis Axel (w/ Bo Dallas)
The best part of this feud, believe it or not, has been Curtis & Bo’s lampooning of Matt & Bray. Curtis is a total riot and Bo’s impression is just eerie. Of course, Bo & Bray are brothers but even so, Bo’s impression is so close, it’s absolutely scary.
The “Woken” thing is completely stuck because Vince has no clue what to do with it. Heck, Corey wasn’t even Woken during this match. That’s how little Vince cares. Speaks volumes, really.
The B-Team is undefeated in every configuration and when they win, they get so excited. It’s so much fun. The team in general is so much fun and I’m glad they’re succeeding. Most of us were afraid they wouldn’t.
Backstage segment – Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns & Bobby Lashley
The words were good (they’re scripted so…) but Bobby isn’t getting the pacing. We know things are scripted but as I’ve said before, promos shouldn’t feel scripted. This one did. Roman was actually better here (really). Bobby got better at the end but the beginning of it was just painful, honestly.
Cinéma de Counseling – Dr. Shelby, Bayley & Sasha
This makes absolutely no sense. Bayley just ate Sasha for dinner last week in the ring and now they’re together having a tiff? Really? They’ve turned this into a pseudo-comedy angle when, really, these ladies should be cursing the ground the other walks on. Kendra is suggesting that I let this play out but the idea is awful. Like…awful. I’m not one of those who was ever a huge Dr. Shelby fan anyway so his re-appearance is nothing I asked for.
Titus Worldwide (Titus O’Neil, Apollo Crews) w/ Dana Brooke vs. Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar)
There was no doubt how this was going to go. There was some visa trouble keeping the Authors of Pain off of television so the crowd doesn’t care about them yet. They don’t care about Titus Worldwide either because there’s absolutely no reason to. This wasn’t a terrible match by any means but again, we knew how this would end.
Of interest, too, is that Dana Brooke has been on Twitter pretty much begging to be allowed to wrestle again. Since the faction she’s in gets no love from Vince, she’s stuck in dry dock and she’s likely miserable. I’m sure all three of them are by now. So far, Vince isn’t having it. Maybe some day.
Backstage segment – Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns
This was nice and quick. It did its job. “How did it go with Bob?”. “I wasn’t listening”. Nice.
Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre
Few have been so criminally ignored as Dolph Ziggler. He has everything it takes to be a main event monster…yet it hasn’t happened. There was a time when Dolph was far too loose-lipped on social media and it crushed him. Sadly, either Vince hasn’t forgotten it or he’s moved on but Dolph has never recovered. You can be sure that no matter whatever win he gets, it will be followed by a loss. We were pretty surprised when Dolph won the Intercontinental Title but then we realized that this was likely more about Seth moving back to the top of the card rather than Dolph getting ahead.
Drew appears to be “on the come-up” and I’m okay with that. I really just want to see more personality from him. So far, he’s showing me as little as he did his first time in the WWE.
The match was quite good and all of them worked hard for this one. Rollins does a very pretty frog splash. The sequence where Seth is trying so hard to tag Roman was really nail-biting. The Revival coming out to cause damage was fun too. It’s almost like they might be ready to move on the Revival a bit. In the DD, mentioned that he hoped neither of them get injured again and I’m with him. If they do, Vince will close the curtain on them and it’ll never open again.
In-ring segment – Constable Corbin & Finn Bálor
He is GREAT in this role. He naturally has a great sense of humor and now we’re getting it. He’s so full of ego but he does it with a wink and a nod. He’s so good at this. Finn was kinda fun here too although the decision to have him repeat the Fridays joke from last week was pretty lame. Vince doesn’t get that in most case, if we laughed at it once, we’ll laugh at it once. Heck, even Finn’s second joke about Baron’s haircut wasn’t funny. Of course, none of this is Finn’s fault. He took what he was given and did the best he could.
Backstage segment – Elias, Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan
They gave him a Fender acoustic this time? Yes, I’m a total music nerd. Fender acoustics could likely use the exposure and they are roughly the same price point as the Mitchells so maybe that’s what’s going on. ‘Course, I doubt WWE is paying for guitars. They’re likely just being given to them gratis. Oh, and the Riott Squad without Ruby Riott? LOL!!!
Important to note that the most “over” heel, Elias, was only in this segment. He never got out to the ring and gave us what we loved. He just did…this. I do kinda like the fact that he refused to perform for the crowd tonight. It’s a very heel thing to do but it limits him only to this. For a show that’s as bad as this one has been so far, they could have used him out there and it would have made the show more enjoyable.
Ember Moon vs. Liv Morgan (w/ Sarah Logan)
Liv attempting to be deep: “The only thing I fear is myself”. WHAT??? Watch where you point that thing, Liv. None of us in DD knew what she meant and I doubt she did either. Apparently, the one word she’d describe herself with is “juvenile”. Another winner! She must be getting words from Coachman. As for the match, there was no doubt as to who would take it. Ember’s eclipse is just incredible to see. It looks truly violent.
The Riott Squad is Ruby…and two other women we don’t care about. Ruby is out with a knee injury that we sincerely hope isn’t serious.
Dr. Shelby’s Office – Sasha & Bayley
Yeah, again with this. Sasha did what she could. “I have a neighbor whose mailman’s cousin is Snoop Dog”. That was funny. Beyond that, thank you very next.
Bobby Lashley & Roman Reigns vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
I certainly didn’t hate the match but this was more about telling the story. It sorta looks like they might actually be giving Dawson & Wilder some semblance of a chance finally. ‘Course, they could just as easily be using The Revival to further build dissension between Roman & Bobby. Hard to tell at this point. Throughout the match, Roman refused to tag Bobby in at any point. At the end of the match, The Revival continued to beat up on Roman and Bobby just walked right back up the aisle.
Cinéma de Rowdy – Ronda Rousey
Terrible. Just terrible. It was short but…terrible.
Nia Jax vs. Mickie James
In a match no one asked for or cares about… Before that, we got a Nia promo that was pretty good, honestly. Apparently, Nia is now a face again and the heel turn they teased was just that… a tease. Nia did really well here and now we know what the stipulation for their match at Extreme Rules will be.
Natalya came out to accompany Nia and, as we said in DD, she’s looking particularly lovely lately. She’s stopped with the silly braiding in her hair and she looks so much younger as a result. Okay, the match…
It was good. Mickie is, for all of her failings as a character, an extremely solid hand in the ring and Nia’s no slouch either.
Backstage segment – Bobby Lashley
Bobby did the best he could with the dialog he was given. He was game and I’ll give him that. “A concrete patch in a trailer park”. What?
Kevin Owens vs. Braun Strowman
This was far less a match than it was a story…and it was the best thing on “Raw” this night. KO looking for a place to hide was just hilarious. The “Porta Potty” chants were amazing. Dragging KO around through the coliseum in the portable toilet. This was just too funny and desperately needed for what has otherwise been a very dead “Raw”.
Few episodes have been this bad, really, and our DD reflected it. It is the lightest-attended “Raw” DD since we opened. It’s a perfect reflection on a very lackluster show. Next week has to be better. Join me again next week for another “Spot”.