I See Myself Kicking You in the Teeth

Well, nothing is perfect.  WWE had a good run in Brooklyn but they were in Toronto for this week’s “Raw” and this was handled with a bit less care because they knew they could get away with it.  With an introduction like that, why wouldn’t you want to dive in?  Really, you should.  It was pretty good.  Let’s go, shall we?

 

In-ring segment – Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, & Baron Corbin

Roman gave us the “meat shack” thing again.  This is clearly the new “overhyped rookie”.  No real clue what a meat shack but okay.  Roman has come a very long way and he’s so much better on the mic than he used to be.  Braun has always been fun but he, too, has improved.  Mat has also decided that he’s also always invited to the cookout.  This was a fun exchange.

Dolph is so good.  The “I’ve been at the mall all day, went out in the rain, and dried off” hair isn’t working but lately, it never does.  He can still talk incredibly well.  Drew gets his two cents in and does it convincingly but, as it should be, Dolph does most of the talking.

I love Baron in his new roles.  He was so great as “The Constable” and his stint as GM is going to be delicious.

 

Baron Corbin vs. Finn Bálor

Very good match from these two.  Of course, we know that Finn can go.  Baron has stepped his game way up since becoming Constable and they did really well in here.  Corbin’s Deep Six came out of nowhere.  Of course, Corbin in the GM so he can control the matches.  Love that he restarted the match and decided to make it a “no DQ match” after Corbin made Balor kiss chair – thereby making the chair legal.  Great combination of storyline and really good work.  I’m gonna love Corbin being GM.

 

I honestly couldn’t care less about Triple H. vs. Undertaker.  The time for this feud was 20 years ago.  I don’t need to see this nonsense now.  WWE has a roster of incredible athletes.  Why are we throwing back to this fossilized feud?

 

Sasha Banks (w/ Bayley) vs. Dana Brooke (w/ Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neil)

I completely forgot Dana had theme music.  It fits her well!  Nice to see Dana in the ring again.  It’s been ages.  This wasn’t a bad match at all!  I love Sasha’s Meteora.  That ought be someone’s finisher, really.  The match was also about the slow burn to the inevitable Titus Worldwide split.  It’s time for it to happen.

 

Backstage segment – Dean Ambrose & Jinder Mahal (w/ Sunil Singh)

Jinder’s gimmick has been tweaked to one that simply doesn’t matter but he was good here.  Dean killed this!  I was laughing through the whole thing.

 

Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens

Of course, Seth is great on the mic and he was here too.  He issued and Open Challenge and out came Kevin.  He got a mic and just lit it up as only he can.  I love how he completely trolled Toronto and spoke in French that many of them likely didn’t understand.  DEAD!  As is always the case with both of these guys, there was no way we weren’t going to get a great match and we absolutely did.  Owens came into this with absolutely nothing to lose and so went the match.  Kevin’s stunner tho!  It totally came out of nowhere.  The crowd responded in…ahem…interesting terms.  Great near-finishes too.  This is just the match we knew we’d get from both of these guys and I absolutely loved it.

We also got a nice bit of storytelling with KO quitting.  The word is that Kevin is likely just taking some time off.  There are other rumors circulating about it but all of them save the “time off” theory are pretty silly and baseless.  I’m sure he needs time to heal up.  He’s taken a tremendous amount of abuse in the Braun feud and it’s not crazy to see that he’d need some rest.

 

Backstage segment – Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler

Both of them are good on the mic so this was well done.  We’ll see what Drew’s got when he breaks aways from Dolph at some point.

 

The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)

They are still quite over.  Somehow, the “accidental champ” thing is still over.  That The Revival just pinned the champs as a team in a non-title match either says that Vince is in his ambivalent phase regarding tag teams or he has more planned for The Revival.  Hard to know.  I am a bit concerned about where Dallas & Axel go now.  That they’ve just lost this match likely means they won’t keep the belts for much longer.  They really shouldn’t either.  This has been a lot of fun for sure but accidental wins can only go so far from a storyline perspective.  They’ve never once had a definitive win so they were never taken seriously when they had the straps.  When they lose the belts, what happens?  Do they hook up with the similarly out-of-work Bray Wyatt?  We’ll see.

Oh yeah, the Revival got on the mic and bored us for a few minutes.  Thanks, boys.

 

In-ring segment – Elias, Trish Stratus, Ronda Rousey, Natalya, & Alexa Bliss

Elias was gettin’ it in there tonight!  He decided to play something with a discernible melody and rhythm.  Not bad!  He has so much fun with the crowd when they chant for him.  He can’t hide it.  He tried to but he couldn’t.  Few troll audiences better than Elias & Kevin Owens.

Nice to see Trish again.  She hasn’t been on the mic in ages and she was mega shaky here.  She got it done but it wasn’t amazing.  Elias kept things interesting though so this was still fun.  Elias trolled nicely with the “swimsuit match” thing.

Alexa is just perfection on the mic.  The snark is real with her and I dearly love it.  She could have talked for the next hour and I would have been okay with it.  She just never runs dry.  I have no clue what was up with Alicia Fox’s hat.  Apparently, the Village People didn’t need it for the night and let her use it.

 

Alicia Fox vs. Natalya

This was a quick one but it certainly wasn’t terrible.  Both of them can go so not bad.  More than anything, it’s nice to see Natalya back after all she’s been through lately.

 

Trish Stratus, Natalya, Ronda Rousey, Niki Bella, & Brie Bella

The Bellas aren’t my thing but this segment was good for what it was designed for.  I can’t hate.

 

Cinéma de Fossil – Triple H. & Undertaker

Yeah, who cares?

 

Backstage segment – Baron Corbin & Bobby Lashley

Baron was great here and Bobby wasn’t bad either.  It was kept fairly short and the dialog was good.  Baron’s reaction to Bobby’s repeated “chuck on the shoulder” was a riot.

 

Bobby Lashley vs. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)

There was no doubt who’d win here.  The Ascension is nowhere and Bobby is in a holding pattern.  The Ascension’s fall from grace has been spectacular.  They are not redeemable at this point.

 

Jinder Mahal vs. Dean Ambrose

Poor Jinder. It’s all over now.  He is now what we used to call a “jobber to the stars”.  A traditional “jobber” never got in a lick of offense and lost relatively quickly.  A “jobber to the stars” could get offense in and make a real match out of it.  That’s where Jinder sits.  It’s a real shame Samir hasn’t been well in so long.  I was hoping for a Singh Brother breakup from Jinder.  It could have been a great storyline.  Sadly, it’s just not possible.  Samir should be back shortly so maybe we’ll finally get that Bollywood Boyz tag team I’ve been wanting.  Both can work extremely well and it’s just begging to be done.

To be frank, this was pretty good, even though there was no confusion about who was going to take this.  Nice back and forth with Dirty Deeds coming out of nowhere and it was all over.

 

Roman Reigns & Braun Strowman vs. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre

This was fun too!  I love Dolph’s DDTs.  He shows no mercy with them and they look phenomenal.  Dolph’s trash talk in the ring has been undefeated.  Only Kevin Owens was better at it.  Nice back and forth until Braun went all heel.  It appears they’re turning him because Vince remains desperate to get Roman cheered and will still move heaven and earth to do it.  Ambrose and Rollins came out separately to eat canvas.  I totally get it and I’m not mad at it either.  This makes the feud more sadistic.

 

This wasn’t bad at all!  It wasn’t Brooklyn but it was fun.  Feuds are moving forward (even that dreadful Triple H/Undertaker thing) so Melbourne and “HIAC” should both be fun.  See you guys next week for another edition of “The Spot”!