Hey, kids. It’s the Botching one taking over for Sam this week. As such, the “Get Back” returns for one week! When Sam put feelers out to see who could cover this week and I accepted, I figured I knew what I was in for: a throwaway episode of “Raw”. Thankfully, I can report I was wrong.
Okay, first, let’s talk a bit about Blunderdome. It’s innovative but it has problems as we all know. One issue is the lifelessness of the audience. They do nothing. Most of the time, they just sit there…just as you do when you’re watching at home. You aren’t jumping up and down reacting to every little thing. I know I’m not. They’re literally just watching the show. Seeing people watch a three-hour (or two-hour) wrestling show isn’t that exciting. Worse, they make no usable crowd noise so WWE has to pipe some in. The result? Everything sounds the same all the time. It’s like a fan in your bedroom. It barely wavers. It’s just…there. Worse yet, there’s literally no way to know who or what is “getting over”. WWE just has to guess or look at social network interaction to see what works and what doesn’t because there’s no organic cheering/booing to tell them. They just slightly raise the intensity of canned cheers or pull them back when they think they should. It’s indicative of nothing.
I know, I know…”review the show, Botch!” Okay, let’s dig in and see how wrong about this show I actually turned out to be, shall we?
In-ring segment – Randy Orton & Drew McIntyre
Randy has been just incredible lately. He’s clearly decided he cares again and the results have been amazing. He was solid here too. This was compelling but he’s done promos like this before…often. Each one is good and this one was too. Drew’s attack was fun but the circumstances are a bit unrealistic. Drew is becoming “Super Drew” right before out eyes and I still don’t hate it. That’s what WWE does when they latch on to someone. They make them virtually impenetrable. He really is a big deal and I like him in the spot he’s in.
Backstage segment – Adam Pearce & Drew McIntyre
Very well done. Adam is great in this role. Love his reactions. He’s doesn’t go to far and he doesn’t have dead face. I like that he’s not your traditional GM too. He’s just keeping things together (or trying t0) and that’s as far as it goes. Oh, and does anyone think he’ll actually leave.
Cedric Alexander, Apollo Crews, and Ricochet vs. The Hurt Business (MVP, Lashley, & Shelton Benjamin)
Fun match. I love that the Hurt Business wouldn’t even let Ceddy get into the ring before they went after him. It was all going like you think it’d go and then…THE GLORIOUSNESS! I’m THRILLED that Cedric turned! They’ve been threatening it for a long time and it finally happened. See what happens when we wait for things? They’re sweeter when we actually get them. This was all I hoped it’d be. Cedric went after each one and incapacitated them. The look on MVPs face was life itself. Cedric’s wife was overjoyed on Twitter too. This wasn’t as good as the Dakota Kai turn but it was really good. I can’t wait to see how this all plays out. It’s going to be….DELICIOUS!!!
Street Profits vs. Angel Garza & Andrade (w/ Zelina Vega)
Trouble in paradise? They’ve teased it for a while. Loved watching Zelina and Andrade just move right past Angel on the entrance ramp. LOL!! Love all this dissension. Gotta love Angel’s smile as he walked away. The team totally broke down and I loved it. Garza absolutely doesn’t need either of them. This inevitable breakup has been fun to watch and I can’t wait to see where else it goes. P.S.: Montez’s ‘fro is a thing of beauty this evening!
Of course, they’re setting up Clash of Champions so Cesaro & Shinsuke surfaced right at the end.
In-ring segment – Street Profits & Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura
Loved the #DaParty references. Lotta respect for that. This was fun. Love seeing them together. I’ll enjoy the match even more for sure.
So far, this is going unexpectedly well!
Backstage segment – R-Truth, Akira Tozawa, and the Ninjas
R-Truth is a national treasure. This was ridiculous…and I loved every second of it. The end. I can’t review this. You just have to see it.
Peyton Royce vs. Billie Kay
This was unexpectedly not good. You figure for as long as they’ve known each other, they’d have more chemistry. This was a little rough. It was also short with Peyton getting the win. They exchanged olive juice as Peyton picked her up and that was that. It was over almost as soon as it began. Eleazar commented in DD that this was a Diva’s match. He’s totally right. Let’s call this “show helper”, shall we?
Backstage segment – Dominik Mysterio, Rey Mysterio and family, & Mitch (Buddy Murphy)
Rey and a script. Friends forever. He sounded stiff as a board. Dominik didn’t get a chance to speak before Mitch went in on him. Mitch is furious because Dominik created the situation he finds himself in. Dominik recited script too. Thankfully, Mitch was far better. Oh well. We get a street fight out of this and I’m here for it.’
Backstage segment – Shayna Bazsler, Nia Jax, Adam Pearce, & Drew McIntyre
Shayna’s in a handicap match. That’s odd but it does sell the uneasy alliance between Shayna and Nia as Nia got her into it. They are a unit that is interested in one thing: the gold. They couldn’t care less about each other and I love it. Straight to Adam wondering why Drew is still there. Drew sold his “I know, I know, I’m going” pretty well with Adam.
Asuka & Mickie James vs. Natalya & Lana
Mickie is the return no one asked for. She comes off like she wandered in from another era of women’s wrestling because she has. She’s an anachronism and she’s already shown she can’t mesh with what’s going on now – personality-wise or ring work-wise. Their attempt to jazz up Natalya continues so they’ve paired her with Lana. I like Lana and I know I’m in the minority but why stick her with Natalya? Natalya refuses to show personality and this isn’t helping. I feel bad for Asuka most of all. I mean…I know COVID has been a harsh mistress but the EST of WWE is hanging out in catering while this is going on. Oh, the match? Yeah, a mess. Mickie’s initial dropkick missed by miles. So many just oddly-timed things happened here to care about this match. It’s looking like they’re headed toward Asuka vs. Mickie James. Bathroom break already embedded into next week’s show. Cool!
Oh, and SKIP!
Backstage segment – The Hurt Business
The most interesting thing about that segment was…Shelton Benjamin! No, really. His threat to Cedric was amazing. He showed so much personality there and I really liked it. He threatened and then pulled it back so that Cedric would know he wasn’t playing. Nicely done. Short but sweet.
MVP Lounge – The Hurt Business
This is already delicious. Cedric’s promo was really solid there. It had real spark. I’ve seen him get his heel on in CWF so it’s nice to see it here too. MVP is clearly working with him too. Loved seeing the Viking Raiders and the scorned lovers come out to regulate on the Hurt Business. A match is set, kids!
The Hurt Business vs. Viking Raiders, Apollo Crews & Ricochet
This was more fun than even I thought it’d be. Cedric wasn’t in there much at first but his style has gone predictably heel and I like it. When he gets going, Ricochet is impossible to keep a beat on. He moves SO quickly. The inevitable Cedric vs. Ricochet match we’ll get will be DELICIOUS! I’m glad that Shelton isn’t just a drive-by member here either. He got involved here and did very well. The spark we’ve been waiting for has arrived. The end was weird but it appears Ivar may really be injured. The rumor is the ref was told to end the match early because of the possible Ivar injury and Ricochet wasn’t told. Either way, I hope the alleged injury isn’t serious. WWE is saying cervical injury on their website but it’s always hard to tell if WWE is working or not as they use their website to further storylines regularly.
Randy Orton vs. Keith Lee
Dre will love this but that theme is just so flat. It’s not a huge deal or anytime but his other one was just so good. Of course, because of publishing issues, he can’t use it anymore but he deserves something better than theme he’s got now. It’s like they threw his name into a theme-o-meter and this came out. Of course, Drew was still back there so he had to interfere. If you watched “Raw Talk”, you’ll note that Keith is over Drew interfering in his matches. Let’s see if they make something out of this. Will Drew take heed or will he do what he wants anyway? Still, solid match from both Keith & Randy as usual.
Shayna Baszler vs. Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott
This was far less about Ruby & Liv and more about the interaction between Shayna and Nia so the fact that Liv & Ruby took this means nothing for them.. For the record, I love that Shayna lost. Nia’s reaction was priceless and she trash talks well. They’re getting flack for being the new Team H*** No but that’s too simplistic a view IMHO. They are their own thing and I really like it so far.
Kevin Owens vs. Aleister Black (Raw Underground)
I’m not sure how I feel about this fake shoot fighting thing. The match happened and they shot it to look gritty. It carried on through a couple of breaks so it’s not linear here. This was ultimately ended by Dabba Kato because…reasons. I’m with Sam. I just can’t grade this stuff.
Nia Jax vs. Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan
The flip side of the previous match. This was just too short to grade. It was becoming the same kind of fun but then…
Finally, a mission statement! The Locusts of Contempt. I like it! We’re getting a little movement on this now. Interesting. I love that the sheets went to the trouble to throw the audio into a sound editor to slow the voices down in an effort to figure out who was speaking. WWE have been shifting people in and out so even if you figure it out, it’ll likely change by next week. Either way, fun segment.
Backstage – The Mysterios
Rey was still stiff – less stiff but stiff nonetheless. His mic has always been weak and he still can’t get it together.
Backstage segment – Randy Orton & Drew McIntyre
Drew has been downright sadistic. The tables have turned in the ugliest way possible for Randy. I like this other side of Drew. Three punts for Drew, three Claymore kicks for Orton. More, please.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Buddy Murphy
Fun match! They really went after each other. This kind of match is right up Dominik’s alley and he did so well here. It’s amazing how quickly he’s taking to this and when he’s in the ring with someone as good as Seth or Buddy, he really shines. The ending was just merciless. Poor Buddy…LOL! He took a molly whopping via Singapore Cane by the entire family. I have little doubt he had trouble sleeping last night and probably will tonight too.
I mean…who would have thought we’d get this deliciousness from Raw tonight? Very solid episode for a Labor Day that they usually throw away. I’m so glad they actually furthered storylines and that Cedric heel turn tho! I mean…we saw it coming but he pulled it off really well. I KNOW he can do this so I’m very excited to see where this goes. Next week, Sam will be back with another edition of “The Sovereign Statement”.