Captain Hot Topic…Beyond Blunderdome

Hello, kids.  I’m back yet again with another Raw “Getback” as Sam is busy dealing with life.  The first indication that something was wrong tonight was the presence of Jerry Lawler.  Ugh…Lawler.  He’s every bit as bad as we remember.  He’s just so anachronistic.  He doesn’t fit any more and while it’s a shame, it is what it is.  He simply shouldn’t be doing this anymore.

Another thing that’s not going well thus far is Blunderdome.  I call it such because it’s just failing.  The reason for that is simple and David, Jason, and I both gave voice to it.  People simply don’t watch show on TV the way they watch them live.  I saw so many just kind of sitting there and while we complain about it (heck, I have during my time writing this blog), it’s really not fair.  I kind of do the same thing – we all do.  If a camera were on us, we’d be boring too.  The “audience” is just doing what they do at home.  This is fine for us but not fine when they’re being depended on to be a reactive audience.  As such, this can never work convincingly…and it hasn’t.

Okay, on with the show!


In-ring segment – Retribution & Hurt Business

This has really been slapped together.  Okay, so we now know Dio Madden, Dominick Dijakovic, Mia Yim, & Mercedes Martinez (thanks, David Jr).    This whole thing has been handled so badly.  We knew Retribution’s name far too quickly.  They have messed around with the number of people in the group.  They went from being dominant to being a nuisance in record time.  This debut should have been a huge deal…and it’s not.  They’ve already proven penetrable.  Still, T-Bar (Dominik) and Mia did well here.  They aren’t to blame and they delivered.  Of course, the Hurt Business came down for their pound of flesh and Retribution proved to be far bigger than we thought.  It’s all just been so jerky that it’s hard to know what they have in mind if they even have anything in mind.


Andrade & Angel Garza vs. Seth Rollins & Murphy vs. Humberto Carrillo & Dominick Mysterio (w/ Street Profits on commentary)

Fun match but more fun for the story than anything.  It was hilarious watching Andrade almost blow Tranquillo.  LOL!!  Humberto did what he always does – fade into the background.  Listening to Street Profits on commentary is like listening to football fans in a bar…and I love it.  They are so reactionary and so much fun.


Backstage segment – Retribution

More talking backstage not really saying anything new.  This isn’t going well so far.


KO Show – Kevin Owens & Shane McMahon

This was about trying to pump some life into the mess known as Raw Underground.  The interaction between them was fun like it always is.  That slap to Dabba from KO was just seismic!  Also loved Aleister coming out to have a little fun.  Fun segment.  I just wish it wasn’t at the service of something that doesn’t interest me.


Backstage segment – Drew McIntyre

Drew is just money.  It is what it is.  I love his fire and passion.


Backstage segment – Retribution

This is the chaotic thing we should have gotten from the very beginning.  Titus was in there as was Zelina but I couldn’t make everyone out because of the “cinéma verité” way they shot it.  Still, this was somewhat interesting.


Keith Lee vs. Drew McIntyre

Odd looking botch with the crossbody that went sideways.  This was a really good match and Drew never forgot to sell his jaw.  Lots of near-falls and a tremendous amount of impact that you can only get from guys like this.  The table spot may not have gone quite as planned.  Jason looked back at the spot while we were watching and he noted that Drew may have been expecting for the table to break.  Of course, Randy interfered and he went right after Drew’s jaw with a chair.  Drew sold the attack like a champ.  Love that he didn’t leave Keith out.  That punt looked totally safe but scary at the same time.


In-ring segment – Randy Orton

When he is on his game, he is on his game.  He did a brilliant job selling the ambulance match Drew and he have coming up.  His pacing and rhythm are just incredible.  I don’t even care about the botch.  That was passion.  If mic botches result, that’s fine.


Asuka, Billie Kay & Peyton Royce

Asuka is a total nut and I love it.  I just didn’t care about this much.  It appears they have things planned for Peyton and I’m not mad at that.  Billie and Peyton are still friends which I’m fine with.


Zelina Vega vs. Mickie James

My whole problem with Mickie is simple:  she’s an anachronism.  She’s from the past and she just doesn’t fit with this current crop of women.  She can’t get up there with them in terms of charisma, presence, mic work, or ring work.  Even her wardrobe is from Diva’s past.  The match itself was fine, I guess, but too much of it felt like an old Diva’s match.  Zelina did what she could and Mickie isn’t terrible.  It just felt like an old match.


Backstage segment – Hurt Business & Retribution

Why is Retribution LOSING to Hurt Business??? So dumb diddy dumb diddy diddy dumb dumb!  They really are just making this up as they go along.  I want to get into what Retribution is doing.  Their motive makes total sense and I want to suspend disbelief.  They just won’t let me.  They shouldn’t be beatable this quickly.  To quote Queen, UGH!


Vignette – Bianca Belair

Last week, the soiled coverings were running with the idea that WWE had forgotten Bianca.  So much for that theory.  Love this vignette.  They’re playing to her athleticism and I’m all for that.  She is CRAZY strong.


Ninjas & R-Truth

All I can do is laugh.  This can’t be typed.  You have to see it.  Just watch.  It’s brilliant.


Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander w/ MVP) vs. Apollo Crews (w/ Ricochet)

The promos weren’t golden but they weren’t awful either.  Both Cedric & Apollo did show passion and I’ll give them that.  The tightly-scripted thing is so tiresome and that’s what we got here.  Okay, the match.

I was hoping this might get some time.  Under any other circumstance, Apollo & Cedric can make magic.  This was still very good – don’t get me wrong.  These are two of the most athletic workers in wrestling period and we got a really good show here.  It’s was also really fun to see someone do a dive that wasn’t silly.  Cedric knows how to do them and make them work.  Of course, Apollo had to take this.  The attack at the end was fun too.


Dolph Ziggler vs. Arturo Ruas

SUGE D!  He was in the crowd surrounding the ring and I love it!  It was somewhat interesting with Dolph taking it.  Still, this is fake shoot fighting.  Next…


In-ring segment – Seth Rollins

This just didn’t make any sense.  First of all, how can a DNA test happen without their consent?  They have to give DNA to test.  Where would he get it from?  Then, we end up with Aaliyah getting upset because her dad says “she’s only nineteen and she knows nothing about our world”.  She storms off over that?  Weak writing.  I was hoping Aaliyah just had a thing for Murphy.  That could have been fun.  This? This was just odd.  Like…the whole thing.  Odd.  It was.  Odd.  I’ll let it play out but…huh?


Natalya & Lana vs. Nia & Shayna Bazsler (w/ Riott Squad on commentary)

Poor Shayna.  I’m glad she’s on my television with a belt every week but who did she anger to get stuck with Nia and further, what did either of them do to get stuck in a match with Natalya?  This was over before it began which doesn’t upset me.  Thankfully, there was an attack at the end to continue telling the story.  Again, Lana takes more damage.  Next…


Backstage segment – Mysterios

Aalyah was just awful here.  Just awful.  So very much low-budget Telemundo here. Yes, I know this is Aalyah’s first time doing things like this but she should have been prepared to do it.  This is national television in front of millions of people.  They should have put the work in with her.  The rest of them were bad too.  SKIP!


Erik vs. Riddick Moss/Interview with Dabba Kato

The “fight” was quick.  Dabba Kato came off with all the angry “get out of my face” fury you’d expect from someone his size.  It wasn’t bad at all.  The concept is silly but he did well on the promo.


Asuka vs. Peyton Royce

They apparently have things planned for Peyton and that’s why they broke up the IIconics, still they’re kinda together so maybe they don’t know yet.  Somewhat interesting match with an outcome we knew we’d get.  Let’s see what Peyton does next.


Backstage segment – Murphy & Aalyah

She was better here, though she was carried by Murphy.  The bad storytelling is really hurting this so far.  I’m uninterested.


Braun Strowman vs. Dabba Kato

Fake fight.  I am glad to see Dabba get on TV this much.  I’m all for new guys getting a shot.  Still, this was a fake fight and suspension of disbelief is impossible.  Next…


Retribution (Slapjack, T-Bar & Mace) vs. Hurt Business

I do like that Retribution doesn’t have theme music.  T-Bar is clearly Dominik Dijacovic & Mace is Dio.  We’re thinking Slapjack is Shane Thorne.  David brought it up and I totally see it.  Also no clue why the names are so completely stupid.  Twitter absolutely MURDERED WWE on those names.  I can only imagine the names must have been decided by Retribution’s main producer, Jack Daniels.  The match was decent.  Shelton always takes damage well and he made Retribution look sufficiently devastating.  Of course, no match is completely without the Hurt Lock.  Slapjack took it well.  Since neither faction can take a loss right now, the match broke down entirely.  This really should have been saved or a PPV but because WWE is just kinda going with it and making it up as they go along (it feels that way – there’s no concrete proof that they’re actually doing that), we got this here instead.  I’m not trippin’ just yet like everyone else.  I’m willing to see how this pans out.  It is, however, NOT looking good so far.


Okay, we now know more about Retribution.  The question is do we care.  I’m not sure yet.  Those names are absolutely horrid so not sure what they were thinking there.  There also seems to be an indeterminate number of them so who knows.  It really does feel like WWE doesn’t even know yet.  Let’s see what happens next week.  See you then!