Who Wants A Piece?…Beyond Blunderdome!

Hey, kids.  Welcome back to the Getback.  Sam won’t be available for a while so it appears I’m just kinda taking over.  That’s fine with me.  For those who remember, I was the previous regular writer of this blog so I’m happy to be back – even if it’s only for a while.  I’m still not exactly taken with Blunderdome and the fake crowd noise but it’s getting easier to just let the stories happen.  This, of course, means I’m getting used to it.  I’d hoped we wouldn’t have to do that but here we are.  Okay, on to the show!

 

In-ring segment – Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, Christian, Ric Flair, and Big Show

Honestly, I was less than interested to see wrestling’s past in the ring.  They were fun accents to last night but that should have been the end of it.  ‘Course, in my defense, I didn’t know what was planned for later when I first saw them.  Still, this was actually good.  Duke Dre thought this was “cringe” but I respectfully disagree.  It brought more humanity to Drew.  His interaction with Big Show was very nice.  It’s clear that WWE is really behind Drew and they should be.  This brought a little more of him to the party and I love it.  Randy plays a nice sore loser and did the “I’m not finished with you” thing.  Queen thinks Flair was likely a little out of it; I think he was just being silly.  He didn’t bother me.  After that last segment he had with Orton, he can live off of that for a while.

BTW, Christian has the worst theme.  It just feels so ancient, wimpy and nondescript compared to the others – kinda like Mickie James’ theme.  Not Jim Johnston’s finest hour there.

 

Backstage segment – Zelina Vega

I love Zelina and Asuka to death but this is purely lazy booking.  Zelina lost and we’re getting a repeat match merely a day later.  Why?  Just why?

 

Asuka vs. Zelina Vega

Even if this match had very little reason to be seen again, it still delivered fairly well.  I really dislike it when wrestlers forget to sell moves.  Zelina’s arm was trapped in an arm breaker and she barely even bothered to sell it.  I know we’re long gone from the days of armbars made to look like the person in them is dying but at least be semi-realistic in selling the effects.  Given the way Zelina was showing desperation at not getting her final pin, you’d think the match had gone on for thirty minutes.  A bit over-the-top.  Of course, Asuka took this.  I hope they’ve got a plan for Zelina.  In spite of the hiccups, I’m a big fan.  I just wasn’t into this match.  It wasn’t needed and the outcome of it was obvious even before it began.

 

In-ring segment – Andrade

Why was there a mic in his hand?  What a total mess.  Skip!

 

Keith Lee vs. Andrade

They’re facing each other because…reasons.  I said that it felt a bit like an AEW women’s match because there’s no story behind this match.  It’s just the match.  They also appear to be in a holding pattern with Keith.  The match was short and it didn’t matter.  That they seemingly have little direction for Andrade doesn’t bother me too much, honestly.  That they have no real direction for Keith, however, does.  Someone that obviously talented who’s been wrestling this long should always have direction.

 

Backstage segment – MVP, Bobby Lashley, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, and hapless intern

This was just bullying.  It was short and they all did it well.  The intern did really well there too.  He sold a little fear without being ridiculous.  The Hurt Business run this and this helps tell that story.  Fun little accent.  Cedric not being there is rather interesting.  I hope he hasn’t come down with COVID.  I’d say to look to see if Swole shows up on Wednesday but…well…y’all know…

 

Backstage segment – R-Truth, Akira Tozawa, & Drew Gulak

I’m well aware that most of the wrestling crowd abhors these segment but ask me if I care.  These are so much fun.  R-Truth did a dab on the ninja who turned out to be Drew and I died.  Poor Drew.  He just can’t keep it when he wins it.  In the words of Brandy, “Almost Doesn’t Count”.  As for those of you who hate this stuff, it’s entertainment.  Word is USA wanted it to give the viewers something else to enjoy.  It works to that end.  Relax and enjoy.

 

Jeckyll and Hyde II:  Chose Your Friends Wisely…starring Murphy & Seth Rollins

Poor Murphy.  He doesn’t know what to do with Seth.  Seth’s Jeckyll and Hyde has totally messed with him and I love it.  He’s just trying not to get regulated on.  Though I hate the storyline he’s in, I enjoy what Seth has become.

 

The Kings Court:  Jerry Lawler, Mysterios, & Seth Rollins

This whole storyline is so ridiculously bad.  Yeah, I know I just said I loved the 24/7 thing and how entertaining it is but this isn’t that at all.  It’s not entertaining; it’s reductive.  Worse, no one with the last name Mysterio can act, though Aalyah was slightly better than she has been…slightly.  Queen feels she was better than I do.  Your call.  She’s still new to all of this but she should have been better prepared just like last week.  They’re all being asked to do that and it’s only making it worse.  This is all so heavily scripted and just bad.  BTW, why is Jerry just holding his crown in his right hand?  I mean…you CAN put it down, bruh.  Seth was the only one here with any mic acumen and he’s doing all he can here but…  It is absolutely the case that wrestling is really just a soap opera with turnbuckles and ring ropes.  This?  This is just a giant fail.

 

Natalya, Lana, and Adam Pearce

Natalya can’t talk.  She never could.  This was just more of that.  Lana catches so much flack but she can talk.  She’s doing all she can with this nonsense.

 

Natalya & Lana vs. Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke

Reallyy throwing this one together, aren’t we, WWE?  I get why it happened so I’m not bothered by that.  What did bother me is the fact that Lana simply can’t work.  She is definitely better but she’s just way too Diva in the ring.  This was the Diva match that no one asked for with all the slow work, and non-explosiveness that we remember.  Mandy and Dana won because…yeah, I got nothing.

 

Backstage segment – Aleister Black

I mean…Aleister isn’t wrong.  That’s what makes these feuds work and it’s what’s driving this one.  Aleister absolutely is not wrong.  He’s not delusional in any way.  He has a legit gripe and told the story incredibly well here.  I have no arguments.  

 

Kevin Owens vs. Aleister Black

This was a fun match.  Great back and forth just like we knew we’d get.  They really did battle well together.  Nice chemistry.  Aleister’s contact with Drake (the ref) was unintentional and they made a little bit of a thing out of it.  If you thought he was mad before, just wait…

 

Ric Flair, Big Show, Shawn Michaels, Christian

Christian’s audio was really low so he was impossible to hear.  Fun little Street Profits cameo tho.  Really too short to grade.

 

Backstage segment – Hurt Business, Ricochet, Apollo Crews, & Mustafa Ali

Mustafa on “Raw”!  About time.  Let’s see what comes of this.  Very quick segment but totally fun and further sells Hurt Business’ bully ways along with the conflict between both camps.

 

R-Truth vs. Akira Tozawa, vs. Drew Gulak

Call it Raw Helper but I loved it.  Fun, quick match and R-Truth is a national treasure.

 

Backstage segment – Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke

Charly was just leaden here.  So Mandy & Dana are now longtime friends.  Okay.  Mandy was pretty good here but Dana wasn’t anywhere near as good.  This was a quick “mission statement”-kinda thing.

 

Dominik Mysterio vs. Murphy

Dominik was just visceral here and I liked it.  Murphy is a fantastic dance partner and can work with anyone.  Dominik has done really well with two of the best WWE has to offer and it’s been fun to watch.  The storytelling here was decent.  No, seriously.  Murphy going “It’s not what you think!” adds an interesting layer that I figured was coming.  Seth is the real villain here; it’s not Murphy.  Murphy is being used to drive them all crazy.  Now, we’re getting somewhere.  I may try well have been judging this too harshly.  They appear to be heading somewhere new.  Murphy yelling “it’s not what you think!” while Dominik stalked him with the Singapore Cane and Aalyah yelling at Dominik to not go after Murphy adds something new.  I’m cool to see where it goes.

I should also make a plug for Raw Talk.  In it, Murphy said all the right things but was so conflicted.  I enjoyed it and you likely would too.  Check it out.  It’s worth it.  It’s also on the free version of the WWE Network…darn it!

 

Backstage segment – Dolph Ziggler & Adam Pearce

Wonder what Dolph has in mind.  Too short to grade this one too.

 

The Hurt Business (Shelton Benjamin, MVP, & Bobby Lashley) vs. Ricochet, Apollo Crews, & Mustafa Ali (sponsored by Pantene)

Fun mic work to begin.  MVP is platinum and Shelton & Bobby did well here too in the short spirts that they provided.  You know what’s really cool about Mustafa?  His hair wasn’t wet when he came out!  I think AJ Styles & Dolph Ziggler are the only other two guys with long hair that come out dry.  Okay, the match.  So much fun there.  The pace was sufficiently quick thanks to the face team and we got nice muscle and ruthlessness from the Hurt Business.  Great balance and nice chemistry between all of them.  I dearly love Mustafa’s 450 splash.  Great way to bring him back.  Let’s hope they go somewhere with him now.

 

Backstage segment – Ric Flair, Big Show, Christian, Shawn Michaels, and Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)

Poor Christian.  He looked mildly embarrassed to be there.  I get it.  There was no point to this or any of the other things we got from these guys.  The first segment was enough.  Skip!

 

Vignette – Bianca Belair

This is the second week of this.  Bianca has been chillin’ in catering for a while now.  Seems it’s finally about to be over now.  Can’t wait.  I love that she’s not coming off as arrogant.  She’s just being good.  She’s just crazy athletic.  How cool that Suge D/Pineapple Pete appeared again.

 

Cinéma de Are You Kidding Me – Retribution

The Streets tell us that Retribution will be on the shelf for a couple of weeks due to COVID.  Still, they show here in recorded form.  The story is a mess and once they’re all cleared, they’re gonna need to burn the midnight oil fixing this.  There’s literally nothing about this storyline that wasn’t summarily destroyed last week.  As such, I just can’t care.  If it’s true that they’ve been writing this as they go, this is a cautionary tale for what can happen when you do that.

 

Drew McIntyre vs. Robert Roode

Well then!  The last time we saw him (pre-COVID), he was essentially loitering.  We were hearing that he might be close to coming back but hesitated reporting it because it couldn’t be confirmed.  Good thing we did.  It was widely misreported where he was due to land.

The match was really fun.  Props to Drew for even doing this.  We took damage last night so it’s pretty cool to see a match with him in it.  They did NOT take it easy on each other.  Really fun match and nice way to bring Roode back.  Hopefully, they’ve got a plan for him.  He’s been SO hard done since he got to the main roster.

 

Backstage segment – Randy Orton & The Legends

That was diabolical.  Night vision goggles.  Didn’t see that coming at all.  This was delicious!  This continues to sell Randy the monster and I am totally here for it.  This feud between Drew & Randy is beginning to feel a little Flair/Rhodes.  We haven’t had one like that in a long time but Drew & Randy could likely pull it off.  Maybe this’ll be it.

 

This was largely a tale of two shows – one really good and one incredibly bad.  The women were uniformly terrible but the men were really good nearly all the way around.  Very AEW of them.  I’m beginning to very slightly warm to the Rollins/Mysterio/Maury storyline because it seems to be taking an unexpected turn. There’s also the feud we know we’ll get between Murphy & Rollins.  That should be a lot of fun.