Hey, kids. It’s the Botching One with another weekly Getback. The draft is now complete and now, we know where everyone’s going. There’s an article from Queen and me soon to follow that will cover the draft and there’s already an article with a chart from Jason that covers the nuts and bolts of the draft itself. You can see it (here). That said, I’ll leave the draft stuff to those articles as we’ll have more space to speak at length about each person who was a part of it. That’s what made sense to us. I’ve left the actual picks as announced on the show. Anyway, let’s get to this episode of “Raw”!
In-ring segment – Randy Orton & Drew McIntyre
Randy was as good here as he’s ever been. The issue here is that the material is getting stale. He’s just saying the same thing over and over again. We know WWE is scripted and it’s the scripting that’s getting old. They’re not taking this anywhere else. Drew came out and things perked up a bit…but only a bit. Again, NONE of this was their fault; it’s all the scripting. I’ve enjoyed their feud and I’m still enjoying it; I’d just like some more dimension in the promo scripting.
The Fiend to Raw / Bayley to Smackdown / Randy Orton to Raw / Street Profits to Smackdown / Charlotte Flair to Raw / Velvet McIntyre to All-Star Wrestling
Aleister Black vs. Kevin Owens (Street Fight)
This one got started RIGHT away. Nice hard-hitting match with the usual props you’d expect. The Meteora to a Kevin into the row of chairs was just nasty. Neither of them got out of that without some damage. They did not take it easy on each other and I’m fine with the outcome.
Braun Strowman to Raw / Daniel to Smackdown / Matt Riddle to Raw / Kevin Owens to Smackdown / Jeff Hardy to Raw / “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase to Wrestling Spotlight
Miz TV – The Miz & John Morrison, Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Lana, Natalya, Lars Sullivan
John Morrison is such a waste of time at this point. He’s fine in the ring but on the mic, he’s just so completely corny. He’s never been that good, really. This was like a high school play. You can just see the lines on the script they’re reading from. Miz is always fun and he did what he could but he was just outgunned. Lana is far better than she’s ever given credit for but she can’t overcome bad scripting. Natalya is terminally boring so there’s that. Dana was given so little to do and she couldn’t even get through one of her few lines without botching. Sadly, this is on brand for her. Lars came out at the very end to ruin John Morrison’s life. The only thing mildly interesting is that Miz ran off before he got attacked and stayed away while Morrison got mollywhopped. The whole thing is nearly a throwaway. No, I won’t bother saying anything about Lars. Next…
Backstage segment – New Day (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston), Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins), Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
This was fun. I like the dynamic between Street Profits and New Day. Shame we won’t see it on the regular as they’re on two different brands. I get why they have to be but it was fun to see them together here. Dolph and Robert were decent as the heels here too.
Retribution to Raw / Lars Sullivan to Smackdown / Keith Lee to Raw / Baron Corbin to Smackdown / Alexa Bliss to Raw / Strike Force (Rick Martel & Tito Santana) to Superstars of Wrestling
In-ring segment – Seth Rollins & Jeff Hardy
Seth is great on the mic and Jeff is awful. The end. The conflict that created this match was pretty silly but we got it anyway. ‘Course, all three can bring it and always have. Jeff did what Jeff does when he said “A Triple Threat Tag Team Match”. Yeah, okay…
Seth Rollins vs. Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles
Excellent match all the way around. These three tore it down and the match got plenty of time for them to do so. The countering was the most fun. Watching Rollins dismantle the tower of doom and then getting himself locked into a calf crusher by AJ was fun. Just dizzying back and forth throughout. Of course, a definitive story has to be told here and Elias provided it. He’s been gone for a while due to injury but he’s back now and he made a statement here. Loved the nuance of AJ looking up at Elias and stealing the win. Such solid storytelling here in both the match and Elias’ interference.
Elias to Raw / Elias to Smackdown / Lacey Evans to Raw / Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro to Smackdown / Sheamus to Raw / Hillbilly Jim to Superstars of Wrestling
Lana & Natalya vs. Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose
Only Mandy Rose has my interest here and even then, only slightly. Dana Brooke had about three lines and she botched one so there you go. She does absolutely nothing for me and never has. Lana should have my interest but she isn’t in a position where I can be interested. The best part of this was that Lana & Natalya broke up as a team. Perfect. Lana shouldn’t have been stuck with Natalya in the first place. Natalya’s just been phoning it in for so long now and Lana keeps getting the shaft by being stuck in angles that either don’t matter or angles with “X-Pac heat” on them. She’s better than that but we never see it. Such a shame. Anyway, this one’s over so let’s see what happens with Lana next.
Backstage segment – Ricochet & The Hurt Business (MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Bobby Lashley, & Cedric Alexander)
This was good stuff. Ricochet was so alive here and I love it. It took some time for him to get that together but he really has. I felt real heart from him. Thank you, MVP. Can’t wait for the match that we are going to get from this. Cedric and Ricochet could tear the house down if they’re given time.
Angel Garza vs. Andrade
This was a quick match but it was fun. I’m glad the right guy won. Angel has buckets full of charisma that Andrade just doesn’t. I’m very interested to see where Angel goes next and I hope this thing with Andrade is blown off. Zelina was fun on commentary too. The best was at the end. Fiend and Bliss came out and gave Andrade & Zelina twin Sister Abigail’s. I absolutely love Alexa this way. She’s slid into her new role so well. There’s a danger of making this corny but they’ve avoided it so far. Alexa is nailing and I can’t wait to see where this goes.
Nikki Cross to Raw / Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode to Smackdown / R-Truth to Raw / Apollo Crews to Smackdown / Dabba Kato to Raw / “Classy” Freddie Blassie to Wrestling Challenge
New Day (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston) vs. Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler
Fun match. I’m so glad Woods is back. ‘Course, to me, he barely disappeared. I’ve been watching him on UpUpDownDown playing Uno with Big Swiss, Breeze, & Chugs so it’s like he’s always been there. Who he is on UpUpDownDown and in the ring are no different from each other, really. I fully expected his return to the ring to be a little rusty but it hasn’t been. He’s crisp as ever. Ditto on Kofi. Regardless of what’s been said about Ziggler and Roode, they can both get it done in the ring and they did. Some in DD were afraid New Day would lose their newly-acquired Raw titles (hi, Dre) but that didn’t happen…thankfully. I’m interested to see where New Day goes next.
Backstage segment – Elias
His new album is coming out. YES!!! His character is largely unchanged but I love that they seem to be moving on him a little now that he’s back. I’m all about that. He appears to be “tween”-ish and I like it…and yes, I’m all over that album when it comes out. Elias is a musical genius (think Segovia in knee pads) and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.
Ricochet vs. Cedric Alexander
Fun match but I was dubious about whether or not this was going to get the time it should. It got all it needed. I keep saying it but it’s true. MVP deserves a statue in the park for what he’s done for everyone he’s worked with. He has made all of them (Cedric, Ricochet, Apollo, Bobby, & Shelton) more interesting and I love it. The ending of this was…delicious! Ricochet got one over on Cedric. In order for that to work, Ricochet needed to really sell it…and he did. Cedric did too. The look on MVP’s face was just amazing. I loved everything about this. My boy, Ricochet, has finally come to life and I love to see it. Here, we didn’t get WWE Ricochet; we got Indie Ricochet; Ditto for Cedric. Dre really wanted Ricochet to lose so he’d join the Hurt Business and I would have enjoyed that too but if that had happened, we wouldn’t have gotten that incredible ending. Again, thank you, MVP.
Titus O’Neil to Raw / Carmella to Smackdown / Peyton Royce to Raw / Aleister Black to Smackdown / Akira Tozawa to Raw / Red Rooster to Wrestling Spotlight
Lacey Evans, Peyton Royce, Nyla Jax, Shayna Baszler, Tamina, Billie Kay, Bianca Belair, Natalya, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Lana, Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose
Billie Kay was great here. LOL! Love her. I know but I do so deal. Loved seeing Shayna help the other ladies get rid of Nyla. Even better, Bianca was the one to get rid of Shayna. A lot of interesting things happened here and I was sure it’d be a throwaway. So many of these things are. The best thing is that I didn’t see what the end was gonna look like. Lana never went over the top rope and I should have known. She got her come muffins on Natalya and I am here for it. No win could be more boring than if Natalya had taken it so I’m glad it went this way.
Cinéma de Apex Claymore
Fun little battle between Orton & McIntyre. It sells further tension between them so I’m all for that.
This was an unexpectedly solid episode of “Raw”. Usually, the draft shows aren’t amazing. So glad this one was. It’s always preferable to write about good shows than bad ones. I don’t enjoy wallowing in the bad stuff and tonight, I didn’t have to. It wasn’t perfect but it only had a couple of things I’d consider bathroom breaks and I didn’t totally hate anything. This is a step up from previous weeks. Let’s pick this up again next week for another edition of “The Getback”, shall we?