Hey, kids, it’s Sam and me again with a brand new “Eye to Eye”. These last couple of “Raw” episodes have been really solid. Let’s see what this one has in store for us.
By the way, apologies to those who joined us for Dignified Discussion. The commenting plugin we use, Disqus, went into maintenance mode. As the comments are actually hosted on their servers and not on ours, we don’t have any meaningful control when things happen on their end. In truth, things don’t go wrong with them that often so we grin and bear it. Anyway, our apologies to those who were inconvenienced. We enjoy chatting about Raw with all of you and we really missed doing it too.
Okay, on with the show.
Pat Patterson Tribute
I’m fine that they’re doing the “moment of silence” again. This should be an indicator to everyone what a truly devastating loss this is not only to WWE, but to wrestling in general. Pat was a pivotal figure in wrestling and he’s had a huge effect on the way we know it today. There’s no point in grading this but it absolutely does bear mentioning. There was another segment that was an exact repeat of what we got last week (the “My Way” segment) so we’ve left that one out. Still, it’s nice to see them mentioning Pat again and I’m all for it.
WWE has done a great job in paying tribute to the late Pat Patterson. This was like the previous tributes and done very well.
In-ring segment – Randy Orton & Bray Wyatt
This feud is essentially a continuation of the feud with the old incarnation of Bray Wyatt. I’m all about this given that this time, Orton is at the very top of his game and he really cares. “Let’s Get Randy” was life and breath. LOL! Poor Friendship Frog. He’s only remains now. Guess he won’t be back. Oh well. This whole thing was total entertainment. Out of this, we’re getting Randy/Bray. That, too, will be a lot of fun. I love watching this build.
Randy was solid here as he has been throughout this year. He spoke about the Fiend and how he will be knocking at the Fun House door and wondered who will let him in. This would of course trigger Bray Wyatt to appear from the Fun House and I liked how he said Alexa Bliss wasn’t there because of his actions. I loved the gameshow segment and things like that are what make the Fun House so much fun. This was great and would lead to Randy challenging Bray to a match. Bray would accept and we shall see how that plays out later.
Asuka vs. Shayna Baszler
Cute pep talk from Nia. Short but sweet. They’re mad, darn it all to heck! The match was stellar, of course. Dre mentioned that Shayna & Asuka would be a great TakeOver match and I agree with him.
I gotta agree with Botch about the pep talk from Nia. Short and sweet and did its job. This was quite the solid match and I will continue to say how I would love to see these two in the Fight Pit. That match could be magic if they let them loose in there. Plenty of fine back and forth in the match and Nia would get involved by attacking Lana at ringside. The best part though was seeing Lana pull off a hurricanrana, or hurricanLana as I dubbed it, and she is really showing she is growing. Asuka would end up picking up the win and continue the momentum she and Lana have been building.
Backstage segment – Hurt Business (MVP, Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin, & Cedric Alexander)
That needed more fire from Cedric than it got. It wasn’t terrible at all; it just wasn’t enough. He’s been proving lately that he can do it. He just needs to keep his foot on the gas.
This was what it was and the Hurt Business pretty much acted like school yard bullies here. Pretty much a blink and you miss it type of thing.
Backstage segment – Ricochet, Dana Brooke, & Riddle
Riddle is such fun…while Ricochet & Brooke just aren’t. We do get a tiny bit of fire from Dana here…but only a little and certainly not enough. Chet continues to phone it in and he’s just incredibly boring. Both of them need to pull this together. Dana showed real fire prior to Reckoning’s attack on her; she’s just forgotten how to keep showing it. The segment just left me cold. It didn’t bomb, but it wasn’t something I needed either. Riddle’s greatness was dampened by Chet & Dana’s inability to bring any real fire.
Ricochet and Dana were there but Riddle stole the show here. The man simply gets it and he knows what to do with whatever he is handed. I love that he has his own box of “Bronutts” and I dearly hope that WWE realizes they have a chance for their own donuts with Riddle. Ricochet and Dana explained why they are a team and that was that.
Reckoning & Slapjack vs. Dana Brooke & Ricochet
Quick match (like…really quick) with Reckoning losing again to Dana. I haven’t enjoyed the way Retribution has been used up until this point but I really want to believe we may be headed somewhere good now. I’m trying to keep my mind open. It likely shouldn’t be though and Lewis’ mind certainly isn’t. At this point, the stable means absolutely nothing but I guess I’m just hoping there’s still something for them somehow as T-Bar, Reckoning, and Mustafa are just so talented.
SKIP! I haven’t said that in a while but you really aren’t missing much by skipping this. It was a short match and fine I suppose but I really have no interest in seeing Reckoning take these losses. I guess they are building to something but they have to give me a reason to care.
Backstage segment – Keith Lee & Sheamus
They all think Sheamus is about to turn on Drew…and they can’t do a thing about it. Keith did what was necessary here and Sheamus menaces so well. This is all we’d get of Lee tonight and this is coming off of a really good WWE documentary on his life and career (if you haven’t seen it, stop reading this blog and go watch it). You’d think we’d have gotten more from him in light of that. Guess not.
Lee continues his distrust of Sheamus and now is telling him the whole locker room expects him to turn on McIntyre. I am enjoying how Sheamus keeps telling Lee to mind his own business and they are doing a good job in building the tension between them.
Miz TV – Miz, John Morrison, AJ Styles, Omos, Sheamus, & Drew McIntyre
Man, if Morrison doesn’t think he’s funnier than he really is. LOL! It’s so sad. Miz was fun there if not way off on the accent. Sheamus is just perfection and he nails week after week. When Miz & Morrison went into “COOOOOOORECT”, Sheamus totally cracked…and I love it. ‘Course, this got us the match we got later and this segment was kinda fun.
If you have seen the latest episode of Miz and Mrs. then you know just how much Morrison’s character right now is to his real self. He is pretty much a total goober and he plays it so well. Miz is fun as usual and AJ Styles would come out to join them with Omos. I loved how Miz apologized for not having a chair for him but AJ pretty much shrugged it off. They all would take turns mocking Drew and Sheamus so that would mean Sheamus would come out. Drew would end up coming out as well and a small skirmish would happen in the ring. The faces stood tall and Drew would pull off an impressive toss of the Miz’s MITB briefcase. He really launched that and I bet the people in the back didn’t expect that which is why they replayed it plenty of times after.
Kofi Kingston vs. Shelton Benjamin/Kofi Kingston vs. Cedric Alexander
I love that Kofi’s and Shelton’s rivalry in ECW was mentioned. Fun aside. The match itself was fun. Not terribly long, but fun. Kofi got the win and, again, Hurt Business was not having it. We got real fire from Cedric again. It’s like it’s selective. Sometimes, we get it, sometimes we don’t. The second match was fun too. I like the old school method of picking a body part (in this case, Kofi’s knee) and working it. Cedric does that well and Kofi sells well so it all worked nicely. I like where I think this may be going. Cedric’s ego is getting bigger and it’s gonna spin out of control. I’m all about this.
Solid work from Kofi here as he would take on Shelton Benjamin and then Cedric Alexander. Kofi and Shelton have a long history dating back to WWECW and I liked that they mentioned that. They also still have good chemistry and gave us a solid outing for how short it was. Cedric would pull an MVP and get on the mic after the match to goad Kofi into a match with him and he fell for it.
Cedric and Kofi had a fun match too and Cedric is really picking it up as a heel. I know Botch has spoken about how Cedric can be as a heel and I am really starting to see it over the last few weeks. Solid work from both men here and Cedric would pick up the win. The ego is growing by the week with him and I am loving it.
Drew McIntyre & Sheamus vs. AJ Styles (w/ Omos), Miz & John Morrison
Another solid match. Drew’s hot tag was really fun. His double flip on Morrison was really cool. Morrison made that happen and did a very nice job. We got a tease of miscommunication but it really blew up at the end with the errant kick from Sheamus to Drew. Oh, the conspiracy theories we’ll get now. This is the slowest of burns and I am totally here for it.
Of course, AJ is completely using Miz & Morrison for his own ends and I’m loving that too. Totally the “heel” thing to do.
This was another fun match and you really can see how much Sheamus and Drew are enjoying teaming together. They are longtime friends and it shows whenever they are around each other. It was fun to see AJ tag with Miz and Morrison too and they were smart in their heel tactics. The story was about AJ trying to get the advantage on Drew and also, we get the teases of Sheamus turning on Drew. Fun match and I wondered if they would have Drew and Sheamus win here so they can show Sheamus may not turn on Drew. That wouldn’t happen though as Sheamus would hit Drew by accident with the Brogue Kick and the team of AJ, Miz and Morrison would prevail. Fun match with a nice bit of storytelling as well.
Backstage segment – Asuka & Lana
Asuka’s pep talk was life. Lana was believing she’d be okay until Nia showed up. Nice emoting from Nia there and it was all it needed to be. Words simply weren’t needed.
I am simply falling in love with the team of Lana and Asuka. You can see how much fun Lana is having with Asuka and it would be hard not to have fun with her. Lana has doubts about facing Nia Jax next week but Asuka was there to give her a fun pep talk. Nia would end up showing up and intimidating Lana with her mere presence. Very fun stuff here and Lana really seems to be on the path to being her own superstar.
Backstage segment – Sheamus & Drew McIntyre
Yeah, this made little sense. Why would they be mad at each other? Sheamus didn’t kick Drew intentionally and said as much. Drew then seemed to understand and I figured everything was fine. Guessing this was a “gentlemen’s receipt”-kinda thing? Like…what? Poor Pat Buck. They fought…then it was over. What on Eartha Kitt is going on here? Still, I think I like this…I think…
I loved how Sheamus knew he was going to get into a fight with Drew because of his accidental kick. It may have been an accident, but you simply do not hit your friend. The two had a bit of a stare down and we came back from commercial with them fighting it out. They would be separated and then they would team up on Pat Buck. Buck went through the table and the two worked it out with their fists. Keep the slow burn going cause I am all for it.
Backstage segment – Riddle & Jeff Hardy
Broetry in Motion. What’s not to love? Jeff Hardy, that’s what. Riddle has been a blast in these little segments and Jeff gave nothing like he always does. He was supposed to be harried and pre-occupied but he just gave nothing. Riddle was brilliant; Hardy was there.
Riddle is simply the best and he gets it. I know I say that a lot about him but it just bears repeating every time he shows up. He was a ton of fun here and I did like how Jeff was just disinterested in what he had to say. Jeff had a match and just entertained Riddle in what he had to say. Riddle also really sells disappointment well because he felt that over Jeff not getting one of his Bronutts. Riddle is indeed a future world champion.
Bobby Lashley vs. Jeff Hardy (w/ Riddle)
How very “AEW women’s match” of them. Two people tossed together into a match because…? Hardy just didn’t need to be there. It was a solid match because Lashley & Hardy know exactly what they’re doing. Lashley has one of the deadliest spears ever and you love to see it. I did kind of like Riddle coming out to even the playing field when MVP started getting involved like any good heel manager should.
As should be expected, even with Hardy placed in the Hurt Lock forever, he sold absolutely nothing. He got right back up with few problems. UGH.
Of course, for those paying attention last week, we know the real tension is Lashley & Riddle, not Hardy. This was just to move that tension along and Hardy’s being used to help out, though it really isn’t necessary.
This was a fun match and I get where Botch got the idea of this feeling like an AEW women’s match. It is happening because reasons and that is it. Like I said, this was a fun match and Lashley really has grown into this vicious role with MVP. Actually, he is reminding me a bit of his last run in Impact and that is a good thing. He can be very vanilla but he seems to have tapped into what made him great in Impact. Riddle would come out to help even the odds for Jeff but Lashley would still come out the victor. Fun stuff here even if it was a bit random. Also, Riddle versus Lashley has so much potential of being a darn good match.
Backstage segment – Randy Orton & Ramblin’ Rabbit
Short but sweet. This is the first time we’ve seen the Ramblin’ one in a locker room. Odd but okay.
It is always fun to see the Fun House characters out in the real world. Short and to the point and I like how Rabbit told Randy that his match with Bray will be so much fun.
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
Who doesn’t love Bray’s theme? It’s just so…happy. Loved that after Bray made Orton eat announce table, he went after Tom’s headset and threw to commercial. LOL! This is high-level entertainment, darn it! As is the case with all Bray matches, his opponent gets most of the offense in and it never gets old because Bray sells really well.
The ending was really cool. You know how it was done if you give it a moment’s though so we won’t go into that. Still, a great visual. They were really bumping up against their allotted time and they managed to get it all in somehow. Fun way to close out the show.
It really is fun how different Bray portrays the Fiend and the Fun House Bray. So much difference between the two and it is nice how he fits that into his ring work as well. I loved him getting the headset from Phillips like Botch did and that was hilarious. Good work by both men during the match and Bray always does a good job in selling when he is this character. The lights started to go down and we all knew that meant the Fiend was nearby. Randy hit Bray with the RKO and went for the pin but the lights went out. They came back on and the Fiend was the one underneath Randy and he would put him in the Mandible Claw as Raw came to a close.
This was a decent Raw aside from the troubles we were having on our end. Only Ricochet & Dana Brooke were problematic here, really. The Retribution storyline is probably stillborn though I don’t want to believe it. Anyway, a fairly solid Raw this week!
Fun edition of Raw this week and the only real downer was the Retribution stuff with Ricochet and Dana Brooke. Everything else was solid and did a good job in advancing stories heading towards TLC.