WWE stepped things up this week bringing a few Raw superstars to SD to continue the go-home to the Royal Rumble. They’ve done well to keep them apart as much as they have, but we are going into the biggest super-spreader event of the year, and I hope they take all the precautions they can so that the Royal Rumble doesn’t turn into losing superstars.
What’s On His Head?
The opening segment made me want to change my Rumble Match prediction. Bry was in my top two people in the end, but I went in another direction. He has me rooting for him, and if Bry wins, I’ll be just as happy as the person I picked. Beyond that, Bry was great here. He was so excited that he was stumbling over his words, and I love when Bry is like this. AJ made this segment even better because he’s so much fun. It was Omos that really struck me. I hope we get to hear more of him going forward.
I have to admit that Bayley has gotten a bit better on mic since turning heel and breaking with Sasha. I didn’t expect it, but I appreciate it. She’s not the best, but she’s leaps and bounds better than she was.
I wanted to like this match more than I actually did. Bayley is strong in the ring and Bianca is a joy to watch, no matter what she’s doing, but I was rather distracted, which is not a good sign for a match. Another bad sign is a commercial in the middle of a match. I know it’s less of an issue now as there aren’t live fans, but it’s still a kick to the gut for anyone in a match interrupted by commercials.
After the commercial things got better, and I got more sucked in. Honestly, it was Bianca after she won that really brought the grade up for me. She was so adorable being interviewed, and Bayley played it all really well too.
I have to mention the slightly different cut to Bianca’s ring gear. The differences are minor, but I notice these things. I didn’t like it when she first got into the ring but seeing how it moved as she worked with Bayley, I liked it more and more. Also, sparkly!
And, Not So Much
Dom looked great in there, but Rey was horrible on announce. Rey is a better talker than this. I wonder if it’s because he’s watching his son, or if he doesn’t feel well.
Botch: He may be slightly better than this but this is pretty much as good as he gets. He got fired up about exactly nothing. Nothing he said was the least bit believable. That’s your kid in there. Give me some fire. He didn’t. Bless his heart…
Dom botched twice in a row, and one of them could have ended his career if Corbin wasn’t so good at what he does. Before the botches, Dom looked solid in there. From attacking Corbin on the ramp up until those botches, he looked solid.
What a beautiful suit on Sonya! Add in Big E’s amazing sweater and this segment was great before Miz even entered the segment. Honestly, other than JoMo, everyone in this hit it hard and were great doing it!
Would You Like Some…
Sasha was better on mic here than I’ve seen her in a long time. THIS is the Sasha I fell in love with in NXT! Reginald the Sommelier has some acting chops too, which Stacy was impressed with in this episode.
Doesn’t Sami know that Naka’s English isn’t very good? He was rattling so fast that I missed bits of what he said. Honestly, Naka didn’t need to catch much of Sami’s diatribe to know to tell him to screw off.
I love all the quiet way of speaking between them, then slowly ramped up. I’m thrilled they did it this way, and not have them actually face to face, because that would end up in a fight again. This back and forth was brilliant, some of the best we’ve seen in WWE in a long time.
Botch: I just… Sometimes, it’s just so good that words fail. This is kinda one of those times but I’m gonna try anyway. This gets ALL the crowns! The chemistry between Roman & Kevin is just sickeningly good. They fed off each others every syllable. Roman is just dripping in nuance with his every facial reaction and every word. Kevin just doesn’t understand that he’s not cut out to be the head of the table. Roman tried to make him understand and Kevin just can’t. Roman has no choice now. He’ll have to pay for his inability to understand. P.S.: Paul Heyman is a mad genius. Word is this is just about all his work. I bow to him.
Singles Versus Teams
I was very excited to see what Bry and AJ would do in the ring. They’ve faced in the past, but it’s been a while so there’s a freshness to it. Having Cesaro on announce was interesting, and a bit confusing to me at first, especially since his character isn’t as gregarious as he is on UUDD. Then Sami came out and I’ll admit I was annoyed that too much was going on outside the ring. I love Bryan and don’t like ever missing a move. I love AJ too, but I’ve always loved Bry’s ringwork and have stopped while channel surfing when I stumbled across ROH and he was on (way back, when we channel surfed and Bry was in ROH). When Big E came out it was obvious where they were going. I loved how Big E so carefully removed his coat before flattening Sami. It also explained why Omos wasn’t out there for this one.
Botch: I literally can’t take Cesaro seriously this way because of Da Party. He’s such a fun goof in real life and I just don’t buy this. Darn you, Swiss!
I thought both matches were really solid with some great moves. It was good enough, and so screwy that I’m going to go back and watch it again to catch the best moments missed by typing and chatting in the DD. What I loved is the way they’re changing up the traditional go-home to Rumble brawl to end the night, but it didn’t and they kept adding everyone to this match. It’s different and I love it!
Personally, the end of matches like this where everyone gets to take out someone else, then they are taken out, all the way through everyone in the match is something I always find fun. There was a bit of a lag with some here, but I can get over that. I’ve always found it fun, and even better going into my favorite PPV of the year!
Shut Up Graves, We’re Talking!
I have little to say here. I’m giddy that the Royal Rumble is in just a couple days, and even though I need to go out briefly between now and then, I’m going to mostly sit around and knit this weekend until the Kick Off to the Royal Rumble starts. Don’t forget to watch Backstage tomorrow as well, as there will be a match, and Renee will be there! Honestly, she’s enough of a reason to tune in. After that, join us right here for the Royal Rumble Dignified Discussion!
Queen & Botch