This week’s Monday Night Raw was bad. At first I thought it was just me, and I wasn’t in the mood to watch it, but after a second viewing, it’s just bad. Bad for a go-home show, yes, but also bad in general. It’s been known for years that WWE just caters to the 7 year olds in the crowd who just want to see Cena, but every time he opens the show and babbles on about nothing I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. This show was just an awful rehash, and it’s like Vince McMahon just told the writers to take a day off because they were gonna run the same show as last week. Now, live from Richmond, Virginia, it’s Monday Night Raw!
John Cena starts out the show, naturally. He comes out and talks about nothing, making sure to hit the bullet points an intern wrote on his notecard earlier. WWE Network. Six days away from WWE Battleground. The name of the town is Richmond, Virginia. After Cena covers his bases Roman Reigns comes out from the crowd, and the two talk. Everything that comes out of their mouths at this point sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher to me. Then Dean Ambrose appears on the Titantron. He says something about Operation: Screw The Authority. Did I mention that tonight’s main event is Cena, Ambrose and Reigns against Rollins, Kane and Orton? Yep. Don’t bother putting anyone else on the card in a match against their rival in order to elevate their feud. No, just keep having main events with the same six guys that have been main eventing Raw since Batista decided to walk away.
A sign in the crowd asks “Why is your hair so wet?”
Kane, Orton and Rollins suddenly surround Dean Ambrose and they jump him. Then it turns into a long played out assault, while Reigns and Cena just stand in the ring and do nothing. This mugging goes on for so long I thought I was watching the fight scene from They Live. Remember around 2010 when TNA would have these elaborate brawls that would go on forever? Well, this was like that, only longer.
Why do I not like this new Miz character? It’s not like wrestlers the world over haven’t done their fair share of posturing. Remember Gorgeous George in the 1950s? He wore a lavish robe, long curly locs, and had his valet come out prior to the match to perfume the ring to get rid of the stench of the other dirty wrestlers. How genius… and that was in the 1950s. He was an innovator. When Gorgeous George or other wrestlers did this character, we believed it, because they either had the rep to back it up, or they’ve done something to earn it. Chris Jericho’s character came to life, and we never once doubted it, because his charisma carried him to legitimacy. Also, he had the resume for it.
The Miz has none of this. The only reason he won his Wrestlemania main event was because The Rock gave John Cena the Rock Bottom. A lot of The Miz’s wins a few years back were due to him being helped by Alex Riley or carried by R-Truth. Prior to that he was just a buffoon that people laughed at. If The Miz was doing this as a comedy character, like a Heath Slater, or Damien Sandow (ugh), then yes, that would be okay.
This was his first legitimate match in awhile. Both times he’s tried to get out there since his return he’s been used as fodder for the Jericho vs Bray Wyatt feud. So, this is his first real chance to show what the new and improved Miz can do to show us his greatness. The match ends and The Miz wins by cheating. Normally for a bad guy character that’s a good thing. Bad guys cheat to win. But in this case where you are trying in vain to push The Miz as a superstar it does not work.
The one time I did like The Miz is when he came out in suits and had Alex Riley with him. The character built up a lot of momentum for himself, but it was immediately killed when he had that I Quit match against John Cena. You remember, where he beat Cena half to death, and Cena had zero offense. Then within a span of five seconds, Cena put The Miz is the STF and he quit. Yep. That’s how you kill a character.
A backstage conference happens between Rollins, Kane and Orton. Kane mentions that while he has Orton and Rollins’ backs, he is gunning for that championship. This is the first inkling we’ve seen of Kane wanting the championship belt. He’s backed up The Authority for so long when it came to the championship that he’s never once mentioned being interested in the title himself. The man held the ladder for Seth Rollins, and tried to help Randy Orton win the championship at Money in the Bank. Did he just change his mind? Why? What happened? Why did this not come up in Authority staff meetings? And if it did why did no one ever talk about it on camera? Instead Kane pretty much says you know that shiny belt you guys have been after for a long time? I think I want it too!
We’re shown footage of Smackdown where Summer Rae and Leyla El turn the tides on Fandango and beat on him. All that was missing was Leyla pouring hot grits all over him Mary Woodson style. This is dumb, isn’t it? Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. I just want to know how the collusion went down. Never mind that we didn’t see it, or if we did it was hidden on the WWE app somewhere and three people watched it.
In my head it went something like this:
“Hey, Leyla…” Summer Rae says in the catering area. She considers grabbing a scone but realizes it may be too fattening. She frumps and comes to the conclusion that eating today is not to be.
“Hello, Summer,” Leyla El says to the woman that has been trying to steal her man for the past few weeks.
“Fandango has become a real dog hasn’t he?” Summer Rae tells the chai tea drinking Leyla.
“It’s true. However, you kept on with him after we both made it clear that we’re together.”
“But… But… I did it to prove that he’s a dog!”
“Yes, he’ll scrump anything.” Leyla gives Summer the once over and turns away in disgust.
“Yes, but look at what happened on Raw. Did you hear the commentary? He said that some days he prefers blondes and other days he prefers brunettes.”
“That animal. Well, we have to show him what’s what!” Leyla is beside herself thinking about how her man, now ex-man, could say such filthy things on television.
“Besties?” Summer gives Leyla that puppy dog look and extends her pinkie finger.
“Besties.” Leyla smiles and the two interlock pinkies before skipping away together.
If that had actually happened it’s the only way I could buy a sudden turn of events for poor Fandango on Smackdown. However, it didn’t and we have to live with Summer Rae and Leyla El having cosmic telekinetic powers and conspiring in their brains to screw over Fandango.
The match is Dolph Ziggler vs Fandango, again. Leyla El and Summer Rae come out during the match, get on top of the announce table and dance to Fandango’s music. This confuses the enchanted one, and he ends up losing to Dolph Ziggler when he hits the Fameasser. Both ladies get in the ring and kiss and hug all over Dolph. What does this all mean? Nothing, except for the possible debut of Sasha Banks, or any of the other lovely divas of NXT as Fandango’s new dance partner.
Damien Sandow has now reached new lows. Before I get into this segment I want to give you a bit of actual history. In the mid 1930s there used to be radio shows. This includes sitcoms and serialized shows like westerns and sci-fi. There was a show called Fibber McGee and Molly. In that show there was a neighbor who would come over and expound on Johnson’s Wax, and how great it was. This was obviously product shilling, but it was delivered so seamlessly that you didn’t care. The character was very entertaining and the segments were something you looked forward to and didn’t turn away from.
That’s not the case here. Damien Sandow, dressed as a Sonic Drive-In carhop, appears backstage to steal the food from a Sonic employee. I’m not sure if the food was for The Authority, or for Zack Ryder because he hadn’t eaten in so long, or the man was just hungry. But it was weird of him to be dressed like that if he was just going to eat the food himself. What no one brings up is that Sonic Drive-In apparently delivers to arenas. This was also the case a few weeks after Jerry Lawler came back from his heart attack and they fed the man Sonic live on the air.
The worst part was Adam Rose and his posse. Has this man even had a match yet? What is the point of this if you’re not going to do anything with this guy at some point? Why is he there? Apparently it’s just to annoy people. To make matters worse he steals Damien Sandow’s food, talks about how delicious that sandwich was, whatever it was, and then eats it as his posse cheers him on. What?
From here my notes just get fuzzed because I stopped caring about the show.
Sting. Sting is The Icon. WWE and their fans have salivated over a possible arrival in WWE for so long that no one thought it would actually happen. After leaving Dixie Land, everyone knew he was inevitably going to cross over to the E. A bunch of reports said that he did. There was even a debut of sorts on The Ultimate Warrior’s memorial documentary. And before that WWE made one of those “What If” fantasy matches between Sting and The Undertaker.
On July 8th, Sting tweets a creepy picture of his face in the shadows, along with the date 7/14/14. Fans and the Internet went crazy. Could this be the debut of The Icon in WWE? Was he gonna come in and smack around The Authority? No. None of this happened. Instead, we are shown a trailer video for Sting in WWE 2K15. Note that Sting isn’t just a normal character in WWE 2K15, but he’s a special character that’s only available through pre-order. At the moment you can only have Sting in your WWE 2K15 game if you pre-order. All this fanfare for a pre-order character, that eventually, if WWE and 2K Sports wants to make money, will become a DLC character.
Nikki Bella vs Alicia Fox and Cameron. I like the new tag team of CamFox, that’s what I’m calling it. It’s not as cool as Foxsana, but what is? Once again Nikki is put into match where she has to overcome the odds like her boyfriend John Cena. While I’m not saying that John Cena is super great or anything, Nikki Bella is no John Cena. No one paid to see Nikki Bella, except for that guy in the nosebleeds who has a Bella Twins poster on his ceiling and is generally creepy. Also, why is this happening? Is Stephanie still mad about Brie? Is The Authority so mad at John Cena that they’re taking it out on poor Nikki? None of this is ever explicitly put into words. And what are the consequences if Nikki doesn’t go along with it? Brie is already fired, so what’s the worst that can happen? Alas, she goes through with it and CamFox wins.
The détente between Rusev and Jack Swagger was probably the most entertaining part of the show. It got this dead crowd to cheer loudly if only for a second. It also goes to prove that wrestlers can control the “what chants.” For years fans have hated when other fans do a “what” chant. A lot of great promos have been ruined by the “what” chant. Wrestlers have found ways of killing those chants by changing up their cadence to not allow a “what.” Lana, wanting people to “what” her, took pauses in between her speech, making it possible for people to “what.” So, don’t complain, they’re doing it on purpose.
The rest of the show was rather boring and generic. Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho? Yawn. Only because we know that Jericho is going to lose. Now that he’s the old wiley veteran, Jericho has done nothing but lose all his matches. This is almost the same type of feud Bray had with Cena, only this time Jericho will put Bray over. And Bray Wyatt is still boring to me. He cuts the same promo every week, and it’s just starting to become a drag. He can cut a good promo, but please, not the same one every week.
Ric Flair coming out and his babbling nonsense was yawn. John Cena coming out and handing Flair the Big Gold Belt shows that WWE is finally retiring that old title, and just sticking with the current version, which, rumor has it, will be updated with the new WWE logo in the coming months.
Overall this show was crap. The main event was garbage, and if Rollins hadn’t gotten hurt I bet you dollars to donuts that we would have seen a third false cash-in in a row. AJ vs Eva Marie was bad also. Eva Marie can’t wrestle, and Paige was on commentary reminding us over and over that she and AJ are frienemies, and then defining the word frienemy. This whole storyline is dumb, and I hope Paige hurries up and turns on AJ so we don’t have to sit through this insufferable garbage anymore. That, ladies and gentlemen, was Monday Night Raw.