Don’t Too Sweet Me, bro

RAW 1-29-2018

The weekend was so full of great wrestling with NXT TakeOver and the Royal Rumble that it was hard getting excited for RAW this week. Luckily, WWE didn’t make this week’s show a chore to watch. I was a bit disappointed that there were no call-ups from NXT, but the show delivered like it hasn’t in a while.

Of course, the show starts off with Stephanie telling us how historic the Women’s Royal Rumble was; in case you didn’t pick up on the vibe the night before. Asuka comes out, but doesn’t specify who she’s going to face at Wrestlemania. Sasha comes out to interrupt. The slow Sasha heel turn continues. Honestly, Sasha needs to be off TV for a while. I know it’s the right time for it now with Wrestlemania around the corner, but her shtick is tired. I get it, you’re “The Boss”.

Asuka vs Sasha Banks happened later in the show. Of course, Asuka won in a pretty good match. Both women got a chance to look strong. Sasha nearly killed herself with a botched dive outside the ring. Her legs hit the top rope as she was diving out and she spiked herself on the ground just as Asuka was about to kick her. It could have ended up very badly for Sasha. The only problem I had with this match is that Bayley was nowhere to be found. Sasha eliminates her in the Royal Rumble, but there is no fallout the next day. Bayley should have at least confronted her at some point during the show, or come out to distract Sasha and cost her the match. Just goes to show you how far Bayley has fallen. WWE is doing this angle and Sasha and Bayley are wrestling at Wrestlemania, but they should have started it from this episode of RAW. Lazy booking.

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The Miz beat Roman Reigns in another IC Title match. Good stuff from these guys. WWE is making The Miz look strong. The rumor is that he’ll be feuding with Braun Strowman at Wrestlemania. Speaking of Braun, he again tried to murder Kane. They had a Last Man Standing match as an Elimination Chamber qualifier. Strowman tipped the announcer’s table/stage over on to Kane and the match was over. How many times does Braun have to almost kill someone before the police charge him with attempted murder? The funny thing is that, for some reason, the announcers had to set up a new table near the ring because of what Braun did when someone could have very easily just tipped it back and things would have been fine. Maybe the area was a crime scene that couldn’t be disturbed.

In the two other Elimination Chamber qualifiers, Elias beak Woken Matt when Matt was distracted by Bray Wyatt, and John Cena beat Finn Balor. Two very good matches. WWE is making Elias look strong and I’m curious to see how he’ll do in the chamber. I know people are probably wondering where Woken Matt is headed. It looks like he now has full control of all the Broken Matt related trademarks. Hopefully this is a sign that he is ready to move forward with this gimmick. I see a Bray Wyatt – Woken Matt goofy tag team coming. It could be fun.

RAW closed out with John Cena and Finn Balor. I don’t know why John Cena had to win this? Maybe Finn Balor still finds a way into the chamber match. He deserves to be in it. That being said, this match delivered. Both guys got in some big spots, and the finish was in doubt until the end. Sure, maybe you thought Cena was going over, but it wasn’t a slam dunk. There were a few times when I thought Finn was taking it. Cena heeled it up a bit with his Too Sweet and the fans booed. Finish came from a Super AA from the second rope. Balor lost, but looked good.

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There were some other matches, but they didn’t move anything along. No surprises on this show, no Ronda Rousey, no Seth Rollins, no Jason Jordan, and no 205 Live guys. Speaking of 205 Live, Drake Maverick (Rockstar Spud) was named the new GM on Tuesday night and a new 16-man tournament started. Looks like they’re getting a reboot after the whole Enzo thing. 205 needed it, whether or not Enzo was gone. I like 205 Live, but they haven’t done it any favors by having the same guys on every week for most of the year when they had so many other talented guys (Gran Metalik) sitting around doing nothing.

RAW delivered this week. Let’s hope they can keep this up on the road to Wrestlemania.

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The Tournament Begins

Mixed Match Challenge 1-16-18

The Mixed Match Challenge is something I’ve been excited about. WWE has done a great job with the videos and promotion for this tournament, but it makes me wonder why they can’t treat their other shows with the same enthusiasm. The concept of a Facebook only show is very interesting, and I don’t think this will be a one-time deal. Having shows on different platforms is the future. There’s no way this company is going to evolve by just sticking to one television channel and their own network. This tournament will be a good gauge of interest in their product outside of the traditional mediums.

The first matchup of the tournament was Finn Balor and Sasha Banks vs Shinsuke Nakamura and Natalya Neidhart. I was kinda bummed that Nakamura was paired with Natalya, but they won me over with the promo videos with Nakamura acting like a cat. The match itself was very enjoyable. There was some good action between Balor and Nakamura, and Nattie and Sasha. There was also some good comedy stuff in between. At one point, Sasha was about to dive to the outside to take out Nattie, but Nakamura caught her and put back on the ring apron. She then proceeded to jump over him and take out Nattie like originally planned. That’s exactly what this tournament should be, good action with a mix of comedy. In WWE, you usually get one or the other. They try not to mix them unless Heath Slater and Rhyno are in the ring, or it unintentionally happens when Braun Strowman is going on a rampage backstage.

The match goes back and forth until Sasha pinned Natalya with the Bank Statement. Crowd popped and everyone went home happy. Actually they didn’t go home yet because 205 Live took place immediately after the match. Nice way to start the tournament. I hope they can keep it up. Next week, Asuka and The Miz vs Carmella and Big E. Asuka and The Miz are my favorites to with the whole thing.

  • Match of the night: Duh!
  • Pop of the night: When Finn Balor Too Sweet’d Nakamura after a set of back and forth holds
  • No reaction of the night: None. Crowd was hot for this.

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