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The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 8/18/14: It’s For Charity

By 08.19.14

Worst: Dolph Ziggler Is Too Good And Too Over To Be Circle-jerking Like This

Things I liked about this match:

- Miz’s entrance jacket. I didn’t get into this like I should’ve in the SummerSlam report, but I’m not gonna lie, Miz’s jacket cracks me up. I love it. Dude’s coming to the ring in sunglasses and a Snuggie. He looks like Pitbull and Vincent Valentine had a baby.

Things I didn’t like about this match:

- It’s time to put the “rematch clause” to bed. Former champions can get a rematch without having to include it in the fine print of their contracts. It’s become a hacky way to repeat a pay-per-view match on free TV because they don’t have time to work out something new. Seriously, if Miz loses the Intercontinental Championship to Dolph Ziggler, is anybody gonna freak out about how he doesn’t deserve it? Nobody deserves title shots anymore. Ever. The only times people deserve title shots are in Royal Rumbles and Monies in the Bank. That’s probably why “Royal Rumble” and “Money in the Bank” are the only two title shots people talk about and get excited for.

- It’s just another IC title circle-jerk. Miz wins the belt in a battle royal, loses a bunch of non-title matches to build an opponent, then loses the title match. He gets a rematch and loses. The champion gets “hurt” trying to add drama to a three minute match we’ve seen 15 times in a row to justify him maybe losing, loses without losing the title, then IMMEDIATELY gets his heat back after the match. Now that the previous challenger has been dispatched without really “losing” anything, it’s time to pick a new challenger and start having the champ lose to A DIFFERENT GUY in non-title affairs. When that’s not happening, the champ should lose to people who’ll NEVER challenge for the belt BECAUSE of the challenger. NOBODY IN THE WORLD IS TIRED OF THIS.

- JBL. I could just type “JBL” and you’d know what I mean, but he was especially bad here. What he’s trying to say is that Ziggler’s a liar who is faking an injury to get the sympathy of the crowd, but he’s got no subtlety, so it sounds like he’s saying I DON’T THINK ZIGGLER’S REALLY HURT, MAGGLE, HE’S JUST GREAT AT SELLING. For real, JBL’s just straight-up saying Ziggler is good at pretending to be hurt. It’s kind of a meta version of Cena’s “you don’t even OWN these cars” promo on Alberto Del Rio. Don’t point it out, man, what do you think we’re trying to do here?

Worst: Nothing Draws Quite Like A Jack Swagger Losing Streak Angle

Speaking of “JBL is horrible” and “what do you think we’re trying to do here,” Jack Swagger loses a short match to Cesaro while JBL goes HE’S A TRAITOR MAGGLE HE LOST A MATCH AND I’M BARELY PAYING ATTENTION BUT HE DESTROYED OUR NATION. It ends with Bo Dallas showing up and not even really being funny, just saying “hey Jack Swagger, you lost. Did everyone hear that? Jack Swagger loses matches. Bye! P.S. bo-lieve.”

So yeah, I guess we’re back on the Jack Swagger Losing Streak angle. If you remember the last time that happened, it ended with Swagger taking an extended leave of absence from the company, returning as a guy who hates Mexican people, and me filling in the gap with a few months of sorta-popular space-faring Jack Swagger fan fiction. Here is my solemn promise: if this leads to Swagger taking another break, I’ll pick back up with the story. Secondary promise: Sorry, everybody.

Worst: Soooo … Bray Wyatt’s Still Not Accomplishing Anything? All Right.

See what I mean about Raw needing to be two hours? If they’d pushed together hours one and three like Squeeze Play on ‘The Price Is Right’ and spent an extra 24 hours going “okay, what do we do with Jack Swagger? Who’s challenging for the IC title next? How do we show how Chris Jericho’s been changed by Bray Wyatt?” we’d be in a good place.

Bray Wyatt got a clean, decisive victory over Chris Jericho at SummerSlam, and that’s great. The problem with Bray, though, isn’t his wins and losses … it’s in the fact that 100% of his motivation is the promise of a change that never comes. He jumps and attacks guys like R-Truth, Kofi Kingston and The Miz, but they show up a week or two later like nothing’s happened. It’s just “we got beat up.” He crushes Kane’s head between the ring steps and carries him away, and you think Kane’s gonna show up as his new follower … but nope, Kane just returns as Kane and they never mention it. He feuds with Daniel Bryan and you THINK it’s going somewhere, but Bryan just puts on a mechanic jumpsuit for a few weeks, beats up the Wyatts and moves forward unchanged. Wyatt gets into a feud with Cena and Cena’s all I HAVE TO DO WHATEVER I CAN TO WIN THIS CAGE MATCH AND STOP BRAY WYATT’S MESSAGE. Cena loses the cage match and what happens? Nothing. There are more cell phones lit up during Bray’s entrance? Is that the message? That ring entrances are fun?

The hook of Jericho’s match at SummerSlam appeared to be Jericho realizing Wyatt’s “dead” and unstoppable. He had the match under control, but Bray kinda sprang up and yelled cryptic shit in his face and shook him. So he shows up on Raw and people are like, “hey Chris, what happened last night?” and his response is NOTHING RENEE, IT’S TOTALLY FINE, I LOVE MY FANS AND WHATEVER SHUT UP. That’s it. Jericho’s not changed. Wyatt follows it up with a promo about how he’s the new “face of salvation,” but who gives a shit? He’s not doing anything. He’s not even adding cronies to his team. He’s just winning and losing wrestling matches. His message is about as strong and influential and life changing as Curtis Axel’s, he’s just better at saying it.

Best: The Return Of The Epic WWE Six-Man Tag

YES PLEASE.

God, there’s so much to like about this match. First and foremost, it’s WWE going “oh shit, we can still have six-man tags?” Six-mans were the best part of the show for like a year and a half, but when they broke up The Shield they just stopped doing them. Now they’re back, and they’re doing wonderful things for the product like “putting people like Rybaxel in fresh situations so they can be entertaining” and “getting Roman Reigns out of 15 minute singles matches and back into the thing that made him our favorite wrestler.” Roman is probably the best six-man hot tag ever, and watching him just come in and do his shit was GREAT. He had a fire, an energy. We didn’t have to watch him pretend like his back was hurt for a quarter-hour. He just ROMAN REIGNED everything. Are you serious with that leaping spear over Rob Van Dam? That’s one of the coolest spears I’ve ever seen. It’s like the motion detection kicked in at the very last second.

Also, HOMETOWN RYBACK. If WWE’d embrace every wrestler’s hometown, they’d have a Superstar in basically every town they stopped in. If Punk can be Jesus in Chicago, why NOT have Ryback be the king of Las Vegas? Let Seth Rollins be Iowa’s favorite wrestler.

I know it’s one of those “never gonna happen” deals, but I’d love to see WWE introduce six-man tag team titles. Maybe medals or a trophy or something. Just give these three-person squads something to fight for on top of their personal feuds. Hell, abandon the tag team titles if you think tag team wrestling’s too “southern” or whatever. You know the six-mans work, right? When was the last time WWE had a six-man tag and you were like, “ugh, that was a stinker.” Has that EVER happened?

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