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The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 6/16/14: Stardust Memories

By 06.17.14

Worst: Roman Reigns Drugs Somebody To Make Them Comedy Vomit And Somehow That Gets Him A Title Shot

Internet scuttlebutt slash news (scuttlenews) is that one of the head writers of Raw was fired over the weekend, and that this episode was written with a heavy influence from Vince McMahon. You know what that means? BODILY FLUIDS AND JOKES ABOUT HOW CERTAIN PEOPLE ARE SUBHUMAN. Enter: Vickie Guerrero, a woman currently caught in a cop show “two weeks from retirement” scenario where she’s trying to bail to get a real job and keeps being pulled back in for one last gag. Uh, literally.

Here’s the recap, if you missed the show: The Authority is having a battle royal with the winner receiving a spot in the Money in the Bank championship ladder match. Three people have been banned from this match — John Cena (because ODDS), Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Roman hatches some weird, unbelievable plot where he’s gonna intercept Vickie Guerrero on the way back from getting The Authority coffee, get on her good side, remind her that she forgot something elsewhere and DRUG THE COFFEE. He briefly treats her like a human being and reminds her that being a Guerrero means something, but it’s so he can professionally date-rape his bosses, so whatever. The plan works, somehow, and they add in a bit where Vickie sneezes in the coffee and doesn’t care, because THE ENORMOUS LAUGHING FACE OF VINCE MCMAHON SOMEWHERE.

Vickie delivers the coffee and Stephanie drinks it, which causes her to get very sick. The payoff here is that Stephanie’s throwing up in the bathroom, Vickie opens the door to check on her and Steph vomits all over her from offscreen. Just goofy, thrown handfuls of vomit. You know, because when you’re throwing up you just throw the hell up wherever you’d naturally look. As someone who battled an eating disorder for 11 years, yeah, when I was forcing myself to throw up I would turn and hilariously barf on anyone trying to help me.

Now that Vickie’s covered in vomit, Roman steps back in and is all, YO BABY GIRL YOU GON GET FIRED NEXT WEEK ANYWAY, WHY DON’T YOU DO A THING WRESTLING FANS WOULD LIKE AND PUT ME IN A MATCH I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE IN. Miraculously, Vickie agrees. So this was Roman Reigns’ plan: carry around drugs in the hopes that Vickie would be bringing The Authority food or drinks, plant said drugs, wait for them to work, hope Vickie is around to be humiliated AND forced into a situation where she’s gonna be blamed for something so severely that it leads to her firing, then intercept her between said event and the next thing she does to emotionally manipulate her into making match decisions because I guess she can now overrule the COO and principal owner of the company. Great plan, Roman, glad that worked out for you.

Best: Bray Wyatt Explains Himself

A lot of people write about how Bray Wyatt’s character exists outside of wins and losses, and how that justifies his string of humiliating losses to Cena. “Wins and losses don’t matter to Bray,” people write. “Even though the point of that story was Cena having to beat Bray in wrestling matches to keep his message from getting out. And Bray lost a bunch, and now Cena’s leaving him alone and his message is the same and nothing has changed!” Maybe they don’t write all of that.

I was worried that Bray being in the ladder match for the championship didn’t make sense, and I’m still not totally sold on the rationale, but Bray publicly and clearly explaining why he’s participating and trying to win was a storytelling blessing for me. HOORAY FOR NOT HAVING TO COMPLAIN FOR TWO MORE WEEKS! Bray knows that power and influence are the two most important things for those seeking effective leadership, and hey, he’s a cult leader, so winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and having a dramatic increase of visibility and importance (and, by proxy, power and influence) makes perfect sense. It also justifies the Wyatt Family trying to win the tag team titles, and honestly their job as professional wrestlers period.

Sheamus shows up to read a cue card promo written 30 seconds before he was shoved through the curtain and things kinda fall apart from there, but thank you for the exposition.

Worst?: Something About Sheamus/Wyatt Was Off For Me

Sheamus vs. Bray Wyatt should be a thing I love. Well, it should be a thing I love MOST of before the “Brogue Kick out of nowhere” finish. Instead, it was just … is “awkward” the word I’m looking for? It felt off. It felt like one or both of them was having an off night or not taking the match seriously. Sheamus seemed lost, like he remembered A and C but couldn’t for the life of him recall B, and Bray was just oafish and falling around the entire time. Watch him take a neckbreaker by spinning around and hitting face first. Watch him hop out of the corner on one foot and helplessly tumble over.

So yeah, I really didn’t like this, although it’s probably worse in my head than it was in practice. People have off nights, though, so what can you do? Maybe Sheamus and Wyatt have that 2011 Miz/Cena chemistry where they’re both great at what they do but turn into Shemp and a second, more boring Shemp when they tie up.

Even the Usos running up a ladder seemed less cool and impactful than them just jumping over the rope. I don’t know.

Paul Heyman Renee Young


Best: Paul And Renee

I ship Paul and Renee, I’m not gonna lie. I also use this as a justification for Renee suddenly being such a butthole on NXT.

Best/Worst: I Liked The Rusev Squash, But Let’s Do Something With These Rusev Squashes

A moment of silence for 3MB.


Okay, so Heath Slater is still here. That’s good, right? Oh no, he’s telling Rusev and Lana that if they like Russia so much they should just go back there. Oh no, the crowd agrees. Oh no. :(

As we work hard to get Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal TNA jobs as TWO BAND MAN, let’s encourage WWE to pull the trigger a little on Rusev and get him out of these pointless, impressing-nobody lowest-possible-level jobber squashes and put him against somebody with a chance to beat him. I thought they were gonna do that with Big E, but E lost just as easily as everyone else and we’re back to the bottom. Didn’t we learn a lesson from Ryback here? That if you just beat up guys anybody could beat up, nobody thinks you’re tough? You beat up those guys at FIRST, or maybe occasionally trounce them in handicap matches or whatever, but at some point you’ve gotta elevate yourself and start beating guys who matter. At least guys who matter a little. If you can’t find a place for him there or find anybody good who can stand to take a loss, maybe you don’t need the character. Or you need to stop half-heartedly protecting everybody on your roster and accidentally preventing anyone from rising to the top of it.

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