Previously on the Best and Worst of WWE Raw: Everything you saw this week, plus Goldust, minus an illegitimate child angle.
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And now, the Best and Worst of WWE Raw for July 17, 2017. Dad.
Best: The Miz Is As Tired Of Seeing This As We Are
In a weird way, The Miz as a character has come to represent “moving on.” The thing WWE fans hate the most is change, and leaving shit in the past. Think about it. Daniel Bryan rose to the championship and burned out, and crowds kept doing “yes” chants and begging him to get back into the ring. The Miz took the stance of, “it’s over, it’s finished, pay attention to the people who are currently doing this and NOT hurting themselves.” It’s a heel move because he’s asking you to stop caring about a thing you once liked. Look at his feud with John Cena. It’s all about how stunted Cena is, and how robotic he is at home, and how he’s just this cardboard cut-out of a WWE Superstar that people won’t stop reacting to. It’s a heel move, even though Cena’s so divisive, because he’s saying, “this has been the status quo for over a decade, move on.”
On Raw, he interrupts Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins bickering with each other about how they used to be “brothers” and the Shield breakup that for real happened over three years ago. Roman still comes out to their music and wears the outfit. Ambrose can’t let the past go, and is loopy in his brains over it. Rollins can’t move on because he’s basically living in this big shadow of regret for what happened. Miz shows up with two guys who have never gotten much of a chance — a new Bo Dallas and a new Curtis Axel — and kicks their asses with chairs. They can’t succeed and get out of this loop until they move the hell on from their past. Miz represents progress.
Besides, who could boo The Miztourage when they show up dressed like that? People keep trying to recreate the Four Horsemen by putting together these big heel stables, but what they need to focus on is the “well-dressed dickheads who are gonna shit-kick you” aspect.
Also, +1 to Curtis Axel’s combover, which is doing the Lord’s work right now.
Worst: Bayley Has Pinned The Raw Women’s Champion!
Last week, Bayley pinned the Raw Women’s Champion. This week they continue that by having Bayley pin the Raw Women’s Champion. This is all so she can get a shot at the Raw Women’s Champion. But instead of the Women’s Championship and/or the woman holding it being important to the story, it’s all about how Bayley’s friend also wants that match, so they’ll have to have a match to see who can face the Raw Women’s Champion. Will it be the woman who beat the champion at Great Balls of Fire, or the woman who’s beaten the champion the last two weeks?
The champ sure is great, huh.
More Of The Same
From last week’s column, about Bálor vs. Samson:
Surprisingly great stuff, improved even more by the fact that it’s a straight-forward wrestling angle that built to a singles match with a clean finish and not a lot of bullshit. No post-match guitar attacks or whatever to drag it out. Samson and Finn had beef, they eventually went one-on-one, and the better man won. Pro wrestling!
Forget I said any of that. Replace it with:
Last week, Finn Bálor wrestled Elias Samson. This week, Finn Bálor wrestles Elias Samson. This is to set up next week’s match, Finn Bálor vs. Elias Samson.
That’s not even a joke. That’s the actual booking.
Best: Elias Samson Has An Ear For Music
You can’t hit people in the head with weapons anymore — hence everyone’s “hit them in the stomach to make them bend over, then hit them on the back” chair shot animation — so you can’t use the old Jeff Jarrett/Honky Tonk Man guitar-over-the-head standby. With a few exceptions (and career-threatening concussions), that spot got pretty safe. By the end, Jarrett was making guitars out of construction paper that exploded into powder and confetti if you hit someone with them. Just empty-ass guitar shells that would burst if they hit a fly as you were swinging it.
So now instead of just ka-bonging someone, Elias Samson has to like, awkwardly swat it at their shoulder and hit them in the damn ear, Fight Club-style. Watch as he accidentally Predator-claws his way through the side of Finn Bálor’s head en route to his brain:
Worst: And Then They Ruin It With A Bray Wyatt Promo
Even he’s not believing what he’s saying anymore. But on the bright side, I did realize what he reminds me of:
Bray does believe he’ll give room service a jangle and have them send up some étouffée.
Worst: Wait, What
Anybody else think it’s weird that Enzo Amore cut a fired-up promo about how he’s a fighter who never stops fighting, then when Cass actually showed up he ran away and jumped in the crowd to let someone fight his battle for him? He was literally hiding behind a child at one point.
Then, Big Show shows up to beat up Cass and ends up getting his ass kicked. Cass just wrecks him in a straight-up fight. And then Enzo gets in the ring, tries to attack Cass from behind and gets laid out with one kick. Just kinda seems like the opposite of what they’re going for, unless I’ve been interpreting it wrong all along and the message here is, “Cass is tough and right about everything.”
What We Did Inside The Purple Ropes This Week
Here’s Jack Gallagher and Mustafa Ali vs. Brian Kendrick and Drew Gulak.
On the positive side, Ali got a win on Raw. On the negative side, WWE’s not really doing anything to hook us for these 205 Live angles. Like, I want to see Mustafa Ali in a 2-out-of-3 falls match, but would the average viewer watch him do exactly one (1) move on Raw and say, “I should tune in to watch this person wrestle three times! Against DREW GULAK!” Is anybody who doesn’t watch 205 Live like, “ha, Brian Kendrick’s wearing a wig, I have to tune in to see him take the piss out of this Jack Gallagher fella!” If you’re gonna be a commercial, be a better commercial, you know?
The other cruiserweight match of the evening is incredibly confusing if you’re looking for clear character motivations, and want to know who to cheer and who to boo. It’s Akira Tozawa vs. Ariya Daivari. Daivari dedicates the match to gold medal-winning Iranian wrestler Hassan Yazdani, whom he admires. Then he kicks Tozawa’s ass. Meanwhile you’ve got Tozawa, managed by a guy who has mostly been a joke heel doing a halfhearted face turn, maybe, who just pinned the Cruiserweight Champion by (more or less) kicking him in the balls. Then Tozawa loses because his manager gives up for him. Which guy do YOU want to cheer?
I know we’re dumb jingoistic-ass Jim Duggan-ass Americans or whatever, but I’d rather cheer the hard-fighting, skilled Iranian dude who respects the amateur craft than the barking guy who lost because fake LaVar Ball thought he was getting his ass kicked too hard.
At least nobody pinned Neville this week.
Best, I Guess: American Beta
I think Chad Gable speaks for us all when he says,
“I love you” doesn’t have to be a love interest at all. Maybe it’s a relative? That’s what another rumor says. The hint from Raw was meant to mislead us, and it’ll turn out that Kurt Angle has an illegitimate son, probably an active wrestler on the WWE roster. That could tear his family apart, right?
The name that gets tossed around during these rumors is OBVIOUSLY Chad Gable. Gable has Kurt’s crazy amateur wrestling ability and his love of USA-themed jackets and singlets, and American Alpha has been curiously phased out over the past few months. At the same time, Gable’s been popping up as a recurring character on Smackdown Live, bonding with Sami Zayn and wrestling AJ Styles.
So what if it’s Jason Jordan playing the illegitimate son? Kurt Angle’s 48, Jordan is 28 (despite having been in WWE since 2011), it could work.
Now we get to see if it does.
I think the thing I’m maddest about is the announce team saying that Jason Jordan — J.J. Angle? Jangle? Étouffée? — is a former member of American Alpha. Can he not be Kurt Angle’s kid and still be in a dope tag team? Could Kurt not also maybe think about bringing over his son’s little KURT-ANGLE-ASS OLYMPIC BUDDY? Poor Chad Gable’s in that locker room on Smackdown trying to convince Sami Wow-wow to think his novelty hand towel is sick.
I honestly wish there was more to the segment. Kurt just shows up, announces it, Jordan shows up, they hug, and that’s it. The WWE Network interview goes into it a little more, but I’m anxious to see if they go full Ethan Carter III with this. I also feel really bad for Jason Jordan’s actual dad, who (1) looks like Frederick Douglass and (2) was so goddamn happy when American Alpha won the Smackdown tag titles.
Biological didn’t bother, Jason.
One thing, though: How exactly was this going to “destroy” Kurt Angle’s career? It’s not even a situation where he like, cheated on his current wife or anything. He hooked up with a girl in college and didn’t know about it and now his son works for the same company. What exactly was there to clutch pearls about for a month?
Best: Top Guys
First of all, Booker T says this is “one of the first times” he’s seen The Revival do their thing, and all I can say is “get a WWE Network password from one of the members of Harlem Heat and watch some NXT, for Christ’s sake.”
Second of all, the world feels a little bit brighter when The Revival is wrestling. I’m so happy they’re back. I also hope the Hardy Boys pull a Brock Lesnar at Great Balls Of Fire, love having actual exciting tag team matches again and put them over. This was definitely my favorite Hardys match since their return, unless you count the last 10 minutes of their 30-minutes at Balls.
Third of all, TOP GUYS UP! I’m glad to see the Hardys unstoppable nostalgia train slowing down a bit so they can actually put some of these new teams over. Last week they lost to The Club, and this week they lose to the Rev. I don’t know if they’re ever going to be Broken or what, but I love them turning it down a notch and actually fitting into the modern tag division instead of squatting on top of it.
Best: FOUR-WAY LIT AF
Nothing’s official yet, obviously, but if the main event of SummerSlam ends up being Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman in a fatal four-way, I am all the hell the way in. I would watch that all day. We know Reigns and Lesnar have chemistry, Joe and Lesnar have GREAT chemistry, and Reigns is good-to-great against Joe and Strowman. The few seconds Joe went after Strowman were great — Joe and Reigns as Vegeta and Goku is something I’m into … Ambrose is Krillin — and that time Lesnar got pissed at Strowman for not falling down and MADE him fall down is legend.
I want this in every direction. Give me this for three hours, put everything else on the pre-show.
Top 10 Comments Of The Week, “Reactions To The Kurt Angle Angle” Edition
When Jordan & Gable found out Angle was coming back and got the job as gm they hatched a scheme with soon to be established shit stirrer Corey Graves to trick Angle into thinking he gave birth to one of these guys. Gable is coming over and the two of them are gonna soak up all his wisdom and then when they are fed up of the charade they will turf him out and leave him in ruins.
This is all going to come back to take a bite out of Kurt’s wallet when it’s revealed the mother is GLOW champion Welfare Queen.
Big Bad Smooty Daddy
Jason Jordan: Blood Runs Gold
Remember the three I’s
a family brought together followed by a family that should be broken
“And then I made love to that Nubian queen with a BROKEN FREAKING CONDOM!”
Now I’m pretty pumped for Chad Gable to be Shelton Benjamin’s son.
Angle starts wearing Heath’s “I Got Kids” t-shirt
Yes Way Jose
Someone get that kid fitted for a tiny cowboy hat!
Kurt is not crying for his son
He’s crying because he knows this means the end of American Alpha.
Next Week On Raw:
- Bayley vs. Sasha Banks for a chance to face the Raw Women’s Champion they’ve both already beaten
- Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs. The Miztourage, which could involve Roman Reigns and a Shield reunion if dude would stop poking the show’s most dangerous bear
- Elias Samson vs. Finn Bálor again
- It turns out Elias Samson is actually Jeff Jarrett’s son
- Chad Gable is forever alone
Click those social share buttons, drop a comment in our comment section below, and thank you for reading. Be around this weekend for Battleground, too, because you don’t want to miss Randy Orton in a cage match where everything’s the color of piss.