Previously on the Best and Worst of Raw: Everything you saw this week, but slightly different.
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And now, the Best and Worst of WWE Raw for October 28, 2019.
The Quickest Version Of This Recap
Last Week On Raw: Team Hogan’s Ricochet and Team Flair’s Drew McIntyre had a competitive match ahead of Crown Jewel, Aleister Black wanted someone to pick a fight with him, The Viking Raiders squashed a team that had no right challenging the Raw Tag Team Champions, Andrade defeated Sin Cara, R-Truth was confused about which Bollywood Boy was 24/7 Champion, Humberto Carrillo lost a competitive match against a top star, the Street Profits told the O.C. that they wanted The Smoke, and Jerry Lawler interviewed Rusev about the affair between Lana and Bobby Lashley.
This Week On Raw: Team Hogan’s Ricochet and Team Flair’s Drew McIntyre had a competitive match ahead of Crown Jewel, Aleister Black wanted someone to pick a fight with him, The Viking Raiders squashed a team that had no right challenging the Raw Tag Team Champions, Andrade defeated Sin Cara, R-Truth was confused about which Bollywood Boy was 24/7 Champion, Humberto Carrillo lost a competitive match against a top star, the Street Profits told the O.C. that they wanted The Smoke, and Jerry Lawler interviewed Rusev about the affair between Lana and Bobby Lashley.
Raw rolls on, after this!
Jobbers Of The Week
The Viking Raiders, having vanquished all possible championship opponents after last week’s easy win over Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, take on “The Chicago Cubs,” Rizzo and Bryant. If you’re wondering where WWE’s capacity for creativity is at right now, they were just like, “who do sports fans in St. Louis hate?” “The Chicago Cubs?” and then sent out two dudes in full baseball uniforms and called them “The Chicago Cubs.”
In case you’re wondering, “Rizzo” is Mike Sydal, younger brother of former WWE Superstar Matt Sydal/Evan Bourne. You may have seen him losing to Noam Dar on 205 Live earlier this year under the name “Mike Karma.” “Bryant” is Missouri’s Kyle Roberts, who last competed on Raw in a loss to refocused, super serious Bo Dallas back in 2016. “Mike Rizzo and Kyle Bryant” in some blue trunks would’ve been way too subtle.
Also debuting on this week’s show is recent Performance Center signee Catalina Garcia, better known as Chile’s “La Diva Del Ring,” aka “The Diva of the Ring.” I thought that was Kelly Kelly? Catalina’s name is either “Carolina” (based on the graphic, pictured above) or “Catalina” (based on what literally everyone on commentary called her). She looks like she smells a fart the entire time she’s talking, and especially when she isn’t.
She’s brought in as Sin Cara’s “insurance policy” to keep Zelina Vega from distracting him and costing him the match. So of course the first thing she does is let Zelina Vega distract him and cost him the match. Great job!
Fun note: If you listen to Sin Cara talk, it sounds like they dubbed him over with Kalisto. They must’ve been practicing their interviews together. He even drops a ¿sabes que? in there in tribute. You’re a good, good lucha, uh, lucha thing, Sin Cara.
Best: Turn On The Paige
Raw’s not all bad, though, don’t get me wrong. The show opens with …
… who gets quickly transformed from Jessica Jones into the She-Hulk by the “ninjitsu” technique of Asuka. That’s what Dio Maddin called it, at least. As a fun aside, green mist (or “poison fog”) comes from naturally occurring poison glands and must be activated by pressing on the outside of the throat. Green obscures vision, red burns, black permanently blinds, yellow paralyzes, blue puts you to sleep. They should’ve taught you this basic shit in eighth grade health class. Naruto doesn’t count.
After the Bukies are done green-screening Paige we go straight into a 14-plus-minute Becky Lynch vs. Kairi Sane match, which is a WONDERFUL way to spend the first two quarter-hours of the three-hour wrestling show. Sane is far from the NXT Kairi Sane that would’ve taken Lynch to the limit, but it’s still competitive enough, and makes everyone look better in the process. I know I type this a lot, but did you notice how the Raw crowd was, you know, excited and making noise for the entire match? Because a good wrestling match was happening? You’d get a lot more mileage out of your terrible creativity if you just let the good wrestlers be good at wrestling in front of people.
I was honestly really worried this was going to lead directly into Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair unceremoniously unseating the Kabuki Warriors as Tag Team Champions, but they randomly put Flair with Natalya in a tag team match against The IIconics, so maybe we’ll avoid that. Is Lynch even feuding with anybody right now? I guess she doesn’t have to, since the women’s division isn’t allowed to even go to the next pay-per-view, and after that they’re just gonna run the Raw Women’s Champion against the Smackdown Women’s Champion over “brand supremacy” at Survivor Series.
I really hope Paige brings in Piper Niven and Rhea Ripley to kick the Kabuki Warriors’ asses. Better yet, I hope she reveals that she got the Daniel Bryan and/or Edge surgeries, is cleared to compete again, and is bringing back Tenille Dashwood to show these motherfucks who really started the Women’s Revolution.
Best: Ricochet And Kota Ibushi Have A Bet To See Which One Can Break Their Neck In The Ring First
Also very good this week is the Ricochet vs. Drew McIntyre rematch, hurt only by the facts that (1) it’s happening to further the Team Hogan vs. Team Flair match at Crown Jewel, so the ring is surrounded by septuagenarians, and (2) it gets 17 minutes just for Randy Orton to show up and sports-entertainment it to death. Honestly, you’d think Drew McIntyre would be more upset about the fact that Orton let him wrestle for almost 20 minutes and popped in to get him disqualified mere seconds after he’d dodged a 630 and was about to turn Ricochet inside out with a Claymore Kick, but whatever, nobody seems to care about anything anymore.
Seriously though, per the boldface, Ricochet sells the RKO like this:
God damn, dude. No matter from which angle you look at it, Ricochet did a headstand on the side of his neck and then pogo’d up into a sell. That’s either some masterful timing and arm strength, a guy who works out his neck so much he can use it like an elbow or a knee, or a 31-year old physical marvel who is gonna stagger around in a haze like Jeff Hardy when he’s in his forties. Knowing Ric, it’s the first two at the same time. “Believe in super heroes” is corny, but Ricochet certainly makes me believe in the value of working out too much and being really fucking good at something.
Also Pretty Good This Week
Humberto Carrillo follows up his competitive loss to the champion by losing a competitive match to the secondary champion. I hope next week he loses a competitive match to the Tag Team Champions, and follows that up by almost beating the Cruiserweight Champion. And then he’s like, losing to the most recent winners of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy in order.
Seriously though, Carrillo vs. AJ Styles gets about nine minutes — less time than the other two good matches, but probably just right considering who was up against who — and features Styles kicking out of Carrillo’s finisher and tapping him out clean. I thought that was a little much upon first watch, especially if they were just gonna beat him into helplessness after the match, but he looked good while he was wrestling. That’s probably what matters most. I’m not sure the crowd knows what to do with Carrillo yet, nor do I think WWE totally knows what to do with him as evidenced by the absence of the Power Rangers armor he wore for a week, but Humperdido is handsome and dope in the ring so I’m sure he’ll be fine. And by “fine” I mean, “forgotten in a six months and thriving on 205 or NXT, if he can avoid getting stuck in the tag team or 24/7 divisions until then.” Worst case, they’ll put him in that circuit with Cedric Alexander and Ali where he pops up every now and then to get an underdog win, but mostly just makes everybody else look better.
Fine: That ‘Wild Arena Brawl’ WWE Always Does
Seth Rollins vs. Erick Rowan in a falls count anywhere match because reasons is perfectly fine. If you’ve seen one match like this, you’ve seen them all. WWE loves this kind of match right now, so much so that they’ve whittled it down to the exact same formula every time it happens. They fight in the ring for a couple of minutes, they fight out into the crowd, they walk up the steps to a “backstage” area in the arena concourse where a concession stand or an unrealistic merchandise stand* has been roped off, then they fight back down to the stage and do an announce table spot. The match ends on the stage, or in the back by the clangy poles. It’s always the same, with slight cosmetic differences. Shout-out to the Halftime Heat finish, though.
*If you’ve ever been to an actual WWE live event, the merch stand is never a single table with a teddy bear and some Funko Pops on it. It’s usually a big blocked off rectangle of tables with like four ladies standing around a bunch of huge cardboard boxes filled with John Cena t-shirts, in front of a giant display of replica belts, signed photos, Roman Reigns vests, and so on. It’s like when WWE tried to convince us that an arena “concession stand” was a wooden table with some pre-filled souvenir sodas on it in a row, like we’re at a cookout.
Rollins wins, but is still not cool. To quote Joe Roche, Seth Rollins is what would’ve happened if HBK had been born again in 1989. He’s going through a real “Roman Reigns wearing milky grey contacts” period in his career right now. He needs Stone Cold Steve Austin to show up and tell him to “put a little bass in his voice.”
And The Rest!
Buddy Murphy and R-Truth wrestled for almost TWO WHOLE MINUTES before the 24/7 division came to the ring for no reason and slowly jogged around it for a while. Congratulations on your great idea being exclusive to your network, USA! I bet the Fox war room and Cleatus the Football robot were pissed they couldn’t get out of matches by having a character forget he’s wrestling and try to win the Diner Logo Award for Best Jobber.
Jesus Christ, somebody give them The Smoke already. I don’t really enjoy it, but +1 to the Street Profits for realizing the only way to get WWE crowds in 2019 to repeat something other than “what” and “CM Punk” is to say it directly to them through a microphone over and over and over until they comply. HANDS LIKE THIS! HANDS LIKE THIS! HANDS LIKE THIS! HANDS LIKE THIS! HANDS LIKE THIS! HANDS LIKE THIS! HANDS LIKE THIS!
As previously mentioned, Natalya and Charlotte Flair are now a tag team (Queen of Harts, aka NXT TakeOver 2014) and are easily defeating The IIconics. I still don’t know why you’d want The IIconics on your show just to feed them to Natalya and have them never talk, but I don’t understand a lot of what’s going on these days. Think of me like Jim Cornette, except I’m deeply aware that I’m a confused, aging asshole.
The AOP’s game is “as much mental as physical.” Considering they haven’t had a match since before WrestleMania, their game must not be very mental.
Worst, Sorry: The Young Cucks
The show is main-evented by Jerry Lawler’s “Divorce Court” featuring Lana and Rusev. In case you missed it, Lana’s entire argument for wanting a divorce is that Rusev wanted to have sex with her all the time. So now she’s with Bobby Lashley, who … [checks notes] wants to have sex with her all the time. All right. Lana says that getting pregnant would ruin her life as a “fashion influencer,” which sounds like a real Bella Twins understanding of professional wrestling, and that Bobby Lashley says Rusev cheated on her. With Summer Rae, I guess? Does Dolph Ziggler have any opinions on this?
Rusev says that he just wanted to have kids with Lana because, you know, he loves her and they are married. This gets Rusev punched in the balls by Bobby Lashley, kicked in the balls by Bobby Lashley, and slapped in the face by Lana. They end the show by making out over his corpse, and the highlight is probably Lana cupping Lashley’s big ol’ Bobby Lashley titties.
I didn’t like this. The crowd sure did, though, and you’ll read a lot of opinions online about how well the segment worked and how invested everybody is in it. If you’re deeply invested in this main event cuckolding, more power to you. You are allowed to like and be into whatever you want, and WWE has always said that their intention is to “get a reaction.” They never say they want to get a specific reaction, like you might get if you wrote a story or filmed a TV show with a purpose, they just want a reaction. So, you know, mission accomplished.
I think a lot of it is me having to watch the show in full every week. That really makes a difference in how I see this stuff. If I didn’t have to remember everything that ever happened, I might be like, “having Lashley kick Rusev in the balls and make out with his wife over his quivering body is a great way to build heat for their upcoming match!” But since I have to watch the three concurrent cuckolding angles on Raw every week, I just wonder how good Lashley vs. Rusev could’ve been as a violent hoss fight without all the bullshit. And then I remember the Ziggler/Summer Rae angle and “One Night In Milwaukee,” both of which probably should at least get mentioned when characters are shouting about their histories and motivations to each other, and feel bad that I’m remembering things and paying attention, which are right behind “speaking up about things that are wrong” on the list of things WWE demands their fans not do. They don’t care about your stupid feelings. Wrestling is weird at best, and monstrously confusing every other second.
So yeah, if you dug it, that’s great. I can see why you did, totally. It got heat. It’s a story, too, which is better than most angles get these days. Love and Raw are war, or whatever.
Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
The desire to continue watching this episode of RAW has been deleted.
Seth: AND THEN THEY STARTED BOOING ME AND AND THEY SAID I WASN’T COOL AND THEY SAID OMEGA WAS BETTER AND CHANTED AEW AT ME AND AND…
Becky: *points at shirt*
Becky: uh uh uh, shirt
And they said Sexy Star was blacklisted from Wrestling.
The Real Birdman
Part of me wishes WWE tripled down and Hogan came out in a Jordan Myles shirt
Buddy: “Hey, Drew, did you see that I needed a distraction to beat RTruth?”
Drew: “Yea, that’s rough. They got me doing Powerpoints again and getting squashed by Braun.”
Cedric: “I only get to wrestle when Vince confuses me for Ricochet”
Lio Rush: “Will you guys take me out of this group text already? Y’all are depressing.”
Baron Von Raschke
Five minutes of set up about Rusev being a sex addict and baby drama
Lana: No. That’s not the reason.
I feel like Fry is writing this crummy angle of plot holes and spelling errors to escape from The Big Brain.
Hogan: Rey you really should have taken your mask off a long time ago, brother.
Ricochet: Wait, what?
Yes, let’s bring up the “historic all-women’s PPV” that you never bothered with again.
“Ricochet does moves you see in video games!”
*Plays WWE 2k20*
God I hope not…
“Not Actual Gameplay” Should be a full screen sticker on top of the entire WWE 2k20 commercial
“NXT airs Wednesday nights on USA Network.”
That’s it for this week’s Best and Worst of Raw. Thanks for reading! Drop us a comment down below to let us know what you thought of the show, give us a share on social media to help us out — we ask for this all the time, but it really does make the difference in us staying in business and not being overtaken by a bunch of STICK TO SPORTS overlords — and make sure you’re here on Thursday afternoon to do anything other than watching Crown Jewel. See you then!