IN-RING INTERVIEW: DEAN AMBROSE
Ambrose teases that he’s done with The Shield. He’s so good on the mic. Sure, he emphasizes that The Shield is a brotherhood, but he also runs down all the reasons why he would leave and why he could go out on his, continuing to leave some doubt. I love the options that Corbin offers Ambrose. It’s such a great way to get in his head. Ambrose doesn’t break, and ends up facing Strowman.
Promo Rating: Eight Stone Colds
DEAN AMBROSE VS. BRAUN STROWMAN
I think anybody who is seriously considering becoming a wrestler should watch a Braun Strowman match. Watch him run full speed and crunch someone in the corner, or throw a running shoulder block, or launch them 10 feet in the air. I wonder how Kevin Owens felt when he was told “you’re gonna have a program with Braun, and let him do that running shoulder block every night.” Food for thought.
Ambrose’s endurance and resiliency is allowing him to put up a good fight against the monster. He even hits Dirty Deeds, unfortunately Strowman kicks out. Strowman’s aggression is getting the best of him as he keeps running into things after Ambrose dodges him. Ambrose has taken so much out of Strowman that Braun can’t even make a cover after he hits his power slam.
Ambrose is saved by Reigns and Rollins, who also cause a DQ win for Strowman. I’ve a feeling that Ambrose is not going to be happy about that. I like the ending, and it was a really entertaining match. We get more of Raw’s biggest problem afterwards though: Corbin makes two more matches, Reigns vs. Ziggler and Rollins vs. McIntyre. It feels like at least a third of Raw is dedicated to these six guys each week. It’s really not a good way to showcase your whole roster, and it’s also going to make people sick of them and their feud, if it hasn’t already with a portion of the crowd.
Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals
ROMAN REIGNS VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER
It was almost a title match. I think they’re having Corbin be intentionally incompetent and awful so they can replace him soon. Ziggler is all over Roman from the start. Roman’s comeback culminated in a huge boot the face, I loved it. His finishing spear tonight was one of his best ever, and a lot of that is because of how Ziggler took it at sold it. I enjoyed this.
Match rating: Six Gold Medals
RONDA ROUSEY VS. RUBY RIOTT
I get diarrhea whenever I see the twin trainees. Liv should be allowed to get a few free shots in tonight. Ruby is fucking vicious. I didn’t know Ruby could fly, but Ronda proved that she an. What a throw. Once she locked in the arm bar it was a bout 1/4 of a second before Ruby tapped. Hell yeah. Then the twin trainees jump in and raise her arms and tear her labrum because they destroy whatever they touch.
Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals
BOBBY ROODE W/CHAD GABLE VS. KONNOR W/VIKTOR
Is it weird that I notice that Konnor has especially pointy nipples? Viktor LAUNCHED Gable off the steps to distract Roode, then Konnor hit a really weak-ass Dominator to win the match. I bet Faarooq just spit out his beer and yelled “DAMN!” at how bad it was.
A MOMENT OF BLISS:
I laughed really hard when Alexa said Trish burped in her face.
Promo Rating: Four Sensational Sherris
THE B-TEAM VS. THE REVIVAL
Curtis Axel is 39 today. I had no idea he was almost 40. I’m over the B-Team. I think Bo should be on his own, or with Bray. Also, this match sucked shit.
That’s two in a row. Not good, Raw. At least AOP comes down and lays out the B-Team afterward.
From this point on, you guys are getting the Hulu version, so sorry if they cut anything out.
SETH ROLLINS VS. DREW McINTYRE
Drew is out to hurt people, and he’s really damn good at it. After a couple shitty and meaningless matches we finally get one that people can get into. Yes, I know I mentioned that it’s a problem that so much focus is placed on both of these guys’ factions, but for immediate satisfaction, this is a breath of fresh air. Ziggler distracts, McIntyre hits a BRUTAL Claymore, Seth gets a beat down. We get Roman, Braun, then Ambrose with an axe handle. Braun cares not for axe handles, and The Shield is overwhelmed. Ambrose gets the Claymore/Zig Zag finisher, fittingly taking the worst of it, which will probably be addressed going forward. And you assholes chanting “one more time” after the Braun slammed Roman are hilariously being ignored. Sit the hell down, dumbasses.
Destruction Rating: Four Braun Strowmans
LADIES AND GENTLEMAN: ELIAS… AND KEVIN OWENS
I reiterate it every week. Crowd “WALK WITH ELIAS!” *HUGE CHEER*. Elias: *insults town*. Crowd: “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Every single time. Why? People are sheep. The boo non-stop after Elias brings up them losing their basketball team. Now, once he says “WWE STANDS FOR….” They will all yell “WALK WITH ELIAS!” And holy shit, Renee Young referenced Detlef Schrempf. That’s 10 gold medals for her.
I’ve never heard booing this loud or continuous, not even for Roman. This is incredible as Elias rubs it in with Oklahoma City. Owens and Elias keep egging them on and the booing will not stop. You can’t buy heat like this. Lio Rush finally ends the insane audience reaction. His promo is horrible. I don’t know if he wrote it or if the writer’s did, but he delivered terribly. He’s got great promo skills, so I have to believe he had that written for him and he’s terrible at reciting from a script.
Kevin Owens & Elias Promo Rating: Eight Roddy Pipers
Lio Rush Promo Rating: Nine Bobby Lashleys
BOBBY LASHLEY VS. KEVIN OWENS
Another old Sonics reference as Graves brings up Shawn Kemp. Love it. I also love that Owens yells stuff throughout the match, it adds to the psychology, the heat, the entertainment… he’s a terrific performer. Lashley hit a Faarooq-caliber spinebuster on Owens before Elias goes after Lio Rush. Lashley gets distracted nd Owens gets the win as Elias and Owens stomp a mudhole in Lashley. Rush goes for a dive off the top and gets punched in the face in mid-air by Elias. Ouch.
Match Rating: Six Gold Medals
Beat Down Rating: Three Randy Ortons
IN-RING PROMO: SHAWN MICHAELS
He’s passionate, that’s for sure. He’s especially passionate about backing Triple H. He threatens Kane, who ends up behind him, and punches his lights out. TAKER’S MUSIC! TAKER APPEARS! BROTHERS OF DESTRUCTION! Where’s Triple H? Shawn might be fucked. This is definitely setting up a tag match for Crown Jewel. Triple H saves Michaels from a tombstone, and we get HHH and Undertaker going at it. Is Michaels bald? That’s fucking weird as hell. He and HHH get chokeslammed! I don’t care how this reads, I’m marking out as I type and I’m not going back to edit. I want you all to share in my excitement. Holy shit, Shawn’s bald head. I mean I’m bald, but I never had HBK hair. Triple H gets a Tombstone! Oh fuck yeah. I don’t know if anyone is positioned as a heel or face in this one, but I have to guess from the build up that Taker is the heel. That was fun, intense, and nostalgic. Great ending to an otherwise cruddy show. We get them leaving and raising the fists. I got to see that live at SmackDown 900, which gave me goosebumps.
Shawn Michaels Promo Rating: Six Shawn Michaels
Booking Rating: Nine Dustys
The good was really good and the bad was REALLY bad. I was gonna go with one less gold medal, but the ending gave it a bump.
Overall Show Rating: Four Gold Medals