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Raw is PPV Quality - 9/13/2021


Dolfan in NYC
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Charlotte/Shayna was disappointing with it feeling off at times, but I surprisingly liked what I saw of the post match segment between Charlotte and Alexa.

Enjoyed Hardy/Priest a decent bit more than I expected to.

Nattie/Rhea was pretty solid. Its nice to see Rhea actually win with that submission of hers.

The 8-man tag match was fun.

Orton/Lashley was pretty good. Dug the match, and I love the immediate aftermath from Lashley's post match attack, his injury sell, and E cashing in. So happy to see Big E with a world title finally. I'm a little disappointed we won't get E teasing Heyman with the briefcase anymore, but this was a welcome site. 

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Honestly, when Lashley hit the spear on Big E the only thought that entered my mind was "You had Big E cash in the briefcase tonight and then you jobbed him out inside of two minutes."

Happy to be wrong. What a great moment that was.

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I never thought I'd find myself enjoying a main event match featuring Randy Orton, but here we are. Big E actually winning with his cash in was nice to see. I just hope he gets a decent reign out of it.

Charlotte/Shayna was decent, though I think they have a better match in them. I miss Shayna being treated like an actual threat.

Rest of the show was alright and seemed to feature a lot more actual wrestling than it has as of late. Like was mentioned earlier, it's a prime example of how the powers that be can actually put together quality tv when they want to.

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13 hours ago, Eoae said:

If Big E does cash in tonight, I hope they put him over strong as a pure fightin' babyface.... by having him hide in the back then doing in a run-in to jump the champ from behind after the champ wrestles a 20 min match and eats a finisher or two.  Audiences love babyface champs who only win the belt because the other guy slipped on a banana peel.

Not really news, but Vince has weird ideas about what makes a good babyface.

We could have called it!

 

Cool moment for Big E, happy for him. Shame the route there was the same tired MITB garbage as always. Hopefully he gets a solid run with it at least.

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What Big E has going for him is that there's no one on the horizon that they want to give a big push to. They can always put Brock over him at some point, but past that, who else on the roster really needs to get elevated like that? Priest? Kross(ha)? There's no one down in NXT. I could see Vince being so enamored with Happy Corbin that they want to give him the JBL/King Booker run but in general, there's nothing. There's no reason for Big E not to be in the main event scene for the next year or two.

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8 hours ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

Everything about it was perfect.  Which always begs the question why does their booking suck 95% of the time.  They CAN do it...    Happy for Big E and Lashley looked great in defeat too. 

Wasn't the last time when people said that WWE was able to book something correctly when Lashley actually DID challenge and squash The Miz for his freshly won RAW title? There may have been something after that, but that was the last time with a positive buzz of any sort that I can recall?

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8 hours ago, S.K.o.S. said:

 

Honestly for all of WWE being terrible, one thing you cannot deny is that their roster is highly representative both racialy and nationally. Finding a WWE star who looks like you or is from your home country has never been more easy. Just to illustrate the point, there are 13 main roster champions and 3 are white Americans (Charlotte, Randy, Riddle) and 2 are white Internationals (Nattie and Becky) if you add in the NXT Champions it only helps the ratio in terms of representation.

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1 hour ago, Shartnado said:

Wasn't the last time when people said that WWE was able to book something correctly when Lashley actually DID challenge and squash The Miz for his freshly won RAW title? There may have been something after that, but that was the last time with a positive buzz of any sort that I can recall?

They put Lashley over really well in the period around the title win.  Miz cashed in on Drew, then Lashley dominated Braun the next and basically beat him clean (with the Hurt Lock, irrc).  Then they did a two-week angle when Miz acted like a chickenshit heel and tried to stall, and Lashley had none of it and squashed him in the ring.

By contrast, they basically booked Big E's cash-in the same as Miz's (run-in after the champ wrestles a match and is basically beat up).  Not sure why they felt like they needed to add the bad leg on top of the Orton match, but ok.  Hopefully they book E strong from here on in - and I expect him to beat Lashley clean in the a straight-up match before too long - but I'm not too interested in how they got the title on to E.

When's the last time two consecutive title changes were on tv instead of PPV?

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I thought what I saw of Orton vs Lashley was really good. I really expected to end the Big E piece of this disappointed because this company has me at a high distrust of them to do the right thing. With how this lines up close to Crown Jewel, I'm a little hesitant to believe this will be long term as much as it will be a fun moment for one night.

Still, I can't think of a more deserving dude on the roster for this title. Now, let's see what we can do about getting Cesaro the same.

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55 minutes ago, Eoae said:

When's the last time two consecutive title changes were on tv instead of PPV?

Mysterio wins the vacant belt and drops it to Cena after the Chicago MITB. If the standard is strictly not on PPV, Flair taking it off Savage and then Bret taking it off him would be the next most recent occurance. If we open the conversation up to any top men's belt, the WHC has more recent occurrences of this. Del Rio won the belt and Ziggler took off him on TV. They also did the Ziggler-Edge deal on TV. And Edge cashed in on Taker on TV, vacated, and Khali won the battle royal on SmackDown.

It's been a while. 

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I think the New Day are both in and out of kayfabe the greatest WWE stable of all-time. 

In-story: Longest reigning tag champs, if I'm reading Wiki right they've had 11 separate tag title reigns, two world champions, one Grand Slam champ in Kofi and another Triple Crown champion now in Big E. That's an unimpeachable record and may they never break up. 

Out-of-kayfabe: Saddled with a DOA gimmick that they made work by finding their collective voice as irritating nerds. Along the way, they became the voice of a certain section of WWE fandom who are into gaming and comic books and other parts of nerd culture, with Woods becoming a celebrity in that world. KofiMania is on the short-list of best stories the WWE has ever told -- his breakout in the Gauntlet match, the awesome Gauntlet where his partners had to win to save his opportunity (with The Usos doing the "We respect you and forfeit!" segment). On top of being a WrestleMania Main Event Act, they can also carve out a lot of time in the mid-card or in a comedy role and it's almost always entertaining, which is ridiculously entertaining. And, most importantly, being three black men having all of this success is the exact opposite of pro wrestling's racial dynamics over the years. Their podcast addressing George Floyd and injustice legitimately hit me harder than anything else I listened to or watched on those issues. 

Also: 

 

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14 minutes ago, Greggulator said:

I think the New Day are both in and out of kayfabe the greatest WWE stable of all-time. 

In-story: Longest reigning tag champs, if I'm reading Wiki right they've had 11 separate tag title reigns, two world champions, one Grand Slam champ in Kofi and another Triple Crown champion now in Big E. That's an unimpeachable record and may they never break up. 

Out-of-kayfabe: Saddled with a DOA gimmick that they made work by finding their collective voice as irritating nerds. Along the way, they became the voice of a certain section of WWE fandom who are into gaming and comic books and other parts of nerd culture, with Woods becoming a celebrity in that world. KofiMania is on the short-list of best stories the WWE has ever told -- his breakout in the Gauntlet match, the awesome Gauntlet where his partners had to win to save his opportunity (with The Usos doing the "We respect you and forfeit!" segment). On top of being a WrestleMania Main Event Act, they can also carve out a lot of time in the mid-card or in a comedy role and it's almost always entertaining, which is ridiculously entertaining. And, most importantly, being three black men having all of this success is the exact opposite of pro wrestling's racial dynamics over the years. Their podcast addressing George Floyd and injustice legitimately hit me harder than anything else I listened to or watched on those issues. 

Also: 

 

This is really specific, but I have a friend who a few years ago faced X in a game of DDR AND WON at a gaming tournament. It made my friend’s life, and I know Woods had a blast.

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I only watched the main event and I sat there thinking, hoping, nearly praying that WWE would just do the simple thing for fucking once. Wrestling doesn't need to be complicated and it's best when it's kept simple and logical. Like, Lashley beats Orton, Big E cashes in, they have a short match and Big E wins. That's literally all that needed to happen, but this company has burned me so many times that I didn't think it would happen.

Thank goodness they did the simple, logical thing. I think plenty of us here watching NXT knew that Big E had what it took to win the title someday. Someday came after too many years, and a couple times where I thought they might release him until the New Day started, but I'm happy it came. Big E is one of the best dudes in the business and he's earned this and has deserved it. He's also the best pure babyface I can think of to have as champion since John Cena. You can do all of the smilin', happy shit with Big E because he can make it work. He can connect with everyone. This is who WWE needs in this position right now.

Super, super happy for the guy. Can't wait for the next New Day pod to hear them talk all about this experience.

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Raw in particular is so oftentimes on the treadmill of “we have a show to do” and not strategic with its storytelling. Get through the show, get to next week, get through that show. Thus the operational treadmill of rematches and segments being done and redone over and over. Just filling the time because it has to be filled.

When Vince IS strategic with his storytelling - and this is usually due to outside pressure, in this case losing the demo to AEW - he can do some good stuff. 

It’s fun to watch a Raw that doesn’t reek of “just get to the next show”. 

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2 hours ago, John from Cincinnati said:

Mysterio wins the vacant belt and drops it to Cena after the Chicago MITB. If the standard is strictly not on PPV, Flair taking it off Savage and then Bret taking it off him would be the next most recent occurance. If we open the conversation up to any top men's belt, the WHC has more recent occurrences of this. Del Rio won the belt and Ziggler took off him on TV. They also did the Ziggler-Edge deal on TV. And Edge cashed in on Taker on TV, vacated, and Khali won the battle royal on SmackDown.

It's been a while. 

And prior to the early 2010's, I think The Rock and Mankind title changes after Royal Rumble 1999 and prior to Wrestlemania XV were back to back on tv (Half-time Heat and post St. Valentine Day's massacre RAW).

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8 minutes ago, Shartnado said:

And prior to the early 2010's, I think The Rock and Mankind title changes after Royal Rumble 1999 and prior to Wrestlemania XV were back to back on tv (Half-time Heat and post St. Valentine Day's massacre RAW).

Good catch. Even italicized to make clear it was TV and not PPV, Halftime Heat didn't jump off the Wikipedia page while I was skimming. 

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I really can't recommend enough their podcast yesterday talking about mental health.  In particular Big E had a really rough few years where most days he considered ending it all.  But between therapy that worked and him getting into WWE he eventually found his way largely out of that.  I mean he's always been wonderful and I'm incredibly happy to see him win.  But after hearing about his past I also appreciate all he did just to stay alive in that time so he had a chance at moments like this.  He really deserves all the success.

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Delighted for Big E, and that I watched it unspoiled after getting wind that they may be desperate enough to do something interesting on Raw for once. Also very happy that he won the proper WWE title, not that artificial, almost historyless brand split prop that Roman's dragging around.

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