205 LIVE RETRO WORKRATE REPORT
EPISODE #5 (12/27/16)
You know… the number of times I have to rewatch these episodes so I can finish these things… at some point I am gonna get an old episode on the Most Watched list.
+ In the RAW recap, Charly Caruso looked AMAZING. Neville was okay but I am not a fan of the stringy wet hair look that has invaded the WWE this decade. Rich Swann looked like he was hit with a brick.
+ Suited Drew Gulak has appeared. Get excited.
+ I guess this week is gonna be the first of many weeks where I lament how horribly underused Tony Nese is. His match against Cedric Alexander was fun. The sports entertainy finish was not (though Nese did Shotei Cedric out of his boots.)
+ Renee Young does a sit-down interview with Neville and it is awesome. I especially liked the part where Neville describes what a Young Boy is. HE WASHED MY BACK! Assuming how jacked Neville is I can only imagine how unpleasant his backacne can get from time to time.
+ Mustafa Ali gets a hometown pop (they are in Chicago) so the crowd at least cares about cheap pops. He wrestles John Yurnet (an unmasked Mr. 450/Mecha Wolf). Yurnet immediately blows out his knee and yet somehow finishes the match so I will give him credit for that. FUCK WRESTLER SAFETY! DANCE FOR ME! (Why yes I am totally ignoring all the other stuff that came about Yurnet after this and the real life beef he got into with Ali. Lalalalalala…. Just moving right along. Fun and happy times.)
+ Tajiri is still coming (they promise next week). It is a new video so they did put some effort into the production. Not enough to choose a different slow shot of the elbow that was five feet away from connecting but still Tajiri is coming!
+ The Swann/Neville main is a real cracker. I liked how Swann didn’t come out dancing and was just yelling “I AIN’T SHAKING HIS HAND!!!”. I also liked how Swann got his ass kicked for a while (both during the match and after the match). Then I liked the part where Swann kept hitting Neville with everything he could think of but not being able to get the win. Neville winning with a secondary finisher is also a bonus (a top rope superplex). If I had any nitpick it would be that since was non-title and it was constantly played up as “if Neville wins he will get a title shot” you knew how things were ending.
– Noam Dar’s FOOOOOXXXXX can’t lift the backstage nonsense with Alicia to the top half of the column mainly because, while I can accept a lot of things in wrestling, I can’t accept that Alicia made it all the way to the back while wearing one shoe in less than 10 seconds. (And I am totally ignoring the stuff that so doesn’t age well in this #MeToo era)
– I guess I am starting to become desensitized to the announcing. I know it is still irritating but I can’t remember what bugged me this week. I can safely say that Austin Aries doesn’t have a banana yet.
– Dasha Fuentes does a in-ring interview with Ali. Interview is a loose term because while she doesn’t mess up any words she also doesn’t actually ask any questions. She strings together a few nouns and verbs and then just stares at Ali waiting for him to take the hint.
– The Ariya Daivari hype video consisted of “I WRESTLED ON RAW ONCE AND ON A KICKOFF SHOW! MY OLDER BROTHER IS MORE FAMOUS THAN ME!!!” Not exactly the direction I would have taken but at least they didn’t go with DEATH TO AMERICA~! Maybe, I should have put that in the What Worked column just for that. Progress?!?!?!?!
– The “duel” went on for what felt like 87 minutes. Jack Gallagher tried but considering the entire segment was just to come up with a storyline reason for Gallagher to start carrying an umbrella… hard pass. (Mind you the crowd was into so what the fuck do I know?)