WWE Raw and Smackdown Live Thoughts – June 26th & 27th, 2017
Another week of WWE programming has come and gone. We’re getting close to the Raw PPV, Great Balls of Fire in less than two weeks and Smackdown had to right a wrong after their Money in the Bank PPV. How did the programs fare this week?
I’m going to start off my weekly look at WWE with the huge negatives from this week: celebrities on the show. I don’t understand WWE’s rationale about including these idiots on their show. If they’re not undermining their own talent verbally or physically, which shouldn’t happen, they’re giving the audience the chance to change the channel and not come back (see: numerous guest hosts and musical performances).
This week’s show had some guy from the new Transformers movie (hell if I know who he is as I don’t follow Hollywood or any of that celebrity worship) discussing how he’s never been at a WWE show blatantly communicating he has no idea what happens in the ring. While the Hardys and Finn Balor were taking on Elias Samson and Sheamus & Cesaro in a good match, we had this idiot blabbing with Booker T about the projects he’s working on. Newsflash: I don’t care and I’m sure the majority of the people watching WWE don’t either. Michael Cole tried to get the odd “OH!” and move called during the irrelevant conversation happening while wrestlers were performing on TV, trying to get over. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and it was all shit.
Not only did the people watching at home have to sit through that uselessness, WWE also invited some idiots from some Ball family or whatever to be on Miz TV. If you thought WWE wouldn’t produce a worse segment than Alexa Bliss’ “Bayley, This is Your Life” this year, you were wrong. Who the hell are these people and why are they on TV? You could hear the audience growing restless and bored. If I was a paying customer sitting in the audience, I’d be pissed. I guess some racial slurs were used during the segment, but I didn’t hear them as I was totally zoned out tweeting and writing for the site.
Dean Ambrose came out and said a few lines but it looked like WWE cut the segment short by playing Ambrose’s music suddenly. From this awful segment, it transitioned into a three on three match between Dean Ambrose with Rhyno and Heath Slater against The Miz with Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. I’m not sure why and how, but it did. What horrible crap.
I also did not enjoy the women’s Gauntlet match. You’re telling me that Nia Jax went through all the women, including former champion, Bayley, in record time only to lose to Sasha Banks? What was the purpose of destroying the Raw women’s roster (especially Bayley again) only to have the person who did it lose in the end? It makes no sense to me.
On the positive side of this week’s show, I more pumped up than ever to see Samoa Joe vs. Brock Lesnar. Heyman’s promos were spot on, like usual, and Samoa Joe attacking Brock from behind and doing his damnest keep the Coquina Clutch on Lesnar made for great TV. I think this is the best WWE has done actually putting forth that someone stands a change (besides Goldberg) at taking down Brock Lesnar prior to a match.
Los Angeles was a Reigns hating machine and their chants for wanting Braun Strowman was awesome. Strowman’s attack on Reigns was well done and even the announcers commented how easy it was for Strowman to get Reigns into the ambulance. I wonder if this is the usual WWE foreshadowing that you won’t be seeing the same thing at the Great Balls of Fire PPV. Odds are it is unless they put the number one contender spot on the line seeing how Reigns has touted he is next in line at Summerslam. If that’s the case, Reigns won’t lose the match as it wouldn’t make sense then for him to get a title shot on the August PPV.
Lastly, I thought the whole Enzo and Cass segment was done very, very well. Enzo came off as wearing his heart on his sleeve and wanting to believe his former partner had a lapse in judgement and it would allow him to forgive and forget. Cass played his role extremely well, too, as he went from the apologetic friend who made a mistake to the angry and spiteful traitor all within minutes. The crowd (and even I) ate up the short-lived reunion and it made Cass’ attack on Enzo generate even more heat from the crowd when it happened. While I would have liked to see the team stay together, I’m anxious to see what happens to both men on the card after their inevitable match at Great Balls of Fire.
Those are all that really resonated with me with Raw this week. The Rollins and Wyatt program is a bore and I have no idea what it’s about, the involvement of Titus O’Neil with the Crusierweights bores me, and the first encounter of Goldust and R-Truth disappointed after weeks of promos.
Smackdown’s main attraction this week was the 2nd women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. After WWE caused so much controversy with what happened at the Money in the Bank PPV with James Ellsworth technically winning for Carmella, many people were hoping WWE would right the wrong in some manner.
The action, once again, was excellent during the match and I have the upmost respect for the women doing what they do. The one thing that has to stop happening is having the competitors climbing the ladder ever so slowly to try and get the briefcase or reaching for it when they’re not at the top. You have to unhook the damn thing, so why would any of the competitors reach for it unless can touch the clip? My wife came home from work while the match was on and commented on both issues. I said it those nuisances were supposed to create suspense and drama. She retorted both things made no sense just as Charlotte raced up the ladder in record time, validating her point that they can climb up the ladders fast when they want to. Point: wife.
James Ellsworth was banned from the arena but still got involved anyway. With Shane McMahon AND Daniel Bryan both at the arena, why didn’t one of them come down to the ring immediately? Ellsworth’s banishment from the match and the arena seemed like a big deal but there was no follow through from the bosses. Ellsworth’s involvement in the match distracted Becky Lynch enough from having her eye on the prize and allowed Carmella to climb up the ladder and unhook the briefcase to legitimately be the winner of the women’s Money in the Bank match.
What is up with WWE’s decision making sometimes? The Hype Bros were facing The Usos to try and reclaim their tag team title shot. The match started and they showed a few minutes of it before the commercial break. After the break, we saw Jimmy Uso come down off the top rope with a splash on Zack Ryder for the pin. There was barely any match! Why write The Hype Bros out of the title picture as soon as they reform? Oh yeah…The New Day. What garbage. Like those morons need the belts again. Now we have to sit through a rap battle between them and The Usos next week? I know when I’ll be changing the channel.
I can’t believe WWE is extending the Mahal/Orton feud for ANOTHER FOUR WEEKS! Dear god, why? Orton gets another title shot after losing twice but Shane McMahon said that Jinder Mahal got to pick the stipulation. Immediately, Mahal came out and announced his stipulation is a Punjabi Prison match (ugh). WWE had the stock footage to show people as soon as Mahal mentioned it and that stuff kind of takes you out of the “it’s not planned” state of mind. Mahal hasn’t been in that kind of match, so why would he ask for it? Why wouldn’t he try and rid WWE of Orton by having Orton’s career on the line if he wants to go for the jugular?
I’m surprised that Lana lost in record time against Naomi. Shouldn’t she have lost that fast at the Money in the Bank PPV if she sucked that bad? I wonder if Lana is going back to the drawing board or going back to Rusev.
Props to Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin for putting on a good TV match. Looks like Sami Zayn will be moving on to feud with Mike and Maria Kanellis!
On an ending note, let’s end these awful Fashion Files vignettes, WWE. They aren’t funny.