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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (April 17, 2017): GOD SIZE

This week's episode of Monday Night Raw in Ohio saw WWE continue its build to the upcoming Payback pay-per-view (PPV) in San Jose later this month. That meant Braun Strowman was still on a rampage and one really, really good Miz TV segment.

Let’s get to reacting to it. For a full live blog from the impeccable Reverend Kain click here.


This was a moment that chant was made for (skip to the 2:00 mark):

Made even better by everything that came before it, namely the fact that Braun Strowman had, quite literally, kidnapped a cruiserweight and threw him in the garbage before Big Show decided he was the only guy to stop the strongman's rampage.

Considering how epic their last encounter was, there was really only one way to top it and that's to near manslaughter on a helpless referee while collapsing the ring under the sheer weight of their collective greatness.

I cannot wait for Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar.

Underneath it all

Count me among the many who laughed at the idea that the Superstar Shake-Up was designed to create fresh match-ups on both brands and the first thing Dean Ambrose and The Miz did after switching to Raw from SmackDown Live was to reignite their old issue. I'm not mad they did, though, because they delivered the goods here in that sort of worked shoot way we've come to know and love from Miz and Maryse.

What makes this work, for me, is that Ambrose, as a character, kind of sucks. For some time now, he's been presenting this front, this schtick, a wacky goofball who just does things to make himself laugh because oh that Dean Ambrose he's a real knee slapper. Miz, then, is the perfect guy to strip this all away to get at the real Dean Ambrose, the man who lives underneath the exterior, who presents himself in a manner not unlike Miz but with actual substance beyond the style.

Miz is the picture of arrogance that comes of privilege, a flashy blowhard with too high an opinion of himself whose accomplishments are tainted because of it. Underneath all that, however, is an inferior man. Validation from the outside is the cure for what ails him on the inside. His presentation is a mask for the soft underbelly that is his actual self.

Ambrose, meanwhile, is self deprecating to the point of absurdity. He makes it nearly impossible to take him seriously, a clear detriment to his wider perception. Here, because Miz cannot help being so relentlessly who he is, we finally see what happens when you cut through the exterior and get to what's underneath.

What's underneath is the exact opposite of everything Miz represents, a man hardened by the many battles fought to attain the gold he now possesses. He fights not for recognition but for passion, not to be praised for his efforts but rewarded for his persistence. That reward is not admiration it's knowledge of self, that he is who he is today because he survived all the suffering.

The Miz is what happens when you want people to believe you to be something you are not. Dean Ambrose is what happens when you couldn't give a shit less what people think because you know exactly who you are.

All the best to all the rest

KINGSLAYER: I understand branding is important but "we're joined by THE KINGSLAYER Seth Rollins" is just strange and out of place. That said, Seth was good on commentary during Samoa Joe vs. Chris Jericho, where he got Joe over as a formidable opponent and Jericho did one hell of a job physically selling him as such without completely taking away from the fact that he's challenging for the US title in a couple weeks.

Good Brothers def. Enzo & Cass: I'm constantly left wondering just how popular Enzo and Cass could become if they were ever given a legitimately strong run of victories, in any tag team division. There's an argument to be made that they're over for the catchphrases and therefore don't need to win matches but that caps their potential and it's a real shame to see the life get beaten out of their fans who know defeat is just around every corner.

Perkins def. Gallagher: Perkins continues to find success with a new attitude, not to mention Neville's unintentional assistance, while Austin Aries is taking up for the good side and still failing.

Apollo Blues: I was sports entertained by Titus O'Neil pitching Apollo Crews on various ideas to get him over. One he didn't mention that came from somewhere else that I'm on board with is the idea of a talk show called "Apollo's News" where he runs down the roster in new and hilarious ways. Literally anything to make Apollo interesting at this point.

Pure Bliss: The Raw women's division is a million times more interesting after moving Charlotte away from it and Alexa Bliss into it, if only because she is clearly the most versatile of the bunch. Watch this Fatal 4-Way and tell me she didn't create an interesting future match with literally everyone involved, including Mickie James, who she already worked with on SmackDown. That's what great wrestlers do. Bayley is great and all but Alexa is the champion this division needs right now.

Fin: Balor was, apparently, cleared to return to action without missing even one episode of television after reportedly suffering a concussion one week ago. That gives me pause, though your mileage may vary, but at least he was booked to squash Curt Hawkins without having to take any offense. Here's to hoping he's doing okay.

Drifter: My one and only hope is that The Drifter continues drifting until he comes across Brock Lesnar, who F-5's him into oblivion, guitar and all. Really, though, this feels different -- strumming along and getting a nod of the head from the Good Brothers, walking behind Chris Jericho cutting a promo and being put on The List -- and we should celebrate any break from the norm.

Words: Bray Wyatt is still speaking them. That's cool! Still lacking substance, and we're no closer to learning what the House of Horrors is, but hey, he looked cool while talking in a dark, smokey room!

Hardys: Matt and Jeff add depth to the tag team division and are clearly stars beyond the nostalgia act that, say, the Dudley Boyz were. That said, what makes them interesting is everything they're doing beyond what WWE is asking of them, namely their efforts to incorporate a touch here and there of characters they got over with before their return. It leaves the door open for much more down the line. Also good: Jeff looked good in a singles match against Cesaro, every bit like the star he once was within this very company.

A pretty good show, mostly!

Grade: B

Your turn!

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