After watching this show and thinking about last week’s SmackDown, I came to a realization I hadn’t before. Have you noticed that SmackDown hasn’t done any type of cinematic stuff since Roman returned?
Like… Raw is constantly cinematic moments, specifically when it comes to the Fiend. The problem though, is that it’s been making The Fiend a magical character. He didn’t start that way. He never should have become this.
Then they brought Alexa Bliss into the fold. She started out as a person manipulated by The Fiend, and now she too magically appears and disappears, and shoots fire out of her hand.
Now she can transform into dark Alexa. Uuuuugh. They have relied so much on these magical looking cinematic segments that have taken away from the original characters. Possessed Alexa good! Magical Alexa bad!
On top of all that, nothing matters on Monday nights. Seriously. Raw is a YouTube clip show. Most of the matches have no stakes, most of the matches make no sense and get no one over, and most of the talking is terrible. This show sucks.
Let’s talk about the main hits (virtually none of these) and misses of this show. For a full rundown of Raw, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!
Alexa Bliss said she just wanted to talk to Orton last week, but things got a little “heated.”
She introduced Asuka and Asuka tried to sit in the swing next to her but said she wasn’t allowed to. She kept addressing the empty swing as if it were the ghost of the Fiend, which was really one of the only parts I liked about this segment. Asuka mentioned His name, and Bliss snapped at her as the rocking horse in the ring rocked back and forth by itself.
In the match later, Asuka would hit Bliss and Bliss would smile, similarly to her match with Nikki Cross. She dove into the ring from the outside and then the lights started going out like the Fiend, but it sounded a bit different than usual.
Bliss transformed into some new clothing and goth lipstick. Asuka was kind of intimidated and still willing to fight. Bliss was taking Asuka’s moves but recovering quickly with an emotionless face. Bliss tried a Mandible Claw and Asuka blocked it. Asuka kept attacking her but Bliss did the Sister Abigail and won. Then she transformed back into gleeful Bliss and said Let Me In, but with the Fiend’s voice.
Alrighty. So after everything I said in my opening remarks, I liked what they did with Alexa in the possessed part of her match. Everything else before… didn’t feel it this time. They really are relying too much on the cinematic aspect of this. I’m not really much of a fan anymore.
I’d much rather preferred they just make a Fiend version of Alexa instead of relying on these possession and magical tactics. I’m not enjoying this anymore.
El Dandy Orton
So Orton has a Lucha mask now.
You could see it was covering some burns on his face, as he opened the show saying that the voices in his head are as loud as ever after getting burned last week. He’s wearing the mask to shield us from the horror he went through.
He chose compassion but it backfired on him. But he doesn’t blame Alexa Bliss. Instead, he blames the Fiend. He knows why the Fiend is doing this. He wants to stop Randy from being in the Royal Rumble. With all that has happened, Orton said he’ll still be in the match next Sunday because while everyone probably was happy to see him burn, he’ll never let this get in his way from winning and going to WrestleMania.
I was wondering how they were going to do this reveal of Orton, and I actually don’t mind this. A plain Lucha mask is certainly interesting. I thought maybe they’d have done an eye patch or maybe a Phantom of the Opera style mask (come on that would have been HILARIOUS) to then do some twisted gruesome reveal. Remember we had an eye incident a few months back.
Who knows what this company will do at this point?
Gillberg vs. Drew McInfart
This was one of the worst segments I have seen in quite some time. Not surprising that it involved The Dirt Sheet with Miz and Morrison.
Shout out to David Krumholtz! Great to see your crack live on television.
I’m sure Vince loved it.
The Hurt Business defeated Riddle and Lucha House Party
Before this match, Riddle met the Hurt Business in the back and “Slobby Bobby” (Sigh) “stomped” on Riddle’s foot. He did not. Alexander continued the dissension by not tagging his partner and then almost lost the match. Dorado wiped the floor with Cedric and then the Hurt Business traded tags with him, which he took badly and Benjamin shoved him out of the ring. Riddle finally got tagged in and worked over Benjamin. After some more fighting, Bobby got the win with the Hurt Lock on Metalik.
Metalik and Dorado were really good with Shelton. Shelton has some fun moments with luchadors. Riddle attacking Lashley after the match only furthers their feud. I like Cedric’s massive ego, but I don’t want to see them kick him out just yet.
Mace defeated Xavier Woods
I like Mace’s look out of all the RETRIBUTION group. He had an awesome chokeslam lifting Woods out of the corner and held him up in the air for a good 15 seconds. Woods tried wearing Mace down with elbows and a kick to the face but Ali got Mace to “shut him down” which I’ve said before would work really nicely as a way to get Ali to motivate them. Which worked in this case too, but there was definitely some sort of botch with Mace’s finisher.
I really like that they’re using Ali and Kingston’s history on SmackDown from when Ali was supposed to get the big push until he got injured, and KofiMania was born out of it. Ali hoping that Kofi gets to feel the way he felt that time is great. I don’t know how bad Kofi’s jaw injury is but sadly, I don’t see AliMania coming from this RETRIBUTION stuff.
AJ Styles defeated Ricochet
For some strange reason, AJ Styles has become a gatekeeper for the Royal Rumble. Last week Drew Gulak tried declaring himself for the Rumble as was denied, now this week as multiple people are declaring themselves, Ricochet needs to have a match to see if he can be considered to be in the match. Huh?
Omos played a role here catching Ricochet and then dropping him to the floor. Ricochet’s backflip into the German suplex is beautiful. He really can sell like death. I love watching his matches. Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm and Ricochet countered with the Recoil for a near fall. Ricochet literally bounced into a Styles Clash from the top rope. I absolutely hate that he lost but man that was a great looking spot.
Charlotte Flair defeated Peyton Royce
Evans walked in with Ric Flair talking about how she’s learning from the dirtiest player in the game. Ew. Charlotte Flair was chopping Royce to smithereens but caught the post and Royce took advantage. DIdn’t work too well though because Flair got the upper hand and was pinning her, and then Papa’s music interrupted the match. Ric brought Evans out in her own purple robe. Royce got a near fall on the distraction. Figure 8 got the win for Charlotte.
Yeesh. Just… ugh.
Jeff Hardy vs. Jaxson Ryker ends in a DQ
Jeff Hardy was done with Elias, but then as commentary stated, he decided to reignite his old rivalry. Uh… why? Whatever. This is stupid.
Shayna Baszler defeated Mandy Rose
They continued dissension with Jax and Baszler with Nia on commentary. Baszler dominated for most of the match. She targeted Mandy’s left arm throughout the match and twisted the arm in ways I haven’t seen. Kirifuda Clutch got the win. Still a big fan of splitting Jax and Baszler, even though it looks like they may be getting a rematch for the tag titles.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?