Monday Night Raw is Divorced


Monday Night Raw came to us live last night from somewhere in Oklahoma.  I’d tell you what city exactly but I don’t feel like it matters.  Most likely Oklahoma City.  Can you name another one that isn’t Norman or Stillwater?  And you only know those because of the Universities.

Last week on Twitter, I commented on Michael Cole’s new vocabulary words.  Apparently the word of the day for yesterday was divorced (divorce: to separate or dissociate (something) from something else), because if he said it once I swear he said it 15 times.  This could have been the product of the fact they felt the need to show the exact same build up promo for the Cena vs Styles match 15 times, but still.  Cut ties?  Separated?  Dissolved their friendship?  Find a thesaurus.  Some of us actually sit through all 3 hours of Raw.

In any event, let’s get on with this absolutely absurd Monday Night Raw episode.

Money in the Bank

The show kicked off with our six lovable superstars involved in the Money in the Bank match perched atop a circle of ladders.  This was weird enough.  But they sat there and basically had a feelings circle (yes, I watched Troop Beverly Hills the other day and now the phrase feelings circle makes sense).  I don’t know why ADR has such a hard on for Sami Zayn, it’s confusing.  They should be building him against Cesaro.  It would makes sense, as the match is 3 Faces and 3 Heels.  So you’d have Ambrose-Jericho, Sami-KO, and the two odd men out are just paired by default.

There was a highlight of this segment, and then just some really strange shit that came from it.

Highlight: The Gift of Jericho, drink it in man.  For all the jabs I make at Chris Jericho for his failure to own a shirt, Heel Jericho is often my favorite thing in pro wrestling.  He’s just funny.  While the PG era has him sort of stuck on “stupid idiot” as a taunt because it’s family friendly, his character still just works for me in so many ways.


Really Strange Shit:  Teddy Long showed up and lobbied to be the GM of Smackdown….on Raw….He sounded like he was either really drunk or in the midst of a stroke.  In any event, nothing he said really mattered, but in obligatory fashion, he did attempt to make his favorite matches:


Let’s just touch on all of the Teddy Long segments, because they actually ate up a lot of screen time on this episode.

  1. At the breakdown into the brawl that the opening segment was inevitably going to lead to, Teddy appeared and attempted to book, “Tag team, fatal four way, six man iron man extraordinaire”….I’m not really entirely sure what the hell he was trying to book, but Steph came out, explained that Shane was on vacation, and then proceeded to send him to the back and book three singles matches (thank god) for the evening, pitting Ambrose-KO, Sami-ADR, and Jericho-Cesaro, the last of which immediately followed the commercial break to allow the crew to get the ladders out of the ring.
  2. He appeared backstage in Stephanie’s office…is that what that is, she’s always just standing in that wide open room with the red curtains and “Raw” logo TV.  It’s odd, I like on NXT where when they go into the GM’s office, Regal is literally sitting in a tiny office behind a desk.  It just looks more legit.  Anyway, Teddy explained that she had an opportunity on her hands, and if he was the GM of Smackdown, he’d book a fatal four way…you guessed it… tag match.  She reminded him that he didn’t work there, wouldn’t work there, and he should leave.  She then called the marketing department and booked the exact match, Tag Team Titles at MITB between The New Day, The Vaudevillians, Gallows & Anderson, and The Realest Guys Enzo and Cass.  Should be a great match, they didn’t have to play the shenanigans card to get there.
  3. Breeze, accompanied by Fandango, was set for singles action against R-Truth, accompanied by Golddust.  When Fandango seemingly just taunted R-Truth from the outside, Golddust punched him, then rolled him in the ring and R-Truth tripped over him, getting Breeze the DQ.  “Hold up playa, playa.”  Teddy Long tried to restart the match as a tag match, but security escorted him from the building and the match was just over.
  4. While he was being escorted out, Stephanie met him in the back to play up how evil she is by taunting a sad, old man.  I’m not really sure why.  I really thought they were going to make more of an effort to try to get her over, which would have worked a lot better during the Roman-H build when H was getting all the face love, but still, after last week when she told off Charlotte, I really thought they were turning a corner.  They have a lot of trouble writing for women, I don’t know why.  Just write stories for men and plug and place females into the slots.  I mean, the build to Cena-AJ is essentially the exact same as that for Roman-AJ, except this time AJ just knows he’s on The Club’s side and isn’t cutting sad promos about not needing them.
  5. There wasn’t a fifth segment, but at least he didn’t try to make anyone go one on one with the Undertaker.


Can Someone Please Explain The Puerto Rico Thing to Me?

Ok, so the “Shining Stars” had that awful match a few weeks back with that ridiculously stupid entrance promo about the ring being their paradise of Puerto Rico, then they disappeared.  Could it be because the gimmick is absolute trash?  Most likely.  In any event, there is still multiple “Come to Puerto Rico” commercials (are they commercials now that they aren’t really promos?) on each Raw episode.  I’m just confused.  Did they commit to trying to aid the Puerto Rican debt crisis by trying to aid in WWE fan tourism?  Are they familiar with the WWE fanbase?  They don’t travel except for WWE events.  Stop showing these ads and just do an event in Puerto Rico or something.  I’m sure someone will give you a tax incentive to do it.

Those MITB Singles Matches

The beauty of the booking here is that, as I’ve said countless times, the guys associated with the Intercontinental Belt for the last year have been among the absolute best matches for as long as I can remember.  So last night, we got:

Ambrose (W) vs Kevin Owens – This was a rematch of those great matches between these two late 2015 and early 2016 for the IC belt, including that awesome Iron Man match at Royal Rumble, and later their entry into the Rumble match still battered from the lengthy fight.  This one was a great back and forth, these two work really well together, but Ambrose dodged the Pop-Up Powerbomb and hit Dirty Deeds for the win.

Sami Zayn vs Alberto Del Rio (W) – Match was ok.  I know Del Rio is better than this, but I’ll assume some of his distaste for the fact he expected to be a headliner when he agreed to come back plays into how much he kind of phones it in.  Del Rio hit that double stomp on the turnbuckles for the win.

Cesaro (W) vs Chris Jericho – The timing here was off.  I don’t know what it was.  Maybe Cesaro works at a significantly quicker pace than Jericho is used to (or does now that he’s getting older), but it wasn’t a bad match.  And we got to see Cesaro get a win over a legend.  I am finally starting to have faith again that they’re going to give him a big push.  I don’t know if they give him the MITB, but it’s good to see them listening for once.  Plus that James Bond entrance and the sweet tear away suit is amazing.

How You Doin’?


I’ll run on the assumption that everyone remembers that crash at Payback where Enzo got knocked out.  It was unpleasant to watch again last night.  But, Enzo and Cass finally got to meet The Vaudevillians in a rematch of that which was cut short, and Aiden English tried to do the same thing to Enzo.  It didn’t look anywhere near as brutal this time, but Enzo sold it and laid out on the outside for a bit as Big Cass ABSOLUTELY LOST HIS SHIT!  Oddly though, for some reason Cass got a DQ for beating on English.  Is it against the rules to beat on the non-legal opponent even if he’s in the ring?  I got lost somewhere in the outrageous intensity on Big Cass’s face, and a little fearful, and then I had to change my underwear and missed some of it.  I don’t understand the DQ.  I do understand that the bond between Enzo and Cass is enough to make Cass basically murder people if they try to hurt Enzo.

Let’s Promo the Shit out of it

Two lengthy video packages last night brought you both sides of a story, one about the man nobody likes that has the belt and felt betrayed.  There’s the other guy that is supposed to be the bad guy but we wanted him back so badly that even him basically saying he wiped his ass with our get well wishes wasn’t enough for us to hate him.  You can probably find the full videos on, but in the meantime, here is the shorter clip they were able to get on Twitter last night for Roman.  I guess the Seth Rollins one might have garnered him too much sympathy had we been given the opportunity to watch it over and over.


This also announced:  Next week on Raw, The Ambrose Asylum returns for a Shield reunion.  Not really a Shield reunion, but the former three members of the Shield will be in the ring at the same time.  Some part of me hopes it is a trap and Ambrose teams up with Rollins to just obliterate Roman.  I don’t hate Roman, it would just be different from what you’re obviously expecting here if they all get in the ring, though I would expect Rollins to stay at the top of the ramp the whole time.

Styles and Cena gets Meta


John Cena came out and did exactly what he does best, build hype for a match.  He spoke of last week, standing across the ring from AJ Styles, he talked about how many for years had only been able to ask “what if?”, he talked about the electricity in the arena rivaling that he’s only felt one other time, when he stood face to face with The Rock.  He even led the crowd in the patented “Let’s Go Cena-Cena Sucks” chants.  John Cena, for all the problems you may have with the way he’s been booked as a superhero, is great at his job, and its because he’s completely self-aware that he’s even that much more amazing.

What’s even better is when you get a guy like AJ Styles, who was initially taunted by Chris Jericho for being a rookie, coming out to the praise of John Cena for everything he’s done in his career, only to talk about how he’s keeping the Club in his corner so that John Cena can’t do what he’s been accused of for years, because John, “guys like you bury guys like me.”  This entire segment was so ridiculously self aware that it was likely one of the most amazing things we will get to experience in 2016.  These two guys transcended sports entertainment to the point where it was like the internet wrestling community had written the back and forth for them, and in a lot of ways, we probably have.

Of course, when The Club had Cena surrounded again, The New Day came to the rescue and Cena avoided another beatdown or avoided what AJ had warned of, that moment where you get Cena single handedly laying waste to three incredibly talented competitors.  One Vs All isn’t a Cena game anymore, they reserve that for Roman now.

The Club (W) takes on The New Day

This match went about as expected, although with New Day making the save in the Cena-Styles exchange earlier in the night, I was shocked to not have Cena on commentary for this one.  Xavier Woods ate a Styles Clash on the outside of the ring which was cool, it seems they are really warming to the move as not being “so dangerous it will kill people”.  It turned into a 2 on 3 handicap match, so that The Club was the beneficiary of the numbers game and got the win, and only after New Day had already lost did Cena come out to help his saviors from earlier.

Check this out though:


The Merry-Go-Round

I hate being disappointed when Rusev is involved with anything, because he’s amazing.  Just look at how he entered at Wrestlemania 31…..


He rode out in a damned tank.  That’s other level baller status right there.

But rather that showcase how incredible Rusev is, we’ve reverted to his ancient feud with Jack Swagger, a real American who I assumed was on the unemployment line like so many other real Americans, and some sort of lackluster build to a US Title feud with Titus O’Neil…..yes, you read that correctly, the guy that got suspended for 6 months for grabbing Vince is now in a title feud.  I’m lost.  Anyway, Rusev got the win, but was chased off by the tandem as Titus was out on Commentary.

Charlotte talked a lot more

There was a segment where Charlotte came out and basically said that she made her Dad cry but only in the business sense, she still wants him to be her Dad and have her over for Christmas and stuff.  It was awkward.  Are they worried she has too much heat?  She did make a sad old drunk cry on live television, which I found highly unpleasant to watch.

Anyway, Dana was out with her, so naturally both Becky and Natalya had to come down and play the face team.  I imagined it would lead to a tag match at Smackdown, but instead it’s just going to be Becky taking on Dana again.  I hope they don’t make Becky take a loss, although what am I saying, that match won’t end with a decision, just a DQ of some sort.

I realize that most of this is just a placeholder and they’re dragging the Charlotte-Natalya thing out as far as possible so that they don’t have to do any actual work in the division until the build for Summerslam, but they can still do better than this.  At least Becky is getting screen time.  That’s a definite plus.

All in all it wasn’t a bad show.  The Teddy Long stuff was sort of weird.  And it’s not like he is from Oklahoma and was going to get the hometown pop like Jack Swagger got.

I’ll call it a B+, the plus entirely because of how much I appreciated the Cena-AJ back and forth.