Raw is Hugs for Everyone – August 22, 2016


Don’t even know why, but for some reason typing that headline got “Dayman, fighter of the Nightman, Champion of the Sun…” stuck in my head, which has no relevance here, but now you’re stuck with it too.


Let me address something here, not that it hasn’t already been addressed, but this is the new WWE Universal Championship Belt:


I am actually a huge fan of this belt, hell I may buy one.  I don’t know why anyone has such a problem with it.


That ridiculous looking belt is the WBC World Championship belt.  Were any of you to pack the Barclay’s Center for a WBC event would you spend the entirety of the Mayweather fight bitching loudly about the way the belt looks…..well hell no you wouldn’t.  Why is WWE any different?  And beyond that, what did you expect?

This is the title belt for Raw, the red brand, and as such, the belt needed to be representative of that.  I think if you wait a few weeks, when AJ Styles claims that title off Ambrose now that he’s the Face that Runs the Blue Place, that belt will change colors too.  That red belt was going to pop with all of Finn’s red flair, and a blue belt will do the same on AJ with all of his.  You just don’t appreciate anything anymore because for some reason you think this company owes you something.  They don’t.  These guys are killing each other, risking paralysis and serious injury and sometimes death (RIP Owen) just to entertain you and you can’t give them the courtesy of focusing on what actually matters.

What’s more important:

I hope that WWE pulls an NBA and rescinds that third year of SummerSlam weekend in Brooklyn.  That crowd was awful.  The only night they weren’t the worst was for NXT, but you had to be the world’s biggest asshole to have not just reveled in every moment of that show and waste your time with asshole chants.

Then you get to the opening of Raw where most would discover that Finn Balor suffered a major shoulder injury during his title winning match with Rollins, at one point even resetting the shoulder himself so that he could keep entertaining a crowd of thousands of assholes who were more concerned with the choice of leather color on a belt.  I know it wasn’t the whole crowd, but what seemed to be the majority ruined it for everybody.  And now Finn Balor has to stand in front of that same shitty crowd on Raw, in tears, and hand over the thing he’s worked twenty years to accomplish.


They’ll never say it out loud, but I think they’d take a dip in ticket sales if it meant keeping people like those that ruined that experience on Sunday night for the rest of us out of the arenas.  And while we’re on it, stop with the “(insert name) sucks” chant.  It’s unnecessary, and 9 times out of 10 you’re sitting next to someone who paid just as much if not more than you did just to see that person and you’re shitting on their experience, and half the time its a kid that just likes the hero.  Don’t take that away from them.

One man’s tragedy is eight men’s opportunity

I’d rather there were more.  Raw will not have a PPV event until Clash of Champions at the end of September, there could have been a significant build offering opportunity to a wealth of backstage talent to step up and deliver a show in a tournament format.

Last November, when Seth Rollins injured his knee, he had to go through this same thing and surrender his title belt, which led to a tournament, lasting two weeks of Raw and culminating at the Survivor Series event, which still featured 3 tournament matches for the semifinals and finals.  You remember that night, it’s the night that Sheamus 5:15 Just Kicked Your Arse, and Roman Reigns dropped the title that had long eluded him after about as much time as a typical commercial break.  Unfortunately it wasn’t on USA, so a Todd Chrisley gif doesn’t apply here.

…….Who am I kidding, this is The Dark Match, a Todd Chrisley gif always applies.

This presented Raw with a unique opportunity.  Given that the Draft just happened, put all that talent on display.  There are four weeks of Raw remaining before Clash of Champions, where a Universal Champion could be crowned.  It didn’t even have to be restricted to just Raw shows.  They could have featured tournament matches on Superstars/Main Event or even used them as draws for some of the larger house shows between now and CoC.  A tournament bracket could have easily featured 32 competitors, just like the CWC, and would have given them the opportunity to use the wealth of talent that I find most of the internet community doesn’t even think about when discussing things like this.  It could have opened the door for a dark horse signee like a Samoa Joe or Shinsuke Nakamura to participate, Heath Slater could have had an opportunity in the tournament, it could have all come down to these 8 guys anyway without it having to be so rushed and pointless.  But what we’ve been given in lieu of that is this:

Sami Zayn vs Seth Rollins (W) – Another great match from these two, but you knew going in who had to come out on top.

Kevin Owens (W) vs Neville – This one disappointed me, not because the match wasn’t good, it was, but that it was sort of rushed and then they had a Jericho interference play into the KO win.  Just let these two fight.  I’ve seen it.  It’s awesome.

Rusev vs Big Cass (W) – Rusev played the bruised ribs like a champ, and walked away from this fight.  Lana did not look pleased with her Champion, but we get one of the Realest Guys next week for the belt.

Chris Jericho vs Roman Reigns (W) – Remember about two weeks ago when I said something about how the mighty had fallen to the US Title scene on the card?  Well, Roman is back, and this time, he wants the Red Belt.

The winners, indicated with the (W), we were informed about 2/3 of the way through the show, would compete in a fatal four way match on Raw next Monday night for the Universal Championship.  Early indicators online are pointing to the company wanting to give it to Roman.  Probably still thinking Cass is a little too green to put the belt on, and Reigns has been riding his way back on this new violent wave.  I text Jeremy last night and said “Roman will win in Houston next week, that town loves him.”  And they do.  Go back and watch any of the events there even in the last six months.  They go crazy for him.  And I’m actually on board with giving it to him now.  Especially since there is the possibility of a Champion vs Champion match with some violent gimmick at Clash of Champions (how fitting) against Rusev.  It makes so much sense when smarks slow down and actually think about things.

The Hugster has arrived on Raw.  They probably hadn’t intended on this debut coming now, but with Sasha out for a bit with the back issues, it’s the absolute best time for her to appear.  She can work a lengthy feud with Charlotte, have Banks come back and go back to being all Legit Boss Sasha and then we get our Bayley – Sasha Mania match.  It’s quite perfect, in fact.

Oh yeah, Bayley also handily defeated Dana Brooke in a debut squash.  Wonder how long before Charlotte trades Dana Brooke in for the much larger, more violent model:


I think everyone would just expect Bayley to go right into being the champ, but there’s quite a roadblock with some history for Lady Hugsalot.  It’ll be interesting to see if they finally start making use of Nia or just leave her in the Braun Strowman purgatory.

Speaking of That Exercise in Pointlessness

Strowman destroyed another local talent.  I’d really like them to address the fact that the jobber’s in ring interview before the match made mention of the fact that he’d taken the match because he “likes big, sweaty men”.  Was just weird, and I don’t think Byron knew how to react.

Big E took on Karl Anderson

Find something new for both these teams…..

The Dudley Boyz retired

Yes, or at least I think.  This morning reports confirmed that the locker room said their goodbyes, but it was weird because they didn’t get a swan song.  While the worst travel agents on Earth (Epico and Primo) came out to take the beating so the Boyz could get one last table in, Gallows and Anderson showed up, destroyed both Dudleyz and gave D-Von wood.

I think they retired, but I lumped these two aspects of the recap together because maybe it’s something new for Gallows and Anderson, although it is a strange time to let the Dudleyz hang it up as thin as the tag division is on Raw.  Smackdown cornered that market probably to make up for the Cruiserweight division being solely on Raw.

Titus, Backlund, Darren

I have no idea where any of this is going, or why any of this is going, and I want it to stop.  You want to entertain me, put Bob Backlund’s crazy ass with Heath Slater.

The Whole Brock Lesnar Issue

We’re going to discuss pretty heavily why Brock Lesnar is terrible for the WWE at this point on Wednesday’s podcast, but the only action taken last night was saying that “Brock Lesnar would be dealt with.”  This is the least Stephanie McMahon has ever spoken about anything ever when given the opportunity on the broadcast.

Seriously, that paragraph is the best I can give you because for all the promos about the issue being addressed and Michael Cole talking about it, nothing was ever really done or said.

Overall the show wasn’t bad, good matchups, though they did themselves a disservice in the Neville-KO bout by having the interference.  I don’t agree with the shortcuts to a new champion being crowned next week when they don’t have to rush it, but I guess shareholders need to see someone holding a title belt.  I don’t know, I don’t work for corporate, or creative, or anyone related to wrestling for that matter.  So we will see.  Just go ahead and spend a week preparing for the unnecessary butt hurt you’re going to feel when Roman raises that red strap high.