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  1. #1

    Burn1nMyLight Presents - RAW Review 11/26/2018

    Burn1nMyLight Presents - RAW Review 11/26/2018

    WOW I have heard a lot of(negative) things about this episode of RAW, so I had to give it a watch! And, I mean, if I'm gonna watch, why not write about it? For posterity's sake. Let's see what happened!

    Opener


    Baron Corbin doing generic, boring heel nonsense. I like that WWE recognized his biggest weaknesses, character and mic skills, and gave him a platform to improve on those things. Unfortunately they then actually WROTE the character traits and mic promos, so that development will be stunted. Absolutely classic WWE Creative right there; do 50% of something correctly, and then ruin it with the other 50%.

    Oh god, the Black Hole of Charisma 2.0, Bobby Lashley, talks about beta males and raping things. Kill me.

    Finally Drew gets the mic and shows how to deliver a heel promo; fire, passion, short and sweet. The ONLY people who think heels need to give 12 minute monologues are the McMahons and Bond villains.

    Thinking in kayfabe for a second, I'm so confused as to how a publicly traded company, run by a family of wrestling legacies, thinks it's a good idea to have a relatively new wrestler act as the GM on their biggest show while he intentionally injures other talent and books himself into title matches. Like how does a board of directors, a McMahon, or an investor look at this company and think that's a good idea? Imagine if Adam Silver decided in May "Oh, I'm actually just going to skip to the Finals to play against Golden State, and also I banned Steph Curry and Kevin Durant from playing." Come on, it strains the suspension of disbelief when you go THIS FAR. At least The Authority had the argument that Randy Orton/Seth Rollins were "Best for business" because they looked and sounded like WWE Superstars and Daniel Bryan didn't. That was an argument. There is literally no in-universe argument for someone in actual authority in the WWE Corporation allowing Corbin to do what he does.

    Except that Stephanie McMahon isn't a heel RAW Commissioner, she's literally the worst business person in the history of business. That's the only way this decision makes sense.

    Braun is in Alabama for surgery. It's really surprising how solid he is on the mic. Maybe I had too low expecations when he debuted, out of nowhere, for the Wyatt Family, but that dude can cut a solid heel OR face promo.

    And back to Baron who has literally no heat after what seems like his millionth opening promo. TAKE THE HINT WWE.

    ELIAS INTERRUPTS! In 6 months Elias could be the biggest face in WWE if they let him, that character just fucking CLICKS on RAW. Also Elias's continual "Leo Rush is a child" jokes are hilarious. "Drake Maverick, who literally pissed himself on tv, would be a better GM than you." Sick burn. Also, "Bobby Trashley" and the way Elias changed his "Hold your applause and shit your mouths" to work as a face against the heels is VERY Rock-like when he turned; he still used the same moves, gave mostly the same promos, but he twisted them just a little so that they pointed in the other direction. And we all know how that ended.

    Elias vs Lashley


    "The Almighty" Bobby Lashley is at least a better nickname than whatever long, overly dramatic nickname TNA gave him. At some point Elias gets thrown out of the match and Drew confronts him with a PSYCHO look on his face. I know a few weeks ago I made the "WWE HEEL SCALE" column and Brock was the End-Boss, but that didn't make him the BEST heel in WWE. Right now I think that may be Drew; he's good on the stick, good in the ring, and is a heel that isn't afraid of a fight, and goddamn is that refreshing.

    Elias gets the win after Rush pulls the ref out of the ring, Corbin announces that it's actually a no-DQ match, and...well you can guess the rest.

    That Alabama Slamma onto the steel steps was DISGUSTING looking, btw. Find that gif, it's great.

    Backstage, Alexa kisses Corbin's ass, and is made the overseer of the women's division. Hey, that actually makes sense. GM Corbin has now met his "I made a good decision" quota for the night!

    Doctor's Office w/Dean Ambrose


    Dean is still going on and on about the germs that the crowd has, so he's getting a flu shot. Is he getting actual shots on TV? That's actually kinda cool. Oh, and now he's dropping trow. Great lol. Not gonna be ANY fangirl gifs of that! Dean finally gets to the point, that the whole damn promo should have been built around, and says that "Seth is a lost soul, so I'm going to do the merciful thing and put him out of his misery." How about just writing that for 5 minutes instead of "LOCAL TOWN HAS COOTIES BECAUSE I AM BAD MAN"?

    Nia Jax w/Tamina


    HOW MANY BLACK HOLES OF CHARISMA ARE THERE ON THIS SHOW?

    Nia's nasally, schoolgirl upspeak is incredibly annoying. Nia is now trying to cut a heel promo and it is DEAD SILENT. So, great fucking work, WWE. You pushed Nia for 2 weeks for the worst reason, trying to use real world heat because she's a terrible wrestler and convert it into kayfabe heat, and instead people are STILL just done with her. Could not care less. You fucked this up bad, now can you realize that it's time to move on? Oh wait you really can't because you destroyed your RAW women's division by watering down Bayley and Sasha, so the division is literally only Ronda and, like, Ruby Riott I guess?

    I'm pretty sure the writers just told Nia "Go out there and get heat" because this promo is just fucking going on and on and on and in circles. And yet, no heat. At all. Also, Tamina is there. Doing nothing as usual.

    Ronda comes out, gets a decent pop. It is SO WEIRD seeing two people who can't deliver normal WWE promos in the ring together doing a promo. Ronda and Nia both have more "Normal" promo/speaking methods and it makes for a weird situation when they both have mics. Ronda's promos always pull me in two directions: when she talks about being a fighting champ, standing at the top of the mountain, that stuff is great, but when she is forced to create feuds and fit into cliche roles, it doesn't work. Deep down I think we all know that Ronda was REAL, and this is not, and so she can be REAL and it clicks, and when she tries to be WWE, that's when reality shatters and the promo crumbles. At least in my mind.

    Nia starts speaking and the crowd immediately dies again. Just like the division.

    WHY THE FUCK IS BOBBY ROODE A FACE? He was the best heel in NXT, so of course he's a face on the main roster. Jesus, WWE Creative.

    AOP vs Roode/Gable


    Gable looks REALLY slow tonight. Too much turkey? It took him way too long to get to his spots in this match. Anyway, Drake runs away with Bobby's robe and pees on it. That's the entire point of this match. WWE Creative is just firing on all cylinders.

    Backstage with Bayley, Sasha, and Alexa


    I know Sasha is short but how is Alexa like 2 inches taller than her? Those must be some monster heels(no pun intended). Just seeing Sasha backstage makes me so sad for her entire main roster run. I know her shirt still says "Boss" but she's not. That character died in NXT and RAW's women's division could DESPERATELY use a badass heel/tweener with actual character right now.

    Seth Rollins Open Challenge


    I don't care who is the champ, ANYONE holding Open Challenges is A+ in my book. Anyway, Seth delivers a generic, 2 minute face promo, but it turns out when you're good on the mic, you can give a generic promo and it still works. I mentioned Braun's surprising mic skills earlier, but I remember Seth's work at the start of the Shield and I thought "Eh, he's ok." But he got so much practice during his Authority run, and is so driven to be great, that he turned that middling skill into an absolute strength. Bravo.

    And Dolph Ziggler answers the challenge. Jesus fucking Christ HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO WATCH THIS? All of their matches are good, but goddamn give us a break. This hurts me, because they're really good together. It's just so old at this point. You're making me hate things I should love, dammit.

    And even though we've seen this match 15,000 times this year, the crowd is STILL more live for it than Nia's promo.

    Ziggler hits a Fameasser AND a ZigZag and Seth kicks out of both. Dude, you need some new fucking finishers lol. And on queue, he decides to steal Seth's. Good idea, the Stomp is a solid one. And then Seth actually gets the win with the Superplex-Falcon Arrow combo. I don't know if I've seen him win with that before. This gives Sami's Blue Thunder Bomb hope!

    Open Forum w/Sasha and Bayley


    "Here's the real boss, not Alexa"
    "She's the real boss like Tony Danza was the boss, in name only!" Corey correct as usual!

    So the plant in the audience asks "If you could change something in the women's division, what would you change?" And Sasha torches Alexa. I actually like this segment, it's unique at least. I refuse to talk about Alicia Fox and Dana Brooke's involvement. Sorry. I have now blacked out this segment from my mind.

    Main Event Finn Balor vs Baron Corbin


    What a unique matchup!!!

    I do appreciate this match being made the main event, that's cool. And I like when a show is built around a single superstar, so I do appreciate this being the Baron Corbin episode. Unfortunately it has so many logical issues it's hard to actually enjoy.

    "Serviceable Big" Baron Corbin and "Incredibly over despite never winning" Finn Balor have a slow paced match with Corbin controlling most of it. I bet you can't guess how this is going to end! Finn with the comeback, and Corbin declares it is a handicap match instead. So Drew comes out and murders Finn in 30 seconds. Then Lashley comes out and they beat up Finn some more. And that's the end of the show.

    Seriously, that's the end of the show. Ok.


    Conclusion

    I read that a lot of people HATED this episode, that it was the worst episode they'd seen in a long time, so I had to see for myself. And there were some REALLY bad segments, I'll give you that(Drake and the robe, anything with Nia Jax). But the episode actually told a story(like last week) and, although I don't like the story, I think it was actually well executed and logical, as long as the end result is the faces, who refused to help each other tonight, come out and kick the everloving crap out of the heels at some point. If we just get another 6 months of corrupt authority figure angles we're all gonna slit our wrists.

    We also got a good match between Seth and Dolph, Elias looked like a beast, and really, the show did a LOT without having Dean, Braun, Brock, or any semi-retired part-timers around, so I give it a lot of credit for that. Personally I love the shows where the "Star Power" is off doing other things and you get to see secondary divisions and more minor stars get some time to shine. Unfortunately, this means that Finn Balor, maybe the most popular champion in NXT history, who won the first ever Universal Title, is considered one of those "Minor stars" now. Hopefully this feud is what moves him back into the main event scene.

    The show could be a LOT better, for sure. If The Revival were the tag champs, for example, and gave us a 15 minute NXT Revival match in the middle of the show, this would have been a solid B episode. So while it's weird to say this, considering how WWE has booked RAW up to tonight, this episode makes a lot of sense, even with those two complete dud segments. Because of the crappy foundation they laid, the house, though crooked, at least matches the foundation.

    It wasn't better than Smackdown, but I decided to write about it instead because it was more ainteresting show. Like how a weird, flawed movie can be more interesting than a well-executed, decent movie. Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed the column, see you again next week! Or sooner, if inspiration strikes! Later.

  2. #2
    The Brain
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    That's some powerful positivity in the face of adversity, Burn! 2010 me is very proud of you.

    It constantly amazes me how badly WWE have done with Lashley who by the way was "The Destroyer" in TNA. This is why people groan when people are signed up by WWE. Case in point, Drake Maverick could be (and was for a while) one of their best characters, instead he's trying to make chicken salad out of chicken shit. A pee gimmick? I swear to god, if Bobby Heenan had lived in this era they would have filmed him taking a poopy onscreen and made that his gimmick. Bobby "The Pooper" Heenan. Case in point again, Ambrose gets shots in his butt, heehee, hawhaw, gag.

    I like your defense of the show because it at least had a story and character focus. Too bad it sounds like it was a pretty bad story, and a pretty lame and (as you pointed out) illogical character to focus on. Brave of you to take this one on though Burn, and I actually dug the column so well done!

  3. #3
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Baron Corbin doing generic, boring heel nonsense. I like that WWE recognized his biggest weaknesses, character and mic skills, and gave him a platform to improve on those things. Unfortunately they then actually WROTE the character traits and mic promos, so that development will be stunted. Absolutely classic WWE Creative right there; do 50% of something correctly, and then ruin it with the other 50%.
    Thing is, they may have been a weakness, but his lone wolf gimmick meant he didn't have to talk too much. The character of the silent loner suited him well, I for one actually liked him in that role. Hopefully he gets to go back to that gimmick sooner rather than later.

    If we just get another 6 months of corrupt authority figure angles we're all gonna slit our wrists.
    Haven't we been getting these for the past 20 years?

  4. #4
    This does a great job of detailing a lot of the current issues with the product but what I like most is that you give an honest take on the show instead of just piling on the criticism. Just about everyone on RAW feels miscast at the moment but this Elias face turn has me intrigued. His gimmick is tailormade for Monday nights but I've never been that impressed with his in-ring abilities. Has he improved in said department in recent months? If so, I could see crowds really getting behind the dude heading into 'Mania season. As for Jax/Rousey, I just see it as a filler feud to capitalize on Nia's "heat". Ronda's promos are still tough for me to take seriously; especially when she goes from all smiles to the furrowed brow and does her best Braun impression. Everything about RAW right now screams rehash and "fast forward right thru this!". Your recaps on the other hand are worth checking out. Keep it rollin', Burn.

  5. #5
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I read this for one thing, your reaction to the Dean promo. To me it was bizarre and the first real misstep in an awesome build to his match with Seth. You’re bang on about it being needlessly rambly.

    I will say that I really liked your comment about how they do 50% right and then stuff it all up with the remaining 50%. I think it just comes down to the gargantuan amount of tv they have to produce every week. Give even the most creative writing team 5 hours a week of tv and they will have to produce a lot of lazy filler.



    @Sir_Samuel

  6. #6
    I stopped watching RAW last week for a number of reason. Roman is no longer here. Braun is injured. Sasha Banks isn't the face of the division which she should be. Dean underwhelming me (you have no idea how much I hatesaying that). Oh, let's not forget having to watching a rehash to the same shit week in and week out. I absolutely hate criticising a show and completely cutting it out with not giving it a fighting chance but I'm taking a break from RAW for a while. Sure, there awesome good like Elias face turn, Alexa Bliss and the prospect of seeing Dean and Seth wrestle but that's not enough to make me watch anymore. I'd rather watch Smackdown whee there are actually stories going on and freshness all around.

    If only RAW could be as good as your reviews.

  7. #7
    You're making me hate things I should love, dammit.
    RAW in a nutshell.

    And as Mizzie said, Lashley's nickname in TNA/Impact was 'The Destroyer' and it actually fit him and everything. It really is strange how TNA were able to make Lashley interesting but WWE are having to resort to him bending over to show off his ass. Well, there's no 'having to' about it, but if TNA could figure him out...

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