HomeTelevisionTV Recap: Monday Nigh RAW is...Kinda Sad

TV Recap: Monday Nigh RAW is…Kinda Sad


Oh, Hey It’s Another Opening Promo: Why can’t we ever start with a match anymore? Or maybe a hot angle? Every week it’s blah, blah, blah, stuff, things, feels, sausages. It’s kind of tiring to keep hearing about what’s best for business, Seth hates Kane, Kane hates Seth. This is just painful to watch — turn Kane face already, this is just painful to watch.

Hey, It’s Dean Ambrose Country: Why can’t he just be in the main event…all the time?

Jamie Noble is The Best Thing in the WWE Right Now: He’s absolutely solid gold. I love that Noble, who’s always been a good wrestler, is more over now than during his active career. The man can still go too, and it’s great that Joey Mercury is along for the ride, but is the Silent Bob to Noble’s Jay.

Dean Ambrose vs. J & J Security (Joey Mercury & Jamie Noble) in a Winner Better Do the Ickey Shuffle Match: It’d be amazing if Nidia or Nunzio made a cameo. This match was just so much fun. Noble and Mercury can still go — they were solid wrestlers in their prime, and their solid wrestlers now. This was also a great match for the hometown guy, who also needed to look strong heading into the PPV. Not that Ambrose is a weak character heading into Payback, but he needs to be re-established as a top dude. So why not give the people what they want — Ambrose kicking some ass, and getting the W. Winner: Dean Ambrose.

Dolph Ziggler vs. King Barrett in a Winner Gets That Comedy Central Pilot Match: Is Ziggler wearing guy liner? Cause he kinda does. He also looks like an extra from Gleaming the Cube. This match didn’t have a lot going on, as most it was cut off due to commercial. There were some nice high impact moves — a crisp super kick and sweet drop-kick from Ziggler, and bad ass Bull Hammer from Barrett. Sheamus gets involved in the match and costs ‘Suzy Chapstick’ as JBL calls him, the match. Winner: King Barrett.

Erick Rowan vs. Fandango in a Saturday Night Fever Pier Six Brawl: So, now they’re timing how fast Rowan’s going to win or how fast Fandango is going to lose? So, the announcers once again are burying talent for no damn reason. Rowan wins with an impressive full nelson into a chokeslam. Winner: Erick Rowan.

John Cena U.S. Open Challenge: Sadly, Tiger Woods nor Rory McIlroy answered the challenge. In all seriousness, Cena has done an amazing job putting over the U.S. Title as an important, relevant title. So, who did answer the Open Challenge? NEVILLE. Yes, he’s going to lose, but he’s going to have a great match with Cena.

Neville hit an explosive twisting splash to the outside on Neville — super, super impressive. Neville, despite his size makes you forget how small he is. Neville hit a breathtaking Phoenix Splash from the second rope, which Cena kicked out of. That’s not a knock on Cena – he sold for Neville like his life depended on it. Cena added to his arsenal, hitting a version of a Michinoku Driver. Don’t think he’s ever done that. The mini-story of the match – both men avoiding their respective finishers was really entertaining. Neville’s reversal of the STF was brilliant. HOLY CRAP – did you see the strength it took for Neville to carry Cena to the middle of the ring, hold him and then power bomb him. Seriously. POWER.

Neville executes a brilliant Red Arrow till Rusev came in clobbered Neville, then Cena. Smart, logical ending. Both men are protected, angles are pushed, heat is gained. Winner: Neville by DQ

Kane vs. Roman Reigns in a I Should Really Do The Dishes Match: Not a match. This was a plodding, thundering brawl that really did nothing for me. Moving on.

Brie Bella vs. Tamina in a Wait, Who’s the Heel Again Match?: I will never forget the fact that Brie and Nikki wanted each other dead less than a year ago. Brie is a spark plug in the ring, not great, but she’s got heart. Tamina on the other hand has never really been given the shot to show what she can do in the ring. This was rather ‘meh’ but Tamina hit a nice super kick. That’s all the positives I have here. Winner: Tamina

Axelmania vs. Macho Mandow in a Well, It’s Better Than The Ascension Match: Oh crap, The Ascension came out. Yeah, this was all kinds of dopey.

Daniel Bryan Comes Out…and I’m Worried: As expected, Bryan vacated the Intercontinental Title. But what I don’t think any of us expected was that in his promo he admitted we may never, ever see Daniel Bryan wrestle again. I believe he’s going to be on Tough Enough, but honestly he may never legitimately wrestle again. Daniel Bryan has wrestled an intense style for a long time, and sadly all his ring time has caught up with him. Having seen Daniel wrestle in a small rec center in 100 degrees in Philly, it was amazing to see him headline ‘Mania, but it’s also devastating to see a man who had so much left in the tank, possibly have to hang it up. Thank you, Bryan you gave us so much joy.

Well, at least we have The New Day…did I just say that? Yeah, they’re over guys, let’s admit. They’re over. They’re awesome. Embrace it.

Big E vs. Cesaro in a Mandatory WKRP in Cincinnati Reference Match: I was stoked for this match. Cesaro seems to have lost some of his muscle mass, but he is still an absolute beast in the ring. Big E has become highly underrate in every aspect of his game. The man can talk. The man can work. However, he’s no Cesaro. He hit a beautiful springboard European uppercut, then hit the rolling German suplexes followed by a scary quasi-Northern Lights. After a nice little sequence that suggested a New Day win, Cesaro grabs a whacky Octopus hold into a roll-up. Not a great match, but fun nonetheless. Winner: (Don’t Call Me Antonio) Cesaro.

The Prime Time Players Do Something: I know Pop-Break’s RAW columnist Michael Dworkis loves the PTP. However, I’m kinda done with them. They’ll deliver either a really funny or really out there promo, then they hit the ring and slop dog the shit out things. Then they’ll be gone from TV for a month or so, and the same thing happens. Push them, or don’t push them.

Bray Wyatt Cuts a Great Promo: Sometimes the nightmares won’t stop. Sometimes the bad guy wins. Perfect. Cut. Print. Run it. That’s how you deliver a heel promo. Why is he targeting Ryback? Ryback was in the way. Great! Love it! Nope, we gotta let Captain Airbrush come out and look strong. God, Ryback just annoys me sometimes.

Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins in a Hey, What Are We Doing Tonight, Seth? The Same Thing We Do Every Night, Seth! Try to Take Over the World! Match: Have you seen a match between these two before. Great! Then you’ve seen this match a couple hundred times before. That being said, this was’t terrible – it was just…expected. Seth continues to impress in the ring. I love his flying knee to the temple. I also enjoy Orton’s use of the T-Bone Tazplex. J&J Security interferes and they knock Orton around and vice versa. Ambrose comes out, Reigns comes out and the faces stand tall. Of course, we get the drama of whether Kane will turn on Seth or not. Ugh.

However, ‘outta nowhere’ Reigns spears Orton in half, but Dean-o gets the hometown rub, and levels Roman with Dirty Deeds. It was great to see Dean stand tall.

Overall: A solid ‘go home’ episode for the Payback PPV.


Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkinhttps://thepopbreak.com
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break, and most importantly a husband, and father. Ol' Graybeard writes way too much about wrestling, jam bands, Asbury Park music, HBO shows, and can often be seen under his season DJ alias, DJ Father Christmas. He is the co-host of the Socially Distanced Podcast (w/Al Mannarino) which drops weekly on Apple, Google, Anchor & Spotify. He is the co-host of the monthly podcasts -- Anchored in Asbury, TV Break and Bill vs. The MCU.

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