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The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 07/11/16

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 07/11/16

Live from Detroit, Michigan this is the Raw Deal for episode #1207. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

I nearly went to this show that was two hours from home. After going to a WWE live event on Sunday night (check out my review here), that was enough WWE for me. Live events are more fun than a Raw at this point.

The usual Raw intro video aired. Hopefully they do something new with the brand extension because it’s been four years since they changed it.

The ring was full of talent for a show opening battle royal. Apollo Crews made his entrance.

Before the match could begin, the Intercontinental Champion The Miz did a promo while standing on the announce table. He bragged about being a great champion and how he’s going to beat whoever wins this match.

Analysis: It’s nice to start the show with a match instead of a promo like usual. Yes, Miz did a promo there, but that was quick.

Battle Royal to Determine Number One Contender for the Intercontinental Title

The match was full of midcarders while Miz joined commentary for this match with wife Maryse by his side. First elimination was Goldust sending Aiden English over the top to the floor. Konnor was sent out by R-Truth while Bob Backlund was on the floor to support his protégé Darren Young. There goes Curtis Axel by D-Von Dudley and then Baron Corbin dumped Truth. Corbin nailed Viktor with a forearm to send him out. Jimmy Uso tried to dump out Jey, but Jey held on. Usos got back together to hit a superkick on D-Von to eliminate him.

(Commercial)

Back from break, they showed eliminations of Simon Gotch and Jey Uso that took place during the break. Miz talked about draft history talking about how he got drafted to Raw while his former partner John Morrison got drafted to Smackdown. He bragged about main eventing WrestleMania while Morrison was out of the company. Alberto Del Rio with an enziguri kick sent Goldust out. Apollo Crews picked up Bo Dallas and dumped him out. With Jimmy Uso on the top rope like a dummy, Corbin shoved him out. Corbin with a back body drop on Swagger sent him out. Darren Young tossed Bubba Ray Dudley out. Spinning slam by Corbin on Young. Del Rio nailed Corbin with an enziguri kick. Dolph Ziggler with a Fameasser on Del Rio. Del Rio came back with a tilt a whirl slam on Ziggler. Del Rio went through the second rope to the floor. Back in the ring, Crews with a back body drop on Del Rio to send him out.

The final four are Corbin, Ziggler, Crews and Young. Ziggler with a clothesline nearly eliminated Corbin. Ziggler charged in, Corbin caught him and lifted him over the top to the floor. Crews went after Corbin. They battled by the apron. Corbin gave him a hip toss while Crews was able to send Corbin over the top, so they both went crashing to the floor. Darren Young was still in the ring, so he’s the winner after 14 minutes of action.

Winner: Darren Young

Analysis: *1/2 Sometimes battle royals are fun and exciting. This one wasn’t that good. They just didn’t do a good job of building up potential winners or putting over the importance of the match. The ending put over Young as the winner based on the result, but he really didn’t do anything to make him stand out. I saw Young vs. Miz at the live event on Sunday and it was a good match, so as the match got near the end with Young still in there I figured that’s what they were going with.

Post match, Backlund went into the ring to celebrate with Young. Backlund was really excited as he picked up Young. Miz held up IC Title at ringside while Young talked trash to him. Fans chanted “Darren Young” for him as Backlund continued to celebrate.

Analysis: I don’t think Young’s going to win the IC Title, but I’m glad that the video promos with Backlund ended and the act may actually be working. Fans chanting for him is encouraging. Backlund as the excitable old guy is great.

Later on Raw, Vince McMahon returns. Brock Lesnar’s UFC return will be mentioned up next. Also The Wyatt Family and The New Day had a fight, so we’ll see that too.

(Commercial)

Backstage, Shane and Stephanie McMahon were talking about why their dad Vince McMahon was there. Shane listed the obvious reasons, Steph just said she knew why and was just humoring him. Seth Rollins showed up to suggest something for later. Rollins talked about having some exclusive video of an interview with Roman Reigns. Shane suggested it as a segment on the Ambrose Asylum. Rollins suggested the Rollins Report instead. Shane and Stephanie agreed to it.

Analysis: Nice name for the Rollins segment. Adding a name to “Report” is so creative that I did it about 15 years ago. Admittedly, I got it from Jim Ross and at least Rollins has the RR thing in common with him.

The announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Byron Saxton talked about how Brock Lesnar was the “best fighter in the world” by beating Mark Hunt at UFC 200 on Saturday. They showed images from the fight. Up next for Lesnar is a match against Randy Orton at SummerSlam.

Analysis: I’m happy Lesnar won. I also doubt that will be his last UFC fight. He can probably keep going if he works around his WWE schedule.

They showed a clip of Lesnar talking about Orton. Then it was announced Orton will be a guest on Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel at Battleground on July 24.

Analysis: I think that’s a good way to bring Orton back. He’s currently training at WWE’s Performance Center in Orlando after shoulder surgery last year. They are taking their time in bringing him back.

Zack Ryder went up to Rusev and Lana backstage. Sheamus showed up to attack Ryder from behind. Sheamus told Ryder that he has a scheduled match against him up next. Rusev and Lana walked over the fallen Ryder.

(Commercial)

Sheamus was in the ring. Zack Ryder’s song has changed a bit although the lyrics are similar.

Zack Ryder vs. Sheamus

This is a rematch from Smackdown when Ryder beat Sheamus. Ryder was on fire early with a dropkick off the apron while Sheamus was on the floor. Back in the ring, Sheamus came back with a clothesline. Sheamus missed a corner charge, so Ryder nailed a boot to the head for a two count. The announcers talked about draft strategy including how you pick a guy like The Undertaker or Brock Lesnar and how you may pick somebody like Apollo Crews, who has a bright future. Ryder up top, Sheamus tripped him up and Sheamus nailed a Brogue Kick to win the match in under three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Sheamus

Analysis: * An easy win for Sheamus after Ryder beat him last week. It’s typical 50/50 booking that WWE does all the time.

Post match, Rusev went into the ring as Sheamus left. Rusev with a belly to belly suplex followed by a kick to the head. Rusev put Ryder in the Accolade submission. Rusev: “I accept your challenge!” He said it several times.

Analysis: Now they are giving Ryder a US Title match after he just lost clean in under three minutes? What a bizarre way to build up a wrestler like Ryder.

Enzo & Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson is later.

(Commercial)

Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) vs. Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara)

Fandango started with Sin Cara as the announcers talked about how teams could be broken up in the draft. Kalisto kicked Breeze in the head when he was in there. Then the heels worked well together with Fandango hitting a kick to Cara to isolate him from his partner. Fandango grounded Cara with a headlock. Sin Cara came back with a springboard moonsault from the middle rope. Hot tag to Kalisto against Breeze. When Kalisto went for a springboard attack, he slipped on the ropes. Then they went back to do the spot again. Spinning heel kick by Cara, then a snap hurricanrana and a kick to Fandango. Sin Cara with a top rope dive onto Fandango on the floor. With Kalisto standing on the middle rope, Breeze kicked him in the chest. Then Breeze slammed him into a rollup after a win after about five minutes of action. It was like a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! although it was more of a slam into a pin.

Winners by pinfall: Breezango

Analysis: ** A good win for a team on the rise assuming they are still a team after the draft. Just because they have been booked like a joke team in the past doesn’t mean that’s how they will always be used. Breeze and Fandango are good performers that can get over if given the chance.

The Rollins Report is up next.

(Commercial)

They plugged John Cena hosting The ESPYS this Wednesday at 8pmET. I don’t think they even mentioned that it’s on ABC probably because WWE is part of the NBC family.

The Rollins Report

Seth Rollins made his entrance as we were reminded us that he faces WWE Champion Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns in a triple threat WWE Title match at Battleground.

Rollins said he had a scoop because he’s the newest investigative reporter and his name is Seth Freakin’ Rollins. He spoke about having an exclusive interview with “The Guy” Roman Reigns. He asked the crowd if they were ready for this. They cheered.

They showed an “interview” where Rollins asked questions and a taped interview of Reigns featured comments. He had different outfits on, so they used clips from different interviews. Reigns said: “Yeah I did it, I went all the way and it is what it is.” Rollins kept asking him if he’s okay with being a terrible role model. Rollins asked about Ambrose as WWE Champion, so the clip of Reigns said: “To be honest when I hear that statement, the majority of me just wants to puke.” Rollins thanked him for the interview.

Analysis: That was pretty clever. It was a joke interview, so no point in recapping the whole thing. They’ve done that kind of thing in the past, most notably with Kurt Angle “interviewing” The Rock back in 2000. That one was the one I remember the most.

Rollins said that Reigns needs to be taken out of the WWE Title match at Battleground. The WWE Champion Dean Ambrose walked down to the ring with the title.

Ambrose gave Rollins credit for having some fun for once. Rollins called him a joke. Rollins said that Ambrose stole that title from me and that’s his life. Rollins called him a coward that can’t beat him one on one for that title. Rollins spoke about holding that title last year and how Ambrose couldn’t beat him for the title. Rollins pointed out that nobody could beat him for the title.

Rollins said that at Battleground it’s still going to be about who is the best member of The Shield. He said that at Battleground he’ll prove he was better than him before The Shield, during The Shield and he will show it again. Rollins said at Battleground he’ll get back his title that Ambrose stole from him.

Ambrose mentioned that he likes to have fun and he’s also the top man in this industry. He spoke about how he’s more than just a joke or a utility player. Ambrose talked about how he’s the guy still standing there, he’s the backbone of the company and it’s been that way for a long time now and the whole world knows it. He told Rollins it is fun. Ambrose talked about how Rollins knows what kind of man Ambrose is. Ambrose said if he was willing to go through all that he’s gone through for the WWE Title, how far is he willing to go through in order to keep the WWE Title?

Ambrose told Rollins if he wants a WWE Title match he can have it any time any place. Rollins said that Detroit is a good spot for it. The crowd was going wild. Rollins said next week is better. Rollins left while Ambrose stood in the ring with the WWE Title.

Analysis: That was a really good promo especially from Ambrose. He was intense, he was serious and he wasn’t doing some of the goofy things that he does that hurts him at times. I like how he said that he’s survived while others have gotten hurt, suspended or moved on. It’s true. His point about how he went through so much to get the WWE Title and he’s willing to go through more to keep it. That’s kind of babyface promo that will get people to love Ambrose no matter how long he holds the title.

They plugged things to come later in the show.

(Commercial)

It’s official for next week’s Raw in Providence: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Title.

Sami Zayn was on commentary for the next match as the announcers plugged Zayn vs. Owens at Battleground.

Kevin Owens’ music hit for a match, but he didn’t come out right away. Owens was shown backstage talking to referees saying he won’t go out there with Zayn on commentary. Stephanie McMahon told the referees to remove Zayn from commentary. Zayn said he had authorization from Shane McMahon to be there. Zayn reluctantly left with the referees. As Owens made his entrance, he exchanged some punches with Zayn and then Owens went into the ring.

Analysis: It fits KO’s character to remove Zayn from commentary. It doesn’t happen that often, so it’s fine with me.

Vince McMahon was shown arriving in a limo. Renee Young was there to interview him. Vince said he’s here for that Detroit fresh hair. Vince said that he was there to name the COO of Smackdown live, but then said he was there for something bigger – to name the Commissioner of Smackdown. He said they’ll do it live on Raw.

Analysis: They already ditched the COO title for the separate shows and are going with Commissioner I guess.

(Commercial)

Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro

The announcers talked about the draft again with JBL saying Owens is a top three pick while they said Cesaro is a top ten pick. Cesaro with a gutwrench suplex. Cole mentioned how Cesaro plays by the rules while Owens is hard to deal with and JBL said that everybody wants to see KO, which is why he would make Owens a top three pick. Cesaro with a headscissors takedown. Owens got to the ropes to avoid a Swing attack. Cesaro with a running body attack on the floor. Owens avoided a running attack on the floor, hit a superkick and broke the referee’s count. JBL and Cole kept talking about the draft with Cole wondering how many great years John Cena has left, so do you make him the cornerstone of the draft? Cesaro with a suplex. With Cesaro on the apron, Owens nailed him with a punch to knock him down.

Analysis: I like JBL and Cole talking about the draft. It was noticeable that Saxton barely talked during their discussions. Perhaps that was a directive from Vince McMahon wanting the more veteran announcers to handle it.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Owens with a neckbreaker to the knee for two. Owens missed a running attack in the corner. Cesaro with a forearm gets two. With the ref keeping Cesaro at bay, Owens with an eye poke. Cesaro avoided the Popup Powerbomb and nailed a springboard uppercut. Cesaro put on the JBL hat, nailed Owens with an uppercut on the floor and Cesaro did a cross body block off the top for two. JBL joked about how that was first time that hat has done a cross body. Cesaro with a dropkick while Owens was on the top rope. Owens avoided an attack, then put Cesaro on his shoulders and nailed a spinning neckbreaker off the shoulders for the victory after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens

Analysis: *** A good match like usual from them. I was a little surprised that Owens won with a spinning neckbreaker instead of the Popup Powerbomb, but I don’t mind it too much. It’s good to have other moves end matches once in a while because it teaches the audience that it could end at any moment rather than just with a finishing move.

Post match, Owens grabbed Saxton’s headset and talked about being the best in the world. It sounded a bit like the CM Punk promo from five years ago, but it didn’t go that long. Zayn showed up at ringside. He attacked Owens with punches. Zayn slammed Owens’ head into the announce table. Zayn tossed Owens back in the ring. Cesaro gave Owens the Cesaro Swing.

Analysis: Owens wins the match, but gets beat up afterwards. That’s how it goes for the heel sometimes.

AJ Styles, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows were interviewed by Renee Young. They mocked John Cena because Styles said that Cena is in LA at rehearsal because he’s hosting the ESPYs. They said “practice” repeatedly. Styles said that on Wednesday they should crash the ESPYs and…(together) “BEAT UP John Cena!”

Analysis: The practice bit was a reference to a famous Allen Iverson press conference about 14 years ago.

(Commercial)

Titus O’Neil vs. Heath Slater (w/Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel)

The “Slater Gator” team is back. It’s not like they were a legendary team, though. O’Neil was using his power early, but then Slater took him down with boots to the face. Axel nailed a cheap shot. After some brief Slater offense, O’Neil came back with a toss across the ring. O’Neil with multiple backbreakers and he tossed Slater to the ground. O’Neil with a corner splash followed by the Clash of the Titus for the win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Titus O’Neil

Analysis: * A very average match with an obvious finish. Is this Superstars or Raw? I’m not sure. O’Neil lost multiple times to Rusev, but he can beat Slater. The crowd didn’t care that much.

Sasha Banks was interviewed by Renee Young backstage. She talked about how she was focused on Dana Brooke and the Women’s Title held by Charlotte. She said she doesn’t get mad – tonight she gets real.

The Wyatt Family and New Day confrontation is up next.

(Commercial)

This week on Smackdown is Miz TV with Darren Young and mentor Bob Backlund.

A video aired to set up the New Day/Wyatt Family confrontation.

The scene took us to the Wyatt Family compound where The New Day showed up in a field. The Wyatt Family was there to greet them. They started brawling by the cars. Braun Strowman took out Big E. Erick Rowan did a spinebuster on Kingston on the ground. Bray Wyatt found Xavier Woods hiding behind a tree and then Wyatt carried him away. Big E slammed down Rowan. Kingston threw mad at Strowman and then avoided an attack leading to Strowman crashing into a car. It made it look like Kingston and Big E survived the two big guys briefly, but then Rowan & Strowman took them out. Wyatt smashed some windows in the car while asking where the power of positivity is now. Woods came fighting back against him. All three New Day guys were standing tall. Wyatt laughed at them. That’s when more lights turned on at the compound as a way of showing the buzzards were there with Wyatt. Bray: “Follow the buzzards.”

Analysis: This was unlike anything you normally see on Raw. It was an “on location” fight that was done in a way where both sides fought hard to survive and The New Day stood tall, but Wyatt showed that he can outnumber them thanks the “buzzards” on his side. I know that TNA did their “Final Deletion” scene with Matt & Jeff Hardy last week that got a lot of people talking. Did that lead to this? Probably. I enjoyed that Impact segment quite a bit actually because it was over the top and different. Stupid at times? Sure, but wrestling is stupid a lot anyway. This segment was okay. I’m not saying it was great, though.

The announcers wondered about how that will affect The New Day while JBL said he’s never seen something as dangerous as the Wyatt Family.

Analysis: Maybe the Wyatt Family should be on television winning matches because they don’t seem to do that very often.

Styles, Gallows & Anderson made their entrance. Enzo Amore & Big Cass did their entrance. Cass talked about how everybody wants John Cena’s spot, but if they get there they are going to earn it. Then E&C said that The Club has “no backbone – chicken tenders – boneless!” I’m hungry. Cass said that they wanted to join this fight because they got sick of seeing The Club beating up Cena 3 on 1. Styles told them that Cena isn’t there because he doesn’t care about them. Styles suggested that they turn and walk away. Enzo said the only place they’re walking is into that ring right now. Cass ended it with the “SAWFT” bit.

Analysis: Solid promos from both sides. I think WWE has done a good job of utilizing Enzo & Cass even when they’re not in the title picture.

(Commercial)

Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (w/AJ Styles)

The heels worked over Enzo early on, which is the same formula that occurs in every E&C match. Nice “Rest Hold” sign in the crowd as Anderson applied a chinlock. Well played. Cass actually tagged in before the hot tag spot so that he could slam Enzo onto Anderson. He nailed some punches. Enzo tagged in with a running body attack, but then Gallows made a blind tag and kicked Enzo. Gallows sent Enzo into the turnbuckle.

(Commercial)

Anderson with a clothesline on Enzo and then a boot to the face as the heels continued to work over Enzo. Cass must have done well at “angry faces” class in developmental because he was making faces while on the apron. It’s not a real class, people. Enzo broke free after a leaping DDT on Gallows and here comes Cass against Anderson with a body slam as well as an elbow drop. Cass with a fallaway slam, then a corner splash and a big boot to the face. Cass with the tag to Enzo for the Bada Boom Shaka Laka leading to JBL saying “I hate when you say that.” It’s a terrible name. Gallows broke up the pinfall attempt. Styles sent Cass over the barricade and into the crowd. The referee called for the disqualification after 11 minutes.

Winners by disqualification: Enzo Amore & Big Cass

Analysis: **1/4 They were on their way to a good match, but the DQ finish was predictable. Nothing wrong with that kind of finish because it fits their story as well as this new feud.

The Club’s three men were standing over Enzo in the ring. John Cena’s music hit and he ran down to the ring to attack Styles. Enzo and Big Cass got into the fight too, so the faces were able to quickly overpower the heels and send them out of the ring. Crowd chanted “Cena” as his music played.

Analysis: Cena was in LA getting ready for the ESPYs, likely flew three hours to get to Detroit for this segment, which was a very quick save and he was on the show for about two minutes. Then he probably flew right back to Los Angeles.

The announcers talked about WWE Network on Wednesday with NXT having Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura at 8pmET. Then at 9pmET it’s start of the Cruiserweight Classic. Looking forward to both of those shows.

Vince McMahon is up later and Banks vs. Brooke is up next.

(Commercial)

Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke (w/Charlotte)

Brooke called her a “chihuahua” as trash talk because Banks is tiny? I guess so. Banks tried to get going, but Brooke slowed her down with some hair pulling. Brooke kicked her outside the ring while Charlotte taunted Banks with the title.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Brooke had Banks in a chinlock and then Brooke came back with a sidewalk slam. Brooke with shoulder tackles. The announcers kept talking about how these women have “made history” even though it really hasn’t happened that much. Saying it repeatedly doesn’t make it true. The potential is there, though. Banks fired up with a huge clothesline, a kick and then the double knee attack by the turnbuckle. Banks got a two count for that. Banks sent her into the middle turnbuckle, Brooke followed her up top, then Banks shoved her off and Banks hit a top rope cross body block for two. Brooke went for a move, Banks fought out of it, backstabber by Banks into the Banks Statement submission. Brooke tapped out for the Banks win after 12 minutes.

Winner by submission: Sasha Banks

Analysis: *1/4 A long TV match that was below average. A big problem with WWE’s women’s division is the timing of matches. In this case, they gave a match 12 minutes even though an inexperienced worker like Brooke was exposed in this setting. They just didn’t seem to have very good chemistry. I like Banks a lot, but she couldn’t lead Brooke to a good match. It should have been a 7-minute match that Banks won in a more emphatic way. She shouldn’t need 12 minutes to beat somebody new like Brooke. It hurts Banks to book the match in this way. Make her look better with a more decisive win. It’s not that hard to do.

Post match, Charlotte was outside the ring talking trash. She said that she’s not sold on Banks deserving a Women’s Title shot. Charlotte suggested that Banks faces Brooke in a match on Smackdown. She said if you’re up to it I’ll see ya this Thursday. Charlotte said “Woo!” Cole started to talk, then Charlotte bragged about being the champ and Banks’ music just started. That was awkward.

Analysis: Did Charlotte forget a line in there or was she wrong to start talking after Cole spoke up? No idea. It was weird. Anyway, I assume they are going to do Banks vs. Brooke on Smackdown again leading to some sort of cheap finish with a possible Brooke win. Then they can do Banks vs. Brooke again at Battleground and Banks over Charlotte for the Women’s Title at SummerSlam.

Vince McMahon was shown walking backstage.

(Commercial)

The Battleground main event is WWE Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns. However, before that show it’s Ambrose vs. Rollins for the WWE Title next week on Raw.

McMahonaMania Running Wild Again Because It Never Stops

Analysis: How’s that for a segment name?

Shane McMahon made his entrance to a lot of cheers from the crowd. Stephanie McMahon made her entrance to mostly boos. Their daddy, the WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, made his entrance to respectful cheers because he’s not on WWE TV that often.

Vince told his kids that they’ve done a pretty fair job, but he’s personally a little disappointed. He said it’s as if neither one of you came from my loins. He wondered why Stephanie was being nice and sweet to her brother. She asked the crowd if she was sweet: “NO!” Vince said that Shane shouldn’t even be here, but he’s only there because of the respect of the people because of that crazy dive at WrestleMania.

Vince told them that he wants competition as the crowd chanted “Shane O Mac” for Shane. Vince said one of you has to convince me to be in charge of Smackdown Live.

Analysis: My question is this: Why would they rather have the two hour show instead of the three hour show with more history? That’s the problem with this whole angle. They try to sell us on Smackdown being more important after 23 years of telling us Raw is the better show. Anyway, let’s continue.

Stephanie said that she was watching Mick Foley’s podcast with Shane and then talked about how Shane was upset that Vince didn’t pat him on the back enough to tell him he was doing a good job. She kept on complaining about how Shane is manipulative, malicious and maniacal. She says that Shane stabs Vince in the back every chance that he gets. Vince: “You make some very good points, Stephanie.” She did? Okay then.

Shane was about to speak, but Stephanie talked about how Shane sucks up to the crowd.

Shane said that he returned to WWE five months ago (crowd cheers) and he returned in this very ring in this very arena in Detroit Rock City. More cheers. He said that reaction humbled him and he’ll be forever thankful for Detroit. Shane said that they need change. He said he’ll change how things are shot, the look & feel of the show, all the rules and he would break down the glass ceilings. Shane said he’s the only one in this business and walking on this Earth that tells Vince what is on his mind in a respectful way without kissing his ass. Shane told Vince he can make history and change is so needed in WWE. Shane asked Vince to pick him. He asked the crowd what they wanted and they cheered for Shane.

Analysis: I think he used the Obama 2008 platform with that speech. Vince is a Republican, though.

Vince said “I could care less what these people think.” That’s a statement that could piss some people off. Vince asked for a drum roll to help him decide who should run Smackdown live.

Vince: “The new Commissioner of Smackdown Live…Shane McMahon!” The crowd cheers. Shane celebrated. He thanked the crowd for their support.

Vince told Shane that he is relieving him of his responsibilities here on Raw.

Vince: “The new Commissioner of the juggernaut, the flagship, the three-hour flagship of WWE…Monday night Raw’s Commissioner Stephanie McMahon.” She celebrated doing the “YES” salute. The crowd wasn’t happy.

Analysis: Her celebration made me laugh. She’s good at over the top celebrations.

Vince told them to compete in terms of television ratings, social media metrics, attendance and that he wants them to compete. He said that one of them might inherit the keys to the kingdom. He even said he doesn’t even care if they break the law…as long as you don’t get caught.

Vince said that they both need to name a General Manager for their shows and if they don’t, Vince will name one for them.

Vince ended it with this: “Let the games begin.”

Michael Cole: “What an incredible moment here on Raw.”

Analysis: How is it incredible? It’s the same people in charge that are always in charge. It’s pretty much the opposite of the definition of incredible.

After Vince left, Stephanie said she’s had to work twice as hard as him. She said she’s going to bury him, bury Smackdown and make Shane wish he wasn’t born a McMahon – then said make him wish he wasn’t even born.

Shane said that he knows her better than anybody. He doesn’t see anger or intensity. He knows that she is scared because in the end, she’s going to look up to him just like she always has. Shane: “Game on!” Stephanie: “There’s only one game in this business and I’m married to him.”

Stephanie slapped Shane. She left. He gave his sister a light kiss on the cheek. She walked down the steps. She nearly fell. The crowd let out a big “ohhh” as she walked up the ramp.

Shane thanked the fans by saying that without them he wouldn’t even have a shot in the game. Cole plugged that next week on Raw, Shane and Stephanie will name their General Managers for their shows.

Analysis: What a boring segment to end the show. Am I surprised that Shane and Stephanie are in those spots? Nope. Most of us figured that and it's what happened. Of course it was a necessary segment because they needed to tell us who was in charge of what show, but it was not a main event worthy segment. Do this at the top of hour two or three. Not in the main event. Fans want action, not boring McMahon family drama.

The biggest problem with WWE right now is they focus on the authority figures way too much. There was all this hype about who gets to run Smackdown, yet I can’t even remember the last time they even had an authority figure on Smackdown. Now that it’s live all of a sudden they give a shit? You should always care about stuff like that. More importantly than that, fans should care about the talent more than anything else, yet here we are with another example of the McMahons getting too much attention and not letting the talent shine.

Does WWE really think that we care who runs the shows? We don’t. Use the TV time to put over the f’n talent. They’re the ones going on the road, putting asses in the seats and creating the memories on screen. Let them do that. Instead, the main event is a 15 minute promo that could have been anywhere else in the show instead of putting in what should be the most important slot.

There are probably many WWE employees that groaned at the sight of this segment main eventing Raw, but what can they do? Suck it up, smile and say it was great. Nobody is going to criticize that family. That’s a big problem too.

As for who the GMs of the shows will be, do we really need more authority figures? Ugh. Stephanie will probably pick Triple H so they can bore us running Raw like they have for the past three or four years. Shane will pick a babyface like Daniel Bryan or maybe Sting. That’s fine. Once again, though, it’s about the talent in the ring. Let’s put more of a focus on them, please.

My last point is you can’t keep talking about change or a “new era” when it’s the same old McMahon Family Drama that isn’t new at all. It’s been going on for over 15 years! Serenity now!

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Kevin Owens

2. Cesaro

3. Dean Ambrose

 

The Scoreboard

4.5 out of 10

Last week: 4.5

2016 Average: 5.63

Last 5 Weeks: 6, 5, 6.5, 5, 4.5

2016 High: 9 (April 11)

2016 Low: 4 (Feb. 29/Mar. 21)

My average Smackdown score this year is 5.9 and Raw is 5.63, so that shows Smackdown has been better than Raw.

 

Final Thoughts

I give it a 4.5 out of 10.

It was a below average show once again. Bring on this draft next week because change is necessary – I just hope it’s good.

I think I ranted enough following the main event. I’ll just leave it at that.

—--

Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays.

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook

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