Anyone whose read any of our Raws Regurgitated over the past month or so knows exactly how we feel about No Way Jose in these parts. This segment, with all its moving parts, was exactly why: After using Jinder Mahal‘s established character to develop his own in contrast three weeks ago, using that characterization of Jose to establish Baron Corbin immediately on Raw as a sentient bag of dicks and a bully — which is to say he both bad at dishing out and taking ridicule, abuse, et. al — two weeks ago, then having Titus O’Neill and his Worldwide associates help Jose out in a match with Corbin this week following their own altercation is precisely the type of multilayered “these people all work together and interact constantly” relationship dynamics that people really mean when they say “bring back the Attitude Era”. Having a robust mid-card, filled with exciting performers who don’t need much to sell merchandise and generate crowd noise is what made the watchable parts of the Attitude Era great, not the puppies.
This promo is so dense, it makes me want to plug David Gibb and I’s Minisode on The Ultimate Deletion for How Wrestling Explain the World. So dense in fact, you won’t even notice that I had forgotten that this segment happens until looking for an old tweet and, instead of writing something about it, plugged my podcast instead.
The WWE writing staff made it about half way to greatness with this week’s Moment of Bliss, as Alexa‘s genuinely hilarious recollection of her being ridiculed by Nia Jax for her height — “She asked if I was tall enough to go on the Mad Teacup Ride. It’s a teacup, you just sit in a teacup” — it being immediately followed by one of the show’s lowlights (an insistence on making a fat joke at Nia’s expense, even if it was Disney World-appropriate) was less surprising than a reminder that we live in a world of shit.
Ronday Rousey‘s appearance on every episode of Monday Night Raw is genuinely endearing. Whether or not she’s traveling with her co-workers yet is, at least to me, irrelevant. She’s (still) a massive star outside the company and just her presence makes things worth of a higher place on the card, including random matches between people who just started having beef the week before during a 10-women tag match. They’ve also been able to muddy the waters as to whether or not Ronda’s first match will come against Natalya or Mickie, which is good for everyone involved. Ronda gets to learn by watching up close two of the best women performers in the history of the company — including a surefire first ballot Hall of Famer in six-time (6!) women’s champ Mickie James — and presumably working house shows with one or both of them if/when she starts doing those kinds of dates.
Though, it should be noted that her presence did largely make the result of the match irrelevant, which may become a problem if the camera can’t help but to focus on her instead of what’s going on in the ring. All was made okay, however, by Nia Jax first teasing a confrontation before going full babyface with a very game Rousey, who has stated in the recent past that the genuine affection the WWE women’s locker has for one another has been an exceedingly positive and revolutionary experience for her. It seems to motivate her to work on the things she needs to, while never feeling the need to intentionally show anyone up, something it seems like they may have had to worry about given her rather sizable ego coming into the company.