Love is a Battleground: Raw Regurgitated, 7/14

There’s a little bit of the bad parts of Hulk Hogan in John Cena, and while it’s well documented, it’s extremely problematic when in the ring with someone like Roman Reigns. It’s not just that Cena doesn’t seem to realize that his time as the star of the company is quickly coming to an end, but that he seems to be missing that Reigns is taking his role on the show. They need this to be Jimmy Smits taking the role of POTUS from Martin Sheen on The West Wing, but instead it feels more like trying to fit in Oliver on the Brady Bunch while Cindy is already on the show. Ask Wade Barrett how easy it is to get over when someone like Sheamus is currently in your spot. The WWE needs to fix this, and soon.

It may seem like they’re ignoring continuity by having Dean Ambrose act as though he and Roman are only passing acquaintances, the reality is that they’ve never quite seen eye-to-eye on these type of things. Character-wise, Reigns seems to see Dean as somewhere between a rottweiler and a chihuahua depending on his , and Dean mostly see Roman as the type of wannabe tough guy that Ambrose has hated since he was going by Jon Moxley and talking about how he used to deal drugs. Which is something everyone can get behind:

Speaking of which, if they don’t watch out — which is to say, if Mr. Cena doesn’t start seriously ceding territory to Reigns, as the “Big Dog” — Dean Ambrose is going to be both the Stone Cold and Rowdy Piper of this generation.

If you contextualize the matches in professional wrestling the same way you do other games, matches and meets in other “sports”, things like tonight’s roll-up win by the Miz is definitely “losing in PKs to Brazil”.

And, the subsequent incredibly poorly done — but still interesting, mostly because we get a poor man’s version of LayCool (the greatest tag team of all time) with Layla and Summer — ending to the Dolph Ziggler/Fandango match was so Wesley Sneijder’s shot being blocked by Sergio Romero, it makes your correspondent want to cry.

The blatant commercialism of wrestling may seem odd to those more squarely on the entertainment side of the sports entertainment spectrum, but for anyone who has ever seen Mike and Mike presented by Progressive Insurance’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament “Sheets of Integrity” presented by Werner Ladders and is still annoyed by this backstage segment with Damien Sandow wearing roller skates and Adam Rose wearing his pride on his sleeve should either come up with the thousands of dollars that they were given by Sonic for their time or stop bellyaching.

*** WARNING: YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE *** PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE AT ALL TIME *** With the way that the Dust(y) Brothers are being reintroduced as a package deal — transitioning from the backdoor pilot of “you need a better partner, here are a bunch of crappy ones” storyline that lead to the introduction of the Stardust character — it looks like the Usos run as champions may be coming to an end, at least for the time being.

Having the Usos not be champions opens up a significant number of possibilities for everyone. While it may seem counterintuitive, having a dominant high-flying tag team as your standard bearers does significantly more harm than good when it comes to building the rest of the division. Tag team matches are less about overcoming odds than working together for a common goal. Even more so than in singles competition, the money is in the chase when it comes to team, like it is in any other sport. When you are a team like the Road Warriors, this rule doesn’t apply, because people are largely there to see you be dominant asskickers.

But there are reasons teams like the Rockers and the Hardys were only briefly champions, and it has significantly less to do with their various drug addictions than the fact that people would rather pay to see them try to beat teams like the Hart Foundation and Edge & Christian.

By making “beat the Wyatts” the goal, they will give every team in the division a goal that the crowd can get behind, with their most popular team — the Usos — leading the charge. And that’s #BestforBusiness *** WARNING: YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE *** PLEASE ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY SONIC CHILI CHEESE PRETZEL DOG MILKSHAKE ON THE WAY OUT ***

That’s why they’ve spent so much time building up Rusev, and more importantly, Lana. In two weeks, they’ve turned a xenophobe with a corn-fed idiot into one of the hottest acts in the company and a galvanizing force for the crowd to rally behind with an overwhelming sense of patriotism that might make Del Wilkes blush. Rusev crushes the box office, too.

With Chris Jericho back, apparently Rob Van Dam’s new job is “job in middling matches with great workers where you botch the finish because you’re too stoned/old to give a shit.”

The less said about … the better.

And, this pretty much says it all:

Oh, thank God, a distraction finish that actually made sense. And made Big E. look good! We are truly #Blessed.
There are two ways to look at the crowd chanting “bor-ing” during Bray’s promo. Either he needs to start saying actual things with actual purpose:

or, the crowd loved Jericho SO MUCH (which seems entirely possible, given their reactions to him and everything else that happened) that they actually treated him like a heel. Here’s hoping it’s the latter.

Aside from the long, drawn out explanation of what frenemies are, Paige did a great job standing up to the commentary team, especially the ever-increasingly dumber JBL. It may very well be the start of another “b*tches be crazy” feud, but it appears that, at least for the time being, they may actually allow AJ and Paige to act like adults who happen to work together and arecompeting for the same position. And not, you know, harpies intent on destroying each other/feminist progress over the last 30 years.

I try not to tell people how they should watch, even if I do sometimes veer into the territory of “Why are you watching if you don’t actually like it” . But anyone that isn’t a BO-Liever at this point needs to stop watching.

The question:

The answer: My dad at a St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Without Dean coming back, without proper camera work and without John Cena looking all that vulnerable, the final segment of Monday’s Raw was about the worst possible way to end the go-home show for a PPV that people aren’t particularly excited about. The go-home show, more than any other show of the month, should articulate a very specific narrative going into the Sunday show. Instead, this seemed like an almost pornographic amount of 50/50 booking, with a little injury intrigue thrown in for flavor.

With/regards/to that, having Seth get “injured” made a significant amount of sense, but really seemed to take away from the crowd’s enjoyment of the finish. Given that the injury appears fake, this was CLEARLY done to showcase the people in the main event. Which if fine. Except that, if the storyline for the entire episode prior was that no one in the Authority could trust one another, why take out the one true wild card, especially when he’s one of the three most over guys in the ring?

At least the crowd was happy to see this:

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