WWE RAW Review (7/17/17): Kurt Angle’s Secret
Welcome back to the best late Tuesday morning Raw review in all of the internet. If you’d like to check out last week’s review, you find it here.
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Sierra Hotel India Echo Lima Delta
IF (and this is a big, capitalized if) The Miz & Dean Ambrose are going to continue to feud and we’re going to forget that any other male mid card wrestler exists, then at least we have the Miz-tourage and Seth Rollins to make things more interesting. I’d still rather see The Miz move on to someone who the crowds actually care about (cough Finn Balor cough) but the Miz-tourage is legitimately entertaining and I’m never going to complain about seeing any type of Shield reunion. This was also a nice bit of character work from Seth Rollins, and while it’s about 3 years too late, it was a big step for him to apologize face to face to Ambrose, and offer him a free chair shot.
Ambrose refusing to hit him brought back all those fleeting Shield memories too, and it’s nice to see good guys in the WWE actually be good guys once in awhile. Now if Rollins and Ambrose could just have a talk with their former partner Reigns and stop him from trying to vehicular manslaughter wrestlers we’d be in good shape. Corey Graves was also great here, pointing out that Ambrose announced earlier in the day that he’d be opening the show, so why wouldn’t The Miz create a steel chair themed plan to take him out? The Miz-tourage stands tall to end the segment, which sets up a 3 on 2 handicap match for next week. How big of an FU would it be for the WWE to put The Shield back together only to have them fight the Miz-tourage on a random RAW in July?
Heyy We Don’t Want Any Bayleyy
If you want to know how important this match was, head on over to the official WWE website and try to find a write up of it in the results section of last nights show. HINT: it’s not there. It’s becoming borderline sad to watch main roster Bayley. She’s lost her way from a character standpoint, and rarely gets a chance to wrestle longer than a few minutes, so we’re not seeing any in ring progression either. Her feud with Alexa Bliss was not only one sided, it was awful. Instead of starting over and having her work her way back into the title scene, she pins Alexa Bliss two weeks in a row and now is in a number one contender’s match next week. It’s very poor storytelling, and strips away any consequences of being a shitty character and losing title matches. Can we not throw Emma or Mickie James in there for a month? I understand holding off on the Nia/Alexa feud, but forcing Bayley into the title mix again is a bad move.
Cruiserweights Part 1
There’s not much to say about these two minute Cruiserweight matches. Mustafa Ali is literally inside of the ring for three seconds during this match, and while his inverted 450 splash is a thing of beauty, all I can think of is how underutilized all these Cruiserweights are. Ali should use Jack Gallagher as a human white flag and signal for help.
Enzo & The Giants
When I was thinking of a title for this segment, the first thing I thought of was Enzo & The Giants, and know all I want is for Enzo, Cass & Big Show to start an Alt Rock band and tour the country. I really enjoyed the Enzo/Cass storyline heading into GBOF, and I thought the actual match played out exactly as it should have, but it’s clear WWE has no idea what to do now. All the sympathy Enzo built up was eroded last night, as he lured Big Cass out only to have Big Show fight the battle for him. Isn’t that exactly what Cass was complaining about? That Enzo ran his mouth and couldn’t finish the job? I can buy Enzo as this scrappy underdog who yaps a little to much but doesn’t know any better than to fight until he collapses. That’s a character I can get behind. But why would I root for a guy who needs other people to fight his battles? I understand Cass is 7 feet tall and Enzo’s not, but this segment moved the story backwards for me.
The Demon Drifter
This is another story where WWE hit a brick wall and doesn’t know how to move forward. I’m not going to complain about a Finn Balor/Elias Samson match, because these two have shown great chemistry and have consistently the best in ring wrestling part of the show, but Finn beat Samson clean last week. Why are they fighting again? So Samson can smash Finn in the head with a guitar and set up a No DQ match for next week? WWE loves to get in these holding patterns during the build up to big pay per views, and that’s exactly what’s’ happening here. After GBOF, Enzo and Cass should’ve moved on, Ambrose & Miz should’ve moved on and after last week, Balor and Samson should’ve moved on. Instead, they’re all still feuding, and will most likely continue feuding in some form or another until Summerslam, which is still four RAW’s away. As a side note – hey Elias, please take care of sweet baby Finn better than this:
Bray Wyatt showed up on the big screen to say spooky things to Finn Balor after the guitar attack, and it’s literally more interesting staring at a gash on Finn Balor’s head than it is to listen to Bray Wyatt give another dark room promo.
Cruiserweights Part 2
If you enjoyed the two minute Cruiserweight match earlier in the night, then you probably loved Titus O’Neil stopping the match between Tozawa and Daivari because Daivari was performing wrestling moves on Tozawa’s shoulder. I’m assuming Tozawa is still the #1 contender for Neville’s title since WWE loves doing pointless rematches, so if they fight for the title again and Neville hurts Tozawa’s shoulder, is Titus going to stop that match too? I’m definitely putting more thought into this than WWE creative put into the actual segment, which is not something I should be saying about WWE TV.
Kurt Angle’s Secret
So. Kurt Angle & Corey Graves have been involved in whispery text message secret conversation for months, and it all centered around something that had the potential to destroy Kurt’s personal and professional life. If you’ve ever watched pro wrestling in the past, your wrestling senses should have gone in one of two directions: Kurt has a mistress or Kurt has a secret kid. I honestly thought they were going to go the mistress route, and it would turn out to be either Stephanie McMahon or Dixie Carter. I’m glad they didn’t do that, and I also didn’t hate this segment as much as a lot of people on the internet did.
Any long running mysterious storyline is always going to fall a little flat, because people are always going to jump to the biggest/least realistic solution and then be mad when that doesn’t happen. Also, WWE has a track record for letting us down in these type of situations. Stone Cold gets run over at Survivor Series. After months of speculation, it was Rikishi. Mr. McMahon has a secret son. After months of speculation, it was Hornswoggle. In the grand scheme of things, Kurt Angle’s secret being that his bastard son is Jason Jordan, a legitimately exciting athlete who can now separate himself from the pack as Kurt Freaking Angle’s son, is pretty dope. Is it the greatest thing in the world? No. Is WWE going insane by separating literally every baby face tag team? Seems that way. But Jason Jordan wrestling like a 6’3 athletic freak version of Kurt Angle is not something I’m going to be upset about.
Depending on what website you read and who you believe, the Hardy’s either have the right to their Broken characters or they don’t. The way things have played out over the last two weeks on RAW, it sure seems like they’re on the path to Broken Brilliance, and that was reinforced slightly again last night. First of all, how wonderful was it to see The Revival wrestling again? They seem incapable of having bad tag team matches, evidenced by last night’s random ass tag with the Hardy’s that they turned into a tag team clinic. What separates them from other teams is their timing and their selling. They’re always in the right spot, and they execute the last minute hope spot better than anyone. They’re also not afraid to sell for the team they’re facing, which is why a Matt Hardy forearm can look like a death blow. The Hardy’s lose for the second straight week, and it’s definitely looking they will need to delete themselves in order to be reborn as something broken.
The Main Event
The last 45 minutes of RAW featured some terrific wrestling, which is always a welcome sight. After the Revival/Hardy’s tag match, Roman Reigns took on Samoa Joe in a #1 contender’s match in the main event. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but Reigns and Joe have terrific chemistry, and they both excel when they’re facing someone who doesn’t mind getting knocked around. It was a physical battle, and as much as I didn’t like a #1 contender’s match for the most important title ending in a no decision, it’s always fun watching Braun Strowman throw guys around. It also made more sense in context, and continued to showcase Strowman as this otherworldly monster who can’t be kept down by someone trying to literally murder him. Do I smell a fatal four way championship match for Summerslam? A triple threat #1 contender’s match before that? I’m in either way.