Welcome to the Uncooked Raw Reaction
Previously on The U.C.: Roman Reigns was a dick.
But then again, I could just type that every week.
Except for this week.
And that's the problem.
Who's afraid of the Big Bad Rusev?
The Knight in Shining Body Armor
So everything starts like it did on August 1, on the episode of Raw from the week after Sasha won her first Women's Championship. She comes out, thanks the fans, cuts a promo about how she's the boss of stuff, the fans break out a "you deserve it" chant like 3 minutes into the broadcast, and then she gets interrupted by Charlotte.
But here's where everything changes.
Because instead of Chris Jericho coming down to put over Charlotte and tear down Sasha, and Enzo coming out and saying he'd like to make a certified G deposit in her Sasha Bank (eww), Lana and newly Young-Buck-bearded Rusev interrupt, even before Charlotte can get to the ring.
Rusev says nobody cares about their stupid Women's Revolution. And nobody cares that they Main Evented Raw last week, because Rusev is the main event wherever he goes.
Sasha doesn't like this, and neither does Charlotte, siding with her fellow women's wrestler against the Big Bad Rusev.
"Who the hell do you think you are?"she shouts.
"I AM RUSEV!" he shouts back.
He also calls her "Black Swan," because come on, let's be honest ...
It's a pretty apt description.
Lana runs her mouth, gets in Sasha and Charlotte's faces, and get smacked down, then Rusev, checking on his wife (WHO HE LOVES VERY MUCH AND THIS MAKES HIM A BAD PERSON APPARENTLY) gets double dropkicked in the butt and falls through the ropes to the outside.
Rusev is super pissed about this, and gets back in the ring, ostensibly to inflict some man on woman violence, which is disgusting, and you can't convince me that's not what they were teasing, because they totally were, but never fear! Because riding down the ramp towards the ring on a white horse is everyone favorite champion of chivalry, hero of women everywhere, the knight in shining body armor, Roman Reigns.
He gets in the ring looking menacing, and Rusev runs away, because of course he does. He's the cowardly foreign heel.
Thank Goodness for Roman Reigns!
Look it's pretty cool that Charlotte and Sasha could put aside their differences and fight for Girl Power, standing up to the sexist bad guy.
But that sexist bad guy isn't Rusev.
Rusev's character isn't sexist (it might have been last year, with that terrible Ziggler-Lana-Summer Rae program, but that was last year in completely different storyline).
This is the guy whose sole motivation for continuing his side of the Roman Reigns feud has been to protect the honor of his wife.
And this is the guy who have come down to the ring and be gratuitously sexist?
Rusev has been Anti-America, self-important, and either a brutally violent monster or a chickenshit coward, but he hasn't been a flat-out misogynist.
You're thinking of Roman Reigns.
Hell, just last week, when Lana came down to the ring to negotiate Rusev's rematch on behalf of her husband (and in her entirely legitimate role as his manager), Roman was dismissive and insulting, at times marginalizing and belittling Lana, and insisting that she go in the back and retrieve her husband so that the men could have a real conversation like men.
It's Roman Reigns who's the misogynist.
Roman Reigns has always been a dick, but now that he's the champ, he's letting the power get to his head, and he's being extra dickish, because he knows he's the golden boy and he can get away with it.
My God. I just cracked the code.
Roman Reigns is Donald Trump.
I just blew your mind, didn't I?
Or maybe I just really hate Roman Reigns.
You're right. It's probably just that last one.
But still, they're panicking because everyone hates Roman and they figure instead of making him less of an asshole, they'll just turn Rusev into the worst human being on the planet, complete with terrible new beard, so that Roman looks better by comparison.
But you can't just stop on a dime and make the change overnight.
That's not how it works.
This all builds to an intergender tag match, but not one of those cool ones like on Lucha Underground. It's one of those stupid, tedious ones on Raw where if the woman on one team is tagged in, the other woman must tag in, too.
Which just makes for a whole segment of Rusev and Charlotte (who totally hate each other, by the way) tagging themselves in over and over so that they can get in the ring.
The only interesting part of the entire match is the finish, where Sasha gets Charlotte in the Banks Statement, and Roman, to save the match, leaps over the two women and spears Rusev out of his boots.
And this is where Roman Reigns is so maddening.
It would be so fun to be able to root for this guy.
I mean, look at this thing.
And I wish I could pop for that shit.
I mean, wouldn't it be fun to be able to root for the guy who can do that?
But I just can't.
Because I don't root for dicks.
The other part of this story is that Sasha and Charlotte are going to have a match in Hell in a Cell at Hell in a Cell. The commentary team puts this over as a pearls-clutching type of "oh Lord, won't somebody please think of the children" moment, and maybe it is. Those women might be crazy enough to do something stupidly risky and one or both of them could get seriously hurt. Or maybe it's just going to be a match like the one they had last Monday, except with way more chain link.
All in all, it's kind of a thrilling thing for two women to be trusted enough to be put in a match like that.
Good for you, Charlotte.
Good for you, Sasha.
Oh, and Roman Reigns?
Team Kevin & Chris forever.
Also Team Chris & Kevin forever.
Please, please, PLEASE let these two remain best friends until late December.
I HAVE TO SEE WHAT'S ON THE CHRISTMAS LIST OF JERICHO.
Also, Stephanie needs to decide if she hates heels or babyfaces.
Pick a side and stick with it, Steph.
Also Mick Foley's tailor should be jailed for assaulting my eyeballs.
Prolonging the probably inevitable.
First of all, I can't say how much I hate that every heel has to be made to look like a coward.
It sucks, and it's lazy, and it makes your heel champ look weak and foolish.
And I wish they'd have had Jericho win this match. I mean, I'm guessing they eventually put Jericho in the Owens/Rollins Hell in a Cell match, so I just wish they'd just get to it already.
WWE creative is a master at this, prolonging a storyline, by repeating the same chapter over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
Case in point:
We still get it.
You still don't like each other.
How much longer are Sheamus and Cesaro going to hate each other the exact same amount, with no change?
It's like two more weeks, right?
Like during the Go-Home, they'll finally figure it out a little bit, but not too much, so that The New Day has something to worry about for Hell in a Cell, but not too much.
Who am I kidding? This back-biting and in-fighting is going to go on forever, isn't it?
Pictured: Cesaro & Sheamus, circa 2056.
You can tell he's serious because he's sitting on the chair backwards.
I really enjoy the story they're telling between these two, but I freely acknowledge I might be totally alone on this.
I'm a sucker for a good "pupil outgrows the master" story.
Everytime I watch The Karate Kid, I wish there was a final sequel where Daniel-San had to defeat Mr. Miyagi in a battle to the death.
But that's also probably just me.
How many evil foreign guys do we need, anyway?
So we already have Rusev and Jinder Mahal, and now we've got Ariya Daivari as well, who was speaking some kind of Middle Eastern language during his inset promo—Arabic, Pashtun, Farsi, whatever.
Vince, you can't have the guy wearing a Yasir Arafat keffiyeh headdress speak a whole promo in "Terrorist-ese" (which is problematic enough on its own) and then bill him as being from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
If that's the case, the accent he should be speaking with is more like this:
Aw, what the Christ, is right.
What the Christ is Ariya Daivari, who lasted all of about seven minutes in the very same Cruiserweight Classic Tournament that TJ Perkins WON, what the Christ is he doing taking your Cruiserweight Champion to his absolute limit?
If it was your intention to make TJP look as weak and as vulnerable as possible, while still keeping him champion, then congratulations.
But still, I gotta say:
What the Christ.
CALL THE GIANT MAN'S BLUFF.
Braun Strowman called out Mick Foley last week, told him to bring in better competition or there wouldn't be a next week.
Meaning this week. But of course there was a this week, which means that Braun held up on his end of the bargain.
Mick Foley had better come through.
These two look like those Create-A-Wrestlers that you and your roommate made as a joke that one time.
Also, they are named the Splash Brothers.
Which is only funny if you are a fan of NBA basketball,
or you live in Oakland, California,
So predictably, Braun mauls these two jabrones, by giving one a running powerslam and then reverse chokeslamming the other on top of his partner.
He then pins both of them at the same time because of course he does.
He then steals the microphone from Byron Suxton and tells Foley "YOU COULD SEND TWENTY MEN LIKE THIS AND THEY'D ALL END UP IN A PILE OF BODIES."
Mick Foley? Challenge accepted? Please?
Please send twenty jobbers who look like really bad CAWs to the ring next week.
I want to see a mass murder live on television.
Wait. That came out wrong.
Play time? Is over.
Bayley is wrestling a jobber this week by the name of Cami Fields.
Last week she wrestled 3-Stooges-Enthusiast Anna Fields.
No relation, I'm sure.
Which begs the question: Who's in charge of naming these jobbers? How lazy do you have to be to realize you used the same last name SEVEN DAYS AGO?
Anyway, Cami Fields has no idea what she's doing in the ring.
But that's fine, she's in there with Bayley, and Bayley has some experience wrestling people who don't know what they're doing.
She once got a decent match out of Eva Marie.
Anyway, this match only exists so that Dana Brooke can pop in at the end and sneak attack Bayley on the ramp.
I love watching her realize how terrible her catchphrase is.
Anyway, we're getting a Bayley vs Dana Brooke program, because there are only Four Women on the Raw Roster.
Yup. Only Four Women on the Raw Roster.
Just Sasha, Charlotte, Bayley and Dana.
That makes four.
Certainly no one else.
Nope. Nothing to see here.
I mean, sure.
This might be okay, I guess.
Since they're not doing anything with either of these teams for the time being, sure.
Can you tell how excited I am for this new feud?
Everything is wrapped up in a neat little package.
Sorry if that sounded sarcastic.
Since the draft, and throughout Heath Slater's new found fame, fortune and above ground pools, I've often wondered: Why didn't they address the remaining Social Outcasts?
Why wouldn't Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas have continued to tag together? Bo's whole gimmick was that he was super excited that Axel was his best friend.
What was the kayfabe reason for them to not be friends anymore?
Well, it took them two months of beating around the bush, but they finally ended that alliance on Monday Night, and better late than never, I always say.
I hate loose ends in a storyline and so does Homer.
But this cleaned everything up nicely, what with Curtis taking the loss and the new brutal Bo leaving him battered and beaten, walking away disgusted.
Still holding out hope that Bo continues to be taken seriously , and also that Curtis Axel stops being on television forever.
Also, Sami Zayn deserves way better than this, and Neville at least deserves to be main eventing the Cruiserweight division.
He can start a feud with his evil doppelganger from another dimension.
Tony Nese is Neville's evil doppelganger from another dimension.
That is who I meant.
But someone needs to explain the booking of the Cruiserweight Division to me.
Last week, Tony Nese beat Rich Swann, who has been being promoted heavily as the other top babyface in the division.
This week, he's in a tag match, alongside Drew Gulak, who he'll be teaming with in the Dusty Classic.
So of course they lose, in about 45 seconds it felt like, to winless Lince Dorado and somehow-supposed-to-be-198-pounds Sin Cara.
Keep pushing Nese. Stop hamstringing your pushes by booking the guys you are pushing to lose.
It's not that complicated.
What might be complicated is the supervillain origin story of how Tony Nese was separated at birth from his twin brother Neville and raised by evil acrobats in a Romanian Circus. By day, the greatest Gypsy Trapeze Artists in a generation, and by night, the greatest cat burglars in all of Bucharest. While attempting their most challenging heist, that of the Dinescu Diamond from the National Art Museum, all of Antonov Nesevich's adoptive family was apprehended by the police and executed by firing squad in the town square as a example to the people of the Governor's iron will. Antonov Nesevich was young, and impulsive, and tried to save his family, fighting off the Governor's elite honor guard, but he was too late. As his adoptive father lay, bleeding to death from his injuries, he told Antonov Nesevich his greatest secret. That he had been stolen from a hospital as a baby, separated at birth from a fraternal twin, a boy who grew up and became an acrobat himself. "They call him.... The Man That Gravity Forgot," said Antonov Nesevich's adoptive father, squeezing out his last breath with "Find him."
"I will," said Antonov Nesevich. "And I will prove that I am the better brother. I will make Gravity remember him."
Or, you know, just have him lose next week to Ariya Daivari or whatever.
This match doesn't matter.
It is stupid. It is worthless.
Here is what matters.
Titus O'Neill is doing a gimmick where he is apparently recreating famous sports press conferences, and he's putting them up as Fallout Videos on YouTube.
Tom Phillips is the only reporter who is ever at these things and they are HILARIOUS.
THAT MICROPHONE THO.
For reference, this is the press conference he was parodying:
For real, this is the best thing that Titus O'Neil has ever done, and it's not even close.
My God, Please let him do Allen Iverson's "Practice" rant next.
If you are a just and fair God, please. I don't ask for much.
Just that my unborn daughter turn out to be healthy and happy, with a passion for learning and always finding joy in the little things, just like her mother.
That is all I ask for.
That, and for Titus O'Neil to do Allen Iverson's "Practice" rant next.
A re-match twelve years in the making.
A re-match twelve years in the not really doing much of anything at all.
That's more like it.
This is a re-match of a thing that we all hated the first time, between a hulk/human hybrid creature still in its prime, and an almost 50 year old man who hasn't been in a one on one match since the first match TWELVE YEARS AGO.
And somehow this is supposed to be better than the first one that sucked so much? Really?
Look, I still like Brock Lesnar as a performer; his "polar-bear-playing-with-a-baby-seal-before-swallowing-it-whole" shtick hasn't worn thin with me yet, but I know it has with other people. For me, a Brock Lesnar match will always be the Main Event, even if I know it's going to be "Suplex, Suplex, Suplex, Suplex, Suplex, Suplex, F-5, Pinfall." Or, in the case of Randy Orton, "Suplex, Suplex, Suplex, Suplex, Suplex, Suplex, F-5, BREAK OPEN YOUR HEAD WITH MY ELBOW."
I'm still a fan.
And you couldn't find a bigger Goldberg mark than me during the 173-0 days.
But that was almost TWO DECADES AGO.
Paul Heyman can sell this thing until he's blue in the face (and he just might actually do that), and it's not going to change the fact that this match is going to suck.
It's going to suck monkey balls.
Oh, and by the way, feel free to screencap this and show it to me on or about November 19 when I've talked myself into thinking this is actually going to be good.