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Can 'Raw' fight its delirium to find greatness?

Pro Wrestling

Can ‘Raw’ fight its delirium to find greatness?

Jason tries to break ‘Raw’ down as Jay tries to make dinner.

Raw is still finding itself in the throngs, of delirium but is there a method to the madness? 

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly wrestling podcast, PTW!
  • Randy Orton is looking stronger than ever and carrying Drew McIntyre along with him. 
  • The Hurt Business has given new relevance to *checks notes* seven wrestlers. 
  • Tozawa’s ninja clan continues to draw Jason’s ire, which makes Jay happy.
  • And Raw Underground is actually, dare we say, catching on?

As the ThunderDome looms, Raw just might be on the rebound. Join Jason as he valiantly tries to break this all down for you while Jay tries to make dinner.


Jay: Jason, what the hell? I was in the kitchen making okra and Raw is glitching out.

Jason: Okra? And here I thought I was the only southern man in AIPT Wrestling. Yeah, the powers that be decided to completely defang what was looking to be a solid, if rote, promo from Big Mac in order to remind us that a bunch of NXT trainees in hoodies have sworn #RETRIBUTION on WWE’s production department. Or Florida Power and Light? Either way, I like that the guys in the truck were somehow surprised by the gang of dudes that were literally already in the truck.

Also — Jesus, McIntyre is like a foot taller than the entire babyface roster.

Jay: Okra is a Southern thing? I’m from Dirty Jersey, but my okra game is mad strong. Yeah, I would have liked to hear the end but I do love interlocking segments/angles so I ain’t mad. But RETRIBUTION (all caps) has yet to excite me. I do want to let it breathe but it comes off like Aces and Eights from TNA’s twilight days of relevance. 

Jason: Alas, I don’t think there’s a D’Lo Brown under that balaclava for me. Maybe Garett Bischoff will pop up, though? And yeah, RETRIBUTION isn’t landing the way I think they hoped it would. Their actions lack menace and are more accurately described as “shenanigans,” which leaves the whole organization looking goofy. I’d be more worried about the anarchist collective running an info shop out of an abandoned Blockbuster Video than the Under 5’9” Brigade. 

More importatly, does Demi from The Bachelor live at the performance center now? It’s been like three weeks straight where she’s been seen hanging around WWE’s thirstiest midcarders.

Jay: Forget Demi, Ivar just summoned a turkey leg to him like it was Mlojnir. Is the turkey leg blessed by Odin? Does this mean Ivar is worthy of Asgard? Am I wasting my time with all this okra, and I should be learning to make turkey legs to impress women?

Jason:  It depends on how far from traditional standards of beauty you are. If Vince McMahon thinks it’s funny enough that women in tight dresses find you attractive, who’s to say you couldn’t summon salted meats like the mighty Thor? Speaking of which, what do we make of this “ThunderDome” branding of the WWE’s residency at the Amway Center?

Jay: Okra and heartbreak aside, I’m actually excited for it. The PC depresses me and something just like it worked for the NBA. Plus, WWE has always been great with production value so I think it will be a welcome addition to the broadcast.  

Jason: Even if they leave Demi from The Bachelor at the Performance Center? Hopefully you’re right, because after a night of scene transitions so lazy Kevin Smith’s Mallrats is rolling its eyes, I’m looking forward to a return to better production values.

Jay: I agree. Plus, it will look less…uh, sad? Like AEW instantly comes off livelier because they are at that arena next to the Jaguars’ stadium. 

Jason: Are we going to talk about how Zelina evidently traveled back in time to poison Montez in the same outfit she’s currently wearing? Like it was some kind of time cape? And the whole thing is being uncovered due to heightened security? Instead of, say, an unresolved ongoing storyline about a man who knows all of the company’s secrets? WHY WASN’T THE SMACKDOWN HACKER INVOLVED IN THIS?

Jay: Jason, c’mon. It’s alternate timeline Zelina from the future. The one where Montez Ford dies from a heart virus and the androids take over the world. Future Zelina put heart medicine in Ford’s cup to save him and thereby, saving all of us. 

Jason: You know, I think Zelina would be super into that future Trunks comparison. Though Aleister Black would be less flattered serving as Mai in this scenario.

Jay: Aleister Black would probably be happy just to be on TV at this point. But at least this storyline is just about over. Bianca and Zelina should formally be included in the tag team match but, whatever. 

Speaking of tag teams, they probably just confirmed that Asuka will lose to Bayley but beat Banks for the Raw Women’s title, ya?

Jason: I think if she beats Bayley, she’s beating them both, but yeah, you’re probably right. Asuka gets the belt to feud with Shayna (and probably Nia at the same time), then the Golden Role Models lose the tag belts at Payback to set the Bayley/Banks diaspora into full gear. I have a dream, however, where Asuka beats them both and then challenges them to a handicap match for the tag belts and becomes #AsukaAllBelts.

Jay: Decent idea, but I’m sick of double champions. We’ve had one somewhere constantly since Becky Lynch won at WrestleMania 35. The angle never lasts long and is very predictable. Also, what did I miss? I was tending to the okra and heard Seth Rollins so I figured I had time to kill.

Jason: Yes, but she would be a quadruple champion! It’s entirely different. Well lets see, “the Hurt Business is open for business” (direct quote from MVP) which means Shelton Benjamin losing a match to Apollo and yet winning the 24/7 Championship moments later, all to set up a six man tag match later in the night between the Hurt Business vs. Apollo, Ricochet and Ali (Cedric was hurt in a scuffle to set up his inevitable betrayal and joining the Hurt Business).

Elsewhere, Seth grilled Joe for saying that Rey Mysterio would be at Raw tonight, which was so important that it literally happened during Mickie James’ comeback match, and the lesser half of the Four Horsewomen of MMA made a surprise appearance to hang out with Shayna in the back. Oh, and Peyton Royce won the latest in their never ending cycle of squashes against the Riott Squad.

Whiiiiiich brings us to everyone’s favorite part of the show….Raw Underground.

Jay: I would sit out the rest of Raw in protest. Ruby deserves better. She deserves all the wins and all the okra. But my perverse curiosity for Raw Underground has gotten the better of me.

Jason: OK, Raw Underground put Kona Reeves back on my screen, so I may be turning around on it.

Jay: It has its benefits and it’s growing on me as Ivar just bodies Dolph Ziggler into the crowd. But if they had any sense of continuity, Ivar would have thrown the turkey leg at Ziggler instead of tackling him.

Jason: Sure, but I’m just happy to see that Shane runs an illegal fight club that cares enough to stop the action when someone in the crowd gets hurt.

Jay: It’s Shane’s Greenwich upbringing. His fight club may be illegal, but he still has standards. All the fight clubs in Greenwich, CT have such rules and decorum and Shane’s is no different.

Jason: I suddenly want to see Rodney and Pete Gas of the Mean Street Posse get the Old Dick Twist from Dabba-Kato next week.

Jay: Dabba-Kato and his Dick Twist wouldn’t survive five minutes on Greenwich Ave. Not five minutes, Jason. The s--t I’ve seen on that street. I should have known to stay away from any bar named “Gingerman.” It’s no wonder Shane was driven to start a fight club.

And oh crap! Here comes Seth. Back to the kitchen I go.  

Jason: No, wait! You’re missing the furthering of the “Cedric breaks bad” storyline!

Can 'Raw' fight its delirium to find greatness?

Jay’s Okra
1. Buy frozen okra
2. Place water in pot over fire. Wait for bubbles.
3, Throw frozen okra in the bubbling water.
4. Wait for 10 minutes while thinking upon your life choices.
5. Tomato sauce
6. Admit further self-regrets for 5 min.
7. Enjoy

Jay: Jason. Okra. 

Jason: It’s like you don’t even care that Arturo Ruas and Riddick Moss just fought IN DA UNDERGROUND!!!! The Ref’s name was Spider!!!

Jay: What does it say I feel that our audience would probably be more invested in my okra-based dinner than your last sentence? Speaking of which, our audience has waited long enough. It’s okra time, mother trucker.

Jason: And here I thought you’d be eating it raw to keep with the theme. Tsk tsk. Anyway, I suppose the moral of the story from this Apollo storyline is “Friends are worthless?”

Jay: Honestly, no idea. Apollo pinned his opponent for the PPV who won’t have benefit of his posse while his posse was present. So in other words, they wanted us to know that he’s got this? Make Lashley look good even though he’s ancillary to the story? The only good thing from that segment is that Lashley’s finisher is now named “Full Lashley”, which has legs.

Jason: It’s almost as if having the title feud not include the guy the entire heel stable is built around is short sighted. I was happier when he was using the Dominator as a finish. I mean the real one, not the damn Yokusuka cutter they’ve been calling by the wrong name for a few weeks.

Jay: Yea but the commentators can now yell, “Oh no! OH NO! Lashley’s gone berserk! Lashley’s going FULL LASHLEY!” 

And thank heavens for the Tozawa Ninja Clan. Ninja Power will save Raw.

Jason: See, and here I am sad because Tozawa vs. Alexander would have ruled on 205 Live instead of being a 90-second excuse for Shelton Benjamin to win an oversized Green Bay Packers watch. Still, at least Raw Underground is there for me. Got to see Marina Shafir stomp that one chick from Evolve before getting punked by Nia Jax’s questionable braid job. Maybe I was wrong about the Underground, it (and Zelina’s time cape) are all that I seem to care about tonight.

Jay: You’re liking it because they are leaning into it. Remember last time we talked like this? Remember when I told you they have to commit to it, make it a fixture, and use it to advance storylines? Remember how I told you they have to make it the Mos Eisley of Raw? They did it and it might be working. Absurdity works if you dedicate yourself to the absurdity.  If you’re going to be absurd, make yourself a spectacle. If you’re going to make okra, make some damn okra.  

Jason: Look, there’s nothing good about the Underground, other than I get to see my favorite NXT castoffs feign importance while a guy named Spider calls the shots. WHO IS SPIDER? I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HIM!

Jay: I know Spider. I know Spider from Gingerman. You don’t want to know Spider, Jason.

Jason: Jeez, how does Shawn Michaels look older than Ric Flair? BTW, Flair’s promo last week was amazing. Dude’s still got it. Shawn, on the other hand, can’t seem to handle the emotion Flair can.

Jay: Yeah, WWE does know how to play with their toys. The problem is they don’t know how to use anything that came from anywhere else. Like how many times have we seen the “Bloody Ric Flair” move to put gas on a feud? It comes in a starter kit complete with a heel who beats Ric Flair senseless, a returning veteran yelling, “Damn you heel! Ric Flair inspired me” who also gets beaten senseless, and a face who fires back at the heel vowing vengeance in honor of a man he sometimes watched on TV. 

The closing segment with HBK playing the returning veteran was functional. Drew McIntyre making the save was functional. And Randy Orton getting just a little bit more heat before the PPV was also functional. This feud is functional and in 2020, what else can you ask for? 

Jason: Quality? Consistency? Not burying talented up-and-comers like Ricochet and Ali when you have a direct competitor consistently beating your best show every week and hungry for stars? Nah, you’re right. That’s crazy talk.

Jay: All those things are overrated. Let AEW handle excellent booking and matches. Raw has ninjas. Anyway, same time next week?

Jason: Shoot, I’ll be here Sunday for SummerSlam in THE THUNDERDOME! YOU’LL NEVER SEE IT COMING!!!

Jay: haha I’ll see you IN THE THUNDERDOME then.


Is Raw on its way back to greatness? Will RETRIBUTION prove to be the shot of adrenaline Raw needs? Will Ruby Riott finally get some wins? And will Jay ever learn how to make better dinner for himself? Let us know in the comments or Twitter!


Do you love wrestling? Do you have strong opinions on AEW, WWE, NJPW, Impact, ROH, and the independent scene? Do you like to write about wrestling? Then we want you on our team. AIPT is currently recruiting wrestling writers. Apply to write for AIPT today!

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