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WWE Raw reactions: IN YOUR FACE!

Raw was totally in our face this week, but we just didn’t care.

This week, Raw is IN YOUR FACE! That’s right, Raw is deeming itself to be the pinnacle of angst and anger in 1994 and promises to a night of action. Unfortunately, Raw has been unable to keep any promises lately.

  • Will we learn which part of Drew McIntyre’s jaw is broken?
  • Will Keith Lee get his music back?
  • Will Demi from The Bachelor return and lead RETRIBUTION to glory?
  • How long will it take the Street Profits to wrestle Shinsuke and Cesaro to a draw?

All this and more as Jay and Jason bear the brunt of Raw’s invasion of personal space and all disregard to social distancing practices as it comes IN OUR FACE!

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly wrestling podcast, PTW!

Jay: Jason, why do we do this to ourselves? We both still have some semblance of youth and have people who love us. Why do we flog ourselves like this every Monday?

Jason: Because I need to know that every time I’ve seen Drew McIntyre ever he’s been freeballing it due to an apparent allergy to underpants. At least they’re setting up a triple threat for the WWE title at Clash of Champions when Keith wins tonight due to Orto-rference.

Plus, we get Shinsaro against the Street Profits! Remember this match in November when WWE starts up with the whole “the only time of the year when Superstars from SmackDown and Raw face off against each other” nonsense en route to “Survivor Series: Watch Your Back” Or whatever silly postscript title they give it.

Jay: Nah, I think they’re going to go with Survivor Series: Beware of Dog” or “Survivor Series: No Loitering”. They really have to scale it back with this subtitle thing. And would you look at that? A non-conclusive finish. Sigh.

But why are Michael Cole and Dolph Ziggler on commentary?

Jason: Because Raw is IN YOUR FACE!

I choose to think Joe choked out Tom Phillips and got suspended, and not the far more likely situation that one of them caught a case of COVID these trying times. I’m grateful that commentary is yet another way that I can now say that Dolph Ziggler is no Samoa Joe. At least Zelina Vega’s back in another crazy outfit that defies description.

Jay: Well, it’s not that hard. It’s just a red faux leather corset with the flanks cut out. But I agree, she’s always very stylish. Also conspicuous by her absence is Demi Burnett from The Bachelor. She must be biding her time.

And wow that new music for the Hurt Business is like a slap in the face. It’s very terrible. MVP’s second theme fit very well last week. Why you gotta do that, WWE? 

Jason: All of these guys had better solo themes than this crap. I know that there’ve been issues with the CFO$ but whoever’s nephew is doing the music for WWE these days needs to be future endeavored. Shoot, they messed up Keith Lee’s music TWICE in the past month.

Jay: I agree. Their theme sounds like a squid thats been stuffed in a trash can that’s been kicked down the stairs. And ha! Cedric’s explanation for joining the Hurt Business is hilarious. “I’m tired of getting beat up and waking up on Tuesday sore and not being able to play with my kids.” I have this image of Big Swole yelling at Cedric every Tuesday to do chores and stuff and being like “Don’t tell me you beat up again, you only got tossed around by Shelton. Man up!”

Jason: Ooh look, it’s Erik vs. Bobby later tonight in the “Battle of tough guys with little brother names.” I can’t believe they’re making a Cedric Alexander/Ricochet match slow and boring. These two could be CRUSHING it in the G1 or Battle of the Super Juniors or literally anywhere in the world that actually values them more than being undercard filler.

Hah! Listen to the modulated voice from Dijakovic! He sounds like Jabba the Hutt speaking actual words. I do like that #RETRIBUTION ended their promo with a threat, shored up their number with a ton more bodies (including the tall ninja/Raw Underground doorman) and then did absolutely nothing. Truly, they are IN YOUR FACE!

Jay: I mean is that not what it means to be in someone’s face? When you’re in someone’s face you’re typically just annoying them but not actually doing anything, right? If that’s true, RETRIBUTION is very clearly doing that.

Jason: What a promo by MVP. Boys II Men featuring Sheltric Alexander! Don’t they pre-tape these things? That was the best take? Do you think the people chosen to be on the screens in the THUNDERDOME had to just watch Asuka dancing around the ring for the entire commercial break/Hurt Business promo?

Jay: I don’t know. I guess the only way to find out is to sign up. Jason, let’s do it. Let’s go to the Thunderdome so all of our readers can see our apathy in real time. 

Jason: Oh please, I’m not going to spend all of Raw sat in front of my computer….I mean, in a way that prevents people on the internet from reading my complaints about Mickie James’ awful ring gear. She looks like a cheerleader for the Gold Power Ranger. She looks like one of the rejected designs for the Iron Man dance squad. She looks like she bought a “Sexy Bumblebee” costume but lost the wings. I hate to say it, but her look was much more polished when she was back in TNA.

Jay: Whoa, Jason. The Gold Power Ranger was the best part of Power Rangers: Zeo. And no way, Mickie James was just kind of rocking denim everything in TNA. Mickie is like wine and gets better with time. 

Jason: Uhhh…what? What is going on with the reffing on Raw these days? Was that actually supposed to be the finish? Did they rush it because Zelina has a bedtime? I’m so confused.

Jay: Yeah, it’s been mad weird lately. They’ve used a lot of wishy-washy finishes lately. Very not in our faces.

Jason: Well Zelina’s hand was certainly in Asuka’s face.

Jay: That’s my whole thing about this In Your Face stuff. We’re supposed to be social distancing and avoiding touching our faces. I worry Zelina didn’t wash her hands and spread some fomites. 

Jason: Just spreading all kinds of particles all over the Empress of Tomorrow. I’m glad at least Bobbo said “nah, man. I’m going out to my own theme tonight.” I kinda wish Erik has said “maybe I look silly wearing this dumb headdress without my partner also doing it as well.” It’s bad enough the dude needs to get mulched by Lashley, he doesn’t need to look silly doing it…well, I mean, he does, because he’s a grown ass man with a viking gimmick, but you know what I mean.

Jay: No, the viking thing works. They just need to be more about it and lean into it. Like, do viking sh*t.

Jason: Speaking of looking stupid, why did they give Al Black Bachallo’s Cyclops X helmet? Hey, and also speaking of looking stupid, Trainman is heading to the Underground! And he’s wearing gardening gloves to do it!

Jay: Jason, guess what I’m going to say in regards to Raw Underground.

Jason: That the doorguy really just had to put on a mask to do his cameo as RETRIBUTION’s tallest member?

Jay: No. I’m going to talk about how they need to do something with this awkward appendage. They either need to use Raw Underground to advance storylines or just forget it ever happened.

Jason: I just want to see more of Spider. Also, why is MVP still out there? Did they decide mid-show that Dolph on commentary isn’t working? I mean it wasn’t, but MVP — while an upgrade — isn’t that much better.

Jay: They’re probably going to switch it every hour.

You ever think Dominik gets embarrassed? I mean, this is the equivalent of bringing your parents to college with you. Once or twice is fun for the novelty but pretty soon he’s gonna be the kid that only hangs out with their parents.

Jason: Shoutout to MVP for alluding to the custody battle like 15 years ago. But I mean they’ll have him hanging out with Ricochet and Apollo in a few weeks, just you wait. Then HE will be the one scoring rollup pins on Shelton Benjamin during 6-man tags with the Hurt Business.

Jay: Don’t even joke about that. I’m just hoping they send him to the PC after this feud is done. 

Jason: Well at least Seth won, and it looks like we may actually get that Seth/Murphy matchup after all. If all it took was four months of assaulting the Mysterios to get there then…worth it? I’m coming around to MVP on commentary, too. I like that as we stand over the beaten carcass of Dominik Mysterio he says “My heart goes out to Buddy Murphy.”

And now Dolph’s beating up some rando because he’s mad that he was kicked off of commentary. Now he gets to fight Buff Jimmy Wang Yang! Oh wait, it’s just Riddick Moss… which I’m okay with, now that Trainman has shown up to destroy them both.

Jay: But why though? Why is Dolph doing all this? Why is Riddick Moss doing all this? Why is Trainman here? How has SmackDown generated more excitement with a walrus puppet than over two months of this nonsense? Raw is supposed to be in my face this week, but why is it making me think so hard? I mean, Demi had more of a storyline than Raw Underground. 

Jason: I know Keith Lee has done the menacingly slow turn thing to great effect in the past, but in a backstage brawl when his opponent is like 2 feet away is maybe not the time.

Well damn, Titus. Scored a takedown on the Trainman. Daba Kato, who I assume will step in at some point, is looking like a chump every time Braun looks down the lens and yells “who wants some” as he stands there doing nothing. 

Jay: All of these would be noteworthy occurrences if they actually led to something. There is no point to watching Raw Underground because of this. 

Jason: I would counter that point but I feel the need to comment on how bad Aleister Black’s new gear is. The pants and entrance mask combo is fine, potentially, but he always looked so cool in his previous gear, so this just feels like a huge step down. Now that he’s losing clean to RETRIBUTION blackout distractions, he looks even less cool.

Jay: Aleister Black is a tragedy and I refuse to dwell on it for the sake of my mental health. And holy crap, what is Keith Lee wearing? Just why. Most well-behaved wrestling fans are very simple people. We just want to see things we like. Again, a walrus puppet set our fandom ablaze. Just. Ugh. Why do we do this, Jason?

Jason: Honestly, I watched SmackDown this morning, and short of the Roman Reigns storyline, I think y’all are smoking some non-medicinal substances. It’s not a better show than Raw, it’s the same level of bad, just with more characters that people like. WWE as a product just feels stale, and it has for a while. It’s a byproduct of the same guy having final script approval for the past 40 years and thinking that the audience doesn’t know what they want, so if we just dress up the same crap with a new tagline they’ll love it. Barring the Firefly Fun House, there is nothing new or particularly interesting happening in WWE.

That being said, I want all the best for Ruby and Liv. Here’s hoping they move past this regrettable countenance with Lana and Natalya without any of their “go away” stink rubbing off on them. I also hope Ruby shifts her color scheme. Green isn’t really her color.

Jay: Jason, you can’t even describe Zelina’s wardrobe. Ruby rocks the s--t out of green. She’s the best thing to happen to that color since plants.

Jason: You’re clearly forgetting the Ninja Turtles. They were heroes in a halfshell AND they’re green. And I don’t mind Keith’s singlet. Regrettably, it does remind me just a bit of Bill Demott, but I think Keith could make it work. That being said, I think Kevin Owens may be the only person to ever hold a major title in the WWE who did wear a singlet.

Jay: Kurt Angle? Shelton Benjamin? Bret Hart? Owen Hart?

Jason: What major titles do you think Shelton and Owen won? 

Jay: The Intercontinental Title when it still meant something. 

Jason: That’s an optimistic take on Shelton’s time with the belt, though I do love me some young (and old if I’m honest) Shelty B. The IC title has been midcard since Macho Man dropped it to Steamboat. Otherwise I’d be talking about Mr. Perfect. Anyway, back on topic, did I call this Daba Kato nonsense or what? Now it’s Trainman vs Samson in the UNDERGROUND next week.

Jay: But why though? For what reason? Is Daba Kato headed to the main roster? Is he trying to qualify for the Iron Fist Tournament? Who is Daba Kato? Was he trained by Spider? And you’re right. The singlet is an upgrade for Keith Lee but, still. 

Jason: Spider is totally a former Tekken winner. And it’s happening because Braun can’t process the disappointment of losing his first real title like a chump. It’s not his fault he can’t handle emotions, he’s a train. So he went to a place where he could beat up a bunch of small guys while wearing racing gloves. Daba’s just a big dude who hangs out at the fight club and waited until the big man was super tired from kicking the sh*t out of Dolph Ziggler and Riddick Moss three times before he challenged him back. It’s not a great story, but it’s there.

And man, am I happy to see RETRIBUTION, because I could not maintain my attention during the Keith Lee/McIntyre match. Also it evidently facilitated a face turn for the Hurt Business? I guess?

Jay: I agree. This last three minutes were the only notable things about this past episode. Nothing worth mentioning really happened aside from that. 

Jason: No, I mean remember when…uh…or what about the match between…uh, shoot. Maybe nothing really did happen on the show. Clearly we’re getting a triple threat for the title at Clash of Champions, which is nice for Keith Lee. Other than that, not a ton of things to write home about.

Jay: Whatever. I’ll see you next week.


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