Welcome everybody to the only wrestling blog that is on the verge of not watching wrestling anymore. Seriously, we are pretty sick of the stuff that they keep giving us, and it apparently is giving Eric a drinking problem. On the plus side, Konnor had one of the funniest lines of the year, and Carmella won the Women’s MitB match for a second time. That was historic! Drink Eric, drink. So please join Russ, Keri, and Kent as they take a walk down memory lane for the week that was in wrestling.
Of course, we also did our podcast, Are You Not Kentertained, where we discuss some of these topics and others, plus do our weekly segments. It’s like a verbal companion to the blog. Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce. Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
- We finally got R Truth and Goldust together in the same ring after weeks of anticipation. Did it live up to your expectations?
Russ: This has exceeded my expectations. Mainly because when this first started I had no interest in the feud to begin with. Then they started the vignettes and those started to peak my interest. Then Goldust coming out with his own cameraman, that’s just magic. WWE did a great job here, they got me invested in a feud that I had no interest in at the start.
Keri: I guess. I just feel the vignettes for these two were better than the actual in ring confrontation. I mean the bar wasn’t set that high but still this was kind of a yawn. Especially since we have already seen Goldust beat down Truth like a month ago. Yaaaawn. Bored now.
Kent: Yes. I expected little. I got a film operator, I believe that was his title, and no match. I didn’t expect a real match. In this sense, I got the match I anticipated, but a bonus of camera guy. So it actually exceeded my lofty expectations.
- We had a lot of 6 man tag action tonight. Which 3 man duo was your favorite of the night: Finn & Hardly Boys, Elias & Sheasaro, Dean & Ginger Rhynos, Miz & Miztourage, or the Ball Family?
Russ: I am going to go with Elias and Sheasaro. While we didn’t get to hear some great singing, they did have some good chemistry as a trio. The Miztourage got a win, which is great and I hope we see more from Bo and Axel, but the match really bored me. The Hardly’s … meh. They haven’t done anything fun since coming back.
Keri: Anytime I get to see Finn is usually my pick for any question on this blog. However, I’m so sick of Sheasaro vs. the Hardy Boys that not even a Finn sighting could save this matchup for me. That and Bo and Curtis Axel made RAW for the second week in a row so I got to go with that pick. Why? Because underutilized talent always trumps old and boring no matter who or what is involved.
Kent: Seriously, none of these are good choices. I know that you expect me to say Elias and The Bar, but they didn’t get a chance to really shine on RAW. It would have been better to have Sheamus and Cesaro belt out a bit of a song to draw some heat. Finn was stuck with the Hardlys, so they’re out. Ginger Rhyno’s couldn’t look more directionless if they tried, and the same could be said of Dean, so they are out. I am stuck with this Miztourage thing, which isn’t working for me, or Lavar and his sons, who I am quite familiar with as I am a big NBA fan. Lavar is smart, he can be funny, he’s in on the joke, but his schtick was worn thin a long time ago. He also interrupted too often, but in all fairness, he felt like he belonged out there in an odd way. Winners by default: Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. Everything kinda sucked.
- Who is being booked better: Braun, Samoa Joe, or Cass?
Russ: I’ll agree with Kent that all three have been booked really well, but I am putting my weight behind Samoa Joe. The first 3 months of Joe’s run in WWE proper were a joke! He didn’t even get a match at Mania! When I saw him win the fatal 5 way, my first thought was, “welp… they can’t make his run at WWE any worse!” While I was right, they didn’t make his run worse, I was really wrong on this whole thing. They have done everything right; showing him as the badass that he is. Going after Paul, not backing down from Brock, beating Roman, and sneak attacking Brock again. I know in my heart of hearts he isn’t winning, but damn if he takes it to Brock he’ll end up being the big winner overall. (Kent: Russ, don’t challenge WWE in saying that they can’t make his run worse. They will accept your challenge and make you beg for mercy.)
Keri: Samoa Joe. He is being built up to be a major threat to Brock. Which is not something that can be said for many others that have feuded with Brock. As for the other two, it’s same old same old for Braun. Yes it’s entertaining but it’s also kind of tired at the same time. And for Cass, I really don’t care about him or his quarrel with Enzo.
Kent: All 3 are being booked really well at the moment. If Cass was having this angle on Smackdown and we asked about best booking on that show, you may choose Cass. Unfortunately for him, he is going up against 2 booking juggernauts at the moment. My god. I love Braun, and the crowd is eating this up. He may be the most over guy in WWE at the moment, and WWE seems like they are wondering aloud if they can make this work. On the other hand, Joe is the heel that fans have been craving. A big bad ass that doesn’t back down from a fight, like Braun was doing the first 3 months of the year. Braun could win his match, but nobody thought that Joe would win his. I guarantee you, right now, some fans are wondering if Joe is going to somehow win this and wipe away all the bad shit with his first 3-4 months on RAW. This is really tough, but I am not going to puss out on you, I will go with Joe. He has made people question the outcome of a Brock Lesnar match. That is impressive.
- On RAW, a “new” number 1 contender was crowned for the RAW women’s title. Discuss.
Russ: I knew whoever was coming out last in this match was going to be the winner. Once Nia was the second person out that much was obvious. I’ll say this Nia looked decent out there. She did a good job of looking dominant. She isn’t a great worker, but she is serviceable. As for our #1 Contender…Sasha! I’m shocked… shocked that they went back to her “well” so fast. (Kent: I’ve been to her well before. It is total H.) There are other women in the division WWE let’s give them a chance against Alexa.
Keri: Sasha seriously? Come on, WWE. Is this the best you can do? You had Emma confront the champ and say on social media that she is coming for the title. Essentially planting the seeds for a feud and you go with Sasha. That’s it. I’m done with the RAW women’s division. And if Carmella doesn’t get her briefcase back on Smackdown, I’m done with that division too. When is the Mae Young classic again? Because as it stands right now, I’m on a women’s wrestling hiatus (especially since I already finished watching GLOW on Netflix). (Kent: GLOW was good, but in all fairness, she just stole blatantly from the documentary that is also on NetFlix. It needs to be said, but the series was fun and should be watched.)
Kent: Yawwwwwwwwwwwn. Wake me up when somebody who isn’t dull as hell is the new #1 contender. In the meantime, fix Sasha and Bayley. I suggest a #1 contender’s Iron Man match in Brooklyn, maybe have that match on Saturday after TakeOver. That crowd would go apeshit. Kudos to Nia.
- Week after week, since Wrestlemania, who is the one performer on each show that keeps you tuned in?
Russ: Quick and dirty: Raw: Since Wrestlemania Braun has been the man to watch. Honestly, I was very down on wrestling at that point. Then Braun came in and screamed he wasn’t finished with me. Since then he has been a major hit! Smackdown: AJ is the man. He is great on the mic, in the ring and is the face that runs the place. A close second has been the BreezeDango Fashion Files.
Keri: I’m going to keep this response short and sweet. For RAW, I tune in to see what Braun is going to do next even if it’s beating up one of my all time favorite wrestlers, Roman Reigns. For Smackdown, I have to say Carmella and Ellsworth for the funnies and Shinsuke because I just enjoy him and his performance in the ring.
Kent: I know that this is an odd answer, but for RAW, I am slowly realizing how much better the commentary has gotten, so I am picking Booker T for RAW. His impact has been huge for me at least. On Smackdown, it’s tougher because guys get weeks off. I had to narrow it down to AJ (for in ring), Breezedango (for laughs), KO (overall Kentertainment), and Sami Zayn (finally looking like a star). Of course I pulled a WWE and simply chose Carmellsworth! Without those 2, that division is absolutely boring as hell.
- How bad was WWE’s timing from commercial break to the end of the Uso’s vs Hype Bros match? It was approximately 30 seconds, but we could see the match during the commercial. Is this bad or smart? Also, we get a rap battle next week between the Uso’s and New Day.
Russ: I think that because we could see the match during the commercials, WWE did this on purpose. They were probably testing it out to see how it felt on TV or something. While I won’t say this was a bad idea, I will mention it’s weakness. I could barely see what was going on in the match during the commercials and it was hard to focus on it with everything going on around it. So, WWE is going to have to keep on tinkering with this match during commercials formula. As for the rap battle…. YES PLEASE! It will either be a train wreck or amazing, either way I’ll have a laugh.
Keri: The timing of that commercial break was stupid. I seriously asked my husband: “Eric wait that was it?” To which he said but they just came back from commercial how was that the end. Then we both shrugged and went back to playing with our dog. Seriously, that was bad WWE and you should feel bad. And speaking of things that are bad, a rap battle next week huh? This is going to be another old day segment, isn’t it?
Kent: If you read my final thoughts, I mention a conspiracy theory. This is part of it. WWE intentionally made all men’s matches this week shitty. This was perhaps the worst one they did. I hated it so much. Like, it needed more time to help evolve the Hype Bros storyline moving forward. If you want a glimpse of the Uso’s rapping, watching Talking Smack. You will be Kentertained.
- Lana has been back for 4 weeks now. Have they already blown it?
Russ: it may be 4 weeks, but it’s only been 2 matches. The first match wasn’t awful, in fact I saw a few moves I was surprised Lana could do. The second match, OK that was awful. What was the point of having this squash match? I wouldn’t say they have blown this yet, but man are they close to doing so. The big mistake was having her dive right into two matches for the belt. She was never going to win it and it seems like the second match was an afterthought. To salvage what is left I’m still hoping we get Rusev as her valet! It would be great for a few weeks. Better than him just sitting in the back jackin it. (Kent: IF we could get footage of him jacking it, while in San Diego, during a commercial break….well I think that would be winning for everybody.)
Keri: I’m confused as to exactly what they are attempting to do with her. She has jobbed to Naomi not once but twice. Would it have been more effective to put her in the MITB match? Let’s face it the Lana wrestling experiment has failed but at least she looked really good doing it. I say put her back with Rusev and have them feud with the Kanellis’. (Kent: I gotta say, that is a terrible idea. Bring Rusev back to immediately put over 2 people who aren’t as good as him and Lana are? Nay I say. I am a naysayer! This is the look I am giving you.)
Kent: Yeah, pretty much. She needs wins to be effective and credible. I also wish she had better ring attire because she is just so goddamn gorgeous. Bring back Rusev and make him world champ immediately and all will be forgiven, except for the Cena match at Mania. I won’t forgive that.
- Let’s talk about Sami vs Baron and the side stories that may accompany it. Did the match feel rushed to you? Did it make sense to put over Baron if he already has the briefcase? Does Zayn losing hurt his upcoming feud with Mike and Maria? Does Shinsuke vs Baron feel like an exciting match up or perhaps an odd one?
Russ: The match was bland and I’m not sure having Baron go over Sami was the right choice. Baron doesn’t need the win… he is the Money in the Bank winner, don’t they usually suffer a few losses after winning the briefcase? Sami needs a few wins under his belt to get him into that upper card mix. Instead it looks like he’ll be in mid-career hell for awhile as it seems he is starting a feud with Mike something or other and his wife Maria something or other. Oh Sami you get wasted in WWE by both brands. (Kent: It’s Kanellis. Learn it, love it, listen to their song and jam out.)
Keri: All of this is confusing to me. First, we have Zayn who can’t catch a break in whatever feud he is in. Can we have him feud with Ziggler or would the universe implode since they are basically the same person? Also, why put Shinsuke and Baron together? I don’t get that one either. Baron has the briefcase. He should be playing mind games with Jinder at this point. He doesn’t need a feud right now. Let Shinsuke feud with Mike and Maria. It would be something different and could give Shinsuke the opportunity for a loss.
Kent: Yup, conspiracy theory, all men’s matches were shortened. I would have put Sami over. Then next week I would have put Sami in a match against Jinder for the belt after he pissed off Daniel Bryan. Then have Mike and Maria provide interference so Jinder could win. This way, Sami still has all the momentum that he can transfer to Mike, and it sets up a nice tag team match of Randy and Sami vs Jinder and Mike. How hard was that for booking? Shinsuke vs Baron is going to captivate me. I don’t think that they match up all that well stylistically. I do think that Baron enjoys a rougher style based on his background with the NFL and boxing. In theory, they could give us some hard hitting matches, so I have talked myself into it.
- Was the 2nd Women’s MitB match the match that we deserved at the PPV, or was it better to have this whole storyline over the past 9 days? Yes 9 and 2nd are in the same question.
Russ: Hey and it is question number 9 too! (see what I did there.) (Kent: Blind folks would struggle to miss what you just did.) I thought the second match was indeed better than the first, but honestly I was OK with how the first one went down. I still think this was WWE covering its own ass after having a guy win the first ever women’s MITB and not planned from the beginning. It’s evident by having Carmella win again (for which I’m thankful for.) I am very intrigued with what they are doing with Ellsworth. I was wrong about Ellsworth, I thought for sure by now he’d be a bus driver or something. Instead, they’ve kept him as an interesting character that is a great foil to Daniel Bryan. (Kent: Russ, you may be shocked at what you see as the top 2 tweets on HHH’s page, not Paige. My conspiracy Theory is 100% validated by this.)
Keri: Given the fact that Carmella won for the second time, I’m not sure it was warranted. However with that said Ellsworth is entertaining so there is that. Overall though, I enjoyed both matches but I’m still confused as to why we had to see it again.
Kent: I am torn. I will say that it was warranted for the storyline. I say this because James Ellsworth winning the first ever, historic Women’s MitB match will someday be a trivia question. Like, it truly was historic. And it was a slap to the face of women’s wrestling, and because I’m a jerk, I was amused. Great match though, best of the week BY FAR. I feel that I need to say something begrudgingly, but Charlotte busted her ass to make this a really good match. Becky took everybody to Suplex City, and Natalya was hanging right there with Charlotte on workrate. Tamina had some good stuff. I wanted to give credit where it was due as I don’t like to say much of anything POSITIVE ABOUT CHARLOTTE AND HER PROMO SKILLS AND ACTING…..I mean wrestling. This guy is my current hero on Smackdown.
- Rate RAW
Russ: I thought this week was a major step up from last week. The matches were forgettable, but Braun, Joe, Nia, Bliss, and Cass all came off looking like a million bucks. (Echo…echo…echo) Roman has played his part well. It wasn’t perfect, I’m getting sick of seeing Hardly’s vs. Sheasaro and anything The Miz and Dean related. Rating: 6.4
Keri: There were two highlights to this week’s episode for me. Both had to do with either the Reigns-Braun or Joe-Brock build. Creative is getting the storyline on both of these correct. Even if Braun keeps hurting Roman (tear). But everything, just dragged the episode down for me. We had the same old storyline for the women. And everything else felt sloppy and boring. Rating: 3 (and I’m questioning my life choices right now after watching it)
Kent: This week was a smorgasbord of highs and lows. The matches sucked, by and large. Really, Seth vs Curt Hawkins may have been the best match on the show. I know that the women tried hard, but I hate gauntlet matches. They serve no purpose. Nia did an amazing job though, but the match itself sucked. The 6 man tags sucked. I think there was only one 205 match and it was short as hell. There were 5 matches on RAW as the Goldust one never started, and then we look at how short the Neville and Seth matches were. You had 3 hours, and you gave us 2 short matches, 2 clusterfuck 6 man tags, and the Women’s match at the end. This is Money in the Bank all over again! Still, Braun, Joe, Cass, Bliss, Tozawa, and Titus came off like stars tonight, as did Nia. I will go with a 4.7
- Rate Smackdown
Russ: This was a tough Smackdown to get through. Mainly because I just got my Nintendo Switch and the new Zelda and I really, really wanted to play it. However, that wasn’t the only reason. The matches just didn’t feel all that good, with the exception of the MitB match. The stories they told were pretty good and the fashion files this week was fun. Rating: 5.6?
Keri: This weeks episode did two things well. We got more Fashion Vice and the women’s MITB segments were really good. Everything else was kinda meh in my opinion yet it was still better than RAW. Rating: 5 (I’m not questioning my life choices after watching this one).
Kent: Randy’s face promo…….happened. Fuck that was bad. Wait, Jinder didn’t do much better, but at least he mentioned the Great Khali and gave us the predictable Punjabi Prison Match. Major bonus points to Konnor for his line. The stars of the night were the women in the final match and James Ellseworth. I bet you that whoever wrote the great stuff that got Heath Slater over is the same person that keeps James relevant. Same ideology. Poor Heath. I am giving this a 6.5 because that last match was great as was the opening promo. I may also be giving bonus points for how amazing Talking Smack was.
Final Thoughts – New section where we can talk about anything else that may not have been covered in the questions.
Russ: Last week I was really negative about wrestling. (Glad to know the sand finally got cleaned out of there.) I was just so sick of the same old crap and I was really sick of the whole women’s MitB fiasco. So this week I tried going in with the power of positivity. It worked, sort of. The matches were all weak, except women’s MitB 2. Yet the stories being told were way above par. Cass, Joe, Braun, Ellsworth, Carmella, and Alexa came off as stars this week. I’d love it if WWE could now just put the two together consistently.
Keri: Overall, I felt that this was a week where focus was placed on the women and the women only. My only problem is that I had to sit through the rest of the show to get to those moments and that was a chore. I have two pieces of advice for Creative. First, no more celebrity guests. I don’t care about them and they distract from the overall product. Second, please stop using the words first time ever, second time ever or historic. My husband is developing a tick where he drinks every time he hears those words during RAW or Smackdown. I fear for his health if this continues.
Kent: Honestly, I really didn’t want to watch wrestling this week. I hated watching RAW. Like I had to really talk myself into watching it. The fact that Lamelo Ball said “Niggas” and I missed it should tell you how many fucks I gave for the show. Bravo to the WWE for washing themselves of that awfulness ASAP. Smackdown was also a chore to get through. I’ll be honest, towards the end of the MitB match, I was trying to come up with a way of telling Russ and Keri that I was going to skip next week entirely. I just didn’t feel like being insulted by WWE anymore. This is the most abusive relationship that I have in my life, the one as a fan between myself and WWE. There’s not a better example of this than how Smackdown ended. Just like in every abusive relationship, the abusive one promises that they will change and they buy you something nice, like chicken wings, and then you have make up sex (Carmella winning), and you go to bed not really sure what tomorrow will bring, but you feel slightly better after busting one. You then eat chicken wings and try to enjoy the present, and you watch Talking Smack. By the way, Daniel Bryan insulting wrestling by questioning why any time somebody is banned from ringside or the arena, they always make an appearance is fantastic. Holy balls, KO killed it on Talking Smack. Cena returns next week! Allow me to finish this off with my own conspiracy theory. Women main evented both shows this week. Both matches could be considered match of the night. I fully believe this is why the booking made the matches so shitty this week for the men. It may even be a PR move in apology for 2 Sundays ago. It’s manipulation at it’s highest form to make the women’s divisions look better than they really are. CENA!!! (Keri: Yea! Cena is coming back. I’ve missed that guy.)
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