In what could possibly have been the worst cumulative week for WWE programming all year, which is saying A LOT, we drudge through the steaming piles of garbage, squeeze out all of the garbage juice, and try to make sense of it all, just in time for No Mercy. Really WWE, this is what you give the fans??? Not only that, but on this week’s Are You Not Kentertained we do a better job at selling No Mercy than RAW did.
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Let’ start off remembering Bobby the Brain Heenan. WWE did a rather lackluster job this week in doing that.
Russ: I remember Bobby as the quintessential heel commentator. When I was young and was lucky enough to see a wrestling show on one of the 4 Networks (I didn’t have cable until I was 17.) It was always Bobby and Vince calling the matches. I hated Heenan because he would always back up the guy I wanted to lose and call out a lot of things that were just not true. Back then I had no clue that wrestling was scripted so I just hated the man. Now looking back I can honestly say that he was one of the best commentators I ever had the experience of listening to. He knew how to make the audience at home feel like they were a part of the experience, which is a feat that few commentators can do even today.
Keri: So, little do our readers know but I have two separate segments of my wrestling fandom. The first segment began about 18 years ago when I was in college and started watching pretty much regularly with my friends. That’s the time I remember the most. The second segment, well that one is a little more difficult to remember given how young I was at the time. It was the early years of Wrestlemania and I would watch wrestling with my parents and their friends. This was the time of Hogan, Savage, Andre, and yes, Bobby “the Brain” Heenan. While I don’t remember specifics, I do remember the name and the fact that he was one of the premier managers at the time. What I also remember, maybe slightly, is the reaction he was able to get from the audience both in the arena and from the viewers watching at home. This is probably why, despite a 8 to 9 year gap between when I first started watching wrestling and when I resumed, his one of the names I remember the most from my first years as a wrestling fan.
Kent: Every wrestling fan has certain people that helped keep their attention or draw them in. For me, in 1989, while the Hulkster was running wild, the Ultimate Warrior was starting to get as much shine in the audience’s eyes as Hulk. Vince knew that in order to get Warrior over, he’d have to work with the best of the best. SO he feuded with a good chunk of the Heenan family, and when I started, it was with Ravishing Rick Rude. As you all know, I hold Rick Rude in extremely high regard as one of the 10 greatest heels ever, probably higher. Rick and Bobby got the Warrior over and helped get Big Bossman (my other favorite wrestler at the time) over as a face while feuding with the Heenan Family as well. At the time, I didn’t get it, I just knew that I hated everything that Bobby touched and I wanted him to get his ass handed to him.
Moving forward, I’d see Bobby move to commentary, and his stuff along with Gorilla Monsoon and Vince was probably the best commentary of my wrestling life. Jim Ross with Heyman and Gorilla with Ventura are also up there. Bobby simply made you laugh, and a lot of it was cheesy, but it was effective. The height of this had to be the 1992 Royal Rumble, right here in Albany, NY!!! While I saw it live, I did eventually rent the VHS, and my goodness, Heenan was so ridiculous in regards to Ric Flair. “It’s not fair to Flair” has been one of my go to lines for so long now. Unfortunately, for the WWE, Bobby would go to WCW and he killed it over there on commentary. Would the NWO angle have felt as real or well done if Bobby wasn’t on commentary? Hell no! He never receives the credit that he deserves in making that angle so successful, but he was very instrumental in it. He also was influential in getting Goldberg over, which was hugely important for WCW, I didn’t even touch on the Prime Time Wrestling stuff, which I missed a lot of, but the highlights are absolutely remarkable. I hope the WWE puts together a 2-3 hour highlight clip. It would be deserved. I’m very pissed that WWE didn’t do a 10 bell salute. He’s probably one of the 50 most important people in wrestling history, and I am probably underselling that. We need more managers in WWE. When the Paul’s (Heyman and Ellering) leave, what will we be left with?
- Was it smart to add Bayley to the Women’s championship match on Sunday? Also, Paige is back at the WWE Performance Center. Which show should she be placed on and should she be a heel or a face upon return?
Russ: I hate the fact that Bayley was added to this match! It wasn’t needed. In a day and age where WWE has many performers miss a PPV or two, why couldn’t they just keep her off TV until next monday? Adding her made everything that preceded it obsolete. Emma and Nia had to earn their spot, but Bayley walks in and BOOM! She is now apart of the match. Truly Asinine. They have totally screwed Emma on this. She was left off of RAW last night which is dumb right before a PPV she is involved in. Now I have read rumors that Emma won’t be the one to eat the pin on Sunday, but I just don’t believe that. I mean she is the forgotten, so why wouldn’t she be the one to be pinned. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t even get into the match. As for Paige: I don’t care what show she ends up on, unless they want to get her involved with Xavier then I say Smackdown! She should definitely be a heel though.
Keri: I’m going to follow up the question about Bayley with a question. A simple question. Why? This return and it’a timing makes literally no sense. They could have waited. As for her being added to the match, I’m not surprised by it just annoyed with it. The only way I will not be annoyed is if Alexa retains and then cuts a promo the next night in how she is better than everyone on the roster and no one can touch her. Then cue Asuka. You know similar to Paige’s debut on the main roster with AJ Lee minus the title change because I don’t think Asuka is cleared yet. Speaking of Paige, I would like to see her go to Smackdown as a heel, tweener, or face. It doesn’t matter to me really. I just know that show and it’s division needs help.
Kent: 5 way? What? RAW showed me Alexa, Nia, Sasha, and Bayley. That’s only 4. Ohhhhh, Emma is apparently part of the match too. I can’t wait to see her eat the pin and go back to the shadows. I’m truly sick of this shit. Oh and Asuka is coming, so Emma will return to job to her. Smart use of somebody that talented….and hot. Well, on the plus side, Paige is coming back. Put her on Smackdown. Asuka should have gone to SD and Paige to RAW. Huge missed opportunity for Paige to work with a bunch of fresh match ups. Good thing that WWE continues to overvalue Charlotte and not push her. WAIT a fucking second. Jennifer Lopez is getting a spot on WWE for being Hispanic???? The fuck? And we can’t give Heenan a 10 bell salute? Oh, and the first commercial is about how women eat, and they are strong. Fuck this politically correct fucking country. I now demand to see commercials about what racially diverse lesbians eat, and you know that I am being lewd about that, but let’s have it. What about what gay black men eat? What about half Puerto Rican, half Indian transgender people eat? I gots ta know. Come on Special K, up your game!
- Do you find it odd that Gallows and Anderson are not in the tag team championship match at No Mercy?
Russ: With all the build up with G & A over the past few weeks it does seem a bit odd that they aren’t in the match at No Mercy. It feels like they are trying to build a feud for the aftermath of No Mercy, which I am completely fine with. I think G & A will have a match at No Mercy with the Hardly’s and it may even be a #1 contender’s match.
Keri: It is very very odd. They are included in the storyline each week but they are not added to the PPV match. It sounds like someone dropped the ball here to me.
Kent: I don’t really see the sense in all of this build up, where I feel like G & A have been the most over of the 3 teams, and to get nothing. I wouldn’t be opposed to getting a G & A vs Hardlys or even Ginger Rhynos or Miztourage.
- Who has the least amount of momentum: Bray Wyatt, Finn Balor, Goldust, Apollo Crews, Miz, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, or Jason Jordan? Be as mean as you can be and only select from these people. Dana is not an acceptable answer…..or wrestler.
Russ: Well first of all you need to have momentum in order to have the least. That eliminates Apollo, Bo and Curtis. Goldust is enhancement talent so momentum means nothing to him. Jason Jordan is at fault for his own lack of true momentum, because let’s face it WWE is trying to give him momentum and it is sort of working. Bray and Finn, I’ll be honest, I like the direction this feud is going. That leaves The Miz. Raw has completely wasted him as a talent. This week he even came out and said how he has been wasted as a talent. He is the IC Champion, yet they barely have him defend it. He didn’t even defend it at SummerSlam! While they have been hinting at a Jordan feud for the past several weeks, they didn’t even set up the match until the last possible second for No Mercy. What a joke! I feel sorry for The Miz.
Keri: There is only one answer here and it is Finn and his abs. (Kent: There’s the Keri we all know!) And before anyone says anything I have not jumped back to Team Finn and I’m still very much on team Braun. (Kent: My bad.) But in all seriousness, when was the last time he was on TV? He had a match with Jordan a couple of weeks ago and did a run in during whatever that was last week with Bray and Goldust. But outside of that when was the last time you saw them properly use Finn. They have ruined him and for that they should be shamed repeatedly.
Kent: First of all, did you see Elias jump to the top rope? That’s my boy!!! As for this question, what a dearth of momentum. Yeah, when was the last time you saw the word dearth appear in a wrestling blog? I’m going to eliminate all of the Miztourage easily. Apollo and Goldust aren’t the answer by default due to never having much momentum, so it’s not like they have been downgraded. That leaves Jason Jordan, Finn and Bray. Jason would be a funny answer, but not accurate. Finn wasn’t at Mania, has been left off of PPV’s, lost the week before PPV’s, had to bring back his gimmick to get some momentum after getting an acidic blood bath. That makes it seem like a sure thing. Of course, then there’s Bray. He was involved in the hottest storyline of the first quarter of the year and won his first championship. Then Luke got the boot, and then weird images showed up on the mat during Mania. From there, bray went to RAW, got buried, got involved and then uninvolved in various storylines that went nowhere, including against Seth. He has since been involved with Finn in which he beat Finn cleanly, burned him with acid, and then lost. Since Summerslam, he’s wiped the paint off of Goldust’s face and……well that’s it pretty much. When you go from being the world champ at Mania to wiping off Goldust’s face paint, that is going to be the answer.
- Overall, which match has been built up better: Brock vs Braun or Roman vs Cena? Also, in hindsight, should WWE have pulled the trigger and had Brock lose to Joe in July or to Joe, Braun, or Roman in August?
Russ: Brock vs Braun has definitely been built up better. Cena vs Roman has had some great promos, but I just feel the lack of physicality between the two hurt it. On the other hand Braun has just been gold! Every time he comes out it feels like he ups the ante for a match that already has the “richest” prize on Raw. I’m looking forward to both matches this Sunday, but when Braun loses, I’m going to be pissed! As for the hindsight piece of business. If Braun wins then I’ll say that WWE did the right thing in waiting, because this would feel big and deserved.
Keri: It’s really a toss up because both match ups have had an exciting build up. I have to give Brock vs Braun the slight edge though. The build up for this match has made want to see if they pull the trigger on Braun. They almost have to at this point. They have to capitalize on the build. And honestly, who better to get the former next big thing rub than the next big thing. Ask me a year ago if I saw Braun as champ and I would say yes but he won’t be a good one. My stance has changed. He is ready, WWE. As for Roman and Cena, it’s the same old stuff we here for every Cena feud. I’m not excited and I’m still rooting for that small meteor to hit the ring.
Kent: I have been wavering back and forth on this. I took a lot of factors into this. Longevity favors Brock vs Braun. Most screen time with each other since Summerslam favors Cena and Roman. Promos seemingly favor Cena and Roman. The better match is probably Cena/Roman but the Brock/Braun is more likely to be exciting and memorable. On top of that, potential outcomes don’t help because best outcome is Braun winning, worst is Brock, while the Cena/Roman one doesn’t move the needle in a direction either way. So I am left to go back and analyze promos and face to face meetings. Technically Cena and Roman have a great past from the Shield days, but they failed to really capitalize on that. Furthermore, we got the same old “Shoot” promos on Cena, and he did his Cena stuff. Just because you mention shovels and Alex Riley, it doesn’t make it feel any more real. Neither guy is ever going to elicit an ounce of sympathy for me while in character, while in real life, I am definitely on Roman’s side of this. They had that really good promo with Miz, but Miz isn’t part of it, so it doesn’t really count. On the other hand, Paul has been doing the same old shit, and yet I eat it up, still I can’t praise it after bashing the other’s for doing the same old shit. There is one big difference, and this is the only reason I am going this way. Brock and Braun got into it physically and it felt good. Roman and Cena haven’t. Game, set, match, Brock and Braun. Yeah, Joe should have won the belt in July. I’m sticking with that belief. Joe was hot and they could have built up to a Joe vs Braun feud that could have been amazing.
- 205 has been doing well since Summerslam with Enzo going there and Jack Gallagher turning heel. If WWE replaced the first hour of RAW with 205, would you watch 205 more frequently than you do now, and would it be beneficial to WWE?
Russ: While things seem to be finally moving in the right direction for 205, I cannot say that I would watch 205 more than I already do. First, I would like to say that I would welcome Raw’s first hour being strictly 205. I love many of the wrestlers on the show and I feel like they deserve to get a chance on free TV. However, I don’t think it would increase my viewing of 205 Live! Simply put I just don’t have enough time to do everything. Yes, I know 205 is on the network and I can view it anytime I wish, but after Monday and Tuesday evenings of wrestling and almost every other Sunday being a PPV I find myself wrestled out. There are a lot of TV shows that I want to see and very limited time. So 205, much like Lucha Underground, gets the shaft.
Keri: The WWE has made progress in changing how 205 live is perceived by fans. Am I excited about the division? Not really but I wasn’t to begin with so I guess nothing has really changed for me. However, I am intrigued about this Gulak storyline and his campaign to end high flying. Why is nobody talking about this? From what I understand, its pretty interesting TV. Anyways, would I watch 205 live more if it was the first hour of RAW? Probably because it is the first hour of RAW and my TV would be on anyways. With that said, since it’s on my TV that means it is on other TVs which means that WWE is increasing viewership on the division which I feel would be a good thing for WWE.
Kent: To answer the first part, yes, I would watch 205 more frequently, pretty much every week. I have reserved this time frame every week into my routine, so I would just enjoy 205. This would be huge for 205 and I think that I would actually like this. Then I think about how WWE would run RAW, and I realize that rather than them spreading talent around and giving guys week’s off and continue to provide us with quality match ups, they would revert to short matches and angles in order to fit everybody on every week. As bad as RAW has been since the brand split, they have been doing better when they give us 2-4 solid matches a week and made RAW way more fun to watch. As good as 205 can be, the good to great matches that RAW can provide us that go 15-20 minutes is far more tantalizing to me as a fan. If they take the chains off of the 205 roster and allow them to actually work their style, then I would have to really reconsider things. In a perfect world, RAW would just rotate guys better and give us solid matches while giving 205 it’s own hour.
- Randy Orton has been involved with a lot of younger or newer talent this year with Bray, Luke, Jinder, Aiden, Rusev, and Shinsuke and put all of them over at least once (I’m not 100% on Luke). Is this a good role for him?
Russ: This is a great role for him. I don’t need to see Randy as champion anymore. Whenever he is champion it feels like his matches are lacking and I find myself bored. I’ve never been a huge Randy fan, I just don’t like his style, but having him work with the younger talent is great! He has the pedigree (or is that HHH) (Kent: Or is that Seth?) that makes him a legit top guy. So when he is facing the younger talent and he puts them almost always over it makes the younger talent seem more legitimate. I never thought Randy would be the type of guy who would develop the younger talent, but he has proved me wrong and it’s a great spot for him. Side Note: I missed Rusev getting his win back this week and judging by some of the gif’s I’ve seen I’m kind of disappointed by missing it.
Keri: Randy has been around long enough and has had enough success where if you are a younger guy and he puts you over it means something. And I mean let’s be honest, Randy at this point in his career really has done it all. Why shouldn’t he give back to the younger talent that is going to carry the company years after he has retired? Especially since he seems willing and almost eager in some instances to do it. A certain individual could learn a lot from what Randy is doing right now. I won’t mention who because frankly I can’t see him and probably neither can you.
Kent: Let me tackle the negative or middle ground first. The Bray match failed at Mania, and by and large the build up to Mania once Luke was taken away. I do not blame Randy as I feel that he legitimately loved working with them and Bray may never have gotten the championship if Randy wasn’t willing to do the program.Still, that was one of the 5 worst Mania title matches ever due to the awful gimmickry. The other bad thing, and I type this as he is on my screen and they are walking past 2 very attractive ladies, well the brunette was at the very least. Yummm. Anyway, as we are quickly learning, you can diet, you can sculpt your body, but just like Chris Masters can attest, you may not deserve the push that you are being given. Wow, this promo is fucking awful. Anyway, I don’t believe Orton had a chance in hell in getting Jinder over, and you could see the energy slowly dissipate as the feud went on. With that being said, with Randy away from Jinder, I’m starting to see Randy appear like he’s enjoying his time again.I am guessing that him and Jericho have talked at length and Randy bought in. I like this Randy, a lot. After Rusev, give him Baron and Mike Kanellis (if he is still employed by then).
- Is Smackdown doing a good job with a great, a young guy, and a buried wolf in the AJ, Tye, and Baron storyline?
Russ: I really like this storyline. Sure at first Corbin was getting buried and that sucked, but he took his lumps like a man and is now turning that negative into a positive. Adding Tye into the mix has given the story a much needed twist. Instead of Bad guy vs. Good Guy, as per usual, they have turned this into deserving up and comer vs. Jerk up and comer vs. amazing veteran. The three guys have a pretty good dynamic and I am looking forward to how they resolve this in the end.
Keri: This is quite frankly the best storyline on Smackdown right now. Nothing really comes close. The Shinsuke-Jinder thing is a joke and I don’t care at all about the Owens vs. the McMahons even though that has had a decent build. This storyline is really what we should be getting and it is helping to build younger talent. Half a gold star for Smackdown creative for this storyline. Now fix the rest of the show so I can give the other half.
Kent: Corbin feels violated. He is such a good petulant child. I love that Tye has maintained his role in this and isn’t looking out of place. He has so much potential and talent, he does need to add something to his repertoire, but he can be a lead guy in the midcard division. AJ is still AJ. Something that I would love to see is the WWE go back to how AJ was scouting Baron last fall and winter. It would help add to this feud. Tye needs a big night moving forward, like have a big time upset victory over a Jinder, just so he has that “anything can happen” vibe.
- The Hype Bros lost to New Day. They had a segment backstage where Mojo suggested that things need to change. What kind of changes should we expect?
Russ: Ok bare with me on this. So The Hype Bros. lose and Mojo goes crazy. He beats the crap out of Ryder. The next week Ryder comes out and asks Mojo to the ring. Mojo comes out and Ryder tells him he forgives him for last week and wants to work together still. Mojo again goes wild on Ryder. This will of course lead to a feud between the two. For several PPV’s they have back and forth matches but neither getting a decisive win. Finally, right before Mania Ryder calls out is Hype Bros. Again, he tells him that he wants to work with Mojo as a tag team and that they could be the best of all time. Mojo says that he wants to be rid of Ryder once and for all so they will have a decisive battle at Mania. Finally, at Mania they have an incredible match where Ryder gets a decisive win. He puts his hand out for Mojo to shake. Mojo thinks about it and shakes the hand. The Crowd goes wild, because they know now: This was how Ryder finally got his Mojo back! (Kent: I sat here blinking my eyes after reading that one. It went places.)
Keri: They will go the Enzo and Cass route. They will break up, talk trash about each other, and have some lackluster matches against each other where one of them will end up in a shark tank. Seriously, you think with the current product that Smackdown creative is putting out that it will be something good. Oh you did. Well that is unfortunate.
Kent: Hopefully they join up with Dolph and start doing some crazy fun group activities. No, not like Paige.
- Was this one of the 3 worst Smackdowns of the year? You can also talk about the women’s match if you prefer.
Russ: The show was on my TV, but I barely knew what was going on. It was a very promo heavy show. The few matches we did get were kind of boring, with exception to the Main Event. So I can’t say if it was actually one of the worst or not, but I can say that I don’t feel like I missed anything spectacular.
Keri: In the words of our Smackdown GM, Yes! Yes! Yes! it was one of the worst if not the worst Smackdown of the year. It just seemed like Creative said let’s throw something against the wall and see if something sticks. Well guess what? Nothing stuck to the wall. In fact, the big new story from the last two nights is the live crowd attendance and how low it was on both nights. I think people are finally starting to voice their displeasure with the product. If this continues, will things change? Who knows. With that said, the women’s match was decent with a predictable ending.
Kent: Yeah, I would rank it only behind the night of the unthinkable burial. This night didn’t offer much of any progress or anything interesting. The most interesting stuff involved the AJ, Barn (Russ: Is Barn a new wrestler? Is he the personification of Bray Wyatt’s barn that was burned down by Randy and is now looking for vengeance?) , Tye angle, the Hype Bros, and possibly Rusev getting a win back. When those are the only highlights of your show, that is a fucking terrible show. Add to that the terrible Jinder promo, the terrible Natty and the terrible one’s promo, the bland main event, actually every match was relatively bland. Like, it was just a really bad night all around. (Kent: To answer Russ’ question, he is partially correct. He forgot about Bray’s secret uncle, and father of his sister, Abigail. Yup, Arn Anderson because he does a lot of things. Just ask Breezedango……where are those guys? You see, Breezedango was pissed at Bray for not accepting them into the Wyatt family, so they hired Randy to burn down the barn and pay for any legal fees because, in case you forgot, Tyler used to be a runway model and Fandango was a world renowned dancer, so they got money. After seeing what happened to his daughter, Arn beheaded Tully the horse. I don’t know why WWE failed to elaborate on this whole ordeal,)
- Rate RAW
Russ: No Brock and Cena kind of hurt this week. I understand why Cena wasn’t there, but there is no excuse not to have Brock on. It was ok, nothing really stuck out in my mind from this week. I liked what Braun did with Enzo and the Six Pack Challenge was decent, albeit with a predictable ending. Rating: 4.5
Keri: And we are back to mediocre RAWs. How did I miss them? Seriously, that was your go home show for No Mercy, WWE? Wow just wow. Rating: 3
Kent: Let me just say that despite writing this first, it sucks when you get down to me and somebody has basically written the same damn first line, making what I wrote seem redundant. With that, here’s my original response. Well no Brock or Cena there live really helped the build up for what looked like an adequate card on Sunday. Great job WWE! You get a 3.4 this week.
- Rate Smackdown
Russ: It was on my screen, that’s all I can really say about this week. Rating: 2
Keri: I want the hour and half I watched Smackdown back and I want it back now. That was beyond awful. Rating: 1
Kent: 2.1 as I truly felt that it was a really bad Smackdown. I mentally checked out the second half of the show. Seriously, I rated it the highest. No love for the AJ stuff, with Tye and Barn?
Russ: If I reversed the roles of Ryder and Mojo from Question 8. It would be How Mojo got his Ryder Back and that sounds much more like a porno than an actual Wrestling feud.
Keri: WWE is seriously starting to make me question why I am a fan and why I pay attention to the product. I think it is time to end this abusive relationship.
Kent: It’s getting to October, and I am wondering how badly I want to watch five episodes of RAW, five episodes of Smackdown, and two PPV’s. That’s over 30 hours, and it feels incredibly thankless.
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