Monday, September 26, 2022

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Raw Redux (August 11th, 2014): Upsets and Arrests

What up everyone? Welcome to another exciting edition of the Raw Redux. Being that my sleep schedule is still on a normal nighttime basis, I’m skipping the intro again this week to get right into our interesting night of Diva events!~

Out comes Stephanie McMahon from the back, strutting to the ring as we get a replay of last weeks contract signing between she and Brie Bella. She claims that her mission as a principal owner is to do whats best for the WWE Universe, which also includes info that could negatively impact an employee. But through it all, they must intervene. Ever since Daniel Bryan‘s injury, he has been trying to work as hard as possible on rehab as he can to make it back asap… and that includes being helped by an attractive, semi Brie looking therapist named Megan Miller.

With that, Stephanie invites Megan into the ring and I’m getting concerned we’re about to enter Claire Lynch territory… or as I call it, Claireatory. Megan climbs into the ring and through a long process, confesses that her boyfriend dumped her and she has been having an affair with Daniel Bryan. Oh dear, it’s Claireatory 2014! And out storms Brie Bella to confront Megan Miller with a slap across the face. I do have to admit Stephanie’s taunting is hilarious, and here comes Brie with a spear! Ooh, now she’s got the Yes Lock applied until it’s broken up by Joey Mercury, Finlay and Jamie Noble. Steph then grabs the mic and says they’re not waiting until Summerslam… things will be finished tonight!

Brie Bella makes her way out to the ring as we get a recap of what happened earlier in the night, but out walks Stephanie McMahon with a microphone in hand. She claims that as much as she would’ve liked to beat Brie, it looks like they’ll be waiting until Summerslam… that is, if she makes it to the event after all. With that, Steph shows a replay of Brie’s slap to Megan and reveals that she smacked a civilian and Megan wants to press charges against Brie. Out comes Megan with a bunch of cops who then place Brie in handcuffs and need a cue card to read her the Miranda rights. Stephanie looks pleased with her work as Brie is hauled backstage, complete by amazing taunts by Stephanie. Steph then turns to the crowd and asks this to be a lesson that what goes around comes around and if Brie makes bail, she will see her at Summerslam.

Let’s Light It Up!~

AJ Lee skips out from the back as we ready for a Divas match against Eva Marie. First though, we see a replay of Paige shoving AJ off the stage on SmackDown two weeks ago followed by a kickass match graphic! The match then starts as the two lock up and exchange wristlocks for a while until Paige’s music hits! She skips out from the back and around the ring as Eva and AJ attempt to gain the upper hand against each other while Paige has a grand old time. Nonetheless, AJ’s attention gets distracted and EVA ROLLS AJ UP FOR THE WIN! The Internet has probably just broken itself, but Paige now has a microphone and tells AJ that she knew when she pushed her on SmackDown, she’d be mad… so she has a little apology!

Roses are Red
Woodchips are Beige
I’m sorry I pushed you
right off this stage

It’s not like I hate you
I like you a bunch
but you just have that face
that I wanna punch

I’ll see you this Sunday
but this part is vital
I’ll be skipping my way out of Summerslam
with MY Divas Title

Love ya!~

Paige skips to the back and AJ looks like she’s about to snap. Wait, why is Eva Marie holding her neck? She was literally just celebrating. But ooh, I’m over that as AJ is snapping! She slams Eva’s head into the announce table and tosses her into the ring apron before engaging in a beatdown and tossing her into the barricade. With that AJ skips around the ring after having her frustrations taken out and looks to be back to a normal state of mind.

And to see 5-10 seconds of our weekly Lana appearance, check out the following video:

The Good:

I hate saying it, but nothing really worked out ideally for me this week.

The Somewhat Good:

AJ vs Eva Marie – I’m mixed on this because I really really like Eva Marie, but pinning the Divas Champion the Monday before a pay per view title defense is iffy. I get Paige being a distraction but that still feels kind of extreme for a go-home show because now it feels like Eva should be getting a shot too. And Bayley did just beat Eva on NXT last Thursday so it’s like a step ladder now haha.

I do think it worked in the sense that Paige wanted to embarrass AJ so she cost her a match against the rookie who has way less experience than her, but the whole Paige/AJ thing is still confusing me as a whole because it feels like they keep jumping back and forth. Does Paige want to fake being friends with AJ? Or is she already turned? One week she’s acting nice and the next she’s saying she wants to punch her face then it’s some of both and it’s just really conflicting. I feel like if we take all the weeks of build up we’ve had and just rearrange them into a different order of segments, this feud looks a lot cooler. It’s like the work is there, just in the wrong order as we keep jumping around back and forth and I can’t keep up anymore. However, like something I’ll mention later, I am still extremely appreciative to see them getting actual mic time and different little scenarios to work off of every week. That goes a long way into making something that could feel like filler actually seem important, and no matter how jumbled I am from the segments, I still feel invested in their match at Summerslam because I’ve been given a reason to care. It’s not just Paige lost belt so Paige want belt back… there’s layers. They’re a little disoriented, but they’re there nonetheless.

And I also want to say Eva Marie did look more fluid in her movements this go around. I don’t know how she hurt her neck from celebrating after it was over lol, but despite that I felt this was the best she’s looked with the way she took a lot of AJ’s attacks and after match beatdowns. It’s small steps, but it’s steps so please no attacking me as if I’m saying she did a 450 flip trifecta asai moonsault or something haha. Girl is still new and all I ask is to see improvement, which I saw tonight even from how some of her more recent matches have come off.

The Not-So Good:

Brie/Stephanie – I really don’t know what to say about this. Personally, I have to be honest and say I didn’t like just about any of it, but I appreciate the fact that they did get a lot of airtime and segments to continue building to their match. Even then, it’s not enough for me to stick it in the middle section. I just… like, it kind of reminded me of that week during AJ and Kaitlyn‘s feud where things had been going so great and were heated… then we got AJ dressing up in a fat suit and showing photoshopped pictures. It didn’t fit at all with the seriousness Brie and Stephanie had been conveying. I don’t like the whole involving an affair into this because there was already SO much they had going for them in terms of build up that it just feels kind of tacked on and unneeded. Even then, I totally 100% get Stephanie using it as a part of a master plan to turn the tables on Brie… but what I don’t get is why Brie Bella would fall for this. It made her come off so poorly in my opinion because to be honest, Daniel Bryan as a cheater?… That’s about as believable as me saying I hated NXT Redemption, and the fact Brie was enraged by something like this which she just heard come from Stephanie of all people that she reacted with a slap to poor Megan’s face was a little strange.

The second segment also fell flat personally. I get where they were going with the idea, but Brie getting arrested felt like a low rent version of Stephanie’s to me, at least in execution. The crowd didn’t respond much, the cop was reading a cue card, and it seemed kind of rushed. It doesn’t help that a lot of our expectations were high heading into it, but that can partially be blamed on us I guess. What I will say is that I do appreciate the crowd being invested in their opening segment though, and the acting was strong as usual. But this was just not where I wanted to see the feud go at all. We have more put into this program than any women’s storyline in the past near decade. I’m perfectly insanely here for affair stories and all of that if it gets people who deserve more exposure some fun airtime, but just not in a feud that’s already been given such a high profile spot and already a lot of serious/main event level focus that even has casual fans looking forward to it. This was a little bit of a step down for me after such a phenomenal few weeks, but I’m in no way writing their feud off at all because Summerslam is just around the corner and I’m ready for them to own my life.

Speaking of Summerslam, I’ll obviously see where it leads before making a final judgment because I do find it interesting Stephanie threw in a “What goes around, comes around” line as that’s basically the known definition of karma. After tonight, however, my thoughts of a Kharma return have shrunk to about 15% from the 50-60-ish they were at last week. Fingers crossed these two can kill it at the pay per view though. The build up has still be very good as a whole so this feels like a make or break scenario. Make it ladies! Make it!

Lana – It wasn’t a Lana heavy week, and that makes me sad.

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