WWE Raw: August 11, 2014 (the SummerSlam go-home)
August 14, 2014 6:06 AM - Season 22, Episode 32 - Subscribe

Brock Lesnar crashes Hulk Hogan's birthday, and Cena comes out for the staredown.

Per the Grantland Dictionary: Pro Wrestling Edition (as discussed right here on this very website), the "go home" show is "the modern term for the last TV episode before a pay-per-view event." With Smackdown firmly relegated to B-show status, the message of this week's Raw is the "Please buy SummerSlam," but with WWE Network subscriptions coming up for renewal, it's also the "Please buy the Network."
posted by Etrigan (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It wasn't like this in the 9.99ties.
posted by vbfg at 6:13 AM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I didn't see the main event segment, but other than the opening promo--nobody, absolutely nobody, works a crowd right now like Heyman--I thought the show was pretty lousy, and not a particularly good sell for the PPV / Network.

Maybe there was some good wrestling--Best and Worst suggests there might have been--but the Stephanie / Brie / physical therapist angle was so far beyond cringeworthy that it soured me on everything else I saw.

I'm still looking forward to the main event at Summerslam, and hoping we get a satisfying Ambrose / Rollins payoff, but everything else is either "don't care" or actively "don't want."
posted by uncleozzy at 8:36 AM on August 14, 2014

The Steph/Brie angle was so awful and I am so so so so so so mad about it. They took a hot match and turned it into hot garbage.

I want Ambrose for my birthday, pretty please?
posted by misskaz at 1:13 PM on August 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Steph/Brie angle was so awful and I am so so so so so so mad about it. They took a hot match and turned it into hot garbage.

100%. They had actually succeeded over the past few weeks in getting me a little bit interested in something with a Bella in it, but now I'm back to being pretty meh about it.

I kind of feel that way about the whole card actually. I feel like the matches will all be pretty good, but aside from the Lesnar/Cena, I don't actually care that much about any of them. Even Rollins/Ambrose, which was the hottest feud in the company a few weeks ago and the match I was most looking forward to at Battleground last month.

It just really doesn't feel like the 2nd biggest show of the year.
posted by sporkwort at 5:49 PM on August 15, 2014

Honestly, this is a PPV I would like to see, and am disappointed I won't, which isn't often the case anymore. I agree it doesn't feel like this should be the second biggest show of the year, but the card reads like it could have been a really terrific non-big-4 ppv. Having a McMahon on the card and returning Lesnar are about the only things that makes the card stand out from any other ppv.

I have been feeling like they want Cena to get a couple rapid fire title wins/losses so that he can pass Flair's number while Flair is still coherent enough to pass the torch. Given his recent live appearances I think the WWE has to be concerned that if they miss the chance to have Flair give his clear OK on it now then they will get a lot more (if that's possible) Cena hate when he passes Flair's record.
posted by jermsplan at 10:46 AM on August 17, 2014

SummerSlam was a weirdly predictable yet enjoyable PPV. The only "wild cards" of the night were the Divas title match and Ambrose-Rollins (though the end was inconsequential).

Ziggler as Icon champ is a good start. Hope it's the start of a real push.

Rusev-Swagger needs to end. Rusev needs to either make a legitimate upper card monster heel run or not.

Why was Goldust the one who confronted Kane? It just seemed weird that he was the Voice Of Fairness there.

Wyatt over Jericho, clean and violent. Fuck. Ing. Finally. we get a good Wyatt victory this year.

Nikki turns. I do not care. No one cares. No, really. Not one person gives a rat's ass that Nikki turned on Brie, and WWE, you cannot make anyone give a rat's ass about it. Stop trying.

I won't lie, seeing Cena get annihilated was pretty fun.
posted by Etrigan at 8:13 PM on August 17, 2014

Didn't see the ppv view, read the results but not really any description of how things happened.

That said, I thought this week's RAW was pretty strong. I wish the Bella/Steph thing would go away quietly (like the new Nation seems to have? Where have those three been?), but after that I enjoyed the show. They seem to make a habit of giving us non-PPV watchers a couple rematches from the previous night, but I never get the impression the rematches are as good. RAW's rematch between Ziggler and Miz was decent and leaves them wide open to keep that rivalry going. And the Rollins/Abrose fight was terrific. I'm also a sucker for learning what new and interesting tools/supplies go into building the WWE set every night. It never totally surprised me that folding chairs would be under the ring, left over from setting up fan seating. Tables seemed unlikely, but I guess you have to be ready for an impromptu contract signing. I never did understand why bags of thumbtacks or barbed-wire-wrapped 2x4s would be under the ring, but I assume that goes into some of the finer points of ring construction I'm not privy to. RAW, though, let me in on the little secret that all along the time keeper's table has just been a board resting on top of cinder blocks! Who knew? I used to have shelves like that in my dorm room. Good to see the WWE isn't too highfalutin to use some utilitarian furniture!
posted by jermsplan at 1:31 PM on August 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

And the Rollins/Abrose fight was terrific.

Per WON, "While Dean Ambrose may be developing a strong following on his own pretty quickly in WWE, officials do not see him as being ready for a main event spot yet."

Now, I'm not saying Dean is the guy to knock off Brock Lesnar at Night of Champions, but seriously? Not ready for a main event spot yet? Who else do they have right now? Roman Reigns is there, obviously, but who's next? Daniel Bryan's out, John Cena just got murdered on live television... Sheamus and Ziggler, maybe, but geez, it's bleak out there on the face side.
posted by Etrigan at 1:52 PM on August 21, 2014

There are not words to describe how terrible Raw was last night. If you haven't watched it yet, don't bother.
posted by misskaz at 2:12 PM on August 26, 2014

All I can think to say after this week's RAW is that I hope that when we get to the twin v twin Bella fight at some upcoming PPV, they wear identical ring outfits/hair/makeup, and the entire match is a clusterfuck of no one having any idea what is happening. Then when one of the Bellas stands victorious over the other, even Stephanie and HHH turn to each other and shrug, unsure if their Bella won or lost.

Also, I'm not a big Cena fan, but come on, crowd! Don't chant "you can't wrestle" at him after he tries a suplex! If you deride him for trying, he never will.
posted by jermsplan at 2:25 PM on August 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Then when one of the Bellas stands victorious over the other, even Stephanie and HHH turn to each other and shrug, unsure if their Bella won or lost.

The loser in any Bella-Bella match is "wrestling".
posted by Etrigan at 2:42 PM on August 26, 2014

Someone made a good comment on a Cageside Seats article that I really agreed with - basically, what a damn shame that they are using a really good, emotional, compelling women's storyline with (other than Steph) poor wrestlers and actors, and giving the ones with more talent on the mic and in the ring - AJ and Paige - a weird confusing feud with short matches and no billing.
posted by misskaz at 4:50 PM on August 26, 2014

Sadly, that's business-as-usual for Vince -- if someone is making it big outside of the WWE, they're going to get more ring time. Total Divas is big, so its stars have to get commensurate pushes. See also Batista's aborted title run from earlier this year and the Rock's constant main-event comebacks.

And in the case of the Bellas, being the significant others of the two biggest babyfaces on the roster probably doesn't hurt either.
posted by Etrigan at 6:30 PM on August 26, 2014

Almost-Embarrassing Wrestling-Related Story of the Week:

So I went to Oddball Festival last night, and the main-stage comics get intro music, and Ron Funchess came out to Stone Cold's music, and as soon as the glass broke, I was halfway out of my chair on pure reflex.
posted by Etrigan at 5:27 AM on August 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

That is so awesome, Etrigan. Would probably happen to me too.
posted by misskaz at 2:49 PM on August 30, 2014

Things I'm enjoying right now: Slater Gator, GoldStarDust, MizDow, the Tag Team #1 Contender tournament on NXT.

Things I'm not enjoying: the ongoing Bella thing, Cena promising to do better against Lesnar next time because he's really going to try harder this time.

Generally I think I'm just so over all of the WWE personalities who are "Look how serious I am! This is serious business!" I don't need everyone to be a joke, but they could at least act like they know they are professional wrestlers, and not professional actors.
posted by jermsplan at 2:36 PM on September 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't need everyone to be a joke, but they could at least act like they know they are professional wrestlers, and not professional actors.

I agree, but will point out for the record that Stardust is the one of them who admits to having taken professional acting lessons.
posted by Etrigan at 2:49 PM on September 4, 2014

New RAW post here!
posted by kimberussell at 4:19 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

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