Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - WWE RAW Hulu Review, Bellas/Divas Thoughts, and more
By Mr. Tito
Sep 9, 2015 - 12:06:03 AM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING, as I bring to you a RAW is HULU review. Some of you are asking, "what the hell is this?" with the condensed RAW reviews from the Hulu streaming service. And my response is "why not?". With Hulu's convenience of watching a shorter show when I want, I'm paying closer attention to RAW than I was under the painful 3 hour RAW at 8 to 11pm. Very difficult to watch hours 1 and 2 with kiddos around...

And no, Hulu is NOT paying me to do this... Come on... What would they have to gain by me reviewing a show? Being honest about Hulu here... So far, I don't think it's cost effective to own BOTH Hulu and Cable Television. One or the other, in my opinion. You're paying for a lot of content twice if you own both.

Let's review what was DELETED from Monday Night RAW for the Hulu show:

- Oh no, Sasha Banks vs. Paige was CUT from the Hulu show. Noooooooooo! I need my weekly Boss fix!

- Also, Cesaro vs. Miz was NOT on the Hulu show. I'm OK with that, especially with the Miz/Big Show feud still continuing.


Show starts off with the New Day treating their World Tag Titles like "hot potatoes" and they suggest that fans aren't ready for the 90 minute presentation on Hulu. How about that for an exclusive, eh USA Network viewers?

I'm fascinated by the Divas Revolution members, notably Charlotte and Sasha Banks, now in the RAW intro.

To open RAW in the area, Seth Rollins comes to the ring for the opening 20 minute promo. Rollins describes himself as "special" and brags about being the first to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase at Wrestlemania. Rollins further brags about finally taking down Brock Lesnar and then defeating John Cena. Good job, along with the 2 titles, but what has that given you this Summer? RAW viewership is down... And now, more complaining about the statue as we transition into Rollins talking down Sting. "BORING, BORING, BORING" chants start which is exactly what you want out of your WWE Champion. Now, Rollins complains about also defending his US Title at WWE Night of Champions. After hyping that he'll defeat 2 "first ballot hall of famers", Seth Rollins will get his statue back... Oh good God, who is writing this crap? Worse yet, Rollins has a completely uninspiring delivery to even sell it...

Sting appears on the Titantron and apparently, he has the Seth Rollins statue. Funny thing is that the WWE actually paid money to have this Seth Rollins statue made with both WWE and US Titles on it. Someone bring that up at a Shareholder meeting, please... After Sting dusts off the statue and promises to take "good care" of the statue, Sheamus comes down and threatens his Rollins with his Money in the Bank briefcase. Instant "YOU LOOK STUPID" chants break out and even Seth Rollins embraces the chant in his promo against Sheamus. Even so much to call him "Ronald McDonald with a bad haircut". More great scripted lines. Sheamus threatens to cash in his briefcase at Night of Champions and that gets zero pops from the fans. Yep, they know... This is your MAIN EVENT scene for the future, folks... Not looking good for the WWE.

Backstage, Seth Rollins continues to show weakness by running to Stephanie McMahon and wants to talk to Triple H. HHH asks "you don't think Stephanie can handle this situation". More focus on the statue by Rollins and HHH advises Rollins to focus on his 2 matches at Night of Champions. HHH said he'll compete TWICE to prepare for it. And don't worry about Sheamus as he gets to wrestle Randy Orton for the 48285787274582th time. Seth Rollins gets to wrestle the Intercontinental Champion Ryback and then participate in a 6 man tag match with New Day against Prime Time Players/John Cena. Yep, we're getting Triple H vs. Seth Rollins sometime soon...

Ascension is in the ring and I'm baffled because I didn't know they were still on the WWE roster. Their opponents are Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns. I do like Ambrose and Reigns as friends again. They actually need each other for the moment and it would be a great opportunity to add a brand new guy as their 3rd member of the "new" Shield to continually fight with the Wyatts. Reigns just needs lots of in-ring time as a midcarder to keep building him up into what the WWE wants him to be. Roman has a real lack of in-ring psychology and how to transition between moves. He has some nice trademark moves (Superman Punch, Powerbomb, and Spear), but he needs to complete himself as a wrestler. LOVED seeing the Doomsday Device as a tag team finisher. Perfectly acceptable for them to use it regularly and I hope they continue... After the match, the Wyatts interrupt and taunt Ambrose/Reigns.

After just a 30 second commercial on Hulu (not 2-3 minutes worth fo commercials like USA Network), we're back in the ring and we have Ryback vs. Seth Rollins. All 3 male singles titles are involved with this match, although I'm guessing this match is non-title. Remember when promotions used to tell you, ahead of time, whether the title was on the line or not? They even used to have a graphic, I believe... Match was OK... Problem I always see with Ryback is no psychology and an inability to use psychology against him. He's pushed and wrestles like an unstoppable wrestler so thus weardown or moves working on body parts just don't make sense against him. Because of that, aside from the "Feed Me More" chants, there's just not much to cheer about... That, and his heel turn following Wrestlemania 29 was quite damaging. To further damage Seth Rollins as WWE Champion, he tries to win by countout because he's unable to defeat Ryback. That's BAD psychology. During the match, Sting interrupts on the Titantron with Seth's statue and it's enough of a distraction for Ryback to score the victory on Seth Rollins.

FINGER OF SHAME to the WWE for jobbing out their WWE Champion, Seth Rollins, to their Intercontinental Champion, Ryback. I don't care if Sting distracted him or not. It's GARBAGE and it just serves to weaken an already weak WWE Champion further. This kind of crap makes me want to STOP WATCHING right now. Complete garbage!

Backstage New Day tries to pump up Seth Rollins and the trombone is back. Great stuff! Then, Edge & Christian appear (they were on Steve Austin's podcast later). Edge is still pissed about the angle where Seth Rollins had his foot on Edge's neck to force John Cena to agree to bringing back the Authority. Edge stares Rollins down and challenges him but of course, the WWE Champion shows more weakness by running away. Some music hilarity between New Day and Edge/Christian. Then, the Dudleys appear an announce that New Day vs. Prime Time Players will occur next week and the winner of that match (and Tag Champions) will face the Dudleys at WWE Night of Champions. Wait, what?!? A RAW match announced 1 week in advance? Holy cow, hell has froze over!

And we get a recap of Lana, Dolph Ziggler, and Summer Rae's love triangle or whatever it may be... Summer Rae is in the ring and says she owes someone an apology. Not Dolph Ziggler, but Rusev of course... Summer suggests that Rusev gave her the courage to get her body in great shape (indeed). She said that she couldn't resist Dolph's tight muscles and that she "betrayed" Rusev. Rusev, however, accepts Summer's apology almost instantly and blames Ziggler. "Fed you all of these American lies". LOL. Rusev then describes why Lana isn't here and it's not because of a broken wrist but due to a broken heart! Ziggler had enough of the lies and eventually goes on the attack. I would be more into this feud if I knew that it would greatly benefit Ziggler or Rusev long-term. However, we all know that it's just a vehicle for the ladies.

Backstage, Randy Orton is talking with Ambrose and Reigns... Oh no, please don't let him be the 3rd man!

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus is up next... Paint by the numbers between these two. They've wrestled so many times now... Oddly enough, I'm hearing good pops for Randy Orton as a babyface or maybe my surround sound is just that damn good. Problem is with Randy Orton, you've already given him 10+ title reigns... What else can you do with this guy? He's hitting that Undertaker level where he's been with the WWE so long that he'll get pops in the live arena but just won't add viewers on television. Randy Orton wins via RKO. After the match, the Wyatt Family instantly appears and attacks Randy Orton. I guess that answers who the 3rd man will be at Night of Champions. The new Wyatt character is being pushed as if he's unstoppable which is funny because WWE has a roster full of wrestlers like that.

Dudleys vs. Los Matadors was over before I knew it... Quick work and that could end the Matadors tag team... After the match, they were upset about the smaller guy's involvement and they kicked hiim out of the ring. Dudleys make the save and we get a Pitbull (remember them from ECW?) Style powerbomb through the table on one of the Matadors.

Team Bella comes out to the ring, microphones in hands... Celebration next week is coming as Nikki Bella will break AJ Lee's record, "Bellabration" as Nikki put it. However, PCB and they are upset about not getting invited to the party. Charlotte cuts a good promo on how she went the Authority to grant her title shot early. WAIT, WHAT?!? Is that TWO matches being announced in advance for next week's RAW?!? I might have to take back the "Finger of Shame" dealt out earlier. By the way, I really like Charlotte's dance mix version of her dad's theme song. In fact, all 4 members of the NXT Horsewomen have excellent entrance themes.

MAIN EVENT was Seth Rollins/New Day vs. John Cena/Prime Time Players. Oddly enough, John Cena was the "face in peril" if you can believe that. Xavier Woods is hilarious on the outside. The guy has a great personality for the business. HOT TAG to Titus O'Neil and the Prime Time Players clean house. Titus, however, gets slammed with a Belly to Belly... John Cena forgets that he was worked on earlier in the match and jumps to the apron. HOT TAG and John Cena becomes SUPER CENA to obliterate the New Day and Seth Rollins. Kofi tried a bodypress on Cena but Cena was able to roll it into an Attitude Adjustment... How does the bodypress not hurt you? Lack of psychology... After the match, Cena joins Prime Time Players for a dance. Seth Rollins in the ring and pissed at losing 2 matches tonight.

Sting appears on the Titantron, once again, with the Seth Rollins statue. Apparently, Sting has been backstage the entire time and standing in front of a garbage truck. And taking a page out of the Vince Russo Attitude Era playbook, guess what? The statue gets destroyed...

LAST WORD: BLAH edition of RAW this week although I'm happy for a few reasons... (1) Much of Night of Champions has been booked and (2) we actually have TWO RAW matches booked for next week. I love continuity... But what I don't love is seeing Seth Rollins struggle as WWE Champion and main eventer. He's struggling badly and complaining about statues non-stop is tiring. Seth is just not proving to be a unique heel and that is showing in the viewership numbers. C grade for this show.



#1 - In hindsight, should Roman Reigns have won the WWE Title?

Nope... Just look at him after Wrestlemania 31 and once he had a shot against Seth Rollins. He's just another midcarder. He doesn't quite look as exceptional without favorable booking by the Creative Team. They gave Reigns multiple title shots during 2014 and then the Royal Rumble title shot just after he returned from injury. Oh, and he won the 2014 Superstar of the Year from the Slammy Awards. Can't forget that.

I maintain that Seth Rollins was the RIGHT pick or they should have let Brock Lesnar retain. Rollins was a solid heel who proved himself at Royal Rumble 2015 with an amazing match with Lesnar/Cena. He also has multiple great matches during 2014 after he broke up with the Shield. The problem is that the Creative Team has neutered him as a heel and took all of the edge that he once had. Banning the Curb Stomp finisher was a BIG mistake.

Reigns is just not ready to be the top guy. He needs more in-ring work while also figuring how how to connect his personality to the fans. He's so dependent on that Shield gimmick, even retaining the music, whereas Seth and Dean have moved on. It can come with time but you just can't force it.


#2 - Which is/was your favorite columnist of all time?

Without a question, Davey Boy who used to write the great "Wrestling Menu". That guy was just so damn good as a writer and wrestling mind. He had some good wit to his writing style that you just can't teach. He's the best that we've had and I personally miss him. During my boycott period between June 2007 through late 2009, I cut wrestling off cold turkey and that included anything online. I missed Davey Boy's exit from LoP and didn't get to say goodbye. I miss him and hope that he's doing well. I'd love to see a comeback by him.

If anyone reading this knows Davey Boy, tell him that I wish him the very best...


#3 - What is with Bret Hart and his sour attitude towards certain wrestlers?

The question was probably referring to how Bret suggested that Hulk Hogan's racist comments had a lesser impact because Roddy Piper took the headlines away from his passing. I think it's a matter of a few things... For one, Montreal 1997 still stings for Bret Hart. Ditto for the concussion stuff from Starrcade 1999. Bret never got to finish his career on his terms and that greatly bothers him. But I also think that it's ego... Just listen to Bret's YouShoot interview on how he rates himself as an in-ring performer, promo, and charisma/personality. All high marks and he has the nerve to rate guys like Ric Flair much lower than him in certain characters. I'm quite certain that he actually believes that he's the best there is, was, and ever will be.

But the facts state otherwise. Bret was WWE Champion during an era where business was shrinking considerably. Was it all his fault, especially between 1992-1994? Hogan's shoes were hard to fill but the WWE began its downward slide during 1990 and Hogan's impact also begin to diminish. Bret may have sustained business but draw in more business, I don't think so. Between 1992-1997, WWE's business was on a downward slide with Bret on top. Then, the WWE risks losing Bret during late 1997 and business then grew with him out of the way.

I especially thought his comments about Triple H vs. the Undertaker were off-base. Those were good matches at Wrestlemania based on the way the live crowd was fully invested. I haven't seen that kind of reaction for many Bret Hart matches to be honest.


Question #4 - Do you think that John Laurinaitis marrying the Bellas' mom will further protect Nikki/Brie Bella on the WWE roster?

You do realize that John stepped down as EVP of Talent Relations during mid-2012, right? He still has employment with the WWE in some capacity but he's hardly a voice influencing the current product. Triple H took all of his executive authority.

Nikki Bella is strong because of Total Divas, period, combined with her willingness to change up her look to fit what Vince McMahon wants Divas to look like. Total Divas draws 1,000,000 viewers per week on the E! Network which isn't exactly known for its ratings... She, along with Brie Bella, came back to the WWE to star on that show. As long as that show retains moderate success, Nikki and Brie Bella will continue to be protected on the WWE roster. Nikki will receive the greater push because she's improved the most as the Bella sister both in looks and on in-ring ability. Some suggest that dating John Cena helps but nothing shows that Cena is playing politics backstage with his girlfriend. I think that the recent news leak of Cena protecting Nikki Bella is just someone bitter backstage starting stuff. Happens all the time...

By the way, the Bella mom is quite stunning for her age. Good job Johnny Ace!


Question #5 - Which of the NXT Divas (or Divas Revolution) do you think will make it big in the WWE?

Two of them in particular, Charlotte and Sasha Banks. Charlotte has multiple things going for her. Obviously, she's the daughter of Ric Flair. That's a HUGE PLUS for her but I would strongly argue that she earned her spot. She's exceptional. Her athleticism and size as a Diva is off the charts. Sasha, on the other hand, has the whole personality and charisma down perfectly. That's on top of Sasha's amazing in-ring ability to take great bumps and actually using psychology to wear down her opponents. As an added bonus, she already had a nickname to sell on merchandise with "the Boss". I also think that the WWE has major potential in Sasha Banks if and when the turn her babyface. She can't be a heel forever and I think having her as an exceptional African American superstar is a real plus. So talented and beautiful that it's hard to keep booing her.

I just don't know on Becky Lynch... AMAZING in-ring performer, but I don't know about the other intangibles needed to get over in front of a mainstream WWE audience. She has to figure out her look, too... If you watch NXT, her hair has changed and so has her tights. Consistency of character is needed to get over in the WWE. I don't know how Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn would assess Bayley. What the WWE has to realize is that they have an untapped younger female audience who WANT to cheer for inspiring wrestlers like Bayley. Her merchandise sells really well and many of WWE's current Divas were inspired to become wrestlers because of seeing Lita and/or Trish Stratus.

But I would say good money is on Sasha and Charlotte to be the stand-out wrestlers from the 4 Horsewomen.


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