12/17 WWE Raw Results: Keller’s report on Vince McMahon shaking things up, TLC fallout, Balor vs. Ziggler

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor



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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
DECEMBER 17, 2018
SACRAMENTO, CALIF.
AIRED ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young


Tonight after WWE Raw, join me live with guest cohost Jonny FairPlay to break down the show with live callers, mailbag, and an on-site correspondent from Sacramento, Calif.

STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 2 or 3 MINUTES AFTER RAW
•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com
•IF YOU DON’T LISTEN LIVE, SEARCH “WADE KELLER” ON YOUR PODCAST APP TO SUBSCRIBE AND THEN DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE FULL SHOW AN HOUR OR SO AFTER RAW


[HOUR ONE]

-Cole introduced the show. Then Mr. McMahon’s music played. Cole said he’s there to “shake things up.” Vince stood on the stage with his arms extended soaking up his crowd reaction. He did the swagger to the ring. Graves predicted McMahon would appoint Baron Corbin the permanent G.M. of Raw. Renee said no way.

Vince stood center-ring. He told the fans he doesn’t want to hear any boos. Fans booed. He rolled his eyes. He said everybody wants to know what’s been going on with Raw, and he’s been asking that question himself lately. He said Raw has been on the air for over 25 years. “That’s extraordinary,” he said. He said one of the reasons they succeed is they change with the times, and when times change, they change with them. He said despite one man’s brilliance and creativity and vision, he can’t do it all by himself anymore. “I can do it without you guys, though,” he said, in reference to some booing fans he was giving a hard time. Then he pointed at the stage and out walked Stephanie McMahon. Cole said she is the commissioner of Raw and might have a lot to talk to her father about. Vince told fans to be nice to her when she entered the ring.

Then Triple H made his ring entrance. Cole excitedly said he’s the COO of WWE and “the brainchild behind the upstart brand NXT” and the husband of Stephanie McMahon and a 14-time World Champion. Hunter entered the ring and greeted his wife and his father-in-law with a hug. And finally Shane McMahon came out to his music. “Aww, snap,” said Renee. Graves said Shane is a bit of a wildcard and the black sheep of the family. Renee said maybe that’s what’s needed.

Stephanie said they’re out there because they haven’t been doing a good job for them lately. “We haven’t been doing the one thing that my father has always taught us to do, which is listen to our audience. We’ve let middle management air their petty grievances, we’ve suffocated our Superstars. And all of that is going to change, and that starts tonight.” Cheers. She said they’re off to a fresh start.

Triple H said the days of absentee management are over. He said as of now, the four of them are taking back Monday Night Raw. Shane said that goes for Smackdown Live as well. Shane said all four of them are personally responsible for making sure they have the best possible experience. Stephanie said they’re going to empower their Superstars and all of them, meaning the fans. Triple H said they’re going to give the fans what they want. “Something new, something fresh. In the coming weeks and months, you’ll be seeing new faces, new Superstars, new match-ups. As of now, you are the authority.” Cheers. Vince said as long as they give them less of what don’t want and more of what they do, then WWE will always be then, now, and forever. His voice gave out at the end and his music played.

As Mr. McMahon’s music played, Baron Corbin’s music played. Baron said nobody is more excited for a fresh start than he is. Stephanie told Corbin the fans are saying “booo really loud.” He said he’s so excited that the entire McMahon family will be running Monday Night Raw. He said they haven’t mentioned the word “fair” yet and what happened last night wasn’t fair. He said he wanted a simple conversation. Cole said, “This ought to be good.” They suddenly broke to a commercial. [c]

(Keller’s Analysis: That breakaway was sudden and awkward 11 minutes into the show. They’re trying to sneak an ad break in when people will be hooked, but it was jarring.)

They came back live and Cole said Corbin was trying to address the WWE Universe. Graves demanded respect for Corbin. He said they booed him during the entire commercial break. Triple H said if they keep doing that, it’s hard for him to speak, but it was done under the guise of telling fans “keeping booing him, it’s fun seeing him get frustrated.” Stephanie said her father is older now and hard of hearing, so be louder. More boos. Stephanie snickered a little. Corbin said that was very funny. Every time he tried to talk, more boos. Vince had enough and told Corbin he has a mic and the fans don’t, so just talk.

Corbin said he has been trying to motivate the Superstars and he can’t help it if they can’t live up to the challenge. He said at TLC, Braun Strowman wasn’t supposed to be there and he wasn’t prepared for him nor all the people he brought with him. He asked fans if that was fair. They cheered and chanted “Yes!” Triple H said Corbin is predictable and he’s sure he’s asking them to reinstate him as G.M. and make it permanent. Corbin said that’s exactly right. “Imagine what we can accomplish with you guys backing me!” he said. The McMahons conferenced. Stephanie said no. Shane said it’s no from him. Vince said there might be a way. They conferenced again. Triple H said Vince is a genius and maybe he’s right. “Maybe we’re wrong, maybe they’re (fans) wrong, maybe you deserve a chance to be named permanent G.M. of Monday Night Raw,” he said. Corbin said all he needs is a chance. Hunter suggested they give Corbin another chance. He said he can be G.M. if be can beat this man. Out walked Kurt Angle.

Angle walked out to “You suck!” chants. Fans cheered loudly. Angle was ready to wrestle in his singlet. Graves said Angle was on vacation and looks rested. The McMahon clan walked out of the ring. Stephanie said there was another detail, a special guest referee. And out came Heath Slater.

(1) KURT ANGLE vs. BARON CORBIN – Corbin’s G.M. Job on the Line

Angle punched away at Corbin at the start. Then he whipped him into the corner and delivered a suplex. Corbin bailed out. They cut to another break. [c]

Back from the break with Corbin in control, Triple H walked onto the stage and said he forgot to mention it’s a handicapped match. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable came out to “Glorious.” They were joined by Apollo Crews. Graves asked on what planet this is okay. Corbin met them on the stage. They beat him up at ringside three-on-one. Angle delivered three German suplexes. Gable tagged in officially. He delivered a German. Corbin took that one and Angle’s last one hard on his shoulder for some reason. Roode tagged in and took shots at Corbin. Then Crews tagged in and kicked Corbin to the mat. The four attacked Corbin at the same time as Slater turned his back to fix the turnbuckle for a long time for a long time. Shane walked out and said he was so pumped up “here in Sacramento” that the match is no-DQ. More cheers. The wrestlers brought chairs into the ring and then Slater stomped on Baron. Graves asked in what occupation do you get beat up with chairs because you’re not good at your job. Fans chanted, “We Want Tables!” They lifted Corbin then Angle delivered an Angle Slam and then scored a three count. Fans popped and chanted “You suck!” to his song.

WINNER: Angle & Co. in 10:00 to knock Corbin out of the G.M. spot.

-After the match, the wrestlers brought a table into the ring. Cole said fans were asking for tables and, as Mr. McMahon said, they are now listening to the fans. They set up a table. Angle gave Corbin an Angle Slam through the table. He stood and smiled. “This is finally what the people wanted!” said Renee. Graves said he feels bad for Corbin.

-Cole hyped that Ronda Rousey would be out there live to talk about happened at TLC. Renee said new IC Champ Dean Ambrose will be out later. Graves plugged Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler.

-A commercial aired for “WWE Week” on USA Network with Smackdown on Tuesday, a New Day Pancake Powered Year-End Spectacular year-in-review show on Wednesday, Tribute to the Troops on Thursday, and a “Miz & Ms.” marathon on Friday.

(Keller’s Analysis: So that took 32 minutes and we saw the McMahon family gather to blame Corbin for what in reality are all of Vince McMahon’s bad decisions. It was a lot of talk and promises. Nothing yet has been delivered. No specifics. If they have ideas, this was not a confidence booster. It felt like a stalling tactic until they really figure things out or a way to say they’re changing things but they aren’t. Vince didn’t exude confidence there, either. Everything they said about Corbin was actually a reflection on the real-life decisions Vince has made while thinking he was promoting a good product. The erosion of fans in recent weeks has probably been stunning and demoralizing to him, but this segment didn’t give any concrete reason for anyone to feel he has an idea of what needs to change because everything is exactly the same so far.) [c]

-They showed John Cena getting awarded the Sports Illustrated “Muhammad Ali Legacy Award” for athletes who embody sportsmanship, leadership, and philanthropy.

(2) FINN BALOR vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER

After Balor’s ring entrance, they replayed the incident between Ziggler and Balor last night at TLC that set this up. Ziggler then made his ring entrance. After an early Ziggler side headlock, Balor made a comeback and dropkicked him out of the ring. [c]

(Keller’s Analysis: So they are still doing mid-match commercial breaks. That’s not different.)

The announcers talked about Balor maybe suffering a hamstring injury in the match. Cole said there are a lot of questions yet to be answered, such as whether the McMahons will be there every week. Ziggler came back with a DDT and scored a two count. Later Ziggler knocked Balor off balance on the top rope and then hit a Zig Zag for a near fall. Cole said this has been a great match-up between Ziggler and Balor. Drew McIntyre ran out. Ziggler kneed him off the ring apron. Drew caught him when he leaped at him. Ziggler punched him and then Balor flip dove onto Drew. Ziggler threw Balor immediately into the ring and hit the Fameasser for a believable near fall. Ziggler set up a superkick, but Balor ducked. Drew entered and attacked Balor and threw him out of the ring. Then he headbutted Ziggler. Drew mounted Ziggler and punched away, then delivered a Claymore Kick. At ringside, Drew gave Balor a Claymore Kick, too. Cole said there is a method to Drew’s madness.

WINNER: No contest in 10:00.

-They showed Dean Ambrose backstage putting the IC Title over his shoulder and heading toward the ring. [c]

-Dean came out as the air raid sirens blared. He was accompanied by guys in gas masks. Graves asked Renee if there was a big celebration last night. She said there was and she wouldn’t share any details. Dean said the more things change, the more they stay the same. He said they should show him more respect. Boos. He called them disgusting vermin who should be standing up on their hooves and bowing down to him right now. He said everything he said would happen at TLC did happen last night.

[HOUR TWO]

He said Seth spun out of control and dropped the ball in the fourth quarter at the buzzer. He said he choked and failed himself “and all of you people.” He said he doesn’t need their respect because he has the IC Title. He held the belt in the air. He said he has taken what is most important to Seth but he’s not stopping until he has nothing left. He called Seth to the ring so he could tell him face to face that he was right all along. After a pause, Dean said Seth’s reputation is on the line, so he better come out. When Seth didn’t come out, he said he’d take a page out of Seth’s book and issue an open challenge, All too suddenly to be the least bit credible, Tyler Breeze’s music played and he walked out.

(Keller’s Analysis: That’s one of those little things that WWE should clean up. It just feels so phony that he answered an impromptu challenge instantly like that without any explanation.)

(3) DEAN AMBROSE vs. TYLER BREEZE – Intercontinental Title match

Cole noted that Breeze wowed the WWE Universe on NXT TV last week with an incredible North American Title match against Ricochet. He said he wants to shock the world and knock off Dean tonight. Graves said fans are used to his eccentric tactics, but he’s not just a character, he can take care of business. Graves said he knows they are shaking things up on Raw and this could be Breeze’s night. Breeze got in a flurry of offense early including a dropkick and then a clothesline sending Dean to the floor. They cut to a break. [c]

[A local commercial aired for a March 2 WWE “Road to WrestleMania” event in Minneapolis, Minn. at Target Center with Daniel Bryan vs. A.J. Styles for the WWE Title, Charlotte vs. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch, plus Randy Orton and New Day.]

Back live, Dean had Breeze on the mat. They showed that during the break Dean clotheslined Breeze at ringside. Renee said she’s happy they already have a fighting champion in Dean. Cole talked briefly about the fans being empowered and Triple H saying the fans are now the Authority. He wondered if there would be a G.M. or if it would be the McMahon family now. Cole said Seth was extremely upset after his loss at TLC, realizing he played into Ambrose’s game. Breeze attempted a comeback with a step-up enzuigiri. He then took Dean over with a huracanrana. He sent Dean shoulder-first into the ringpost and then rolled him up for a near fall. He then hit a Beauty Shot and climbed to the top rope. He hit a flying crossbody press for a near fall. He hit a super kick for another near fall. Renee said Dean is getting more than he expected from this open challenge and from Tyler. Fans chanted, “Let’s Go Tyler!” Dean countered a backslide attempt and hit a sudden Dirty Deeds for the three count. Cole called Breeze “a game Tyler Breeze,” the timeless term for a “mid-carder or jobber who put up a spirited effort in losing.”

WINNER: Ambrose in 8:00.

-Dean said that is a performance of an IC Champ with integrity, which is more than Seth can say. Then Seth’s music played. Dean looked around. A member of his SWAT team super kicked Dean and unmasked to reveal it was Seth. He mounted Dean and punched away at him. The other SWAT team members attacked Seth, but he easily threw them out of the ring. Seth then superkicked the last guy. Dean had retreated to the stage. Cole said some would say Dean was cowardly because he begged for him to come out, but then ran away. Renee said Dean was attacked brutally from behind.

-Backstage Shane smiled and looked at Charlie Caruso. She asked what a fresh start means. Shane said there will be lots and lots of fresh faces and opportunity is coming to a lot of people who have been left out. He said there will be tough decisions made. Drake Maverick interrupted and introduced himself and the Authors of Pain. He told Shane they had their titles stolen from them last week. He asked for Shane to give them their mandatory rematch they have coming. Shane said that mandatory rematch thing is antiquated. He said G.M. Baron Corbin basically handed them the belts in the first place, but he’d give them an opportunity in the mean time. Drake got mouthy with Shane and then corrected himself. Shane said he would give them a match against B-Team, Lucha House Party, and The Revival in a Fatal Four-way match-up. He said the winner gets a future opportunity at the WWE Raw Tag Team Titles. They weren’t happy at first, but then Drake kissed up to Shane and said it was great.

-The screen showed six wrestlers’ faces including Lars Sullivan, Lacey Evans, EC3, Nikki Cross, and Heavy Machinery… Cole said they’d introduce fans to the future and fresh faces. [c]

-They showed a Tribute to the Troops ad showing clips of comedian Jon Stewart, country music artist Morgan Wallen, Kurt Angle, Seth Rollins Ronda Rousey, Bobby Lashley, Triple H, A.J. Styles, Finn Balor, and Alexa Bliss. They went to the announcers on camera. Cole said it is “honestly” his favorite show of the year. Graves threw to a video package on Lars Sullivan. Then Lacey Evans. Then Heavy Machinery (Tucker Knight & Otiz Dozovic). Then Nikki Cross. And finally EC3.

(Keller’s Analysis: It’s been a long winding journey for EC3. He was always going to be a better fit for the main roster than NXT and I think he has a chance to be a top tier player. I hope they get his character right and make him a heel first and for a long time before messing around or making it ambiguous. Heavy Machinery are a blast, but they have to find the right balance between their over-the-top antics and presenting them as a serious threat to the tag team division’s best.)

-They went to a wide shot of the ring where Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley sat. Lio gloated about Lashley breaking a guitar across Elias’s back. He said nobody came to the arena to see Elias play another boring song, but they came to Raw to witness a true performance and a true work of art. He said Lashley would deliver. Lio then talked up Lashley’s poses. (This is Vince McMahon’s favorite part of the show, I’m sure.) Lio took a dig at the Sacramento Kings. (Cheap heat.) They closed with Lashley bending over and pointing at his glutes. Renee asked how many times they have to see Lashley’s butt like that because it’s weird. “We get it, your glutes look great, but…” she said. Elias then hit him from behind with a guitar. Renee: “Someone had to stop that weird showcase of his butt.”

(Keller’s Analysis: I don’t think Vince McMahon knows what it is about Raw that has been turning off viewers lately.)

-Backstage Lucha House Party were acting like New Day. [c]

-A Sami Zayn video aired. He said he spent his career pleasing people and it brought him to mediocrity, and the screen said he returns soon. Graves said he can’t wait until he returns.

(4) AOP (w/Drake Maverick) vs. LUCHA HOUSE PARTY vs. B-TEAM vs. THE REVIVAL – Winner Gets WWE Raw Tag Team Title match

Graves said Lince Dorado’s mom gave him his mask at birth so she didn’t have to look at him anymore. Cole said he has to call Jerry Lawler for fresh material. Cole brought up the death of Larry “The Axe” Hennig and said Curtis Axel would like to win for him. They cut to a break after a LHP splash on Revival. [c]

Cole noted the rematch clause has been thrown out by the McMahons and this match is a result of that. In the end, Revival hit Shatter Machine on Dallas then Dash scored the three count.

WINNERS: The Revival to earn a WWE Raw Tag Team Title match

-Caruso interviewed Seth. He said last night was a disaster. “Personally, professionally everything went wrong,” he said. He said he let Dean get in his head. He said he heard the crowd, too, and everything they said. He said he has to own that and move forward. He said this isn’t just about his performance, it’s his life and this is what he loves and everything that he has dedicated everything to. He said it’s gone off the rails, but he’ll right the ship. He said that starts with him ending Dean Ambrose. Corbin walked into the picture. Seth asked if he can help him. Corbin said everyone thought he was doing a good job as G.M. until he spoke up and turned the locker room against him. He said he’s the reason the McMahons are back in charge. He said if half the locker room hadn’t just attacked him, he’d take his IC Title. Then he chuckled and said Dean already did that. Seth punched him.

-The announcers threw to a replay of the opening segment. Cole called it an iconic moment. He said, as promised, they shook things up. [c]

-Rousey made her ring entrance. The announcers talked about what Rousey did at TLC, not just retaining her championship, but also interfering in the Smackdown Title match. The announcers were agnostic about the interference.

Rousey stood in the ring with her Raw Title belt. Rousey said she told Nia Jax she could kiss her right hand goodbye. She said she told Charlotte she’d write the next chapter of their story. And she said she told Becky Lynch that she is the last woman on Earth she should provoke. “Becky!” chants broke out. Rousey held it together. She said she didn’t come there to defend her actions, but rather define what a real champion is.

[HOUR THREE]

Rousey said a real champion is something more than a title someone puts in your hands or a winner of a match or a decision of a referee. She said those are symptoms of a champion, but a real champion represents the limit of human potential, the best of the best, physically and mentally and morally. She said that’s why she is there tonight, to be the best that the human race has to offer who lives for a challenge. Mixed reaction. Another “Becky!” chant. She suggested a new tradition where the champion shows up every week in whatever condition they are in and defends the title. She issued an open challenge. “So who wants a shot at the champ?” she said. Cole asked who wants a shot at Ronda. After a few seconds, they cut backstage to all of the women yelling that they want a shot. Stephanie then shrieked “enough!” and told them to follow her. They walked out onto the stage behind Stephanie. Stephanie towered over all of them and said all of those women want a championship match against her and they’re all deserving of one. (Huh?) Stephanie said she’s not playing favorites anymore, so they all get a chance. She announced an eight-woman gauntlet match and the winner will face Rousey.

(Keller’s Analysis: All of the women yelling like that was unbecoming, undignified, obnoxious, and needlessly over-the-top. It just feels like amateur hour. “Hey, everyone, yell at the top of your lungs!” Can you imagine any other professional athletes in any circumstance acting like that?)

(5) BAYLEY vs. ALICIA FOX

Renee repeated the ridiculous statement Stephanie said, which is that all of the women are deserving of a title shot. Bayley avoided a scissors kick and then hit a belly-to-back suplex. Fox rolled to ringside. They cut to a break. [c]

Bayley sold a knee injury. Fox gave her a running boot and made the cover. Bayley, though, leveraged Fox’s shoulders down for a three count.

(5b) BAYLEY vs. DANA BROOKE

Dana landed a handspring elbow for a two count. She mounted Bayley and punched away at her. Bayley continued to be unable to put weight on her knee. (Hey, like Seth last night when he was selling his knee injury, Bayley should execute a running buckle bomb, then go back to selling her knee!) Dana slapped Bayley to antagonize her. Bayley responded with a surprise Bayley-to-Belly suplex for the win.

WINNER: Bayley. [c]

-A vignette aired advertising the return of Kevin Owens soon.

(5c) BAYLEY vs. MICKIE JAMES

This match was joined in progress after the break. The showed Rousey watching on a monitor backstage. Bayley eventually tried to climb to the top rope, but her knee gave out. Graves said it must feel like she’s running through mud this deep into the match. Bayley managed to get a crossbody on Mickie, but her leg gave out. She ran at Mickie with a knee and connected in the corner. Back to the top rope, she landed a flying elbow, but Mickie grabbed the bottom rope to save herself. Mickie kicked Bayley’s knee and then gave her a DDT for the win. Mickie seemed concerned Bayley took a bad bump on the DDT the way she reacted before the cover and then talking to Bayley right after.

WINNER: Mickie.

(5d) MICKIE JAMES vs. EMBER MOON

Mickie dropkicked Moon as soon as she arrived in the ring. They cut to a break a couple minutes later. [c]

Moon was on offense after the break. They showed Rousey watching backstage again. In the end, Moon landed an Eclipse to win.

WINNER: Moon.

(5e) EMBER MOON vs. NATALYA

After a few minutes of action, Natalya landed a discus clothesline for a near fall. Natalya followed up with a sharpshooter mid-ring, but Moon slapped Natalya before it was locked on and then scored a two count with an inside cradle. Natalya then rolled up Moon seconds later for the three count.

-The Riott Squad walked out next. [c]

(5f) NATALYA vs. RUBY RIOTT (w/Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan)

After several minutes of action, Riott leaped off the second rope with a back elbow drop, but Natalya moved. Natalya then rolled her up for a leverage three count.

WINNER: Natalya.

(5g) SASHA BANKS vs. NATALYA

Graves said Sasha waited it out and everyone did all the work and now gets the best spot. Renee said that’s not how it worked, this was Sasha’s spot. Cole said Graves was right, though, that she has an advantage. Graves said she was probably lobbying for this prime spot. (How about they just explain it was a random draw?) Natalya eventually applied the Sharpshooter mid-ring. Sasha struggled to the bottom rope twice. On the second time, she leveraged Natalya hard backwards neck-first into the bottom turnbuckle. Yikes. They were both slow to get up. Sasha applied a half Boston crab mid-ring. Natalya almost reached the bottom rope, but then Banks applied the Bank Statement. Natalya leveraged Banks down for a two count, but then Banks re-applied the Bank Statement. Natalya stood and delivered a nasty released German suplex. Both were slow to get up again. Banks delivered a double knee off the ropes for a near fall. Natalya eventually applied another Sharpshooter mid-ring. Banks tapped out. Cole said Natalya “has a date with Ronda Rousey.” (That sounds like a bad Raw skit in the making.)

WINNER: Natalya to earn a Raw Title match next week against Rousey.

-Rousey strutted out with her title as Natalya had her back turned and was checking Sasha. Natalya began celebrating as Rousey entered the ring. Rousey smiled and lifted Natalya’s arms in the air. Graves said Ronda is just sizing up Natalya so she knows how to best break her arm next week. Rousey offered a handshake. Natalya paused, stared at Ronda to assess her, and then shook her hand. It turned into a hug. Renee said there is deep mutual respect between them. Natalya’s music played as they left together.

Cole hyped the Christmas Eve edition of Raw with Balor vs. Drew vs. Ziggler in addition to Rousey vs. Natalya. Plus, Lashley vs. Elias, Seth vs. Corbin, and Paul Heyman will “celebrate the holidays.”


Tonight after WWE Raw, join me live with guest cohost Jonny FairPlay to break down the show with live callers, mailbag, and an on-site correspondent from Sacramento, Calif.

STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 2 or 3 MINUTES AFTER RAW
•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com
•IF YOU DON’T LISTEN LIVE, SEARCH “WADE KELLER” ON YOUR PODCAST APP TO SUBSCRIBE AND THEN DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE FULL SHOW AN HOUR OR SO AFTER RAW


7 Comments on 12/17 WWE Raw Results: Keller’s report on Vince McMahon shaking things up, TLC fallout, Balor vs. Ziggler

  1. Really not much of a shake up. Is Vince really this tone deaf? Does he really not get it? Or is he just giving us what Vince wants and hoping the fans continue to eat it as they walk away in droves?

  2. So what did we learn tonight… Vince is shrinking, not getting smaller but actually shrinking and easily the line of the century from Steph about Vince listening to the fans. LOL. I’m not impressed with the call ups, 2 fat guys will be fodder for New Day and Usos within a month, Crosses character is useless as is Lacey’s and both can wrestle… just let them wrestle. But they sure aren’t Sasha and Charlotte. Lars? Yeah he’s a monster until he goes head to chest with Braun or Kane. EC3? I liked the original version MVP better. Gauntlet was interesting, quite the push for Nattie [GOOD!], I wonder if she’s getting ready to retire and become an NXT trainer?

  3. Three things that are killing Raw and their entire product right now:
    1.) WAAAAAAAY too big a push of the women’s wrestling product.
    2.) Writers that know NOTHING WHATSOEVER about professional wrestling/”sports entertainment” trying to write COMEDY instead of what people want to see.
    3.) An older Vince McMahon that has COMPLETELY, TOTALLY lost touch with his audience, and has put his daughter — who WAS NEVER IN TOUCH WITH THE AUDIENCE — in charge.

    Did I mention there’s overkill on pushing the women’s product? They have something special in Lynch, and Charlotte and Asuka have drawing power. Alexa Bliss, ditto. Even Sasha Banks to a degree. But there is way too much focus on the women’s division right now, way too much, and it’s hurting their overall product.

    Everyone can say I’m sexist; I’m not. I think I’m speaking for a ton of wrestling fans that feel the same way I do. I don’t mind a women’s title match, even some of what they’ve been doing has been good. But it’s overkill. It feels like it’s almost a Stephanie McMahon cramming-it-down-our-throats thing.

    I don’t want my wrestling PC. I’ve been a fan for 33 years and I am about done. Never thought I would say it. And don’t tell me “well, bye,” or “OK, bye,” because there are a million people out here just like me. WWE is catering to the casual fan and it’s going to ultimately lead to the sale of the company. WWE under the Disney banner, without a McMahon in site? Not sure, but this current product is HORRIBLE.

    • I can relate to what you are saying. I have been a wrestling fan for about as long as you have. I am a casual fan of WWE now due to it’s product being so horrible. I do watch Impact, New Japan, ROH, MLW and a few other organizations, so I still enjoy wrestling, I just haven’t enjoyed WWE’s product in a long time. They seem very out of touch with what fans want. Their recent money grab actions are actually disgusting to me.

  4. Vince says he wants change. Here are a few real changes that really would improve his product that I think about everyone could agree with.
    1.) No more commercial breaks during matches. At the most, just the split screen, like on “Smackdown,” where you can still see what’s happening even with the commercial to the right. Make a point of telling the audience “We will not go to full commercial break during a match any longer.” That’s something not even the old NWA/ JCP shows could do. It would give the matches more importance, and put more focus on the actual product.

    2.) Find a new face of the broadcast team. Graves isn’t bad at all, but only one show a week, please. Michael Cole needs to be replaced. Fair or not, he is the face (no pun intended) of the low-ratings era of their product, and an actual new front man is needed. I love JR, but they don’t need to go back to him, either. That would look like another attempt at bringing in a part-timer until things were better. Mario? Not sure.

    3.) Keep the best of the women’s division but lose the crap. I don’t want to see people fighting over broken sunglasses, or who’s fat and who’s not, and all that crap.

    4.) They call it “sports entertainment.” Ok, then give us a sports feel. Re-incorporate the time limit. Make the titles mean something again, as they have in large part with the Intercontinental title.

    5.) Remember YOUR FANS! It is FINE to cater to the casual fan! The NFL does plenty of it! But remember your core fans and give them what they want, at least just PART of the time!

    6.) Make stars again. You didn’t see Hulk Hogan in his prime as second-fiddle to Bob Backlund on a Wrestlemania card, or Steve Austin in the next-to-last match, while “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Jake “The Snake” Roberts main-evented a pay-per-view. Slack back on the part-timers. That way, when HHH does wrestle, it at least has a special feel.

    I know it’s WWE, and we all have opinions. But this is common-sense stuff, just a few things off the top of my head.

    Sorry for the rant. Just can’t get into ROH or Impact, and tired of “wrestling” going in this direction.

    • I agree with most of your points. IT’s a shame you can’t get into actual wrestling shows though. ROH, Impact, New Japan all put on a superior product in my opinion.

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