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WWE NETWORK REVIEW: RAW TALK
OCTOBER 26, 2020
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Charly Caruso, R-Truth
This week’s guests: Elias,
– Charlie introduced the show and co-host R Truth. After some back and forth banter and coming up with their internet name “Chartruth,” R-Truth did his 24/7 title shtick. They briefly discussed Randy Orton, his 14th title reign, his run in with The Fiend, and show ending fight with Drew McIntyre. As with Talking Smack, they show a split screen of that night’s Raw to accentuate the points they are talking about. As this is my first review of Raw Talk, let me note that this show comes on five minutes after the end of Raw and as such is “live?” but also has the virtual crowd in their little digital screen boxes and WWE continues to pump in the “enhanced” (in other words, fake) crowd noise.
– After this recap, Charly introduced their first guest, Elias, making sure to announce that his new album, song, set of songs, whatever, was the number one “soundtrack” on iTunes. I love the fact that they add in “soundtrack” in that a soundtrack is usually associated with a movie, play, or TV show, hence Elias’s release is being considered a “soundtrack” for WWE. Whatever let WWE have their little promotional moment for what it is worth, I will say that last Monday when Elias performed his song, I thought he did pretty well, so kudos to him. Checking this morning on Tuesday (10/26/20) Elias is now ranked #2 behind “Frozen 2” on the “Soundtrack” chart for iTunes.
– Moving on. R-Truth asked if Elias could help his cousin, Pretty Ricky, move up the charts. They kept up this inane conversation for a little bit before moving onto actual wrestling, discussing Elias’ match with Keith Lee and Jeff Hardy’s interference which gave Elias a DQ win. Rather than commenting mostly on the Keith Lee, Elias spent the time ripping on Hardy, obviously building up an Elias vs. Jeff Hardy feud moving on. He did manage to mention his album about every other sentence and ended the segment talking about how to access Elias’ album. Ugh!
– Thankfully, they finally moved on to the next guest(s), Mandy Rose, and Dana Brooke. Since this is WWE, the first comments about them referred to their looks, but to their credit, Mandy and Dana quickly brought it back to their strength and ability (undefeated so far on Raw). Both commented on how Lana can be a good addition on the team, but her and Nia Jax need to get on the same page as do Nia and Shayna Baszler. Bottom line, if they are going to win at Survivor Series, they must do it as a team. Good point.
– To his credit, R-Truth brought up the fact that he really wonders how many times Nia is going to put Lana through a table. Confession time, I get a chuckle out of this whole angle, Lana deserves better treatment and I hope her contact is up soon so she can escape this abuse.
– Charly moved the conversation to whether Mandy and Dana as a tag team who want to go after the tag team titles, can work with Nia and Shayna. Brooke was pretty eloquent is stating how the Survivor Series team-up is in the short term and they can put their tag team goals on hold for a bit, but when Survivor Series is over, they are coming for those tag team belts. A good way to foreshadow some possible dissention leading up to Survivor Series, but also where the Tag Team division may be going after that. Good segment.
– Next up it is Sheamus. The man comes off on screen as a big dude. As was somewhat of the focus of this show, Sheamus quickly started talking about being on the Survivor Series Raw team and that he would be the sole survivor. Very understated and calm, almost a little be to much so, but good. He got in a couple of digs (approved or not) on “the powers that be” who moved him off of Smackdown so he would have a real shot at the Intercontinental title (the one title he has not won). He harped on when (not if) he wins the IC Title he will be the first ever ultimate Grand Slam Champion; it will be announced from every speaker and intercom in the WWE. Sheamus really sold this and I hope that eventually they let him get it.
– Sheamus finished up his segment talking about how it is the battle, the war, that is important to him. He will win eventually. Charly took the opportunity to push the Survivor Series again by stating that Sheamus will have another battle at Survivor Series and then talked the show off the air.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A tidy 21 minutes plus, the show moved quickly and was an easy watch. Charly is good and her and Kayla over on Talking Smack do a really good job of wrangling these shows considering the “big” personalities they have to deal with. I am a huge fan of R Truth as a performer, but he just does not fit here. His shtick just comes off as dumb and repetitive when he is supposed to be interacting with the other people on the set. He should be asking real questions, not doing his act. It is the same way I feel about The Miz doing these kinds of spots. They should be setting up the wrestler to get over, not getting themselves over with their act. Sigh, just not the way WWE does things, I guess. But I can hope for better.
– As for the segments: The Elias segment was just stupid and transparent and did more to build up Elias as an entertainment act and his album than focus on his feud with Jeff Hardy. Totally skipable. Mandy and Dana were actually pretty good and, despite the scripting to cast them as blonde bombshells, they came across as serious wrestlers who have talent and goals in this environment. Sheamus spoke low and was subdued, but he was intense in his desire to build his legacy and ultimately get his hands on the IC title and complete his grand slam. You go, Sheamus, I am rooting for you.
As I noted, this show was a good quick watch and worth the time, if you want to save a few minutes, after this intro fast-forward through the Elias segment and just go on from the Mandy and Dana segment till the end.
Well, that is it for now, see you all next week. Until then, take care and stay safe.