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WWE NETWORK REVIEW: RAW TALK
NOVEMBER 2, 2020
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Charly Caruso, R-Truth
This week’s guests: Braun Strowman, Peyton Royce & Lacey Evans, and Mustafa Ali (w/Retribution)
– Charlie introduced the show and co-host R Truth. R Truth had a neck brace on after his encounter with Bobby Lashley on Raw was upset that he had lost his “baby,” the 24/7 belt. Oh, how I wish they would kill that belt. Charlie spoke briefly about the end of Raw with Drew McIntyre beating Miz and Morrison and then being ambushed by Randy Orton and the RKO. The Fiend’s laughter came over the speakers and R-Truth and Charlie were concerned.
– Braun Strowman’s music played and he came out and R-Truth did his thing about Strowman being the monster among men and whether he had ever met any other monsters, like, Frankenstein, etc. Strowman discussed how awesome the Raw Survivor Series team is with all the big guys, himself, Keith Lee and Sheamus and how A.J. has no business being the captain when you consider how small he is compared to the rest of the team.
– Strowman stated that despite all the shenanigans at the end of the qualifying match, all he wants to do is win and everything else will get handled. Charlie asked him who he thought would be a good fifth member of the team and Strowman said, McIntyre. (Hmm, second person who has said that, foreshadowing or a red herring.) Interestingly in speaking about McIntyre, Strowman confused his finisher when he called the Claymore a Brough Kick, I guess he still had Sheamus on his mind.
– Quick note here, it seems Braun Strowman’s new thing is that “this is his job, he is out here to hurt people and to make money.” He must have said something like that 10 times during this interview and he has been saying it at every opportunity on Raw.
– Next up Peyton Royce and Lacey Evens, who continued to do their “we’re not friends and I am better than you” thing. After a little bit of that they started dumping on Lana and despite R Truth stating how Lana keeps coming back they totally discounted that. Interesting to note, and I noticed this on Raw tonight, that there are some subtle changes to Lacey’s character, she is still Southern and a lady, but she has some rougher edges and a slightly different tone. If this is fact happening, I am happy as the Southern Belle character was just stupid and had her going nowhere. We will see. They also spent a ton of the time saying that they are not tag team partners, which of course means that they will be a tag team as some point soon.
– Peyton dissed Charlie and then the two of them started going after each other again. With mostly Lacey reiterating that her and Peyton are not a team. Charlie asked them about the Raw women’s Survivor team and what they thought that Shayna Baszler had tweeted a picture of the team without Lana. This whole thing (including the tweet) was to bring up the Lana through the announce table thing. WWE is now leaning into this big time.
– I can see they are using this to build up a potential three-way match for Lana’s spot on the women’s team. This segment just started going on to long with Lacey and Peyton yammering on and on about each other, but right at the end after several back and forth insults, I think they cracked each other up because they both started laughing (but kind of out of character) and Charlie quickly ushered them off the set.
– Charlie brought out their last guest, Mustafa Ali. After he came out Ali, jumped on how Charlie pronounced this name. If you saw Raw last week, Ali pronounced his first name with some very specific emphasis on certain syllables and he made Charlie repeat his name until he was satisfied with the pronunciation. I guess this is how he shows he is a heel? I don’t know, this whole angle is so mixed up and damaged that it just doesn’t make any sense. It is so Vince.
– Charlie asked Ali about tonight and Retributions various attacks on both Ricochet and Tucker. He started spouting off about how Retribution is about justice and that the attack on Tucker was payback for him backstabbing Otis. He said that Retribution is the judge, jury and executioner and then he went off on WWE and the environment it creates. R Truth asked why they all wear “Bane” masks and if they were going to attack Batman. Ali got pissed that R Truth is telling jokes, that Ali and Retribution are serious and will change the culture at WWE. They will defend the downtrodden. Oh please, lets lay it on even thicker.
– Okay, you should probably watch to get the full effect, but Ali gave the reason he gave stupid names and masks to the members of Retribution. Ready? Okay, here it is. He did that so that they can know what it feels like to be judged by their name and their looks, just like someone who looks like Ali and has a name like Mustafa (with full emphasis). What!? I can just see the writers in the back room digging the whole deeper and begging for someone to lower them a ladder so they can get out. And Vince is just standing up there and laughing and saying, “This is such good shit.”
– Charlie asked if Ali could explain the names and R Truth, said, yeah, Flapjack, Slappy, Slapjack. Ali got upset at R Truth again and called out the rest of Retribution to come out to explain it to him. All four Retribution members came out and surrounded R Truth and intimidated him to the point where Ali thanked himself for coming on the show and thanked Retribution “for saving us.”
– With that Retribution left one by one, leaving Charlie and R-Truth on the set to say good night. R Truth looked scared and Charlie said she was terrified and told R Truth he had to be much more careful with what he says. Charlie, acting very shaken, ended the so and they signed off.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Okay, let me go backwards here. WWE has to kill Retribution. When an act can’t even clarify what their angle, purpose, shtick is on a talk show segment, then something is really, really wrong. Personally, I think that they just have to leave this angle behind, take off the masks and move all the performers over to Smackdown or back to NXT and let them rebuild and come back as themselves. This segment was just stupid and boring.
– As for Lacey and Peyton, I got a kick out of them this week, especially when they started to lose it on camera and their real personalities poked out a bit. I do not think that either are ready for a big singles push, but if they do form a tag team after Shayna and Nia break up, they could do some good work while they hone their characters.
– Strowman was fine if a bit gruff, one-note, but it is what we have come to expect from him. Personally, I think it is better to keep him off this platform and get him back to the brutal, punishing wrestler of few words. I actually think he should get off TV for a bit to allow him to be fresher on his return. You know Strowman vs. Lars Sullivan is in the cards somewhere, even if they are on different brands.
– At 25 minutes this week, the show felt a bit long, especially the final segment with Ali, but all in all an easy and okay watch this week. Not great but check it out.
Well, that is it for now, see you all next week. Until then, take care and stay safe.