SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE NETWORK REVIEW: RAW TALK
NOVEMBER 23, 2020
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Charly Caruso and R Truth
This week’s guests: Lana, Riddle, Keith Lee
– Charly introduced the show and sold hers and R-Truth’s nickname: Chartruth. Oh, brother! Anyway, Charly sold the Fiend’s appearance on Raw this week and moved right into the first guest, the Women’s Sole Survivor: Lana. Lana started immediately selling her custom made French high-fashion dress and then continued to blather about how blown away she is about being the Sole Survivor. It was weird; they made a big deal that Lana won by doing absolutely nothing? So strange.
– They discussed tonight’s match first with Asuka and then teaming with Asuka to defeat the team of Nia Jax and Sayna Bayzler. At the end, Charly noted how the last time she was on Raw Talk Lana said she wanted to be Raw Women’s champion and while she is not there yet, she has hit a couple of big milestones and you never know. Truth made a point of noting that Lana now has a new friend, Asuka.
– Charly moved on to the next guest, Riddle and on his entrance, Riddle and R-Truth embraced and totally overacted that they were glad to see each other. Riddle acknowledged that he won his qualifying match versus Sheamus tonight and that he is on his way to gaining a title match with Drew McIntyre, alluding to the fact that if he gets there, not only will he win the title, but might actually also get his hands on that cool, flashy sword.
– Of course, rather they staying on point, Truth had to ask Riddle what he had against Batman (you know the Riddler and Batman). Please kill this gag before Vince McMahon gets the idea to dress Riddle up in a green jumpsuit with question marks all over it. To his credit, Riddle quickly directed things back to the Survivor Series and Raw’s sweep over Smackdown and his win over Sheamus in the qualifying match for next week’s three-way number one contender match.
– Riddle went full Riddle, talking very fast and not saying much, but was entertaining. I don’t know why, this is such a dead issue with fans (but not Vince, I guess), but Charly brought up the fact that Riddle does not wear shoes. And I will say this, Riddle gave a good answer, finally. He said he doesn’t wear pads, or tape or anything, he wants to show that he can win completely and totally on his own. I like it.
– After eliciting the quote of the night from Riddle, “if you ain’t scared, you ain’t living,” Charly was about to say good night, when Keith Lee walked onto the set. Riddle acknowledged him without much fanfare and left the set and Lee went on with the show. The camera focused on Charly as something was happening out of the shot (apparently the stool had sunk down when Lee sat on it) and when the camera went to the standard wide angle, Lee was sitting on a very low seat and just his shoulders and head were above the level of the table. Charly lost it, and Lee also basically broke character and was laughing, saying, okay let’s go with this. A very funny moment and totally enjoyable.
– The show continued and Lee was all about staying in the low seat and he was totally laughing out of character and cracking jokes about being “little Jimmy” this week, but Kayla (or rather whoever was in her ear, probably Vince) had to ruin it by saying he had to stand up (have to show everyone how big he is, I guess). Kayla even through backstage under the bus as she blamed “them” for insisting to her that Lee had to get up.
– With the “good, fun stuff” over, Lee reverted to standard WWE mode and sold his match with Bobby Lashley on Raw and how he was upset it had to end the way it did as he was really enjoying the competition and it’s what he lives for. While he was talking the split screen was showing the match. (Great use of the split screen, again.)
– Lee took a moment to speak seriously about how he loves the sport, the competition, the war, even against friends. He is ready for his shot at the title. Unfortunately, right in the middle of this good old fashioned promo, R Truth had to interject some stupidity and it totally broke the moment. Charly did a good job of moving things back to next week’s triple-threat match and really sold the fact that Lee had won both the Survivor Series match and tonight’s match, and Lee was able to get back on track and did a great job selling both next week’s match and the potential championship match versus Drew McIntyre (he did acknowledge that he and Drew are friends, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get after it and have a great match.)
– With that, Charly signed them off and Lee referenced right as they went off the air, that he would come back and “sink more chairs”, perfect!
This show was a quickie at only 21 minutes, but it delivered. You can totally skip the first 5 minutes, including the Lana segment, just not good, but once Riddle came on the energy went up and he was very good and he managed to walk that line between being obnoxious with his shtick and enjoyable. He did great.
Keith Lee stole the show and this is a perfect example of how WWE has to let their product breath. I can’t believe that the chair sinking was intentional and it just made everything else seem so real and relaxed. I do not know how scripted Lee is, but his into the camera promos tonight were great and because of the early levity, humor, and ad-libbing Lee’s promos came across as authentic and meaningful, a real throw back to a bygone, less scripted era.
Take 20 minutes and watch the show. You will enjoy it this week. Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!
Well, that is it for now, see you all next week. Until then, take care and stay safe.