SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RAW TALK REPORT
MARCH 29, 2021
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kevin Patrick and MVP
This week’s guests: Matt Riddle, Asuka, and The Miz & John Morrison
– Another week without R-Truth as MVP sat in with Kevin Patrick for Raw Talk this week. Patrick opened up the show with the normal WWE about the road to WrestleMania and the greatest stage of them all. He then introduced his co-host MVP.
– Patrick started to ask MVP about the apparent breakup of The Hurt Business and MVP quickly clarified the The Hurt Business is a “business” and if part of the business doesn’t perform they get a pink slip and Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander just weren’t delivering. When Patrick pressed if this was a good time to “fire” two members of the Hurt Business so close to WrestleMania, MVP pushed back that in fact getting rid of the deadweight and the drain on Bobby Lashley’s concentration was a good thing and he will go on and destroy Drew McIntyre and retain the title.
– MVP continued on for a while about the business and hinted that he may have organized the Baron Corbin run in but was completely non-committal. MVP noted that the Hurt Business was Bobby Lashley and MVP and that all else are just pieces of the conglomerate and hinted that there may be additions to the company down the road.
– While Patrick was previewing the guests, MVP said that Miz and Morrison’s new song was pure garbage.
– As it now seems like the norm, we broke away from the show for a commercial of sorts, this time a WrestleMania promo.
– Out of the break, Riddle hit the set in full “bro” mode and MVP gave him a major dig, starting to ask a question and then going, no I forgot, referencing Riddle’s backstage goof with Asuka. Riddle admitted that yes, Sheamus beat him tonight, but said it was lucky and that he would face him at WrestleMania and walk out retaining the United States Championship. MVP acted like he had no time for Riddle and dumped on him for being disrespectful and hence deserved all the abuse he gets. Rather than going full bore with the retaining the title angle, Riddle kept referencing the stupid stuff he said and did on Raw. They then went to the ultimate insult to our intelligence as Patrick touted Riddle’s abs and his Instagram posts of Riddle in pumped up mode showing off his eight-pack.
Morgan’s Analysis: If they continue to use Riddle in this way (and they will), no matter how good his in-ring abilities and talent are, he will always just be a joke. It is really sad that they even have to play up this side of him even on a platform like Raw Talk where he could start to rehabilitate his character instead.
– At the end of the segment, MVP just sat there shaking his head. We then got another commercial break urging vaccinations as a way we as a country can get back to live sports and big crowds.
– Next up was Asuka. Patrick asked Asuka why she accepted Rhea Ripley’s challenge and Asuka just said that Ripley was good, but that she is Asuka and she is better. Patrick asked about Shayna Baszler knocking her teeth out and Asuka said that she still has temporary teeth and just had surgery. MVP and Patrick handled most of the talking duties with leading questions that Asuka could answer very simply using standard slogans and lots of yelling and gesticulations. Basically, Patrick used Asuka’s presence to bring up the upcoming tag team match between Baszler & Jax and Asuka & Ripley next week and managed to get in a “nightmare” reference regarding Ripley while selling the WrestleMania match. This was a very brief segment and they quickly hustled Asuka off the set and moved on.
– We then got an NXT promo and came back with The Miz and John Morrison. Much to my complete dismay they started off the segment playing the video of “Hey, Hey, Hop, Hop” again. Thankfully they only played about 30 seconds of it. Right away, MVP told them that it was a horrible video. After this, both Miz and Morrison went into their typical schtick. Patrick finally broke in and said “I can’t believe we have gone three minutes and no one mentioned Bad Bunny.”
Morgan’s Analysis: Talk about saying the quiet part out loud. The only reason for this whole angle is to get Bad Bunny over for WrestleMania. For some reason, WWE, whose audience is mostly on the older side can attract 18-24 year olds for WrestleMania. I will say this, they may get them for WrestleMania and perhaps a Raw or two, but then they will all go away because WWE does not work to appeal to these viewers on a long term basis.
– Near the end of this whole gimmick filled “interview” Miz finally said something that made sense and could have been a hook for this thing all along, but has been buried by the stupidity. Miz said that Bad Bunny rubs him the wrong way and he is so obsessed with him, because in Miz’s eyes, Bad Bunny came in and did not give wrestling (specifically The Miz) the respect that The Miz thinks he deserves.
Morgan’s Analysis: While this was good, it would have much more resonance if Miz wasn’t playing everything as a big joke himself.
– At that point, the show ended, but not before we were subjected to another 30 seconds of the horrific Hey, Hey, Hop, Hop video.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Wow, this show was a tough watch at a little over 29 minutes. The opening with just Patrick and MVP was good. MVP has become a master and rivals Paul Heyman in this environment, though, in a different way. He knows his character and he leans into it totally. As for the rest of the show, watching Riddle play a complete moron, watching Asuka struggle mightily but soldier on, and watching The Miz and John Morrison dial their insufferable act up to a 35, was just really a trying experience. I can deal with one or even two weak segments, but when the whole show is based on silly gimmicks and second and third tier characters, it’s just a show I would avoid. Unless you are huge fans of Riddle, Miz & Morrison, and/or Asuka just skip this Raw Talk, it is not worth your time.