Wrasslin’ State of Mined: Monday Night RAW Becomes the Time Traveling Asylum (05/16/2016)

War. War Never Changes

Each side thinks they’re right, and they’re willing to compromise just enough of who they are to get that across. In WWE, sometimes that means picking up furniture and beating the hell out of another guy with it, and that’s exactly what AJ Styles did on Monday. He’d had enough of Roman Reigns’ false sense moral superiority. I wrote a few weeks back that Reigns did have the high ground as his family never actually laid hands on Styles, while The Club was gooning around. It was time to finally take up arms against the Roman Empire, and boy did it feel good.

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You can only turn the other cheek but for so long. In wrasslin’ at least. I can’t recall that many pacifist characters. AJ Styles is far from that guy. He’s cordial. He’s polite. He’s southern. Which means all that gentlemanly stuff only means that he’ll let you know when he’s about to punch you in the face. Reigns had a couple weeks of warning, and now the fight is one. The match between the Uso’s and The Club mostly served to set up as the tipping point for AJ. The match itself was solid. All four men in the ring can produce consistent work, but that’s not what we were focused on. Extreme Rules is Sunday, and the playing fields finally appear even as AJ is willing to truly do what it takes to topple an empire. Sticks and Stones.

You’re Locked In Here With Me

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Man, this feud is good and silly, which means the match this Sunday should be something of a treat. Without the burden of The Beast, Brrrrrock Lesnar, Ambrose may be able to work a better match with a smaller man. Lets face it, Dean was fed to Brock. Not that he came out of the match looking bad. It just didn’t do anything for either man really. So to leave that feud, and a title fake out with Triple H, to squabble with Jericho of TV host bragging rights is a bit of a downgrade, but also a situation that both men can exploit. To “steal the show” as each is wont to do. Maybe this is the time that he needs to further establish his character. He’s been better at playing the slightly unhinged guy that can pull a complete lunatic out when the occasion calls for it, and an “Asylum” match may be the way to do that. Making him viable for when

Gonna Go Back in Time

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New Day didn’t land the stiffest punch during this segment. I’m still of the mind that they are the most entertaining aspect of WWE programming at the moment. They could also be reigned in every now and again. But hey, when there are three hours to fill on  a Monday and two on Smackdown, i’m okay with them giving guys room to breathe. That said, the highlight of New Day travels to a ‘bygone” era was Kofi stopping in 2009, or as he put it, his best year.

Still, in the “bygone” era, that The Vaudvillains proclaim to be from, New Day were forced to suffer without video games or adequate cereal. Then they took an old timey boot to the face. I fully expected Vaudvillain interference, but the theme of the night, as with what happened to Big Cass, was interrupting the catch phrase. It’s a nice, old-school tactic that makes it easy to get heat from the crowd or to gain favor if you’re a face. I don’t think the men with twirly mustaches are going to win this Sunday at Extreme Rules, but I think they’re doing a good enough job of making them convincing in the face of a less than stellar “main roster” gimmick.

Speaking of’ the Shining Stars made their debut. They came out and doubled down on their love of Puerto Rico. Also doubled down on their name, as Shining Star is also what their finisher is called. I guess Primo and Epico went from being REALLY Mexican/Spanish (Very different, I know), to being specifically REALLY Puerto Rican. Good luck to you boys, you’re going to need it.

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A Flair for the Dramatic

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Charlotte is really turning up the nepotism for this feud. At least she did for the typically, Flair-loving Greensboro crowd. It’s general (wrasslin’) knowledge that North Carolina is Flair country, and Charlotte soaked it all in for the sake of her promo, which basically amounted to “you guys will cheer me no matter what, because I have my dad’s name”. Not a bad way to piss people off. She’s still a little awkward in her delivery, but the little touches are there. The mini tantrums, that only the spoiled brat of royalty would throw, and the posturing all work.

This is another situation where I don’t think Nattie has a chance in hell to win, but it’s fleshing out our Women’s champ, and i’m okay with that.

Stuff and Thangs

Del Rio and Rusev took turns smashing The Lucha Dragons in separate encounters. The joined segments really only served to make Rusev the next viable US Champ, and the villain John Cena will need upon his return. I’m mostly okay with it. I do wish Kalisto got to do more with this solo run, but such is life. Still we got to see him folded like a lawn chair, which was pretty cool from a “holy shit, that big guy is killing that little guy” standpoint.

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In “life sucks and I need cookies” news, Emma sustained a back injury at a live event and will be out indefinitely pending a back surgery. Not that there is ever a “good” time to get hurt, but this is possibly on the worse side of things for her. Finally, as she’s getting some shine with her character, the rug is ripped from under her Aussie feet. I don’t know what this means for Dana Brooke, who’s still as green as the grass on the other side, but she put on a match with Becky Lynch last night that didn’t really make either one look good. It was a little rushed, and wonky, but Dana got the win. So we’ll see where this all goes.

I didn’t mention the IC Title suff because, lets face it, there’s a lot going on. It’s decidedly old-school, and I really just want this four-way to happen already. My eyeballs need it!

Oh, seriously, watch Lucha Underground already!

That’s it for now. If I missed anything, or slighted you in some way, i’m not sorry but we can talk it out on the Twittah machine. Till then..

Deuces Kiddos

 

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