Wrasslin’ State of Mined: Balor Unleashes The Demon and Dolph Lays Out The Champ Going Into SummerSlam (8.16.2016)

What I Got, I Gotta Give It To Ya Mama

I guess the new move for Monday Night RAW is to show its hand on the go home edition before SummerSlam. There were several segments that could have been saved for the second biggest PPV of the year that were instead “spoiled” on free TV. I don’t know why would I want to pay for the show you’re more than willing to give away? Unless, of course, this means they have something special to add to the proceedings come Sunday. That would also depend on how effective the visuals were leaving Monday Night RAW. 

10 minutes into Netflix and chill, he gives you this look
10 minutes into Netflix and chill, he gives you this look

Seth Rollins spent most of the show searching for The Demon King, Finn Balor, trying to see if he was the real McCoy, which had to be a little confusing for some. Not because the audience didn’t know who the character was, but because it sounded like Seth was asking for Demon Kane most of the time, and i’d bet a lot of someone else’s money on NO ONE wanting Kane involved with this feud.

My personal gripes with revealing The Demon King a little too early, the hype for the match is still there. Balor gained the upper hand in their little exchange, and Seth did show some apprehension to taking on the painted up pugilist. So there’s something there, I just wish WWE trusted their audience enough to save the reveal for the big stage.

What I Got I Gotta Give It To Ya Papa

Soooo, is Roman Reigns supposed to be the good guy here?  So far all i’ve seen is a man crashing parties he’s not invited to, ruining a ceremony celebrating a wedding AND even (incidentally) pushing a woman into a cake. All while smirking and laughing. He’s the good guy here from what WWE is telling me. Why? Cuz Merica’. Look, i’ve grown up watching wrasslin’ , and xenophobia is part and parcel of the program, but it takes just a wee bit more to get those stories across than “hey, that dude ain’t from round here”. All Rusev has done was attempt to be a proud US Champ, yes foreign, but this is the American dream, is it not?

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Then there was the whole “fighting for Lana’s honor” that wasn’t exactly explained. I’m not prepared to give anything associated with wrasslin’ the good natured, benefit of the doubt, so it’s not a stretch to say, Roman winning that match meant the “won” Lana. So even with all that extra motivation to take out the Tactical Pirate known as Roman, Rusev lost. Not in a tag, or DQ fashion, he just flat out lost their last confrontation going into SummerSlam, and I can’t think of a good reason for it not to happen again on Sunday.

I Got To Get It, Put It In You

Dolph was done posturing, and wanted to show he could do a little damage. He tapped into some fire more than a few times while Dean straight up dismissed him at every pass. They both took turns ignoring and insulting Miz, which was cool, but their feud still took center stage. Dean, playing on his cocky, kingpin persona is working really well. He’ll still have that lunatic thing to dig into at the actual match, but right now, for all his posturing about being the champ making things more difficult, he’s still gone a little soft, and that is why Dolph said he’ll win. Because, the champ, just isn’t ready.

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That kick to the mouth, and then Dean’s match with Erik Rowan were both great. The champ, still got to close the show looking strong, but vulnerable, which is what Dean needs as champ. He’s not invincible, and Dolph over the years has been shown as a guy who’s not quite there. Now, he’s got the mental edge, and something to fight for. This could make for an interesting match.

Don’t Stop, Continue

Heath frickin’ Slater has been killing it. Those are words that I never thought i’d type, think or say, but he has been ridiculously entertaining as the #1 free agent in all of wrasslin’. After putting his foot in his mouth over on Smackdown Live last week, then getting completely eviscerated on RAW by Brock Lesnar in a contender for best segment of the night. Heath knew he was a dead man, but he pressed on, for his two little girls at home, and all the other kids he probably has, and went face to face with the walking bratwurst that is Brock Lesnar. Then in a small twist, Lesnar showed some humanity, mentioning that he too has children, only to take that humanity out back and shoot it with a cold “I don’t give a shit about your kids”. It was good stuff. It showed Brock was still a monster and that Heath really is willing to do whatever it takes to get on a roster. His win (via DQ) over Orton the next night was totally negated as the punchdrunk Slater put his foot in his mouth again, and literally had the contract taken from his hands.

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Sami Zayn may have only been a cog in the machine, but I like what’s happening with the mid-card over on RAW thus far. We know these guys have to put on matches over and over again, so why not put it into the framework of the story. They’d already mentioned that Zayn and Cesaro had epic 2 out of 3 falls matches in NXT, and that best of series’ take place, so to continue Cesaro’s feud with Sheamus, they’ll utelize a best of 7 series, beginning on SummerSlam. This is the best use of these two guys before they get back into any sort of title picture, mostly because it give them an excuse to keep going despite no real outcome. It’ll also nullify the 50/50 booking that bothers so many of us, as this clearly HAS to go to a seventh match, which should then separate the two for the foreseeable future. I like all of this.

Stuff and Thangs

Eva Marie. Just Because

A couple of rumours were confirmed on Smackdown Live. One of which being the return the No Mercy PPV. A little weird that they gave credit of the name to Heath Slater and not, you know, the press release and promo images sent out a few days back, but whatever. Along with No Mercy comes some credence to the rumors that there will be TWO paid events per month, one for each brand, in months that don’t have a Big 4 PPV (WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, Survivor Series and SummerSlam). That’s a lot of wrasslin’.  I don’t know why they don’t just switch to longer builds on storylines instead of forcing in more PPV’s, especially considering how thin each roster is, just by virtue of the split, but here we are.

Speaking of “here we are”, Curt Hawkins is coming back to WWE. If you don’t remember who he is, don’t worry, you can see some his work below. This is who we’re getting instead of Shelton Benjamin. Stupid injuries.

A Women’s belt teased for Smackdown Live via commentary. Again, WWE playing fast and loose with their own storytelling logic. They’re in control of whether or not there will be a title, so for commentary to present it as a rumour just feels weird. Still, it’s coming. Diluting the pool a bit, but at least giving the women something to fight for.

As far as shows are concerned. Smackdown Live Won. RAW was good, but ultimately gave too much away, while Smackdown gave me more to look forward to, and has been really filling their two hours with great content. Welp, if I missed anything, hit me up in the Twittah Machine then I can bribe you with virtual Twix bars. Till then…

Deuces Kiddos

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