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RAW Rundown 4-13-15

April 13, 2015

From London, England

Your hosts are JBL, Booker T, and Michael Cole, who is back.



The show starts with John Cena's music playing, something the crowd boos loudly. A lot of fans were chanting "John Cena Sucks" along to his theme song. Cena smirks and runs to the ring where he tlks about not always getting along with the fans of London before calling them the excited and energetic crowd as the boos lighten up a bit. He then issues an open challenge for his United States Title then Bad News Barrett's music hits as the fans go nuts. Barrett then questions why should he wait until "Extreme Rules" to face Daniel Bryan for the Intercontinental Title when he can win the U.S. Title tonight. Solid segment that was short and to the point and they were smart not to have Cena pander to the crowd forever in order to get cheered because that was not going to work with this crowd, especially with him going up against Barrett.



John Cena d. Bad News Barrett with the AA (9:46) **1/2

The match started after the commercial break. Cena's eye still looks messy from his match against Stardust last week. Solid TV match here. The last few minutes were fun as each guy got to kick out of each others finishers. The fans were totally into Barrett's nearfalls too. Cena won but after the match Rusev's music hit and Lana came out to distract Cena while Rusev attacked him from behind. Lana then tells us that at "Extreme Rules," they will fight in a "Russian Chain Match."



Replay of last week when Randy Orton became the #1 contender to Seth Rollins World Heavyweight Championship. We then learn that Orton will face Cesaro while Seth Rollins goes up against Dolph Ziggler, with the winner getting to choose the stipulations for the title match at Extreme Rules. They are making it obvious that Orton is winning here (EDIT: Well he did win) but the way in which the stipulations will be selected are uninspired to say the least.



Paige Won a Diva's Battle Royal to Become the #1 Contender to the Diva's Championship (3:56). 

The Bellas came out on commentary for the match. Rules stated that eliminations could occur by getting thrown to the floor by any means. Funny moment when asked who she wanted to face at Extreme Rules, both of the Bellas said Rosa Mendes and that caused everyone on commentary to laugh. Poor Rosa. Nattie was the second diva eliminated, ironically enough by Rosa, as the match started out really fast then time almost seemed to stand still when Alicia Fox and Cameron had a long heat sequence on Paige. The last two in the ring where Paige and Naomi and they had an okay back-and-forth sequence for a minute. Back from break, Byron Saxton was in the ring with Paige, who tells us she won the Diva's Championship in her WWE debut match then talks about winning a match at her first WrestleMania before talking about how hard she worked in England before making it to the WWE. Paige then declares this her "house" then gets attacked from behind by Naomi, who beats the crap out of her on the floor. Good beatdown by Naomi, who seemed natural as a heel here.



We get a promo from Bray Wyatt, telling us that love can be blind. He then tells us that fear is much stronger than any love could ever be as he goes on for a minute, saying nothing he hasnt already said in promos before, then ends by turning around to show a logo on his vest before declaring himself "The New Face of Fear." I take it that Bray is undergoing a gimmick change or sorts going forward.



Lucha Dragons d. The Ascension as Sin Cara hit Viktor with a Senton Bomb (2:15) *. 

Crowd started a mild "NXT" chant at the beginning of the match. The first minute of the match was the Ascension getting heat on Hunico. The crowd popped when Kalisto ran wild off of the hot tag and the crowd was into the Lucha Dragons offense, even doing the "Lucha" Chants after the match. The announcers noted that Tyson Kidd & Cesaro better take note of the Lucha Dragons. They also noted how the Ascension have "cooled off." Ain't that the truth. Nice to see the Lucha Dragons faring well though. Kalisto has looked awesome since his debut as well.



Booker T conducts an in-ring interview with Roman Reigns. Reigns is asked about his match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania and how he feels after getting robbed of the World Heavyweight Title. He got 60/40 boos coming out. The interview starts as they push the notion that Reigns is mentally tough. The crowd then starts a suplex city chant as Reigns takes that in stride then asks the crowd if they like brutal fights, for which they cheer loudly. Reigns then says that he beat Rollins before and will do it again. He is asked about the Big Show and calls him Rollins' "giant bitch" as he then asks the crowd if they agree and they do. The Big Show then appears on the big screen as he tells Reigns while he lost, he won the "Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal" at WrestleMania, cementing himself as the most devastating giant in history. He then tells Reigns that he will make him become the biggest failure in history. Reigns then calls Show the "Jumbotron Giant" for speaking to him backstage instead of in the ring, then he calls out the Big Show for not having any balls. Reigns then closed the interview by threatening to retire the Big Show. Reigns then heads backstage but gets attacked by Show, while the crowd starts a "please retire" chant. Show then chokeslams him on top of a car that was parked on the entrance ramp as the crowd screams "you sold out." Good segment for Reigns here as he was able to win over some of the crowd that booed him at the start and that is really important for him. His best live performance on the mic ever, IMO. It also helped that the segment was not as overproduced as a majority of his interviews have been. They also sold their match at Extreme Rules as well as they possibly could have, being as these two have wrestled numerous times over the past few months and it was not all that exciting to begin with.



Randy Orton d. Cesaro w/ Tyson Kidd & Natalya by Disqualification (2:20) 1/4*

The referee rules the match a DQ as Tyson distracted Orton. A terrible finish. However, Kane comes out and orders this a 2 on 1 match since Kidd got involved.



Randy Orton d. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro after hitting Kidd with an RKO (6:37) *1/2. 

About half of the match took place during the break. The finish looked great as Kidd tried for a springboard move but got hit with an RKO in midair. Most of the match saw the champs double-team Orton. Not particularly exciting or anything but in defeat it did not bury the Tag champs.



Backstage, Rollins is backstage with Kane and J&J Security. Rollins says that he will not be facing Ziggler, but rather Jamie Noble, who takes offense to being asked to lay down for Rollins then talks about Kane, who shuts him up by threatening to hook up his testicles to a car battery. Rollins then reminds Kane that the main goal of the Authority is to protect him and the title and that he should lay down for him, because it is best for business. He then threatens to call HHH as Kane walks away, with Rollins assuring J&J that Kane will do what is right. Rollins was superb as a weasily heel here.



Dean Ambrose d. Adam Rose with the Dirty Deeds (2:09) 1/2*

Quick match that wasnt all that good. At least it served a purpose of giving Ambrose a quick win. Adam Rose's stock is in the toilet these days.



Kane hung up the phone after speaking with the Authority. Big Show confronts him and reminds him how Rollins losing this match tonight is not best for business and neither is Randy Orton as a champion. Big Show then reminds Kane to do what is right for business as Kane agrees to the match against Rollins.


Stardust d. Fandango w/ Rosa Mendes with the Disaster Kick (1:07) 1/4*

Stardust hit his finisher after Fandango was unable to hit a top rope leg drop. After the match, Fandango stood on the announcers table and said his problem was that he was only sharing his dancing with Rosa, not the whole world, then they played his song as he danced while the crowd sang along. Fandango even took JBL's cowboy hat and saluted the crowd as Rosa was pissed standing in the ring. As a one-time deal this was fine but attempting to re-create the "Fandagoing" from two years ago is most likely not going to end well for Fandango, who is in desperate need of a gimmick re-tooling. This might have been a case of the WWE throwing out a bone to the UK fans, who helped create this phenomenon two years ago.



Daniel Bryan and Kane met in the hallway. Bryan asked Kane what happened to him and that he was going to do something that WCW did to go out of business by laying down for Seth. Bryan then questioned Kane's integrity before saying he felt sorry for him until Kane shouted at him to leave. Bryan then walked off as Kane attempted to calm himself down.



Seth Rollins d. Kane after Kane put Rollins on top of him after a chokeslam (4:33) DUD. 

Kane wavered back and forth from laying down to looking like he would fight. He finally chokeslammed Rollins but then became conflicted and laid down, putting Seth's arm on top of him for the pin. He then angrily stormed off backstage. This was bad in terms of storytelling and just a lazy way for Rollins to get to choose the stipulations. Even a tag or six-man that ends in a screw job would have been better as it would have at least made sense. Just an hour prior Kane was screwing over Orton so why would the fans be all that invested in him here? Surprisingly, the crowd was into the beginning of this but the London crowd has been into everything. They are a fun crowd.



Damien Mizdow w/ Summer Rae d. The Miz with a rollup (2:01) 1/2*

Miz was shocked to see Summer accompany Mizdow. Half of the match consisted of Mizdow copycatting Miz. After the match, Summer, who co-starred with Miz on "Marine 4," kissed Mizdow on the cheek as the Miz threw a fit. This feud continues.



The Prime Time Players make fun of the other tag teams, specifically Los Matadores as they attack the stereotypes of the gimmick as Titus questions who ever heard of Puerto Rican bullfighters. These segments let Titus show his personality, which his is strong suit. I find the PTP's entertaining.



Ryback d. Luke Harper by Disqualification (1:46) 1/2*

These guys traded power moves until Harper hit Ryback with the top of the announcers table. After the match, Dean Ambrose ran out as Harper bailed through the crowd as the feud between these two heats up.



Byron Saxton is backstage with Naomi, asknig her about why she attacked Paige. Naomi at first started off somber then started to laugh as she said this is about her, not anything else. She also questioned why they had to have a Battle Royal to determine the #1 contender when she beat Nikki Bella twice as Naomi then goes on about being sick of waiting for opportunities and being passed over. Good promo from Naomi as this new character is the best thing she has done so far. They also mentioned AJ briefly here, with Naomi scoffing over the idea that she is a legend. That was said more in character of Naomi than actually burying AJ, IMO. And with Naomi as a heel, that leaves an open spot on the roster for a new babyface diva, so I suspect an NXT-girl to fill that slot very shortly.



Dolph Ziggler comes out to issue an open challenge since his match with Rollins was cancelled as Neville comes out to accept.



Dolph Ziggler d. Neville with the Zig Zag (9:08) **3/4

Awesome showcase from Neville, who busted out crazy moves like walking across the barrier before hitting a picture-perfect 450 splash. Despite losing twice, Neville is getting a healthy amount of offense in these matches and is booked to look like a promising up-and-comer instead of a guy who is not good enough. After the match, Sheamus came out to attack both men as his new role of the bully continues.



We get a replay of the Big Show attacking Roman Reigns then we learn that Show will address his actions on Smackdown this Thursday.



We also get a plug of all the new WWE Network Original Shows.



Rollins and J&J Security sit in the ring as Rollins picks the stipulations of his match at "Extreme Rules." Rollins did a great job at heeling the crowd and has been on a roll for months now. He then invites Orton to the ring so he can tell him face-to-face about the stipulations he has chosen. Orton asks Rollins to fight now but that doesnt happen as Rollins tells Orton that the stipulation he has chosen is that the RKO is banned then laughs as he says the authority always wins. Orton then thinks about his stipulation as he wants to take away his greatest weapon, the Authority, and said he chooses a cage match. Rollins tells Orton the cage does not scare him. Orton then said since the RKO is banned, he has to give the people there money's worth as he tips Rollins over in his chair then after a scrum he hits one of the stooges with an RKO as Rollins escapes.



Final Thoughts: Solid show tonight. The first hour was really good but the show tapered off after that. The show-long storyline revolving around the World Heavyweight Title match stipulations at Extreme Rules was terribly written and contrived. But on the plus side they are showcasing the recent NXT call ups like Kalisto and Neville and Reigns had a very strong night as a performer, something that he needed. I also liked the new direction with Naomi's character as she showed a ton of personality here. They are also shaping up the card at "Extreme Rules" nicely but the final hour was a drag to the show. A lot more inspired here than last week's show, even included the jumbled stipulation storyline.


Comments

  1. Kinda funny that down in NXT, Lucha Dragons over the Ascension is like the biggest upset ever but on Raw it's like, meh.

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  2. Man, the Ascension are the bottom rung team already in the WWE. They are on par with Los Matadores.

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  3. This was not a bad show at all. I'd have loved Neville to have come out to fight Cena just for the atmosphere, but he's looked really good. Fandango was fun, Barrett - Cena was fun and there were few bad points beyond a *lame* Big Show beatdown.

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  4. No. I just decided to do this as a quicker version. Although I had to leave at the Stardust match to get my wife at the airport and that kinda threw me off when I came back to recap the rest.

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  5. The stipulation storyline was the only real complaint I have. That was pretty bad.

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  6. Best top to bottom Raw in awhile, I think. Great promo from Reigns, two really good matches, not much really sucked that bad.

    And you know what, I prefer opening with a match and ending with an interview over the normal opening promo and main event match.

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  7. Yeah the wwe is pretty bad and these raws are impossible to watch BUT Seth Rollins is absolutely incredible.

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  8. Everything had a point this week, which was nice to see and they built up Extreme Rules well but the storytelling of the stipulation angle was bad. What a mess

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  9. And Lawrence Phillips might have killed his cellmate

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/12685376/lawrence-phillips-former-nfl-running-back-suspected-killing-prison-cellmate

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  10. I only saw the last segment. Orton is whatever but Rollins is just killing it. He's been on fire for his entire heel run. A definite bright spot.

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  11. The 411 guy always misses a part of the show and it kills me

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  12. That's totally how a wrestling show should be formatted: Start the show with the "main event" and end the show with a promo that either sets up next week's main event, something for Smackdown or a match at the PPV.

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  13. I paused the tV and watched the rest of it when I came back but I was zoned in on the show before I left and couldnt get fully back into it when I came back.

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  14. Really good show tonight.
    Seth Rollins has been a great heel since he won the title and I have a feeling that his match with Brock at Summerslam could possibly be MOTY if he keeps improving.

    His run is exactly what they were hoping Randy Orton's numerous title runs would turn out to be except none of them were even good enough to be lukewarm let alone red hot.

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  15. See this is an actual recap... just telling us what happened... instead of a bunch of opinion nonsense. Well done.

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  16. Randy Orton d. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro after hitting Kidd with an RKO (6:37) *1/2.

    "Not particularly exciting or anything but in defeat it did not bury the Tag champs."



    These two sentences are incompatible with each other.

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  17. what show as this clown watching that was awful and hard to watch

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  18. It's odd for NXT fans because it isn't clear that what happens on NXT is "WWE canon" or not.

    The Ascension were a dominant team that held the NXT tag belts for a long time...it was only the upstart Lucha Dragons that could steal the belts away from them...beating them with speed. Then, the Ascension seemed to concentrate their energies on beating down Hideo Itami until they got called up to the main roster. The Lucha Dragons, meanwhile, were ok...they defended their belts against the Vaudevillians...but then lost to the Dubstep Cowboys and then started showing up on Superstars & Main Event.

    On Raw...the Ascension have been a joke, buried on commentary from the start...weakly feuding with the New Age Outlaws... And so, it isn't a big deal that the Lucha Dragons beat them--but of course, they'd beaten them before when the Ascension mattered...

    It'll be interesting to note when more NXTers come up to see if they keep any continuity between the two shows...

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  19. Nice recap. I prefer this to the "this show is going to suck, yeah this show sucked" guy.

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  20. Of course it's clear. NXT is practice, nothing more.

    No NXT story has ever carried over into WWE.

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  21. Looked like Ziggler got a hardway cut around his eye in his match with Neville.

    (Cena's such a trendsetter.)

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  22. When I saw how people were reacting to the Lucha Dragons at NXT (pretty lukewarm), I told my wife I thought they might actually do better at the main roster level. They're a little generic, but fun to watch, and basically appeal to the casual fan.

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  23. It's good to think things that you like are good!

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  24. WWE Monday Night RAW is the name of the show

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  25. The RKO outta nowhere after getting beaten on all match doesnt bury the other guys. It was a face overcoming the odds with a fluke win or sorts. You can lose and not get buried.

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  26. I feel like the longer NXT's around, the more potential that has to change. Kevin Owens could be the one that bucks the trend, because his matches with Sami Zayn won't be built without bringing up their prior history.

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  27. UK shows are always fun as the crowd, so starved for wrestling, are always into everything and willing to make the most of anything given.

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  28. Saw a gif of that 450 from Neville. Incredible.

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  29. I was really pleased with the totally positive response, and big cheer, Darren Young got when he said "Well, you know my favourite colour is rainbow."

    Wrestling fans in being mature shocker! :D

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  30. I think he's done it on NXT before as well - crowd always responds well to stuff like that. Superb technique.

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  31. They should do a proper UK month one of these days - have Raw and Smackdown shows in the major cities (Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Cardiff) and finish off with a PPV in London. They'd make a fortune, get a full stretch of sellout, energetic crowds, and it'd make the product feel a bit fresher.

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  32. I agree with your sentiment, but it still pisses me off when the tag champs are fed to a singles competitor (no matter what level) instead of any one of the other number of tag teams they could have used instead.

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  33. I was expecting Neville to answer the open challenge as well, with BNB as my second pick.

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  34. Why is Orton going over the tag champs? Why is the IC title contender losing to the US title holder? Both awful booking decisions.

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  35. Battle Kat LitterApril 14, 2015 at 2:44 AM

    It's good that you think that it's good that I think the things that I like are good.

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  36. The booking of Barrett is one thing I really don't understand.


    He was getting over with the crowds doing the "bad news" gimmick, but they've just made him look an utter chump for months on end.


    Ok, he got to go toe-to-toe with Cena, and that's all well and good, but I agree with you - the number one contender for one belt shouldn't be losing clean to the holder of another belt, especially when they have a huge array of guys on the roster who could have answered that 'open challenge' just as easily.

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  37. Battle Kat LitterApril 14, 2015 at 2:48 AM

    Shame both of the English guys only got the 'plucky loser' spot.

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  38. Do you think they said/did something to upset Vince before they debuted? To me it looks weird that they got a shitty gimmick, beaten up by old guys, reduced to jobbers in a month and their only shinning point was beating two other old guys, who happened to work a lot with NXT training and are Triple-H's friends?

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  39. Typed "why did WWE bury" into Google and "why did WWE bury the Ascension" was the first option, considering the companies history, that shows how confused people are about the whole thing to have it searched for that many times.

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  40. It might reduce the chance of selling out since people won't want to travel if it's going to be closer.

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  41. Even with the positive spin, knowing the style WWE employs these days I just don't believe it was good. Run ins, roll ups, dq's, focussing on Kane and Show, unless WWE have changed their style of story telling I'll probably look up Neville (just calling him that makes him sound like a grandad) vs Ziggler later and that's about it.

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  42. I think if there's only a few shows, there's still more than enough of a wrestling audience in each area to fill out a (say) 15k arena easily enough.

    Plus, I imagine a fair few of us would grasp the opportunity to go and see a few TV tapings (plus a PPV) in a row. Roooooooad triiiiiiiip!!! ;)

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  44. Sounds just like the Attitude Era.

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  45. The problem is Barret should really be a face at this point, something he's never done and would lead to fresh matches, but WWE sees him as a heel. So they're removing anything fans might cheer. Ignoring the fact that Bullhammer vs F5 is a ready made feud. I mean shit, Barrett's the only guy on the roster with legit fight cred like Lesnar - and he has even more than Lesnar, if the stories are true.

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  46. Barrett was ready for the main event even back in 2010 with the Nexus angle. If they would have pushed him right...

    But speaking of legit, what about Jack Swagger? He has a real wrestling background and is even bigger (or larger?) than Lesnar. This could be a real interesting feud if they wouldn't present him as a loser like they do most of the time...

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  47. without the fun

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  48. Great review. Can't help but think you're putting too much on your plate but would read this over perri's crap anyday.

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  49. Not at all. Sounds like a typical snarl search. Interested if Daniel Bryan was on the list

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  50. I like a review like this where it tells me the results and the highlights or story telling aspects from each segment. Thanks!

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  51. Standard "hometown" booking from WWE and I've never understood why.

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  52. So, the guy who played Neville in the Harry Potter flicks was at the show where Neville wrestled. Neville watching Neville. We're through the looking glass, people.

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  53. AverageJoeEverymanApril 14, 2015 at 6:41 AM

    "Adam Rose's stock is in the toilet these days."
    FUUUUCCCCKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!

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  54. What's "snarl search"

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  55. An autocorrection of smark search

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  56. Bray Wyatt is the new face of fear... until Meng and Barbarian drop him with the double-team powerbomb.
    MMMMMMM...THE FACES OF FEAR!

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  57. No one mentioning how well Roman did on the Mic?

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  58. AverageJoeEverymanApril 14, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    He's a stand up dude.

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  59. AverageJoeEverymanApril 14, 2015 at 8:08 AM

    because people love when you can make fun of yourself.

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  60. Its astonishing how much better Bayless is than everybody that does recaps that doesn't own the site.

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  61. If the idea is to get nobody in the US to watch, that's a great idea! Even ignoring the fact that the reason they sell so many tickets and are so enthusiastic is that they don't run that many shows there.

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  62. Its a lot easier to get people excited in third world countries. Pretty sure UK crowds are excited just by the idea of people that have clean drinking water.

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  63. As that began over a decade and a half ago that's probably why I'm so bored with it.

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  64. sorry, if it's not an Andy PG 25 page unabomber manifesto style recap, it just doesn't count.

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  65. Because "Fuck You" that's why!!

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  66. It's amazing that now Tommy Hall looks less shitty simply by CFB and Matt Perri being so unimaginably shitty, thus making hall look better in comparison.

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  67. I don't mind switching up the format from week to week. A promo to start the show is fine, y'know, every once in awhile. Hell, even a show that's light on in-ring action altogether is fine every once in awhile. A show that's stacked with in-ring action is great, but as we learned from the Smackdown 6 years ago, even that has a short shelf life if you try to do a PPV-quality show on free TV every week.

    Just mix it up.

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  68. I said it was his best live performance on the mic.

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  69. Weirdly the next option is "why did WWE buy DDP"

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  70. Short recaps are good recaps.

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  71. Plans that they had when they decided they wanted him changed by the time they acquired him leaving them to the crap they did

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