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    Tuesday, October 13, 2020

    The RAW RhetoRick (10/12/20): Lather, Rinse, Draft, Repeat

    WWE Draft on Monday Night RAW

    *cue Eminem’s "Without Me"* Guess who’s back, bitches! Yeah, yeah, it’s me, #RhetoRick, the guy who went away and returned because Roman Reigns turned heel. Alright, hand me the clown makeup and prepare the bells for the shaming parade. It’s me, I’m back manning Smark Henry’s RAW review. Let’s get started?

    The RAW Draft Picks Aren’t That Bad, Right?

    Man, remember when drafts actually meant something? I feel like I’ve complained about this last year, but it still feels relevant to bitch about it to this day. It’s still unclear how drafting works in the WWE and the lack of logic ruins it for me. 

    First of all, who’s making the picks? At least last year’s draft had the hokey boardroom scenes where the network people were either celebrating a pick or groaning a loss. This year’s draft is basically just a glorified schoolyard picking. I miss the pageantry of the draft, the same way I miss almost everything about 2000s wrestling. What? It was my decade. 

    Also, where’s NXT? I guess they’re not a third brand anymore, which in itself presents an equal set of pros and cons. On one hand, it sets apart the Yellow Brand as its own wrestling universe. That’s the best way to enjoy NXT as far as I’m concerned. On the flip side, they’re back at viewing NXT as a developmental brand. Anyway, let’s take a look at our picks. 

    The Fiend and Alexa Bliss


    The Fiend Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss versus Andrade and Zelina Vega on Monday Night RAW

    Probably the only exciting pick of the night, The Fiend makes his way back to RAW. I guess FOX grew tired of the schtick that they don’t really care anymore if he leaves SmackDown. I’ll take that as a win since I get to commentate on the continuing expansion of the Firefly Funhouse Universe. And hey, Alexa Bliss is on RAW, too. What a coinkydink. 

    And we got a preview of their reign of terror this week when the hottest couple in town made their statement at the expense of Andrade and Zelina Vega. Man, when you put the two together, it’s clear that Alexa’s Sister Abigail is a million times better than Bray’s. He should probably just stick to the Mandible Claw and let his Harley Quinn do the dirty work. 

    Retribution

    RAW Drafts Retribution in WWE Draft 2020


    Man, this 2edgy4m3 rag-tag group simply can’t catch a break. They have an uninspired design, they have a terrible motivation and backstory, they have laughable names, and they just jeopardized Mustafa Ali as a Hail Mary attempt to save their storyline. It’s like WWE is trying really hard to derail six careers in one angle. So what, they’re not going to tear down SmackDown anymore? They will start following the rules and stuff? Great.

    Now their “edgy and badass” reputation got totally ruined by being drafted to RAW, let alone any brand. I guess it’s best for business to sabotage your own brand. At least Mustafa Ali is aware of the foolishness based on his Instagram post. If there’s one thing they got right about Retribution, it’s that they chose a leader who’s actually good at social media. Your snarky Becky Lynch-esque tweets and glitchy-ass fonts just don’t cut it, T-Bar and Mace. 

    Keith Lee and Braun Strowman

    Keith Lee and Braun Strowman on Monday Night RAW

    Fans: No, you can’t just put Keith Lee in another monster vs. monster rivalry with Braun Strowman! He should be gunning for the WWE Championship!!!1!1!!1!

    WWE: Haha, Keith Lee and Braun Strowman go brrrrr

    Elias, Jeff Hardy, and Sheamus


    Elias and Jeff Hardy on Monday Night RAW

    Elias was hit by a car? How did I miss this? And who did it? Or rather, who did it for whom? At least Elias is coming to
    RAW with an intriguing storyline to boot. And the suspect is Jeff Hardy? Again, how did I miss this one? I’m glad I get to see him on Monday nights. He’s already made his presence known by challenging Seth Rollins and AJ Styles to a triple threat.

    And hey, Sheamus is also on RAW. Sheamus did it, didn’t he? I guess we’ll find out in the coming weeks.

    Charlotte Flair, Peyton Royce, and Lana


    Natalya and Lana on Monday Night RAW



    I love how Charlotte Flair got drafted to a brand while on medical leave. She’s at that stage of her career to choose any brand she wants anyway, so drafting her felt like a downgrade on her prestige. I guess we should just take it as a sign that she’ll be back soon. Besides, RAW definitely needs someone like Charlotte to help Asuka anchor the women’s division.

    And yes, Peyton Royce. I’m still salty about them breaking up the IIconics, so they better have big plans for the two of them. I honestly don’t know how they’re going to get her over without a partner like Billie Kay. Can’t wait to be proven wrong, though. That goes for Lana as well. At least she won the battle royale this week. Where was Peyton Royce, anyway? 

    Nikki Cross and Lacey Evans

    Nikki Cross drafted to Monday Night RAW




    Shipped straight from SmackDown, Nikki Cross and Lacey Evans round up the star power of RAW’s women’s division. I guess both of them will get caught up in the web of the Fiend-Alexa Bliss story, especially Nikki Cross. As for Lacey Evans, I really hope they turn her back as a babyface and restart her run as the Navy woman. That was a fun run. 

    Matt Riddle

    Matt Riddle drafted to WWE RAW


    Must be a weird time to be a Matt Riddle fan. The fact that WWE is still treating him as a major star must mean all they’re backing this guy 100%. Let’s just see in the coming days if he continues his rise or if he’s still employed in the coming months. But given how Velveteen Dream’s still here, we might as well congratulate Riddle for reaching main event status as early as now. 

    Randy Orton

    Randy Orton drafted to WWE RAW


    Eh, seems about right.

    The Rest of the Picks

    Erik of the Viking Raiders, Titus O’Neil, R-Truth, Dabba-Kato, Akira Tozawa, Riddick Moss, Arturo Ruas. What else can I say other than nothing? I mean, good for them for staying on RAW. It must suck for the likes of Andrade to be picked later than Titus O’Neil and R-freaking Truth. The future of WWE looks pretty bleak to me, just like everyone’s future. #Relatable 

    CLOSING RHETORICK: Drafts are nonsense, that much is clear. This 2020 Draft's biggest sin is being stale and boring. There’s nothing exciting about the picks, and most “shocking” picks are either infuriating (New Day breaking up, smh) or downright stupid (Why invite demise to your home?). At least the matches were fun. 

    Kevin Owens and Aleister Black basically tore each other apart, AJ Styles picked up his first win on RAW, and we got a Ricochet vs. Cedric Alexander match that ended with a GIF-able tribute to the late great Eddie Guerrero. What’s not to love?

    RAW Grade: C


    RhetoRickal Questions That Don’t Need Answering

    • Why are y’all up in arms about the tag title situation? New Day and Street Profits simply exchanging the titles seems fine by me. I find it amusing, actually, given that both teams are four of the most amicable personalities kayfabe-wise. Both titles are the same value anyway, and I guess it made sense to create such confusion to emphasize the “unpredictability” of the draft, so I’m not mad at it. 
    • Why is every woman fighting for the RAW title? Now this one’s worth the flak. Lana winning the match is at least a respectable bend of the status quo, but shouldn’t this be exclusive to RAW Superstars? Imagine seeing Bianca Belair being eliminated in a random battle royal. Now that’s how you boost someone’s stock, right, Vince?
    • Why is the filler crowd noise so damn loud? I’ve heard a Randy Orton promo before and trust me, crowds ain’t gonna react that loud to a mediocre Orton promo like that. Maybe tell the sound guys to ease it up on the crowd noises. 
    • Also, why are Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre brawling like friends? I love how their brawl during the opening promo and their eleventh-hour brawl felt like a usual opening sequence in a normal match. Also, it’s rude how they just cut to them during the battle royal. If you’re going to do that, at least give us a more convincing blood feud battle worthy of a Hell in a Cell match.

    GIF of the Week

    Photos from WWE.com

    *****

    Ricky Publico (@TeetotaleRicky) is Smark Henry's resident RAW reviewer...  for better or worse. A known lover of wrestling tournaments, he's a sucker for well-executed promos and fast-paced matches. While he enjoys nitpicking shows, he now prefers enjoying wrestling for what it is instead of stressing himself over things he can't control. He's still anxious about the future, now more than ever. 

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    Item Reviewed: The RAW RhetoRick (10/12/20): Lather, Rinse, Draft, Repeat Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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