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    Wednesday, December 9, 2020

    The RAW RhetoRick (12/7/20): The One with the Bronuts

    I mean, if they're going to phone an entire show in, I might as well publish this review a day late. I'm Ricky Publico, and this is the RAW RhetoRick. 

    It sounds harsh, but after the week we've had in wrestling, it's safe to say that the efforts of the supposed A-show this week were lacking. Dynamite had freaking Sting and the looming AEW/Impact crossover breaking the internet, NXT just had two fantastic WarGames matches, and even SmackDown has the Reign of Reigns anchoring the show. RAW literally has nothing going for it, despite having Drew McIntyre as the cookie-cutter champion and Bray Wyatt as the creative storytelling machine.

    That's not to say they didn't try. The Wyatt/Orton storyline took center stage this week, taking the first and last segments of the night to lackluster effect. You'd think seeing the Firefly Fun House segment means you're in for a trip, but this week just wasn't it. Yeah, the game show bit was wacky AF, but it didn't have the bite that most Fun House segments have. I'm sure they're going to dial up the intensity in the coming weeks, but again, this isn't the time to be sitting on their non-existing laurels with the programming. Two wrestling universes are literally about to collide, people.  

    And the main event? Forget about it. We've already seen The Fiend choke someone out before. Hell, we've seen Orton vs. Wyatt before. If they're going to sell a repeat storyline, they should put out all the stops to make it more interesting than the last time. They kicked things off the right way last week with an awesome segment featuring The Fiend begging. That's something worth writing about! Why did Orton stop there? Why did The Fiend stop there? Shouldn't they be engaging in an epic mind game by now? They didn't even have Alexa Bliss on TV this week. What, The Fiend hid her somewhere or something? Great. 

    Let's talk about Drew McIntyre and Sheamus because... why not? It's the world title picture after all and it will be a disservice if I just ignore it just because I find it boring. In fact, this week's continuation of their predictable storyline wasn't that bad, thanks to MizTV feat. Miz and Morrison doing their best Scottish and Irish accents. Other than that, their segment was pretty standard. Whatever happened to the effective formula I pointed out last week? Miz can shit on heels too, you know. 

    And while the handicap match had a lot of fun action in it, the predictable outcome just ruined it for me. Good, Drew and Sheamus are friends again after a backstage brawl because that's what all Europeans do, right? To be fair, it's actually a clever red herring and while I'm 250,000% convinced we're getting it eventually, the Drew and Sheamus frenemy-ship is shaping up to be an okay storyline. But that's about it, really. 

    At least we have The Hurt Business taking of... uh, business. Bobby Lashley took a big W over Jeff Hardy, although I wish this match was a bit shorter. And hey, at least Jeff is doing okay after that nasty landing last week. It seems that Riddle will be Lashley's next contender and that's fine by me. The Hurt Business CEO needs more bodies under his total kill count before he moves up to the WWE Championship scene and Riddle needs a tougher body to kick around. It's a perfect match!

    And what about Cedric Alexander picking up yet another impressive win against former WWE Champion Kofi Kingston? Cedric joining the Hurt Business is starting to pay dividends and the subtle wrinkle of him potentially breaking out from the group is just icing on top of this Lumbar Check-shaped cake. Let's just hope this isn't a Randy-Orton-getting-kicked-out-of-Evolution-early situation because Bobby Lashley and co. can achieve so much more as a badass stable.  

    CLOSING RHETORICK: This week's episode is a demonstration of phoning it in because they basically just played back the best bits of last week's great episode and added a brand new episode right next to it. Mind you, we had a Firefly Fun House segment, and the episode somehow still tanked. If you didn't watch this week, good for you. You didn't miss much so go spend those three hours doing what you actually love instead. This ain't it. 

    Show Grade: D


    RhetoRickal Questions That I Just Phoned In

    • Why is everyone outraged about Shayna Baszler getting pinned? I would understand if her losses were all meaningless or were deliberately meant to decrease her stock, but the fact that it's being put to good use for a proper storyline lessens the sting tremendously. And besides, most of her losses came from rollups. That's nothing. So enjoy a women's division storyline once in a while. It's not the best thing on the planet, but it's compelling enough to deserve praise.
    • Is it too late for RETRIBUTION? I don't even have the energy to shit on these losers. I really thought Creative finally had the idea, but here they were, killing the small momentum they slowly built up for weeks. Pull the plug already and let these fine people move on with their careers. And look at that, RECKONING got her mask back. Now I don't know who she is again. 

    • Are Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler the worst trash talkers in wrestling? Because "giving Lana boobs on her back" can't be the best punishment they could think of after their supposedly embarrassing losses. Who wrote that backstage promo, two five-year-olds?

    • What's up with Keith Lee acting like the locker room representative? Why does he care so much about Sheamus eventually turning on Drew McIntyre? Why is the entire locker room sending Keith Lee to tell Sheamus what everyone thinks of his "good guy act?"

    GIF of the Week

    A gentle reminder that Cedric Alexander is amazing. 


    Photo from WWE.com

    *****

    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) 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 anxious about the future, now more than ever. LET HIM IN.

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    Item Reviewed: The RAW RhetoRick (12/7/20): The One with the Bronuts Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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