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    Tuesday, November 3, 2020

    The RAW RhetoRick (11/2/20): Orton's Got A Lotta Enemies

    I know, I know. You're here for that one scene anyway. Stick around and I'll probably talk about it. I'm Ricky Publico, and this is the RAW RhetoRick. 

    It's rare for RAW to execute a decent running narrative. Sure, a champion with a huge target on his back isn't a revolutionary angle to run, but add great players to the mix and you'll get a main-event scene that's not just a bland remix of the same two guys swapping belts. The decisions they made at Hell in a Cell are starting to pay off beautifully, resulting in this week's above-average episode of RAW.

    Let's talk about Drew McIntyre first. Aren't you glad he's not the WWE Champion anymore? I like this version of McIntyre more. Sure, his personality is still a bit meh, but at least it has more edge to it. The Scottish Psychopath traded the boring rah-rah speeches with Claymore Kicks for days and I love it. Hopefully, we see more edges to his character in the coming weeks. And what's this, a potential Sheamus rivalry? Scotland vs. Ireland? Claymore vs. Brogue? Yes, please!

    And then there's The Miz, another problem Orton has to solve. The MITB briefcase is a perfect fit for the A-Lister. You see, Miz is the closest thing we have to an Edge prototype. He's equally beatable and credible, annoying and entertaining, and dispensable and threatening. Am I making sense? So yes, let's continue beating on The Miz until the inevitable day he cashes in on Randy Orton. Please, let it be him and then let history repeat itself. It's another potential A-grade storyline waiting to happen. 

    On the far side of the spectrum lies The Fiend, possibly Orton's biggest threat. This is why I'm currently digging this "Orton is a huge target" storyline. Every possible contender has a valid claim for Orton's head and each beef can be used as a foundation for a killer angle. Out of all the three, The Fiend's grudge is probably the most personal because it involves arson. Mix all these storylines together and Creative is basically sitting on a goldmine. Now let's wait and see how Vince will fuck everything up. 

    And what about that Firefly Fun House segment? The Fun House Universe dropped another revelation about its longtime residents, Abby the Witch: she's a potty mouth! That swear jar is almost full, so she's probably blurting out profanity like they're lyrics to Eminem's "Rap God." And what's this, Alexa Bliss learned a new trick made possible by her new Fiend powers? Okay, let's che—oh. Oh my. Um, hand me that swear jar, Bray. I'm pretty sure everyone didn't exactly feel terrified after seeing that trick. 

    And how about AJ Styles declaring himself the captain of Team RAW? I'm definitely enjoying this angle of him trying to rally his team of behemoths. This year's Team RAW is giving me 2005 vibes. Remember when RAW stacked their team with monsters and chose HBK to lead the troops? All we need is a stand-in for Carlito to complete the set. And we even got a mascot out of Jordan Omogbehin so no matter how you slice it, Team RAW will come to Survivor Series with a stacked team. 

    This segment was basically a game of who can interrupt someone the most and I found it hilarious. I guess that's how big scary men talk to each other. In the end, Styles sort of succeeded in gluing this team together, but not after Braun Strowman qualified to be part of the team by decimating Keith Lee and Sheamus. See, you don't need to be dramatic or compelling to be entertaining. Sometimes, you just need to watch monsters go BRRRRR. Wrestling is fun that way, you know?

    Other than that, there's nothing to rave about. The Jeff Hardy vs. Elias match? Disappointing. They didn't even get the stipulation right. It shouldn't be a pole match, pole matches are lame! It should've been a regular Guitar Match, where guitars are the only legal weapons. Seeing them wail guitars at each other is the only way to make this storyline watchable. When are they going to just team up and solve the mystery of Elias, Scooby-Doo style? Because that's what everyone's waiting for.

    A RAW review won't be complete without us dunking on Retribution and this week, their embarrassing run as a stable. So after failing miserably to overcome The Fiend and The Hurt Business, they're now coming for the small targets. Good for them, I guess? So now they're mercenaries delivering justice to the wronged, right? That's why they attacked Tucker who has wronged Otis and Ricochet who has wronged, uh, no one? I don't even know man, and at this point, I don't care. 

    I don't even know where the women's division is headed. First off, where's Asuka? They literally have nothing for her that all she's done the past few weeks was be the kooky Japanese lady in backstage segments. And I couldn't care less about Team RAW's inner conflicts with each other. If it wasn't for Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax, I wouldn't even pay attention to this lackluster team. I can't wait for Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair to come back. Even Naomi is enough to spice things up.

    Wait, I did enjoy something that didn't involve the main event scene: it's Bobby freakin' Lashley and The Hurt Business. I was ready to get on board with the idea of Lashley becoming double champion by easily taking the R-Truth 24/7 Championship, but then I stopped myself because gross, that title is beneath anyone not named R-Truth. At least he helped Gulak win the title. Good guy Lashley. And hey, MVP and the rest of the Hurt Business signed Truth's water bottle, too. Good guy MVP. 

    It's not just Lashley, though. The Hurt Business' tag team unit also made a major statement by beating the New Day in a non-title match. Both teams were having a great promo as they talked about title accomplishments and Kofi Kingston's embarrassing loss to Brock Lesnar, up until they ruined it with a  lame sex joke. Luckily, they saved it by delivering a fun tag match and MVP dunking on Byron Saxton during the entirety of the match. Dunking on Byron should be a national pastime, really.   

    CLOSING RHETORICK: Aside from the usual complaints, this week's episode was pretty much a solid effort. It ended the way it started and everything fell in the right places. The main event scene looks stellar, the men's Survivor Series team is starting to shape up, and Alexa Bliss continues to steal the show week after week. For the first time in a while, it didn't feel like a chore to watch RAW

    RAW Grade: B-

    Some RhetoRickal Questions That are Just Meh

    • Why did this Retribution promo get relegated to being a Network exclusive? Did they finally recognize how useless these promos really are? Oooh, Retaliation's gunning for Asuka. I feel the chills already. I wish it was Mia Yim challenging for the title instead. Also, it's so nice of them to accept an interview on RAW Talk. It's nice of them to contribute to the company they are trying to destroy. Good guy Ali. 
    • Is Lana mega babyface yet? I was just wondering how many broken tables it would take to catapult Lana to stardom. Also, are we still pretending she's from Russia? Just checking.
    • Why didn't Miz just borrow from R-Truth's playbook? He should just walk around with a referee in tow. Miz should've been WWE Champion by now if they didn't wait for a referee to run down to the ring. Just sayin'.

    GIF of the Week

    I mean, was there any other choice? 

    Photos from WWE.com, Videos from WWE's YouTube Channel


    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 anxious about the future, now more than ever. LET HIM IN. 

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    Item Reviewed: The RAW RhetoRick (11/2/20): Orton's Got A Lotta Enemies Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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