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    Tuesday, November 10, 2020

    The RAW RhetoRick (11/9/20): Skipper! Mongoose! Brolee! Dopey! Fireface!

    Braun Strowman, Sheamus, Riddle, AJ Styles, Keith Lee on WWE RAW

    I love how the new RAW theme song (and its own #TST feature) made me jump on board the NF bandwagon. I found myself a new rapper to follow, a less angry Eminem! I'm Ricky Publico, and this is the RAW RhetoRick.

    I was reminded of my newfound love for NF because of how Orton decided to start this week's episode of RAW: by spitting his own version of fire bars. Imagine a run-of-the-mill Orton promo sped up to 2x while maintaining the audio quality. It's so out of nowhere that I can't help but find it hilarious. He's all like: "Becausetheonlywayyoucantakethattitleoffofmeiswiththat, *briefcase tap* CASE!" All it needed was a sick beat and it could rival any rap song existing today. Here, see for yourself. 

    And why did we have this segment, you ask? It's to set up the six-man tag main event of the night, you silly. 

    Urgh, so it's one of those weeks, huh? I instantly hate episodes with these kinds of lazy headliners. Unless it involves two proper stables with an actual rivalry, I usually don't care about these matches. This week's main event was no different. Let's just fast forward to the WWE Championship match next week. Why can't we have main events that exciting every week? 

    I'd rather talk about RAW's Survivor Series teams. On the men's side, the soon-to-be-redacted-possibly-or-maybe-not-let's-wait-for-the-official-verdict Riddle just qualified for the team. Now you might be wondering why I didn't include his first name. It's because WWE is at it again with the purge of first names. Only now, it's stupid because the guy is now stuck with a common noun as a name. I can't wait for the talent-wide memorandum to force everyone to use their last names only. 

    Riddle qualified after besting Jeff Hardy and Elias in a Second Chance Triple Threat Match. Unfortunately, there's still no guitar wailing from Jeff Hardy or Elias. I see they still don't get how to make Hardy vs. Elias a must-see encounter. Nonetheless, Dopey Riddle is a great addition to the team and now we have the spiritual successor of the 2005 RAW Survivor Series Team. I am now realizing that Riddle pulled off double duty this week and it was awesome. 

    Speaking of the team, unofficial captain AJ Styles once again staged a group meeting for the now-completed team and we got another fun segment out of it. And hey, they have codenames now! Who knew Skipper, Mongoose, Fireface (Retribution: "Write that down! Write that down!"), and Brolee ("That's actually sick. I like that.") needed the presence of Riddle to help the team become more cohesive? Hey, I think they got really close this week. At least Riddle and Keith Lee did get along, kinda. 

    It all boils down to Sheamus and Braun Strowman since they are the only squeaky wheels in this otherwise well-built grocery cart. The tag team match that Skipper organized actually went well, not for them, but for me because it's definitely my match of the night. It had some teamwork, some bickering, and Styles getting accidentally pummeled many times. It even had a Jordan Omogbehin tease and I was like, "Damn, they really gon' do this?" before the commercial break cut the tension. Dammit.

    Needless to say, the men's Survivor Series team did a great job providing an entertaining portion to a Fun House-less episode of RAW. And I'm sure they will continue stealing the spotlight in the coming weeks. The only thing preventing it from becoming a top-tier storyline is the lack of stakes. 

    Isn't it weird that four out of the five members of Team RAW were all SmackDown exports? This is why the T-shirt Wars is phony af. Why would anyone care about upholding the brand they are in? At least give everyone something to fight for. A good Royal Rumble spot? A chance to be GM for a week? A chance to end Stone Cold's career? Immunity from the first-or-last-name purge? Because at this point, bragging rights ain't gonna cut it, even in kayfabe standards. Adam Pearce, cook something up, will ya?

    On the women's side, Nia Jax put Lana through a table for the eighth straight time. Nice?

    Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that they're trying to add some conflict within the women's team. And yeah, it's a bit similar to the men's storyline, but it's not necessarily bad. Isn't it more boring if all the women got along instantly? Where's the drama in that? 

    The problem lies with the endgame, or lack thereof. Where is this story headed? To Lana being crowned as the "mega babyface?" To Shayna and Nia's eventual clash? To Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose's whatever? Nothing's clicking. 

    At least with the men's team, we get to see five of RAW's best talent vibing it up on funny promos and duking it out in fun matches. If the only thing the women's team can offer is their least interesting member getting pummeled through a table week after week, why should we care? And if everyone's fighting for nothing, why should we bother?

    CLOSING RHETORICK: The key to watching and reviewing RAW on a weekly basis is to lower your expectations. And I mean lower it to the deep end. So that when they do something out of the ordinary, you can at least enjoy their mediocre efforts. This week was one of those weeks where the mod of the show was just 'meh.' The men's Survivor Series team and Randy Orton's rapping were the only ones that stood out for me. And now that I think about it, Ali vs. Ricochet was actually fire. 🔥 

    RAW Grade: C

    RhetoRickal Questions That Are Just Fun to Ask

    • Why is RETRIBUTION targeting Ricochet? At first, I thought it was weird but I got it now: it's because he has the perfect RETRIBUTION name! And since all of them have the same stock on the card anyway—which is not a lot, mind you—it makes perfect sense. By the way, kudos to them for delivering one of the best matches of the night, even if it was slated right before the main event. Maybe things are starting to look up for RETRIBUTION after all. 

    • Can we just retire the R-Truth Championship already? At this point, why is anyone clamoring to get their hands on this shitty title? At least give other jobbers the chance to do something with the title and not just recycling it back to R-Truth after a few moments. Poor Erik and Gran Metalik.
    • Will Sheamus and Drew McIntyre make a good team? I'm sure they'll clash at some point, but I'm really curious how this combination will fare as a tag team first. 

    • Did Shayna Baszler just wrestle Lana for more than a minute? Yikes. I miss NXT-era Baszler.
    • Why is Angel Garza flirting with every woman in the world? 🤷

    GIF of the Week


    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 (11/9/20): Skipper! Mongoose! Brolee! Dopey! Fireface! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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