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    Wednesday, March 31, 2021

    The RAW RhetoRick (3/29/21): They Hop a Little, We Suck a Lot

    You know a major storyline is dead when it has a random Baron Corbin added into it. Out of all the storylines they could kill, they had to choose the most important one. Never change, RAW. I'm Ricky Publico, and this is the RAW RhetoRick.

    Where do we even begin with this one? I know. Let's start at the beginning of this week's episode when they broke up their only credible faction on the main roster, the Hurt Business. After all that they did to make THB a legitimate force to be reckoned with, they pulled the plug right at their peak. You couldn't even argue that they were going over or weren't getting the right reaction because there's literally no way to tell. What, are they checking each screen in the ThunderDome to see who's clapping or thumbing down? Stupid.

    As if that's not enough, they had to ruin Bobby Lashley's character by having everyone take out Drew McIntyre before WrestleMania. So much for being All Mighty. I would understand if it was a business move made by MVP and if MVP issued the bounty himself. After all, he's supposed to be the mouthpiece. But ditching your friends just because they failed one time then asking everyone to do the work you claimed you could do yourself doesn't really scream "All Mighty," does it? Now he's just Generic Heel #41234.

    And you know what generic heels do? They team up with Baron Corbin for some reason. Why? Beats me. I guess they can trace it back to 2019 when Bobby Lashley, Baron Corbin, and Drew McIntyre randomly teamed up when they were still directionless heels. Do you even remember that? Yeah, you probably didn't because it was that forgettable. It technically counts as history, but why use it now in a major storyline for the WWE Championship? Why now when two out of three of them have already made it big?

    They even fucked up the one fun thing about this whole angle: the bounty part. Yes, Drew McIntyre searching for the fight himself was a nice touch. But when the fight did come to him, what we got was a lousy 2-in-1 main event. Great job for giving Ricochet and Mustafa Ali the rub, I guess, but those matches were nothing. And the worst part? Lashley didn't even finish the job. I thought they wanted to take Drew out? Why not injure him with steel chairs or kendo sticks? Oh, making him pass out is enough? Right. 

    Bobby Lashley deserved more than to be a bland bad guy. I can't believe Creative took out the things that made Lashley a great, well-rounded character and forced him into a trope we've seen a million times. He could've been the next, or dare I say, the better version of Brock Lesnar in more ways than one. He had the right faction working for him, the right person who could talk for him, and the right booking for a proper monster heel. After this horrendous episode, he only has one of those things, and that just won't cut it.

    You think that's the end of it? Nah, fam, this is RAW we're talking about. Of course, they're going to fuck up the top storyline of their women's division. Tell me if you've seen this before: Rhea Ripley and RAW Women's Champion Asuka will team up against Women's Tag Team Champions Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax next week on RAW. If you answered "Two weeks ago at Fastlane," then you'd be cooooorrect. Because apparently, the only way to set up a rivalry is to force the rivals to work together as a tag team. It's like they're not even trying anymore.

    In a way, I kind of get it since Asuka still has some beef with Shayna Baszler. But why did they set it up like Rhea Ripley has beef with the Women's Tag Team Champions? Why did Asuka stay on the ground for the rest of the segment when she was just slightly grazed by the table? She could've just stood up and issued the challenge herself so she could at least stand side-by-side with her challenger. But nah, fam. This is RAW, remember? It has to be as nonsensical as possible. Way to kill an angle before it even started. 

    Quick, I need something to remove the bitter taste in my mouth. Good thing the Dirt Sheet and John Morrison's random-ass intros always do the trick for me. I definitely enjoyed the world premiere of Miz and JoMo's new song, "Hey Hey, Hop Hop." It's a bop! It's a million times better than Hey Hey, Ho Ho, and more on par with their classic Dirt Sheet raps. The music video was a bit all over the place, though, but that's just me. Loved the random Spanish-gibberish songwriting only John Morrison is capable of. 

    I also loved how they aired the full music video during their segment. Wrestling logic would dictate that the babyfaces would've spoiled the party before the chorus even dropped, but I guess they needed to fill the three hours. Bad Bunny was kind enough to give his fellow artists the spotlight before storming to the ring with his buddy Damian Priest *shoots invisible arrow*. They should really make this 'Mania match a tag match because that punch doesn't really inspire confidence. Give Damian his 'Mania paycheck, dammit!

    CLOSING RHETORICK: I am convinced that two five-year-olds booked this week's episode, and it baffles me why RAW keeps letting kids run their shows. I had high hopes that the Red Brand would at least match the level of quality SmackDown just pulled off with their main event storyline. It's an embarrassing showing, and with only one episode remaining, RAW pretty much killed the momentum of most of their storylines heading into WrestleMania 37. Again, never change.

    Show Grade: F

    RhetoRickal Statements That Also Forgot Their Lines on Live TV

    • Imagine an episode being so terrible that a ridiculous botch was one of the highlights of the show. It's really dumb how heavily scripted Riddle is when he can literally just make up nonsense, and it would still fit his loopy-ass gimmick. Can you really blame the guy for forgetting his lines after getting his brains rattled by Sheamus?
    • Instead of commenting on Randy Orton phoning in another Fiend promo, I'd rather thank him for my newest go-to insult to all my haters. Stay mad, haters. My dick taller than you. Also, shouting your lines doesn't make your promo good, Randy. You're better than this, you know.
    • Didn't Naomi pick up the rollup victory over Shayna Baszler? So why not give her and Lana the title shot next week? Why let Shayna eat an embarrassing loss if you're not giving the pair who beat her the rub? I don't even know what they want to do with the women's tag team division anymore.
    • Braun Strowman is so stupid. How stupid is he? Braun Strowman is so stupid that he declined a chance to get a WWE Championship opportunity AT WRESTLEMANIA to focus on Shane McMahon. The weekly clowning of Braun Strowman continues, and I love every bit of it.
    • I would've enjoyed the Game Night segment if it wasn't too obviously scripted. It's not that hard to rig a game of Charades or Pictionary, you know. The segment would've been ten times funnier if they could improvise and replicate natural human interactions. RAW should really fire their writers.
    • For some reason, Rhea Ripley always looks like she's 6'5" when we basically are the same height. It's so confusing. Is it just me?

    Header image taken from WWE.com


    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) is Smark Henry's seasoned veteran and resident main roster reviewer. He's a sucker for well-written 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. His potential haunts him.

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    Item Reviewed: The RAW RhetoRick (3/29/21): They Hop a Little, We Suck a Lot Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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