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Monday Night Raw Rants: The Club Reunites Edition

The Nerd Hub celebrates as The Club reunites this week with our WWE Monday Night Raw rants. We also celebrate the return of anything substantial actually happening on the show for the first time in weeks. Sure, Ricochet held off another challenge from AJ Styles in a repeat main event from last week. However, the big news emanating from American Airlines Center in Dallas involved Big Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson and Styles turning heel together.



WWE threw all kinds of swerves at us in the United States Championship title match main event. First, Styles appeared to have won the belt in the early going. He socked Ricochet with the Phenomenal Forearm and pinned his shoulders for the three count. However, replay and official John Cone informed the other referee that the champ got his foot under the rope. Therefore, the title change got negated and the two wrestled on.

What ensued became a seesaw affair between Ricochet and Styles. Ultimately, Ricochet came out on top as the athleticism of both took center stage during the match.

Enter The Club.

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson came to ringside, where they gave mock applause to the defending champ. Styles positioned himself in between his old running buddies and The One and Only, seemingly in a protective stance. However, Styles then suckerpunched Ricochet out of nowhere and announced his heel turn. Gallows and Anderson joined in for good, old-fashioned beatdown from The Club.

Don’t look now, but perhaps WWE may actually book guys we like being heel to challenge their babyfaces. You know, NOT Shane McMahon. The Club can band together and put fear into Universal Champ Seth Rollins, WWE Champ Kofi Kingston, Roman Reigns, Ricochet or Intercontinental Champ Finn Balor. Literally, any champion (besides Drake Maverick) WWE chooses to throw these guys up against would create a story likely to engage viewers.



WWE finally decided to end the weird contests between two of its biggest monsters. It let them do what monsters do at the box office each summer – destroy things. Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley ended the silly thread of arm wrestling and tug of war with a Falls Count Anywhere match.

The Almighty took it to The Monster Among Men a good portion of the match. Lashley whipped Strowman into the ring post before spearing him through the timekeeper’s area. Then, they took the action to the crowd. However, the assault on Braun continued as Bob smacked him liberally with a steel chair.

The babyface monster battled back with a huge running shoulder tackle. Then, he lobbed Bob onto the stage where he commenced to spearing him through a video board. It drew sparks from the board and an expletive from Corey Graves at the announce table. It also got a no-contest result as medics had to tend to both men.

You can tell Paul Heyman runs the show now on Monday Night Raw. This show smacked of Heyman if ever any show smacked of the “Paulrus” as The King calls him. Nobody knows how to cater to our inner big kid with violence and destruction more than Heyman.  The only criticism of this extension of the Strowman-Lashley feud I have is that it came out of left field. These guys went from tugging rope to blowing up sets in a week. However, that’s a huge improvement, so I’m not complaining.



When I previewed Stomping Grounds, I posited that WWE’s new contract extensions with Mike and Maria Kanellis likely meant an impending Cruiserweight Championship run. Little did I know, the couple would go from a near total non-factor on TV to a feud with the Universal Champ and Raw Women’s Champ.

Welcome back to the big leagues, Mike and Maria Kanellis. They set up a mixed tag match with Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch backstage. So, those of you cringing at WWE exploiting the relationship between Rollins and Lynch for entertainment purposes likely didn’t enjoy this. However, it certainly created an unexpected and entertaining twist to the storylines of the champs. They’ve both had unending rivalries with Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans lately.

However, the drama just began to unfold at the start of the match. When Becky Lynch tagged into the match, Maria dropped to the floor and grabbed a mic. She began berating her husband, Mike. She also claimed she couldn’t compete due to being pregnant. As Maria continued to lambaste her man, The Man made Mike tap out to the Dis-Arm-Her in the ring.

This led Maria to continue her rantings, saying that Becky Lynch represented the only man in the ring. Maria added that she’d ask Becky to impregnate her next time. Mike got left speechless as she walked off.

In addition to the Strowman-Lashley destruction content, this proved to me Heyman took charge this week. He’s stated in the past that Maria represents one of the most creative people with whom he’s ever worked. Apparently, he’s so confident in her abilities he didn’t care too much about pulling them from nowhere into this confrontation. Yet, many people tired of endless Lynch-Lacey Evans and Rollins-Baron Corbin content. So, this gave us something different for a change.



Consider it part of my Shane McMahon fatigue. The Undertaker delivered a promo along with Shane-O-Mac and Drew McIntyre. The Dead Man vowed Shane and the Scottish Psychopath would rest in peace at Extreme Rules. In addition, Undertaker brought up their WrestleMania 32 tussle and claimed “The Best in the World” amounts to nothing but another lost soul among many.

Don’t get me wrong. The Undertaker is what he is at this point. He’s a nostalgia act trotted out to grab attention every now and again. However, this promo represents a cut-and-paste of any Undertaker promo you’ve seen for decades. It gets the job done, but it’s hardly unexpected or exciting.



Street Profits – The NXT Tag Team Champs appeared on Raw in a meeting with Heyman. As always, Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins gave an energetic hype job of their impending main roster debut. These guys bring an electricity and energy to matches in a way that’s kind of lacking in the tag division right now. They will instantly help either show they appear on.

24/7 Championship Race – Drake Maverick outsmarted R-Truth to win his coveted title back as he also tries to save his storyline marriage. The champ came out as part of No Way Jose’s Conga Line. Truth couldn’t resist rubbing it in while Maverick sat ringside with his wife who told him he’d have to choose between her or the title. However, the 205 Live GM got the last laugh by smashing Truth with a briefcase and pinning him during some of the last moments of Raw.

Carmella – The former SmackDown Women’s Champion rarely gets to wrestle on the Blue Brand these days. However, she successfully defeated SmackDown Women’s title contender Alexa Bliss on Raw. Mella did wind up losing to Nikki Cross in an ensuing match. Yet, the Staten Island Princess had to get excited about being involved in something other than being R-Truth’s sidekick.

The Viking Raiders – Erik and Ivar teamed up with Samoa Joe to hand The New Day a beating. Don’t look now, but the former NXT Champs just keep winning. So, they can  make a big impact on Raw going forward. They just need the time and commitment from the WWE creative team to do it.

Cesaro – The Swiss Cyborg ruthlessly beat WWE sparring dummy No Way Jose to a no contest. The character reboot continues for the former member of The Bar. He’s a no-nonsense, physical villain out to smack the teeth out of any babyface. It’s the type of role he’s perfectly suited to pull off. He could easily work into any feuds involving faces the WWE wants to help get over.



Lacey Evans/Baron Corbin – The Lady of the WWE needed to play the numbers game to beat Natalya. Yes, the same Natalya who has virtually gone into the WWE Superstar Protection Program since Ronda Rousey jetted. Kudos for getting Evans involved with someone other than Lynch. However, she lacks teeth as a credible championship contender. This booking doesn’t exactly convince anyone she’s got the goods to take down The Man.

The Miz – The A-Lister defeated Elias in a Best-of-3 Falls match. He took advantage of The Walking Truth smashing his knee into the ring post with a decisive Figure Four. However, this feud just represents two guys whose career have stalled recently in the wake of Shane McMahon’s heel push. These guys turned in some of the best content for their shows in 2018. Now, they’re involved in a pedestrian, mid-card beef.

Nikki Cross – The WWE seemed to skip ahead in their to-this-point, well-paced storyline with Cross and Bliss. Carmella calling out just how reliant The Goddess is on Cross and then beating her gave us something fantastic. However, they should’ve cut the show for these three there. Instead, they gave us a rushed match to create doubt as to whether it should be Bliss or Cross facing Bayley at Extreme Rules. Sure, we knew we were headed there. However, this seemed like fast-tracking the story a bit too much.

Bray Wyatt – The Firefly Fun House segments grew to become one of the best things on Raw the past few months. So, we notice when Bray or The Fiend goes silent. Hopefully, this carries no significance in the plans for him.

The Revival/The Usos – Extreme Rules sits only a few weeks away, but the champs and their big rivals provided nothing further. Maybe WWE just wanted to give Street Profits time on the mic by themselves. However, their appearance possibly could’ve hit another level with involvement from either of these teams. In my opinion, even a staring match as they walk past each other could’ve generated some excitement.






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Monday Night Raw Rants: Seth Rollins Edition

Welcome to The Nerd Hub and our breakdown of Monday Night Raw’s Super ShowDown fallout episode. Though not quite Fyre Festival, Super ShowDown earned the nickname the “Disaster in the Desert” from many online fans. That left Monday’s show at the SAP Center in San Jose to pick up the pieces. So, let’s see how WWE began to set up Stomping Grounds which is right around on the corner on June 23. We started off the show with Universal Champion Seth Rollins and…


WWE opened and closed the show with Universal Champion Seth Rollins. They recapped his successful title defense at Super ShowDown against Baron Corbin. Then, they rolled out their standard, boring setup of the main event with a show-opening promo. Corbin reminded Rollins that he’ll get a rematch in a few weeks at the pay per view in Tacoma, Washington. Corbin added that he’ll get a special referee for that match as well. That’s when Sami Zayn came out to get consideration for the job.

As a result, Seth Rollins lobbed a few threats Zayn’s way. So, Kevin Owens came out to defend his best buddy. Finally, we arrived at the roundabout way of naming Owens against Rollins as the main event.

As for the match, Zayn and Owens reverted back to their old pre-injury antics. Zayn came out in a referee uniform and distracted the actual referee several times. The Underdog from the Underground even kept John Cone from making a three count. So, Seth Rollins started taking his aggression out on Zayn. As a result, Seth Rollins drew the disqualification, giving the victory to Owens.

The match had little actual wrestling involved. It highlighted the shrinking credibility Owens and Zayn contain as serious heels. WWE went back to their friend schtick and it’s hurting the relevance of both. Furthermore, Corbin will not come across as a serious threat as long as Brock Lesnar looms with the briefcase. Meanwhile, Seth Rollins gets credit for drawing fan interest. However, he’s hurt by mediocre booking, like almost every one of the WWE Superstars these days.


The RAW Tag Champion Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder refused to accept an underdog story role in a pre-match promo. However, their reign failed to survive a triple-threat match with The Usos and The Revival. The Usos dominated much of the in-ring action at SAP Center.

Following a number of superkicks, Jey Uso all but sealed the deal for the high-flying Samoans. Yet, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder became the ultimate opportunists with some late-match heel tactics. Dawson hit a splash and Wilder held back Jey from breaking up the pinfall. As a result, The Revival once again reign as Raw Tag Team Champions.

Give Ryder and Hawkins credit. Few took them seriously as contenders when they won the belts in their home state of New York at WrestleMania. However, they delivered when called up in the limited opportunities granted them the past few months. Yet, The Revival regaining the title belts makes all the sense in the world. Their feud with The Usos needs to become a central part of Raw going forward. Therefore, it makes more sense to involve the championship to put more at stake in their matches going forward.


Lacey Evans took a lot of criticism last week after a botch-filled match with Charlotte  Flair. However, the Lady of WWE bounced back in a big way this week. Evans took a starring role in a well-executed match also involving Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch and Bayley. Evans and Bliss scored the victory over the two champions when Evans KO’d The Hugger with a Woman’s Right.

During the closing sequence, Evans shoved Nikki Cross, who came out with Bliss, into Raw Women’s Champ Lynch. The Lady then socked Lynch with a Woman’s Right. Then, Evans hit the SmackDown Women’s Champ with another Woman’s Right to set up a Twisted Bliss. Bayley protected herself with her knees against Bliss, but fell victim to another Woman’s Right in the loss. Once again, Bayley gets hung with a loss in her hometown of San Jose. She notably lost her Raw Women’s title in 2017 to Alexa Bliss at the SAP Center at Payback.

Evans answered a lot of questions about her in-ring ability for a night with this performance. She jumped to the forefront in this match and propelled most of the action. Frankly, Evans needed an effort like this to come across as a legitimate contender in her rematch with Lynch at Stomping Grounds.

Meanwhile, WWE kept the Bliss-Cross storyline going as a subplot. Ahead of the match, Bliss convinced Cross that Bayley deceives people into believing she’s lovable and bubbly when she’s really not. These two clearly took a backseat to Evans this week, but The Lady needed a bit more of a boost than they did. She looks like she’s a big threat in the Raw Women’s Championship picture once again.


At this point, it seems like WWE uses The IIconics just to troll Sasha Banks. They continue to trot out Billie Kay and Peyton Royce as “the longest reigning WWE Women’s Tag Team Champs” while they never actually defend the belts. This week, they defeated “local competitors” Aleyah Mia and Lisa Lace, or as Triple H would call them “Guardians of the Independent Scene.”

Essentially, WWE tells us the women’s tag team division exists as one big joke. That flies in the face of what Banks and Bayley set out to do. Are we really just months removed from most of the women’s division fighting to get into the Elimination Chamber for these belts? Now, WWE creative invests zero time into the women’s tag team division. They appeared to start to build up The Kabuki Warriors, Kairi Sane and Asuka, as credible threats only to ghost them on TV recently. Nobody else even seems interested in contending for them at this point.


Bray Wyatt – Consider it a sign of the times that the best part of a weekly wrestling show isn’t wrestling. Firefly Fun House segments consistently deliver and this week served us another delightfully menacing episode. Ramblin’ Rabbit escaped being eaten again by Mercy the Buzzard only to seal his own doom. He threatened to reveal the true nature of the Firefly Fun House. As a result, Bray retaliated and showed us it’s okay to eat your friends with a jar of consumables made from said rabbit.

Ricochet – The One and Only teamed up with Miz and Braun Strowman in a surprise six-man tag match this week. The babyfaces defeated United States Champ Samoa Joe, Cesaro and Bobby Lashley. Miz set up Ricochet’s 630 Splash for the win by hitting a Skull Crushing Finale on Cesaro. WWE emphasized Strowman posing a scary threat to Joe during the match. That seems like the long-term story. However, Ricochet may emerge as the first man up to get a shot at the US Champ.

The Usos – They got the upper hand on The Revival with a Super Show Down victory and dominated the title match Monday. However, a victory for Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder also serves as a win for Jimmy and Jey. These four guys can finally start giving us some meaningful content and put aside the sophomoric locker room humor that few found funny.

Samoa Joe – The fun of the six-man tag match showcased the true depth of midcard challengers with which Joe can make magic. Though I’m no fan of Lashley, the Samoan Submission Machine would likely find a way to make even that feud interesting. He needs to hit one out of the park with his next run because the story with Rey Mysterio fell flat for the most part until the ending.

Seth Rollins – The fans remain invested in the newer, more aggressive version of the Universal Champ. However, WWE creative continues to serve as the biggest rival to Seth Rollins. The Beastslayer needs to firm up the storyline with Lesnar because no story told until that one ends will carry much weight. We know it will come down to Rollins and Lesnar at some point. WWE would benefit from making that sooner rather than dragging this out. The Lesnar briefcase cash-in story for the past few weeks seems more about conning people out of money for attendance at shows than actual entertainment angles.


Lars Sullivan-Lucha House Party – Two of my least favorite acts in the company just keep giving us terrible content. Inexplicably, Lucha House Party stood tall by taking out Sullivan at Super ShowDown. Therefore, WWE had to get payback for its latest flop of a monster. Sullivan dismantled Kalisto, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado in a 3-on-1 elimination handicap match as enjoyable as a visit to the dentist.

Shane McMahon Celebration – Tripling down on terrible booking, WWE put over Shane O’Mac in a third straight pay-per-view against an actual wrestler. This time, Roman Reigns had to take it on the chin at Super ShowDown to keep gifting us with more Shane on TV. Chasing Lars taking out Lucha House Party with Shane and Drew McIntyre gloating feels like following up that dentist visit with a trip to see a proctologist.

Paul Heyman Promo – The Beast Incarnate’s advocate delivered a rambling promo that went nowhere. Essentially, Heyman announced Lesnar will take a break from WWE TV again. Vince McMahon likely enjoyed teasing live audiences with meaningful Lesnar appearances only to disappoint them each week. Now, Heyman said because of Rollins’ deplorable actions, which essentially amounted to defending himself from interference from Lesnar at Super ShowDown, Lesnar will no longer announce when he will cash in. This seems to defy logic after weeks of shows in which he didn’t announce his cash in.

Baron Corbin – I thought Corbin and Rollins turned in one of the few good matches at Jeddah. However, the announcement of the special referee stipulation for Corbin’s match at Stomping Grounds seems like it’s more important to the match than Corbin himself. That’s never a good thing for a guy trying to prove he deserves all of the main event matches that he gets.

Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder – Though The Revival winning the belts means great things for the fans, The Revival, The Usos and Raw, it’s awful for these guys. It’s fair to wonder whether Hawkins and Ryder get many televised appearances in the future. Ryder spent almost an entire year off TV. Meanwhile, Hawkins served as the company’s ultimate sad sack for a few years. I legitimately feel awful if that happens because these guys turned in solid, entertaining performances every time they got a chance to work.







Monday Night RAW Rants: The Revival Tribute Edition

Welcome to The Nerd Hub and our weekly ranting about WWE. This week, we finally get The Revival and The Usos in the ring. We love to see it. The epic match easily highlighted a mostly mediocre RAW from Times Union Center in Albany, NY.


You see, boys and girls, once upon a time, tag team wrestling rocked. The Revival and The Usos took us back to the era of great tag wrestling Monday.

Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder worked over Jimmy Uso most of the match. They used frequent tags and dirty tricks to keep him away from Jey. Though Jey made a hot tag eventually, Dawson rolled up Jimmy for the win. As a result, The Revival got their payback for the shaving video and the “Usey hot” ointment in their ring gear.

The Superstar Shake-Up sent The Usos to RAW during the April 15th show from Montreal. Why we had to wade through five weeks of crappy prank skits at the expense of The Revival, I will never know. Dawson and Wilder earning the win served as an added bonus, given their booking as of late.

Please, WWE, let two of the best teams of this era go at each other more often. That’s the bottom line because Nerd Hub Joe said so.


I’m not sure who killed his appearance more during the opening promo Monday. A grinning Beast Incarnate came out rocking to the Money in the Bank briefcase like a boom box. Meanwhile, Paul Heyman brought his “A” promo material for a change. Either way, they put the fear of Brock Lesnar into Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston from the start.

Of course, Lesnar’s boom box act provided a few laughs. However, Heyman eventually scored the biggest hit of the segment. He made a crack on Rollins having to wait seven hours at WrestleMania to see his girlfriend – Becky Lynch – main event a show Rollins wasn’t good enough to headline himself.

Ouch! Call Heyman the Architectslayer with that one.

Heyman and Lesnar teased a cat-and-mouse game with the champions. They painted the picture that The Beast will lurk in the shadows. Then, he will pounce when the time to strike is at hand. The threat of the unknown with The Beast kept us on the edge of our seats all night.

Therefore, WWE immediately had to kill most of the anticipation by the end of the show. They announced Lesnar would determine which champion he’ll target on RAW next week.


The Bray Wyatt reboot continues to excel as one of the best segments on Mondays. The friendly “Firefly Fun House” theme song gave way to imagery as creepy as a Marilyn Manson rock video. We watched as images of happy children turned into zombie kids with “Let Him In” written on their foreheads. Wyatt returned with the fear mask afterward. He haunted us with his message of letting him in our heads.


Sure, the Scottish Psychopath got a victory over The Miz. However, the way WWE booked that win hurts more than helps McIntyre. He only finished off the A-Lister after Shane McMahon came out with a dirty assist.

That’s right. A guy they billed as a potential Universal Champion one day needed Shane’s help to beat Miz. The same Miz who just dropped two consecutive matches to a McMahon. This makes McIntyre look like a joke. He’s virtually an Authority flunkie who needs help to win. This puts him on par with The B Team.

Furthermore, McIntyre got announced as an opponent for Roman Reigns at Super Showdown. So, he gets to put over The Big Dog for a third match in a row. Perhaps WWE still believes in him. However, nobody else will if and when they pull the trigger on a big McIntyre push.


Baron Corbin – WWE continues to give the fans heaping helpings of the guy they like to see the least. The Lone Wolf got a promo segment teasing a beef with AJ Styles. Then, he also got booked for yet another main event. He and “The Almighty” Bobby Lashley tried to ambush Rollins and Kingston in a no disqualification main event tag match. However, the champs still won. Corbin and Lashley then delivered a post-match beatdown as Lesnar teased a possible cash in.  Lesnar saved this from being a run-of-the-mill segment for the main event.

Roman Reigns – The Big Dog received a huge ovation a day after demolishing Elias at Money in the Bank. He immediately got interrupted by Shane, who put him in a match against McIntyre at Super Showdown. So, Reigns remains on track to have a title belt in weeks. The monster push continues.

Cesaro – The Swiss Superman scored a victory over Ricochet. WWE creative actually sold it well, too. The One and Only remained hobbled from storyline injures incurred during Sunday’s ladder match. This match reminded us yet again Cesaro’s skills remain on par with any main eventer. He just never gets a big singles push because Vince McMahon allegedly thinks he’s boring. These two could build a nice feud and momentum out of this if WWE goes that route.

Samoa Joe – The Destroyer lived up to his name on the mic. He cut a promo that Rey Mysterio never got his shoulders down at Money in the Bank. Thus, Rey never beat him for the United States Championship. Therefore, he’s giving Rey the chance to go the honorable route and give him back the title. In addition, rumor sites online reported Mysterio suffered a shoulder injury at the pay-per-view show. So, Joe may wind up getting the belt back pretty soon.

R-Truth – The comedic veteran ended the show as the new 24/7 title belt holder. Mick Foley announced essentially a reboot of the hardcore championship. The illustrious new belt already can count Titus O’Neil, Robert Roode and R-Truth as its prestigious champions on its first night. Foley essentially told a hodge-podge of enhancement talent surrounding the ring the first to the belt is the champ. O’Neil won the race. Then, he got rolled up by Roode on the ramp to lose it. Roode tried to enlist R-Truth to help him escape at the end of the show. However, his getaway car opened up to reveal a ref. Then, Truth bounced Roode off the car for the pin.


Women’s Division – Unfortunately, RAW kept its booking of only one women’s division segment per week. We got another dreadful “Moment of Bliss” intro into a match. And they saddled the “shoehorn” nickname on Charlotte. Apparently, Alexa Bliss must get on TV every week, even if she can’t stay healthy enough to wrestle. Her segment with RAW Women’s Champ Becky Lynch got interrupted by Lacey Evans and The IIconics. This spawned a tag match where Cross got beat up all match to make a hot tag to Lynch. The champ then hit a leg drop on Billie Kay for the win. Lynch forced Bliss to partner with her and Cross, but then told her to stay outside the ring and look pretty. This essentially served as filler on a three-hour show and it helped none of the wrestlers involved.

24/7 Championship – The cameo by Foley got ruined by the solid gold crap that is the newest WWE championship. This belt helps WWE fill some content. However, the title serves as a joke. The enhancement guys trading it back and forth each week likely won’t give you much for which to get excited.

Lars Sullivan – We got yet another beatdown of Lucha House Party. WWE set it up as an in-ring interview with Charly Caruso. However, Kalisto, Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik sought payback and tried an ambush. They started out well, hitting a triple dropkick. However, Sullivan soon flattened them again. As usual, this served as filler and didn’t help with any momentum. In fact, many WWE fans online pointed out that the company seems tone deaf for booking a guy who needed sensitivity training for racial remarks to pound on a group of Hispanic performers.

Sami Zayn – WWE worked its magic in trying to kill the heat one of its hottest heels built over the past month. They booked him to squeal like a girl and look extremely weak in a squash effort against Braun Strowman. Granted, you expected The Monster to get revenge for being ousted from the MITB ladder match. However, beating up Zayn adds nothing for Strowman. Meanwhile, Zayn’s push appears dead in the water.

AJ Styles – The Phenomenal One’s big reward for a great match with the Universal Champ appears to be a teased angle with Corbin. One can only assume The Lone Wolf bought compromising pictures of Vince McMahon somewhere. Almost everyone complains about his inclusion in the main event scene. Meanwhile, WWE keeps lining up main eventers who Corbin sets back with feuds that get no reaction. Let’s hope the Styles-Corbin interactions end quickly.


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