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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.






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Monday Night RAW Rants: Undertaker Edition

Welcome to The Nerd Hub and our weekly breakdown of WWE Monday Night RAW. No, it’s not 1989, 1999 or even 2009, but 2019. Yet, the best part of this week’s show involved The Undertaker. The Deadman’s return highlighted the Super Showdown go-home edition of RAW this week from Austin, Texas. So, dust off your trench coats because it’s time to go over the autopsy of another dead RAW.


The Deadman sure brought a live mic to the main event segment of RAW this week. Undertaker vowed to Goldberg to “claim your soul for eternity” by destroying the former Universal Champion with “inhumane levels of brutality.” Then, he stole Goldberg’s line when he closed by adding, “Goldberg, you’re next.” Undertaker also proclaimed that he would end Goldberg’s career.

Sure, plenty of fans let WWE know they don’t want them there at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Social media buzzed the past few weeks with discontent that WWE again turned the other cheek on the totalitarian regime for a big payday. Furthermore, plenty of fans also lobbied verbal grenades at the Super Showdown card. Yet, whether you want to see 54-year-old Undertaker take on 52-year-old Goldberg, that’s what’s on the menu. Sure, the match probably won’t last long. However, today’s acts could take a page from Undertaker on delivering the perfect message for the character being portrayed.

Undertaker turned in a top-notch sell job to whet your appetites. We’ll need to tune in to SmackDown Live on Tuesday to see Goldberg’s response.


Samoa Joe and Rey Mysterio joined Undertaker in making RAW an old-school throwback this week. Mysterio played the honorable champion, relinquishing his United States title due to injury. He surrendered his belt in classy fashion to the rightful champ, who many thought never really lost. Besides, Joe’s shoulders never really stayed on the mat at Money in the Bank.

So, naturally Joe responded to Mysterio by insulting him and then slapping on the Coquina Clutch once Rey laid down the belt. Though this feud had mostly misses, this segment hit all the right notes. Joe played the ruthless baddie, who harrassed and assaulted the classic babyface the entire time.

Ultimately, Joe got some of the heat he lost back. Mysterio saved face by admitting he never deserved the U.S. gold in the first place. Meanwhile, Rey continued to tease his son, Dominick, getting involved in the ring soon.


For some reason, Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss work as WWE’s odd couple. Nikki defeated Peyton Royce of The IIconics this week in singles action, but the best part remained the relationship with Bliss.

Nikki hoped to impress Bliss with a big victory. However, Royce rolled through the early going. Though at ringside, The Goddess seemed concerned more about the delivery of her coffee than the match. Finally, a staffer brought her a coffee during the final sequence. However, Royce kicked the beverage out of Bliss’ hands. As a result, Royce’s partner Billie Kay shoved Bliss into the mess on the floor. Obviously, this caused Bliss to become furious. So, she cleared the ring of The IIconics after Cross hit the decisive neckbreaker.

For a change, WWE creative came up with something we haven’t seen repeatedly. You know Cross’ obsession with impressing Bliss, who could care less about the crazy Scot, will end up wrecking things. Let’s hope the payoff brings us a finish as entertaining as the start of this story the past few weeks.


Mr. Money in the Bank Brock Lesnar had advocate Paul Heyman tease a cash in last Friday for the RAW in Austin. This marked the second straight week WWE advertised a significant storyline with Brock for RAW. Like last week, The Beast Incarnate failed to deliver as promised.

Lesnar interrupted an early segment involving Universal Champ Seth Rollins on Miz TV with his backstage appearance in a limo. Then, Rollins went to the ring later in the show to demand Lesnar use his cash in on him then and there. However, Rollins’ Super Showdown opponent Baron Corbin came out instead. The Lone Wolf triggered a brawl and laid out the champ with an End of Days after Lesnar’s music distracted The Beastslayer. With Rollins down, Lesnar rushed to the ring and pummeled the champ with german suplexes, chair shots and an F5. Heyman implored the Beast to cash in then and there. However, Lesnar refused yet again. He said he’d wait until Friday, teasing a cash in at Super Showdown.

Simply put this crap reeks of the kind of bait-and-switch booking that used to plague fans of WCW. You have to feel for fans who paid good money the past two weeks at Kansas City and Austin. They thought they might get to see a title change or Universal title match at least. Yet, all they received were two long commercials for a pay-per-view few people want to support.


Lacey Evans – The Lady of WWE lost by disqualification to Charlotte Flair after both got waylaid by RAW Women’s Champ Becky Lynch. So, why is she in the high five? She’s working constantly with two of the best women in the industry. This segment screams triple threat match at Stomping Grounds. That sort of company can only help Evans in her climb to stardom.

Roman Reigns – Reigns and The Usos suffered a loss to Drew McIntyre and The Revival when Drew Claymore kicked Jey. Shane McMahon and the heels then put a post-match beatdown on the Big Dog. As usual, this sets up Reigns to get more babyface love and Shane to get heel heat heading into their Super Showdown match. Let’s hope WWE actually lets McMahon lose this time. He unexpectedly beat Miz at both WrestleMania and Money in the Bank.

Drew McIntyre – The Scottish Psychopath and The Revival sure looked good together. Call it unforeseen upside to the uber Shane heel push. A union of McIntyre, Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson features some of the most imposing men on the RAW roster. They could accomplish some seriously evil deeds together.

Bray Wyatt – This week’s Firefly Fun House brought us Bray in a fanny pack and old-school Zubaz pants. He preached fitness while introducing us to a new puppet, Huskus the pig, who suffers from a chocolate addiction. He also introduced a devil-horned Vince McMahon puppet before starring in a retro aerobics video. Wyatt continues to be one of the best parts of RAW each week.

Seth Rollins – The Universal Champion got his butt handed to him on a go-home show. Therefore, the old booking trope may hold that he shocks us all by retaining his belt on Friday at Super Showdown. One thing you must admit. Teasing Lesnar to cash in ups the interest in that match incredibly. Few people cared to see a standalone Baron Corbin-Rollins match.


Lars Sullivan-Lucha House Party – Death. Taxes. And the Lars Sullivan-Lucha House Party segment being included in the list of the worst part of RAW. These remain constants in life. This time, WWE booked the curve of Gran Metalik, Kalisto and Lince Dorado dropkicking Sullivan out of the ring. Nobody buys the luchadores as a rival for The Freak. As a result, nobody cares about their impending matchup in the desert.

Braun Strowman-Bobby Lashley Arm Wrestling – Apparently, someone from WWE holds fond movies of the Sly Stallone movie Over the Top. Hey, why not go full throwback to the 1980s with The Undertaker headlining, right? Few fans care about either one of these guys right now. Strowman won the arm wrestling competition, but in truth everybody won because it signaled the end of this crap. Nobody said to themselves “I want to watch Strowman-Lashley on Friday” because of this.

Triple H-Randy Orton Promo – The two former Evolution faction members attempted to set up their Super Showdown match with some words. Both guys got in a few insults, but they mailed this in for the most part. Given some of the heat Hunter and Batista created months ago, this interaction between two Hall of Famers remained bland and disappointing.

Ricochet-Cesaro – Ricochet won the rubber match between two of the greatest technicians in the company. However, they both actually lost because their match essentially served as a Whopee cushion. It set up an appearance by 24/7 Champ R-Truth and Carmella staving off the horde of reserved-for-catering wrestlers.

Miz – He served as a Wild Card from SmackDown to host a talk show with Rollins that went nowhere. The A-Lister seems lost in the shuffle because of the stink of his feud from Shane McMahon. He’s one of the company’s best. Yet, they keep trotting him out to do meaningless segments.