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.

HEADLINE NEWS: UNDERTAKER CALLS OUT GOLDBERG

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.

BEST OF THE REST: SAMOA JOE TAKES OUT REY MYSTERIO

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.

BIG WINNER: NIKKI CROSS

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.

BIG LOSER: AUSTIN, TEXAS FANS

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.

HIGH FIVE

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.

LOW FIVE

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.

 

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