John Cena and Cesaro Steal the Show, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

Jamie Noble, Seth Rollins, Raw, June 29, 2015By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Raw has been extremely frustrating in recent weeks. More frustrating than I can ever remember it being in the nearly 20 years I’ve been watching. It’s becoming tough to get through, even the help of a DVR. Even Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman haven’t been able to up my enthusiasm.

It’s not one specific thing that irks me right now. I’m sure if you talk to a lot of fans, they’d tell you a lot of the same things…

– The show is too damn long. Everything is so stretched and prolonged for the sake of time that it actually becomes boring.

– We don’t need a 20-minute monologue at the start of every show to get us invested. We’re already invested. We’re watching the show! And the casual fans that are tuning in at the top of the show are likely so bored by the long-winded promos and bad acting that they’re changing the channel anyway.

Mr. McMahon, Raw, Attitude Era– The Authority storyline has gone on too long. The whole “evil authority figure” story has been old hat since Vince McMahon himself perfected it in the late ’90s. Before the Attitude Era, we didn’t need an evil boss to drive the show forward. We just let the stories unfold. Why can”t we do that now?

– I hate to be this way, because I have no desire to see anyone out of a job. But this show desperately needs new faces. Big Show, Kane, Randy Orton, The Bella Twins, etc. These guys are all treading water. I imagine part of the reason NXT is so hot right now is because there are so many talents down there that fans haven’t seen before. Meanwhile, on the flagship show they’re still seeing certain talents that have been around for nearly two decades! We desperately need to mix things up.

Like the last several episodes, this week’s Raw was largely forgettable, and tough to get through. There were, however, a few bright spots. I’ll happily talk about them here.

Cesaro, John Cena, Raw, 06292015John Cena and Cesaro steal the show in US Title open challenge match. Cena and Cesaro have always had great chemistry. They’ve had some awesome matches, and while this wasn’t their best outing, it was definitely a breath of fresh air. I was pleasantly surprised to see Cena diversify his arsenal here. Mind you, that springboard stunner still looks like crap. But at least he’s trying. And in this match he definitely succeeded.

It’s tough to believe that in 2015, we’re saying a John Cena program is the creative highlight of a Raw. But these US Title open challenges, along with the story he’s telling with Kevin Owens have made him one of Raw’s MVPs in recent weeks.

As for Cesaro, this poor guy just can’t catch a break. Whether it’s the Wrestlemania battle royal last year, or being a tag team champion this year, the guy is becoming the poster boy for start-and-stop pushes. But if tonight proved anything, it’s that Cesaro deserves to play a prominent role on WWE television.

Bray Wyatt, Raw, 06/29/2015Bray Wyatt continues to target Roman Reigns, saying he’s the yin to Reigns’ yang. It seems like they’re trying to create a Batman/Joker dynamic here. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Reigns and Wyatt certainly fit those molds.

In his promo this week, Wyatt kept emphasizing: “Anyone but you, Roman.” That’s interesting, as that’s essentially the attitude the fans had toward Reigns at the Royal Rumble. I’m curious to see if Wyatt acknowledges that, and if so, how Reigns responds. It doesn’t look like they’re going the “family man” route anymore. That’s fine, so long as they know where they are going with this angle…

Sheamus def. Neville. I was as disappointed with Sheamus winning the Money in the Bank briefcase as a lot of people were. But he does have pretty good matches. I don’t have high hopes as far as how things will be if/when Sheamus cashes in and wins. But at least it’ll be something different.

Raw, 06/29/2015, Sheamus, NevilleAs for Neville, he’s usually fun to watch. I’m not really a fan of when he does those back flips in the ring for no real reason. But he’s starting to carve out a little niche for himself on the roster.

And that’s it. From a three hour show, I was able to list just three things I found appealing. Keep in mind, I’m usually a pretty optimistic wrestling fan. But right now, the show is just not good. Here’s hoping the build for Summerslam reinvigorates things.

Images courtesy of WWE.com.

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Webcomic Wednesday: True Villains

True Villains, image 1TITLE: True Villains
CREATORS: Joshua Kurtz and Madison Hughes
WRITERS: Kurtz and Hughes
ARTIST: Max Karpsten
ONLINE DEBUT: August 8, 2007

By Levi Sweeney
Staff Writer, Grand X

Word of mouth can be a powerful tool. It was through the recommendation of a friend that I was introduced to the webcomic True Villains, an adventure-fantasy webcomic that appears to have stayed largely under the radar. Its website is understated, it has less than 30 Twitter followers, and I hadn’t heard of it from any other source until now. But it definitely deserves more of a spotlight because of its clever writing and unique premise.

True Villains features the adventures and exploits of Sebastian Jalek, a former adventurer of the lawful  and good persuasion who gleefully jumps on board the chaotic  and evil bandwagon. He enters the service of Xaneth, a demon who runs a dungeon with Elia, a necromancer. Along the way, he picks up other colleagues and companions: Mia, magically attuned child, and Bayn, an aged sorcerer who is stuck in the body of a child.

The main draw of True Villains is how it seeks to take standard adventure-fantasy RPG tropes and turn them on their heads. The main cast is made up self-professed bad guys, a whole team of villain protagonists. The entire story, however, centers around them trying to accomplish fairly pragmatic objectives through flagrantly gruesome and ruthless means.

True Villains, image 2Sebastian’s entire arc focuses on him trying to define his own ethical code. It comes to the point where he makes a self-justifying speech before his former adventuring pals about his newly acquired Blue and Orange morality. Oddly, most of the “good guys” are at best self-righteous jerks and at worst stupid and vicious bullies. Nevertheless, the fact that True Villains even dared to go down the road not taken and examine in depth the whys and wherefores of morality in such a world is a mark of true brilliance.

Aside from unconventional takes on the concepts of good and evil, most of which I have very strong opinions on, True Villains benefits from smart writing and proficient art. The tone of the strip is generally lighthearted, though its subject matter frequently ventures into the realm of dark comedy. One early gag involves Sebastian being assigned by Xaneth to blow up an innocent, unsuspecting small town where everyone is happy and content. It’s played for both drama and laughs, which, while fairly innovative, still bothers me.

Strong characters are an essential element of any good story. From Bayn to Claire the soldier to Sebastian himself, each of the characters has a strong, understandable motivation, personality, and flaws. Sebastian wants to do his own thing and help his friends, darn the consequences. Elia is loyal to Xaneth, wants to keep people she cares about out of harm’s way, and kind of likes Sebastian. Mia is loyal to Sebastian and has all the silly innocence a six-year-old girl with magical powers could have. What all of these characters have in common is that they change and grow as the story continues.

True Villains, image 3Particularly notable in this webcomic is its natural and flowing approach to world building. We don’t get stilted expository dialogue or long walls of text. When something about the world needs to be explained, the need is justified, often for humor, and the exposition is done in a clean, simple, engaging way. The result is a rich, detailed world that feels perfectly understandable and immersive. Other writers would do well to learn from True Villains in this regard.

The art of True Villains has evolved and changed since the early strips. It began more stripped down and less sophisticated than it is now. Over time, however, it became more organic, no doubt the sign of an amateur artist steadily improving his craft. Most of the comic’s archive strips are black and white, though it’s always in color these days. The point here is that the art may be drawn by an amateur, but the quality of the work is that of a seasoned professional.

The primary writer on this series, Joshua Kurtz, is a talented and ambitious (if obscure) creative mind. He is heavily involved in theater productions, to the point of having written and produced a musical based on True Villains. The talents of he and his colleagues definitely deserve the spotlight. With a more intentional buildup of their fan-base, a slicker website, and a more savvy approach to social media and internet marketing, they could probably make it really big. They have plenty of good content, now they just need to focus on their delivery and packaging.

True Villains is a unique, inventive webcomic that defies the storytelling limits of the fantasy genre. It makes you laugh out loud, creates complex and memorable characters, and contemplates weighty concepts in a competent manner. I won’t pretend to be a fan of the strip’s trivialization of occult practices, nor am I completely satisfied with its advocacy of what is essentially moral nihilism, but I will admit one thing: It is a fine example of great comics and great storytelling, and therefore deserves attention.

Images from truevillains.com.

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A Justice League of America #1 Review – The Team Comes Together

Justice League of America #1 (2015)TITLE: Justice League of America #1
AUTHOR/PENCILLER: Bryan Hitch
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $5.99
RELEASED: June 17, 2015

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Yeah…yeah, this feels good. This feels right. This feels like a Justice League book!

Bryan Hitch’s extended love letter to the Justice League begins with Superman’s dead body. A whole PILE of dead Superman bodies, actually. The mysterious and elusive Infinity Corporation has been using the “Stones of Forever” to retrieve Superman’s corpse from the near future over and over again. The theme seems to be that once Superman dies, all is lost. A short time later, the League faces off the The Parasite. But how is The Parasite connected to the Infinity Corporation? And how is the Infinity Corporation connected to the massive revelation at the end of the issue?

Justice League of America #1, interiorThere’s a certain purity to this issue that I love. Geoff Johns’ run on Justice League has done much more right than it has wrong. But at times iit still falls victim to the trend of “over-Baturation,” i.e. overblowing the importance of Batman within the context of the League. There’s no over-Baturation in this issue. The story thus far is very Superman-centric, but that’s because the coming story largely deals with Superman’s mythology. And even then, we get the sense that no member of the League is more important than another. We’re not constantly being reminded how bad ass Batman is, or how many overblown constructs Green Lantern can create. I came away from this issue believing in the League as a team.

And wouldn’t you know it, they actually act like a team! They look out for each other during battle. We see Batman and Cyborg strategizing. They refer to one another by their first names (Which is weird in the context of a battle, but oh well.) They feel like a well oiled machine that’s been operating for over five years. That’s a vibe that Geoff Johns couldn’t create after Justice League: Origin, and one can argue he has trouble with it to this day. To Hitch it comes very natural. He creates an interesting sense of unseen history between the characters.

Justice League of America #1, Aquaman, United NationsWe also get a subplot where Aquaman talks to the UN about a trade agreement with Atlantis. We’re reminded that Atlantis is indeed the largest nation on Earth, and Aquaman assures them that Atlantean technology will not be used against the surface world. This is obviously a seed planted for later. But for the time being, it’s nice to see Aquaman getting some extra emphasis.

I can’t complain much about the art here. There is a panel about mid-issue where The Flash looks a little…stretchy. But that’s the biggest criticism I have here. Our opening scene is beautifully rendered, as we see Superman amidst the end of the world. The Parasite is also wonderfully drawn. In an interesting twist that I personally haven’t seen, Hitch renders him getting bigger as he gains more power. That’s a nice touch, and it really sells The Parasite as a menacing monster.

Justice League of America #1, The ParasiteWe’re only one issue into Hitch’s run. But as far as I’m concerned, Justice League of America is already as high a priority as Justice League, if not more so. My early impression is that this is a good book for longtime fans to pick up, as it restores some of that camaraderie among the League that’s synonymous with stories dating back to the Silver Age, and the very birth of the League. The fact that Hitch could inject that old school appeal into this book, while still staying true to the New 52 and modern continuity, is pretty damn cool to say the least.

Image 1 from fanboysinc.com. Image 2 and 3 from comicvine.com.

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Webcomic Wednesday: Space Corps

Space Corps, image 1TITLE: Space Corps
CREATORS: Gannon Beck, Bryan Richmond, Joey Groah.
WRITERS: Beck, Richmond.
ARTIST: Beck.
ONLINE DEBUT: July 10, 2012

By Levi Sweeney
Staff Writer, Grand X

Not every webcomic makes you want to keep reading. Most start out good, but eventually descend into mediocrity, at best. Fortunately, all is not lost. Out of the dozens upon dozens of webcomics out there, there are a select few which I would like to highlight in this new weekly column: Webcomic Wednesday!

Space Corps, by Gannon Beck and Bryan Richmond, is a small operation, but it produces original, quality content that keeps fans waiting patiently while things get sorted out on the other end of the internet. Described as space opera, Space Corps follows the story of how humans and aliens band together in the titular military organization to fight off the malicious Winnowers. We’re introduced to the rookie soldier Deven Taylor, along with Corporal Hive, an alien NCO made up of bees, and Captain Brockett, the rock-eating commanding officer.

I first stumbled on this comic while perusing ComicsExperience.com, a haven for independent comic book writers struggling to hone their craft and hit the big time. Beck is part of that community. Beck and Richmond may not have hit the big time quite yet, but they and their compatriots have most definitely honed their craft. The art alone is incredibly professional, matching the tone and feel of the story perfectly. Specifically, it’s cartoonish enough to fit the fantastic premise of the story but realistic enough to be appropriate to the highly sophisticated writing.

B2-aVfVCEAALKdpAs is frequently made obvious in even the best mainstream comics, no amount of lavish art will save a poorly written story. Fortunately, Space Corps is lucky enough to be blessed with both good art and excellent writing. The sheer human, or rather alien drama that we see in Space Corps #0 is amazing to read. Captain Brockett’s story remains my personal favorite, just because it’s so movingly tragic and harsh. It’s not every day that I read something, least of all on the internet, that actually makes me genuinely sad.

The rest of the stories we see here are nothing short of splendid. Hive’s story is a classic bait-and-switch, with a pleasant surprise that makes it truly memorable. Hive is probably my second-favorite alien character behind Brockett. When we get into Taylor’s origin story in Space Corps #1-2, things get particularly interesting for him. Taylor’s is a coming-of-age story at heart, with the space opera and military fiction elements making the whole thing even more interesting. It shows that he has a personal stake in the fight, which makes him one of many great characters.

Space Corps, image 3I’m sure that Beck’s military family background gives him a lot of material to work with. He and Richmond navigate the standard tropes and conventions of military fiction with an easy realism that demonstrates that they plainly have a strong knowledge of military life. They never resort to clichés, and everything feels smooth and natural. We see what goes on in boot camp with great details that bring the reader into the story. The despair of family lost to war is communicated in a piercingly emotional way. The ethos of not fighting alone, trusting your team, and being self-disciplined and self-sacrificial is a primary theme. Sometimes it feels like I’m reading Lone Survivor by Marcus Lutrell all over again.

For all this talk of the horror and devastation of war, Space Corps is actually a rather upbeat comic. The humor is usually of the gallows variety. This is, after all, a comic about war. However, the comic itself is a very fun read. It makes you want to keep reading more of it. It’s not on the level of wacky, zany antics of, say, Brenden Fletcher’s Batgirl, but it can still be comedic when it needs to be comedic and dramatic when it needs to be dramatic. The result is a brilliant cocktail of great comics.

Gannon Beck and Bryan Richmond have said that they and their co-creators were originally thinking of pitching Space Corps to Image Comica. Then they decided to say, “Heck with it, we want to make comics so let’s make this now.” The result is a spectacular piece of work that I wouldn’t want made any other way. If Beck and Richmond and the rest of the team behind Space Corps do get their comic made into a magazine format that they can make money off of, I gladly salute them. If it came to that, I personally wouldn’t mind paying money for something this good. But for now, I’m glad to enjoy it all free of charge.

Images 1 and 2 from twitter.com/gannonb. Image 3 from spacecorpscomics.com.

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Dusty Rhodes, Brock Lesnar, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

Dusty RhodesBy Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Obviously, Dusty Rhodes is on everybody’s mind this week, and rightfully so. In an industry where words like “legend” and “icon” are thrown around far too loosely, Dusty was truly both. His mic work was some of the best ever, and his matches with the likes of Ric Flair are forever etched into the annals of wrestling history.

Thanks for the memories, Dream. What a life, what a man.

Ponderings From WWE Raw:

WWE Battleground 2015, Seth Rollins, Brock LesnarBrock Lesnar returns, will face Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship at Battleground. Battleground, huh? They’re making this match for Battleground? That’s an odd move, in my book. The inevitable match between Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar seemed tailor-made for Summerslam. I can only assume they’re getting the initial encounter out of the way at Battleground so they can make the Summerslam rematch bigger. Cage match, maybe? In a perfect world, it’d be Hell in a Cell, but they can’t necessarily do that because of the Hell in a Cell pay per view in October.

Either way, it’s great to see Lesnar back, even if he didn’t do anything but stand there. I’m pleased they didn’t have Paul Heyman say anything this week. This way we can build the anticipation for whatever he’s going to say next week. But even if the build up is lackluster, I imagine the match will be spectacular, even if it does involve some sort of BS finish to get us to Summerslam.

WWE Raw, June 15, 2015, Kevin OwensKevin Owens beats Dolph Ziggler in an open challenge, later powerbombs Machine Gun Kelly off the stage. I was worried about Owens coming off like a babyface earlier in the show when he threw out that open challenge. But he pulled a great heel move by slipping in that it wasn’t for the NXT Championship. But then he leaned babyface again when he attacked Machine Gun Kelly. Yes, I know that’s technically a heel move. But let’s be honest: Nobody likes musical performances on Raw. It never works. So Owens doing that stunt with MGK did more to raise his popularity than hurt it.

So here’s what I’m thinking: Owens loses the NXT Championship to Finn Balor at the big Japan show in July. Then he goes on to win the United States Title from John Cena at Battleground, and essentially take the torch. It seems like the most logical thing to do from here. Then again, WWE hasn’t always been big on logic…

WWE Raw, June 14, 2015, Bray WyattBray Wyatt costs Roman Reigns the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, cuts a promo with a photo of his daughter on Raw. I was wondering why they showed that awful Fatherhood.gov commercial with Roman Reigns, the Samoan Bad Ass, singing “I’m a Little Tea Pot.”

But in light of what we saw with Bray, it makes a little more sense. If they are indeed doing an angle with Reigns’ daughter, it could go a long way in terms of allowing the fans to build a more personal connection with him. On the other hand, it could turn into a lot of hokey, stupid crap. Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio Jr. had some awesome matches in the mid 2000s. But that whole storyline about Eddie trying to get custory of Rey’s son was awful. Lots of bad acting, lots of contrived storytelling. It was just bad. So just let’s hope this ends up helping Reigns instead of hurting him.

Randy Orton mixes it up with Sheamus and Kane. Yeah, I switched to the NHL play offs during the Orton/Kane match. How many times have we seen these guys wrestle over the years? No thanks.

WWE Raw, June 15, 2015, SheamusI found myself phasing out when Orton attacked Sheamus too. I just feel like I’ve seen all this stuff. Coming out of Money in the Bank, I actually would have preferred they put Sheamus with Roman Reigns, and Randy Orton with Bray Wyatt. Those are two programs I could have sunk my teeth into. At least at first glance.

On the subject of Kane, I’m still surprised they haven’t put the mask back on him and turned him babyface for a match against Rollins.. It seemed like that was the direction they were going in.

Images courtesy of WWE.com.

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A Batman #41 Review – Bat Cop

Batman #41TITLE: Batman #41
AUTHOR: Scott Snyder
PENCILLER: Greg Capullo
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASED: June 10, 2015

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

***WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Batman #41.***

Batman and giant robots don’t mix.

That’s always been a philosophy of mine. Stuffing Batman into a big mechanical monstrosity robs him of a lot of his appeal. Bruce Wayne trained for years to master his detective skills, combat techniques, and general crime-fighting capabilities. But for my money, giant robot suits ruin all that by making Batman into a weird Hulk/Iron Man hybrid who doesn’t use most of the skills that inherently make him Batman. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have used a giant Bat-robot twice during their run on this series. So when we found out we’d have a brand new robot-suit Batman beginning with issue #41, I cringed. Snyder and Capullo have big ideas. Sadly, not all of them are good (See Zero Year.).

Then we found out who this new Batman would be, and things got interesting.

Batman #41, title pageBatman is (apparently) dead. But his presence is sorely missed, and the city needs its symbol of hope. So the Gotham City Police Department, with the assistance of Powers International, sets out to create their own Batman who works within the boundaries of the law. Their top choice? Jim Gordon. But to say the least, Gordon is a very different crimefighter than his predecessor.

What makes this issue work is that our main character, Gordon, seems just as baffled by all of this as we are. He never expected to take up the role of Batman, and we never expected to see it. Throughout the issue we see his reluctance, his fear, the mistakes he makes his first night out, and finally how he uses the the detective skills he’s possessed all along to solve his first case. This new costume doesn’t exactly scream “detective,” but that unexpected twist is part of the fun. What’s more, there’s a second Batsuit under this big robot suit, which is pretty slick. They also cover the logistics, ranging from Gordon’s age, to his smoking, to where his base is, etc.

The interesting thing about the robot suit is that Snyder and Capullo poke fun at it themselves, seemingly chiming in with our criticisms before we do. Gordon himself says: “I look at that thing, but I just don’t see Batman,” and then says it looks like a “robobat-bunny.” It’s actually pretty funny. I’m encouraged that Snyder and Capullo aren’t taking themselves so seriously here. This is so obviously not Batman, and we all know it’s temporary anyway. So it’s nice to see they’re having fun with this while it lasts. They even play around with the colors mid-issue.

Jim Gordon, mohawkMy only complaint deals with, of all things, Gordon’s hair. We saw in Divergence that our Bat Cop has a mohawk under his mask (shown left). We see that here as well. This goess too far into silly territory for my tastes. If Gordon has to cut his hair for whatever reason, why not just give him a buzzcut? It’s simply a needless distraction.

Still, this issue was a pleasant surprise overall. One thing you can never fault Snyder and Capullo for is the magnitude of their ideas. And for now, they’ve sold me on the idea of Jim Gordon as Batman. Our friend the commissioner is about to step into a whole new world. And it’ll be most interesting to see how he handles what awaits him.

Image 1 from newsarama.com. Image 2 from dangermart.blogspot.com.

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Too. Much. Talking. Plus, Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

WWE Raw, June 8, 2015, John Cena, Kevin OwensBy Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

After the first 30 minutes, this show fell apart. It was just awful. The disadvantages of the three-hour format have never been more obvious than they were this week. WAY too much talking done by guys who shouldn’t be forced to talk so much to begin with. And this was the go-home show for a pay per view…

But let’s start on a high note…

Kevin Owens def. Neville in an NXT Championship open challenge. After defeating Zack Ryder in a similar match on Smackdown, Owens issued another open challenge this week to start the show. Not surprisingly, this was the best match of the night. This Kevin Owens/John Cena program is the best thing happening in the company right now, mostly because of the desperately-needed freshness that Owens has injected into the show. I’ll never discount Cena for the role he’s played in things. But let’s be honest: This week he went out there and said what he always says. Owens is a compelling new character, who comes off very genuine and believable. What’s more, he’s a great wrestler. For the time being, his segments are must-watch.

WWE Raw, June 8, 2015, Joey Mercury, Seth RollinsJ&J Security def. Seth Rollins in the handicap match main event. The sad thing is that after such a bad show, even Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins looked tarnished. So does this mean they’re breaking Seth Rollins away from Mercury and Noble? Probably not. Otherwise, what do you do with these two guys that just beat your champion? Take them off TV? It seems more likely Rollins will settle things by beating them up down the line.

Byron Saxton takes Booker T’s place on commentary this week. With Booker allegedly off doing Tough Enough stuff, Byron Saxton was back on Raw this week. This poor guy just can’t catch a break. After they did the angle with Lesnar beating up the commentators in April, they shoved this poor guy out there on his own to get eaten alive. This week, they put him with Michael Cole and JBL and was obviously the third wheel. If Booker was legitimately gone somewhere, why not just let JBL and Cole do the show themselves? It’s not like they’re inexperienced in that regard.

Roman Reigns, Kane, R-Truth and others involved in a 10-minute talking segment at the top of hour two. WWE usually does segments like this whenever there’s a big, multi-man match on pay per view. This was brutal, and so obviously scripted to fill time. Kane in particular just seemed to be deliberately drawing things out. They desperately need to have somebody else writing his stuff.

WWE Raw, June 8, 2015, Dolph Ziggler, Roman ReignsOkay, so R-Truth was brought out to do a comedy thing, right? He thinks he’s in the match, but he’s not. But he was brought out before The New Day, Sheamus, and Randy Orton. So the pattern hadn’t been established yet. Had he come out, say, after Sheamus, that actually might have been funny. But what ended up happening was just odd. It actually seemed like Truth was being added to the match, as another warm body to do floppy ladder moves. But nope, yet another waste of time.

Ryback gives “Shell Shocked” to The Big Show during “Miz TV” segment. This segment actually started out okay. Miz and Ryback seemed to be having fun out there. Then, of course, the talking went on too long and things became boring. I was really surprised to see Ryback hit Shell Shocked on The Big Show on free TV. One would think that’d be the big drawing element of a pay per view match between the two. Can this notoriously strong dude manhandle the world’s largest athlete? In theory, we were waiting for Money in the Bank to find out. Not anymore, I suppose. They gave away the finish on Raw.

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus ends in a brawl. Whenever these two wrestle, I always think of the night after Wrestlemania XXVIII, when the crowd essentially hijacked their match with random chants. That’s the most memorable match they’ve ever had. Seriously.

WWE Raw, June 8, 2015, Luke Harper, Erick RowanLuke Harper and Erick Rowan hit a 3D to finish a match. Either WWE is setting up with The Dudley Boyz by having Harper and Rowan use their old finish, or more likely, they’re hoping we all forget the Dudleys ever used that move. Bubba Ray/Bully Ray actually called WWE out on Twitter for it. Remember, he was in the Royal Rumble this year. So a match like this isn’t out of the question. But it’s sadly unlikely.

Images courtesy of WWE.com.

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