RAR 8/19/19: Mandible Lawler, Latest on NXT-USA Network

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/08/20/rar-8-19-19-mandible-lawler-latest-on-nxt-usa-network/


John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw featuring new Raw tag champions.

The King of the Ring tournament kicked off this week with opening round matches with Samoa Joe vs. Cesaro and Cedric Alexander vs. Sami Zayn, The Fiend attacks Jerry Lawler, Sasha Banks addressed her attack on Natalya and Becky Lynch, an injury angle involving Xavier Woods at the hands of Randy Orton and The Revival, and Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows defended the Raw tag titles in the main event against Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman.


  • NXT going to the USA Network, beginning September 18th and all the ramifications of this move
  • AEW announces locations for October 23 & 30 shows
  • Tony Schiavone to work with AEW and MLW
  • Wrestling drama starring Stephen Amell is greenlit by Starz

And your Café feedback, comments & questions from the POST Wrestling Forum.

Photos Courtesy: WWE

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1 Like

Didn’t like Sami losing. Didn’t like Cesaro losing. Didn’t like Gallows & Anderson losing the titles out of nowhere to a frankenteam just to give more attention to Rollins who’s not done well with the enormous amount of attention he already had.

My reaction to some of the results -

I was ok with the first two as I expected them. Cesar’s at this point is enhancement talent he puts on good matches but doesn’t have sustained feuds and doesn’t win. Sami is in a weird spot but Cedric has been getting pushed recently so him winning seemed to be the right call. The tag thing is WWEs forever booking that tag wrestlers are not as good as singles guys and that a team up of 2 top singles guys beats top tag teams. It sucks but that is almost always the way things are booked.

Regarding NXT:
Knowing what I think we know about Vince…its safe to assume that NXT has just catapulted itself into the unofficial A-show position. Vince THRIVES on competition and you can bet he’ll put his greatest focus on that direct head to head show behind the scenes. From a public point of view, I fully expect WWE to operate under the mindset that this is their 3rd brand…so that even if they lose the rating war…there is always an excuse or doubt that its because Vince/WWE isn’t really trying to compete that much.

It goes without saying that NXT as we know it is dead. I would not be shocked in the least if we see Cole drop the title on AEW’s launch day to someone like The Fiend or Brock Lesnar. Don’t expect NXT to be anything like it was before. Don’t expect takeover to be anything like they were before. I also suspect we’ll see Raw used as an engine to hype NXT as must see tv since they’ll be on the same network. A natural idea that can only help Vince compete.

This is what I expect…I’d put money on it if I were a betting man. Its certainly not what I’d like to see happen though.

Having said all this…I will point out that competition is still GREAT for the industry. NXT is dead. But this competition can only help push WWE and AEW both to greater heights. Fans of the old NXT can always look to WWE’s lesser developmental of perhaps they’ll turn their sights to the indie scene or NJPW. There’s nothing wrong with that because we all know indie wrestling is getting MASSACRED thanks to both WWE and AEW right now. If the death of NXT opens the door for demand there that would be fantastic.

Raw was terrible.
Recent Raw’ss have been on the rise but still unwatchable television (read 2/5 or 2.5/5 shows). This one dropped back down to a 1.5/5 in my eyes. Which is a shame because Vince wasn’t even part of the show based on what I’ve heard.

Anyways the short hand reason for this opinion is boring television and terrible storytelling for the most part. The positives were Ziggler vs Roman being a fun match but ultimately of no real importance. Cesaro vs Joe was the same but both men have been booked as complete losers in everything that its hard to get excited about where this is going. They Rey segment was excellent and a must see moment I’d say actually building off prior weeks in a compelling way and being a story line based on LOSING MATCHES which is exceedingly rare for WWE to do.

The negatives was basically everything else. The Nattie/Sasha stuff is instant channel changing heat exploiting real life death’. Typical WWE at its worst. The tag title changes once again takes any attempt at trying to rebuild the division and makes them a complete joke. I already value the 24/7 title stuff more than men’s tag stuff and this storyline helps confirm that they have zero prestige. At least 24/7 stuff builds characters and makes people care about Drake, R-Truth if only briefly.

I could keep going through segments but the rest of the show was essentially dull filler. Nothing to get excited about. Nothing to really rage over. Certainly nothing worth watching.

Very poor television. I’m surprised sites like Wrestletalk are praising WWE so hard…5 weeks of fantastic tv…wish I could see the joy in it they do.

I don’t think Cesaro did his promo with him mouth piece. I noticed teeth but covered in braces. Think he’s had em since his teeth got smashed in.

I know the on-screen changes haven’t been super-obvious since the new producers were added, but “tag champs feuding over a singles title” is a Paul Heyman special.

1 Like

I had an idea for sami zayn.

He finds his Generico mask in his locker, he hesitates and while he hesitates, he thinks of his best matches in Ring of Honor with the mask (that shows the audience who he was). Later the Lucha House party comes to the ring and Sami Zayn tries to join them but they refuse and it sparks a feud.

I prefer angry sami zayn though.