Rewind-A-Raw 8/10/20: Kamala Passes Away, Flair Punted, G1 Schedule

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John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss WWE Raw featuring the return of Raw Underground and Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens with a big angle to end the show. Plus, we discuss the passing of Kamala, Fozzy performing this past weekend, and NJPW’s G1 Climax 30 schedule.


  • James Harris a.k.a. Kamala passes away
  • NJPW releases G1 Climax 30 schedule for the fall
  • Updated card for NJPW’s Summer Struggle event at Jingu Stadium
  • Fozzy performs several shows including at Sturgis
  • Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition postponed until November
  • ESPN+ increasing its monthly price for new subscribers ahead of UFC 252

Monday’s episode featured the return of Raw Underground starring Arturo Ruas, Riddick Moss, Shayna Baszler & DABBA-KATO! Plus, Asuka attempts to secure a Raw women’s title shot facing Bayley, a much-needed contract signing involving Seth Rollins and Dominik Mysterio with a big angle, Retribution takes out their aggression on a door and a car, plus Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens in the main event and the send-off for Ric Flair.

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

Photos Courtesy: WWE

Rewind-A-Raw Theme by Colby John:

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The hacker looked like a Retribution guy.

Next week, Retribution will go wild as they will be stealing all the pencils they can find.

Flair is going to help Orton win the title at Summerslam and we’ll “never see it coming.”

When does HHH get involved with Orton? Mania?

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The girl with curly hair who got attacked by Shayna was a member of Retribution last week.

When I worked at Blockbuster in my early 20s, we would get DVDs full of music & trailers. Every 7 1/2 minutes I had to hear All-Star by smash mouth. I actually had to have a serious talk with my district manager because I felt that this was torture. Literal torture.

i’ve always been surprised about how shitty Toronto fans have been when it comes to sports. Never really expected it from them. Watching the Toronto Blue Jays a few years ago really opened my eyes to that.

I feel you on this. There are two movies from the early 2000s that I remember that nobody else does, based solely on those stupid trailer DVDs: “Beyond the Sea” and “The Human Stain”. Thankfully, I worked at an independent video store, so I was able to put on any movie I wanted (within reason) before and after peak hours.

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If you didn’t want someone throwing a Coors Light tallboy at the back of your head while grabbing a pop fly then you shouldn’t have chosen to play Center Field for the Orioles.

Kidding aside, Toronto sports fans are reasonably well-behaved, but Jays fans are the exception to the rule. I used to go to every home opener in the 2000’s when the Jays were dog shit year in and year out except for Roy Halladay. They used to always give away those fridge magnet schedules to the first 10,000 fans or whatever. And pretty much every year without fail around the 7th inning some fan would realize the fridge magnet makes a great frisbee and before you know it hundreds of these things would come spiraling down to the field from high above. The game would end up getting delayed for 30 minutes while the PA guy begged people to stop.

Tl;dr: Jays fans are a bunch of drunken assholes, but it’s baseball’s fault for being so boring and team’s fault for being so bad.

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Ha ha yeah, those trailer DVDs were torture.

Yeah, I’m sure it’s just the bad apples but I definitely noticed that with Toronto Bluejay fans.

Didn’t watch Raw - they couldn’t fool me this time. Still wanted to post meanderings based off RAR and a few YouTube clips.

-It doesn’t matter how good the Dominik angle looked. There is no salvaging this story. Seth wants to talk long-term storytelling? Let’s see how this angle started. This angle started because Rey congratulated Seth on his wife’s pregnancy. This isn’t Jericho throwing Shawn through the JeriTron. Further, who could pay attention to this beatdown and suspend their disbelief? Nobody in the locker room who grew up watching Rey Mysterio could do a run-in to help his son? I did see this on YouTube - and again, it was a good beatdown, but it went on too long. Adam Pearce couldn’t even run down? At least explain the reasoning. I think Wai brought up a huge point on the show - I’m sure this was an “initiation” for Dominik. I’ve worked in locker room environments and it’s still sadly a real thing. At least have commentary explain that the lockerroom is wary of Dominik getting a job so quickly in WWE because of his father, and they all have agreed he’s on his own. Give me any reason to show you’re trying or give any sort of fuck about logic.

-Apollo Crews couldn’t even beat Shelton Benjamin? Now WWE is trying to protect a guy who has had one singles win on RAW since 2006? Can WWE please pick their lane and stay in it? Who is going to be presented as a star? This is not hard. Winning makes talent get over. Example A: Becky Lynch. Yes, she always had a certain charisma and fan connection - so she’s a bit more well-equipped than Apollo. But you know why people exploded for her heel turn? She was a winner they got behind. Before her Summerslam match, she won match after match after match on television. Fans were finally believing in someone they always liked, but didn’t think would get a title run. And then when she just barely lost to someone else in the match who had incredible privilege, she snapped. Star was born overnight. It’s not that hard. Make likable people win matches and chase for championships.

-Here’s an unpopular opinion - Natalya stinks. She’s always been a terrible promo, has no acting chops, and is not an all-time great women’s wrestler that she’s often referred to as. She was the best in the supermodel era for a long time. She’s a fine worker, but you can count the truly memorable matches in her career on one hand. And now she’s in another new gimmick with someone who has been completely lost since her first run with Rusev. Why does every heel female duo need to be the next iteration of the Mean Girls? WWE’s female performers are boxed into being best friends, mean girls impersonators, or in jealousy angles. It’s so off-putting.

-Poor Bayley.

-So much for my excitement on how badass the Viking Raiders looked in Raw Underground last week. Back to comedy. I was stupid for thinking there may be some depth. But nope, you just magically turn into someone different when you enter Shane’s dark room. And when you walk out you’re back to normal.

-I feel so bad for the members of Retribution when they are finally unmasked. If this were any other company, I’d think this is intentional. I’d think the real group sent these losers out to “cause mayhem,” but be completely unrelated to the real members. And when the real members debut, they do a real Nexus-style angle and destroy all the Aces and 5’8s guys in the process. But, this is WWE. You’re going to try and sell me on the fact Dijack and Ciampa are dudes in these masks? Unless this is intentional or a jobber group, this is an immediate death blow to anyone in this faction. The babyfaces immediately have fodder about how lame they all are. WWE was not a great product by any means in 2010, but they can’t even replicate angles from ten years ago with any semblance of grace. Have we really fallen that far to where 2010 looks like some golden age? Well, I guess we can always check the ratings…

-Lastly, Flair was the other segment I watched and he was brilliant. I think it’s shitty how they use his near-death experience against him in promos, but at least this time they didn’t bring up his dead son (directly, I guess). I didn’t grow up on Flair, but man can he still go on the mic. He was believable and really has adjusted his character to where he is currently in this stage of his life. I think the Orton beatdown was a bit too predictable, but it was fine. I don’t think there’s going to be a Summerslam swerve with the two of them, but who knows. I think it’s a bad idea to take the title off Drew. Speaking of Drew, where was he? You’d think a guy so diligent and serious would be in guerilla watching this segment up close. Instead, he came running down way too late. So he’s either not paying attention closely enough, he’s hanging in catering, or his concern for Ric isn’t genuine. Not a great look. Too little, too late.

Maybe I’m off on some of this. I don’t know. My biggest takeaway again though is just feeling so sorry for whoever ends up in the worst WWE faction ever.

When MVP did that promo that was taped Monday night and seeing as Tuesday was filled with chaos and Vince rewriting stuff he had no idea why the lights went out

Guys this was one of your best shows because at one point you guys decided fuck it. I hope “Terry nnnnooooooo” lives on forever with no context

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I can buy Drew bring late for the save because he was wary of it being a trap.

Flair has previous for low blowing someone who was going to save him from an apparent beating

I would love to have Seth name a successful example of WWE’s “long term storytelling” in the last 25 years. I really can’t think of many, if any.

Batista vs. Triple H at Mania 21, I suppose? But even that felt like making the most out of totally cutting the legs out from Randy Orton the previous summer.

There is nothing that comes to mind. Things that have caught on have been in spite of themselves and planning (Daniel Bryan at Mania 30 comes to mind).

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I disagree with the criticism of Bayley losing. If it was Drew McIntyre eating pinfalls then I would agree they’re making the champ look weak. But isn’t this just Bayley’s character now?

She’s the aloof, asshole heel who doesn’t really even deserve to be champ. She regularly volunteers Sasha to do her dirty work, unaware that it pisses Sasha off every time. And Sasha can usually hold her own, so she looks strong. Meanwhile every time Bayley has to put up or shut up in the ring, she either loses or needs to be bailed out by Sasha’s cheating. You want to tune in because you want to see her get her come-uppance. And yet she gets to hold all that gold. It’s all leading up to the inevitable clash between Bayley and Banks where Bayley will finally have to prove her worth.

And while Bayley may be taking L’s in the ring, this is undoubtedly her best character work she’s done maybe ever. I don’t think we get to enjoy this funny, charismatic, heel Bayley character if she isn’t looking like an in-over-her-head goofball during her matches. Surely we can agree she’s miles above where she was back in October and November when she was booked stronger, but lacked her current entertainment value.

To me, constant losses as a champion ruin any in-ring credibility, regardless of character work. Champions should rarely lose. They should be built up as the best in the world today in their respective division.

Yeah, there’s chickenshit champions, but worming out of difficult matches should never be because of a lack of ability to get things done themselves if need be. Cheating, having assistance, etc is just added security for the champion that comes from a place of desperation or selfishness.

Bayley is just another person in the ring. I’ve enjoyed her work, but there’s no reason for me to believe she can’t be soundly defeated by most of her opponents. There’s vulnerability and weakness, and Bayley just looks so weak losing this often. This booking philosophy is why nobody will ever be a star in that company - belts mean nothing and everyone can lose to everyone

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Fair enough for you to feel that way. Maybe I’m alone on my feelings here. Personally I am so far removed from any belief that I’m witnessing an “athletic competition” (especially with WWE) that to me the belts don’t even represent who is the best at wrestling. It’s more like, who can game the system the best and get the reward? In this case, it’s Bayley.

Put yourself in her (kayfabe) shoes. Who cares if you lose a non-title match? It’s wwe. It’s not like anybody is actually keeping track of wins and losses. As long as Sasha is there to bail her out, she’s still the champ and still gets (presumably) the best pay day. It’s got more in common with trying to fudge your numbers at work to earn the amazon gift card than it does with winning an Olympic gold medal.

My thing is they have a million people on the roster if they want someone to lose, why constantly beat champions? Makes no sense


Well, you’re not alone. I think the last 20 years of WWE being the lone North American promotion has let them twist the narrative and redefine what professional wrestling (“sports entertainment”) should be. They’re character driven. Nothing matters but moments.

I think pro wrestling works best as simulated combat between two wrestlers vying for a championship belt - which is a reward of their hard work and an indication they are the best in the world today. We’re far removed from that (even in AEW), but I think that’s the scenario that draws the most eyes. I could be wrong. But because the titles are meaningless, there are no stakes. Nobody is superior to another. It’s a major reason they can’t build stars.

If I’m Bayley, I care if I lose. Bayley has always been a slimy heel, but not one who doesn’t care about match outcome. I think how seriously she takes winning and losing has been carried through her babyface iteration. I just don’t see her leaving matches she loses without care. She doesn’t have to be a proud defending champion to come across as wanting to be elite.

However, if I am her, I want to win at all costs. That’s where interference and DQ’s come in. I have a friend who’s going to take a bullet for me (which they both now take advantage of), and while I want to get easy wins, I still want to win and prove I’m the top of my division. There’s heel hypocrisy, but she takes her role seriously in her world. It’s not like Lucha House Party, where one guy loses a title match and then they attend a party backstage. Bayley I’ve found is generally pretty frustrated with losses.

I think you can do both. She can be a compelling character and a wrestler to take seriously. When you combine the two, I think there’s potential for her to be more transcendent and more of a star. It’s why Becky got over. She won all her matches. She had a character and charisma people connected to. And when he was this close to achieving her dream of being champion and snapped, everyone could relate to the plight.