The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from WWE RAW 01/18/2021

By: Frank Hyden

BAD- Randy Orton opening promo

I didn’t mind this as much in terms of the supernatural stuff. I mean, they’ve done stuff like this in wrestling for a long time. Orton wearing a mask to “cover his burns” and wearing makeup to accentuate it, okay, that’s fine. I would prefer they not go that way but it’s not a big deal. However, I’ve very rarely ever liked an Orton promo. His stop-start way of speaking, how slow he talks, that all combines to make him one of my least-liked promo guys. At least, out of the ones that can actually talk. Clearly, he’s better than the guys who fumble their words all the time and just can’t talk. But not by much. Anyway, this might not have been as bad in reality, I know I’m biased, anytime Orton starts talking it’s an immediate buzzkill for me, no matter what. It’s a BAD for me, but others might have liked it.

UGLY- Charlotte Flair beat Peyton Royce

The match itself was okay. The finish was complete bullshit, though. As everyone watching expected, Lacey Evans came out during the match in one of Ric Flair’s robes and distracted Charlotte. Royce hit her with a kick and pinned her, but Charlotte kicked. Charlotte then put Peyton in the Figure 8 and got the submission. Are you freaking kidding me? One of the biggest reasons people can’t stand Charlotte is that she always wins. I mean, I’m sure those who like her like that but I would like to think that even her fans think it’s a bit much to have her always win. She’s the female version of Roman Reigns, or he’s the male version of her, whichever way you want to put it. It’s disgusting and off-putting. When you can’t even have her lose because of distraction? Come on… The only reason she even lost last week is because Ric held her foot down while she was being pinned, after having dominated Lacey Evans most of the match. This isn’t a shoot, the vast majority of people watching know it’s a work. This isn’t making Charlotte look like a badass. What happened to that push Peyton was supposed to get? Isn’t now the perfect time to try to push a new person forward? This whole thing just made me shake my head and think about changing the channel whenever Charlotte is involved in something.

GOOD- Mace beat Xavier Woods

I think Retribution might be building a little momentum. I hope it keeps up. I’m not a huge fan of the Mad Max-style looks for the henchmen but that could definitely grow on me. The match was pretty good.

GOOD- Moment of Bliss with Asuka

Asuka was very nervous during this segment, as her attempts to be nice to Alexa only angered her more and more until she sternly told Asuka to not ever say his name (The Fiend), which made Asuka leave the ring. Look, I’m a big fan of both of these two so I liked this segment. Maybe that makes me a bit of hypocrite but I’m a lot more willing to go along with stuff when I actively like the people involved. They both played their parts well and this was a nice segment.

GOOD- Shayna Baszler beat Mandy Rose

Baszler basically squashed Rose here. Nothing special, but there’s money in them allowing Baszler to be a badass.

GOOD/BAD- AJ Styles beat Ricochet

It would be almost impossible for these two to not have a good match. And this was really good, they brought energy to it and it was exciting. It’s dumb that some wrestlers are able to declare themselves entering The Royal Rumble while others have to earn it. All that does is show who management thinks are the big stars and makes the others look bad. Either everyone can declare or everyone has to earn it. Ricochet needs to be in the Rumble match. The only reason he shouldn’t be is if he’s in a title match. What are the odds of that?

GOOD/BAD/UGLY- The Dirt Sheet with Gillberg and some dumpy guy showing his ass

This was your typical wrestling impersonator segment. It was kind of fun but also predictable. Some quick thoughts- Miz especially and, to a lesser extent, Morrison can be exactly like those annoying YouTubers when they start screaming that “Coooooooorrect!!!” bullshit. They sound just like every bitch-ass YouTuber yelling and screaming their heads off like idiots, all to try to get kids to watch their crap. It’s a turn-off to most people, though I know kids either like it or don’t mind it. I’m sure that’s kind of the point with their characters, though, but still, I wish they would drop it. A part I did find really funny was when they were all arguing and Gillberg said “Hey guys” and did that face with his tongue sticking out and rolling his eyes around and stuff. I just found that really funny. I know that’s a little hypocritical based on what I just said but sometimes you have to try to roll with it, it makes things more enjoyable.

GOOD- The Hurt Business beat Lucha House Party and Riddle

There was a lot of tension in THB, as Cedric Alexander kept trying to show up Shelton Benjamin. Everyone played their roles really well. Finally, Bobby Lashley got sick of everything and got in the ring and made Gran Metalik tap to The Hurt Lock.

GOOD/BAD- Jeff Hardy beat Jaxon Ryker by DQ

I didn’t really care much for this but it wasn’t anything that made me want to change the channel or anything. It was fine. Elias interfered for the DQ as Hardy went for the Swanton.

GOOD/BAD- Alexa Bliss beat Asuka

The story of this match was the mid-match transformation Alexa had. The lights went out and when they came back on Alexa was dressed differently and acting completely differently. You can do this in The Thunderdome but not in an arena with fans. It would take far too long, Alexa’s makeup was totally different. I don’t know much about makeup but I don’t think you can change it that quick. Anyway, this was okay and, again, I really like these two so I’m trying to roll with it because it’s interesting. But I just don’t know.

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank

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