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Review – Justin Roberts – Best Seat In The House: Your Backstage Pass Through My WWE Journey

Photo courtesy of Amazon.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez


Off the top of most professional wrestling fans’ crafty craniums, one former World Wrestling Entertainment Ring Announcer named Justin Roberts was synonymous with sharp suits, short black hair and emphatic introductions. There was also that time he was choked with his own necktie by Daniel Bryan in the infamous 2010 Nexus debut angle that resulted in Bryan’s termination.

Roberts released a blog post not long after his termination that complained about WWE’s public image trickeries as they twisted stories around to come off as a kindhearted company whilst they simultaneously talked down to their own talent and overworked them with little time off and insane travel schedules.

The prime example of this was Connor “The Crusher” Michalek – a sick eight-year old boy Roberts noticed at ringside and helped bring joy with constant FaceTime conversations added with daily communication with his father Steve, who noted that his son had little time left.

WWE portrayed the relationship between Michalek and his favorite wrestler Bryan as close in video packages. The two had interacted a few times, but the close relationship was actually between Roberts and Michalek. We’ll get more into that later on, as we hoped for more details.

Also, just the idea of a ring announcer autobiography intrigued us. Roberts’ WWE tenure lasted from 2002 through 2014. In turn, he experienced various company “eras” and it was cool to finally get his full perspective.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 3/9/15: Family Reunion

WWE Raw“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post. 




(Aired 3/9/15)

Family Reunion

– The opening video highlighted last week’s main event where Randy Orton helped Seth Rollins win, which obviously set up what happened on this show.

– Starting the show off with Orton and The Authority was predictable, but a good follow-up to the video opener, and the main event announcement of Orton/Rollins vs Roman Reigns provided the same sentiment. There was a bit of confusion about this segment’s purpose since it was already established Orton came back to The Authority. There were just too many teases for Orton’s turn, especially for him to say his plan, not do it and then just say he was kidding around. If he didn’t turn by this episode, when was it going to happen?

– The Daniel Bryan-Bad News Barrett match followed the exact same old routine as weeks past: R-Truth rambles on commentary and Barrett loses yet again. Oh, Barrett: the champion without the championship. Can we call him the Unchampion? Truth’s potato bit was funny for a chuckle, but they went on too far with it. Honestly though – what is the point of this “hot potato” storyline when the belt will be hung up at WrestleMania regardless of who will have the belt? How about making the belt actually look like something you would want? The championship might as well be the potato. The match itself was decent, but didn’t nearly get enough time to be anything special and this stupid storyline overshadows any in-ring positives, such as Barrett’s attempt to get heat back after the match. A frustrating “few weeks”? Barrett was taken out by Dean Ambrose, undoing his heat gains completely.

– The Ambrose-Stardust match carried on more of these shenanigans, but was more toned down and focused on in-ring action, as at least this was a unique matchup. The stuff with Bryan-Barrett after the match made sense and only led to the brawl afterwards that likely cements the ladder match’s competitors. Truth taking the belt while everyone was distracted only made everyone else look dumb. This was so predictable. Can we really believe Truth gave Barrett the real belt? At least it wasn’t real potatoes. Barrett might as well hold on to that toy belt since it is about as worthy as the real one. What a metaphorical coincidence.

– The latest HOF inductee video about Connor “The Crusher” Michalek was about as touching as possible. Seriously. The concept of the Warrior award was cool to see, but how will they follow it up every year? Long live the crusher.

– Paul Heyman’s promo with Brock Lesnar managed to even top last week’s. Heyman touched up on many different points about Reign’s family, made some controversial remarks and now we know the microphone getting cut off has to be storyline related. This was golden stuff right here. No way around it. Heyman is the best talker in the business – how he can get the crowd in the palm of his hands and blend kayfabe and reality into one vocal tirade is unlike anyone else in wrestling right now.

– The Bray Wyatt promo asking where The Undertaker was and to find him was more of what we’ve seen lately. Sad to see it would kind of happen, but not happen at the same time.

– The Show/Kane-Erick Rowan/Ryback match was quick, but not painless enough. Why have Ryback/Rowan come out to Rowan’s buzzkill music? This also managed to further tension between Kane and Show, because we needed more of it? Stephanie McMahon coming out and essentially throwing out Show/Kane for the meantime gave her her “power” moment, but we all knew it was really to lessen Authority numbers for when Orton would attack Rollins.

– The backstage segment with The Miz, Wiz Khalifa and Miz was more of Mizdow using his impersonations to get over. Not bad per se, but this was just glitz and glamour quite frankly.

– Oh, we’re not just getting that backstage segment. It’s a performance. Oh god, why? Yes, showing enthusiastic white chicks in the crowd will save this… not. Even the Divas are better than this.

– The Bella Twins backstage promo was their usual promo, though it was good stuff, as per their usual “mean girls” act.

– The AJ Lee (w/Paige)-Summer Rae (w/Cameron, Eva Marie) was a quick match that had Lee win by submission to continue to look strong. Pai-J (pronounce it Pay-Jay) and the Bellas should have an interesting match come Mania.

– The video of Sting’s perspective against Triple H was finally the perfect time to have him start talking, though it didn’t exactly sound like Sting at some points. If it was though, then kudos. Why mess around with his voice though? You didn’t show him on camera talking directly, so it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Most wrestling fans know Sting’s voice thanks to his later WCW years and TNA.

– The Cena-Rusev backstage interaction was a culmination of what they’ve done lately. It was cool to see it happen on the brink of a commercial break. The little things.

– The Rusev (w/Lana)-Curtis Axel match was just a glorified reason for a Rusev squash. Did anyone expect different? If only Axel begins to come out to Hogan’s music. The promo that followed only made the Cena run-in that much more predictable, not bad predictable though. The main highlight here was that Cena literally took out Rusev to get Lana to give Cena a United States Championship match at Mania. Will this come back to haunt Cena, being that logic calls for Rusev himself to accept the challenge? This is probably how it gets stretched these next two weeks.

– The Rusev-Lana backstage interaction was likely him angry over the match being made, as it was all in Russian. Very animated at least.

– The New Day boxed promo continues their frustrating positive act. It will never catch on. Who claps their way to the top of anything? That’s the message we tell kids these days? Sigh.

– The Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (w/Natalya)-Kofi Kingston/Big E (w/Xavier Woods) match had Hump Day knock off the tag champions in an “upset” as it was pretty much called before the match. The lack of crowd reaction for New Day should tell you all you know. Good to see The Usos throw themselves into the segment, though it was to set up the subsequent matches.

– The Naomi (w/Jimmy Uso)-Natalya (w/Cesaro, Tyson Kidd) match was more diva continuation of the Kidd/Cesaro-Usos feud. Los Matadores coming out right after just made this even more confusing to digest.

– The Usos-Los Matadores (w/El Torito) match was more of a way to put Los Matadores over. The move to the outside by Jey Uso was almost catastrophic, but the eventual story here was that Los Matadores and New Day knocked off both of the big tag teams, nearly coming from obscurity. Not the best way to showcase your tag division, but it could be worse. At least they’re not stealing the tag team championships.

– The backstage segment with Rollins/J & J Security had Noble and Mercury continue to doubt Orton’s intentions, clearly the most logical people in the stable. Doesn’t that say something?

– Wyatt’s in-ring promo was cool in retrospect of finally making the match official and Taker’s gong garnered a huge pop, one of the biggest of the night, but you could tell the fans wanted Taker in person and all that buzz was killed after that. Would one Taker appearance kill WWE? If Lesnar can appear and get paid for standing there, what’s stopping Taker?

– The Orton/Rollins-Reigns main event handicap match made the moment that finally happened, thankfully. Logically, it did make sense for Orton to get rid of the other Authority members systematically to get to Rollins and sure enough, it did. Did J & J Security go far enough that they couldn’t help Rollins though? Either way, this brought us exactly where we were after FastLane and Orton isn’t necessarily any more over within this storyline. Has WWE done themselves in too far by waiting too long to strike on this storyline wait?





Quick Results

– Daniel Bryan def. Bad News Barrett via pinfall

– Dean Ambrose def. Stardust via pinfall

– Erick Rowan/Ryback def. The Big Show/Kane via pinfall

– AJ Lee (w/Paige) def. Summer Rae (w/Eva Marie, Cameron) via submission

– Rusev (w/Lana) def. Curtis Axel via submission

– Kofi Kingston/Big E (w/Xavier Woods) def. Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (w/Natalya) via pinfall

– Naomi (w/The Usos) def. Natalya (w/Tyson Kidd/Cesaro) via pinfall

– Los Matadores (w/El Torito) def. The Usos via pinfall

– 2-on-1 Handicap Match – Roman Reigns def. Seth Rollins/Randy Orton via pinfall