After a few weeks of giving others the chance to review Raw, I’m back with another review of Raw. To be honest with you, I haven’t been that interested in the product as of late. I can still write and talk about wrestling for hours, but I don’t find myself as engaged as I used to be.
I am loaded with articles I am partly finished with which I will release soon, and I need WWE to give me some reason to care again. Right now, pro wrestling in general has me more apathetic than anything.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the product. I just feel burnt out. These 3 hour Raws are killer. They drain me mentally to the point where I just can’t find enough time in the day to invest emotion in the product.
That said, I’m going to keep writing and hope that the spark is ignited for me in WWE or TNA for that matter. What did Raw tonight offer? Well, enough to get by.
Randy Orton def. Dolph Ziggler
Overview: To start off the show, WWE has Ziggler and Orton did their thing showing off what they do best. Despite a distraction from Del Rio, Orton reversed a leg drop bulldog attempt into a quick roll-up.
Analysis: Decent starting match that was a set up more than anything. We’ve seen these two work much longer and much better than this, but they were immediately transitioned into the next match.
Not sure why Orton won with a roll-up. I guess it makes Ziggler look a bit better, but it seemed odd to see Orton have to take the roll-up when he was in position for the RKO.
Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio def. Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston
Overview: After Ziggler lost to Orton, ADR and Ziggler attacked Orton only for Kofi to make the save. In response, Teddy Long decides to restart the former match as a tag team match which Del Rio won with the step up enzuigiri in the corner to Kofi.
Analysis: This was the continuation of that match more or less. This was better paced than the opening part with Ziggler and Orton as it really got going by the end.
Still this was a two part match which seemed a bit disjointed and could have been better if it just stayed a singles match or just began as a tag team match.
Vickie Guerrero Has Voice Mails
Overview: Vickie and Dolph came out to review their evidence against AJ and Cena and, after calling out AJ, showed off voice mail messages as well. In retaliation, Cena came out and cleared the ring, helping AJ to the back.
Analysis: While I still find all the complaining about this angle as if it is directly copying TNA’s AJ Styles/Dixie Carter angle to be annoying, I do think this angle is doomed to fail on every level.
Its only saving grace was that it seemed to be leading to Ziggler/Cena, yet now they are not even in the same match at Survivor Series. The fake drama and lack of logic behind this angle is just a failure on all levels. Despite being fans of almost everyone in this angle, I still can’t give it the benefit of the doubt.
Big Show def. William Regal
Overview: Show destroyed Regal with ease, leaving a red mark upon Regal’s chest from the brutal beating he got, capped off with a chokeslam. Afterward, Sheamus fought off Show from attacking Regal anymore.
Analysis: While it is always nice to see Regal on WWE TV, he got absolutely demolished tonight. His role as scapegoat made Show look absolutely unbeatable. Regal couldn’t face the monster for a second while Regal wore the damage on his skin by the end.
Show is finally looking like the monster he promised to be when he first turned now that he actually wins the big matches. His inability to defeat Cena earlier in the year hurt him a lot, but he now seems like a top heel.
Kaitlyn def. Layla to Become the New Number One Contender to the Divas Title
Overview: In the fastest match of the night, Kaitlyn managed to reverse a crossbody attempt into an inverted DDT for three.
Analysis: Kaitlyn and Layla were not given entrances for this match, and neither was Eve who was on commentary. The match lasted all of a minute, and there was no time for any interactions afterward between Kaitlyn and Eve. So, WWE, why do you hate the Divas so much?
This match at Survivor Series could be decent, but WWE basically threw it together to give the Divas time at all here. With no time and some sloppy transitions in the ring, this was over before it started which was good for Eve who couldn’t seem to say a full sentence this week.
Jerry Lawler Has Returned and Punk is Not Impressed
Overview: Jerry Lawler came out to a happy crowd and thanked for the crowd for standing by him only for Punk to interrupt Lawler and berate Lawler. Heyman even feigned a heart attack with Punk “saving his life”. In response, Foley came out and lectured Punk on respect.
Analysis: Respect to Lawler for being able to return this fast, but he still does not truly add to the product when he is on the show. That is why Punk getting involved made this segment much better to me.
Punk said everything I was thinking in a heel way. Lawler should’ve never been in the ring in the first place, and he probably shouldn’t be at that broadcasting booth because he’s past his prime. No disrespect meant, but it might have been best if Lawler stayed out of the WWE.
One thing that this and several other segments tonight are proving to me is that WWE has no idea how to use its talent right now. Punk, Cena, and Ryback are being used in multiple stories at once while other talent can’t get on the show.
Why no other heel could have used these minutes baffles me. I mean, it’s not like Ziggler is supposed to be facing off with Foley on Sunday team on team or anything.
Mysterio, Cara, Gabriel, and Kidd def. PTP, Primo, and Epico
Overview: In late match chaos, Tyson Kidd knocked Darren Young into position for a 619, tagged in Rey Mysterio who hit the 619, who then tagged in Justin Gabriel for the 450 Splash as Gabriel picked up the pin-fall over Young.
Analysis: This was a great eight man tag team match. Each of these talented tag competitors got in their time here. If there is one thing WWE has exceptionally well lately, it is revitalizing the tag team division. The credibility of the division is higher than it has been in years.
The action here especially by Tyson Kidd was great. I don’t know where these teams factor into Survivor Series, but it seems clear that they have to be included somehow.
R-Truth def. Tensai
Overview: In impressive fashion, Truth played a perfect game as he dominated Tensai, finishing up with the Little Jimmy. Antonio Cesaro before and after the match taunted Truth.
Analysis: The feud isn’t that interesting, but at least the United Stated title has a feud going for it right now. Cesaro is becoming less wooden over time as WWE gives him an incredible amount of time to speak. He’s basically being forced to get better with the mic.
Meanwhile, Truth should be decent cannon fodder for Cesaro as he continues his run as champion. Truth doesn’t come off as a real challenge, but he is a nice stopgap until a real challenger gets involved with Cesaro.
Ryback def. Brad Maddox
Overview: When Maddox got into the ring, it was all about Ryback from start to finish. Maddox got Shell Shocked in the end then, after the bell, was demolished by Ryback more eventually being thrown in an ambulance at ringside.
Analysis: If that was the end of the Brad Maddox story, I guess WWE just wanted to repackage Maddox. That said, it’s still possible we see Maddox come back especially since he’s already been given time to develop as a character, so it would be odd to throw all that away.
I mean at the least it can’t be the last time we see that Brad Maddox jacket and that random guy following Brad with a camera, can it?
The match was purely about making Ryback look good. It was basically the Ryback squash with more importance, weighted unpredictability that didn’t end up leading anywhere.
Sheamus def. David Otunga
Overview: The typical Sheamus/Otunga match happened, ending in a Brogue Kick. After the match, Sheamus taunted Show only for Show to respond backstage with a brutal attack on William Regal.
Analysis: We’ve seen the match before. There is nothing more to say about that. Of the Show/Sheamus angle, I’m enjoying it. Regal is the sympathetic figure that Show can use against Sheamus who otherwise gets the upper hand on Show.
Looking at the build of this story, this makes a lot more sense for the build up if Show wasn’t champion yet, using Regal as a way to get to Sheamus mentally and get him off his game, but still it is a good building story.
Kane and The Miz def. The Rhodes Scholars
Overview: A RawActive poll made Miz the partner for Kane on that night and the final member of Team Foley. A jealous Daniel Bryan tried to get involved at many times, but Miz helped Kane by taking out Rhodes so that Kane could hit the chokeslam.
Analysis: Has WWE finally done it? Are they finally turning him face? I know I wouldn’t be the only one glad to see Miz in that role which he has been ready to be in for a year now it seems.
Team Hell No manages to be great no matter how much time they get. Bryan and Kane are still comedy gold despite how long the dynamic has been going and the lack of time they get on TV now. They make those tag titles look great.
John Cena def. CM Punk
Overview: In a typical hard fought battle from Punk and Cena, Cena came out on top with the AA after Ryback scared Punk out of leaving the match half finished and Mick Foley took out Paul Heyman. Afterward, Cena and Ryback stood tall fighting over the title as Punk looked on from outside.
Analysis: This is how you end a show. Give a preview for Sunday. Get all the major angles involved to cause at least a bit of a dirty finish, then end with a classic shot of all the main guys in the match.
Despite it not looking incredible on paper, the triple threat could actually be a good contest. The Cena/Punk/Show match was fine at Summerslam, but this could be better if all three really get moving at a fast pace, try to keep things unpredictable.
Or it could just be a boring waste of time as Punk trudges on to a match against Rock at Royal Rumble. We’ll see. It at least has the potential to be a good main event contest.
Final notes: First, we saw the very beginning of a face turn for Miz who is not there yet but seems to be headed that way. He has been made an outcast by the heels and found refuge on the face team. I mean he has to be a face by the time Marine 3 comes out, right?
Backstage, Heyman and Punk as always had a lot to say including a very interesting interaction between Brad Maddox and Heyman. That quick exchange could very well be what keeps Maddox in this story despite being destroyed by Ryback.
Also, quick shout out to Columbus, Ohio for having a stellar reaction as a crowd tonight. They elevated the show.
Conclusion: This was a fun show all around. A lot of good action and story development. The problem with it is simple: Survivor Series is Sunday. With only three weeks to book the event, WWE has five matches for the night so far. That’s at least two less than necessary.
If this were the show 13 days before Survivor Series, it would have been very successful in creating a solid if not impressive SS card. Instead WWE is still in hurry up mode as they seem to be with every PPV now.
Still, the crowd was great. Stories were advanced. There was a lot of good wrestling, and the big three matches for SS look promising.