WWE Raw in Bytes: My thoughts on the 1/7 Raw in convenient bullet format!
- The opening promo of Raw was primarily focused on reminding WWE viewers that the ending of last week’s Raw was horrible, and for some inexplicable reason they don’t want you to forget it. Cena was neck deep in fart and wiener jokes by the end of it, and we even got to hear Big E Langston’s first words, which were completely wasted by having him accept a match that he would not be wrestling in. A bizarre segment that so far contrasted from the closing of the show that it’s hard to believe they are part of the same product.
- Luckily for us all, Cena and Ziggler have great ring chemistry and went on to have a great match, despite me having absolutely zero interest in their feud beyond wanting to see it snuffed out of existence. I mean, what are we supposed to think now? The first match of the feud saw Ziggler barely escape with a victory due to shenanigans, and since then he’s been nothing but beaten and embarrassed by Cena. Am I supposed to be excited about next week where they have Cena beat Big E and Ziggler in a handicap match while he wears an eye patch and extremely ill fitting shoes? No thanks, check please.
- And then there were divas. Honestly, Kaitlyn and Eve didn’t have that bad of a match, until Eve remembered she could just leave and still keep her belt. It seems like running away is the method that always surprises WWE challengers the most.
- The Santino and Steamboat backstage segment with Wade Barrett, followed by the mess with 3MB and Randy Orton are more reasons why WWE needs to cut Raw back to two hours. There was literally nothing redeeming here. Randy Orton’s line about Slater playing the harp was worth an eye roll and a half. Steamboat getting involved in Kofi and Wade Barrett’s feud could be interesting, by why get there through Santino? That dog stopped hunting a long time ago.
- I’m happy Rhodes Scholars got a win over Team Hell No, as they have been doing a whole lot of stagnating lately outside of their brief feud with The Shield. The Tag Division seemed like it picked up momentum for a while there, but it was just as quickly forgotten about. I think it’s about time Rhodes and Sandow picked up the Tag Team Championships, just because that whole division seems like it needs another reboot, and it won’t get it with Team Hell No on top of it.
- I’m going to skip ahead here quite a ways, just because the middle of the show didn’t interest me all that much and felt like filler. Cesaro was impressive again, but 3MB with Sheamus and Orton was boring and so was Barrett and Santino. This third hour really creates a lot of situations where WWE has to fill time with uninspired material, and it allowed me to check out for a bit so I could play New Super Mario Bros on my Wii U. Thanks WWE!
- C.M. Punk vs. Ryback as the wrestling Main Event of the show was great. You can nitpick and say that the finish was pretty predictable, and you’d be right, but honestly I think there is more mileage to had with Ryback feuding with various Shield members than there is with him in the Main Event. I like Ryback, and I have faith he’ll be a champion sooner than later, but at this point I don’t think he’s quite well rounded enough to take on the role. In any case, this was a great match that would not at all looked out of place on PPV.
- CM Punk’s post match promo was also fantastic. I think Punk did a nice job of hinting at the politics of his long title reign without going way too inside baseball, and laid out a pretty good case for why he has no reason to grovel to the fans for their support. His references to other superstars and what they have or have not been willing to do to gain television time and fan attention were very well crafted pot shots at the fans he sees as lowering the bar for his profession. It was a great setup for his promo with the Rock, and it put him clearly at odds with what The Rock has claimed to represent for the lion share of his Wrestling career.
- The arguments over the ensuing war of words between The Rock and CM Punk have been heated, and no matter where you normally find conversation about Pro Wrestling on the Internet, there seems to be no shortage of argument about who “won” the promo exchange. Personally, I think the fact that there are passionate arguments taking place is a sign of just how great the exchange was, and how fans of both Superstars seem to have gotten what they wanted out of it. The most important thing that took place was that they sold a lot of tickets to the Royal Rumble, and in my opinion they had more success in one promo than The Rock and John Cena were able to generate in most of their one year build for WrestleMania 28.
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