By Ryan Kester
Triple H and Brock Lesnar
While this segment featured a tad too much talking for an angle that's featured far too much talking already, the final brawl and the hot live crowd made the whole thing work. They did just enough to give viewers a taste of what their cage match will be, and they got out without making either man look weak.
One can only hope the sight of Triple H standing tall at the end of the night is a sign that Brock Lesnar will be walking out of Extreme Rules with the victory. WWE has been fairly liberal with Lesnar losses already, and the last thing he needs is to have to regain his heat from another.
John Cena and Ryback
Ryback really hasn't clicked with his heel character. He has had several opportunities to find his groove with the character in the recent weeks, but there's simply a strong disconnect between the tactical or cowardly character he is playing now and the dominant powerhouse he was as a face. That alone could be enough to pervert people from responding to the new character, but he is also trying to get over an achingly generic phrase and is paired with an opponent no one believes he will be allowed to go over.
The attack on Cena's ankle this week was well done. It was understated compared to WWE's usual injury spot assaults, and that helped add to its impact for this viewer. It would have been preferable for Cena to sell that injury a bit more during his match, but that would have also made the outcome WWE went with more damaging to The Shield.
The Shield had both a good and a bad night on Monday. They were handed their first loss in an unceremonious fashion, and it came at the hands of a storyline injured John Cena. It's understandable that WWE wouldn't want to show Cena being pinned regularly as the WWE Champion, but it would have been preferable to not have this match than having to end the Shield's undefeated record on a technicality.
Despite all of the above, The Shield were still the ones that walked out of the segment with the heat and viewers will primarily remember them hitting Cena with another Triple Powerbomb. The Shield are still being utilized well by WWE, but WWE definitely gave away one of the group's biggest selling points in a terribly meaningless manner.
This was a strong go home show, and likely the strongest go home show for a WWE PPV this year. Almost every segment was devoted to giving a final hype for a match at Extreme Rules, and the usual fluff was kept to a minimum. This was the first show in a long while where the three-hour drag didn't occur so readily.
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Kester's WWE Raw Rundown: Brock Lesnar and Triple H meet in a cage, Ryback attacks John Cena's ankle, and The Shield suffer their first loss
May 15, 2013 - 09:19 AM
May 15, 2013 - 09:19 AM
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