By Ryan Kester
CM Punk and The Rock
Phenomenal. From Punk's latest "pipe bomb" to the exchange he had with The Rock, the mic work in the final segment of Raw was brilliant. I immediately became hyped for the showdown between these two, and I imagine many other viewers felt the same.
This single segment between Punk and Rock was better than the build to Rock's big match with Cena. Punk was on a mission to be despised, and he did everything right to make that happen. The Rock made himself out to be a champion for the fans that Punk just shoved aside, yet he treated Punk as a threat the entire time. Finally, Rock got the better of Punk physically, which should inspire those that want to see Punk's reign end to purchase the Rumble.
I'm not one of pick winners out of exchanges like this because I feel the real winner was WWE as a whole. This exchange was splendid and it sold the PPV from top to bottom. I think this is the first time WWE will be fully utilizing Rock since his return two years ago.
Ryback and The Shield
On top of a great match with CM Punk, Ryback suffered his latest attack by The Shield. The Shield hasn't been getting as much mic time as I would like to see, but they are consistently being treated as a threat and put in high profile spots, and the heat they got last night is a sign that the act is working.
I am a bit concerned about pairing the entire group again Ryback, however. Yes, it gives Ryback an out to lose matches, but the payoff will have to be Ryback going over in the end, and I'm not sure how you manage that without making The Shield look less for it. I'm willing to give this feud some rope, but it could head downhill quickly.
John Cena and Dolph Ziggler
While I may not enjoy this feud froma storytelling standpoint, it was great once we got to the wrestling. Cena and Ziggler do have a chemistry together and it makes for some very solid and entertaining matches.
Unfortunately, a story cannot survive on matches alone, especially when it's surrounded by the latest round of Cena not taking his opposition seriously. I had hope that this feud could help launch Ziggler's path up the card, but that won't happen as long as he has to be Cena's holding pattern opponent, rather than getting the best of the more established star.
Last night's show was ok. There were some spectacularly memorable moments and better wrestling than normal, but it was coupled with the usual Monday slog that comes with WWE trying to pump pout weekly three hour shows. I hope they get the pacing better for the actual Road to WrestleMania, or they may well be shooting themselves in the foot.
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Kester's WWE Raw Rundown: CM Punk steals the show, The Rock returns, The Shield strike again, and more
Jan 8, 2013 - 04:30 PM
Jan 8, 2013 - 04:30 PM
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