Kester's WWE Raw Rundown: Brock Lesnar attack Triple H, John Laurinaitis loses his mind, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan begin their feud, and more
By Ryan Kester
Triple H and Brock Lesnar
This segment was the highlight of the show. I know many will complain about seeing Triple H on TV, but I think it's high time that crap ended. Triple H served the purpose of giving Lesnar some solid heat after his loss, and the crowd reaction when he was on offense is indicative of how beneficial his presence was to giving Lesnar the heat he needed. Better yet, it gave WWE the out they needed for Lesnar not to make a weekly appearance so they could preserve his contracted appearances.
I still feel like Lesnar feels neutered after his loss to Cena. Lesnar's video package and beatdown of Josh Matthews from the month prior made him feel like an indomitable badass. No matter how hard WWE tries at this point, that feeling isn't going to be coming back. It's proven to WWE's modern audience that Lesnar is beatable, and I feel that damages his character considerably. Does it make him worthless? Absolutely not, but it does take away from a source of revenue for no discernible reason.
I am impressed by how well WWE is getting the Kimura over. Personally, with Lesnar's collegiate wrestling and UFC background, I like the idea of him having such a hold as a finisher. It makes him feel unique. The execution of the hold on Triple H was particularly well done, as a buddy of mine that watched Raw with me nearly lost their meal when Lesnar torqued the arm back. If that feeling extends to other viewers of WWE, then Lesnar's future opponents will not lose a thing if they tap to the hold to avoid the same fate.
John Cena, John Laurinaitis, and Lord Tensai
This was ok, but the Laurinaitis vs. Cena feud feels forced and underwhelming at this point. Once Cena proved that he can overcome an established threat like Lesnar, it makes it difficult to suspend disbelief and entertain the possibility that even Laurinaitis, Sakamoto, and Lord Tensai would be able to overcome him.
I also feel like the storytelling involved with Cena's promo at Extreme Rules was completely undone with him showing up last night and already delving into a new feud. This only further solidified by belief that Cena going over last night was a mistake as there was no satisfying storyline follow-up to support that decision. Much like my feelings on the build to Cena's showdown with Lesnar, I feel like the angle with Laurinaitis is being hot-shotted. I watch this show every week, but the stories involving John Cena consistently make me feel like a missed a show or two.
Still, Laurinaitis was very effective on this show. He worked well as the bumbling idiot that his character usually portrays in the opening segment, and he was believable in his assault on Cena. I didn't see his attack coming, but I still would have preferred to have the buildup to that type of brutality to
My interest in the Tensai act is beginning to wane. I still enjoy the idea and Sakamoto has been great, but it is a bit disconcerting seeing so many Japanese wrestling tropes being used for a non-Japanese wrestler. Tensai needs a better wardrobe and a bit of a pull back from the Japanese speech to be effective. I am not as down on his act as some, but WWE needs to realize that just because they have a character act does not mean they need to come off as completely cartoonish.
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan
Yes, please. Not only is this an internet wrestling community's wet dream, but it's actually the perfect time for these two men to be feuding. Daniel Bryan needs a strong fan favorite face to go up against and prevent the fans from turning him, and CM Punk needs an established heel to feud with after overcoming Chris Jericho.
I am looking forward to where this feud goes. Two weeks if very little time to tell a satisfying story for a PPV match, but I am looking forward to their PPV match regardless. This feud has a lot of potential and I hope Punk and Bryan have built enough clout to be able to tell their own story.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth
Poor Epico and Primo; they are a solid team that simply never got the push they deserved. I am happy to see A.W. speaking with the now former champs after their match, as it is at least an indicator that creative didn't just completely forget about them.
The new champions do little to spark my interest, either. Truth feels like he's in yet another holding pattern, and Kingston's talents continue to be squandered in the mid or undercard when he has the talent and the fan support to break into the main event with the right push. All-in-all, the tag team division in WWE continues to be a disappointment, and it feels like it is holding back wrestlers more than it is enhancing their act.
The novelty of this act has nearly completely dissipated. Clay needs a solid feud and he needs one quickly, but even then I feel like he will have a hard time being taken care of seriously. I am a fan of Clay's ring work, when he is allowed to go, and I know he is capable on the mic, but there is no real money in continuing an undercard house show attraction on weekly television without any story. WWE already has Santino for that purpose, and he is already well over with the WWE fan base. Clay needs to either change the act or be allowed to use it for more than repetitive squash matches.
Last night's show peaked in the opening segment. There were some entertaining segments during the rest of the show, but they did not feel anywhere near as intense or important. The main event segment was intriguing, but I left the show unsatisfied with the story surrounding Cena.
If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow wrestling fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter at @TheRyanKester.
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