Kester's WWE Raw Rundown: Ryback explains his actions and solidifies his turn, Brock Lesnar continues being a beast, Dolph Ziggler suffers an unnecessary loss, and Fandangoing gets a push
By Ryan Kester
My thoughts and prayers today are with the people of Boston and with the victims of yesterday's bombing. I wish you all the best and I hope you find some measure of comfort as you begin to heal, recover, and mourn.
John Cena and Ryback
While there were parts of Ryback's explanation that were cringe-worthy, the "Ryback Rules" line being the most egregious, the overall story they are telling with his turn is solid and enjoyable. Best of all it makes perfect sense for the Ryback character to make the decisions that he is, and it helps him move on from the string of PPV losses.
That being said, this is rather early in Cena's championship run for him to be paired with Ryback. One would think WWE would want to keep their hot new act over, but it looks all too much like he will be the first man to be fed to Cena's reign. For Ryback's sake, I hope that is not the case, but history is not on his side.
Similarly, it's questionable to involve The Shield in this angle. It gives the group main event exposure, which is a huge plus, but it also makes them the background act to another angle involving bigger players. In isolated occurrences, that is a very good thing, but WWE can't rely on The Shield for most of this angle without them being subservient.
It's good to see Lesnar back to being an unapologetic badass. Those F5s to Slater on the barricade looked monstrously brutal and Heyman's subsequent begging for him to stop reminded viewers that Lesnar is unstable. This is exactly what Lesnar needed after his WrestleMania loss.
It's odd to see WWE persist with Lesnar vs. Triple H. WrestleMania felt very much like a blowoff to that angle, and it takes something away from the big show to have it be the midpoint for a feud rather than its conclusion. Still, I doubt they're going to go with Lesnar losing his second match in a row, so this may be what he needs. Let's just hope they have a plan for him to work with someone else during summer and autumn.
This is unfortunate. Ziggler was fresh off of one of the hottest Money in the Bank cash-ins in recent memory, and WWE chose to follow that with a televised loss. It's bad enough to see this lack of attention given to the midcard belts, it's even worse when they do this with a belt that is supposed to help sell their PPVs.
All is not lost for Ziggler, but the loss last night took a lot of the heat and interest out of his run. Ziggler needs to be protected as he's stepping into upper midcard and main event territory, and he's going to need to be paired with an act that can carry some of the weight. Both the men he's involved with now, Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger, aren't firing on all cylinders with their current gimmicks. Ziggler is a good wrestler and performer, but he needs a more established act to help push him over the top. The belt won't be enough with how it's being treated.
Clever girl, WWE. While it's impossible to tell if WWE truly attempted to shove something so far down our throats we'd never want to taste it again or if this is a case of WWE adaptation simply killing the fun, "Fandangoing" simply lost its cool.
Honestly, that's perfectly fine; Fandango works better a straight up heel and while fun, the Fandango chants would have grown old eventually. For fandango's sake, it would be better if WWE were actively trying to kill the chant because if they were expecting it to catch on with that type of push, they may blame Fandango for losing his heat when it doesn't.
Last night's show was better than most three-hour Raws, but it showed that little has changed in WWE booking practices. The same faces are still hovering around the midcard and trading championships, and now that has transferred to the WHC. WWE promised a shakeup after WrestleMania, and, while we have a freshly turned act in the main story, it feels like so much of the show is being kept at a very stale status quo.
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.
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