Kester's WWE Raw Rundown: Curtis Axel is the latest Paul Heyman Guy, Ryback promises to send John Cena to a medical facility, and The Shield continue to dominate
By Ryan Kester
This was rather unexpected. I'm not sure who I had in mind when WWE started talking up the new "Paul Heyman Guy," but a revamped Michael McGillicutty certainly wasn't it. Axel did decent with his new role, but he was kept extremely limited in his first match under the new gimmick, and Triple H completely laughed him off when he was being presented as the next best thing.
Time will tell if Axel can live up to his new push, but he is displaying one of his biggest issues with his previous run. His mannerisms and facial expressions are not consistent with the character he's playing. They tried the cocky jackass route with him before, and he ended up doing the same wide-eyed cartoonish crazy faces that he made last night. It's a subtle thing, but if he reigned things in a bit and did more cocky smirks versus crazed yells, then it would be a lot easier to tale his character seriously.
Ryback did a decent job last night. He's still got a lot of work ahead of him with his heel gimmicks, but he seemed more comfortable on the mic last night than he ever has. Let's hope he moves on from the morgue talk, threats of death really kill suspension of disbelief in a wrestling promo.
The hyped Ambulance match seems like a poor idea on WWE's part. It seems destined to end in another screwy fashion, and Ryback desperately needs some credibility. One almost has to wonder if Ryback would have been better served by being denied a follow up match and having him fume over the added slight rather than getting right back into a similar counterproductive build with John Cena.
It's amazing how entertaining a thrown-together six-man tag match can be week after week. The Shield continue to be one of the highlights of WWE television and last night's show was no exception. The Shield are getting a lot of WWE focus at the moment, and they are taking that opportunity and running with it.
It's important to note how well Daniel Bryan and Kane have served as a counterbalance to The Shield. They've grown tremendously as a team over the past year and it's to the point that I am hoping WWE avoids the usual team-splitting feud when their time in the division is done. This is easily a team WWE could pair again for special occasions, and it would be a shame to see that possibility go away.
Last night's Raw was solid. While the story they told may not have satisfied everyone, WWE told a story throughout the entire evening that was paced well and kept the show flowing. If WWE wasn't so obsessed with their latest off-TV marketing gimmick, then this would have been one of the more enjoyable shows of the year.
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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