Kester's WWE Raw Rundown: Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton sign a contract, CM Punk teams up with Big E Langston, and John Cena gets the star treatment with his return hype
By Ryan Kester
Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton
The contract signing segment worked well until the end. Triple H gave Bryan's fans an incentive to rally behind him, and Michael's endorsement made Bryan look like a star. I would have liked to hear more from the actual participants of the match, but it's hard to complain about the work put forth by Triple H and Michaels.
Big Show's presence at the end of the segment was unnecessary. Show has been a distracting attachment to this feud since the end of Battleground, and the big rig moment last night let the air out of the final segment. How much better would Bryan have looked if he managed to overcome Orton in a scuffle before hitting his running knee versus scoring the blow after Big Show caused a distraction?
I remain thrilled that Bryan is a main event player in the WWE story for so long. I simply wish they would have the confidence to let the story revolve around him rather than adding as many moving parts as possible to distract from what would otherwise be a great chase for the WWE title.
CM Punk and Paul Heyman
Since Battleground, and possibly a week or two before, the Punk and Heyman feud has been losing steam. I can only hope that WWE has plans to wrap this feud up before it reaches the point that the payoff loses any form of satisfaction.
Big E Langston, both on Smackdown and on Raw, did help get the feud through the final stretch, and I am happy to see the big man turn. He had a hell of a face run in developmental, and if they can bring any of that to a bigger audience, I can see a lot of success for the man.
While I am in the camp that worries that Cena's return is too premature for his long-term health, WWE has done a phenomenal job of building up to the big moment. The video packages showing his recovery training and the history of his career have a gone a long way towards making Hell in a Cell feel like a bigger event than it actually is.
Similarly, WWE has struck the right chord with Alberto Del Rio's side of the hype. Del Rio has been consistently portrayed as a viscous and dangerous heel champion, and the story of an armbar specialist versus a man returning from surgery on his arm writes itself.
Last night's show was solid as an edition of Raw, but it came up lacking as a go home effort. WWE simply didn't do enough to show viewers that they had to order Hell in a Cell outside of the effort put into Cena's return and the WWE Championship match.
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