Powell's WWE Raw Hitlist: Triple H and Paul Heyman, John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis and David Otunga, Big Johnny, C.M. Punk and Sheamus vs. Kane and Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler stays with Vickie Guerrero
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to my 47-minute audio review of Monday's WWE Raw television show, and my 71-minute Q&A audio show. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership via Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
WWE Raw Hits
Triple H and Paul Heyman: A strong hit for the verbal battle. Heyman was so effective as a heel that it seemed like a mistake to have Triple H punch him. That's a moment they should have built up to and had the fans begging to see Heyman get his. That said, it was good to see they didn't have Brock Lesnar simply agree to the match, which wouldn't have made any sense. I still fear that he's going to be made to look like a dope by agreeing to fight against Heyman's advisement once Hunter gets under his skin
C.M. Punk and Sheamus vs. Kane and Daniel Bryan: A good, long opening match that gave viewers some star power right out of the gate with both World Champions involved. The latest A.J. development didn't further the storyline all that much, yet was still entertaining. My biggest disappointment is that we didn't get to hear from Daniel Bryan, who I assumed was going to accuse A.J. and Punk of being in cahoots given what happened at No Way Out. Perhaps that will come next week now that he can cite this match as another example.
Roddy Piper, Cyndi Lauper, Wendi Richter, and Heath Slater: This is an Old Guy Hit. If you were around for the Rock and Wrestling Connection back in the day, then this was a nice nostalgia moment. I assume there were a lot of younger fans who were disinterested and would put this in the Miss section. I can't argue with that, but it was mildly entertaining for me as a longtime viewer.
John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis and David Otunga: They did a good job of writing off the Laurinaitis character in a crowd pleasing manner. I can appreciate that even though I had no desire to see it. More on Big Johnny below.
WWE Raw Misses
Overall show: The show felt like more of the same with Big Johnny showcased as much as he was. I want to see the story with C.M. Punk, Daniel Bryan, Kane, and A.J. take center stage rather than always playing second fiddle to what John Cena is doing. Cena is running out of credible opponents and his stories feel stale when he's not in there with a big name like Rock or Brock Lesnar, whereas the WWE Championship saga feels fresh. I'm not saying Cena should never main event or going with an over the top anti-Cena statement. Rather, I'm saying they at least need to find a better balance.
Big Johnny: I was ready for a break from Big Johnny after he was fired on Sunday night. Instead, he was the featured player on the show. Again, they did a good job of delivering the crowd-pleasing sendoff, but it didn't click with this viewer because I had no desire to see Laurinaitis. What we got was overkill. I don't think we've seen the last of Big Johnny, but I sure hope we can get a real break from his act.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger: A minor Miss. It was nice to see Ziggler get a win, but I didn't care for the way he was fighting to stay with Vickie Guerrero. I was actually hoping that he would win the match and then dump Vickie, not make out with her. I hope there's a long term story here that will lead to Ziggler getting the main event push he's ready for.
Mick Foley: Why is it when you want to see the interim general manager you only get him in one segment, yet when you have no desire to see the fired general manager he's cast as the star of the show? Foley was fine while he was out there, but if you blinked you missed him. Here's hoping he's more involved on Friday's Smackdown.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Santino Marella: Why is Santino the United States Champion? Why does the United States Championship even exist at this point? Why did we have to watch a match we saw recently? It wasn't like they added a new wrinkle. It was the same short and decisive match with Del Rio going over with the Cross Arm Breaker both times.
The Prime Time Players vs. Primo and Epico: I have high hopes for Primo, Epico, and Rosa Mendes to shine as a babyface act. The problem is that WWE hasn't bothered to establish them as babyfaces. We're supposed to like them because they were screwed over by A.W., not because they've shown any type of admirable babyface qualities. Rosa's jiggling is certainly a crowd pleaser, but we need to hear from the trio to connect with them. Meanwhile, the finish fell flat with the live crowd. They offered the explanation on television that A.W. wanted the countout since they already earned No. 1 contenders status, but only after the whole segment and the finish seemed incredibly flat.
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