Powell's WWE Raw Hitlist: C.M. Punk explains his actions, Randy Orton returns, John Cena vs. Big Show, Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan in a Street Fight, Sakamoto takes his weekly beating from Tensai, A.W.'s comment
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw Hits
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan in a Street Fight: This was the best television match in recent memory. They worked a pay-per-view style and pace and gave viewers who are concerned about the three-hour format a cause for optimism due to the amount of time they were given.
Randy Orton vs. Heath Slater: A good followup to Slater's legends gimmick. The crowd popped huge for Orton his signature spots during this brief match.
C.M. Punk promo: A minor Hit. He didn't take the Pipe Bomb approach. Rather, he tried to make it seem like his actions on Raw 1000 were strictly about The Rock and not a case of him turning his back on John Cena and the WWE fans. It's an interesting approach that will drag things out a bit, yet it lacked the type of punch that left this viewer highly intrigued to see what comes next with Punk.
John Cena vs. Big Show: Another minor Hit. The match was slow and downright boring early on as the wrestlers knew they were in for a long match. Fortunately, the action down the stretch was entertaining there were some good near falls. Punk's interference was a bit anticlimactic, though it was necessary to set them up with the Triple Threat at SummerSlam.
Daniel Bryan and The Shrink: Fun sports entertainment comedy. I could have done without Kane going into Freddy Krueger mode at the end, but I got a big kick out of Bryan saying that he knew he was sane. Is this the same guy who was considered charismatically challenge and a weak talker at one time? Bryan is a riot.
Chris Jericho and Christian vs. The Miz and Dolph Ziggler: A lengthy tag match that continued the Jericho vs. Ziggler, and Miz vs. Christian feuds. It didn't feel like the most consequential match, yet it was nice to see some good in-ring action.
Tensai vs. Tyson Kidd: Any match that results in Tensai beating the hell out of Sakamoto is okay with me. Call me a sadistic prick, but I am disappointed whenever Sakamoto doesn't take a beating.
Damien Sandow attacks Brodus Clay: It was good to see Sandow in a solid followup angle on Raw after his segment with DX on Raw 1000. Both wrestlers need a feud, though I am concerned that both men need wins and neither man will get much out of an evenly booked feud.
Overall show: A minor Hit. They kept the show interesting and the longer format led to longer matches. The negative of the three-hour approach is that the show feels like a marathon. They filled their time nicely this week, but I don't have confidence in their ability to do so on a consistent basis. I still must question why WWE isn't doing anything to drive home that Raw has expanded to three hours. They really dropped the ball last week during Raw 1000 when viewership was high and they didn't do any better last night.
WWE Raw Misses
A.W.'s joke: Standup comedian Daniel Tosh took some heat recently for a rape joke he told during one of his performances. While I'm a firm believer that nothing should be considered taboo on a standup comedy stage (you can always leave if you are uncomfortable with dark humor), the same isn't true when it comes to a PG television show. A.W. should have known better and it will be interesting to see whether he keeps his job and whether his live headset mic gimmick continues.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Santino Marella: Granted, this was the best match of their monthly series due to the extra time they were given. However, I'm not sure why we are subjected to Del Rio beating the U.S. Champion in non-title matches on a regular basis. The wins don't do anything for Del Rio that a win over one of the Heroes of WWE Superstars couldn't accomplish, and it makes the U.S. Championship look like the throwaway belt that it's become given that they never follow it up with Del Rio getting a title match.
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