Powell's WWE Raw Hitlist: Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels, Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz, C.M. Punk and John Cena vs. Big Show and Daniel Bryan, Damien Sandow vs. Christian
By Jason Powell
Check the main page for the All Access audio review of WWE Raw that I recorded late last night. If you enjoy our free audio shows, consider joining us on the members' site where you will hear over five hours of new audio content each week. Sign up today via Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
WWE Raw Hits
Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels: A strong closing angle that finally made the match feel important. Brock breaking the arm of HBK gave Triple H the revenge factor. Granted, Hunter had it back when his own arm was broken, but that feels like ancient history. Plus, Shawn is more sympathetic than Hunter is. Heyman was awesome on the mic all night long. I love the way he shows concern when Brock takes the mic or even when he is about to sign the contract. It makes Lesnar feel completely unpredictable and unmanageable even by Heyman. The final touch was Heyman expressing shock over Lesnar breaking HBK's arm. It once again made Lesnar seem unmanageable while also making the arm break seem even more shocking.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz: That was a hell of a Triple Threat match. It was perfect for the three-hour format. Sure, this could have been a mid-card pay-per-view match, but they didn't give away a big match that would have sold the show. It's a shame that Miz has been cast as a scrub since he captured the Intercontinental Title. He lost to Kane and Rey Mysterio last week, and he would have lost this match had the ref not been distracted as he was tapping out. Nevertheless, this was the best match of the night and the length is one of the few positives of Raw expanding to three hours.
John Cena and C.M. Punk vs. Big Show and Daniel Bryan: Bryan was an absolute riot. He's doing a hell of a job with his angry character and his back and forth "yes" and "no" bickering exchange with Show was a blast. Likewise, Cena and Punk showing up one another by performing the other's signature spots was great. The Triple Threat wrestlers didn't spend nearly enough time talking about the title during the build to their program so the match doesn't feel as big as it should, yet they did leave me looking forward to the match more than I was heading into Raw.
Damien Sandow vs. Christian: A really nice television win for Sandow. I assumed Brodus Clay walking out was going to lead to a distraction with for Christian and they teased that nicely via the rollup, so it was even more surprising when Sandow kicked out and came back to get the win.
Sin Cara vs. Tensai: Damn near any match that results in Tensai beating the crap out of Sakamoto is fine with me. He better not be getting any ideas about disrespecting Tensai by fighting back. Take your beating like a good manservant should. By the way, does anyone know where I can find a good Sakamoto of my own? It would be really nice to have one around the house when the Minnesota Vikings lose. Apparently, some jackass told Chris Shore he has rights and foiled my plan to turn him into Shorekamoto.
Overall show: Raw succeeded as a go-home show. My interest level in SummerSlam was down heading into Raw, but they raised my interest level in Lesnar vs. Hunter, Punk vs. Cena vs. Show, and Ziggler vs. Jericho. The rest of the show feels a little thrown together at this point, but perhaps they will get some attention on Smackdown.
WWE Raw Misses
Piper's Pit: What a freaking mess. We've had a pretty good streak of good Roddy Piper appearances, but this one brought said streak to a screeching halt. Piper was rambling and didn't seem to be familiar with the current storylines or roles of the wrestlers. It's cool that Chris Jericho got a chance to appear on Piper's Pit after all these years because he was so enthusiastic about it on Twitter last night, but the highlight of the segment was actually Dolph Ziggler saying, "Roddy, this isn't about you."
Shawn Michaels and Paul Heyman car accident: This was the only negative of the big angle that closed the show. We didn't see the accident, and we didn't see what happened once Lesnar dragged Michaels from the car. This part felt cheesy and low budget. Fortunately, the rest of the angle made up for it.
Layla and Kaitlyn vs. Beth Phoenix and Eve: I can't believe Michael Cole still has to act like it's an upset when someone pins Phoenix. She loses more than she wins on television and the Dominant Diva gimmick is dead as far as I'm concerned. I remain baffled by their decision to have her lose so many matches, and I hope this Kaitlyn push is just a matter of setting her up to lose to Eve on Smackdown.
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