Powell's WWE Raw Hitlist: John Cena and Sheamus vs. C.M. Punk and Alberto Del Rio, Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth for the WWE Tag Titles, Miz TV bombs
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw Hits
John Cena and Sheamus vs. C.M. Punk and Alberto Del Rio: A good television main event that kept both top storylines alive. Okay, so I'm not sure how many people really want to see the Sheamus and Del Rio feud at this point, but obviously the spotlight was on Cena and Punk. The finish with the new referee (NXT's Brad Maddox) not seeing Punk's foot on the ropes was nicely done. My guess was that Punk would complain to A.J., who would then put another obstacle in Cena's way that he must overcome before he ultimately earned the Hell in a Cell match with Punk next month.
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs. Primo and Epico: A good opening match in that the live crowd reacted nicely to the high flying moves of Mysterio and Sin Cara. I still wish creative would do more with Primo, Epico, and Rosa. The act has potential, but they seem to have been moved back to the Heroes of WWE Superstars status. Meanwhile, the Mysterio and Sin Cara pairing has potential and they should eventually make good opponents for Kane and Daniel Bryan.
The Prime Time Players: The Hit actually goes to Titus O'Neil. We didn't hear enough to know whether Darren Young has abandoned the lousy character he was playing. O'Neil delivered a good, believable promo minus the nonsensical gimmick that he'd been saddled with in recent weeks. Bonus points for the lack of seal barking.
Damien Sandow vs. Zack Ryder: Both wrestlers worked hard and it was a decent match despite the fact that it also felt like filler. The Hit really goes to the entertaining mic work of the broadcast team, namely JBL, that occurred during this match. It was fun to hear a traditional heel color commentator keep things fun and lighthearted during a filler match. It brought back memories of watching the old syndicated squash match shows.
WWE Raw Misses
Overall show: This felt like a comedown show following the hot Night of Champions pay-per-view. I expect more of the same next week if only because WWE still has five weeks of Raw before the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. The three-hour shows are marathons even when WWE is in the midst of building up a pay-per-view, and they drag even more during weeks like this when they are essentially trying to fill three hours of television time.
Miz TV: This was painful. Miz has been treated like a glorified television jobber who happens to have a secondary title belt. The guy only wins on pay-per-view. He is a good talker, but the problem is that the fans don't see him as a major player anymore and thus don't want to hear him talk for long periods of time. I must also add that while Miz's lack of a push is part of the problem, he's also somewhat to blame for being repetitive on the mic. The segment ended well enough for Ryback fans, but it didn't erase the rightful boring chants that Miz received earlier. I'm all for bringing back a talk show to Raw. I just wish that the folks in production would come up with a way to hold them outside the ring. Give me an interview set in the arena, not the usual furniture in-ring setup that every forgettable WWE interview show has had for 20 years-plus.
Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth: The match went on longer than it needed to and the live crowd wasn't as into Kane and Bryan as other crowds have been recently. Kofi and Truth could have been any other team because the focus is clearly on what Kane and Bryan are doing right now. The "I'm the tag team champions" yelling routine is getting tired in a hurry. It's also very similar to what TNA did with Matt Morgan when he and Hernandez were the tag champions.
Randy Orton vs. Tensai: No Sakamoto beating? On the same night that WWE subjects me to Jared from Subway, they couldn't have at least thrown a bone my way by having Tensai beat the piss out of Sakamoto? By the way, Orton continued his recent streak of swearing during matches when he swore after Tensai struck him from behind.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Santino Marella: Ziggler lost to Orton at the pay-per-view so I was hopeful that he would have a big night on Raw. Beating Santino wasn't exactly what I had in mind.
Eve vs. Beth Phoenix: I can't give a Hit to a match that made Phoenix look like a nobody Diva. I'm all for the push they are giving Eve as heel champion, but I remain stunned by the way they have destroyed Phoenix's status as the dominant Diva and never got anyone else over in the process.
Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel: I want to like the Barrett character, but this bare knuckle boxing gimmick doesn't seem to be getting much response. The jury is still out at this early stage in the character's run, but it seemed flat last night.
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