Powell's WWE Raw Hitlist: The Shield vs. John Cena, Kane, and Daniel Bryan, John Cena grants three wishes, the tired formula of most Raw matches, dancing, Domino's, and tug of war
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to my 60-minute audio review of Monday's WWE Raw television show, and my 53-minute Q&A audio show from Monday afternoon. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page. Join us on the ad-free version of the website (and get exclusive access to the members' portion of our iPhone and Android apps) by signing up for membership now via Dot Net Members' Signup Page. You are also encouraged to download our free iPhone, Android, and Kindle Fire apps.
WWE Raw Hits
The Eliminator, Nick The Stitch, and Lightning Logan: A genuine feel good moment for WWE and viewers. The Columbus fans were great. Whether they liked or disliked the Cena character, they were completely respectful while the Make-A-Wish kids enjoyed their moment. You can look at this as corporate PR and there's no denying that it was to some extent, but I prefer to see it as one of the most memorable moments in the lives of these three kids. Cena was terrific, The Eliminator is already a better promo than half the roster, and this may be the best segment we will see all year.
The Shield vs. John Cena, Kane, and Daniel Bryan: A strong main event. They told a good story with Cena's Achilles injury by having Kane and Bryan avoid tagging him into the match, and then by having it give out while Cena was going for his finisher, which set up the spear from Roman Reigns. Meanwhile, I liked the spot where Kane blew off attempting to defeat Dean Ambrose in the ring by taking him to ringside with the goal of putting him through the table to avenge his brother. The Shield continue to look strong and their feud with Kane and Bryan feels like it's heating up.
Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Zeb Colter vs. Big E Langston: This obviously wasn't the best technical match on the show, but in some ways it was one of the most intriguing. It was laid out nicely and the outcome wasn't as predictable as most of the matches were. It's not something anyone would want to see on a weekly basis, but it stood out as fun and different on a mostly formula show.
WWE Raw Misses
Overall show: If you are someone who places a big emphasis on match quality then you were probably satisfied this week. I certainly enjoy that, but I am tired of watching countless matches with predictable outcomes. The average fan knows the formula of the champion vs. champion matches and had had no reason to think Randy Orton might lose to Cody Rhodes or that Antonio Cesaro might defeat Alberto Del Rio. So while all three of those matches are Hit-worthy from a match quality standpoint, it doesn't change the fact that it still felt formulaic and predictable.
The WWE product would be so much better if they would do something to create the feeling that the outcomes of the matches were not such a foregone conclusion. I accepted the formula during WrestleMania season, but the time has come for WWE to shake things up and address this problem that has become magnified by the expansion to three-hour broadcasts. MMA fans know that an inferior fighter always has a puncher's chance. There's no reason that a simulated sport can't create that same feeling and breathe some life into the marathon three-hour Raw shows and the overall WWE product.
WWE needs to stop throwing matches out there because you trust the wrestlers to fill their allotted time with quality ring work. They need to add some legitimate drama on their end by approaching things differently, including having the announcers treat these matches seriously rather than clowning around amongst themselves. Book the occasional upset and show some mid- and undercard progression in the process. Place the emphasis on competition rather than filling time. WWE officials should strive to put viewers on the edges of their seats during matches, not leave them feeling only somewhat satisfied because the predictable matches were well wrestled.
The Great Khali and Natalya: The dance contest made me cringe. I enjoy Fandango, but this was one of those skits where the people laughing the hardest were all backstage.
Domino's pizza: Was I supposed to leave those segments feeling like it takes Domino's forever to deliver a pizza and once they finally do there's a good chance it will be dropped off at my neighbor's house? That said, I will gladly sit through the silliness of Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler showing us how the online tracker works as long as it keeps Jared from Subway off my television.
Mark Henry tug of war: Was the Tensai character really so bad when you compare it to Sweet T doing his digging dance? This was just so out of nowhere and even though it was a test of strength it still felt out of place for the Henry character.
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