Powell's WWE Raw Hit List: C.M. Punk back in Sweet Home Chicago, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, The Shield vs. The World, Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam, MizTV with Big Show, 10-Diva Tag
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw Hits
C.M. Punk in Chicago: Punk's homecomings now rival Bret Hart's past returns to Calgary. I love the way he told the story of the Chicago Blackhawks and tied it in with the city and his own character. Even if you don't follow hockey, surely you could relate to what he was saying. Paul Heyman on the bad motor scooter was a riot, and I like the way he lured Punk into the attack by Ryback and Curtis Axel. The live crowd got their love fest with Punk, and WWE got some good heat on Ryback by the time the segment was finished. Here's hoping Punk can produce the Stanley Cup the next time WWE is in Chicago. By the way, Ryback really needs to work on his press slam aim.
The Shield vs. The World: The Hit is due to the simple entertainment factor of the match. The fast pace of the match and the eliminations made for an entertaining 20-plus minutes of television. That said, the match did no favors for the babyfaces. Granted, Rob Van Dam and Kofi Kingston were protected via injury angles, but this was basically a no-win situation for the faces (not unlike the Minnesota Golden Gophers and their cupcake non-conference schedule). Either they would lose the match and look ridiculous or win the match and leave fans feeling like they should have since the numbers advantage was so ridiculous. Why in the world wouldn't WWE play up Roman Reigns never being pinned for months so that it meant something when he finally lost?
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston: A good television match that once again left me once again wondering why Kingston is never positioned as more than a mid-card wrestler. The kids love the guy and adults are also responsive to his act. Still, I love the way Del Rio went over clean and strong. It's refreshing to see a heel win non-title matches rather than lose or take cheap DQs. If they remain consistent with the Del Rio push, he could boost the value of the World Hvt. Championship.
MizTV: Mark it down and remember this moment. No, I didn't place this in the wrong section. The angry and determined Miz was effective, and his attempt to persuade Big Show to do the right thing clicked. Stephanie McMahon was very good during this segment, and I like the way that Show immediately knocked out Miz rather than subjecting us to another week of waterworks.
The Wyatt Family: WWE was wise to use their entrance as a hook heading into a commercial break. It feels like an event in the arena when they come out. Now WWE has to start doing more with the trio. Fans want to know more about these characters and they want to see them in more meaningful roles. It feels like creative had a great idea for their debut and didn't think much beyond that. I hope I'm wrong because the act has so much potential and they haven't even started to show what Bray Wyatt is capable of on the mic.
Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam: I'm still shocked that 17 percent of the poll voters wanted to see R-Truth in this match. The match was entertaining and it made Orton look vicious, though I do question the idea of having the top contender for the World Hvt. Championship get beat up so badly in a fair fight scenario less than two weeks before a pay-per-view. By the way, WWE does know they have a pay-per-view on October 6, right? I was entertained by this week's Raw, but only the Punk segment left me wanting to see the pay-per-view. The rest of the show offered minimal hype. It feels like WWE is going light on the hype right now with the idea of saving the big push for the Hell in a Cell event that takes place just three weeks after Battleground.
WWE Raw Misses
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon: Can we get to the part where they stop trying to be cute and go for heat? The silly game they are playing where they act like they are trying to do the right thing resulted in the silence that we heard when Stephanie McMahon made her entrance during the MizTV segment. It's so bizarre that they act like they are doing the right thing in one segment and then have Stephanie act cold and ruthless in another. Steph is excellent when she's a straight up heel, and I really think the "we're not so bad" routine is confusing the fans, especially when it comes to Triple H. I hate the way they make the babyfaces look like pussies and they continue to go after their own minions. Why doesn't everyone just walk out on Hunter like they did once before?
A.J. Lee and Stephanie McMahon segment: What purpose did this serve? Lee is the top heel Diva. Watching Stephanie get in her face felt like nothing more than a dick, er, um, something measuring contest that didn't do Lee any good. It would turn her babyface, but isn't Lee's character crazy enough that she would snap and attack Stephanie rather than put up with her power plays?
10-Diva Tag: Ten Divas, two minutes. What's the point? They accomplished more in the backstage segment with Randy Orton and Brie Bella than they did with ten Divas in the ring.
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