Powell's WWE Raw Hit List: Goldust and Cody Rhodes win the WWE Tag Team Championship, Shawn Michaels appears, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, Beat the Clock Challenge, Randy Orton vs. The Miz
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw Hits
Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns: I have a real issue with the finish of the match. It's bad enough that Big Show's interference is the real reason that Goldust and Cody are the tag champs, but did we really have to see Cody miss with The Beautiful Disaster Kick to set up Show's knockout punch? I'm also baffled by the lack of mic time the Rhodes Brothers received for the second straight week. On a positive note, I like the idea of Cody and Goldust capturing the tag gold and it was encouraging to see the live crowd pop big for Big Show as well as the title change. This was a good match, but I enjoyed their Battleground match more. If nothing else, I am happy to see the title change featured in the main event segment on Raw.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon: I really liked Hunter's character accepting that he and his wife are viewed as villains by the fans. I am hopeful this signaled the end of the confusing bit where they pretend like they are trying to do the right thing. The public displays of affection are sure to generate heat.
Randy Orton vs. The Miz: I like the way they played up Miz going after Randy Orton in his hometown with the hope of avenging what Orton did to him in his own hometown. The finish of the match was logical. Orton beating Miz clean would have been too damaging for Miz. So while Miz looked a little dopey for being distracted by the Wyatt Family, at least he has an out.
Ryback vs. R-Truth: A mixed bag more than a true Hit. I really liked the way R-Truth darted to ringside to kill time since it was a Beat The Clock Challenge match. He played it up perfectly by smiling to show the crowd that he was toying with Ryback rather than running from him. The negative is that it felt like Ryback was working a normal match rather than frantically trying to put Truth away in short order. In fact, I think Ryback ended up selling more than usual.
C.M. Punk vs. Curtis Axel: I've given up on complaining about how worthless the Intercontinental Champion looks. It's beyond repair at this point. Punk got a crowd pleasing win to pick the stipulation. I'm not sure how to feel about the stipulation just yet. It feels too soon to have Heyman in the ring again and I'm not sold on holding this match inside the Hell in a Cell structure, but it certainly beats the previously announced Punk vs. Ryback rematch. The new handicap match is the type of match that won't sell people on the pay-per-view, yet should be entertaining once it starts.
WWE Raw Misses
Use of Shawn Michaels: I expected more. I am hopeful that they have more dates with Michaels following the pay-per-view, which would likely explain why his involvement has been so limited thus far. With only one Raw left before the pay-per-view, we haven't seen Shawn interact with Triple H or Daniel Bryan. There's a lot of story to tell here and I feel like we're just not getting it. HBK's segment with Randy Orton was solid, but I really thought we would see more of him throughout the night.
Brie Bella: I really want to like Brie. Her true personality clicked on Total Divas, but it feels like Raw viewers are simply supposed to like her because she's engaged to Daniel Bryan. The Bella Twin characters have been all out bitches on normal WWE television until recently, yet WWE expects the fans to suddenly accept Brie without a real babyface turn. I know I've harped on this before, but it continues to be the reason that the fans are apathetic to her. It may seem like a little thing, but I would even scrap the usual hip turn entrance the Bellas do, as it serves as too much of a reminder of their heel antics.
Los Matadores vs. Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre: Yawn. I realize El Torito has talent, but so far we haven't seen anything all that impressive to make up for the silly bull costume. And I've already reached my limit of Los Matadores beating 3MB. Now that Zeb Colter is sounding off on Los Matadores, it appears that their inevitable program will start soon. The question I continue to ask is what will WWE do with Los Matadores once that feud runs its course?
Santino Marella vs. Fandango: A minor miss for this feeling like completely inconsequential time filler material.
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