Powell's WWE Raw Hit List: C.M. Punk vs. The Shield with The Wyatt Family in the mix, Paul Heyman returns and still hates C.M. Punk, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon on vacation, R-Truth pins Ryback, John Cena beats The Real Americans
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw Hits
C.M. Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield: A very entertaining match followed by a hot angle that foreshadowed a program between The Shield and The Wyatt Family, and seemed to set up a potential six-on-six Survivor Series match. We found out today that the advertised match is Punk and Bryan vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, but that could always change. Either way, the match and the big brawl at the end of the show helped closed an otherwise forgettable Raw on a high note.
Paul Heyman and C.M. Punk: Heyman's promo was comedy gold, yet also drew great heat. I am happy to see this program isn't over. I thought it was over at Night of Champions when Punk beat the hell out of Heyman for the second time in a couple of months, but I like the idea that Heyman disappeared for a bit and says he's coming back at Punk with a vengeance. It gives me hope that there will be more Paul Heyman Guys and that this will eventually lead to a Punk vs Brock Lesnar rematch.
R-Truth vs. Ryback: The idea of Truth getting upset win rather than someone they might actually so something with is pretty bad, but I came away from the show a little more intrigued by Ryback. It didn't have much to do with his loss here, but rather it was Paul Heyman turning on him that left me wondering whether they are finally giving up on Ryback's heel character. Of course, I'm also wondering whether they've given up on Ryback altogether, but I think the only way he's going to work right now is if they give up on the bully gimmick and find a way to get him back to the babyface side. Even then, so much damage has been done that it might be too late for him to regain the momentum he had as a babyface last year at this time.
Curtis Axel vs. Dolph Ziggler: A minor Hit for match quality. The live crowd liked Ziggler and it didn't seem like they cared about the Intercontinental Champion.
Santino Marella and Los Matadores vs. The Union Jacks: Quick and painless lighthearted comedy with Santino and The Cobra both wearing bullhorns. It's not for me, but the live crowd seemed to enjoy it. By the way, can someone please explain why two heel acts (3MB and Fandango) wore Union Jack gear in England?
WWE Raw Misses
Overall show: The final match and angle was hot, but 95 percent of this show failed to raise my horrible low level of enthusiasm for the Survivor Series pay-per-view. This should would have been fine if we were several weeks away from the show, but we're at the point where they only have one episode of Raw left before the pay-per-view and the show is anchored by a pair of title soft World Title matches. WWE has a ton of work to do next week, but I have a bad feeling that they will be more caught up in country music gimmicks and heel authority figure madness.
Power struggle: Make no mistake about it, the stars of the show were Triple H and Stephanie McMahon even though they never appeared. The broadcast team and others reminded us dozens of time that the duo were on vacation. I was hoping that WWE realized that they needed to get Triple H out of the picture in order to make viewers care more about Randy Orton and the WWE Championship. I thought Kane as the new Director of Operations was a good way to keep the power couple in control, yet limit their television time. Instead, Kane's first night on the job was a big letdown. It was as if WWE opted to make fun of themselves for all of their ridiculous heel authority figure job titles rather than get Kane off to a hot start. The focus should have been on Survivor Series and the wrestlers actually working matches on that show, not that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were on vacation and no one knew who was in charge of the show.
John Cena vs. The Real Americans: The match was Hit worthy based on entertainment the match provided. However, I am no fan of feeding The Real Americans to Cena. It wouldn't have bothered me so much had it happened a month ago, but they just gave Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro a non-title victory over the tag champions. Whatever good was done there was erased with this loss to Cena. As odd as it may seem, I don't think this helps Cena either. It's hard enough to believe Alberto Del Rio is a threat to take his title without Cena plowing through two other men at the same time. I'm sorry, but the attack on Cena's arm isn't going to change anything since we just saw a one-armed Cena beat Del Rio at Hell in a Cell.
Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust: First, let me say that my hatred of competitive handicap matches is still in full effect, but I must admit that WWE delivered three handicap matches that actually held my interest. Still, I don't understand why WWE wouldn't do more to spotlight Orton while Triple H was away with the goal of making viewers want to see the WWE Champion face the top babyfaces rather than the part-time wrestler, full-time authority figure face all of the top babyfaces. Big Show's attack was fine, but now we have two champions both nursing arm injuries. Weird.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Big E Langston: I had no doubt that Del Rio would go over since he is challenging Cena at the pay-per-view. Once again, I don't believe in the approach WWE is taking with Langston by expecting fans to see something in him because he put up a good fight before losing. If WWE wants to build up Langston, then do it the traditional way by having him rack up wins while climbing the ladder.
Damien Sandow vs. Kofi Kingston: The live crowd could not have been quieter throughout this match. I like that WWE is giving Sandow wins, but it's a shame they didn't have something hot in mind for him coming out of his eye opening match against John Cena.
Fandango vs. Tyson Kidd: I was looking forward to seeing a good match from these two, but they simply didn't get enough time to show what they can do together. I can do without the silliness of Kidd being upset with Fandango for flirting with Natalya, but I hope we get an actual program between these two that gives them a chance to shine in the ring. Unfortunately, I think we're in for a long series of mixed tag matches.
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