Powell's WWE Raw Hit List: C.M. Punk, Daniel Bryan, Goldust, Cody Rhodes, and The Uso Brothers vs. The Wyatt Family and The Shield, Divas musical chairs, dehydration comedy, Big E Langston wins the IC Title
By Jason Powell
WWE Raw Hits
C.M. Punk, Daniel Bryan, Goldust, Cody Rhodes, and The Uso Brothers vs. The Wyatt Family and The Shield: The match was pretty ordinary until after the final commercial break. The wrestlers picked up the pace and delivered the always satisfying rapid fire finishers down the stretch. The show ended on a positive note with Punk winning the match for the babyface team. Of course, the negative is that the match really didn't do anything to set up the Survivor Series matches. Rey Mysterio's return was another crowd pleasing moment and was the only real teaser for Survivor Series since he's the mystery man. However, they didn't manage to put any heat on the heels heading into the pay-per-view, nor did they make it seem like the two pay-per-view matches
Big Show vs. Ryback: A Hit for match quality. It was bizarre to see Ryback get so much offense on Show just days before Show challenges for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series. Ryback looked really good in defeat and his Shellshocked finisher on Show was the thing that stood out most about the match even though Show kicked out of it.
Big E Langston vs. Curtis Axel: A strong win for Langston and a big reaction from the live crowd for the title change. I would like to be excited about Langston winning the Intercontinental Championship, but it's hard to care when the title holders do nothing more than lose non-title matches to bigger names on television. Here's hoping that changes. Until then, I will just assume that this was the peak for Langston involving the Intercontinental Title. Meanwhile, Axel appears to be in no man's land now that he's dropped the title and has apparently severed storyline ties with Paul Heyman.
Country music theme: Okay, so I despite when musical acts of any genre perform on a pro wrestling television show. That's a huge Miss in my book. However, I will give WWE a minor Hit for presenting the country theme in a way that did not mock country music fans, as many of us feared they would. I still question the idea of doing a country theme on a go-home show and I really don't see what the purpose of the theme even was, but it was mostly harmless.
WWE Raw Misses
Go-home show aspect: Raw failed to raise my level of enthusiasm for Survivor Series. Sure, they filled out the rest of the Survivor Series card, but the pay-per-view lineup feels flat, especially at the top with the two World Title matches. It was hard enough to view John Cena as vulnerable when he already managed to beat Alberto Del Rio with one arm at the last pay-per-view, and then they felt the need to show Cena getting the better of Del Rio on Raw. The only bright spot in the Survivor Series hype is that they established that Randy Orton will have to beat Big Show without help from Triple H or The Shield. Orton does look somewhat vulnerable as a result, but I don't get the feeling that the average fan is truly invested in this storyline or Big Show's pursuit of the WWE Championship.
Divas musical chairs: For the love of God, why did this happen? They didn't need a silly game of musical chairs to set up the latest battle that no one gives two shits about between the cast of Total Divas and the other Divas. I'm amused by Total Divas, so I'm not venting about these awful matches because I dislike the reality show. Rather, I dislike these awful matches because they are beyond pointless and appeal to no one. One can only hope that Mickie James added a musical chairs seminar as part of the Diva training she's doing at the WWE Performance Center.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow: The effort was there from the wrestlers, but the presentation of this musical hardcore match was awful. First, Triple H offered a bizarre setup that made both men look bad for just standing there while he delivered an arrogant and downright dismissive speech. Then while the wrestlers busted their ass to make this mess of a match work, the broadcast team clowned around and told awful jokes, including one about "Conway Tweety." Sure, the Double J guitar shot and strut from Ziggler was surprising, but the presentation of this match did a disservice to both wrestlers. Hey, wasn't Sandow the guy who opened eyes with his aggressive in-ring performance against John Cena in the Money in the Bank cash-in match? Great followup, WWE.
The Real Americans vs. The Miz and Kofi Kingston: The Miz turn was lost in the shuffle to the point that I actually forgot it happened while I was recording the All Access podcast (available in our podcast section). I didn't like the way Miz playfully alligator armed Kingston before abandoning him. Miz has been darker lately and it was a nice change of pace from the usual character he plays.
A.J. Lee vs. Vickie Guerrero: Because a Diva suffering dehydration and collapsing during a match is a laugh riot.
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