Pruett’s Pause: WWE Raw SuperShow – WrestleMania takes shape as Undertaker vs. Triple H is confirmed with Hell in a Cell added, Chris Jericho wins a battle royal for a shot at C.M. Punk, odd sexist tones almost destroy a decent show
By Will Pruett
- It is odd for a post-pay-per-view Raw episode to start with a recap that has nothing to do with a pay-per-view. In those opening moments WWE usually does a decent job of making viewers feel bad for missing big shows.
- Eve’s sudden heel turn was really odd, as was her wanting video footage of herself walking into Cena’s locker room. Why is it that villains always reveal their plots on camera and it proves to be their downfall.
- John Cena is getting mixed reactions in cities that tend to support babyfaces. There is nothing about Minneapolis that screams “heel town” but even they dislike Cena strongly.
- John Cena verbally abusing and running down Eve in the ring was absolutely tasteless. Especially after Cena actually willingly kissed her and seemed to enjoy it last week, the sudden turnaround this week was sickening. I actually almost turned off the show as the WWE writers room showed just how much they hate women in this segment.
- I lose respect for a star of Cena’s stature when he goes along with segments like that opening one with no protest.
- Daniel Bryan vs. C.M. Punk is a huge main event for Smackdown. I cannot wait to watch them bring out the best in each other once again. I know many people feel like it cheapens “Champion vs. Champion” but the great match we get out of it definitely won’t.
- As much as I don’t enjoy seeing Mark Henry get used as enhancement talent, it was for a worthy cause. Sheamus is the Royal Rumble winner on a date with destiny at WrestleMania. That is the important story for WWE to tell for him. I wouldn’t use Henry in this position, but the finish was the right one.
- If you did not win the Royal Rumble or the Elimination Chamber, you can still go to WrestleMania! It’s just a 10-man battle royal away. That seems a little bit too easy for the last WrestleMania “main event” slot.
- I would have rather seen a tournament begin on this show and go into next week to crown Punk’s contender. That would have been something different, something worth fighting for and could have produced some good matches. It also may have been easier on the talent the night after the crazy violent Elimination Chamber show.
- Why should Smackdown have spots in the battle royal for the Raw championship?
- John Laurinaitis would be a really entertaining General Manager of both shows, but he would be a better manager for a stable of heels.
- I’m glad that WWE decided to hype The Rock’s return both in commercials and via in-ring segments. Rock coming back to Raw for the next few months is a big deal and it should be treated as such.
- R-Truth has replaced Evan Bourne as Kofi Kingston’s tag team partner. Are they now Truth Boom?
- Ron Simmons is one of the wrestlers that I have felt has deserved to be in the Hall of Fame for quite some time. It is great to see him take his rightful place. I love watching his 1992 win over Vader to this day.
- Chris Jericho promising the end of the world is a little bit odd. It worked for the Rumble, but it doesn’t anymore. I’m fine with him regressing into his old character, but he should just be ignoring the videos at this point instead of attempting to loosely tie them in.
- I actually liked the David Otunga and Ezekiel Jackson match. I have no idea why I did, but I did. Laurinaitis could be a fun manager and was in this one. He’s like the 2012 Paul E. Dangerously on his cell phone.
- Undertaker making his entrance on Raw will always be one of those moments where I am glued to the TV.
- The Undertaker’s promo went a little bit longer than I would have preferred, but the content was great. He needed to say how much this match meant to him. He had to admit that it was extremely important and make fans believe it. He did it there.
- Triple H was also really good and a little long-winded in the promo segment. The whole segment built up to one pivotal line and it felt like it was not quite coming together until then.
- That pivotal line was when Undertaker mentioned Shawn Michaels being better than Triple H. This is the moment where the promo dropped in and both men found their footing. From here on, it was gold.
- I thought Triple H was about to attach a career vs. career stipulation to their WrestleMania match, but then he had to go and pull out Hell in a Cell. That moment was fantastic and the match seems like it will be just as good. Triple H and Undertaker are the two masters of Hell in a Cell and they can definitely do something special at WrestleMania.
- The Undertaker and Triple H segment went long, but I would guess that WWE wants them to. Last week they had the highest rated segment of the show, so why not give them just as much time this week? I’d be willing to bet on them being the highest rated segment again.
- I was disappointed when I didn’t get to see Undertaker’s haircut, but I really understand why WWE would hold off. They want him to look as much like Undertaker as possible, so why show the work in progress instead of seeing what they get in six week?
- Daniel Bryan made quick work of Santino, which is fine. The match made sense because of the Elimination Chamber finishing moments and it was a good way to get Bryan on Raw.
- I seriously did not know who was teaming with Kelly Kelly until I asked Twitter about it.
- John Cena cut one of his best promos of the last year. He was serious and focused on The Rock. He wasn’t making jokes about the “Fave Five” or anything else. He was talking about winning the biggest match of his career and how much it meant to him. This is what wrestling matches need to be based on.
- Yes, I did not love the “skank” reference towards Eve to begin the promo, but the rest of it flowed really well. John Cena actually had a crowd that didn’t seem to like him eating out of the palm of his hand by the end of his promo. This was great work. If this is what we see from him for the next six weeks, than WrestleMania will feel as important as it should.
- C.M. Punk felt like an afterthought for the first hour and fort-five minutes of this show, but was great on commentary. His charisma has always carried through from ringside and his intelligence was on full display. The WWE Champion is also the best broadcaster in the company that isn’t Jim Ross.
- You know what might be a bad idea? Putting ten banged up wrestlers in a battle royal. You know what might be a worse idea? Watching as so many of them get hurt and so many of them are careless.
- Wade Barrett is likely out past WrestleMania according to early reports. That is no fun. Dolph Ziggler wrestled in the dark match, but seemed hurt after the battle royal. Kofi Kingston looked like he was about to get hurt and took a bad bump into the barricade.
- Both Big Show and Santino were careless. Show was when he threw Ziggler and it looked like Barrett was not ready for him. Santino should not have landed anywhere near where Wade Barrett was being worked on. I could not believe that they would be that irresponsible.
- C.M. Punk and Chris Jericho were the focus of the end of Raw, which was nice. I would still like to see them wait a week to kick this feud off, simply because there are a lot of weeks to fill between now and WrestleMania.
This was an okay edition of Raw. The first hour was enormously frustrating. The sexism and hatred of women in the first segment left an awful taste in my mouth. From then, nothing in the first hour seemed to matter much at all.
The second hour really turned the show around. Undertaker and Triple H had a great segment, as did Daniel Bryan. John Cena cut his best promo in about a year. The battle royal was another low point, but that is mostly because of the injuries that plagued it. The show might just be a mild thumbs-up from me based on the Triple H and Undertaker segment along with John Cena refocusing on The Rock.
Let's do some good old fashioned talking about this show! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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