Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw SuperShow - John Cena unmercifully bullies Michael Cole for no reason, Tensai is defeated again, C.M. Punk and Kane surprise with a good match, Sin Cara leaves the botches behind him
By Will Pruett
- Michael Cole has been a pretty straight forward announcer since WrestleMania. He has simply called matches and angles fairly without getting too involved in he angles. I question the decision to have Cole throw that away in the opening of this show.
- It seemed like this opening segment was built to give John Cena an easy defense against people who actually believed Big Show last week. The problem is that Michael Cole made a lot of sense. WWE's hope is that people judge words based on who is saying them, not what is being said.
- Why would John Cena pick Michael Cole to be his opponent? Shouldn't he want some competition? Shouldn't he be striving to better himself in the ring? This is a hero deciding to pick on someone weaker because they are a bit of a jerk. This is not the way a hero should be acting.
- With Vince McMahon returning to TV next week to evaluate John Laurinaitis, I can't help but think that we have seen four or five "performance evaluations" on TV in the last year. Job evaluations for authority figures do not enhance wrestling shows. They tend to just be there. It might draw ratings, but it is a well that WWE has gone to far too often.
- Wouldn't it be sickly entertaining if Vince McMahon just sat in the middle of the ring and told everyone how much they suck for three hours next week?
- Dolph Ziggler can always have competitive matches with main event wrestlers. Even dating back to Edge in 2010, he was competitive. Being competitive against Sheamus is great for him, but he needs more than just competition to get to the next level. I liked the match, but I worry about Ziggler being competitive instead of winning.
- Sheamus is the happiest champion ever.
- Alberto Del Rio's post-match attack on Sheamus was very well done. It put heat on Del Rio. It provided a great visual with the cross-armbreaker being applied using the entrance stage. It also put some heat on Ricardo Rodriguez, which WWE often fails to do. Ricardo seemed like a little pest instead of a sympathetic character.
- Will WWE bother to fill in the many plot holes in the Vince McMahon, Triple H, and John Laurinaitis authority figure story?
- I really enjoyed the Sin Cara vs. Hunico match. We all know that Cara was in the ring with Hunico because Hunico can have a good live match with him. Cara looks great coming out of his return. The lighting is still annoying about his revamped entrance and smoother ring style are impressive. Hopefully this is the beginning of something big for Sin Cara.
- It is rare in wrestling to get a chance to restart after a lackluster beginning and that is what this injury has provided Sin Cara with.
- John Cena's switch to Raw in 2005 was the official moment when WWE chose him over everyone else as their big future star. Looking back on that moment now, it seems like the obvious choice. At the time, it seemed like a poor choice simply because Batista was coming off of a great series of matches with Triple H.
- The Ryback jobbers made me laugh this week with their stereo promo. Ryback himself entertained me with the squash. I'm interested in chapters two and three of this story, but Ryback himself is interesting.
- I enjoyed the decision to have Daniel Bryan cut a promo before Punk vs. Kane, but not to have him actually on commentary. Bryan didn't overwhelm the match, but his presence was noticeable.
- Kane vs. C.M. Punk was far better than I thought it would be. They topped their decent effort on Smackdown with a very exciting match. This match made me quite excited for the eventual style clash at No Way Out. Punk can be a great bridge for the overly technical Bryan and the agile big man Kane.
- The end of Kane vs. Punk was pretty much perfect. A.J. cost Punk the match, but Daniel Bryan was involved too. This was a nice bit of story-telling and a nice way to continue the three-way rivalry.
- A.J.'s exchange of glances and a smile with Kane was great. As someone with no desire to see A.J. with Kane, this made me actually question my thought process. I still hope that this doesn't bud into romance, but it is a nice twist with A.J. being in the middle of the triple threat.
- I'm convinced that everything A.J. does is going to be brilliant. Her backstage interview with Josh Matthews worked. She is playing crazy perfectly.
- Big Show's video package felt a lot like Brock Lesnar's video packages. This is a great way to promote anyone and I hope it doesn't become a tool solely for main event heels. It could be a great way for anyone to get over.
- Kofi Kingston and R-Truth were taped, so that means they don't actually have to sell their "injuries," right? The tape does the selling for them.
- Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins could easily be great number one contenders for Kingston and Truth, if they were presented well. They are the closest to an over tag team that WWE has and if they were allowed to perform their act on Raw and Smackdown instead of NXT, they'd definitely be over. Joining their matches in progress is not the way to get an act over.
- Every tag team in WWE that is presented as a real tag team seems to be instantly jobbed out. Why is this?
- John Cena vs. "no longer Lord" Tensai was supposed to be the main event of No Way Out. After seeing them on Raw, I do believe that WWE made he right choice with Big Show. Tensai isn't bad in the ring, but everything else about him doesn't work. His body is too awkwardly shaped and he is carrying too much weight to look threatening. I hope this loss to Cena was his ultimate write off.
- The closing segment between John Cena and Michael Cole was another example of Cena bullying a smaller, weaker man than him. What kind of hero does this? People don't dislike John Cena because he is Superman. They dislike Cena because he doesn't act like Superman. His moral code is so backwards that he isn't a trustworthy hero.
- Michael Cole may be a heel, but he was the sympathetic character by the end of Raw. Cena was the classic high school bully stripping Cole and covering him in sauce. It was actually quite a sad scene.
This was actually a pretty good episode of Raw, aside from the opening and closing segments. Everything involving John Cena was bad. His character has gone from a realistic wrestler dealing with a huge loss (at WrestleMania) to a guy beating up authority figures and announcers unmercifully. How can one justify Cena's actions at this point?
The in-ring content on this show was pretty good. Punk vs. Kane and Sheamus vs. Ziggler delivered. There was some decent development in Ryback's squash. Sin Cara delivered in his match as well. This was a good show where everything made sense, as long as you tuned in late and left early.
So, what did you think of the show? Agree? Disagree? Either way, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me and interact on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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