Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw SuperShow - No Way Out's final sell, Vince McMahon returns, Vader time resumes, Dolph Ziggler ascends, A.J. continues her craziness, C.M. Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Kane continue to deliver
By Will Pruett
- Vince McMahon's walk gets bigger with every reintroduction. His movements as he was introduced to the live crowd were hilarious. Vince is such an over the top character. I was surprised to hear the big babyface reaction for him, given how hated he was during the beginning of the C.M. Punk angle last Summer, but fans are often accused of having short memories.
- Sheamus' involvement in the McMahon and John Laurinaitis opening segment was interesting. I liked Sheamus getting in the ring with Vince McMahon and getting some rub from him. I didn't like Sheamus kissing up to the boss as much as he did. Authority figures, no matter who they are, shouldn't seem more important than the World Champions.
- We knew that we would not get a verdict on Big Johnny in the opening segment, so I didn't mind the show being built around Laurinaitis trying to impress Vince McMahon. It was a nice hook to stick around for the whole three hours. Will WWE be able to build hooks like this into every three hour show?
- Tensai being announced as Sheamus' opponent and a long (for TV) match following was fun. Tensai can wrestle a good brawling style and that is Sheamus' specialty. This match made both men look good, right up until the end.
- If you didn't think Tensai was does before Sheamus kicked out of his finishing move, then you must think so now.
- I liked the announcement of the four-way elimination match to determine the number one contender for Sheamus. WWE has had such bad luck with injuries lately, it has been astounding.
- I wonder if Tensai beating Sakamoto was the beginning of something new, or the write off of Tensai and Sakamoto for the near future.
- Seth Green was a pretty fun Raw guest host back in that day, but watching that video reminded me of how annoying the entire guest host era was. If you think Raw is bad now, watch a one month run of it from late 2009 and thank your lucky stars for what we're getting now!
- Is the Big Show's punch going to become the type of injury write-off that Randy Orton's punt used to be?
- Santino Marella, the United States Champion, is in a rivalry with a ring announcer. Can we please take this belt off of him soon?
- Layla and Beth Phoenix are going to continue their feud at No Way Out. I sincerely hope that they have a different finished planned, other than the rollup that we've seen from Kelly Kelly and Layla against Beth Phoenix in the past.
- We all knew that Kofi Kingston would lose the cage match against Big Show the second it was made, but he did show some good fire backstage. I'd love to see Kingston do more than be a tag champion with wrestlers that will eventually get injured or suspended.
- Speaking of injured and suspended wrestlers, the current list of them looks like this: Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Alberto Del Rio, R-Truth, Evan Bourne, Wade Barrett, Ted DiBiase and more. That is an insane amount of main event and upper mid-card talent.
- It was great to see Daniel Bryan, C.M. Punk, Kane, and A.J. in what is the traditional opening segment of Raw (at least for a few more weeks). This is the best story in WWE at this moment and it isn't even close.
- Punk and Bryan have some great chemistry on the mic. They are very capable of stringing together a fantastic promo segment. This was no exception as they were able to move the story from A.J. to their match and ultimately to the WWE Championship.
- Kane mixed into Daniel Bryan and C.M. Punk's promo very well. I haven't enjoyed him this much since his return. This story is doing wonders for him.
- A.J. Is playing crazy absolutely perfectly.
- The Domino's Pizza Tracker is exceptionally useful. Jerry Lawler isn't lying.
- I fully support WWE eliminating Great Khali from the four-way match quickly. They didn't need to have him in the match, but he was used well (and quickly).
- Christian, Jack Swagger, and Dolph Ziggler put together a great elimination three way after Khali was eliminated. It was a great segment on the show. The end with Christian and Dolph was especially fantastic.
- Dolph Ziggler has to have about twenty people go down in front of him to get this opportunity at the World Championship. I'm sure he will make the best of it. Ziggler vs. Sheamus will deliver at the pay-per-view and could steal the show.
- I'm assuming that when Vince McMahon revealed the Funkasaurus character to Brodus Clay, he did that dance just like he did on Raw last night. This was funny, but it started to venture towards a little too much Vince silliness for my tastes.
- The "Goldberg" chants for Ryback are annoying. They might keep this guy from really getting over, which without them he is doing. He is a good monster type of wrestler and he has a ton of potential.
- I'm so glad that the company with an anti-bullying campaign has their CEO on TV making fun of a man that has done so much for his company. I don't understand why Vince hates Jim Ross, but it's tasteless and annoying.
- John Cena's backstage exchange with Vince McMahon was a little odd. It still astounds me that WWE went from telling a creative and interesting story of John Cena dealing with losing the match of his life to John Cena smiling and beating up executives and commentators.
- I was legitimately frightened when Vince McMahon teased the "Kiss My Ass" club returning. Please don't do it, WWE. You're better than this!
- Big Show allowed Kofi Kingston a few really good hope spots, but the overall match was a squash. I expected nothing less from Show and Kingston. Show is pulling off dominant well in these matches, but I have to question whether he will be able to keep that in a longer match with John Cena.
- The clock counting down when Vince McMahon would decide on Big Johnny's job was a good way to hook in viewers, but it did make the show seem more scripted than usual.
- Sin Cara continues to impress me in his new run. I'm ready to see him ditch the lighting and get into a feud, but at this moment, I'm into the character.
- The backstage moment between Daniel Bryan and Vince McMahon was interesting. Once again, an authority figure got the last word over a star in the WWE Championship picture. I know that Vince believes he is a bigger star than the wrestlers, but playing that out on TV is bad business.
- The Vader surprise was very fun. He looked larger, but still able to have a classic Vader squash match. This woke up the crowd and woke he up at home. Three hours is a long time to sit through a wrestling show and Vader made the mid-show lull disappear.
- I'm pretty sure Heath Slater is going to lose to a returning star for the next six weeks. He's in a Chavo Guerrero in 2009 role and it should be more entertaining than that was.
- C.M. Punk and A.J. vs. Kane and Daniel Bryan was entertaining. It didn't give too much away and it furthered the storyline between all four of them very well.
- Kane and A.J. as a couple doesn't entice me all that much, but she could become WWE's version of Katniss from "Hunger Games" with that partnership.
- No Way Out suddenly looks like it could be a pretty good show. The two title matches are especially exciting. This show is one I'm really looking forward to seeing on Sunday.
- By the time we got to the show-closing segment with Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis, I was exhausted. Three hours of wrestling is really quite a bit, especially coming the night after a pay-per-view.
- How many times is Big Johnny going to get almost fired before some theme music stops it from happening? Big Show and Undertaker have both saved Big Johnny's job by providing distractions to the men about to fire him.
- Big Show's promo it's it's Vince McMahon was pretty good, but that still isn't exciting me about this feud. No matter what WWE does, this feud is a retread of a feud that hasn't delivered in the past. I'll watch the cage match on Sunday with an open mind, but I'm not expecting greatness.
- John Cena's promos shift from angry to dramatic rather quickly. Sometimes it's like watching an episode of Degrassi with the way he delivers his big dramatic lines.
- Why is John Laurinaitis' job always on the line in matches? I'm pretty sure that if Vince McMahon or the board of directors really wanted to fire him, they would actually just do it.
- The show-closing chaos with Vince McMahon being struck by Big Show was a decent angle going into No Way Out, but it does bring one more authority figure into the mix. WWE is starting to look lil TNA with all of the different authority figures running around.
This was a pretty decent episode of Raw, but it was also a scary one. This is the first three hour show we've seen since the announcement that Raw will be three hours and it showed just how long these shows can be. Without a hook to get fans through the show, what can WWE do? Will a hook work on a weekly basis?
Beyond the length of the show, the final sell for No Way Out seemed to work. Both title matches were adequately hyped and the main event was as all. While WWE is suffering from a lack of roster depth, they seem to be trying to make up for it with wrestling quality.
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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