Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw SuperShow - Big Johnny's farewell, Paul Heyman answers Triple H's SummerSlam challenge, Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger, A.J. continues to be charming and awesome
By Will Pruett
- WWE tried to make No Way Out seem like the biggest show in history with all of their talk of "a new era" on this show. Sadly, No Way Out was unimpressive and nothing on this show really felt like a new era was dawning.
- Mick Foley was a fun surprise to kick off the night, but I was sad that we didn't see him for the rest of the evening. The saddest part is that we didn't see Mick Foley rocking the gavel backstage like the good old days. I hope, for the sake of nostalgia, we see it on Smackdown.
- Mick Foley was rocking that suit. It is amazing how good a suit can look when one isn't accessorizing it with sweatpants.
- The moments with John Laurinaitis face to face with Sheamus and C.M. Punk were very fun. The Punk and Laurinaitis rivalry was a much more natural fit than the Cena and Laurinaitis rivalry. It is a shame we didn't get the pay off to that one instead of the sudden shift.
- It's odd to see two World Champions teaming together on an episode of Raw. If the two champions can be together so easily, why are there two titles? For the first time since the inception of the two championship model, I think it is time to unify the titles. If not now, then soon.
- Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Punk and Sheamus was extremely fun. It was everything a TV tag match should be. The wrestling was good. The story was advanced. The ending was satisfying, but did not completely pay off the story.
- A.J. is all sorts of crazy and awesome. WWE's version of Taylor Townsend (I'm going to force my joke referencing The O.C. until you all love it) is adding so much to all three acts that she is currently involved in. I'm looking forward to seeing her align with one of the three and seeing her hone her skills in support of that wrestler.
- The GTS into the Brogue Kick was quite fun. It reminded me of the Attitude Adjustment into RKO combination that Orton and Cena broke out a few years ago. It wasn't quite that cool, but it worked.
- Maybe I'm crazy, but I would have waited a little while (or at least a week) to get to the Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler match. It could have been something bigger than it was, although after seeing it, this match was step one in what I'm assuming is a long process.
- When I heard about the Big Johnny, Big Show, and David Otunga vs. John Cena dark matches, I had no desire to ever see one. I was right.
- I was happy to see Dopph Ziggler working a babyface style against Jack Swagger. His selling of his knee and ankle were all great. Sadly, Ziggler went back to being a heel by kissing Vickie after the match. This was confusing for the crowd in attendance (that rallied behind Ziggler) and people watching at home. Hopefully the Vickie split is in the near future.
- I didn't mind the replay of the Triple H promo at all. No one bought No Way Out for a promo and the promo still belonged on pay-per-view. It isn't like they replayed the final match of the show in its entirety.
- Smackdown commercials on Raw are almost as embarrassing as the Tuxedo Match was on Sunday night.
- Paul Heyman, who is usually cheered like crazy by super Smark crowds, managed to draw a great amount of heat in his segment with Triple H. This is a credit to Heyman at his non-hat wearing best.
- Triple H was very good on the mic with Heyman. While this feud may get frustrating with about two months to go until SummerSlam, the opening moments of it (and its reigniting on this show) have been compelling. I'm pretty sure Triple H will go over in the end, but I'm just along for the ride.
- Triple H punching Heyman was a surprise. I didn't expect to see it this early and I definitely didn't expect the reaction to be what it was from the announcers. I expected shock and perhaps a twinge of regret as Cole and Lawler questioned what Hunter had done. Sadly, we saw them mindlessly cheering for Hunter instead of evaluating his actions.
- Why not just put the United States Championship on Alberto Del Rio? Sure, he is a guy who could be World Champion, but we all doubt that's going to happen anytime soon. With the United States Championship, he could have a convincing run and be built as a solid character.
- The Cyndi Lauper segment was an absolute train wreck from the word go. I'm surprised they let it go on as long as it did with Lauper being out of her mind, Heath Slater singing, and Roddy Piper rambling. This was nothing but odd.
- I rarely think of changing the channel during a wrestling show, but while Cyndi Lauper and Heath Slater were having their odd moments, I was actually contemplating doing so.
- I thought we were going to see some nostalgia acts from Raw's past every week. I would rather see some 1990's nostalgia from WWE, rather than the tired 1980's nostalgia we see almost every month.
- It was refreshing to see a tag team match on Raw without the tag champions involved. Primo and Epico can be exciting babyfaces if they're given the opportunity to shine in that way. A little character development can go a long way as far as this tag division goes.
- A.W. and The Prime Time Players' act needs to be tightened up a little bit. The sparkly t-shirts tucked into the tights look silly. The pink tights are a little minor league. If Titus and O'Neal took a little bit from A.W.'s act, they would be better off.
- Big Johnny's promo was not that great. I know it was an effort to get cheap heat, and it probably worked well for it.
- Big Show and David Otunga walking out on Big Johnny was a decent angle. Sadly, nothing really happened to put the end of this match in doubt. I hope this was the payoff for Big Johnny for a while.
- I expected John Cena's next pay-per-view opponent to attack Cena before the end of the main event segment. Even if it was Big Show again, I hoped that something exciting would happen. Instead, all we saw was a John Cena celebration to close the show. This isn't an exciting way to end Raw. Something needed to point to next week and nothing did.
This was not a compelling episode of Raw. There are some shows that don't build anything up for the next week or month that end up being very fun. This was not one of them. This show felt like a last minute rewrite to me. They threw in the dark match main event and blew off Big Johnny, but nothing really happened that hadn't already happened on No Way Out.
This show should have ended after the first hour. The WWE and World Championship programs were featured, Ziggler and Swagger were decent, and the show could have closed with Triple H and Heyman. That would have been a decent show. Sadly, the entire second hour was basically a waste.
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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