Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw SuperShow - Money in the Bank participants announced, Chris Jericho returns, C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane, A.J. attempts to break up with all three men, Sid rules the ring
By Will Pruett
- There was something very unique about the way that Raw opened. It is rare to see the show open with a diva in a storyline. Congratulations to A.J. who has earned that spot and more with her great performances.
- I'm now convinced that WWE denotes who gets what dressing room based on the color of light they put in there. It seems like an odd system, but it also seems to work. Who knew signage was so difficult?
- It was also refreshing to see the video package that opened the show focus on C.M. Punk's story and not John Cena's. It does a lot of good to occasionally position Punk as the focus. I know John Cena is the big star, but it makes him more interesting when he occasionally shares the spotlight.
- Vickie Guerrero has retained her mega-heat from her days as a General Manager. I don't know if I want to see her permanently in that role, but this was a nice one night callback to it and a great performance from her.
- This show felt like a write-off for Kane's involvement in the Punk and Bryan storyline. He has fit the story and filled this role better than I ever imagined he could. He also seemed to have fun playing the Kane character in these circumstances. This story (Kane included) has shown a great deal of the variety pro wrestling can bring.
- Who keeps playing A.J.'s music during matches? I'd like to see a rule placed in the mysterious WWE rule book stating that music cannot be played in matches.
- With that in mind, I would also love a copy of the WWE rule book mailed to me. There should be a picture of Jack Tunney somewhere on the cover.
- I'm enjoying the attention the length of C.M. Punk's WWE Championship reign is getting. I'm probably going to pick him to lose it at Money in the Bank, but it will make that loss seem more important. Punk as the babyface chasing will be a fun story.
- Daniel Bryan's last kick to Punk looks absolutely vicious. That was a great moment for him, as he was able to win in a crafty way, but not by cheating. I enjoy when heels are devious within the rules.
- Vickie Guerrero's angle all night was that she was trying to be fair and create a good show so she could become the permanent General Manager. That was a nice way to show why she didn't book Dolph Ziggler in two World Championship matches.
- That said, I would have totally watched two Dolph Ziggler matches, especially with Sheamus and Punk.
- Big Show's dominance over Brodus Clay was interesting. I'm always a little weary when a star in the last couple years of his career is pushed so hard over a young star, but I think this story is ongoing. Clay and Show can probably have a decent match when the time comes for Clay to get his revenge.
- I was hoping that John Cena's big announcement would be another rap album. This is not because I would listen to it, but because it was fun to make fun of the promotion of the first one.
- Bob Barker was awesome on Raw back in that day. All of this guest host footage being dug out is fun to relive, but that era of Raw was bad 90% of the time.
- The short package on Brock Lesnar and Triple H was a nice way to promote their story without advancing it. WWE sometimes rise to tell stories so quickly that they forget that pausing and reflecting for a week is effective.
- Kane breaking up with A.J. was a fun moment. I don't love it when the Kane character speaks, but he deserves credit for this. It was a fun speech reaffirming who he is and letting A.J. down.
- Jack Swagger can be so much more than WWE presents him as. At a time when the roster is as thin as it is, I wish WWE would strive for that. Presenting talent as the best that they can be is important anytime.
- Zack Ryder is back to an occasional fist bump on Raw. I didn't believe his act had much staying power, but this is definitely a steep fall for him.
- John Cena's "Star Wars" promo was entertaining on one level, but frustrating on another. It continued the cartoony antics that Cena keeps displaying. I can't help but wonder why WWE decided not to go with a conflicted Cena character dealing with a major loss, instead of this disappointing repeat.
- Chris Jericho and Cena had an entertaining exchange. It seems like Jericho is being placed as a kind of babyface-ish heel. WWE probably wants fans to invest in him in the Money in the Bank match, since Kane and Big Show are the major heels in it.
- It seems almost irresponsible for a main event match to be booked in the second hour of the show. I'm a big fan of matches being promoted and announced ahead of time. I know crash TV worked in the late 90's, but it is unnecessary today (much like authority figures).
- Sid's return to Raw was pretty fun. He doesn't look to be in great shape and he still seemed clumsy in the ring, but the match was still fun to watch. Considering how horrific Sid's 2001 injury was, it is amazing to see him doing anything in the ring.
- Heath Slater took Sid's Powerbomb like a champ.
- Charlie Sheen is getting paid to live tweet Raw? Here I am giving it away for free.
- What was that pole match between Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio? It was a pole match (which is usually a booking mistake). It featured the clipboard falling down and a convoluted fight over it. This made Del Rio and Ziggler look silly.
- I didn't recognize half of the Diva's in the battle royal.
- A.J. winning the Diva's battle royal scares me a little bit. She is such a fun act with Punk and Bryan. I don't want to see her in the token diva role chasing the championship. She's unique and shouldn't necessarily be presented as a wrestler.
- Does Chris Jericho check an entire bag of jackets when he flies?
- While Jericho and Cena had good matches back in 2002 and 2005, this match between them seemed more like their lack-luster 2008 matches.
- With the WWE Championship Money in the Bank match only continuing established wrestlers, it won't be the athletic spectacle that we are used to seeing. It will probably closely resemble the Shawn Michaels and Triple H vs. Big Show and Chris Jericho TLC match from 2009. It won't be amazing, but it will probably be entertaining. There is still the World Heavyweight Championship version to give us our spot-fest.
- Big Show's attack on John Cena and application of the Colossal Clutch (How does that even hurt?) was a repeat of a Raw-ending angle from their feud in 2009. This is purely disappointing. Given how poor their match was at No Way Out, I expected this feud to end.
- Chris Jericho is going to have a lot of bumping to do in the Money in the Bank match. I almost feel bad for him.
This wasn't a bad episode of Raw at all. The product feels lethargic at this moment, but not terrible. Punk and Bryan's feud is still on track. It is the John Cena program that is creating the issue. I have no problem with him being in Money in the Bank, but I just don't see that match being all that great. At least, on this show, the main event being a Money in the Bank match makes some sense.
There is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to Money in the Bank and Raw in general. While this show saw some improvement, it wasn't drastic enough to leave me with positive feelings.
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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