Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw - Hell in a Cell fallout, Mick Foley returns and accepts C.M. Punk's Survivor Series challenge, Big Show's first night as World Champion, and more
By Will Pruett
- It was interesting to have Brad Maddox (the evil referee) not on this show. I expected him to go full-on Nick Patrick on us and he was essentially written off of the show. I'm glad we aren't adding another non-wrestling character to the full time roster, but this was a little odd.
- Punk and Mick Foley continued the great exchange they had over a month ago. While that exchange was originally to build up Cena vs. Punk (which ended up not happening), it still worked here.
- The Survivor Series challenge from Punk felt a little random, but it worked. It's hard to make a traditional Survivor Series match happen completely organically, so this was fine.
- Ryback is getting great reactions from most of the crowds WWE puts him in front of. The issue is that they continuously bring him out for his entire entrance multiple times on a show. The pop dies a little every time.
- JTG is good at losing.
- Ryback's promo was just a little silly. He shouldn't talk much.
- Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett was fun to watch, but I wonder what the purpose was. I'm beginning to think that October or November is the time of year when WWE is contractually obligated to book at least a mini feud between Orton and Barrett.
- Seriously, RKO's "out of nowhere" are a cliche.
- Vickie Guerrero is a fine manager and an exciting act. She is also overexposed as an authority figure. I'm not excited to watch her develop as the "managing supervisor" because I feel like we've been here so many times before.
- Daniel Bryan and Kane beating the Primetime Players was a nice way to waste some time. It seems like that is the goal of matches on Raw is just to waste time sometimes. This didn't further any stories, other than the slight dissension between Kane and Bryan.
- I enjoyed the way the announcers hyped hearing from Sheamus throughout the show. It was a great way to reinforce how important Sheamus losing the title was.
- Vickie Guerrero and John Cena's story is as bad as the Claire Lynch story from TNA. A.J.'s involvement is hurting her act even more.
- I'll be fine with a Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena match at some point, but this seems like an odd way to get there.
- There is always a heel that hates Halloween. Antonio Cesaro does that well.
- Kofi Kingston vs. Antonio Cesaro could have been a really fun match. The ending with interference from Miz was the right way to go. I was questioning why WWE was continuing with the Miz vs. Kingston feud, but I then found out why when Survivor Series teams were announced.
- I fast-forwarded through the 3MB segment. I don't regret it.
- Ryder and Santino as a jobber comedy tag team is perfectly watchable, but it isn't compelling. Not everything on a show has to make me jump up and scream, but these is two characters that could do a little better.
- I'm excited to see that Jerry Lawler is returning to Raw in a couple weeks. Hopefully WWE continues to use Jim Ross semi-regularly, as he has proven to be great in his hybrid role. Ross, Lawler, and Michael Cole could produce an amazing three-man booth, given time to gel.
- Beth Phoenix may be the most rolled-up wrestler in history. How does that even surprise her? If she studied the tape of her matches, she could see that she is rolled up on 9/10 losses.
- A.J. Lee didn't really gain anything by beating Phoenix.
- It's sad to see Beth Phoenix leave WWE, but it was definitely time. Even removing her character from television will do a lot of good. If she returns in a year or two, she will be refreshed and far more fun to watch.
- Why was Sheamus in his wrestling tights? This would have been a good opportunity for him to show up in a suit or something else. Seeing wrestlers in street clothes often helps to bring depth to their characters.
- Also, Sheamus probably should have had a nice little bruise from Big Show punching him in the face twice.
- I didn't think I would enjoy a Big Show and Sheamus promo exchange, but it turns out that I did. Something about their match and the promo following it worked for me. This feud is actually picking up steam and I'm looking forward to the inevitable rematch.
- Rhodes Scholars vs. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara was a very fun match. I'm excited by the current WWE tag team picture and Rhodes Scholars is a major reason why. Mysterio and Sin Cara lose nothing by losing.
- Rey Mysterio's Day of the Dead attire was pretty awesome. I hope we see that for the remainder of the week, simply because I found it cool.
- There was a whole lot of promotion of the WWE '13 game on this show. WWE really wants this to be a major release (and their video game usually is). Maybe the competition with the major release of Assassin's Creed 3 has frightened them.
- What a classy move from WWE, in donating a million dollars towards breast cancer research. There is a lot to dislike about WWE at times, but this is an amazing gesture.
- Alberto Del Rio's pay-per-view formula seems to be lose on the show, then win on Raw against a far lesser opponent a night later. It's predictable and isn't fun to watch. I can't stop disliking Del Rio. Nothing about him is worth watching anymore.
- The introduction of the Survivor Series teams was a nice main event segment, but it didn't make the show feel important. It's hard to justify three hours of TV time and WWE is desperate to tell whole-show stories to do so. The Survivor Series team announcement didn't accomplish what I believe it was set up to.
- Mick Foley not actually wrestling on his team works for me. He does not need to get in the ring at this moment in his life. As a manager, Foley should be a nice mouthpiece for his team, and also for Ryback. As we saw on this show, Ryback needs a guy to cut compelling promos for him.
- Is John Cena now out of the WWE Championship picture? He isn't on Team Foley, so he must be. I would have liked for Cena to be teamed up with Ryback on this show.
- Will the Survivor Series match be the main event of that pay-per-view? Given the wrestlers in it, I don't see any way for it not to be. John Cena doesn't have a compelling opponent out there to boost him above it. Ziggler will produce a fun match, but nothing that can touch the ten-man tag.
In the end, this show was long. That is the main word that I can use to describe WWE programming these days. I actually think I have watched less wrestling since Raw went to three hours because it burns me out so much. It isn't that the show is always horrible, but its hard to watch two hours of filler for one hour of action.
It did build well towards Survivor Series. WWE didn't have to go into hyper-build mode for the six weeks leading to Hell in a Cell. They have three weeks to go into Survivor Series, so the hyper-build worked. I can't think of a way to watch WWE these days without fast-forwarding.
So, what did you think of the show? Agree? Disagree? Either way, feel free to email me at email@example.com or to follow me and interact on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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