Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw - Survivor Series is rearranged, England's crowd comes out to play, John Cena and Ryback team up, C.M. Punk passes off his Survivor Series team, Vince McMahon appears
By Will Pruett
- It has been a long time since WWE rearranged an announced pay-per-view card the way they did on this show. There was a aura of desperation on this show, but I can't figure out why WWE is so desperate. Creatively, this show was a mess.
- WWE did something akin to TNA's "previously on Impact Wrestling" segment to kick off this show. Unless it becomes a weekly fixture, I would actually consider that a poor choice. They may have come up with the idea organically, but it doesn't look good.
- The original drama for this show seemed to be Team Punk falling apart. That would have been a solid hook and could have created a very good show. Sadly, the show had to shake up the card far more than that.
- Where was Mick Foley? Even in a sit down, pre-taped interview segment, he should have been there. Foley is one half of (what was) the main event at Survivor Series.
- The production situation for WWE's televised events in England is always comedic. I personally break out a checklist to make sure we see the car, the phone booth, and at least two Union Jacks. WWE scored 100% on my checklist.
- The opening six man tag was a good exhibition match. That's one of the major issues with WWE's overseas shows. They have a lot of matches and are exciting, but they don't have a whole lot of meaning most of the time.
- There is something tremendously entertaining about Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio doing the "Millions of Dollars" dance of the Primetime Players.
- Here's one of the major issues with placing John Cena in the Survivor Series main event: it brings the poorly constructed storyline between Vickie Guerrero, Cena, and A.J. Lee to the forefront of Raw. That is nowhere near where this story should be.
- John Cena and A.J. may have been in the same hotel room. Why exactly is it a scandal that two people that are single may have done naughty things to each other?
- Wade Barrett joining Team Punk (at least it was at the time) makes sense. He probably belonged there to begin with.
- The crowd in the arena was super into Daniel Bryan and his match with Cody Rhodes was decent. I wish WWE had done something more than just singles matches with traded victories to hype this feud, but I'll take focus on the tag division either way.
- Kane defeating Damien Sandow is probably what needed to happen. I still hate to see Sandow lose all that often, but he retains his heat through most of it.
- Brad Maddox's promo wasn't great, but it also wasn't awful. He held his own. Maddox's story should be an interesting one to track going forward. Who knows what he will do after this referee story, but he could tell a fun story coming out of it.
- Vince McMahon making a sudden appearance on Raw to change the Survivor Series main event and force Maddox into a match with Ryback was interesting. What is the point of other authority figures if the big boss shows up so often? What is the point of McMahon making every other week look less special when he doesn't randomly appear?
- C.M. Punk vs. Ryback vs. John Cena at Survivor Series isn't a bad match choice. It still provides opportunities for Ryback to be protected, while also providing a major challenge for Punk. I don't know if I love placing another triple threat match at the top of another big four pay-per-view, but this one feels natural. Why not just make this match last week?
- Was it just me, or was The Miz vs. Sheamus the longest match in Raw history? I don't know why, but it was thunderously boring.
- John Cena's return to the ring was anticlimactic. Why not announce that (at least via social media) earlier in the day? Cena's return after a seven week absence should have been a bigger deal.
- What is a Fandangoo? Why does his name end in "goo" and why should I watch him? Perhaps this show is stretching my patience.
- Kaitlyn is still not all that great in the ring.
- Dolph Ziggler is now the captain of Team Punk. Will WWE bring back the awesome Ziggler and Mick Foley exchanges from January of this year to back up this feud? Will they pretend that was always the plan? Does this severe lack of forethought actually constitute forethought somehow?
- Kofi Kingston is a mid-card champion that actually won a non-title match. Is this the first time this has happened this year?
- In all seriousness, Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio was a great way to build up Kingston and make him feel like a more important wrestler. Kingston's push continues and I'm happy to see it.
- Santino and Zack Ryder are a tag team. I tend to fast forward through these parts.
- Wade Barrett getting the hero's welcome in England was awesome. That is a moment WWE can use to enhance his character. I'm excited to see Barrett develop in the next year. He needs a lot of work, but is an awesome character in general.
- The Uso's entrance is one of the coolest things in WWE at this moment. Why are they not on Raw more often doing it? Live crowds love it, even when it takes like 30 seconds for them to remember that the Uso's exist.
- This show had a small lack of C.M. Punk promo, given how much we've seen from him in recent months. That was probably positive in the long run. Punk has seemed to be rambling a bit lately and a little break from him will help viewers hate him more.
- I really enjoyed the main event match and the story told through it. John Cena doing the selling for Ryback to get the hot tag was the perfect story to tell. Punk and Ziggler looked great beating on Cena. The match built logically and the crowd was into it.
- Ryback getting the Shell-shock on Punk was a nice moment to end the show with. Ryback and John Cena's stare down was a better one. I'm not saying that Ryback vs. Cena vs. Punk is a bad main event, but I hate the juggling that it has taken to get there. The Survivor Series tag match wasn't super exciting, but it also didn't seem all that terrible.
This show dragged like you would not believe. Even the hot crowd couldn't keep me entertained by it. I love wrestling and always love to watch wrestling, but there were so many frustrating elements of this show on display.
I still have to question what exactly WWE is panicking about. The show is boring, but the best way to fix that is writing a compelling show, not randomly juggling main events.
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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