Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw - C.M. Punk celebrates one year as WWE Champion, John Cena makes out with A.J., no explanation is offered for Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns' attack on Ryback
By Will Pruett
- Ryback's opening promo was surprisingly good. He hasn't delivered any gems on the mic, but this was close. I still cannot get behind Ryback's pseudo-poetic language, but his delivery was on.
- Tensai's match against Ryback served a purpose, but I'm just not going to enjoy most of what Tensai does.
- Kofi Kingston and Wade Barrett is a feud I can get behind, but I don't know that Barrett is in the right position to chase down the Intercontinental Championship. Barrett seems too high on the card. Of course, having almost-main eventers chasing that championship could help elevate the title.
- Kingston vs. Barrett was a pretty good match. This might be the classic WWE problem of both guys being in similar places on the card and both needing wins, but in a vacuum, this match worked.
- Matt Striker's mustache is downright absurd. I kind of love it.
- The chemistry between Punk and Paul Heyman has been one of the best things about Raw in the last few months. Heyman is downright seedy and Punk plays into it so well. When they aligned, I said it would be a good thing.
- Kaitlyn and Aksana had a not-so-good match. This doesn't surprise me. It's a shame WWE's Diva division is in shambles at this moment.
- It looks like we're in for another month of feuding between R-Truth and Antonio Cesaro. I was hoping that it was just a one off, but now that it is extending, I can't get excited. Truth and Cesaro didn't click at the pay-per-view and their feud hasn't been much of anything.
- I was really hoping WWE has decided to fully embrace absurdity and hire the actress that played Claire Lynch for TNA to be the waitress in this story. It's the only thing that could have redeemed it completely.
- This segment started out and seemed to play out just as poorly as the rest of this John Cena and Vickie Guerrero feud has. The difference maker was definitely the ending. Cena kissing A.J. Lee actually made sense. Why wouldn't they be allowed to date/kiss/copulate?
- John Cena's awkward step down from the ring, which was apparently scripted, was weird. Was the idea that fans would stick around to see if Cena would be okay?
- Did John Cena and A.J. need to make out for as long as they did? That was a little much.
- I'm pretty tired of Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio. Hopefully their two out of three falls match was the last match they will have for a little while. The feud has dragged on without variety. Every match has ended in the same way. RKO's out of nowhere stop being entertaining at a certain point.
- What was the point of Great Khali beating Primo and Epico? What story was WWE trying to tell with this? Why did WWE need to throw a tag team under the Khali-bus, when they're trying to enhance the division?
- Paul Heyman wants those balloons. It's a shame he never got them.
- The Miz vs. David Otunga was a nice babyface squash match for The Miz. It'll be interesting to see him develop as a character and develop a connection with the fans that does not rely so much on arrogance.
- This show was basically sleepy. I was extremely bored with the first two hours and the longer, meaningless matches hurt the show. I celebrated the heightened match quality when Raw expanded, but long squashes don't exactly help keep me entertained.
- At Survivor Series, Sheamus' chair had yellow tape at the bottom of each leg. On Raw, the announcers tried to pass it off as the same chair, but that tape was missing. This is a pointless detail.
- Big Show and Sheamus had a pretty good talking segment. If the goal of this feud was to give Sheamus a more serious edge, than WWE is doing the right thing. Sheamus seems far more threatening on a mission than he did talking about his uncles.
- Another long match that just seemed to be there to fill time was Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow. They didn't have a bad match at all, but the outcome was never in question. We all knew this match was about Sheamus getting vengeance. That's okay in a seven minute match, but not in a fifteen minute affair.
- Dolph Ziggler got beat up by A.J., then got beat up by John Cena. I know it is all part of the story they are trying to tell and it may eventually build Ziggler, but this show didn't help him all that much. This could have been a major night for Ziggler after his victory at Survivor Series.
- Kane and Daniel Bryan may have been placed where they were to wake the crowd up prior to the main event segment. Their match against Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara was actually pretty fun until the major brawl at the end.
- For the first time ever, I liked the Primetime Players. They were really fun on commentary. Things got mildly absurd in moments, but they made it fun.
- The final segment of the show was definitely the best, although I can't say it was worth sitting through the exhausting three hours for. Nothing on this show was all that exciting, but the end included some fun and entertaining work from Heyman and Punk.
- How strange would it be if C.M. Punk did actually hold the WWE Championship until 2018? How many opportunities would be missed in favor of a record breaking title reign in an era where that doesn't happen?
- The followup to last night's angle was probably the best way to go. Fans that don't watch pay-per-views didn't get to see Ryback get beat down by Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns. I was hoping for more from the followup, but I definitely see why WWE didn't burn themselves out trying to come up with something more.
- What will Ryback's ultimate response be? He is still in the main event scene and he has an opportunity to get a fair amount of vengeance. The next few weeks could be an interesting story for him.
This show was crazy boring. It was a challenge to stay awake through all of it and remembering anything that happened was also difficult. One night after a pay-per-view, one would expect Raw to be newsworthy and have some decent followup. Sadly, the show seemed to tread water when it came to most major stories.
Punk's celebration was entertaining, but it wasn't enough to save this show that put me to sleep.
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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