Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw - The build for Punk vs. Rock begins, John Cena vs. Big Show, Vince and Vickie's comedy hour continues, final build for TLC including the new main event
By Will Pruett
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- I really enjoyed the "Tonight on Raw" package at the top of this episode. It did a great job of recapping most of the key storylines and setting up the show's events. I won't say that WWE is doing it better than TNA, mostly because I believe it's a great feature from both companies.
- Dolph Ziggler's promo on the ladder was entertaining. His match against John Cena may be the biggest of his career to date and his mic work leading up to it has been solid.
- Why did Sheamus push Dolph Ziggler off the ladder? I know they haven't been the best of friends for a while, but that was an unprovoked action. It also doesn't make sense that Ziggler would just hang out on top of the ladder.
- Big Show is such an odd character right now. He's having great matches with Sheamus, but on the mic he is lacking quite a bit. The character feels played out, even in matches against wrestlers like John Cena (more on that later). He might be doing some of his best in-ring work.
- Wade Barrett was hanging out in the ring, when Vince McMahon decided to enter. That was random.
- Vince McMahon and Vickie Guerrero's comedy hour is shockingly disinteresting. McMahon's appearances used to be special and quite entertaining, but when he comes out to belittle Guerrero, I want to tune out.
- Wade Barrett and R-Truth's match was more about Kofi Kingston and Antonio Cesaro on commentary. It didn't mean much and didn't do anything to excite me.
- What exactly was John Cena hiding by holding a shirt in front of A.J.? That segment was all sorts of weird. Cena and A.J. are still locked in a weird romance that I hope ends in a turn for A.J. Her character can use it and it gives Cena and out to lose to Ziggler.
- The only complaint I have about the presentation of The Uso's on this show was that WWE didn't show their dynamic and exciting entrance. It could be one of the highlights of the show on a weekly basis and is quite unique.
- Cody Rhodes' mustache is either the best or the worst thing. I haven't decided yet.
- Rhodes Scholars vs. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara should be a fun Tables Match at TLC.
- Watching WWE is starting to be too much work. Not only does one have to watch the show, they also have to watch Twitter, Tout, WWE's website, and WWE's app to keep up with everything going on. All I want to do is enjoy a beer and watch wrestling. Why is WWE making that so complicated?
- Eve's squash of Alisha Fox was a nice way to reintroduce her character after a few weeks of inactivity. The photo shoot at the end of it was a great touch.
- The show probably should have opened with or addressed the C.M. Punk injury much faster than it did. Vince McMahon even appeared, but didn't mention it at all. The six man main event could have really used McMahon as a mouthpiece putting it over. When he wants to, he has the credibility to do that.
- I found it really interesting that WWE decided to begin the build to C.M. Punk vs. The Rock before TLC. It is the biggest thing happening in WWE in the next few months, but it did take a little bit away from TLC itself.
- I would love for Punk to be on commentary at TLC. He has always shined in that role and it would be very fun to listen to his thoughts for the entire show.
- Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus have had an awful lot of TV matches in the past few months. They always put together some special action and I never regret watching them. I was happy to see Ziggler get a little bit of protection and not have to take a pin after a Brogue Kick.
- The Muppets were live tweeting Monday Night Raw. This improved the show by at least 25%.
- What's funnier than a little person, a giant, and a woman? The 60 year old man that makes jokes at their expense. Sometimes wrestling embarrasses me.
- The Shield's video that aired on Smackdown and was replayed on Raw was a really nicely done piece of work. I assume that WWE wanted to roll that out this week, but they did so early to get The Shield a little more exposure before TLC. The video showed more of Dean Abrose's dynamic promo ability and make the whole group seem threatening and different.
- Is it just me, or does Raw start to drag right around the Alberto Del Rio beats a mid-carder match every week? That's how it felt when Del Rio and Ryder began their match. Is this the fault of the show, the pacing, or Del Rio himself? Could it be a combination of the elements?
- I enjoyed the twist with Brad Maddox refereeing Vickie vs. A.J. That match didn't do much to entertain, but it did advance Maddox's story nicely.
- A.J. really should have done some tape study on how to throw a tantrum. I'd suggest watching the post-show footage of Survivor Series 1997, then trying again.
- Antonio Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston was kind of boring. I didn't feel like their match on Main Event had this issue (until it became a tag match), so I was surprised to find this effort as sleepy as I did.
- Cesaro going over Kingston was a great choice to see. I believe in both men in a big way, but Cesaro is still a work in progress and needed that win more.
- MizTV is making me hate The Miz. I'm not sure that's the desired effect.
- John Cena and Big Show's matches seem to constantly be less than the sum of their parts. Cena and Show are veteran performers that can produce brilliance. They just can't do so together. That has to be disappointing.
- The end of Cena vs. Show was a fun way to end the entire show. It was Nitro-esque with every pay-per-view match suddenly being hyped in one final big brawl, but WWE uses this device infrequently and it worked here.
- The Shield all getting hit with one ladder by Ryback was a unique and fun spot. I actually enjoyed seeing it quite a bit. It was a nicely put together moment.
- Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Ryback were hardly on this show. I thought that may have been a mistake, considering they are in the main event of TLC on Sunday. A little bit of mic work from Kane and Bryan about getting vengeance on The Shield might have been effective. It also could have helped to see them discussing the match with Ryback at one point.
- I also feel like a new Shield promo of some sort might have helped things.
- The final moments of the show embracing chaos were fun to watch. Michael Cole did his best to deliver a final hard sell for TLC that may have been effective. The show pointed towards TLC nicely.
This show suffered from the length, but not a lack of quality action or good segments. There was plenty of bad, but the show did what it set out to do in the final moments. It was entertaining for a fair amount of the time, and that's what matters to me.
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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