Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw - John Cena's choice, Rock vs. Punk 2 is made, Brock Lesnar returns, Raw Roulette blows, and more!
By Will Pruett
- If I never see another roulette wheel or a shot of the Bellagio fountains on Raw again, I'll be fine with it.
- C.M. Punk threw a pretty great fit to kick off the show. It was different to see him without the WWE Championship, but he didn't lose any star power in that process. I know many fans are upset about Punk losing, but I believe a big feud with The Rock helps him in the end.
- By the time WWE is done writing their own history, every city in North America will have their own screwjob and Montreal will have 17.
- Is this mini-feud between Antonio Cesaro and Randy Orton Orton's way of passing the chinlock to Cesaro as Flair passed the Figure Four to Miz?
- I'm actually enjoying the Cesaro and Miz feud, so I'm okay with seeing it continue. Cesaro will need something new come WrestleMania, but not before then.
- Yeah, the "Ain't nobody got time for that" phrase is officially over with me. Nice work, Primetime Players.
- Matt Striker is going to be even more afraid of approaching wrestlers in backstage segments after his treatment by Ryback.
- WWE seems to be on a quest to introduce some of the best NXT talent and Bo Dallas is certainly a beneficiary of it. Another night of his story with Wade Barrett came and went and I loved it. This is a classic underdog story and Dallas is the perfect guy to tell it with.
- Fred Flintstone would totally beat up John Cena.
- I wasn't a big fan of Cody Rhodes losing so swiftly to John Cena. I understand he tried to leave, lasted a long time in the Rumble the night before, and has a great mustache, but Cody should be above a two minute loss.
- Did John Cena's promo spoil the making of Punk vs. Rock II later in the night? It might have. We've seen enough variations of the former champion getting their rematch in the Elimination Chamber over the years, so the rematch wasn't a slam dunk. Either way, it didn't really bother me.
- What did bother me was the way John Cena looked down on the World Heavyweight Championship. He could have easily endorsed Alberto Del Rio as great, mentioned not having anything against Del Rio, then launched into his deeply personal feuds in the WWE Championship scene. It would have been almost the same promo, without belittling a babyface champion.
- It's hard to buy into the odds being against John Cena.
- The Shield's attack on Cena, followed by the run-ins from Sheamus and Ryback all worked really well. I love the threat The Shield offers WWE. I have a feeling we may see a three-on-three War Games style Elimination Chamber match. If this is the case, I can't wait.
- I kind of loved the idea of the wheel landing on lingerie pillow fight when a man was spinning it. I didn't love the execution of the Tensai segment, but the concept worked.
- I can't lie, Tensai's dedication and willingness to also wear the thong had me chuckling. The dancing was pretty lame. I didn't love the segment, but it had its redeeming qualities.
- I think we all agree with JBL in wishing someone would blow up the roulette wheel.
- I was one of the few who didn't mind the duct tape finish of Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show. I also didn't mind where this segment ended up. What I did mind was how long it took to get there. I know Raw is three hours, but it felt like it took an hour just to end this one segment.
- Kaitlyn still can't wrestle. All the women in headdresses at ringside will not make me forget. This was an awful use of a division thinning out quickly. Can you blame anyone for leaving?
- The Rock's celebration promo was great. He used a large amount of his standard schtick, but the crowd ate it up. This was the promo Rock needed to cut.
- C.M. Punk claiming to still be the WWE Champion was a very nice piece of business. Punk without the title might be more entertaining than Punk with the title. He did some amazing work here, opposite The Rock.
- Say what you will about a part time guy holding it and all, but The Rock celebrating, caring, and just holding the WWE Championship makes that title seem massively important.
- I really love the idea of a long match towards the end of Raw (not the main event). However, in execution, it is actually not great. Damien Sandow vs. Sheamus was a good match. I was given plenty of time. When the show feels too long, a long match doesn't help though.
- I was impressed by how competitive Sandow was allowed to be with Sheamus. His mustachioed tag team partner was not so lucky against another babyface powerhouse.
- I participated in a karaoke session at an Elks Lodge on Friday night with a ton of people 65 years old or older (mostly much older). Nothing I heard was as painful or as annoying as the WWE Karaoke segment. I have no idea how anyone watched it without fast-forwarding through it. As bad as lingerie on Tensai was, this was worse.
- Six months ago, I was happy to see Chris Jericho return to the Y2J gimmick, even if it is now a nostalgia act. I liked his "Raw is Jericho" promo. It was a pretty great return to Raw and a nice followup to his Rumble appearance.
- Dolph Ziggler and A.J. Lee are finding a fun chemistry together. The next step should be making them both seem dangerous in the group. The continuation of Ziggler vs. Jericho should lead to some fun times at Elimination Chamber, and possibly WrestleMania.
- Kane and Daniel Bryan's problems seem to be getting worse, which makes it look like we may soon see the end of what should be called "Team Friendship." The matches leading into the eventual breakup may provide some interesting hints for the future of both characters.
- I'd like to see Kane and Bryan stick together until WrestleMania. They could even do the breakup on the big stage at 'Mania. It could hook viewers into a feud and it would give them some direction, if that is the plan.
- Trisha Stratus is a very deserving Hall of Fame recipient. As the greatest woman wrestler of all time, it is amazing to think she was brought in as a model and learned to wrestle while in the company. I'm very happy to see her being inducted.
- Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman proved to be amazing showmen at the end of Raw. Heyman was pitch perfect as the groveling, sniveling walrus begging for his job. McMahon played the babyface boss well. This was an amazing setup for a big surprise.
- Are Punk and Heyman only hiring The Shield? Does this mean The Shield acts independently until money is offered? It definitely leaves room for Heyman to assemble a truly amazing faction, should he wish.
- Brock Lesnar's return was fantastic. He retained his fearful quality, even though I do question his jumping around on the ramp. While he circled the ring, he seemed to be more dangerous than ever. All of this was enhanced by the reactions of Heyman and McMahon.
- Vince McMahon took Lesnar's F-5 like a champ. How can anyone not respect the over 60 year old boss willing to take this punishment?
- Once again, Paul Heyman may have had a career night. His non-verbal disappointment with C.M. Punk's lack of title, his backstage moment with The Shield and Brad Maddox, and especially his performance with Vince McMahon all showed why Heyman is the best manager and one of the most compelling acts in wrestling today.
This show was a total mixed bag. The good stuff was really good. We saw the return of Brock Lesnar in an amazing verbal segment. We saw Dolph Ziggler and Chris Jericho tell a very fun story. We saw Rock vs. Punk II get signed. We saw John Cena's choice in a pretty good promo. How does all of this not make an amazing episode of Raw?
Well, the bad kept greatness from happening. It was disappointing in certain moments and embarrassing in others. WWE took viewers on the wrong type of roller coaster ride with this show. It was a great one to have the fast forward option available for.
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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