Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw - Raw and How I Met Your Mother collide with each producing a good go-home episode, Lesnar and Triple H face-to-face, The Shield vs. Bryan, Kane, and Cena, and more!
By Will Pruett
The following blog contains "How I Met Your Mother" spoilers. Why wouldn't a wrestling blog have "How I Met Your Mother" spoilers? You've been warned
On Monday night, the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother gave its fans the moment they had been waiting eight years for. They finally, after so many teases and so many relationships, revealed the mother (technically the title character) in the final scene of its eighth season. On this same episode, the writers of How I Met Your Mother also demonstrated an amazing ability to write a go-home show.
Each main character had something either hanging over their heads or waiting for them as the ninth season begins. Whether it is a couple getting married, a couple torn between two dreams, or a man setup to meet his wife (although he doesn't know it), every main character had something hanging in the balance. The conclusion had to be seen.
Now, look at this episode of Raw, the final one before Extreme Rules. Where were the main characters left? John Cena is left searching for vengeance against Ryback. The Shield is left looking dominant heading into their first pay-per-view where they will split up. Brock Lesnar and Triple H are left waiting to meet again in a steel cage after their brawl. This was a pretty good go-home show (although I can't say it matches the well-crafted goodness of HIMYM.
Finally, look at the structure of HIMYM. We all know how the story is going to end. We all know what happens at Barney and Robin's wedding. We all know many of the plot points that will make up the next season (either by being shown them or just knowing them). There's nothing wrong with this. Just like in wrestling, it is predictable. Predictability isn't bad. We're all in it for the ride, not necessarily the ending.
- Opening the show with a dance off seemed like an odd choice. It did get Chris Jericho, who is a major star, out there right off. It also turned out to be a pretty fun (but sometimes painfully slow) segment.
- I've never seen anyone get beat up with a piece of a dance floor. Way to innovate, Fandango.
- It's amazing how natural letting the A's breath in Fandango's name is now.
- I'm pretty sure Fandango's outfit was comprised entirely of recycled Lisa Frank products. Credit for this joke goes to my wife.
- Summer Rae's involvement in the opening segment was pretty great. This whole segment made me more excited about Jericho vs Fandango. I didn't anticipate a dance contest would do so.
- Zack Ryder is probably at his best when being squashed. Ryback is at his best when squashing.
- As if wrestling itself didn't have attention issues, we are now being encouraged to ignore the television and watch the app. This is ridiculously annoying. The new way to watch TV is to not watch TV apparently.
- I'm going to miss the Ladder Match at Extreme Rules, but the health of Dolph Ziggler is far more important. I have enjoyed the recent work from Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger, so I trust they will have an exciting contest on Sunday.
- Giving Kofi Kingston a momentum building win going into his match against Dean Ambrose on Sunday makes sense. Kingston vs. Ambrose might be the match I'm looking forward to most on Sunday.
- Instead of doing something heroic (pulling trucks with his body) or something to show off his superiority (tug of wars), Mark Henry used this show to demonstrate how much of a bully he is. This worked really well for me. Josh Matthews probably deserved the beating anyways,
- I'm bummed to see the strap match will be the "touch the corners" style. The ending to this style of match is always easily telegraphed.
- Sheamus ran out to save a weaker individual. Again, WWE had a heel act like a bad guy and a babyface act like a good guy. This should not be a surprise.
- I was anticipating a longer Orton vs. Cesaro contest.
- It doesn't count as an RKO unless Michael Cole says it was "out of nowhere."
- It was a smart move to have The Miz return against the most easily hated heel in WWE, Heath Slater.
- I really enjoyed the six man tag team match on this show. The Shield continue to impress at almost every turn. They've also added some much needed seriousness to Kane and Daniel Bryan's act. This match was a terrific display of wrestling from all six men. It was fun to see the recent house show main event shown off on Raw.
- The Shield taking a disqualification loss didn't really bother me. John Cena handled them a little too easily, but it wasn't the worst thing. This was still a great match and The Shield remain strong.
- I'm glad Ryback went after John Cena's ankle. Someone had to target it. Cena was acting a little too healthy in the match. I also really enjoyed Ryback just delivering one chair shot. The economy of gimmick use was very much appreciated.
- What does it say when a heel wins a vote over a babyface to face another heel? Del Rio really needs to work on how he is connecting with audiences.
- Jack Swagger taking out Big E Langston and Aberto Del Rio definitely works for me. Swagger looks legitimately tough at this moment.
- I didn't enjoy the Divas on commentary. It was too crowded and too stereotypical.
- A.J. Lee's new crazy girl submission fits her character really well. I just wish Kaitlyn would have remembered Natalya was selling her arm, and not lifted it over her head.
- Chris Jericho's serious backstage promo was great. He needed that edge going into Extreme Rules and he found it.
- Triple H cut a slow pace in the final segment of the show.
- The interaction between Paul Heyman, Triple H, and Brock Lesnar worked really well. This was a strong segment that made me want to see Sunday more than I thought I would. I also liked the way Triple H painted Heyman as Lesnar's censor or controller. It will play in nicely down the line when Heyman and Lesnar split.
- Brock Lesnar still looks like a beast. I assume he will stand tall on Sunday and his mystique will be there once again.
As I said, both Raw and How I Met Your Mother produced compelling go-home episodes on Monday night. I'm just glad I don't have to wait until September for Raw's payoff.
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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