Pruett's Quick Pause: WWE Raw and TNA Slammiversary - What happens when good guys do bad things, Sting is beat down, John Cena makes the save, and more!
By Will Pruett
Dot Net Members are listening to Jason Powell's 45-minute audio review of WWE Raw, and the 90-minute audio review of the TNA Slammiversary event that he and Chris Shore recorded on Sunday. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
***I didn't have the chance to view TNA Slammiversary before last night's WWE Raw, but I have since done so. In the interest of not ignoring the TNA pay-per-view, I will write about both Raw and Slammiversary today in an abbreviated manner.
There was an odd parallel between Slammiversary and Raw. It wasn't intentional. I doubt WWE even tried to make it apparent. Regardless, it was still there.
Look at the end of Slammiversary, Sting was beaten and broken by the Aces and Eights. The TNA roster (yes, all of them), which presumably hates this rebel biker gang, failed to make the save. Maybe they all left prior to the TNA Championship match. This is the only logical explanation.
Now, remember the close of the excellent Ryback vs. Daniel Bryan match on Raw. As Ryback was about to destroy Daniel Bryan beyond repair, a babyface made the save. Not just any babyface, but WWE's main babyface who often has a problem acting like a good person, John Cena. In this moment, John Cena was actually a nice guy. I wanted to cheer Cena. He did the right thing.
Something amazing happens when a wrestler presuming to be a good guy actually acts like one. Where was every babyface (and even a heel or two) in TNA when their first Hall of Famer was being destroyed? Why couldn't they help him? Maybe they would have been too late to save the match, but they needed to save Sting. Plot holes like this make the entire promotion (literally every wrestler in it) look bad. It's unacceptable.
I am not saying John Cena always acts this honorable. In fact, more often than not, I have the same issue with his actions. He acts nothing like a person I want to be. When I see a lead babyface, I should want to befriend them or be them. I love Captain America and often wish I was more Captain America-esque. I should feel similarly about John Cena.
I believe in babyfaces helping their friends. We saw this on Monday night, but it was noticeably missing on Sunday.
Other random thoughts:
- Is there a better wrestler in the world than Daniel Bryan right now? He took part in two great matches on Raw and was a standout at the close of Smackdown. Amongst all the new talent being introduced and getting over in WWE, it would be easy to overlook Bryan, but he is breaking out as a star.
- I have no interest in seeing the Three Stages of Hell match between John Cena and Ryback. These matches have always been hit or miss for me and this one will likely be a miss.
- Taryn Terrell vs. Gail Kim will most likely be the women's match of the year. Taryn has caught on as a babyface and has impressed me with her charisma and intensity. Gail Kim's claim to being the best woman wrestler in the world was bolstered by this amazing effort. If you missed Skammiversary, this is the match to go out of your way to see.
- The Shield in six-man tags should seem redundant by now, but they're just great. I could watch this for a long time and remain happy.
- The saga of Daniel Bryan and Kane continues to intrigue and worry me. I fear a Daniel Bryan heel turn, which may not work. I fear a Kane squash as he returns to being a monster, which also may not work. We can't stay where we are forever, but it feels so good.
- Paul Heyman is doing a nice job building up to the return of C.M. Punk. I loved the way Heyman emphasized Punk in Chicago, as those two elements coming together create one of the most spectacular environments in wrestling. Punk vs. Jericho is a basic return feud which will create a great moment for Punk.
- We're a year into the Aces and Eights saga and it all feels a little too drawn out. TNA used to have a problem with burning through matches too quickly, but now they seem to wait until everyone has predicted the big story, waited for it, moved on, and then re-predicted it to actually allow the story to happen.
- Chris Sabin's X Division Championship win worked for me. Him trading in the title for a shot at the TNA World Championship should create some nice upper-card movement as twelve top-ish guys get locked into the Bound for Glory Series. The next few months are hard to book with a lack of challengers for the TNA title and the X Division concept alleviates some of the pressure.
- There have been 30 Ultimate X Matches in 11 years. This is overkill.
So, what did you think of these shows? 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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