Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw - It takes a village to save Daniel Bryan, Big Show cries, Dusty Rhodes strikes out, the WWE Championship is held in abeyance, which isn't the name of a new star, and more!
By Will Pruett
Finally! I stood up from my couch and actually yelled as Dolph Zigger, Kofi Kingston, and the WWE babyface undercard ran down the ramp and saved Daniel Bryan from fairly certain doom at the hands of Randy Orton, a steel chair, The Shield, and probably (eventually) a crying Big Show. We finally have babyfaces who want to save their fellow man and are willing to risk something to do so. It's about darn time.
Of course, nothing is perfect and this moment, as wonderful and exciting as it was, was not perfect. While an entire roster (well, the Superstars roster) ran down to help Bryan, there was no individual star made. It was ten(ish) people running down the ramp instead of one bravely attempting to save Bryan. There was a big chance to make a major secondary star with just one man running down.
Of course, the roster has been injured (both literally and figuratively). Wrestlers have been emasculated on a weekly basis and silence has cost them the faith of the fans. It wasn't just one wrestler who needed this bump, it was the entire babyface roster. WWE, as a whole, needed this moment in order to restore balance [to the force (don't lie, you wanted to make this joke too)].
What is next for these wrestlers who ran off The Shield? Well, aside from resting their arms after some furious "Yes"ing in the post-best down celebration, they will have to make a strong case now. They're in this battle and they have to stand and fight, not just for Daniel Bryan, but for what is right. I'm not sure what their motivation will be and why it didn't strike earlier in the show (The Shield and crying Big Show threatening Dusty Rhodes, as well as Orton's assault on The Miz that his dad wouldn't even stop come to mind).
Are the heels outnumbered now? WWE may be falling into a major trap. With this many babyfaces standing up to the Triple H and Randy Orton Power Vacuum (my suggestion for their faction name), will there need to be more heels associated with their cause? Is Triple H going to have to court some lower card bad guys? Will 3MB suddenly be Orton's new new friends? With this moment, are we now plunging towards an all-out faction war set to split the WWE roster?
I sincerely hope faction war is not the plan for the future. I also sincerely hope this moment means we'll have more than just one or two characters to believe in. A huge part of Night of Champions' utter failure was the lack of characters to believe in on the undercard. I could cheer for Punk and Bryan, but no one else. I would hate to sit through another ridiculously unexciting pay-per-view like Sunday's. This Raw-closing moment could fix it.
Finally! There are more than two characters to cheer for on the WWE roster. It's about time.
And now for some random thoughts...
- In a followup to my piece from last night, the other shoe dropped about ten minutes into Raw when the WWE Championship was officially held in abeyance.
- I didn't know the word "abeyance" existed before tonight. I'm not proud of this.
- Daniel Bryan vehemently denied being involved in a conspiracy in the ring, but I wins he would have had a backstage segment to do so as well. Bryan is a great promo and he definitely could have assured any doubtful fans of his innocence.
- Triple H and Stephanie McMahon's request for the old, vicious Randy Orton was a fine moment. Orton hasn't come off like a true heel for a good portion of the past month. He needs to be the more violent version of himself, not a whipped pup. The speech from Stephanie, followed by the actions from Orton towards Miz and Bryan, worked.
- Triple H loves discussing cadences. I feel like he watches them constantly.
- I know it's sacrilege to most meta-fans, but part of me really likes the idea of Triple H, in continuing with the theme of playing off of stereotypes held by fans and wrestling media, awarding himself the WWE Championship. I doubt it will happen, but I'm fine with it if it does. It also gives Bryan a new major enemy to defeat.
- The combination of he live crowd and Dolph Ziggler's surprising intensity made the Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose match about 14 times better than their Night of Champions effort. Ambrose was great here as well. I'd love to see these guys actually get some promo time to enhance this feud.
- It's hard to continue cheering for a babyface who wasted all of his money and feels money is more important than honor. This is the issue facing Big Show. I don't think fans are going to get behind Show as a face. He is going to have to go full-fledged heel.
- Fandango dances. R-Truth raps. I watch the Bengals and the Steelers.
- Dusty Rhodes, at one time, could deliver a masterful promo. On this show, he didn't. Rhodes rambled for a long time vacillating between the importance of family, the importance of paying one's gardener, and his feelings as a father. It was not a disaster, but it didn't work.
- If I could make one suggestion to WWE, it would to avoid showing Rhodes in HD. I know it's a mean thing to say, but HD is just not kind to "The Dream" at all.
- Stephanie McMahon was really good in the Rhodes segment. Her performances continue to impress me. Dusty's choice of offering a contract to one son or the other was a mildly compelling angle. The choice of taking a Shield beating or a Big Show knockout was less compelling.
- Crying Big Show isn't working for me at all. I know he has feelings and is being forced to do things he shouldn't do, but it's annoying. He had to knockout Dusty Rhodes. I can not find it within myself to care.
- I cared more about Brie Bella winning the Diva's match than I did about conflicted crying Big Show.
- What is going on with Damien Sandow? People are calling it the curse of the Money in the Bank briefcase, but he is seriously fading away. Losing a two minute squash to Rob Van Dam is not the worst thing to happen to him, but it's a real sign of what is happening to him. Someone does have to lose matches, but it constantly being Sandow isn't great.
- RVD hardly did a thing about his loss the previous night. I'm sure he'll address it eventually, but why not show a little passion and anger about it? Does his lack of promo ability really hurt him this much?
- Poor Scott Armstrong is getting a generous severance package. I wonder if I could get one of those from this site if I happen to fast count someone. I'd do it.
- Miz's dad became the star of this show. I want a complete Total Divas style reality show about him and his youth as (presumably) a Dead Head. I'm just amazed at how happy he was to watch his son get beat up. Miz's dad wouldn't even jump the barricade to save him.
- Randy Orton looked vicious beating up The Miz. This was necessary. Orton taking his heel act to the next level is extremely important for the overall story of WWE.
- Paul Heyman made me like the Ryback angle more than I did while watching Night of Champions. It seems like Heyman has the chance to enhance Ryback and make his act better. This should be fun to watch.
- Ryback's justification for hating bully's and attacking Punk because of it worked for me. It was the explanation I expected, but it was also well delivered.
- Heyman seems to be taking the WWE roster's almost-over guys under his wing.
- I've seen so many Los Matadores vignettes in the last month. WWE tends to play vignettes for a little too long before finally debuting talent. I am actually looking forward to these guys coming out.
- Tons of Funk would be a nice combination of monster heels if they chose to turn that way. Tensai and Brodus Clay could get upset and awake the monsters inside.
- When the three team elimination match came down to The Real Americans and The Uso's, it was pretty awesome. These two teams work really well together.
- The Real Americans could be an odd, but fun, babyface act. Their matches against The Shield would be pretty amazing.
- Brie Bella hugging John Cena was one of the highlights of the show for me. I have so many problems.
- Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns had an extremely entertaining match in the Raw main event. Reigns is coming along as a talent and looked like an absolute beast against Bryan. Most wrestlers look good against Bryan. This was the first time I've seen the true superstar potential of Reigns.
- Seth Rollins is apparently one of the toughest men alive after continuing to fight and bump around after his spill into the announce table.
- Once again, I have to say how happy I am to see some actual babyfaces on Raw.
This show was a nice building block for the story to come. WWE hasn't told the last chapter perfectly, but there were certain elements that worked. Now, we have real babyfaces who must face consequences for breaking up Randy Orton's assault on Bryan. The next few WWE shows should be very interesting.
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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