Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw - Litigation contemplation is running wild, Big Show gets his title shot, Big E gets a chance to break out, and a Smackdown rematch all on a bad show
By Will Pruett
Never in my life have I seen so many video packages dedicated to a lawsuit. It seemed like every ten minutes we were seeing another segment dedicated to Big Show's nonsensical multi-million dollar lawsuit which would bring WWE into ruin. There was more analysis of this lawsuit than most cases on The People's Court. Litigation has never been less exciting.
Big Show, a man who was willing to knock out good people, right up until he decided not to anymore, then he stood up for what he believed in. Big Show was a man doing it all for money, until he randomly decided money wasn't as important anymore (Are his kids able to eat? Does anyone know?). He is a character with a newly found and unproven conscience.
I've asked multiple times why I should be cheering for him, but now I'm wondering why he has a WWE Championship shot. Should a babyface (and a supposedly honorable human being) really get to the pinnacle of their profession through threatening a lawsuit? Doesn't this seem like a route ready made for a heel? Instead of earning his shot physically by being the best wrestler, Big Show apparently has the best lawyers, so he gets his shot.
Once again, as I watched Big Show take focus at the end of Raw, I was disappointed. Big Show is not a compelling babyface. Big Show is not a compelling wrestler right now. His story is downright obnoxious and he went from willing to knock out a legend for money to threatening a lawsuit. This is one of the weakest stories I've seen in the last ten years. WWE is hitting the creative doldrums right now.
And now for some random thoughts...
- Opening the show with Luke Harper vs. C.M. Punk was pretty fun. Harper can go and could all the way back in his Brodie Lee days. Punk know show to work both the indie and WWE styles. He also knows how to work well with a larger wrestler, especially in the babyface role. Punk and Harper told a nice story and had a good match.
- Daniel Bryan saving Punk from The Wyatt Family also worked for me. This tag team feud can be a highlight of Raw, if given time to develop. Part of me hopes they just keep it as a tag feud and do not add enough people to make it a Survivor Series match. I couldn't see The Miz teaming up with Bryan and Punk.
- I didn't get around to watching all of Smackdown on my DVR, so I was happy to see the six man main event get a rematch. Now, I can delete Smackdown guilt free.
- The Paul Heyman and C.M. Punk story may just be on hiatus and not over. I would be happy to see Heyman come back when he has a truly compelling opponent for Punk and reignite the feud.
- Why hasn't Ryback been banned from catering yet?
- Stop me if you've heard this one before: Kofi Kingston lost to Alberto Del Rio in a mid-card match.
- The poll to determine Randy Orton's opponent seemed like an interesting test for the three men involved. Big E Langston, of the poll results were legitimate, seems to be getting over in a nice way. Ziggler and Miz have been misused and boring lately. Big E has a real shot at taking off though.
- Randy Orton's promo channeling "Ravishing" Rick Rude was kind of weird. It didn't seem to fit Orton's character at all. Was this the writers suddenly deciding the baby oiled viper needed to come off as more arrogantly handsome? This promo seemed obviously written and unnatural.
- To clarify, I have no issue with scripted promos, as long as they are consistent with characters and well written. Scripts are part of television production. The issue tends to lie with the quality of the writing.
- Big E Langston had a near-break out performance against Orton. He looked good against the WWE Champion and the fans were on his side. Langston could be one of the bright spots of WWE in this creative downturn.
- How desperate is it to have three middle aged men sitting around discussing how "revolutionary" the WWE App is? WWE is back to over-pimping the app and it is just as lame as before.
- I'm glad Tyson Kidd is back on Raw. I'm glad Summer Rae yells a lot in the ring. I'm glad Natalya may not be teaming with Khali anymore. The mixed tag match was fun.
- I would give WWE a lot more credit for their breast cancer campaign if they were working with an organization who's goal was to find a cure, not just raise awareness. Everything helps, but cancer research deserves more funding than cancer's PR campaign.
- My wife made a solid point about the "Rise Above Cancer" slogan last night; Cancer isn't something one can choose to stand up to, like bullying, it's something one goes through. It's not like "rising above" is a choice. The slogan implies people who tragically do not rise above it somehow missed John Cena's advice.
- The six man tag match with Cena, Rhodes, and Goldust vs. Sandow and The Real Americans was very fun. These six can all go in the ring and Goldust is really impressing in his role.
- What's the next feud for Damien Sandow? He seems to be getting a nice push, but he isn't locked in with anyone. Perhaps WWE could add him to a Survivor Series elimination match for this month, but coming off of last week, his character needs direction.
- Curtis Axel gets almost no reaction without Paul Heyman by his side. I tried to believe in his push when he debuted, but I can't get behind him right now.
- Why does JBL yell the "O" part of The Uso's entrance? The fans are responding, but JBL is covering up the response.
- The Uso's excite me, but their match with 3MB was easy to figure out. This show almost put me to sleep.
- Why is "The Cardboard Cutout" Eva Marie a babyface? She isn't a very nice person. I didn't have a reason to get excited about her first win.
- What is exciting is the return of Total Divas. Judge me all you want, but it is fantastic.
- The closing segment of Raw was all of the suck rolled into one. It had all the excitement of standard court proceedings with none of the logic. Big Show, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon all bored me almost to tears. Lucky for them, I had already cried so much over Aaron Rodgers' injury that I had no tears left.
- Big Show vs. Randy Orton is going to happen. Do I have to watch Survivor Series?
- Big Show got beat up by some people and no other babyfaces cared to save him. It's the same logical fallacy with another babyface. Good work, WWE.
- Kane is now "Libertarian Politician Kane" and he loves handing people chairs. He would be pretty upset if the government started handing people chairs though. The government needs to stay out of chair distribution.
This show was dominated by a lawsuit storyline. It was less exciting than most lawsuits. WWE with Big Show on top is unbelievably boring. Is it the Royal Rumble yet? I feel like it'll be a couple months before I'm excited about WWE again.
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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