Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw - Vince McMahon appears, C.M. Punk takes a lie detector test, The Shield takes out more than one victim, Sheamus and John Cena vs. Big Show and Dolph Ziggler
By Will Pruett
- Kane and Daniel Bryan are now working as a cohesive team. The attack from The Shield apparently bonded them together. I like this next step in their pairing.
- Michael Cole was more than slightly heelish on this show. I was disappointed to see that. Cole has been a great commentator since dropping the stupid heel act. I know WWE wants interactions between the commentators to spice up the long show, but Cole shouldn't be the antagonist.
- The entire opening match, with The Shield slowly making their way towards the ring, was strangely compelling. I didn't care who won or lost, but I was interested in what The Shield would do.
- I like this idea of The Shield feuding with the Tag Team Champions right out of the gate. Kane and Bryan have a lot of goodwill with fans and this will help The Shield get over. Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins seem to be off to a great start.
- John Cena and Sheamus talked about a giraffe backstage. Why?
- WWE loves to establish a monster heel in the Diva's Division. Tamina seems to be made in the image of Beth Phoenix, which also includes losing to smaller divas, like A.J. Lee. This was a disappointing use of Tamina.
- C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman had a really fun segment about the WWE Encyclopedia and TLC. They've got great chemistry and this act makes it easy to hate a wrestler that was previously a major favorite.
- The Miz's work with Punk was a net positive, even though it came with some drawbacks. Punk is easy enough to dislike, but Miz still comes across as a jerk. Miz doesn't seem to have changed since his heel days, aside from the people he will be a jerk to. He doesn't need to become John Cena, but he should be likable.
- Walrus is the new Weasel and Paul Heyman is the new Bobby Heenan.
- I enjoyed the promotion of the lie detector test. It was simple, effective, and an old school gimmick to make fans believe a heel would get what they deserved.
- Big Show and Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena and Sheamus was basically what I would expect from a House Show match. It was well-wrestled, dynamic, and it had the ultimate happy ending.
- This young kid John Cena is really getting over by beating this Dolph Ziggler guy. He needs it too.
- Damien Sandow's search for an apprentice is fun. It's some classic heel work in the vein of The Million Dollar Man. Sandow is doing well in the absence of his tag team partner.
- Santino Marella as the wrestler to challenge Sandow make sense, but it also leaves something lacking. I just don't want to see them in a match together.
- Brad Maddox's cameraman is the best sidekick act in wrestling today. Sorry, Ricardo.
- Is Alberto Del Rio doing anything right now? Beating Sin Cara doesn't really count as a thing.
- Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara are a fun tag team act, but I wonder if WWE is walking away from them. Mysterio was nowhere to be seen with Sin Cara. I hope WWE will continue to use them as a team.
- Vince McMahon and Vickie Guerrero are apparently a comedy duo. This segment didn't excite me. McMahon's appearance seemed pointless. Guerrero was just there to make him look smart. The entire segment was a waste of a McMahon appearance.
- Why wouldn't Dolph Ziggler cash in his Money in the Bank contract before the Ladder Match with John Cena? No one has said he can't. Why would any winner wait to cash it in? If they do, they risk losing it. I know Edge put his on the line against Matt Hardy in 2005, but Hardy had to put something on the line as well (much like Ziggler vs. Jericho this year).
- Wrestling shows shouldn't inspire logic gaps and endless "Why?" questions. I shouldn't have to ignore the part of my brain that asks for very basic logic.
- Brad Maddox needs some awesome theme music that fits his supremely arrogant attitude.
- I would probably watch Brad Maddox get squashed by main event stars for the next few months and stay entertained.
- The Shield and Brad Maddox certainly look to be friendsies. Will Maddox's promo style fit into The Shield's and specifically Dean Ambrose's. This could be a fun contrast to watch develop, once the group fully forms.
- Fans would do well to remember that the blue briefcase being carried by Dolph Ziggler is for a World Heavyweight Championship match. John Cena would have to cash in against Big Show (or Sheamus, should he win at TLC) in order to win the championship. It would be an interesting twist to put Cena in that picture.
- Should John Cena become World Heavyweight Champion, would we see he and The Rock unify the titles at WrestleMania? The match would be big enough, that's for sure. I'm not promising it would happen, but I would definitely be suspicious of it if Ziggler loses his contract.
- Teddy Long stopped a tag team match from happening. I don't know what to believe in anymore.
- Antonio Cesaro vs. Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston vs. R-Truth was a fun and action packed match. The four of them worked hard to excite the crowd and the fans at home. This match highlighted Barrett, Cesaro, and Kingston nicely.
- What makes Kofi Kingston a Wildcat? Why doesn't he actually get some promo time to establish himself as one? I'd love to see him get a chance to show some intensity.
- It's that special time of year when Wade Barrett and Randy Orton have a series of TV matches. It's been WWE's fall tradition since 2010.
- The Miz and C.M. Punk had a nice closing segment. Miz still seems obnoxious and Punk definitely plays disdain for him well. The idea of a lie detector always brings up fond memories of Mr. America, so that portion of the segment worked for me as well.
- The Shield demolishing Miz and MizTV was predictable, but still compelling. This was an example of a predictable segment that helped the show. It was a hot ending and the crowd definitely bought into it.
- Ryback was used perfectly as the show closed. WWE was patient and they didn't even show him earlier in the night. When his music hit, the fans went crazy and he looked like a major star. Ryback deserves a ton of credit for his improvement and WWE deserves credit for his push. Ryback is majorly over and in a position where a few tweaks could lead to him making money for WWE for a long time. Even if he fizzles out, he is over in this moment.
- The closing segment of this show demonstrated well just how young WWE's roster is at this moment. Five of the eight stars in it debuted with WWE in 2010 or later. Miz and Punk are from the mid-2000's. Kane is the only very old veteran and he is being used in an act with a younger wrestler. There is a youth movement in effect and it is getting stars over at high levels.
- I don't understand why people are low on Ryback. I know he isn't the prototype that meta-fans like to see, but he is an over act that is fun to watch. Not everyone is going to be Dean Ambrose or Seth Rollins (who are benefitting immensely from Ryback). There is plenty of room for a major power wrestler and Ryback is good at what he does.
This show had hot a beginning and a hot ending. The middle portion had some ups and downs, but I was entertained for the majority of it. Raw is, more often than not, a mixed bag, but this mixed came up on the positive side. There is a lot of work being done to get younger wrestlers established, which should make the time they spent in developmental worthwhile.
I'm enjoying The Shield and Ryback story, as well as the build to Ryback vs. Punk. WWE is doing a great job with young talent. They have their flaws (especially with Cena and Ziggler), but they can also do a lot right sometimes.
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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