Yes Yes Yes? The Raw Review
by, 04-24-2012 at 12:32 AM (4195 Views)
Before I get this review started, I want to address something which has been a pretty big deal since WrestleMania - crowd reactions. At the end of the day the crowd in Miami really set the bar high for every crowd who has the pleasure of seeing WWE live. This leads me into the content of my blog entry this week - Detroit really let the recent string of great crowds down, and it had a significant impact on how much of Raw I really cared about.
So, let's get the latest edition of Yes Yes Yes? started shall we?
Lesnar/Cena contract signing, Edge.
I actually thought it would be a good idea to kick off Raw with the contract signing for the simple reason that I still think this rivalry ranks behind CM Punk versus Chris Jericho. I wanted to see something in the main event which put some more light onto the WWE Championship, and it would have been nice to get the whole Cena being scared of Lesnar thing out of the way early - we all know what will happen at Extreme Rules; Cena gets dominated, comes back, gets unlikely victory.
In retrospect I'm actually quite glad they scheduled this the way they did. It played out in a similar way to Stone Cold Steve Austin returning to help Team WWF during the Invasion angle (people don't give that angle a lot of credit, but as an 11-year-old watching that develop it was incredible), and gave the crowd something to follow rather than giving us just one predictable contract signing segment. It was also pretty cool to see Edge come back and give Cena some tough love - it was a surprise and a good one at that.
Punk gets one over on Jericho
Before I get to what the title of this section references, I just want to give kudos to Chris Jericho and Kofi Kingston for the opening match on tonight's show. It was a good match, and well up there with the CM Punk/Mark Henry match from last week. Raw has given us some quality matches since WrestleMania.
Again, creative gave us a few developments over the night rather than the weeks with this one. The subtlety of Punk keeping the bottle of Jack Daniels which Jericho had 'gifted' to him was enough to almost get me believing that Punk was drunk (kayfabe of course) upon taking his sobriety test. The man can act, that's for sure. I'm not sure there was much in the way of levelling the playing field on Punk's part here, but it was nice to see Punk in a jovial mood for once - his sarcasm and sense of humour have become an icon of Raw for me. Also, I think this feud needed a shot (sorry, couldn't resist) of comedy in order to avoid becoming too over-the-top heading into Extreme Rules. After all, this could go on to SummerSlam if they play it out right. Good segment and made for alluring television.
Kane and Orton, a family affair?
Whilst I have been insistent in my general disinterest in the Kane versus Randy Orton rivalry over the last two months, tonight was actually worth taking notice of. Kane's lost credibility is being restored by this feud in that he left his 'father', Paul Bearer, to suffer in what looked like a freezer for much of the three hour show before letting him out so he could inflict the same pain on him.
The fact is that this feud was boring before 'Mania, and the inclusion of family seems more like a desperate ploy to spice things up rather than an actual development. I still have zero interest in this rivalry, but it's nice to see Kane becoming the monster he once was again.
Nikki Bella wins Divas Championship, Beth injured?
I don't have too much to say about this match, except that I don't believe for a second that Phoenix was supposed to/should have dropped the Divas Championship. It looked like an emergency ending due to what looked like it could be a very real injury, and putting the title on either of the Bellas is a waste of time. What do they do that gives themselves or WWE any credibility? and since when did they turn face?
Bryan screws Sheamus, Yes! Yes! Yes!
Since day one there has been no denying Daniel Bryan's technical abilities, but it's fair to say nobody saw the potential to be a top-class heel. Even though Bryan's only role tonight was as a referee in the Sheamus/Henry match, he stole the entire segment - other than the Brogue Kick to Henry, that looked awesome. The man knows how to be a douchebag heel, and for that reason alone the fans chant Yes! Yes! Yes! Tonight was a great move in a feud which should have been escalated to these heights well before 'Mania, and I hope Bryan gets the 'W' at Extreme Rules.
In other news...
- Tensai crushes R-Truth - At what point did Truth become just another jobber? Zack Ryder is available to fill that role, or any of the NXT rookies. Still, at least he got to appear on Raw, unlike the out of favour Miz.
- Rhodes/ADR lose to Show/Khali - Could somebody please explain to me why Big Show has been teamed up with the walking botch Khali? He just made himself credible at WrestleMania and now WWE seems to have dropped the ball with him. I still think he needs to drop the title back to Rhodes though.
- Primo/Epico defeated by Santino/Ryder - As good a match as this was, I hope Santino isn't made to suffer with these joke partners for too much longer. First he teams with Brodus and now Ryder? It seems like creative has run out of ideas for the man who got the most surprising push of the last year. I liked the way he rolled out of a dropkick into the Cobra though; it looked great.
- Brodus/Swoggle defeat Swagger/Ziggler - I get that Brodus is a gimmick which will always be comedic, but why take away from an impressive run of dominance by having Hornswoggle team with him? That leprechaun always manages to annoy me. And why is Ziggler jobbing to Brodus? He should be in the title picture.
To me this week's Raw lacked something, I'm just not sure what. It felt different and more serious for the most part, and I liked that. It was almost a throwback to 2003, and solid support for my theory that WWE is in the midst of change for 2012. I give this week's Raw a Yes! Yes! Yes! for the storyline progression over the night in Jericho/Punk and Lesnar/Cena.
Thanks for reading.
For more of my opinions and sarcasms on all that is WWE, follow me on Twitter (@ComingToCinemas).