Yes? Yes? Yes? The Raw Review
by, 05-07-2012 at 11:13 PM (2819 Views)
I'm going to skip the build up for tonight's review - Raw was about 50/50 in my books. The first hour was pretty much a complete throwaway, whilst the second hour lived up to the expectations I've had of Raw since WrestleMania. Nonetheless, my WrestleMania hangover seems to be fading, but the era of 'people' power is slowly coming into fruition.
CM Punk drops a defective pipe bomb
As expected, Johnny Ace opened the show (c'mon, he attacked Cena last week and his biggest strength is talking on the mic - not exactly saying much about Johnny I know). We got exactly what we expected from him, and I could sense a Punk interruption for the majority of it. Once we got it I popped for the first time in a long time at a CM Punk entrance - the man has lost a lot of his fizz since winning the WWE Championship in my opinion. I was ultimately left disappointed at Punk's promo and I know exactly why.
It is extremely difficult for Punk to be controversial whilst also representing the company's top prize, it would be for anybody. The fact is that tonight was evidence of what I've suspected for a long time about Punk - he is no longer the guy who promised to do away with the 'spinner' championship and ignore the company policy and make the WWE Championship interesting again. Whilst he has made the WWE Title interesting again, anything controversial about CM Punk has faded into the background and he now treads a lot closer to the company line. Punk said very little tonight and it just lead to a pretty poor main event match, hence my disappointment.
One final note on Punk - I'm still a fan of his, I just think tonight was his WWE Championship run proving its negative impact on his character.
Cody Rhodes walks out on a stale storyline
The title of this section says it all really - Big Show versus Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship is over for me. Show had the title for a month and it did nothing but threaten its relevance. Big Show holding a championship does nothing to help its image, and I'm glad I didn't have to sit through another of their matches tonight. The only downside is that this feud looks to be heading into Over The Limit.
Eve making Big Show apologise for mocking Johnny Nicotine didn't really do anything to help Big Show either, so it's clear that Rhodes will walk out of Over The Limit as IC Champion whilst Big Show will walk into a meaningless storyline similar to that of Rhyno/Stephanie McMahon/Jericho of 2001 (although the example is flawed in that it was quite entertaining, Big Show cannot get my support in these situations).
Chris Jericho and Randy Orton stake their claim to the Big Gold Belt
I recently made my thoughts on the World Heavyweight Championship clear in a forum by stating that it exists merely to keep the famous Big Gold Belt in the eyes of wrestling enthusiasts. Despite it's occasional embarrassment in WCW (David Arquette anybody?), it is a part of wrestling history and some legendary superstars have worn it. The problem now is that it only seems to exist to give SmackDown superstars something to do.
My point in that previous statement is that throwing Jericho into the World Title picture is basically WWE's way of telling him that whilst his return was good for a while, they never really thought beyond his feud with CM Punk (which he lost at four consecutive PPVs before and during the duration of). I mean, whilst I quite like the idea of seeing a Fatal-4-Way match, it is plainly obvious that Orton and Jericho are being added to the mix because WWE has nothing purposeful to do with them right now.
Whilst it was cool to see Orton hit an RKO and hint at a possibly heel turn, and it provided a nice backstage segment afterwards, I hope this is a short-lived affair for the sake of Jericho remaining relevant and Orton getting back onto Raw.
The Miz hits a new low
I know I've mentioned in my last few blogs about The Miz and his landslide down the WWE pecking order, even producing an exclusive entry on the subject, but tonight seemed like it would be the final nail in Miz's career.
Fortunately it wasn't, as Miz dominated most of the match and wasn't jobbed out in a typical fashion (don't get me wrong, any loss to Brodus is a job). I knew Miz would lose since WWE is trying to build a wave of momentum for the Funkasaurus, but even Brodus looks bored of this gimmick. His dancing was a lazy effort for his low standards, and he has started to produce boring SuperCena-like finishes. If it wasn't for the music I would have been completely bored of this by now.
Whilst it is a new low for Miz, I still think there is hope.
Heyman returns, Lesnar quits
An unlikely source cost me a huge pop tonight - CM Punk and his Twitter account. As expected, due to backstage actions at Extreme Rules (this is an unsupported claim which I can only justify from here-say, so don't quote me on it), Brock Lesnar has been taken off of TV. WWE were clever enough to find a way of doing this without jeopardising any feuds by having Paul Heyman come in as his legal council and announce that Lesnar has 'quit' WWE. For a second I wasn't too sure about the legitimacy of the claims in all honesty, but I'm pretty sure this is WWE's way of keeping Lesnar off screen in preparation for a big storyline with Triple H. It also looks as if Heyman is back too, which can only be a good thing in my eyes.
Now if it wasn't for CM Punk I might have enjoyed that moment a little more...
Punk/Bryan as an afterthought?
Tonight was a poor example of how to build a PPV main event. Bryan was very nearly left off of the show, and Punk's only character development is that he apparently gets blinded by green mist to the forehead.
I know tonight was all about not mocking the boss or you'll pay for it, but would it have been such a bad idea to give Bryan some kind of promo time? The fans already know this match is an instant classic waiting to happen, so why not invest some time in developing a personal feud and turn this into a 'best of' series? I would certainly pay to see three PPVs of uninterrupted CM Punk versus Daniel Bryan matches as it is now, so what harm could making this a personal feud do?
My point is that Over The Limit is already guaranteed to be a success on the back of this match, and tonight it was practically ignored in favour of Johnny Ace throwing his weight around as hype for a match against John Cena which will undoubtedly be interfered in by Lord Tensai. I promise you WWE, give Bryan versus Punk some depth and you have a truly memorable feud on your hands.
In other news...
- Layla's return got more hype - As nice as it is to see Layla back in WWE, the only diva the fans will truly pop for is Kharma when she decides to re-emerge.
- Ziggler's burial continued - Whether he won or not is irrelevant in Dolph's situation. Some three months ago he was the number one contender for the WWE Championship, and now he is lost in the shuffle thanks to his alignment with Vickie Guerrero and Jack Swagger. The sooner Dolph turns face the better.
As you can tell from what I've written, tonight was very hit and miss for me. Whilst Johnny Ace earned himself a new nickname in Johnny Nicotine, a lot of things weren't up to the post-WrestleMania high I've been enjoying. Punk and Bryan being practically ignored has disappointed me, Jericho being thrown aimlessly into the World Heavyweight Championship picture has disappointed me, and the continuing burial of The Miz has disappointed me. I'm not gonna do my usual Yes? Yes? Yes? rating for this week as I don't think it's appropriate. Instead I'll just say that at the end of every high there is a low, and tonight was the beginning of the end for the hot crowds, solid cards, and general excitement that came with Monday Night Raw after WrestleMania XXVIII.
For more of my opinions and sarcasm on WWE, follow me on Twitter (@ComingToCinemas).