Yes? Yes? Yes? The Raw Review
by, 06-25-2012 at 11:10 PM (3152 Views)
What the hell WWE!?
Since John Cena took over CM Punk’s role in the Johnny Ace feud some months ago, Raw has been getting noticeably dull. What’s more is that tonight was, to the best of my knowledge, the one-year anniversary of CM Punk’s game-changing shoot promo. I would have never imagined that one year after that promo Raw would end on an incredibly boring image of Big Show.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, I didn’t enjoy tonight’s episode of Raw. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad. I liked pretty much everything involving Punk, Daniel Bryan, Kane, and AJ (sometimes you have to give the cameramen credit – see: AJ on her hands and knees in the divas match). Other than these segments and a solid opening match, tonight’s Raw was a complete throwaway.
AJ/Punk/Bryan/Kane getting a spotlight on Monday night
Tonight was surprising in that the already time-consuming AJ love orgy got not only the opening video package for Raw, but a decent Triple Threat Elimination match and several backstage segments throughout the night.
It is common knowledge that AJ is both hot and great at acting crazy, and whilst Kane has seemingly bowed out of the WWE title picture for the next month (due to his inclusion in the WWE Championship Money in the Bank Ladder match in three weeks), it doesn’t take away from the fact that AJ has an obsession with him (I think…). He is still pivotal to the way that this storyline pans out, and it helps both the WWE Championship and Money in the Bank Ladder match simultaneously (Kane could conceivably win his match and affect the WWE Championship match – provided it actually gets a main event slot for once).
Other than AJ’s insanity and Kane’s proclamation that she is too unstable for even him, Bryan and Punk have been given yet another opportunity to steal the show on pay-per-view - and once again, I’m looking forward to it. I don’t need to support any claims that Punk and Bryan have put on the best matches of the year since we left WrestleMania, the proof is there for all to see.
My only disappointment with this storyline now is that there wasn’t too much in the way of development tonight. It looks like it is coming to an end because of Punk telling AJ he wants to talk to her after the show, and Money in the Bank could be the culmination of this feud (especially with the rumours that we’ll be getting a Cena versus Punk match at SummerSlam – again!). It looks to me like the end of this feud will be settled by who AJ chooses to align herself with at Money in the Bank, and it seems most likely to be Punk due to the leaked plans of Cena versus Punk (sometimes I really hate spoilers and the places they pop up – Facebook is the culprit this time).
Money in the Bank for Cena?
I didn’t even venture a guess at what Cena’s big announcement was tonight – I simply didn’t care. Anybody can call me a Cena hater, but the truth is I genuinely believe his gimmick is stale and needs to be changed. I respect that he can entertain (he did a good job of getting me to crack a smile tonight with his Star Wars promo), but his target demographic is children and it pigeon-holes his chance at doing anything mildly surprising.
If you ask me WWE is scared to shock their younger fans and Cena’s lack of character development in the past five years is proof of that. But anyway, onto Money in the Bank.
It turns out WWE is mixing up the purpose of the Money in the Bank Ladder match this year by having only former WWE Champions enter one of the two confirmed matches. Vickie Guerrero announced that Cena, Kane, Big Show, and the now unsuspended Chris Jericho will be the competitors in one of them, and it makes sense to me.
Whilst I like the concept of using Money in the Bank to put over younger talent, Johnny Ace’s ‘firing’ has left Cena and Show with nowhere to go except for the WWE Championship. The suspension of Jericho meant that his potential rivalry with Randy Orton had to be held up and now Jericho is in need of something to do also. With Money in the Bank coming up, the options were limited as they cannot feasibly have Cena main event this PPV without the possibility of a championship match (two championship matches and two ladder matches makes four main event-calibre matches already), and nobody wants to see Cena versus Big Show in a one-on-one situation again (No Way Out was a joke!). My point is that whilst it defeats the object of the staple match, this could be a good. It flips the concept on its head and all four superstars are believable winners.
I’m not entirely sure if they plan on adding more men to this match though.
In other news…
Big Show was fed Brodus Clay – in the absence of Ryback to destroy a couple of jobbers tonight, the Funkasaurus was offered to Show in a poor attempt at getting the WWE Universe to take Brodus seriously. Also, can the cameramen please stop cutting back and forth between the match and Clay’s groupies!? It serves no purpose.
United States Champion Santino Marella def. Jack Swagger – Since Swagger is now without the safety net of Dolph Ziggler to keep him partially relevant in WWE, it looks like he has gone back to his post-Cole days of jobbing to the likes of Santino. Whilst I like Santino and dislike Swagger, Santino should never win this match clean.
Sycho Sid def. Heath ‘Promo Killer’ Slater – The only good thing about this short match was Sid’s music.
Contract on a pole match to determine the number one contender to Sheamus’ World Heavyweight Championship ends in a no contest – Despite the Russo-like booking of this match, it was better than any other item on a pole match (mainly because it didn’t end with anybody retrieving the contract). We got a Triple Threat World Heavyweight Championship match on SmackDown from this, and I just hope Ziggler proves himself to the fans a little more before Sheamus inevitably wins the match.
AJ wins the Divas Beach Battle Royal – Predictable from the outset, but we got a nice view of AJ throughout the final moments, so I’m not gonna complain - although Vickie should have kept her unfit-for-TV derriere out of that match.
John Cena def. Chris Jericho via DQ – I was hoping for a decent match from these two, as I know they have had good chemistry in the past. Unfortunately Big Show interfered in the most boring and predictable way possible and ruined what could have been a good end to a mediocre Monday Night Raw.
This week’s Raw was mainly a negative in my eyes, but I have stayed up until 5am to blog on it so it must have had a good point or two.
Quite simply, the high point of tonight was the opening match, and anything which involved the WWE Championship match at Money in the Bank after that. Other than that, it was a sloppy effort from the writers and we got one decent match from two hours of programming.
If WWE are trying to lower expectations going into the usually successful Money in the Bank PPV, it’s working on this fan.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you read next week when I hopefully have more positive things to say.
For more of my opinions on WWE and any random thoughts I have follow me on Twitter (@SpringerAJ).