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Yes! Yes! Yes! The Raw Review (#YYYTRR)

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Hell in a Cell recap

Hell in a Cell seems like an inappropriate name for what I watched this Sunday. Whilst I thought it was a solid enough card with mostly decent PPV matches given the terrible build it got, the main event was simply not good enough. I’ve never seen a Hell in a Cell match so short, and the biggest moment in the actual match for me was Ryback throwing himself into the ring steps – it looked like a genuine tide-turner. The post-match was what the fans wanted to see from the actual match, and I was more surprised that they took to the top of the cell in the first place than CM Punk getting Shell Shocked on top of it. Overall the concept of this PPV was wasted, but it delivered exactly what I thought it would. I enjoyed Hell in a Cell 2012.

Monday Night Raw

There was one element of Sunday’s Hell in a Cell that could be taken into the next three weeks of WWE programming, and that is the term ‘survivor’. CM Punk survived Ryback, and according to the Raw locker room CM Punk has survived as WWE Champion for 344 days (I know WWE expects their fans to have short memories, but the actual locker room should really remember what Punk did as a babyface WWE Champion). With Survivor Series coming up, CM Punk’s weasel-like persona as of late is more easily explained than before.

Other than the ongoing CM Punk saga, Raw was the start of a few other things. John Cena is once again in relevance limbo, Sheamus began his crusade as the hungry former champion, and the 3MB seems insistent on making me laugh every week.

Tradition

It seems ironic to me that when CM Punk heads into his 364th day as WWE Champion he will be preparing for a Traditional Survivor Series Elimination match against a team designed by Mick Foley, the same man who touted the tradition inside of Hell in a Cell before Punk gave it a swift shot to what Vince McMahon would call ‘grapefruits’.

Whilst it seems the WWE Championship will not be on the line at Survivor Series (a crime in itself really), it will mark the penultimate day in CM Punk becoming the milestone one year WWE Champion I have been talking about for the last few months. It would place Punk eighth on the all-time list of WWE Championship reigns (beating Hulk Hogan’s 364 day reign come Monday Night Raw), and is a statement in today’s WWE. CM Punk’s revolution may have been redefined many times to fit the storyline at the time, but allowing Punk to hold the title for so long and keep it interesting is a sign that WWE is finally ready to pass the torch to the next generation.

I do have one reservation about the Survivor Series match that has been put in place, however. Alberto Del Rio is the man who Punk took the Championship from eleven months ago, his alignment with Punk now suggests that WWE thinks we have no memory or that Del Rio now respects Punk. Either way, this is something I plan to pay close attention to in the next three weeks.

As one last fact on this section, after Survivor Series CM Punk would only be 36 days away from equally John Cena’s biggest reign as Champion. Perhaps one final show down at TLC could cement Punk’s legacy?

John Cena has nothing to do

I was going to come up with a clever AJ/Cena pun here, but to be completely honest with you I don’t think it’s needed.

The simple fact that WWE is having Cena do something so similar to what TNA did just a few months ago with AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels (ladies and gentlemen, a rare mention of TNA talent in my blog) is a sure sign that WWE once again has nothing interesting for Cena to do. I’m not a fan of Cena’s, but even I think this is a poor way to use him outside of the WWE Championship picture.

It would have been different if there was any actual evidence for Vickie to slap on Cena and AJ, but there isn’t. WWE isn’t going to turn John Cena into the guy who sleeps with the management to get to the top, and every fan knows it. Also, who wears their merchandise to a romantic restaurant?

Hopefully it’s just WWE’s way of keeping Cena on TV until they have a real feud for him again.

“Have you ever seen a ginger snap?”

For what it’s worth, the promo Sheamus and Big Show cut on Monday night was dull. This gets a mention in my blog this week because I actually want to see them go at it at Survivor Series. I not only feel like I’m owed a Hell in a Cell match between the two (because the World Heavyweight Championship is a Cell-worthy match when your only other one is scheduled to last less than twenty minutes), but their match on Sunday was surprisingly good and caused the crowd to erupt.

I’ve never denied being a fan of Sheamus (I don’t know if it’s because we’re both ginger or Liverpool fans), but I’ve been vocal about my dislike of Big Show as a main event. I may have to eat my words if Show can make this run as WHC interesting, which it looks like he can.

And seeing Big Show take White Noise again is something I would enjoy…

In other news…

Ryback def. JTG – We all saw this squash coming, but I’m enjoying the WWE fans popping for a force of nature again. I can honestly say I’m a fan of Ryback.

Randy Orton def. Wade Barrett – Why was Barrett given the jobber entrance? He’s been impressive lately, and was too in this match. I hope this is just a slow push for Wade and not a mid-card run until WWE can think of a way to fit him into the World Heavyweight Championship picture.

WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No def. The Prime Time Players – I’m really growing to love Daniel Bryan & Kane as a tag team, but it looks like Kane is finding the monster in himself once again and looks set to unleash it on Bryan if he puts a foot wrong one too many times. I also wish Kane would stop interrupting Bryan’s entrance…

Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston def. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro via DQ – I still don’t know what to make of The Miz having his IC title run cut off so quickly, but if Kofi becomes the 2009 Kofi who feuded with Orton I’m all for it.

The 3MB (Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal) def. Team CoBro – This was a predictable outcome, but it’s good to see a new group in WWE. Besides, Drew McIntyre’s role reminds me of Tom Cruise in Rock of Ages – out of place but hilarious.

Beth Phoenix def. AJ – This happened… oh, and the much-publicised departure of the Glamazon happened.

Team Rhodes Scholars def. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara – There’s not much to say about this match other than it was a good back and forth contest. I enjoy watching Mysterio & Cara in the ring, and Rhodes is always impressive. I still can’t decide if I like Sandow’s coward gimmick though.

Alberto Del Rio def. Justin Gabriel – I’m glad Gabriel is getting his chance on Raw, but I would have much preferred him to go against Michael McGillicutty earlier in the night. I’m pushing for the Hennig name to be more heavily featured on WWE’s major shows as of now. The timing feels right.

Considering the ending to Hell in a Cell, I expected a much different Survivor Series clash for Punk. I expected a Triple Threat between himself, Ryback and Cena, but I’m glad I was wrong. The pieces are in place to make Survivor Series as much a great match as it can be a defining moment in CM Punk’s reign.

That being said, Raw was good but it could have been better. Something about the last half hour seemed rushed, and the announcement of Punk and Foley’s teams seemed lazy. The Miz was the only superstar to get a real announcement from Heyman, and Foley’s team became predictable thereafter. I did however enjoy the majority of the matches, and it leaves me wondering what Team Punk will make of the WWE Champion’s act of ditching them to take a beating meant for him.

Until next week, follow me on Twitter (@SpringerAJ) and use the hashtag #YYYTRR to share your thoughts. Thanks for reading.

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Comments

  1. Double Axehandle's Avatar
    Ryback has zero charisma and is one botch away from hurting someone badly. He's being forced down our throats without justification in Vince's attempt to quickly build a new star. I expect the Ryback train to derail and he will be a weaker, less charismatic smaller version of Batista. For most wrestlers that would be a big accomplishment.
  2. ComingToCinemas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Double Axehandle
    Ryback has zero charisma and is one botch away from hurting someone badly. He's being forced down our throats without justification in Vince's attempt to quickly build a new star. I expect the Ryback train to derail and he will be a weaker, less charismatic smaller version of Batista. For most wrestlers that would be a big accomplishment.
    You might be right, but right now I'm enjoying him as a fan. If he does end up doing something stupid and ends up as the next Botchtista my view might change lol - I could never stand Batista.
  3. LostOmega's Avatar
    I... I... I LIKE RYBACK! Okay, I said it. I mean, I'm not a die hard fan and I agree that he's being pushed too quickly, but I like the character. Once he gets into a genuine feud, I do not count this Punk feud as genuine, then I think he can shine.
  4. ComingToCinemas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by LostOmega
    I... I... I LIKE RYBACK! Okay, I said it. I mean, I'm not a die hard fan and I agree that he's being pushed too quickly, but I like the character. Once he gets into a genuine feud, I do not count this Punk feud as genuine, then I think he can shine.
    I would agree. This Punk feud is basically a way to try and get the fans to take him seriously, and I think it's working.

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