Yes! Yes! Yes! The Raw Review (#YYYTRR)
by, 11-20-2012 at 04:32 PM (3695 Views)
Survivor Series recap
I expected a dull affair heading into yet another underbuilt WWE PPV this Sunday, but with the help of three main event matches and the number 365 I can honestly say I am an extremely happy fan at the time of writing this. Not only did Big Show and Sheamus deliver in a second consecutive match on PPV (the action picked up so quickly I thought I’d fallen asleep at the opening bell for five minutes), but the Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination match (the one we knew was coming – I’ve had enough of the ‘bonus’ matches on PPV) was the best I’ve seen in around eight years.
The real icing on the cake was the main event which I thought was going to be predictable and pointless. It was a good Triple Threat match, and it had me and my cousin on the edge of our seats for the most part. Not only did Ryback go over as a monster, but CM Punk and John Cena worked as a team (a strange thing to see nowadays). On top of that, the revived NXT made an impression by helping Punk to retain the WWE Championship, and bring Punk’s title reign to the sweet number of 365 – Best in the Wooooooooorld!
Monday Night Raw
CM Punk went 365, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins finally got some air time on Raw, and for the first time that I can remember we got to see nine (count it!) matches in one show. Last night was also the first time I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed Raw throughout in at least two months.
365 and counting
I’m glad that CM Punk has made it to a full year atop the mountain for many reasons – the matches he has been a part of, the rivalries with Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho, and the fact that it gave us someone other than John Cena to look at as WWE Champion. The main reason I’m glad he made it this far, though, is that it shows that WWE is prepared to let a different type of superstar lead the product into the future.
That being said, I’m not blind. John Cena has been doing nothing worthwhile this year for the simple reason that he is there in case it all goes horribly wrong for Punk (the last two months are proof enough that a championship run can get stale if it all falls on the shoulders of one man – I’m just glad Ryback got a mega push to freshen it up again). Cena will be close by at least until WrestleMania now, but for a reason that I can at least buy into – Rock v Cena II. It might not happen, but it looks like we will not be seeing another Triple Threat at TLC and that means Punk is almost certainly making it to January as Champion to face The Rock.
In my eyes the build to WrestleMania starts now and it is because we know we will be getting one of three WWE Championship matches – Rock v Cena II, Rock v Punk, or Rock v Cena v Punk.
Maybe I’m looking too far ahead, let’s look at the present.
CM Punk is (at the time of writing) in day 366 of his title reign, and whilst he claims he will make it to July 25th 2018 (even Punk can’t keep the title interesting for that long) we all know the drop is happening sooner rather than later.
The ultimate goal of Punk’s run was originally to shake up the landscape of WWE and introduce the new, and once he turned heel it became all about the numbers. After hitting a full year the last major number he really has to hit to truly cement himself as ‘better’ than Cena (I write ‘better’ because any educated fan knows Punk is the better wrestler and performer) is 381. This would put him a day better than Cena’s longest WWE Championship run of 380 days in 2006/7, and in my eyes would make Punk more accomplished than Cena as Champion.
In order to achieve this, Punk has to hold on the title until December 5th. TLC is after this date, and Ryback seems to be preoccupied with being put through announcers’ tables – although I think he will end up facing Punk at TLC.
The only thing standing in the way of Punk reaching this milestone is Dolph Ziggler and his Money in the Bank contract, which is exclusive to the World Heavyweight Championship (unless Vickie abuses her power and finds a loophole). It seems the WWE Championship story is complete for Punk until Royal Rumble, where he looks like he will (sadly) loosen his grip to The Rock.
If this year has proven one thing, it’s that the WWE Championship (or any championship for that matter) can remain entertaining and relevant around the waist of one superstar if they have the charisma and wrestling ability to make it so.
Best in the World!
A plethora of change
Whilst Punk’s goal over the past year was to prove that WWE can survive without Cena as the top dog, last night’s Raw seems to have sparked a reaction in some of the roster’s mid-carders. The likes of Wade Barrett, R-Truth, and The Miz are just a few who have tweaked their personalities in the last two weeks.
Since his return a few months ago, the Barrett Barrage seemed like it had no real direction. This changed after the highly entertaining 5-on-5 Elimination match on Sunday. Barrett’s latest pursuit of the Intercontinental Championship is a sign that WWE is playing it right and building Wade to the main event slowly, although I would argue that he isn’t far off of that standard.
Maybe it’s just me, but Truth looked like he took a more serious turn at Survivor Series. It was confirmed for me last night when he was on commentary and simply stated that Little Jimmy was not with him. If this is the end of the Little Jimmy gimmick it is a blessing for Truth. Whilst it was entertaining at one point, it became tedious and took priority over what was once a strong push to the main event (he did face Cena in the main event once, remember?). Hopefully he can help Antonio Cesaro’s run as United States Champion gain more attention (like I think it deserves) before dethroning him.
For Orton the change in character is simple. He’s reverting back to the sadistic heel he once was, but the crowd are behind it this time. It is long overdue for Orton to make a real impact again, and at both Survivor Series and on Raw he looked almost fed up of simply picking up a win (despite the shocker of a Super Kick loss to Ziggler). He looked hell bent on destroying all of Team Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio in particular. I say give us Randy Orton circa 2008 back!
One week ago I was certain The Miz would become an instant baby face. This week I’m not so sure, and neither, it would seem, is WWE. Why else would you have Miz face David Otunga, a superstar guaranteed jeers wherever he goes but not enough to overshadow the reaction to The Awesome One? It is obvious WWE wants Miz to go face, but it will not happen instantly. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing a fully-fledged fan favourite in The Miz when his full turn happens.
In other news…
Ryback def. Tensai – With Ryback you know what you’re going to get; destruction and chants of “Feed Me More!” Fortunately, the crowd (and I) eat that stuff up so this ended up being a solid opening match.
Wade Barrett def. Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston – Two matches in and I wasn’t disappointed with the quality of either. I see some great matches from Wade and Kofi in the immediate future.
Kaitlin def. Aksana – I knew once they announced a Divas match I would switch off from it. I’m still struggling to see how they made a storyline about a blonde wig last so long…
United States Champion Antonio Cesaro def. Brodus Clay – This result was also set in stone, and the match itself wasn’t great. I am a fan of Cesaro though, and R-Truth’s commentary made it bearable.
AJ/Cena Scandal segment – I’m not sure who really cares about this storyline. The kiss between AJ and Cena was proof enough that nobody really cares, whilst Ziggler got the biggest reaction for stopping it from happening. And once again stole the moment when he and Cena brawled backstage.
Randy Orton def. Alberto Del Rio in a 2 Out Of 3 Falls match – This match really could have been a singles match and lasted the same amount of time without getting dull. I’m finally starting to take notice of ADR now that he’s working with The Viper.
The Great Khali def. Epico & Primo – I’m not sure why this match was booked or why WWE thinks we care about Hornswoggle. This was a waste of time which could have been better saved for CM Punk’s closing segment.
The Miz def. David Otunga – The good quality of matches picked up once again with this one. It also shows how far Miz has come in terms of technical ability since his 2010/early 2011 run as WWE Champion.
Sheamus def. Damien Sandow – The pre-match promo between Sheamus and Big Show helped this surprisingly intriguing rivalry become quite heated in my eyes. I’m also intrigued as to what Sandow will be doing whilst Cody Rhodes recovers from his injury.
Team Hell No vs. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara ended in a no contest – The Prime Time Players have finally made some sort of physical statement about what they want, and a three-way tag team title match would be good booking if you ask me.
Finally Raw is heading back to the standards I expect from it. After two months of mediocrity I can honestly say I enjoyed Raw from start to finish.
I don’t know if it was the hype behind CM Punk’s 365 celebration (there were no balloons in the end…) or the fact that there was an unusual amount of matches (many of which could have been PPV quality if they had been given more time), but last night I was really glad I watched Raw.
I will say one thing though – why have they recently started to over-cheese the recaps at the start of the show? It bugs me that I think of Jerry Springer when the show starts, so please remove the extra cheese WWE.
Thanks for reading, and until next time Tweet me your views (@SpringerAJ) with #YYYTRR.