Yes! Yes! Yes! The Raw Review (#YYYTRR)
by, 12-11-2012 at 09:46 AM (4525 Views)
So thatâ€™s what an episode of Raw looks like when its central focus isnâ€™t on the, now injured, WWE Champion CM Punk.
I have to say that after last week I was expecting something a little bigger than a riot to close the final Raw heading into TLC: Tables, Ladders, Chairs. I was hoping The Shield would one-up their opponents for Sunday, but with Punk injured WWE had to shed light on more than one rivalry.
That being said, I didnâ€™t dislike this weekâ€™s Raw. I didnâ€™t particularly love it (I actually fell asleep after MizTV and watched John Cena versus Big Show just before writing this), but I think it was a good enough way to head into a TLC card.
Also, Cody Rhodes returned (with a moustache thatâ€™s more over than himself), Alicia Fox still apparently has a WWE contract (I REALLY donâ€™t see the point), and I saw hints at two Royal Rumble builds involving (the obvious) CM Punk & The Rock and (the interesting) Dolph Ziggler & Sheamus.
Ziggler & Sheamus to triumph at TLC?
With CM Punk injured, and TLC consequently up in the air in terms of what its main event will actually be, this weekâ€™s Raw became a World Heavyweight Championship-heavy affair. It started with Dolph Ziggler atop a ladder, we saw Ziggler again in a great match versus Sheamus, and John Cena & Big Show faced off for the umpteenth time in the main event. What I wanted to focus on, however, is the chemistry between Ziggler and Sheamus.
As much as last nightâ€™s Raw was influenced by a no contact clause, Sheamusâ€™ targeting of Dolph seemed to be a pre-emptive strike for a potential clash between himself and the Show Off for the World Heavyweight Championship.
I only suggest this based on the amount of time the two got on Raw this week. It seemed obvious that a Ziggler/Sheamus programme is on the cards very soon, and it would only make sense for the two to be victorious at TLC and make it more interesting than a simple back and forth that fizzles out in a month or so.
Also, WrestleMania is coming, and as much as I donâ€™t see the relevance of the World Heavyweight Championship in todayâ€™s WWE (the roster seems too thin to justify two heavyweight championships in my opinion) it should get a decent build heading into WrestleMania for once. The last two years have gotten nothing more than phoned-in Royal Rumble winner builds from Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio, where there was no personal animosity to speak of. Why not change that and give us two championship matches at WrestleMania to look forward to?
It also wouldnâ€™t hurt to put Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler on the card at WrestleMania given how good their match was last night.
Is The Shield gathering dents?
Iâ€™m actually a little disappointed at how this angle has panned out.
I was hoping they would be a dominating force that made an instant impact on WWE and its superstars, but they seem to be like every other faction in WWE history. They arenâ€™t capable of holding their own when the numbers are even.
Iâ€™m not saying itâ€™s not an interesting turn of events heading out of 2012, but it could be better. The Shield have yet to back down from anyone, but they havenâ€™t held their own when Ryback comes out to save the day and the numbers are even.
I know WWE wants to build a fairly even main event for TLC, but in my eyes The Shield should have the upper hand. They came in as a force and they should go into their first match in such a fashion. It makes the potential loss they could, now easily, suffer more of a surprise, and ultimately adds to the hype behind Ryback (letâ€™s face it, Ryback now has a pretty strong fan base and a few weeks of being one-upped wouldnâ€™t hurt that). Instead, weâ€™re being subjected to a fair battle ground between The Shield and Team Hell No & Ryback.
I just hope WWE doesnâ€™t have The Shield lose and kill their momentum completely.
In other newsâ€¦
R-Truth def. Wade Barrett; Mr. McMahon forced Vickie Guerrero to make two matches on Raw â€“ I disagree with both parts of this segment/match. Why is R-Truth picking up momentum over the Barrett Barrage? And am I the only person sick of seeing Vince and Vickie have these exchanges? Either let her run the show as a heel or take control back yourself, Vinny.
Team Rhodes Scholars def. The Prime Time Players, The Usos, and Primo & Epico to earn the right to face Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara at WWE TLC â€“ I enjoyed this match, but I was pulling for The Usos. Itâ€™s a crime that theyâ€™re yet to be crowned Tag Team Champions, and when it does happen the crowd will explode. But it is good to see Cody Rhodes back in action, even if he has forgotten that Movember is over.
Divas Champion Eve def. Alicia Fox - Does the Divas division need a jobber? The matches are always very short, and the winners are usually pretty predictable as it is. My point is, why does Alicia Fox have a WWE contract anymore?
WWE Champion CM Punk addressed his knee injury â€“ Assuring us that he will be at TLC this Sunday, Punk made it clear that his injury is very real. More interesting, though, is that heâ€™s thrown the next shot in his impending build with The Rock for Royal Rumble.
Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler via Disqualification â€“ A DQ ending was the smart option here. Even though it was the match of the night, both superstars need the momentum, and they both got the chance to leave this match strong.
Alberto Del Rio def. Zack Ryder â€“ Watching this, I couldnâ€™t believe how far ADRâ€™s star has fallen. Iâ€™ve never said Ryder couldnâ€™t wrestle, but the gimmick is in dire need of a change before he holds his own against Del Rio and doesnâ€™t make me feel sorry for the Mexican Aristocrat.
Vickie Guerrero def. AJ Lee â€“ I never understood why this match was plugged seven or eight times on Raw. It only happened on Raw because WWE knows it was an uninteresting storyline to begin with and it needed to be removed completely. At least Brad Maddox is back though, give him a contract!
U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro def. Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston â€“ Another good match, and I would have been happy with either superstar winning. I really like what WWE is doing with its midcard championships right now.
The Miz interviewed Team Rhodes Scholars on MizTV â€“ This was interesting, but mainly because The Miz makes a great cocky baby face.
John Cena def. Big Show via Disqualification; The Shield attacked â€“ This match happened purely to spark a brawl, but Iâ€™m okay with it.
Looking back on this weekâ€™s Raw, I realise that nothing truly interesting happened.
This is the lull in the WWE calendar before the build to WrestleMania happens, and it is hurt even more by there being no WWE Championship match at the last PPV of 2012. Itâ€™s a shame, but WWE seems to have the cracks covered well enough to make me buy TLC and enjoy it.
I just have to avoid watching any of the classic TLC matches beforehand.
Thanks for reading, and as always follow me on Twitter (@SpringerAJ) and tweet me with #YYYTRR.