Yes! Yes! Yes! The Raw Review (#YYYTRR)
by, 11-27-2012 at 10:01 PM (4120 Views)
You know those episodes of Raw or SmackDown when nothing truly poignant happens, but you still enjoy it? Thatâ€™s what this weekâ€™s Raw was to me. Obviously you can find the bad in a show with not much happening (such as having Alicia Fox fall victim to the rejuvenated Tamina Snuka â€“ seriously, why is Fox still employed by WWE?), but this week I expected not much to happen.
The simple reason for this is that WWE now has to slowly build a new revolution in The Shield.
â€œDoes The Shieldâ€™s argument that they arenâ€™t working for CM Punk still hold water?â€ â€“ Cole, M.
This was the quote that stood out to me this week.
Not for the sake of wanting to know if Rollins, Ambrose & Reigns are in fact working for the WWE Champion, but because it is just the start of a clever, understated build for Rawâ€™s latest recruits. With CM Punk hitting 365 days, his reign atop the WWE mountain is nearing its end (like I said in last weekâ€™s blog, once his (now 374 day) reign as champion hits 381 his proclamation of causing change* is effectively complete. the only thing which will likely elude him (sadly) is being the main event at WrestleMania (he should have been in that spot against Chris Jericho in my opinion).
I may be reading too much into the actions of the poorly named Shield (or lack thereof), but Punk wanted to inspire change and surely change comes in the form of new talent? Not only are they new talent for the WWE faithful, but they share one important similarity to Punk (and Daniel Bryan) â€“ they came from the independent circuit (to the best of my knowledge they all did, Iâ€™d have to research Reigns since I donâ€™t watch much indie wrestling â€“ correct me if Iâ€™m wrong). When Punk initially delivered his pipe bomb on the state of WWE in 2011, I read it as his way of changing the mould of the WWE superstar to involve more actual wrestling. Indie wrestlers bring a more diverse range of moves to the table, and if WWE is giving The Shield a mysterious demeanour to work with for the coming months it puts The Rockâ€™s WWE Championship match at Royal Rumble in their direct path.
Who knows, Punk may actually make it to WrestleMania as WWE Champion for a second consecutive yearâ€¦
*After watching Punkâ€™s Best in the World DVD recently, his pipe bomb promo and Money in the Bank 2011 victory are now even more influential in my eyes.
Dolph Ziggler to cash in at TLC?
For some time now Iâ€™ve been talking about how little momentum Dolph has had since winning his Money in the Bank briefcase. Since winning the briefcase he has doneâ€¦ well, not very much, with the most interesting thing being his short-lived rivalry with Chris Jericho. Now, though, it seems WWE is ready to let him shineâ€¦
His promos have improved greatly since the aforementioned feud with Jericho, and WWE has removed him from the tutelage of Vickie Guerrero. His win/loss record has looked good since his surprising victory at Survivor Series (I know itâ€™s only been ten days at the time of writing), with another victory over Randy Orton on SmackDown last week.
This is all well and good, but there are two specific factors which make me think he could cash in at TLC; the Big Show/Sheamus rivalry, and his booking against John Cena on this weekâ€™s Raw.
The Big Show/Sheamus rivalry
As much as Iâ€™m actually enjoying this feud, it will not carry on for much longer. It simply doesnâ€™t have the steam to do so. There is only one real element involved that makes it interesting, and once they batter each other with steel chairs at TLC there isnâ€™t too much that the modern day WWE can do to make it more violent. Not only that, but what better time to have Dolph cash in his briefcase than after the World Heavyweight Champion has taken a heavy amount of punishment?
Being booked to face John Cena on Raw
Iâ€™ll openly admit that I have no idea where WWE is going with the John Cena/AJ angle, but that is partially because I have no interest in the â€˜loveâ€™ story behind it. Dolph keeps me interested. It is not often that Cena is booked to compete on Raw against someone on the cusp of main event status. He has been protected by poor storylines and opponents he would predictably overcome (other than his programme with The Rock, in my opinion) throughout the last year, and, as I stated last week, is close by should Punkâ€™s title reign lose interest.
To me, Dolph looked strong in this weekâ€™s match and should have picked up the victory due to the briefcase. I understand why he didnâ€™t pick up the win though; WWE want to save his big win over Cena for TLC, where they will no doubt have a match.
Hopefully WWE is ready to let the next crop of talent shineâ€¦
In other newsâ€¦
Ryback def. Titus Oâ€™Neill and demanded a rematch with CM Punk â€“ The match itself was actually not bad, and it was nice to see Titus get something into it. Ryback vs. Punk doesnâ€™t scream out to me as a great TLC match though, but it is a month of slow build and makes sense given that The Shield are targeting Ryback.
Alberto Del Rio def. The Great Khali â€“ I donâ€™t get what WWE sees in Khali. Heâ€™s slow in the ring and has no entertainment value.
Tamina Snuka def. Alicia Fox â€“ Iâ€™m glad WWE is focussing their Divas division on something else other than the Kaitlin/Eve storyline (Iâ€™m pretty sure we wonâ€™t see much of Kaitlin for a while, thankfully).
John Cena addressed the WWE Universe â€“ What exactly could Cena have said that would have caused shock? Nothing. Where are you going with this, WWE?
Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston def. Tensai â€“ I like how Wade Barrett simply handed Kofi his title, rather than doing the classic heel move of assaulting him. For me, Barrett is a tweener right now.
Rey Mysterio def. WWE Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan â€“ I enjoyed this match, but I donâ€™t see the point in having Rey win? It doesnâ€™t build himself and Sin Cara any momentum as contenders for Team Hell Noâ€™s Tag titles.
Sheamus def. U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro via Count-Out â€“ I was surprised at just how much of a back-and-forth this match was. I also thought Cesaro being knocked into a Count-Out loss with the Brogue Kick was smart as it doesnâ€™t kill any facet of Cesaroâ€™s momentum. Big Showâ€™s struggle to break the chair was a let-down.
Damien Sandow def. Zack Ryder â€“ The highlight of this match was both Cole and King taking cheap shots at Ryderâ€™s intelligence. Itâ€™s about time he changed!
WWE Champion CM Punk def. WWE Tag Team Champion Kane â€“ Itâ€™s pretty obvious WWE fixed their poll on this one. Punk v. Bryan was a match of the year contender at every PPV they faced off, and Bryan trended worldwide earlier in the night. Other than the obvious fix, this wasnâ€™t a terrible main event.
I said that not much happened on Raw this week, but if you look closely enough you can see the seeds of change being sewn.
Hopefully once TLC passes we will have a new World Heavyweight Champion and The Shield will be a huge influence on Ryback vs. Punk. I plan to focus on these two things in the coming weeks, and it looks like Raw might take a different direction in the process.
Just please, please, please, lose the overly-cheesy VTs at the start of the show, WWE!
Until next time, comment and Tweet me (@SpringerAJ, #YYYTRR) your views. Thanks for reading!