Yes! Yes! Yes! The Raw Review (#YYYTRR)
by, 05-07-2013 at 07:52 AM (3216 Views)
WWE has been known to pool its biggest rivalries together in a bid to increase interest in an upcoming pay-per-view in the past (the Attitude Era used this technique a lot), but usually it pays off in making the most major championship (usually the WWE title) the headline whilst the other rivalry takes a not-too-distant back seat.
In the case of John Cena vs. Ryback and The Shield vs. Team Hell No, however, it seems to be doing the opposite. I’ve found myself more interested in the antics of The Shield and Team Hell No in recent weeks, whilst my initial enjoyment of Ryback’s heel turn has become a lacklustre turn of events.
Also on the card for Raw this week, there was another match featuring Randy Orton which stole the show (as well as the Sandowese cover version of “Voices”), and the rivalry featuring the World Heavyweight Championship continued to be a cluster of attacks – which I view as a good thing.
The Shield’s imminent title run, and yet another Last Man Standing match for Cena
I opened this entry by stating that my interest going into Extreme Rules is more on The Shield vs. Team Hell No and not the WWE Championship (a trend that seems to have carried over from WrestleMania).
Whether the influence on this comes down to the unorthodox entrance of The Shield, my hope that Daniel Bryan might finally get another singles run at the WWE Championship, or my long-standing belief that WWE needs to look to its younger stars to main event in the near future (with Ryback facing Cena in the main event it looks like a start) is irrelevant. The fact is that, as wrestling fans, we all have our own voices and we choose to use them to support and despise who we want to.
I personally want to see The Shield vs. Team Hell No over the WWE title match because it will be less about the severity of chair shots and more about the more innovative ways to use weapons (it is Extreme Rules, and The Shield have proven in the past what they can do in these types of matches – see; TLC: Tables, Ladders, Chairs 2012).
As for my interest in Ryback vs. Cena, these last couple of weeks have seen it drop quite a lot. If you take a monster superstar who made his name winning a series of handicap matches and turn him into a heel who refuses to even the odds, it sounds like a good way to earn him heel heat. The problem occurs when you then add a whiney aesthetic to that character. In the same way that WWE butchered the potential nature of CM Punk as a heel champion, they’ve made Ryback do the very same. I’ve found it to be a boring transition from face to heel, and the rivalry only has me interested when they have The Shield’s music hit.
There’s also the factor that John Cena very rarely loses, or has interesting, Last Man Standing matches. The match is a write off as a Cena victory, which will likely see Ryback pushed down the ladder to second or third contender post-Extreme Rules.
Missing depth, but the potential for a great match
When you consider the storied history of Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger, and World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, the possibilities for this storyline are seemingly endless. WWE has other ideas heading into Extreme Rules by making it a weekly segment filled with mayhem.
The superstars’ entourages are really the key reason behind this. In the same way that the Hardy Boyz, Dudley Boyz, and Edge & Christian made their WrestleMania X-Seven TLC match more chaotic with the inclusion of Lita, Spike Dudley, and Rhyno, this Ladder match could be written in the same formula.
I quite like the idea of their match being less about the personal history of the three superstars and more about creating a new story. It doesn’t exclude the personal rivalries of Del Rio vs. Swagger or Swagger vs. Ziggler, and it adds a new dimension to it. More importantly, it gives us another couple of matches between the three as I view this as a slow build to a bigger PPV.
This match could potentially steal the show at Extreme Rules, and we might even get to see Ricardo take another amazing bump from a Ladder.
Last week I focussed more on the storylines and less on the match quality when I told you I found Raw to be forgettable, and I stand by that judgement because a great match can easily become forgettable when it doesn’t have a good story behind it, and vice versa.
This week followed a similar trend, but it does seem like WWE is trying to build slowly to their PPV matches and I’m glad they are. The build to WrestleMania was given a six-week window and WWE squandered it, leaving the only memorable storyline as Undertaker vs. CM Punk. With Extreme Rules, there is the potential for a lot of well-built storylines and the use of the PPV as a starting block for a few great PPVs.
I’m not really into the idea of WWE wasting a PPV, but if it means I get to see some decent extreme matches and it leads to a couple of incredible storylines I’d be willing to suffer this one dense show.
Thank you for reading this week’s #YYYTRR, I hope you enjoyed the read.
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