Yes! Yes! Yes! The Raw Review (#YYYTRR)
by, 06-18-2013 at 10:39 AM (2391 Views)
What a weekend to be a part of WWE’s once ignored universe.
WWE showed us that they can still put on an (almost – thanks to John Cena and Ryback you can happily turn off the last thirty minutes of Payback and miss absolutely nothing) flawless PPV, and decided to ride the wave of momentum with an episode of Raw which symbolised the end of a number of decent storylines only to replace them with the prospect of even better ones.
Oh, and we got a near-carbon copy of the ending to the first Raw after WrestleMania XXVIII, which led to a surreal moment for me.
Who is the superior “Paul Heyman Guy”?
Before this week’s main event I thought over where WWE might be going with CM Punk now that he is back, and I found myself hoping he would not be thrown into a feud with Alberto Del Rio (I loved his and Dolph Ziggler’s double turn on Sunday btw, one of the shocks of the night) for the World Heavyweight Championship. I just have no idea what it would do to help either superstar.
On the other hand, WWE could have easily had Punk go on a mission to reinstate his claim as the “Best in the World” over the course of the next month, straight into Money in the Bank. This would have been an interesting way to go, and given fans such as myself a chance to see Punk perform in the ring like he did before he became a cowardly WWE Champion.
The scenario we have, however, is a much better fit and throws Punk right back into the main event picture.
I used the word ‘surreal’ to describe the showdown between Punk and Brock Lesnar because their stare down represents two very different ends of the “Heyman Guy” spectrum. Lesnar represents the “Heyman Guy” of the Ruthless Aggression era, whilst Punk is the voice of a generation of indie wrestlers and older fans who, in 2011, felt like WWE was no longer catering to them (how times have changed, eh?).
While there are obvious differences (eras and physical size), the similarities are there too. With Punk’s technical prowess being a central focus of his character, he seems very different to Lesnar and his emphasis on physical dominance. It is very easy to forget that Lesnar is an accomplished amateur wrestler who is more than capable of matching Punk in a ground-based match.
Both superstars are also “Paul Heyman Guys” due to their initial desires to be the best, and this is what this storyline is destined to be all about. I am more than excited for this rivalry, and it looks like WWE will have Punk steal the show one more time at Money in the Bank in a surprisingly technical match with Lesnar.
Who knows, the return of Rob Van Dam may even factor into this…
The World’s Strongest Challenge
I’ll be the first to admit that I bought Mark Henry’s “retirement” speech as much as everybody watching did. The only things which had me second guessing things were Cena’s presence throughout and the lack of occasion which WWE would usually give to such an event.
Regardless, it was a very unique way for Henry to state his intent to become WWE Champion, and I emitted a loud Daniel Bryan-esque “Yes!” when the “World’s Strongest Man” (I do wonder how much truth such a moniker holds after so long) planted Cena with the World’s Strongest Slam. Not only does this mean we have no chance of seeing Cena/Ryback III (the Last Man Standing match was good, but Sunday’s contest was an insult to the epic nature of Three Stages of Hell in my eyes), but we are guaranteed some form of carnage when these two face off (presumably at Money in the Bank).
It does look like Cena is being shielded from title defences which require any real technical wrestling and instead being put into gimmick matches, but I would much rather see these gimmick matches when Cena is up against the likes of Ryback and Henry. It just makes sense, and with Mark Henry’s gimmick heavily focussed on his “Hall of Pain” we could be in for a match which breaks a few weapons yet again.
It is another storyline which promises very little depth (and another which will most likely lose my interest because of this), but it could be entertaining.
We always have Daniel Bryan’s inevitable title shot to look forward to as well, promising that this will be short-lived.
I cannot remember the last time I showed so much interest in an episode of Raw for more than one reason. I will admit that I was hoping for some sort of mention of the Money in the Bank Ladder Matches, but what WWE gave us was more than acceptable.
Whether it was Mr. McMahon’s support of The Shield, CM Punk refreshing his character and being thrown into what is sure to be a huge storyline, or Daniel Bryan openly saying that he wants the WWE Championship, all bases were covered for me this week.
But like I said, the Money in the Bank PPV is all about Ladder matches and WWE should spend a large portion of next week’s Raw focussed on them. It’s all about the build, and failing to address the PPV’s signature match for two of the four weeks allocated would be a mistake.
This week I would like to know which, in the same vain as last Sunday’s PPV, Three Stages of Hell match you would pit CM Punk and Brock Lesnar in?
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