Yes! Yes! Yes! The Raw Review (#YYYTRR)
by, 07-29-2013 at 11:46 PM (4682 Views)
Itâ€™s been a while since anybody in WWE has uttered the term â€œruthless aggressionâ€.
Mr. McMahonâ€™s mention of this term seemed to set the tone for this weekâ€™s Raw, and perhaps the remaining three weeks building to SummerSlam. The show was packed with matches which WWE had labelled as â€œmust seeâ€ via the much-plugged WWE App, and all six of them had the potential to steal the show.
Sadly, that is where the show was slightly let down. Between Rob Van Damâ€™s count out victory over Fandango and the short-lived nature of Daniel Bryan vs. Kane, the matches were not as good as they could have been. They were by no means bad matches (even Kaitlyn vs. AJ was worth watching), but it seemed like WWE were trying to tease their potential SummerSlam card in a very direct way.
I suspect the main reason for this was because the show was pre-taped this for this week, especially in the case of Bryan vs. Kane. After all, with Bryan going for 30-plus minutes for last weekâ€™s Raw he was bound to need rest so soon afterwards.
I wanted to avoid the obvious joke of â€˜is it 1998 already?â€™, but WWE hasnâ€™t given me much choice with the McMahon segments we saw this week. With that in mind, I am curious as to how WWE will play this out without replicating the Austin/McMahon feud too much.
We did get the first sign in that Vince McMahon will play no role in trying to turn Bryan corporate, and the obvious doubt in Triple Hâ€™s reaction to the idea shows his lack of interest too. It just is not enough to convince me that Stephanie will not try and get Bryan to shave his beard next week, even just for comedy effect.
I would welcome the idea just to elicit more pro-Bryan chants from the WWE Universe, but I suspect this is all preparation for a bigger storyline; John Cena vs. Mr. McMahon.
You might well think that WWE is building Cena vs. Bryan to be more than a one-off match based on the tension introduced this week, but the obvious distain of Vince toward Cena (and vice versa) in recent weeks fits in perfectly with the theory that Bryan will defeat Cena at SummerSlam only to lose the WWE Championship to Randy Orton and set up their storyline.
The tension between Cena and McMahon could easily lead to a rivalry, and even see Ryback as a corporate lackey (making him relevant enough to justify any TV time again).
Is Sandow still Money?
In the history of the Money in the Bank Ladder match, the briefcase has always been a physical part of the cash-in. Last Friday on SmackDown saw the first instance where someone lost the briefcase in a way which saw it removed from the equation without an option to regain it.
The reason I mention this is because it has made an already intriguing storyline that much more interesting.
It opens up the possibility that the inevitable match between Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes could be for more than just revenge. It could, in fact, be a singles Money in the Bank Ladder match for a brand new contract.
Admittedly, the actual match does not change all that much with the lack of the original briefcase (I see no reason why WWE would not provide another contract), but the temporary lack of a case provides both superstars the option to make their rivalry more personal; a move we saw Sandow make this week.
It is a simple way of adding depth to the rivalry, but it makes me look forward to a third match come SummerSlam.
My view may have seemed somewhat negative at the beginning of this entry, but the reality is that I did enjoy Raw as much as I have enjoyed the rest of WWEâ€™s programming over the past month or so. It just lacked the atmosphere of the typical live Raw presentation due to the episode being pre-taped.
My disappointment at the canned/edited crowd reactions to one side, tonightâ€™s episode was pre-hyped by the announcement of six â€œmust seeâ€ matches. The bulk of these matches delivered and alluded somewhat to the â€œruthless aggressionâ€ term which opened the show â€“ something which I hope to be involved in most of the angles leading to SummerSlam.
I leave you with the question, how would you like to see Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodesâ€™ rivalry progress and which match would you have them compete in at SummerSlam?
Let me know your thoughts on Twitter (@SpringerAJ) with the hashtag #YYYTRR.