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What's with all the people commenting on the Smackdown spoilers about how Daniel Bryan beating the Shield on Smackdown was the "end of their streak"? Do these people even watch the WWE product? He freaking pinned Reigns LAST NIGHT!
LSN's Smackdown Hits and Misses:
Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Randy Orton vs. The Shield:What did you think would top the list? For nine months, the Shield have gone undefeated in one-fall-to-a-finish tag matches. All of that changed last night in an ecellent main event that saw great teamwork from the bickering team of Kane, Randy Orton, and Daniel Bryan as well. Instead of being laid out on the outside, Kane laid out Reigns and Ambrose, while pushing Rollins straight into an RKO, leading to the YES! Lock being applied, and Rollins submitting.
I'll admit, as I don't read spoilers, that this caught me off guard. I didn't expect the Shield's undefeated streak to come to an end on a taped show on TV, rather, on a Raw or PPV. Still, it was an awesome moment. Hearing Lilian Garcia barely able to get her words over the crowd noise was incredible. As for the match itself, it was, as usual, the match of the night. The Shield were even more spot-on then usual with their teamwork tonight, so it was a nice almost-swerve that they lost. Id' have preferred a PPV outing for this, but still, and awesome moment, and perhaps a career-defining one for Daniel Bryan. ***1/2
Opening Segment: This was great. Daniel Bryan was his usual obnoxious self, with Kane trying to play the voice of reason....until Bryan accused him of being the weak link. Orton's entrance was timed perfectly, as he told Kane he had a problem with Kane laying him out, not from a personal standpoint, but because he needs him at 100%, with Bryan then getting mad at Orton because he doesn't need his help. Team RK-NO, as Bryan said earlier, was clever. The Shield were perfect in their brief Jumbotron promo, perhaps a bit too arrogant gloating over their opponents arguing, as it would make it easier for them to defeat them. Mentioning all the "super-teams that have been put together to beat them and failed was a small giveaway that they'd be losing later, but still, this was an excellent segment from all involved. It really hyped the main event, which was the most important thing of all.
Sheamus vs. Antonio Cesaro: They hyped the PPV match between Sheamus and Sandow slightly, but the more important thing was the quality of the match. It would be nice if Cesaro would receive better then a jobber's entrance with a predictable outcome, especially if he's being paired with Colter, who was on the WWE App while the match was gong. I was surprised by both the match length and the amount of offense Cesaro received, as he really hung with Sheamus. The European Uppercut into the double stomp was something I haven't seen from Cesaro before, and it looked good. The problem here, even though the match is a hit, is that Cesaro had no chance of winning. None. It's odd using him to enhance a feud that's going to be on the pre-show, especially if he's going to be made relevant again by being paired with Colter. Good match, however. **3/4.
CM Punk return video: This wasn't anything special, but it was a nice reminder of who Punk is and what he's about. The hype for the match between Jericho and Punk has been solid, but not great, and this continued the trend. If nothing else, it made Punk look like a superstar, because how many men would get return videos after just two months off?
Alberto Del Rio and Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big. E Langston: I was tempted to give this a miss due to the fact that this was the essentially extent of the hype for the World Title, but the match itself was pretty good. Del Rio gets momentum headed into the PPV by pinning Ziggler, and Ziggler returns where he left off...losing. Still, a solid effort by all 4 men.**1/2
Kaitlyn vs. Aksana: Obviously, the match never got started, but this is hit- worthy as it showed an aggressive, mean side of Kaitlyn we've yet to see in the past as a direct result of AJs actions on Monday. She beat the tar out of Aksana before the match, and the referee who attempted to stop her. Where has this been? It's a storyline, in the Diva's division. Kaitlyn is a horrible actor, but she did a nice job in beating down Aksana.
Overall Show: This one flew by. It hyped the matches that needed that something extra, like the Divas match, Del Rio and Ziggler(slightly), and the return video for CM Punk was nicely done. The biggest moment on the show, by far, was the six-man tag match, with Bryan making Rollins tap out for the first loss ever by the Shield in this match. It's a huge moment for Bryan, and I pray WWE capitilizes on it and gives Bryan a push worthy of the reactions he's been getting due to the incredile energy he's been bringing both to his matches and his mic work. I smell an Orton heel turn coming, as why else would WWE pair Bryan and Orton together? I suppose to cause more friction between Bryan and Kane, but I doubt it. But the big moment of the show belonged to Bryan, who ended the Shield's nine month streak of not being pinned or submitted. A nice go-home show.
The Great Khali vs, Heah Slater:Yes, this is the same Khali who main-evented back to PPV's with John Cena, won the World TItle once being drafted to Smackdown, and wrestled at Summerslam against HH for the World Title. Now, he's one on one matches with friggin Heath Slater, a comedy act, in one minute. What a waste. This didn't hype the PPV whatsoever, and as much as I hate them, give me hype over meaningless filler every day.
Curtis Axel vs Wade Barrett: I truly believe it is in the IC holder's contract to lose every non-title match in a short span of time. Worse, it was in two minutes. Axel was just added to this match, do a segment or a longer match to make his addition feel important, not this. Having a two minute match, especially when the win comes out of nowhere, does nothing for the match. Here's hoping Axel takes the title Sunday, then both he and Barrett can move on to bigger and better things.
6-17-13 RAW: BEST OF THE YEAR!!!
In my opinion, this was 2013's best RAW. Look at what we saw set up tonight.
Click for Spoiler:
What did you think of tonight's RAW?
I personally give it an A. I wasn't bored for a second tonight. Hell, I was even okay with Jericho burying 3MB!
But I could be dead wrong. WWE Universe, speak now.
Really good Raw, probably my favorite of the year. The crowd was energetic and there were a lot of fresh elements in play tonight.
Del Rio's promo was perhaps his strongest to date, his old heel promos were rinse and repeat on the smug destiny theme, then his face promos were all a mix of unfunny jokes and sucking up, tonight he was angry and aggressive and had that thing a good heel needs, conviction in his point of view.
Punk's music hits and the roof comes off, I thought we must still be in Chicago. Punk takes issue with Del Rio calling himself the best and challenges him to a match. This is where we get the first bit of friction with him and Heyman as Paul tries to prevent the match because his "clients" don't fight for free. Punk stops him and tells him to back off, then Vickie comes out and makes the match for the main event.
We get a nice surprise next as Barrett is out in the ring to get an IC title rematch with Axel, however Vickie comes out and cancels it as she has brought someone back to the WWE, out comes Christian to a great pop.
The match is decent and Christian goes over cleanly.
I'm gonna put my thoughts on the McMahon drama angle all in this paragraph as it was spread out over the night. Personally I don't care for it, I can't see where a match comes out of it and to me that is the point of wrestling angles. HHH was his usual smug self and got his shooty dig in at 3MB, Steph was a complete bitch to AJ and Kaitlyn and Vince actually came off as the most likable of the 3, it's odd stuff but at least it seems the Triple H sympathy concussion angle has been passed to Ziggler who actually had a concussion......Or did he? .
Speaking of AJ, she was great on the mic yet again and her segment with Steph was like a less heated version of the Punk/HHH segments from a couple of years ago.
Daniel Bryan vs Orton was good but obviously got unexpectedly cut short. Maybe I am being a mark but I think Bryan was injured, he looked totally dazed and Orton stepped out of character, it didn't really do anything for either guy and WWE didn't overly push anything until they got confirmation so it felt like a legit injury to me. I know Mark Madden says if it happens on TV it's a work but accidents happen.
The Cesaro/Coulter pairing got off to a lukewarm start. I just don't think the fans care about Zeb's rhetoric and now Cesaro is back to being a 80's "foreign heel" only he hates illegal immigrants instead of Americans. Other than a match with Rey I don't see much mileage in this.
Mark Henry's retirement promo..........Holy shit! that was some great stuff from the big man, I had the sneaky feeling he was gonna turn on Cena who is officially this generations Sting, but damn if he didn't put the emotion and sincerity on so convincingly that I started to buy it. The crowd popped huge when he hit Cena with the WSS and Henry stopping at the top of the ramp to deliver his "That's what I do!" line just topped it off. His backstage promo afterwards was great as well, yes Mark, I am a puppet! loved it.
Shortly after Vickie tells Vince she is booking Cena vs Henry for the WWE title at MITB.
Sheamus vs Rhodes Scholars...the only surprise here was Sheamus didn't win. Right now Sheamus and Sandow are bearly treading water and Cody is drowning.
Curtis Axel looks great as the IC champ and he's starting to get over, this can do wonders for him and the title. The DDT he put Sin Cara away with was crisp and that's 3 finishers he's used so far. Miz on commentary for the match setting up an IC title match for MITB is the ideal next opponent for Axel.
Punk making his way out to the ring when Heyman catches up with him and just wants to make sure they are cool, he tells Punk he loves him and gives him a hug, just another little piece in what they are building here.
Punk vs Del Rio was a good match and the crowd got into it as it went along even after a pretty full on show. Punk looked sharper than at Payback and was solidly the face in the match. It ends when ADR and Ricardo decide to take a count out after Punk hits the GTS on Del Rio and he falls out of the ring.
As Del Rio is leaving Dolph suddenly comes running out and dives off the stage onto him and starts raining down punches, the refs try to pull him off and he ends up chasing Del Rio out of the arena. The crowd were chanting for Ziggler and I think this cements the double turn for those that were unsure after Payback.
The camera cuts back to the ring where Punk shrugs and is announced as the winner to a big pop....Then it happens.... The Beasts music hits and out he comes! He circles Punk like a shark as Punk watches him with a mix of confusion and wariness. The crowd is crackling as they have a stare down and then Brock pics the mic up and a hush falls over the arena, then suddenly he drops the mic and strikes, in an instant Punk is on his shoulders fighting to get free but he's F-5'd and bumps hard. There is an initial excited buzz that turns to boos as Brock smirks his evil smirk and then leaves, stopping to stare back at the destroyed Punk.
The beauty here is Heyman was not involved and I think he'll act as if he had no idea Brock was there or that he was going to attack Punk thus adding more layers to the angle.
If you said this Raw didn't have as good in-ring action as the last couple I'd agree, but there was some good in ring action, however what really made it exciting was all the fresh angles it put in play and the new directions for several wrestlers has left the show feeling revitalized in my view.
Last edited by The Eighties : 06-18-2013 at 12:33 AM.
I'd have to say that, from top to bottom, last night's episode of Raw was probably my favorite one of the year. The only thing that felt like it didn't really need to be on the show was Jericho vs. Slater.
The opener did a good job of establishing Del Rio as a heel. Del Rio showed more passion & fire last night than we've seen from him in quite a while. Even though his explanations didn't exactly justify attacking Ziggler the way he did, they were logical & believable. After all, look at the reaction when Ziggler got the night after WM when Ziggler cashed in MITB. CM Punk interrupting him was something of a surprise and Punk continues to look refreshed and rested. Good work from both of them.
I wasn't wild about the handicap tag match but, frankly, it was good to see Sheamus lose clean to Team Rhodes Scholars. I gave it about 2 stars.
Christian returning was also a nice surprise and while it's a shame to see Wade Barrett jobbed out left and right, Christian looked great and his win over Barrett probably puts him right smack in the middle of the IC title scene along with Barrett himself & Miz.
The backstage segments with Punk & Heyman set things up nicely for an eventual turn for Punk and separation from Heyman. Daniel Bryan backstage with Kane wasn't anything particularly special, but the fact that Bryan mentioned that he "needed to win the WWE Championship" is a good sign that he will be in the title scene at some point.
Orton vs. Bryan in a no DQ match was very good and it told a great story of Bryan being the sympathetic babyface whose also a scrappy underdog. Orton & Bryan worked well together and while I was initially a little disappointed that they stopped the match for "medical reasons", as I said, it told a great story and further establishes Bryan as someone to watch. Again, Orton didn't go full blown heel here and I like that we're being kept waiting. Whenever they're together, I keep on the edge of my seat waiting for the big turn. I thought it was a fun 3.25 star match with really nice work from both men. Later in the night, Cole would say that Bryan, kayfabe, got right in Triple H's face over the choice to stop the match.
The segment with Stephanie and AJ was really well done, in my opinion. AJ is consistently entertaining on the mic, in my opinion, and does a great job of telling a story with her facial expressions and body language better than almost anyone in wrestling right now. Stephanie was an all out, mean ass bitch in this segment. I did like that AJ kinda pointed out the hypocrisy in Stephanie by mentioning her marrying a superstar and Steph's reaction suggests that she's probably going heel, especially her threat to Kaitlyn and the other Divas when they came out on stage. Damn...a strong Diva match one night and a promo segment the next that actually seems to have a good story. Gotta admit that I'm a little shocked.
Ambrose vs. Kane barely got started before it was interrupted, but I expected that to go down. No big loss as, frankly, they're just not all that good together.
It's official now that Antonio Cesaro has joined Zeb Coulter and Jack Swagger. Right now, I'm not sure where this is going because it feels so strange.
The promo segment featuring Cena was solid and it was nice to see Cena wasn't out there joking around or trying to be cute. He did shamelessly pander to the fans for a bit, but that's babyface 101. Mark Henry's segment was flat out awesome, anyone that says otherwise is a damn fool. I didn't really know what to expect from Henry when it was announced he might be "retiring". When he did come out, I expected someone to maybe come out and goad him into not "retiring" or something, but Henry truly suckered me in when I saw tears streaming down his face and heard that hitch in his voice. Everyone in that building was suckered in as well and, it might honestly be the best bit of acting I've ever seen out of a wrestler. Henry mentioning his family, coupled with all the display of emotions he was putting was just perfect. I marked out when Henry, at the last possible instant, turned the hug from Cena into a World's Strongest Slam. The live crowd bought into it and Cena spending almost all the time out on the apron, looking as though he was getting choked up listening to Henry, only added to the realism of the moment. Handing Henry the WWE Championship only furthered that. It would be revealed later that Henry will face Cena at MITB. While initial reports said it'd be Bryan, Henry deserves a shot after that performance. It just means there'll be more time for WWE to build up Daniel Bryan.
As I said earlier, Jericho vs. Slater seemed unnecessary and I'm not sure why it happened other than for a reason to get Jericho on camera.
Axel vs. Sin Cara wasn't much to talk about, but it got Axel on television as the new IC champ and he got some pretty good heat. Miz being out there on commentary does mean that he's still in the IC title hunt and I like that he spent his time out there putting over Axel, for the most part, rather than trying to bury him as someone he doesn't think is deserving or anything like that.
Punk vs. Del Rio was a strong, 3.25 effort that had both guys looking good. Punk looks to have slimmed down a little bit since his hiatus, or he at least seems to be a little more defined muscularly. He also did a great job of selling his arm Del Rio worked on during the match. The count out ending was fine as neither of them needed a significant loss. Ziggler came out of nowhere to attack Del Rio and the crowd really popped for it. Ziggler was going at Del Rio like a rabid weasel with a hard on and if the crowd reaction is any indication, WWE will have no problem with a Ziggler face turn.
Punk standing in the room shrugging as he was announced the winner was interrupted by Lesnar's music. Again, this was a surprise and I marked out a bit. Lesnar came down to the ring and circled around it like you might see a predator circle its prey before ultimately climbing inside. I thought Lesnar was going to say something, so did everyone I think. However, he really quickly hoisted Punk up on his shoulders and delivered an F5 so quickly that nobody really would've had time to squirm out of it. Punk sold the move like he'd just run down by a tank. Just an awesome ending for an awesome show.
Overall, the in-ring action of last night's show wasn't as hot as we've seen on Raw as of late, but there were some very fresh angles that came about last night. There were some fantastic promos, with Henry's stealing the show, and a couple of nice surprises. Bryan vs. Orton and Punk vs. Del Rio were both strong matches, the McMahon drama isn't eating up a ton of time nor are they making it the center of attention. Last night's show was an A+ in my opinion.
"What Do I Know Of Cultured Ways, The Gilt, The Craft And The Lie?
I, Who Was Born In A Naked Land And Bred In The Open Sky.
The Subtle Tongue, The Sophist Guile, They Fail When The Broadswords Sing.
Rush In And Die Dogs - I Was A Man Before I Was King."
Conan Of Cimmeria
Nice to see Del Rio get some real heat from the crowd during his first promo as a heel WHC. Del Rio wearing another fancy suit put him back on the level of the rich and snobbish aristocrat, showing everyone else he's above the average man. And using Ziggler's MITB cash-in as motivation for the heel turn made perfect sense. I also thought Ricardo repeating his long-winded announcement of Del Rio's name was a nice touch. Ricardo wasn't playing to the crowd. Instead, he was being obnoxious to the point, where you wished he would just shut the fuck up. HOPEFULLY, Del Rio will be able maintain his new found momentum this time.
The signs of Punk's face turn could be seen during the promo with Del Rio, with Punk slamming Del Rio for taking advantage of Ziggler's concussion at Payback. The strong positive reaction from the crowd helped, and Punk did a good job of being visibly annoyed by Heyman's interruptions.
Brock Lesnar returns to F5 CM Punk
I lost it when Lesnar's music hit. I guess I was just excited to see him in the ring with someone besides Triple H for the first time in months. WWE pulling the trigger on Punk/Lesnar quick was a surprise, because I thought they would draw it out longer. It'll be interesting to see Lesnar's motivations for the F5 on Punk in the coming weeks. Was Lesnar offended by Punk mentioning his name with Punk saying "he's not Brock Lesnar" and unlike Lesnar, he doesn't need Heyman's help? Or did Heyman send Lesnar to the ring to attack Punk, because Heyman was pissed about Punk pushing him to the side. Either way, you just know Heyman will act like a weasel until the timing is right, so he can hide behind Lesnar, as he does his dirty work for him. I still have some doubts about the size difference between Lesnar and Punk, but I'm looking forward to the promos between Heyman and Punk, because you know Heyman will do all the talking for Lesnar.
Good surprise, and solid comeback match for Christian. I don't expect Ziggler to win back the WHC anytime soon, so Christian could be a chaser in the WHC picture, and a challenger for Del Rio as the seasoned veteran.
Mark Henry's retirement speech
Wonderful acting job from Henry. Henry had the entire crowd eating out of the palm of his hands, and he had me going word for word. The tears, the mentioning of his family, and career accolades. The cryptic tweets fooled me, Henry is coming to the end of the line, so it's believable he would retire, when you consider his age, and all the injuries he's racked up over the years. In a lot of ways, this segment reminded me of Edge's retirement speech on Raw a few years ago. It seemingly came out of nowhere, caught you off guard, and you thought it might be work. I have no shame in saying Henry had me fooled 100% until the World's Strongest Slam hit.
Ziggler's post-match attack on Dolph Ziggler
Dolph's face turn is coming full circle quickly. The live crowd erupted, when Ziggler came out to attack Del Rio. And Ricardo trying to pull Ziggler off of Del Rio brought a few chuckles out of me.
CM Punk VS Alberto Del Rio
Good follow up for Punk after his match with Jericho, and Punk continues to look sharp in the ring upon his return. And Del Rio was able to draw more heat out of the crowd by taking breaks during the match, and ultimately walking away from Punk for the count out.
The so-so, thumbs in the middle stuff
Randy Orton VS Daniel Byran
Sudden ending, and I was expecting more from this, but it looks like Bryan was legit hurt. Orton's sportsmanship at the end came off as a sign of Orton breaking character to me, so maybe these two will go at it again in the future somewhere down the line.
The McMahons and Triple H backstage segments
The power struggle storyline between the three headed monster of Vince, Triple H, and Stephanie is still in its early stages, so I won't be to quick to judge right now. Throughout the night, Vince and Triple H tortured Vickie for The Shield's actions, and Christian's return. Stephanie involving herself by putting her arm around, and subliminally telling Vickie who the real boss is caught me off guard, and in the end, you have to wonder if Stephanie will side with her father or husband, because you just know this is going to come down to a one on one feud between Vince and Triple H.
Antonio Cesaro & Zeb Coulter
Glad to see WWE isn't giving up on Cesaro by attaching with a heat magnet like Coulter. Still early, but Cesaro could use the boost, because he's been wading in and out of relevancy since he lost the US Championship.
Sin Cara VS Curtis Axel
I know it's a nitpicky complaint, but Cara's lighting during his matches annoys the shit out of me. Uninteresting squash match, and instant channel changer for me.
Stephanie McMahon/AJ confrontation
Stephanie's presence took too much attention away form Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn should've been the first one to confront AJ, not Stephanie. Yeah, I get Stephanie is an ideal choice for the strong female, especially after AJ bragged about no woman in the back being able to measure up to or challenge her. And Stephanie scolding Kaitlyn for interrupting her was so unnecessary. Yeah, select Divas coming out the back to stand by Kaitlyn's side for unity was something different, but the whole message of female unity against other catty women tearing into and stabbing each other in the back was undermined by Stephanie's overbearing presence.
Sheamus VS Rhode Scholars
Enough already. It's to the point where this feud isn't doing anything for Sheamus, Sandow, or Cody Rhodes.
Slater VS Jericho and Kane VS Ambrose didn't bother me at all. I could've done without either match, but I didn't pay too much attention to both matches.
Another excellent Raw, great mix of good in-ring action and some quality promos.
I thought Bryan's promo that opened the show was good, especially the Hobbit line, and the crowd responded well. I think the self effacing humour was a smart move to steer away from the whinier "weak link" stuff. Orton then kept his short and sweet and they went at it with the match getting thrown out. At first it seemed like they would end up wrestling at MITB but then there was a good little backstage segment between Brickie and Bryan where she agrees to Bryan vs Orton happening later in the night.
Not sure about the McMahon's angle on this show, Vince seemingly disparaging Bryan, Triple H going the opposite direction, Steph announcing the Raw MITB participants, I guess these will be little seeds that have pay-offs.
The first full in-ring action of the night was a decent tag match but did anyone think Rhodes Scholars were going to beat Sheamus and Christian? The miscommunication between Rhodes and Sandow makes me wonder if a face turn (Cody) and feud may be on the cards.
AJ delivered on the mic again and I couldn't help but laugh at the muscle suit she wore to mock Kaitlyn, AJ and Big E play off each other really well. Hopefully WWE can get a female face over to maximize how good AJ is as a heel.
Jericho vs Del Rio was a very good match, great back and forth and the fact Ricardo got Bertie DQ'd before he could tap just drove home the heel turn as Ricardo was actually over as a face. The run-in by Dolph was expected and I'm glad he gave Y2J a receipt for the Codebreaker on SD. I honestly thought they were setting a WHC triple threat up for MITB but apparently not as a backstage segment later on between Y2J and Ryback set up a singles match between the 2 for MITB.
Speaking of Ryback, the last match you really want when coming back off a big loss is one with Khali, this was about as good as you'd expect with the muscly comic book monster selling well for Khali's limited offense. Things were salvaged a bit with the finish, that was some display of power by Ryback as Khali is a heavy and cumbersome guy to walk about with on your shoulders.
I thought Cena's promo on last weeks events with Mark Henry was fantastic. I loved how he emphasized the importance of the WWE title, citing the limited amount of guys have held it and putting over how it will drive a man to do anything to possess it. I also thought it was good the way he called out Henry on making a mockery of the real retirement speeches and tarnishing any future ones with his charade, yet bringing it back around to the notion that the WWE title will drive a man to go to any lengths. It really was a smart and well structured promo.
Henry's rebuttal later on was also great despite the ignorant "What!?" chants. I liked how he made no excuses, he's the bad guy and he wants you to know it, he's not only a monster but he's a smart, well dressed and highly confident monster whose actions are calculated. I especially liked the puppets part with the little hand gesture. He stayed the course and got his promo over strong despite the annoying chant.
I'm not sure the exact point at which the Usos won the #1 contenders match for the tag titles but I could have sworn they won a #1 contenders match the other week. At any rate it was a solid enough match and the stare-down with The Shield was simple but effective. I like The Usos and I think they'll be a good fit against Rollins & Reigns.
The Punk and Heyman promo was pure gold, they played it risky by having Punk not make the simple face choices but fortunately he is over enough to ride it and this gives the angle more depth. I liked Punk going through the actual real history between him and Heyman and also addressing the size difference with Brock while showing no fear.
Heyman.....if you can ever use the word beautiful in the same sentence as him it's this promo. The way he flipped Punk's history lesson on him to ask Punk to trust he had nothing to do with Brock's attack and offering up a perfectly rational reason as to why it happened, along with asking him not to drop him just because the fans want him to was masterful, and while the initial reaction to Punk staying loyal was not positive I think it will make the pay-off all the more satisfying down the line.
Punk vs Darren Young was a bit flat, personally I'd have given Titus the chance to work with Punk. Punk got the crowd going by the end but Titus was so sloppy on the run-in before Axel came out for the save much to Punk's chagrin. Heyman then compounded this by telling Punk that he'd gotten him and Axel a match with the PTP next week. Logically what Heyman said was right about Axel helping, but the side eye he shot Punk after their locker-room argument just lets you know he's up to something devious.
The Bryan vs Orton Street Fight main event was right up there with the HBK vs Edge street fight from 2005. Absolutely brilliant match with both guys giving it everything and a red hot crowd. The match was intense and physical and I loved the way they incorporated their signature stuff in fresh ways that took advantage of the stip. The finish using the kendo stick to apply more pressure to the No-Lock was great and you don't get many bigger wins than making Randy Orton tap out in the middle of the ring.
I liked the post-match handshake as it kind of fit with the mini feud, but I wonder if tapping out will be used to turn Orton heel as it affects his psyche, just something about his facials as he walked from the ring made me wonder.
The show going off air with Bryan and the crowd chanting Yes! was a great sight.
I honestly can't remember the last time I enjoyed back to back Raw's as much as I did these last two. I think the fact that both weeks, feuds that didn't feature Cena actually closed the show is a positive thing. I like Cena so don't take it the wrong way, his segments on both shows were good, but adding more variety to the main event scene and elevating a number of guys to create a main event pool will only benefit the show long term.
Also there are a number of hot angles right now with a number of guys at the top and in the mid-card with good, focused directions that makes it easy to get engaged, hell even the Divas are getting better booking!
Last edited by The Eighties : 06-25-2013 at 06:57 AM.
Good promo from Bryan to open the show. He's the most over guy in the business right now. I enjoyed the interaction with Orton. It should be all about the physicality with these two. They are both great in the ring and can tell a good story. 4/5
Not the best tag team match but not the worst either. With Sheamus you always know he'll win, and adding Christian just sealed it. There's was no way Rhodes Scholars would be victorius here. Sheamus continues to bury everyone. The guy can't lose, for some reason. It's a shame Cody has become a joke. He's solid in the ring and can put on fantastic matches. Rhodes vs. Christian at No Way Out last year was a match of the year candidate. Also saddens me to se someone like Sandow, who's good in the ring, amazing on the mic and can actually get himself over, be handfed to Sheamus. WWE needs main event talent, and Sandow should be a main eventer. Sheamus doesn't connect with anyone, he's stale, has never had a good feud since turning face and quite frankly has become an Irish version of Cena. Decent match, predictable ending. 2/5
No one cares about Kaitlyn and Aksana but AJ cut a great old school promo. You don't see these kind of storylines that often anymore and I'm liking it. This is shaping up to be a good divas feud. AJ is one of the best heels atm, male or female.
Jericho vs. Del Rio was great. I enjoyed the match from start to finish. Del Rio's character is terrible but he's amazing in the ring. I've never seen a bad match with Del Rio, add Jericho and you'll get some great stuff. They are two of the best in-ring performers in the company. The finish was predictable but I'm liking this new Dolph Ziggler. He's a face now but should NOT be booked like every other face. He's a showoff and should stand alone. The minute they turn him into a typical babyface is the minute they ruin a great character and simply amazing wrestler. I see great things for DZ in the future. Great match, predictable but good ending. 4/5
Ryback vs. Khali. Yeah, says it all. Why is Khali still employed? 1/5
Another typical Cena-overcoming-all-odds-promo. We've seen it a thousand times. This guy is the most boring thing going on right now. How can repeat the same shit for 8 years? Jesus christ, retire already. 1/5
Mark Henry cut a solid promo. He's great on the mic and original. He's a monster and makes sure everybody knows it. But why no interaction between the champ and the challenger? Never did understand the whole two seperate promos business they do sometimes. Henry and Cena need to interact, especially after last week. We all know Cena will win at MITB, so book Henry as the dominant guy leading up to this match. 3/5
Usos are number one contenders...again? They're a decent team but for the Shield to go from facing legit main eventers to the Usos...really? It's a huge step down for them and I was afraid this was going to happen when they won the titles back at ER. Shield is one of the best things going right now. Also we should've seen some interaction with them and Triple H. Did everyone forget about last week? 2/5
CM Punk and Paul Heyman = gold, as we all knew. Nothing more to say here, they told a great story. 5/5
Punk vs. Young was "meh". I understand he needed to face someone in a tag team but PTP have been booked terribly this last year and we have no reason to care for them at all, which is sad since they have a lot of potential. Axel getting involved was great. We need a Punk vs. Axel match sooner rather than later. 3/5
Bryan vs. Orton was solid. Good finish to a mediocre Raw. Bryan is the best wrestler in the business. Keep his momentum going and don't feed him to Cena. I can only pray. 4/5.
Overall rating: 2,5/5
I really enjoyed this weeks SD, Sheamus vs Sandow was a great opener and even though he lost I actually think the nature of the match gave Sandow a boost.
Kane vs Orton was good but kind of overshadowed by all of the focus on Bryan at ringside, the finish did make me concerned that they are edging towards a Bryan heel turn though.
Kaityln's attempt to reverse the AJ segment from Raw came off really weak despite AJ selling it like it was the biggest insult she'd ever received.
I still can't buy Miz as a face but I like the simple build of this IC title feud between him and Axel, there was something very reminiscent of an old Prime Time Wrestling segment about the Miz TV showdown between the two.
The Shield vs Christian & The Usos was flat out fun and I think the right team won just like when Bryan tapped Rollins out for their first defeat, they have had 8 months undefeated and Bryan got great momentum off the win. Christian is just back and the Usos are now getting some spotlight and this win gave all three momentum, Christian pinning Ambrose I suspect will lead to the 2 wrestling for the US title at Summerslam.
The loss didn't hurt The Shield, it gave a rub to 3 faces who needed it, and that speaks to how well The Shield have been booked.
The final segment was one we've seen many times before, the celebration reworking of the classic Flair/Steamboat segment from 89 that Dusty booked. It's tried and tested I guess and built solid momentum for Dolph's face push.
Another quality Raw in my view, I'm liking the investment of the booking in multiple angles, there's practically no wasted segments at the moment, everything has some purpose. I am particularly liking the way they are weaving little conflicts within the two MITB matches.
I'm not a fan of Champion vs Champion matches just randomly happening, to me they should be something special with a strong build up to a PPV showdown. Having said that I thought the way they promoted Cena vs Del Rio all night with the videos of legendary holders of both titles was brilliant and managed to give the match a bigger feel.
The McMahon angle continues to be weird, Vince's dislike of Bryan and Steph's dislike of AJ are at least interesting sub plots, but all 3 power brokers come off as heels and it's turning poor Vickie face in my eyes!
I thought the opening promo segment was strong, Bryan was mega over and it was perhaps the most comfortable I've seen him on the mic. I also thought Orton was good and to me really seems refocused. Punk got another big reaction and interestingly he was the only guy Bryan didn't have the crowd support against. Overall a good segment that promoted the Raw MITB well.
Ziggler's run out against 3MB was low key but his post match stuff reminded me of a young HBK.
AJ's promo on Kaitlyn was solid but this feud is ready to come out of the oven, it doesn't really need anything else before being served at the PPV.
Jericho was entertaining on commentary for the Ryback vs Miz match which was ok, however I'm at a loss in understanding the new direction for Ryback, I mean a 300lb monster booked as a whiny pussy heel?
Sheamus vs Fandango, The Shield vs The Usos & Christian, Kane vs Orton w/ Bryan as the ref and Cesaro vs Cody were all solid matches that served as good build up for their respective MITB matches, the latter perhaps teasing a potential Rhodes and Sandow split and feud.
Punk and Axel vs the PTP was a pretty decent tag match that continued to mine the distrust enveloping the Punk and Heyman friendship, while also serving as a good outlet to showcase Axel. The crowd were into it as well which is good for the 3 guys not called CM Punk.
Mark Henry cut another stellar promo despite getting the dreaded "What!?" chant, his mic work is some of the best in the business right now and combined with the video package shown earlier in the program he feels like a legit threat to Cena.
Cena vs Del Rio was a good main event, I thought the submission counter sequence they did was especially neat. The finish with Ziggler and Henry involved worked just fine and overall I thought Del Rio and the WHC came out of it elevated despite the loss. Henry playing the monster bully and Cena showing wary caution post-match was simple but effective.
The fact the show went off air with yet another promo for the Wyatt's debut next week suggests something big is planned, they wont just come out in segment two and have a squash match with 3MB.
Last edited by The Eighties : 07-02-2013 at 12:15 AM.
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