LSN's Raw Hits and Misses: Raw Hits: Ryback's promo: Probably his best in front of the live crowd to date. He seemed much more comfortable, and acted like a badass, rather then the coward he was in the weeks leading up to his match with Cena at Extreme Rules. The key here was that Ryback backed it up later when he attacked Zach Ryder and threw him into the ambulance. This was the edge he was missing in the build to Extreme Rules. I could have done without his 'Ill send Cena and all of you to the morgue', but otherwise, this was very well done. Chris Jericho and The Miz vs. Wade Barrett and Fandango: While I despise seeing Barrett lose in a dominating fashion, it was essentially a two-on-one match against two former WWE Champions. To top that off, Fandango didn't cross the line from silly to cheesy. This was decent comedy from WWE, something we don't see much of these days. I'm not sure I know where they're going with the Fandango character, but I liked this. *1/2 Sheamus vs Titus O'Neill: I expected a quick squash here, so I was surprised to see this go almost 7 minutes and Titus get in a decent amount of offense. I disagree with JBL's assessment that Titus is a future world champion, but he looked good and credible at times against Sheamus. WWE has seemingly tried O'Neill out in a variety of roles, such as on commentary, and as Pancake Patterson, and he showed he has decent charisma and can talk. Here against Sheamus, he showed he's quite capable of holding his own in a single's match. O'Neill isn't much that Sheamus gains much from this win, but it was a good match that continued his forward momentum. **1/4. The Shield vs Team Hell No and Kofi Kingston: The match of the night, and to me, the second best match of the year on Raw.(Behind Punk and Cena to face Rock at WM 29) Daniel Bryan was simply outstanding here. He sold well, delivered incredible offense, and his mannerisms and facial expressions were gold. The Shield continues to rack up impressive wins over credible opponents, gaining further momentum as a group. It's one of the best pushes I've seen for a stable in a long time. Everyone came out of this match looking good, even the three that lost. I like Kofi teaming with Kane and Bryan, and each Shield member brings something different to the table that enhances them as a unit. An awesome match I'll be sure to re-watch soon. **** Curtis Axel introduced: Paul Heyman did a wonderful job of introducing who seemingly was a lackluster wrestler into his stable. I was disappointed at first with the way he was brought out, but Heyman did a nice job of explaining his name change. I'm not sold on Joe Hennig, mainly because I think he lacks charisma and mic skills, but he has a fantastic mouthpiece in Heyman. And what a rub getting to work his first match under his new moniker then with HHH, eh? It became more about HHH then it did Hennig/Axel, but it was a nice rub nonetheless. Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger: They couldn't have set the opponent up better with the vote. Orton, Khali, or R-Truth? Please. Still, this was a good match with Swagger looking good in close to a 20 minute match. Orton feels like he's stuck in 'Sheamus' mode in 2011, when he racked up victories, but really didn't go anywhere. Still, he continues to produce quality match after quality match, and this was no different. He's certainly, win/loss wise, in a position where he should be a contender for the World Title, and that time may come soon. Bottom line, Swagger and Orton put on the second high-quality match of the night, showing that good wrestling is the cure for the things that are poor. *** No John Cena: I read that Cena wrestled the dark match, but the fact that they kept him off TV was a smart move. Yes, the show suffers a bit when your two biggest stars aren't on it(Punk and Cena), but Cena is just off the show for a week likely to sell his injuries from the LMS match, which puts Ryback over as a beast. Smart move by WWE. Overall Show: The show was dragged down at times by too many commercials and plugs for the WWE App, along with recaps. But there was quality wrestling, including an outstanding match between the Shield and Team Hell No and Kofi, and Orton vs Swagger. The comedy here was kept to a minimum, and what comedy we got was good stuff with Fandango. Axel, even with the focus being HHH, got a great rub simply being in the main event with HHH, who wrestled his first Raw match in 3 years. Ryback finally looked like a monster rather then a typical cowardly heel, and keeping Cena off TV for a week only helped that further. B- Raw Misses: Cody Rhodes vs Zach Ryder: Filler, and nothing more. Both men are perennial losers, and even if there's going to be a renewed push for Cody Rhodes, beating Zach Ryder isn't exactly a step in the right direction. Everyone beats Zach Ryder. It felt like this was more a set-up for Ryback to beat up Ryder following, but again, everyone beats up Zach Ryder. I like the beatdown and the symbolism of him putting Ryder in the Ambulance, but I just wish it had been against someone more relevant. A nothing match. *1/4. HHH vs Curtis Axel: Shouldn't this be a hit just for Axel getting a rub by main eventing against HHH? Yes, it's a nice rub, but the focus was ALL HHH. If they had done something with Axel where he did damage that put HHH out, that would be one thing, but this match was dominated mostly by HHH, and HHH wasn't even counted out! Since when does an injury keep someone from being counted out? That's a first for me. No announcement of Axel winning by countout, no count by the referee. That affirmed that the focus wasn't on Axel whatsoever, simply on HHH. A good rub putting him in the main event with HHH, but a disapointment with how he was handled. *1/2 Alberto Del Rio vs Big E Langston: I understand the desire to protect Langston, I really do. But why not do a similar finish to his match with Swagger, where he got counted out? It protects him, and it doesn't have the #1 Contender lose to the lackey of the World Champion he's facing. Del Rio isn't exactly a strong babyface as is, and having him lose to Langston after winning on a screwy finish the night before doesn't make him look good headed into his match with Ziggler. The match wasn't terrible, but the booking was. ** AJ Lee vs Layla: As much as I enjoyed Layla slapping AJ's rear as she tapped out, it's just another meaningless Diva's match. What are they waiting for to have AJ take the Diva's title off of Kaitlyn, who doesn't even carry it around with her? This was a sloppy match for the most part, which is a disappointment when you have two solid workers like AJ and Layla together. I like them establishing AJ's finishing submission move as effective, but that's the only positive here. 1/2* Commercials, recaps, and App plugs: I suppose for those just tuning into the show, having recaps catches them up. But WWE should have enough faith in it's viewers to have watched the entire show that they know what's going on. I think they recapped the Ryback promo three times, and the HHH/Heyman/Axel one twice. It's overkill. As for the commercials, they came every 5 minutes it seemed. I understand they have sponsors they need to appease, but the frequent commercial breaks were frustrating and completely disrupted the flow of the show. And the App plugs were just simply annoying and self-serving, and contributed nothing to the product, rather, it detracted from it. This was still a good show, and I enjoyed many aspects of it. There were two excellent matches, Ryback finally looks like a beast, and keeping Cena off for a week was a good move. The segment with Heyman/HHH/Axel was a good one, and even though I didn't like the way the main event was handled, it was a good rub putting Axel in there with HHH. After a pretty slow and frustrating first hour at times, the show really gained traction and became good follow-up to Extreme Rules.