The earlier versions of this review contained a high concentration of the phrase, “What the fuck?”. I decided that I needed a day to let my thoughts clear. Even a day later, I still hold the same sentiment towards this post-Rumble Raw. That 9 PM hour was on par with some of the crap WCW Thunder used to churn out. This week should have been dubbed “The Shit Factory” because that seems to be all that creative could produce.
It wasn’t an all bad RAW. There were some really good moments. That actually made things worse because you’d get crushed, then your hopes would go up, and finally they would get crushed again. I feel that people cheered for Brock Lesnar giving Vince an F5 because they had to sit through three hours of that sludge. Make me watch Tensai in lingerie … take that old man!
Things started on the right track. CM Punk and Paul Heyman did a good job of putting their spin on the events of the night before. He got screwed by Vince, and he sold it. Again Punk delivers another great promo and Vince does the smart thing by doing a short response with a tease for later. This was a really strong opening segment that hooked fans in for later, recapped the events of the night before, and put more steam into Punk & Rock’s feud.
The match between Orton and Cesaro was fun. These two work really well together and Miz as the guest ref helped give Cesaro a purpose in this match aside from putting Randy Orton over. For the most part Miz didn’t try to do too much, which happens with guest refs. Or regular refs on the indy circuit (I.E. Any ref that thinks doing moonsaults during a match is cool). The finish was clunky but it all worked. Orton got to get the win and Miz got his revenge from the night before. The after match finisher might have been too much as Miz is the good guy here. I guess the lines are blurred with him.
Ryback and The Prime Time Players had a joke off. The WWE wasted a promising tag team with this segment. Ryback didn’t need to be here. This was the first big waste of the night. Ryback is a monster and shouldn’t be in stupid SNL skit type segments. He’s Scott Norton, not Buff Bagwell.
I enjoy the story starting between Wade Barrett and Bo Dallas. Bo takes a beating but the cocky Barrett gets caught for the pin. I don’t know about Dallas using the belly-to-belly for the finish, a school boy or small package would have been better than a finisher. It’s nitpicky.
Now here is where the show begins to go off the rails.
Cody Rhodes is part of a tag team. He challenged for the tag titles the night before. He even got a great reaction during the Rumble, especially when his brother entered. This means people kind of care about him. That means his character has something the WWE should be capitalizing on. John Cena just wiped the floor with him. There is a ton of jobbers on this roster. Cody Rhodes shouldn’t be one of them. I guess his tag team with Sandow is done. Poor Cody … that mustache deserves more respect.
Then Cena cuts another promo where he gets lost in the middle. Oh and he gives away a segment for later. He talks about the challenge of facing either CM Punk or The Rock, depending on which is champ. So he knew that an hour later Punk was going to challenge Rock to a singles match at the elimination chamber PPV? Great way to spoil the surprise. There should be people watching these details. I’m guessing the Shield attacked him because the injustice was that Cena couldn’t remember not to talk about the 10 PM hour to begin the 9 PM hour. I like the idea of the chamber being a slimmed downed version of War Games between two 3-man teams. See there is something positive.
Until after 10 PM, Monday Night RAW was unwatchable. Tensai (Matt Bloom) is a helluva worker. The segment with him in lingerie and then dancing with Brodus Clay was on par with Mae Young giving birth to hand or HHH dry humping a mannequin. Tensai did the only thing he could and showed his ass.
There are some times when something is so out there and crazy that the only way to make it entertaining is to stretch it beyond its silliness. That is what Tensai did. Kudos to him on owning that shit sandwich of a segment. Also why does Brodus Clay now act like a bad Saturday morning cartoon character? The guy who comes to the ring with two big booty strippers is geared towards the 6 years and younger audience? Makes sense to me.
I get what they tried to do with Alberto Del Rio and Big Show. It just should have been a lot shorter and with more energy. The whole bit of tying up Del Rio and Show torturing Ricardo took forever. Aside from an entertaining Rumble match, this feud has been a dud. They need to wrap this up and move onto something new for both men. You know it is bad when Shane Helms, who is traditionally positive to a fault, craps on it during his live tweets.
To complete the hat-trick of crap, there is a Divas match. They’re in Las Vegas, so it is a showgirl lumberjills match. Snuka could be a really good wrestler for the WWE. This little segment did nothing for her. Kaitlyn better keep stroking the “ego” of whoever is in charge of the Divas. Her in ring talents aren’t doing her any favors. I feel at this point any words I use to write about the WWE Divas division is waste of my time.
The Rock is back. Things have picked up and he talks about this being the greatest moment of his life. I mean he never was champion when he had three movies out and this will sure be more profitable than those other times, plus he doesn’t have to wrestle on house shows. Yeah I’d be excited for that title run too.
Punk comes out and these two have one of their best exchanges. Punk makes the challenge for their rematch that John Cena talked about an hour ago. The little jabs by Punk were great. The one about swearing was dead-on. Again Rock was good, but CM Punk owned him on the mic.
The team of Sandow and Rhodes is really buried now. Cody got destroyed by Superman in Jorts. Sandow now gets to get manhandled by the Ginger Warrior. Sheamus doing White Noise through a table was kinda cool. I like that and expect it be something that starts to pop on the indies soon. Alas, Poor Team Rhodes Scholars! I knew thee well.
That Zack Ryder, 3MB, and Khali thing happened. None of these guys could have taken Rhodes and Sandow’s place on the jobber train tonight? Just point to the TV and show us where the WWE hurt you.
Ziggler and Jericho is a fun feud. It looks to be something that will be used to get Ziggler jump started going towards Mania as they still try to figure out what to do with his Money In The Bank status. Poor guy has more jump starts this year than an old Ford pinto. In the end we did get a Ziggler/Jericho vs. Team Hell No match. That isn’t a bad thing.
They’re starting the descent on Kane and Bryan. I hope this is a false break up and they come back stronger than ever. I’m not holding my breath. At least we get to see Daniel Bryan in more singles action soon.
Congrats to Trish Stratus on making the WWE Hall of Fame. I remember when she started with the company and couldn’t even wrestle. She was a fitness model with an incredible body that the WWE exploited with some head smacking storylines. Trish put in the time, unlike many of the current Divas, and ended up being one of the most gifted in-ring performers the WWE has ever had. There can be a debate about the greatest female wrestler of all time, but there is no debate that Trish Stratus deserves to be mentioned in that discussion.
Vince McMahon sure loves to strut. He is a great worker and he knows how to wrap a crowd around his finger. The interaction between Vince and Paul Heyman was some of the best work the WWE has done in years. Paul is amazing in his weasel role. Even with video proof, he still denies the truth. He denies it so well, you almost believe him that he wasn’t in the video. That is some classic snake oil salesmanship right there. I would really like to see more Paul vs. Vince segments, they are good times.
Brock Lesnar comes out, and instead of giving the Devil’s grin, Paul Heyman seems to fear Lesnar more than Vince. That sells how dangerous Brock really is. Paul knows what is going to happen and he is telling the man who was about fire him to get out of the ring. It’s the little things. Brock gives Vince an Eskimo kiss and then breaks the old man’s hip. That is some Hannibal Lecter shit right there. I guess Paul keeps his job on a technicality.
Paul Heyman has under his wing CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, and The Shield. That might be the most impressive stable in pro wrestling history. Now they haven’t officially come out together, and Paul seems to keep each separate, but damn that is still impressive. I for one hope that WrestleMania has a War Games match with Punk, Lesnar, Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns vs. DX (HHH, HBK, Gunn, Road Dawg, and X-pac). You could even toss Heyman and Vince on the teams like they used to do with JJ Dillon when the Horsemen had a War Games match. I don’t think this happens, but a guy can dream.
The WWE did some stuff right. They set the stage for their next PPV with Rock vs. Punk in the rematch & Team Cena vs. The Shield in an Elimination Chamber match. Plus they reintroduced Brock Lesnar and restarted his HHH feud. Aside from that this was one of the worst RAWs in history. There was an entire hour that I was ashamed to watch as a wrestling fan. The ratings were up for this show after a strong Rumble, and this is what the WWE had to offer. Shame.
In the end I just keep thinking about all that should be happening and all that is happening. That thought process usually ends with, “What The Fuck?!?”.