I stated during RAW Results that I sprained my wrist and to bear with me. Well, I went to the doctor on Tuesday and found out it's not sprained, but D'Quervain's tenosynovitis. I'm in a wrist brace with my thumb immobilized for the next six weeks. I'll take it off for RAW Results, but my blogs will be written via Dragon Naturally Speaking, and Brooks has agreed to help me out some, depending on his college workload. Because of all of this, I am jumping directly into RAW, and am going to try to keep this is short as possible.
In Ring Segment > B+
I would've given this segment a B, because both Steph and Punk were not that good, surely not as good as they can be, but Kane blew me away. I stopped RAW for a moment, because I was so shocked at Kane on mic here. He is almost scarier now with his very specific, but soft spoken way about him. We have always known that Kane is one of the most talented on the roster, but in this new role, he is taking his talents to a whole new level. I must admit I never thought I would see this side of him, but I am kind of blown away.
IC #1 Contenders Match > B
I have come to enjoy watching Ziggler and Sandow working the ring with an array of odd weapons, and because of that, this match was a little lackluster. For me, my favorite part of this match was Big E on announce. I know that TPTB did not think that Big E came off as well as they had hoped on announce, but I thought he was a blast. I will admit I was a bit surprised when Big E admitted that he wanted to face Ziggler, normally a Champion of any sort will not admit to wanting to face one opponent over another, unless they are in a huge feud with that person. Further I loved how Big E explained why he wanted to face Ziggler. That they had competed outside the ring in various ways, specifically Skip It. I was about on the floor laughing at Big E with that pronouncement, further the way JBL continued to bring up Skip It through the rest of the match, and the rest of the show had me giggling. It really seemed as though JBL did not have a clue what Skip It really is. It might be that I'm a girl, and have daughters, and that I bought one for Sam this past summer, but to me it's obvious toy. I highly expect to see Big E with a Skip It soon, and possibly a WWE version of Step It on the market pretty soon.
Winner – Sandow (3:57)
Nattie & Bellas vs AJ & Tamina & Summer Rae > B-
Tamina is one tough Diva! That woman is like a solid wall compared to most of the other Divas. She still seems to be struggling with certain aspects of the ring work, and cardio, but she has been getting better and better in front of our eyes this time around. Honestly, with the likes of Summer Rae and Eva Marie stepping into the ring, Tamina looks glorious in comparison. Matching her with AJ was a stroke of genius, and the way she works with AJ shows their truly symbiotic relationship. I loved the way AJ skipped blithely around the ring as if there was nothing pertinent going on inside. Further, AJ showed more signs of being 'that crazy chick' at the end of this match, something she has needed to bring back to her character recently, so I'm hoping there will be a swerve in her storyline soon. I cannot say enough about to Nattie's work, and how the Bellas continue to grow in the ring each week. I'm really at that time has passed where the Bellas stepping into the ring made me want to cry. While this was not the best match, it sure isn't the worst we have seen from the Divas this past year, even month.
Winners – Nattie & Bellas (4:24)
Ringside Segments > C-
I have to say I wasn't overly impressed with Bad News Barrett. I might be showing my age, but when I saw his new logo, all I could think about was Bad News Bears. From there, it was all downhill. Honestly, I think that Barrett just keeps ending up with the wrong character at the wrong time. I know a lot of people really thought that Barrett was going to be the breakout star of Nexus, but I have never been a huge fan of his. It was only just before he was injured that I really saw that spark in him, and then he's been gone for so long because of the injury. I am not sure I can blame his segments Monday night on him, because the writing was just horrid. For me Barrett sold quite well, that he understood what the fans were doing, and waited for each "What?" before moving on, really shows that he has a handle on how to work the crowd. That is something that too many wrestlers these days, specifically too many in the WWE, just do not understand.
Backstage Segment > C
Orton on mic is just not a good thing most of the time. Okay, he has a better handle on how things work then the young wrestlers I just mentioned, but he's just so robotic and not really believable. Orton on mic leaves me flat more often than not, and that is not good for someone who wants to be the face of the WWE. And then there was Maddox, he looked like a chihuahua, wide-eyed and shaking. If it had been in a segment with almost anyone else he might have been funny, but with the changes to Orton's character, Maddox wasn't as believable. They have just changed Orton too much, he is not The Viper they have been pushing him to be.
Bryan vs Rowan > B
At first I thought that Rowan was nowhere near as strong as Harper, but he has been showing a creepier, wilder, and more ruthless side then he had been in tag matches. Rowan's work with Bryan here was better than I expected it to be. They went back and forth, and even through their size difference, they made this match interesting and entertaining. The problem came after the match, which was so much better than the match itself.
Winner – Bryan (14:04)
In Ring Segment > A-
I called this and in ring segment, but the highlight of this segment was Bray on the Tron. I have said a number of times just how impressed I am with Windham as this character, but something came to mind Monday night, so I wrote it down to include here. Windham was so focused on being noticed that he was like an unruly teenager. He needed this character to not only bring out his natural charisma, but to slow him down and make it so all of his natural talents could work together. Take those natural talents of his, add in wonderful writing, a powerful foe, and great production work – specifically lighting, in this case – and you have the most powerful segment. I'm not happy with the slap booking of late, but Bray keeps right on trucking.
Backstage Segment > B+
I love watching Kane with his internal struggle, but continue with this creative new character of his, especially against his former partner with whom he was so close. I am expecting something huge from Kane by Wrestlemania, hopefully he will get a Title run of some sort.
R-Truth & Woods vs Tons of Funk > C-
I was not at all impressed with this match. The best part of it all was the entrances. R-Truth was strong on mic, and the Dactyls looked is great as ever, but after that the match fizzled. It was just not believable that Woods, so new to the WWE roster, and so small could take down the Funkasaurus and Sweet T the way he did. It is usually possible to suspend my disbelief, but this match went too far. I could see R-Truth possibly getting the drop on either of the big guys at some point, but not Woods, not yet. Too much, too soon.
Winners – Woods & R-Truth (4:08)
Sin Cara vs ADR > B
I loved this match for so many reasons. First off, I have been saying for a long time, even though we have not seen him for a long time, that Hunico should be the man being pushed in Rey's stead. He has a great look, solid moves set, a lovely personality, and great charisma. I've never understood why ADR has been pushed to the stars when he does not put him out there as a main event star. I've said my peace about ADR, so I won't go there, but I will say how thrilled I am to see Hunico back in the ring. I would rather that Hunico was not under a hood, but this was the easiest way to continue an established character, not worry about having to repackage Hunico as a face, and Hunico has already played Sin Cara in the past. I love that the WWE did not, in any way, try to hide who was playing Sin Cara this week. I thought that Hunico as Sin Cara looked much stronger, and more in control than Sin Cara has, and it was nice that I was not waiting for him to get injured. My injury might not be a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I am not a wrestler standing there holding my finger and stopping the match because of it. I truly think that was the last straw for Sin Cara in the WWE.
Okay, I also have to admit that seeing ADR job to Sin Cara made me grin just a little. It appears as though he has been busted down to the mid-card. ADR and Ryback working where they have proved they belong. It's neither good nor bad, it just is. If, at some point in the future one or both of them really starts to shine, bully for them move them back on up and let's see what they can do, until then they should be working to their potential, and their potential right now is the mid-card.
Winner – Sin Cara (4:44)
Backstage Segment > B+
I like Cena's little bit of history here. He did not jam it down our throats, or take forever to tell us what he wanted to say, but he did the creative and entertaining way. With this upcoming match at TLC, Cena really seems to be in his element, and his mic work is showing that.
Backstage Segment > B
The Shield was solid on mic here, but nothing stellar, and none of them stood out above the others. I really like how the WWE keeps moving the focus around on this group. It might just be their bad booking recently, but it is working for The Shield.
Cody & Goldust & Big Show vs The Shield > A-
The back-and-forth work during this match was spot on. All six men in this match left everything out there. Big Show sold wonderfully out there, but he is shown quite a bit lately how well he can sell. Honestly, I wonder if I'm noticing how well Big Show is selling, because so many other wrestlers are not doing as good of a job with it these days. And since I'm giving out props for selling, Ambrose is probably better at selling then any of the other 'young' wrestlers on the roster. That man has facial expressions and emotes beautifully. Some might say he goes overboard, but I like his old school style. Normally putting together the same wrestlers in matches over and over again tends to lead to some boring matches, but these guys continue to deliver, match after, match after, match. They actually seem to get better each time they face each other, and the addition of Big Show was a slight change of flavor, that just made this match that much more different from each of the ones before this. I will mourn when this series of matches ends and these teams split up to go their varying directions. This series of matches by these wrestlers could be a big part of what defines the WWE in 2013. Yes, there are a lot of other interesting things that happened in the WWE this year, but the matches between The Shield and the Rhodes Brothers have been a highlight of the year, and will live on in my heart for years to come.
Winners – The Shield (20:17)
Backstage Segment > B+
A lot of people have ripped on Punk in both of his segments on mic, but I actually quite enjoyed this segment. Punk sold his ire through a lovely manic rant. I thought it was quite strong.
Axel & Ryback vs Miz & Kofi > B
This is exactly what I have been saying about Ryback, he has been working wonderfully with Axel, and the two of them in mid-card matches have looked really strong. There tagging has a wonderful flow, and they are wrestling styles work well together. Ryback is the muscle, Axel shows his technical skills, together they could be quite imposing team going forward. I still think that they need the right mouthpiece, and Heyman was just too big for them. Maybe they need to find Diva to be their valet, and possibly speak for them, the few moments that they need that, and they could take the Tag Division by force. This is what I have been saying about Ryback all along, put him in the right spot, with the right person, and he could shine.
Some people are having issue with Miz bouncing back and forth between being heel, and being face, in the same week, never mind the same match, but I am loving how different and refreshing it is. Every wrestler is either a heel or a face, very few ride the fence, and even fewer do it very well. I'm enjoying Miz working back and forth with Kofi, I'd like to see more of Kofi bouncing to the other side offense as well, I think it's a great direction, and quite different from anything we've seen recently. This is a heck of a lot better than the acting we saw from Miz in Christmas Bounty.
Winners – Axel & Ryback (5:53)
Fandango vs Henry > B
I know that most wrestling fans believe that big wrestlers like Henry, Kane, and Big Show should the monster heels, but Henry has this sexy sense of humor that gets lost when he's a big bad guy. Henry showed that side in this match, and one the fans over in the process. Yes, he won the fans over by returning and tagging with Big E, but it was the sexy way he he moved, the way he taunted Summer Rae with his swaying hips and randy grin. I was hooting, hollering, and laughing every time Henry taunted her. He was having fun out there, something we haven't seen from him in a long time, and actually made me feel like the old Henry, the Henry that I really love to, was back. I don't mean that Henry that ran around with Mae Young, that was cheesy and icky, but there's been other times that Henry goes out there and has fun, and those are the moments he almost seems to glow. I thoroughly enjoy those moments, and hope to see more of them from Henry, and Big E.
Winner – Henry (3:32)
The Real Americans vs Prime Time Players > D
O'Neil barfing on Smackdown was bad, and should have been left on Smackdown. It's one thing to do schtick like this for a holiday, but it's over, time to move on!
Winners – The Real Americans (6:42)
Announce Segment > C+
I rarely use the WWE App, as I don't think about it any other time than during RAW, and during RAW I'm working. But when this poll came up Sam immediately stated what she wanted to vote for, so I pulled up the App, and I let her vote. I was kind of surprised at how close the results were, but Sam was thrilled when she found out that the results she wanted came out on top.
In Ring Segment > B+
Trip rambled, and Steph was so obviously gushing about her husband, but they did not bring Cena down. This segment is exactly what I was talking about earlier when I said this storyline was wonderful for Cena. I loved his worked shoot against Orton. His words were perfect, and his execution was on point. This is the Cena who became the face of the WWE for a reason. I loathe it when Cena is overly corny and bubblegum, but he was neither of those things here. Cena was strong, and told it like it is, told it like we all know it is about Orton. Yes, it is all scripted, and Orton had to know it was coming, but he sold his ire beautifully. Orton should be pissed, but only at himself. When I first saw where this feud was going, that we were going to see Cena and Orton working together yet again, I was annoyed, but Cena on mic in this segment, and the way the fans of reacted to him, I was giddy. Stacy missed Cena's speech, so after RAW was over, I rolled the show back, and made Stacy stay up and watch it. He was also left with a smile on his face. Stacy has not seen a lot of great Cena promos, but in this promo he was able to see what made Cena the face of the WWE.
I have lined up help for the next couple of weeks. Brooks will be helping me keep up with the RIB, and Alex has lined up a TNANews.com writer to cover the BZ for me. Thanks for bearing with me, and hopefully I'll be able to keep my silly accidents to a minimum from here on out.
Queen of WNW