Those are quite the allegations made by Brian Jack! I'm not saying I believe or disbelieve his claims, and there's two sides to every story, but it would seem there would have been other comments, rumors or lawsuits if there was that many people involved in such a conspiracy. I'm sure at least a chunk of the truth will come out, and I'm interested in seeing how this plays out.
I know I said I would write about either Ambrose or Rollins, but I'm running way behind and think it's more important to get this Blog going and get it out to you. I will make sure I write up bios for both of them before RAW even starts the next two weeks. I was so busy working on my first installment of Taker's Wrestlemania Streak for WNW's sister site.
Video > B+
I thought the opening video was solid and really set up well for the show to come.
In Ring Segment > B
Ziggler starting the show was great for me. Seeing him up there gave me hope that the WWE is finally having some faith in him. He spoke well and came across solid. Sheamus, as usual, was adorable and a lot of fun. Big Show was in character and added a lovely tension to the whole segment. The three of them together worked well and not only set up for the rest of RAW, but they pushed along the storylines for TLC.
Stage Segment > A-
I found it very strange that they got Cesaro and Kofi to announce, Barrett to the ring, then VKM came out and harassed Vickie. I was really annoyed when AJ resigned and Vickie took over running RAW, but the way VKM has been riding her bum has left me smiling.
Barrett vs R-Truth > C+
What happened on announce was actually more interesting than the actual match, and then there was all that happened after the match. All in all it helped set up their matches for TLC, but it felt like a total throw away compared to all the other things going on in this too long RAW.
Winner – R-Truth (1:49)
Backstage Segment > A-
AJ was adorable, but it was Cena's reactions that stole this segment. He really played this well with his facial expressions and holding up his shirt to keep AJ from seeing other possibly partially naked male wrestlers. She was in the locker room before with toweled men and it wasn't a huge deal, but now Cena's feeling more protective? That was the only thing that hit me as strange.
4 Team Elimination Match > B+
It was so nice to see the Usos really working the ring. I read that VKM is high up on Roman Reigns because he's from the Anoa'i family, yet the Usos are sitting there in mid-card purgatory. I thought the Usos looked really great in the ring, as did the Colons, as usual. I found it interesting, and possibly telling, that the Prime Time Players didn't have a televised entrance (neither did the Usos or Colons), and spent virtually no TV time in the match. O'Neil hit a clothesline, and that was it! Is their stock dropping?
When I saw Team Rhodes Scholars come out, I knew they would win this match, but then I saw that horrible caterpillar on Cody's upper lip and I was yelling for Stacy to get in the room so we could laugh together. My older son could have grown a better mustache when he was 12, though I have to admit that at 19 he still can only grow that same type of 'stache. I was even more impressed with the fans chanting 'Cody' mustache' so quickly. Even if he shaves it off, he will be getting those chants for quite a while.
Winners – Team Rhodes Scholars (10:59)
Announce Segment > D-
This is not at all about King and Cole, it's about the abuse of graphics. The WWE spent too much time showing us not very impressive graphics of too many matches, and they did this way too often during RAW. It felt like they replaced all of the too long videos with these too busy graphics. I'm not impressed.
Video > C+
Yay, the Slammy Awards are next week. I don't think they could top some of the past years, but we will have to wait and see. I think I removed the WWE App from my phone, I might just have to download again so I can see what's up.
Eve vs Fox > D-
This was really cruddy! I don't know why they bothered with this match as they already had a Divas match scheduled for later in the show, even though that was also a farce. I've tried to be really upbeat about the Divas and the work they do in the ring, Eve especially has stepped up her game, but Fox isn't at all impressive and because of that, this was an epic fail.
Winner – Eve (2:33)
Stage Segment > A-
I really like how Punk addressed the people who are sure his injury was fake and he didn't actually have surgery, all to get out of facing Ryback. I will say he was milking it in how he was moving on those crutches. I'm a total weakling and I cruise faster on crutches than I do on my own two feet most of the time. But Punk was great in this segment, worked the fans hard and left a lot out there. Heyman, as always, was demeaning and wonderful! I am thrilled that they kept Punk on the show, even though he can't be in the ring. They could have just run with Heyman, but they brought Punk in and it worked beautifully.
Ziggler vs Sheamus > A
I didn't figure there was any way either of these guys could go over the other cleanly just before TLC. Both of them are facing biggest name guys, so neither could come off as weak, and neither did. I was actually quite impressed with how hard they both worked so close to such a physical PPV. Both of these guys will be taking a serious beating at TLC, so I figured neither would risk an injury of any sort, but they both worked it as hard as they normally would, in Ziggler's case, possibly more so. I can see why people are worried about what Ziggler might be pulling at TLC to steal the show. I'll admit that I'm worried about him trying too hard and getting stupid on Sunday.
Winner – Sheamus via DQ (14:26)
Backstage Segment > B+
For laughs, and VKM's face, this was a lot of fun. It's fun to see Vickie not take herself too seriously and work segments like this. Sometimes she just comes off as so overly serious, so segments like this show that she's willing to poke fun at herself as well.
Video > B
When I saw The Shield's manifesto on Smackdown, I knew they were going to play it on RAW, but I figured we'd see it at least three times, so I was pleasantly surprised that we only saw it once. I thought they handled themselves well in this video. They've proven they can talk and have personality, how do they handle the ring in a big PPV match? We shall know pretty soon!
ADR vs Ryder > D+
I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but I'm getting disgusted with ADR coming out on top with piss poor ring work and beating mid-carders who should be jobbing to someone worth jobbing to, if they have to job to someone. Am I the only one who's more than over ADR? What are your thoughts on him and his work in the WWE?
Winner – ADR (6:32)
Announce Segment > N/A
Okay, I'll take the hit on this one. I was so busy watching RAW and trying to write everything down that I got completely befuddled by Cole saying The Rock was hosting RAW. He meant the Prudential Center, but it took me listening to it about four times before I really looked at the screen and figured out what a numb nugget I was being. Guess learning to touch type is a top priority right now!
AJ vs Vickie > B
Storyline wise, this was a great little segment for all involved. Wrestling wise, this absolutely blew! I forgot that they were right by AJ's hometown, so of course she had to lose, but I thought it was a creative way to go about things, make Vickie look that much dirtier, and get Maddox back on TV, even if it's not wrestling. Then again, that could be a good thing! And then there's AJ hissy fit. It's about time they let her have another tantrum!
Winner – Vickie (2:16)
Backstage Segment > B
AJ sold her hissy fit well, but it was Cena's facial expressions about her freaking out that made this so great. Cena was on for the reactions this week. He sold it and sold it really well. I want to be clear that the grade is nothing to do with wrestling work and everything to do with storyline advancement. Okay, a little bit for the way AJ randomly bitch slapped Justin too. He hasn't been abused since Bryan choked him out in the early days of Nexus. Lilian had a fricken 'relationship' with Viscera in his satin jammies, Justin can take a bit of abuse now and then!
Kofi vs Cesaro > B
While they both worked the ring hard, Cesaro absolutely dominated with his strength. That man is insanely strong for his size. He's becoming more and more impressive, as he should have been from the start, but the fans don't seem to be reacting well to him. There was some boring chants during this match (not many, but some), and the fans didn't seen to be too into the match compared to most others. I don't think it was because the Divas match brought the crowd down as they love AJ and her crazy. I think it's what Richard has said many times, the casual WWE fans are there for the flash and the bigger moves, they don't get as into the more intricacies of the ring work, and some of this match was more holds. I can see why some of the fans in the arena were not as thrilled with this match, but I thought it was solid and I really enjoyed it. I love Kofi's craziness, but I think it melds well with Cesaro's more serious ring work. I'm really warming up to Cesaro, even his mic work on the way to the ring was better. He's stepping up his game as he goes and it's impressing me.
Winner – Cesaro (13:01)
Miz TV > A
Cody was a bit of a letdown, but working between two great talkers like Miz and Sandow has to be intimidating! Cody handled himself well with that adversity, and that the fans were up his bum for that thing on his face. Maybe he should have grabbed a Sharpie and drew it in darker or something, because the fans ripped him a new one for that teen 'stache on his face.
Sandow and Miz worked that crowd beautifully and sold absolutely everything they said. Sandow is proving to be better and better every week, and he could be the man to watch. Honestly, I was a bit bummed to see Cody back and running with Sandow, but it could work out well for both of them. I think they're both big stars in the making, but right now I see Sandow going further just for his mic work. Not saying he's bad in the ring, but he's not come off as good as Cody – in my personal opinion (please don't slap me for that one).
Backstage Segment > B
One more chance for Cena to be the tweaked out voice of reason to AJ's crazy chick, and it worked really well. Honestly, I expected AJ to make a run in and cost Cena the match even after this. I'm glad to see they didn't go in that direction. What they did was much stronger.
Cena vs Big Show > B
I'm very impressed at how these two kept this match interesting for fourteen minutes. Cena's known for his five moves of doom, and Big Show has slowed down quite a bit these past couple years, but they carried this match pretty well. Actually, it was more enjoyable than I'd have expected when it was announced early in the show. They both worked a solid match and sold well. As with Ziggler vs Sheamus, neither of these guys could go over the other cleanly this close to TLC. The only problem I have with it is that the two matches on the show that went to DQ were the opponents from two specific matches on the TLC card. It was pretty much expected that something would happen, and as I said, I'm glad it was The Shield and not AJ.
I also want to mention Ziggler here. He was really strong on announce! I know he's a solid talker, but he impressed me over there. Stacy and I both agreed that he was much better on announce than we'd expected and that he's been stuck behind Vickie as his mouthpiece way too long. I think the sky is the limit for Ziggler if he doesn't get sloppy or stupid at TLC while trying to steal the show. I will also say that the grade was affected by Ziggler's announce work. While I could say he was so good he was a distraction – which he was when I was writing the RAW Results because I wanted to write about what he was saying, not about the ring work – but in reality, as a fan, he added so much!
Winner – Cena via DQ (14:09)
In Ring Segment > B+
Because they do it so rarely, I loved that RAW ended with a big brawl in the ring. Gone are the days that the nWo ended every episode of Nitro and Thunder with a locker room ending feud, or a terrible beat down on a certain couple people, that's why this worked so well. Back in the day it got so boring to see the same thing, every show ending the same way, so this was a nice and juicy ending. Smart moving breaking out an old favorite we haven't seen in a while.
They really ended RAW in a solid way for a go home show. I'm really looking forward to see what's going to happen at TLC, and that's the most they could hope for from the fans. Make sure you check back to read how WNW writers predict TLC! I will have that posted Saturday evening (est), and you can tell us exactly who you think will win and why.