After Battleground, I had no idea what the WWE was going to throw at us. Most of Battleground was atrocious, other than the Rhodes match, which everyone pretty much agrees was the highlight of the show, but I also didn't have the huge problem with the main event that many other fans did. They tried something, and it didn't completely work, but at least they tried something off the beaten path. No matter what had happened in the main event, no matter who had actually won the match, there would have been a huge number of fans who were pissed about it, so why not continue to keep the WWE Title in abeyance and push forward. I can't say it was the best thing, but coming off RAW, I think it was the smartest thing for the WWE to do at that point.
In Ring Segment > B
I'm normally a huge Steph fan, but she looked like an Oompah Loompah in this segment. Whoever did her makeup should go back to the New Jersey shore. Beyond that, Steph just wasn't up to snuff. My newest acquired teenager was slightly scared by how intense Steph was in this segment, which was good, but the way she tweaked and attacked Big Show was a bit much for me. It showed that she was flying off the handle and losing control, but it didn't come across on TV very well. Big Show, on the other hand, was quite strong here. He was actually rather endearing, and I couldn't help smile while watching him.
Ziggler vs Sandow > B+
I wasn't able to catch their pre-Battleground match, but from the way the announcers were acting, this was a much better match than their first one. I loved the vicious side of Sandow. That's what I want to be seeing from Mr. MITB! He needs to be built up before he cashes in, as so many people have been saying. I honestly was okay with him losing this match because of how strong and intense he was, but I would have been absolutely fine with him losing if he hadn't been losing so much recently. Wait, he's lost pretty much everything recently. Not cool WWE creative!
Winner – Ziggler (12:41)
Backstage Segment > B-
I was even less impressed with Steph and Maddox working together. It lacked any intensity and feeling. Maddox has his good moments, and his bad moments. This wasn't a good one for him.
6 Divas Match > D-
I thought Nattie looked strong in the ring, and even Aksana looked better than usual when working against Nattie, but then there was Eva Marie. Honestly, I lost my DISH feed part way through this match, and I'm somewhat glad it happened because I really was tweaked by what I was seeing from Eva Marie in the ring. Between worrying about possible wardrobe issues, her belly button ring, and the fact that she looked sloppier than Khali, I wasn't sure she and her opponent was going to make it out of the ring in one piece. I heard JoJo didn't make it into the ring, and I'm not sure if that was a good thing, or a bad thing.
Winners – Team Nattie
Stage Segment > C-
Maddox was like a freaked out little boy apologizing for shaving the cat. I guess if that was the plan, then he sold it well. Just after Booker T was announced, I lost my DISH feed again. It sounds as though I didn't miss much, and luckily that was the worst of the storm, and the last of the connectivity that I lost.
Los Matadores vs 3MB > C-
While McIntyre was in this match instead of Slater, it was basically the same match we saw on RAW last week, and then on Smackdown, but condensed. Hopefully Los Matadores branches off to face other teams, and show what they have. I'm still not sold on them, either way.
Winners – Los Matadores (2:21)
In Ring Segment > C
This was not Heyman's best segment. Honestly, I thought, for Heyman, it really fell flat. I think rather than Heyman bringing Axel and Ryback up, they are starting to drag him down. Further, they are sucking Punk and his feud with Heyman down with them. I love Heyman, and I adore Punk, but I was very disappointed in this segment and what it represented.
Punk & R-Truth vs Ryback & Axel B
After all the ugh from the segment before, I really enjoyed watching R-Truth and Punk tag together. The two of them together were entertaining. They have real chemistry, and a wonderful vibe together. Other than having to watch Ryback's arrogance, I thought this match was a lot of fun.
Winners – Punk & R-Truth (12:40)
Stage Segement > Q?
I have never been a Bob Backlund fan. I never understood him, or understood why he was over with the fans when he was. That he's been working for months at a time, now and then, with a small, and rather crappy, promotion up here in the northeast off and on shows that he's not completely irrelevant, but I still don't understand his draw. Maybe I need to go back and watch some of his work, remind myself of who Backlund is.
Orton vs Kofi > B
I was impressed with the work between Kofi and Orton, but it seems sad that we're revisiting these two under this storyline. It seems as though Orton is out of faces to beat up on and show his worth, so he's stepping back and destroying whoever he can. Personally, thinking of this match all I can see is Orton and Kofi facing off at MSG, that last wonderful match before Orton trashed Kofi backstage and Kofi's career took a hard left into mid-card purgatory. That Orton doesn't have any other faces on his level to beat up shows just one of the issues in the WWE right now. Orton needs to be feuding with someone other than Bryan before long, as this seems to be running its course pretty quickly.
Winner Orton (13:47)
Backstage Segment > B
I loved Vickie's reactions to ADR, to his face and behind his back. She might have that annoying voice, but she is good at putting across her feelings, no matter what they might be.
Stage Segment > B+
You know you expected me to give this at least an A-, right? Yes, I yelled loudly when his music hit, and I woke up Stacy who had dozed off on the sofa, but it was so worth it to see HBShizzle back, even if just briefly. I loved how he talked about getting HBShizzle trending after almost 30 years. It made me think of .the night DX was thrown out of the arena and they had to go to Cryme Tyme to buy tickets. Yes, it was a flash of Airplane, but is still one of the funniest segments I've seen on RAW, possibly because it was Trip showing that he really did grow up a New Hampshire boy. It's right up there with Kane working with The Rock and Hogan, meeting them backstage and going through their catchphrases. It was a good thing Kane was behind his mask because you could see he was having troubles keeping a straight face behind it.
On a more serious note, I'm thrilled that HBK has been brought into this storyline. It was a natural direction to take things, and while this wasn't the most organic of ways to bring HBK in, but at least he's here! Now there's so many directions for HBK to take things. Will he side with his bestie, or will it be with his protege and the future? I'm so excited that he's been brought in, and can't wait to see what they do with HBK, though I do wish he hadn't shaved off his beard before returning.
ADR vs Ricardo > D
I wasn't overly impressed with this match, but that wasn't what this match was about. I honestly don't know how Cena is able to return from injuries after such abbreviated recuperation and rehab time, other than spectacular genetics, seriously fantastic healing abilities, and the drive that few other have to return to the WWE. I'm always in awe of Cena and his abilities, and I have to say that it could be a good thing that he returns early this time, because things are not going well for most storylines or Superstars right now.
Winner – Ricardo (1:00)
Ryder vs Fandango >
This is what I'm talking about, things not going well. I don't know why so many Superstars don't have storylines, feuds, or even directions at this point, but it's hurting everyone, the shows, and the fans. The WWE has strong characters, and while they might not be main eventers, they're strong and can carry more than five minutes at a time. They should be allowed to do so. I just want to know what happened to mid-card feuds and storylines?
Winner – Fandango (2:44)
The Real Americans vs Khali & Santino > C+
If Cesaro was allowed to show his personality, I think he'd be so much more over than he is now. That brief little moment after this match, when he acted like Hornswoggle was too heavy to pick up, that his back hurt, was great! Anyone who watched him in ROH knows that Cesaro has personality, and it's about time he's allowed to show some of it to get over with the fans. If Cesaro didn't have to stand there like a lump, yodel, or stomp around with his man purse, the fans might actually find him interesting. But if he's not allowed, then he will continue to be the straight man to Santino's silliness.
Winners – The Real Americans (3:55)
Miz TV > B
The Wyatt Family are now going after Miz? This could be interesting. I'm kind of bummed that nothing came of The Wyatt Family and Kofi, but I think Miz is a much better fit for them. This actually excites me. Hopefully something fun will come of this!
Backstage Segment > C+
I still think Steph and Trip are adorable together, but Maddox made me want to scream! That young man is so far off most of the time that I wonder why he's still there, other than he has something to hold over someone's head.
6 Man Tag Match > B+
I really enjoyed watching Cody, Goldust and Bryan work against The Shield. Goldust proved himself at Battleground, but it was Cody who the fans were in love with. That young man has taken a huge step up in the WWE, and who knows where the future leads, but he sure turned that mistake into something fantastic! Then there's Goldust who is back with the WWE because of that same mistake. I'm enthralled with all that's gone down, and how the Rhodes brothers have capitalized on what was happening to them. Many other young wrestlers could learn a lot from what Cody and Goldust have done over the past couple weeks.
The ring work was very entertaining, but I found the soft tags between the brothers intriguing. They were some of the most delicate tags I've ever seen. I also loved Trip ringside. He was very much McMahon, but also very much himself, conducting the match, The Shield and Orton as he saw fit. Everything was going perfectly for him, until Big Show's return. We all knew Big Show would be returning, and it made the most sense for him to return at the end of RAW, rather than chase RAW to the next location before doing something to the one man who has been causing him the most grief, Trip. I loved how Big Show handled The Shield, then simply punched Trip out, but it was Bryan who left a smile on my face. He was adorable celebrating Trip's defeat, but it was the way he adjusted Trip's tie, the way Miz's jacket was adjusted when he'd been knocked out by Big Show. It was a lovely little thing for Bryan to do, and so telling.
Winners – Cody & Goldust & Bryan (11:05)
Winners – The Shield (0:50)
As I said in the beginning, I understand why a lot of fans were unhappy with Battleground, but they set up for this change of pace on RAW. Only time will tell if it was a good thing, but I found key parts of RAW very entertaining, and really pushed storylines forward. I do wish that there was more going on with specific Superstars who are stronger than their current situations, but I guess that's just the ebb and flow of the storylines, especially when the bosses are involved in the biggest storyline of the moment.
Queen of WNW