What an interesting episode of RAW. Good, and bad, but overall, interesting. It seems as though when the WWE takes a couple steps forward with specific storylines, they end taking more steps back! It seems as though they cannot do anything right with the Big Show character or storyline right now. They spackle over one of the problems, and create more in the process! I feel really bad for Big Show, because he's a legend in this business, and he's getting screwed over at every turn. Hopefully someone steps up and really pays attention to what they're doing with Big Show before they actually put it out live and make him look at least partially decent.
In Ring Segment > A-
I was really worried that they were going to start RAW with another 20 minute Trip on mic segment with Orton and Bryan. But then there was Edge and he made it into something completely different and totally lovely! I cannot get over how much I miss Edge. I started watching Haven more closely when Edge started on the show, even though it's based on a Stephen King book and set in a fictional town in Maine, it was Edge that drew me in.
I loved how Edge talked up Bryan, but also, the way Bryan reacts when the fans really chant his name, or go all "YES!" on him. Bryan just glows. You can see the guy who used to work in front of 50 fans in an armory marvel at the thousands of people chanting for him, and he cannot help himself. That's one of the things that make Bryan great for me. He is absolutely in awe of it all, and that it's all for him. I can't help but smile at Bryan's reactions to it all. And he reacted the same way to the way Edge compared Bryan to himself.
I thought Trip did a great job of being an ass and pushing Haven at the same time, and even better at being an ass and screwing over Edge by having Christian abused. It was an interesting way of turning things around, yet keeping Edge from being touched, yet not having to have Christian take any bumps. Edge did a lovely job attacking Trip and saying what everyone else on the roster wants to say. The writing and execution was wonderful.
Backstage Segment > B+
The worst part about Edge being tossed off RAW is that he didn't return. I thought it was obligatory that if you were tossed off a show you had to return at the end of the show to screw over the person you have a beef with.
Kofi vs Axel > B
This wasn't a bad match, and the work was decent, but Axel is really getting killed in this storyline! Axel is looking worse and worse every week. Last week he lost to Kofi, this week he lost his mind and couldn't listen to the ref. I know he's Heyman's pawn, and a small part of this feud, but if he's looking this bad now, how will he come out of this feud, and where will he go after it?
Heyman carried this segment with his facial expressions. Seeing him coming the unglued, unshaven mess he is right now has been fun, and he should be in fine shape at NoC!
Winner – Kofi via DQ (2:12)
Backstage Segment > B
Heyman slipped on water? Heyman who has been backstage how many years of his life suddenly slipped backstage and got a boo-boo? Honestly, the best part of this, beyond Heyman being an ass, was Axel yelling about clearing a table and making room for Heyman.
Backstage Segment > B-
Booker T is fine, and this segment made sense, but I had my heart set on seeing Booker T and Goldust together backstage at some point to bring some levity into the show, and I didn't get it. Honestly, if it wasn't for Goldust, I would have been better about this segment.
Ziggler vs Bray > B
This wasn't as good as Bray can be, and I feel bad for Ziggler, but he brought this on himself! Loose lips sink ships! Ziggler should know better than to rip on the WWE, his role in the WWE, and Orton. You just don't do it if you want to be a top guy. Ziggler's been demoted to losing his feud with Big E, and getting squashed by everyone. As Gesus said in the WNW RAW OTP, it's a good thing TNA is available for Ziggler's future! All that being said, I thought it looked as though Bray was rushing things in this match, and lost some of his flair because of it. I did like that Rowan and Harper got involved, it further pushes the cult.
Winner – Bray (6:50)
In Ring Segment > B+
I loved the "This is awkward!" chants! I didn't need to see Heyman's pasty leg, but watching him be such an ass to Maddox and the doctor was fantastic. Even better was the way Heyman ran full out from the ring. I'm very excited about their match at NoC. Punk is fantastic, and really needs a win, even if it's against Axel.
Divas Match > B+
First off, this is compared to the crap we've seen from the Divas lately! Secondly, this grade is all for Natalya. Nattie really stepped it up in this match and showed that she does have the skills that we know she has. The one who really let me down here was Fox, but that wasn't at all a shock. What shocks me is that she is still on the roster. I just don't see anything from her that warrants being a Diva.
Winners – Total Divas (2:52)
R-Truth vs ADR > C-
How to tell that the WHC has no respect? 1- The Champ is in the ring right before a PPV with R-Truth. 2- R-Truth looks like he's going to win until a freak finishing submission hold. 3- The fans chant for everyone, but who is in the match (JBL, Cole, King, RVD, and Taker)! I have been very vocal about not being a fan of ADR's, and I'm absolutely not going to change my reactions to him after this match!
Winner – ADR (4:49)
Santino vs Cesaro > B+
It was so nice to see Santino able to be a bit more serious and show off more of his ring skills. It was also nice to see so many people agreeing in the WNW RAW OTP that Santino has serious skills that he doesn't get to show off enough. That Santino has such serious ring skills, but shows his humor more than anything is hard to watch some nights. I really want to see him go out there and work that ring hard, then I remind myself that I should be happy that he's doing so well in the WWE, and celebrate his success. Also, I have to hope that someday Cesaro will be a top guy and can get past the issues that have been holding him back. All that being said, I loved watching these guys work together. The chemistry and dynamic were so interesting to watch. This is one I want to watch again to just soak it all in.
Winner – Santino (3:42)
Sandow vs Miz > C
As much as I love Sandow, I'm not loving his ring work. He's been really boring in the ring lately, and I think he's a bit lost with Cody being gone. Hopefully something happens with Sandow soon, otherwise he's going to turn into Miz, and none of us want to see that.
Then there's Fandango. I really want to complain that working against Miz is a huge step back from Jericho, but what 'new, young guys' get to work with such legends as Jericho as they step out onto the WWE stage? Exactly. Maybe Fandango working with Miz will help them both, but in reality, I just hope it doesn't really hurt Fandango in the long run.
Winner – Sandow (3:45)
Backstage Segment > A-
Goldust looked better than he has in years! He's thinner, and looks healthier than ever. Goldust came across clear headed and honest, not at all silly and brainless. I was blown away by how Goldust dropped his character to be the big brother here, and he tugged at my heartstrings. This is the first reason why he should be brought back into the WWE.
Goldust vs Orton > A
This is the second reason Goldust should be brought back to the WWE. Goldust carried this match and made Orton look better. Goldust, like Cody last week, left everything in that ring and proved that he really is that damn great in the ring. I cannot get over how Goldust can still go at such a rate after his history, his demons, his weight gains and losses, and injury issues. That man almost seems to have blossomed even more with this match. If you haven't seen this match, go watch it. It's one of those that I can't say enough about it, and it's easier if you just watch it to understand why everyone's talking about it the way we are, and why Goldust got a standing ovation backstage after this match. And for those who want to give me crap for giving this an A, think about how unexpectedly great Goldust was in the ring. That's why Dustin deserves that A!
Winner – Orton (14:48)
Backstage Segment > A-
Dustin sold his emotion beautifully here! Steph was great, but we all knew she was going to turn into a raging bitch. I will admit I was shocked at how far she took it, but she's Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (Levesque), of course she's going to go beyond rubbing salt in the wound, she's going to rub broken glass in there as well! Oh, and to me this is the third reason Goldust needs to be brought back – his relationship with his brother, and the feud we've all been itching to see for so long.
RVD vs Ryback > F
This to me, just who was in the ring together, was a plot hole in its own right. Last week Ryback was one of Trip's enforcers, now he's facing RVD? That making this match was a travesty, but it shows just how bad Ryback has become in the ring. I've seen him work solid matches, before he debuted as Ryback, but recently it appears that something – his ego? - has gotten in his way, and he's lost any skills he might have had. The worst part is that they put Ryback in with RVD just before NoC. Were they hoping RVD would get injured? This match was such a mess, to the point that RVD looked like a pinball a couple times, and that's before they left the ring. And then there's the DQ! Why did Ryback get the DQ for doing something others have done without getting a DQ? Crappy booking, and hopefully they pull Ryback for help after this travesty! I would really love to look Ryback in the eye and ask him what he's thinking when he goes to the ring. It doesn't seem like he's thinking about wrestling, or putting on a solid match for the fans. Honestly, I wonder if he's thinking about anything out there!
Winner – RVD via DQ (3:00)
Backstage Segment > D
I love Steph, but she created a HUGE plot hole here. She said, "I can’t have you lay a finger on The Shield... If you touch The Shield, you will be terminated. It’s what’s best for business." To me that means that Big Show could have used his chair on The Shield. To me that means that Big Show could have ripped Orton apart. Plot holes!
Bryan vs Ambrose > A-
Okay, so Bryan seemed to botch the surfboard – get over it Justin Lal from the OTP – but coming off the number times he hit it right, I'm not overly bothered. The way Bryan and Ambrose work the ring together always brings a smile to my face. I love that Ambrose was brought in because of the work he did with Bryan when Bryan was out for 'choking out' Justin with his own tie. It seems as though they both bring some of that indy intensity to each of their matches together, and it's just something you don't see from some of the fast lane wrestlers like Orton, or Cena. I love how they work the ring together, possibly more than I enjoy watching Bryan and Rollins in the ring together, and that's saying something.
That Bryan managed to pull out the win here, even though it was a bit of a stolen win, showed a little of what I've been saying, that Bryan needed to show here or people wouldn't be buying NoC to see him face Orton. Bryan has to look like a viable opponent. I won't say that Bryan did enough by winning this match, but he looked wonderfully strong, and it was a start.
Winner – Bryan (14:10)
In Ring Segment >
It really looked as though RAW was going to end the way it's ended the past couple weeks. Between Big Show's blubbering, Trip and Steph's demands, Orton throwing his weight around, and Bryan on the mat in a heap, it was almost guaranteed to be same old, same old. Then Bryan managed to come back and things started to swing around for the underdog. The biggest problem I have with it is that it was one move to take Orton out, and that's not the way it really is, and Big Show took too much of that segment away from Bryan – at least watching it on TV – with that smirk on his way up the ramp. Don't get me wrong, it was great to see Bryan standing over Orton with the strap in hand, but to me it also felt a little too clichéd, and too much what the typical WWE Superstar would do in Bryan's shoes. It's too little, too late, but hopefully things will continue in this vein after NoC. I expect a bit of a dip, possibly Bryan taking a bit of abuse next Monday, but then he really needs to start working his way up the food chain and showing that he's not just the underdog, that he can dominate and overcome all that The Corporate Evolution throws in his path.
As I was starting to write tonight I was approached by a WNW reader who was interested in sending me a writing sample to be considered for WWENews.net. After a bit of discussion about wrestling, various wrestlers, and specifically RAW, I told him to to write up this Post Show segment for me. I told him he had two hours, but he got back to me in less than twenty minutes. So, what do you think about Justin Mayo?
Howdy, folks! Justin here, filling in for Kendra’s post show as a test for them to check out a little of my writing capabilities, so let’s get started!
Post Show: A While I have enjoyed the weekly struggles of Daniel Bryan, I know a lot of people have been turned off by the show ending in the same manner every week, and I can understand why. However, I also think that if people had more patience, they’d see that the longer Bryan’s kept down, the greater it will be when he finally comes out on top. We saw a taste of that on Monday, and I was thrilled. It wasn’t a beat down by any means, but it shows Bryan’s resilience to be beaten down every week, and still come back for more. After a three on one beat down from the shield, followed by yet another RKO, I was expecting to see the same ending as they’ve shown for the past month. People may have called Show’s stalling as foreshadowing, but anyone that watched last week knows it took a while for Show to strike then as well, so I figured he’d eventually knock Bryan out again. I was out of my seat when I saw Bryan run up and knee Randy in the face though. As I said, it wasn’t much, but it was that little glimmer of hope saying “Hey, he may be an underdog, but he just might actually pull it off!” I won’t be able to order the PPV, but with the ending I saw last night and the glimmer of hope we were given, I expect it to be a great match!
Queen of WNW
KB & Justin