While I know there's been other reactions to Over The Limit here on WNW, specifically Richard's, but I can't keep my mouth shut about what went down this past Sunday night. I cannot get over some of the total crap they fed us with this PPV. I didn't see Kane face Ryder, but I heard it was nothing exciting. As soon as Christian appeared in the People Power Battle Royal, it was obvious that he'd be the winner. When he picked Santino to face, I was confused as it made no sense, but then he switched to Cody and I knew he'd win that match too. Though I have to say that the match between Christian and Cody was worth the time and a lovely addition to the PPV.
Kofi and R-Truth facing Swagger and Dolph was a good match, but so predictable. The Divas match was better than I expected, but still not up to par for what it should be. Unlike some others, I completely enjoyed the Fatal 4 Way match. It was in the top three of the night, and better than the IC Title match in my opinion. Sheamus and Orton were great, Jericho was evil and ADR was a place holder. The tension in this match was great, but I wish there had been more than two men in the ring for most of this match. I really thought the Title would be changing hands as Sheamus hasn't been pushed well as Champ and I think Orton's time in limbo is about over. I'd love to see Orton with the Title and really have a feud with Wade when he returns. Then again, they will feud no matter what. After watching RAW, it's obvious that things aren't over between Jericho, Sheamus and Orton. Honestly, I'm fine with getting this one wrong.
I didn't think there was any question that Funkasaurus would be beating Miz, but I liked that Miz wasn't completely squashed. Hopefully this will help Miz climb back to main event status at some point. Ryback beating Camacho was expected, but didn't add anything to the show. Yes, Ryback is Goldberg, but what more is he?
Punk and Bryan are what made this PPV worth the time, if not worth the money. They are amazing and there's nothing I can say that expresses how much they elevated this PPV, but we all knew that would happen. The one thing I do want to comment on is AJ. Many of us expected that AJ would get involved in this match in some way. I liked that she didn't. They made it purely about wrestling and not the crazy ex-girlfriend. Also, it was expected that AJ would get involved, so that she didn't was actually a small swerve.
It was the last match that made this PPV a horrible and crushing thing. It was bad enough that Johnny Ace was returning to the ring, but that outfit! Okay, the outfit was the least of it. The whole thing was a predictable mess! The only shining moment for me was Cena and Laurinaitis on announce. Laurinaitis sold it really well plating Booker. It even looked like a fan standing behind Laurinaitis helped keep the headset on his head. That was one shining moment, but a single shining moment in a pile of chicken poo is still only one glint of glitter in a pile of smelly excrement. Even Big Show was predictable, right down to his heel turn.
WWE really screwed the pooch with this PPV which is sad coming off a number of solid PPVs before it. Hopefully the WWE can scrape together something not horrid coming off that mess.
One last thing I want to comment on before RAW that has nothing to do with OTL. I really hope Flair is able to secure his release from TNA. He's obviously very unhappy there and would be better off backstage in the WWE. I think it would be best for everyone involved. It would free up some money for TNA, we wouldn't have to see Flair on TNA, Flair could be in the WWE for his daughter, he'd probably be earning more money, and Flair can be used on WWE TV here and there where he'd really be appreciated. The fans would also be happy to see him because he wouldn't be jammed down our throats. I understand why TNA wouldn't want to let him go, but I think it would be the best thing for everyone involved.
I've recently decided that I've been a bit lenient in my grading, so I'm taking a step up and getting tougher. The average segments and average matches will get average grades – C's. No more B's for matches that are nothing special.
Video > B+
I figured that they would be starting RAW with video and stills from Cena vs Laurinaitis, it was what the WWE thought to be the most important storyline, because Cena was involved. Personally I thought Punk and Bryan should have started the show, but I'm big on great wrestling over fogies who can't wrestle.
In Ring Segment > D
I will start by saying that it was nice to see Cena really mad. Now, that's all I have to say that was nice. Okay, so Laurinaitis on his mobility scooter was funny, especially will all his People Power paraphernalia, but it didn't do anything to make this segment good. That he rattled off all of his possible injuries exactly as the WWE put up on dot.com was quite annoying. That Big Show, while solid on mic as a heel right at the end, really had no good reason to turn heel other than the WWE needed another solid and proven heel. This segment was too long, too drawn out and not at all interesting.
The worst part of it all was Laurinaitis' astronomical blunder of saying he re-signed Big Show on Saturday. To me that's a flub that cannot be overlooked and will continue to haunt Laurinaitis for the rest of his career in the industry. Possible be a running joke too? At least it's nothing catchy like 'Adamle Original'!
Cena vs Otunga (1:55) > C-
There was nothing to this match and did nothing but make Otunga look more pathetic than usual. Great way to return from dealing with such a traumatic time in his life. I will admit it did further help Cena get over with the fans, but there will always being those dueling chants, no matter how much he's loved. It's a catchy chant, so it will live on.
After the match I was a bit shocked to see Hawkins, Reks, Young and O'Neil attacking Cena, but I do remember that they've been on Smackdown recently (I have missed the past couple Smackdowns due to working with my father). I hope this leads to them getting more TV time and pushes. I just hope they don't get stuck being Laurinaitis' stooges. That could be bad for all of them.
Winner – Cena
In Ring Segment > B
I'm breaking this up differently than I did the RAW Results because it should have been broken up this way. I loved Santino on mic and messing with Ricardo. Santino always makes me smile, but this segment had me laughing aloud. Such a refreshing segment after the way the show started.
Video > C+
Personally I wasn't impressed with the video comparing how many episodes of RAW there has been compared to other shows. I was shocked that there was 588 episodes of Lassie made. I didn't think Timmy could fall into a well that many times! Other than that, I wasn't thrilled. I thought their advertising for the 900th episode was better, but I could be biased because that was my first televised WWE show.
ADR vs Orton (7:21) > C+
ADR really needs to come up with a new array of moves. It seems like much of what he does is work over his opponent's left arm until he can lock on his finisher. I expect more from all WWE Superstars, but he's been running on those left arms since coming to the WWE. He also don't have a finisher other than that cross arm breaker! Even Bryan, who is amazing with submission holds, has more than his "YES!" lock! Punk has more than his anaconda! Even Benoit had more than his crippler crossface! I just am so annoyed with ADR. I really thought he had a chance to make it huge early on, but he hasn't grown, expanded or changed in any way from his boring character that's a cross between Eddie and JBL, but not executed anywhere near as well as either of them. Eddie had charisma, JBL was great to hate, but the fans just don't seem to care about ADR. Then there's the things he's said about others in the locker room, and how he's already talking retirement. I think the WWE should cut bait and try to find someone else to fill Rey's shoes as ADR will never be that man.
Orton in this match was as Orton is, always on, but growing slightly boring in his move-set. Hopefully what looks like a feud with Jericho will help Orton. He's as beloved as ever, but there hasn't been anything interesting or notable about Orton recently. I think he needs to get back to his former glory before Wade returns and I think feuding with Jericho could do that for Orton – hopefully. So while this match wasn't bad, it wasn't anything thrilling or exciting before Jericho. It was an average match, so I gave it an average grade.
Winner – Orton via DQ
In Ring Segment > B
I split this into its own segment because I didn't want the grade to be dragged down by an average match. Jericho was on here! He really let Orton have it physically and verbally. If not for that botched code breaker, I would have given it a B+. I was actually shocked to see these two with a botched move, but it just proves that they can happen to anyone.
In Ring Segment > B+
Bryan was crazy mad and sold it beautifully! He was livid and it worked. Punk coming out and being so calm just made this work that much better. They were great here and proved that they're not just fabby wrestlers, they can talk too.
Kane vs Bryan (1:49) > B
It was quite similar to what went down on Smackdown, except it was Punk getting his revenge. Even better was that Punk was on announce, something that's always great. Kane didn't do anything out of the ordinary here, but he filled a role that few could. The whole thing worked really well, but was more storyline than actual match, so I graded it as such.
Winner – Bryan via DQ
Backstage Segment > A-
This is exactly what I was saying about AJ earlier! AJ sold her emotions and insanity with every bit of herself which made this work so wonderfully. Punk also worked wonderfully in not wanting to touch her, then being sucked in. The way Punk said, "I sorta dig crazy chicks." made me wonder if it is at all true. These segments with AJ are leading to something much bigger. Even if the poster and video for No Way Out didn't have Bryan and AJ in them, these segment show that they're going somewhere and have big plans that involved AJ, Punk and Bryan. I think they're doing a wonderful job of slowly building this, not forcing it, but letting it happen in a way that feels very organic.
WWE Rewind & Announce Segment > D+
I know that they're going somewhere with Heyman and Trip, but this felt very disjointed being thrown in with little else but King and Cole talking about it. That's why I combined these two things because there really wasn't enough of them by themselves. I know they will be doing something with this, but throwing this in without anything else about them on the show felt very scattered.
Christian vs Jinder (3:26) > C+
I love Christian. I'll admit it took me a number of years to warm up to him, but once I did, I really learned to appreciate him both in the ring and on mic. Actually, it took me a number of years to warm to both E&C, but that's not what this is about. Now that I have learned to value Christian, I don't like seeing him being brought down in a match against someone I really don't think can stand toe to toe with Christian. I understand from a business standpoint why Jinder is with the WWE, but his character doesn't impress me, good or bad. I just find him uninteresting and with no personality to push him forward. All I've seen him do is sneer and scowl, so I wasn't thrilled to see Christian facing him.
What I was thrilled to see was Christian hitting a 5 star frog splash! Other than RVD, there's no one active who uses that move, so I'm thrilled to see Christian adopting the move in the WWE. He did use in in TNA, but I don't remember seeing him use it much in the WWE. Hopefully he adopts it as a regular in his move set. I also have to comment on Christian's sunset flip that was botched. They covered well, and I'm not sure who's fault the botch was, but I wanted to comment that I saw that it happened.
Winner – Christian
Backstage Segment > D-
I really try to keep my snarky comments to myself while writing my RAW Results, but I had to let that one comment out last night. Just the way Kelly was walking along with that smile and vacant look in her eyes was just too much for me. Most Superstars and Divas try to look focused or with a purpose while taped heading for the ring, but Kelly had that ever-present smile and nothing in her eyes to show anything at all. She's a very pretty girl with an amazing body, but when nothing shows in the eyes, something huge is lost. Only reason I didn't fail her on this is because she is eye candy and little more.
Kelly vs Beth (2:23) > D
Kelly with her legs wrapped around Beth's neck and Beth spinning in the ring means less than nothing to me when it comes to wrestling. It's one of those moves where the person taking the move is doing more work that the person throwing the move, and totally annoying to me. I will say that Kelly's flipping across the ring looked good, as did Beth's clubbing blow to the back of Kelly's head/neck area. Other than that, this was a total waste of everyone's time.
Winner – Beth
Backstage Segment > C-
Laurinaitis, on the other hand, is proof that walking (rolling) backstage with a vacant look on your face can help further a character. Maybe he will get further dumber and dumber after his beat down from Cena? Either way, it's a great way to portray the leader of WWE TV.
2 On 3 Handocap Lumberjack Match – Cena & Sheamus vs Dolph & Swagger & Tensai (17:11) > B-
Let me start by saying that I didn't hear a bell to end this match, so I timed until RAW went off the air. I will admit that I had to go back and re-time this match because I forgot to shut off or check the timer at the end last night. I have since gone back and added the the RAW Results. I'm still getting used to this timer thing, so bear with me.
When Swagger and Dolph were first announced for this match I was thrilled that maybe Dolph's pseudo-humbling wouldn't last too long, but then Tensai was announced and my mind was changed. I know Tensai is a big and imposing guy, and that they didn't want Big Show in this match so they could build for his match against Cena at No Way Out. Honestly, I'm not sure how Bloom is going to last in the WWE at this rate. Between his poor work rate and the chants from the fans, things really don't seem to be going well for him.
I was very impressed with Sheamus in the ring taking most of the beat down in this match. He took abuse from everyone who laid a hand on him and just kept going, and looked good doing it. Dolph looked great in the ring, as did Swagger, but at this point I'm so unhappy with Tensai's ring work that I'm more annoyed than willing to give him any chance at the moment. I was also impressed with the group of Superstars chosen to work as lumberjacks in this match. We again got to see Hawkins, Reks, Young and O'Neil, but we also saw the Colons, Ryan, and McIntyre. I'm glad they got a show bonus and some ring work. I'd love to see more of these guys on RAW, give them more of a chance to push further with their careers.
Of course Cena had to get the hot tag and look great in the ring, but I was impressed that he went back out of the ring to save Sheamus, even though there wasn't much saving involved. I will admit that I was interested and a bit shocked when Cena showed his selfish side and left the fight in the ring to go looking for Big Show, but it's a little less goody-goody, so that could be a good thing.
Winners – N/A
Overall this wasn't a bad match, or bad direction for RAW, and it made sense to do things this way, but it's such a glaringly obvious heel direction for Laurinaitis to go, but that seems to the direction WWE creative is going right now. If Richard's right about this 'Revolution' being about a video game and not something really interesting for the shows, then I will be really bummed. I want something new and interesting to happen on RAW because this was a really cruddy RAW. If they're going to three hours with crap like this, I'm going to be clawing my eyes out before the kids go back to school. Keeping my fingers crossed!