What a mess! I have to say that the WWE doesn't seem to know if they're coming or going. They make one main event for Survivor Series, but that doesn't even last a week before they change it for something else that makes the booking even harder! I usually say this about TNA, but the WWE needs someone to take control of the direction of the company and let them run with it. It seems as though having VKM, Triple H and Steph all leading the company has made things a lot less cohesive, both in the company and on TV. Hopefully they will pull things together before Survivor Series as WWE creative is sucking wind. I think they held it together decently for RAW in England, though I can't say it followed the storylines that the WWE had been following before the overseas tour.
Opening Videos > C-
What was up with that narrator? I felt like I was watching old episodes of Soap! Does anyone else remember Soap? It was a spoof on traditional soap operas that aired from 1977 to 1981. The narrator's voice from Soap will always be in my head, so hearing the narrator for these videos grated on my nerves quite a bit.
Backstage Segment > B+
I loved the chemistry between Heyman and Miz! I don't know if it's because Miz works well with almost anyone, or because Heyman works to well with almost anyone, but it seemed to be more than that.
6 Man Tag Match - B
I'm really liking the chemistry between Cesaro and R-Truth. I think R-Truth could really help Cesaro get over. His little pre-match video saying that Cesaro was going to 'get got' in all sorts of languages, then then that his video was cut off before R-Truth could say 'ass' made me laugh. R-Truth is just silly enough that he will work well against Cesaro.
I thought this match worked pretty well, except that glaring botch from Sin Cara. He has been looking better since working with Rey, but that move was a mess. Other than that, this match didn't look as bad as it could have. Young sold well, and O'Neil didn't really mess anything. I'm really glad they started RAW with a longer match with solid wrestlers that got the fans interested in the show. They heated up the crowd pretty well.
Winners – Rey & Sin Cara & R-Truth (11:11)
Video > A+
Yay! King will be on RAW next week!
Videos > C
I understand what they're doing with the Cena/AJ scandal, but it's so glaringly obvious that it's somewhat annoying. This past Impact AJ Styles made a comment about AJ's and hotel elevators, and I have to say that this is such a blatant ripoff of that storyline (to a point), that I'm kind of disgusted. The more they show these videos, the more I roll my eyes. I know it's supposed to look like Vickie is grasping at straws, but it's annoying rather than interesting.
In Ring Segment > B+
I will say that Vickie handled herself wonderfully in this segment and was way over with the fans, getting some of the biggest heat of the night, but beyond that, this segment held little for me. She did a great job of continually grasping at straws.
Cena sold well, really trying to come off as clean cut and self deprecating. That man can abuse himself something fierce! Talking about him not learning more moves was executed wonderfully. He was also great in how he went rushing to AJ's aid without batting an eye.
AJ on the tron was great! She was physically shaking in her fury at Vickie. She was just great, but the way the fans chanted for her to come out should show TPTB in the WWE just how over AJ is. The fans want to see her, and they want to see skin. I was a bit worried when AJ didn't come out, I was afraid the fans might get pissed about her not coming out.
Videos > A+
I was very happy to see the WWE posting links for people to donate to those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Backstage Segment > B-
I like that Barrett has been added to the heel team for Survivor Series, but adding him during this show made no sense to me. Barrett was a face in the UK, so adding him to the heel team made no sense.
Bryan vs Cody > C+
While I understand why they're having these matches, and they are pushing this feud, I think it's a huge waste of really great wrestlers. So while it was nice to see them, I wish they'd done more ring work.
Winner – Cody (1:55)
Kane vs Sandow > B-
This match was also fun, and better than the previous match. I loved the interactions between Bryan and Cody, but even better was Sandow's reaction to Cody being thrown out. It was nice to see Sandow back in pink tights, and seeing such different reactions from him. This man is a rising Superstar.
Winner – Kane (3:55)
In Ring Segment > B
Maddox started off well, but then he started getting whiny as he went along. I'm liking the character and I'm interested in seeing where they're going with this, and I hope it won't end next week when Ryback flattens him. Actually, I'm expecting Punk or Heyman or another 'Heyman guy' will get involved in this match and Maddox will get a contract, because they wouldn't have set up something as big as this to end with one splat.
In Ring Segment > A-
I split this off from Maddox because I have to give this a different grade. I loved how VKM worked against Vickie. Threatening to fire her on the spot of she went with Ziggler was hysterical! This was just too much fun!
Sheamus vs Miz > A-
I really enjoyed this match. Both of these guys worked the ring wonderfully, and Big Show added an extra flavor. I was wondering a couple times if Big Show was going to flatten Cole, they really got argumentative a couple times. I was afraid that Big Show was going to end this match in a DQ, but I was pleasantly surprised that he didn't. This was probably the best match of the night, at least for me.
Winner – Sheamus (14:43)
Backstage Segment > A-
I thought everyone involved in this segment sold well. Vickie and Ziggler were so happy about it now being Team Ziggler, but the best as Punk's ire at his Triple Threat Match at Survivor Series, and then the main event of RAW. He was really solid here.
Video > ?
Fandangoo? Wha? I'll believe it's not a terrible idea when I see it.
Backstage Segment > D
I love Regal and really thought he was flat here. Regal has some of the best comedic timing on the roster, but he was lame here. Sad to see that he couldn't even get a good segment in his own home country!
Eve & Aksana vs Layla & Kaitlyn > C+
I want to see more of Kaitlyn. Every time I've seen her in the ring recently she's impressed me. I wasn't expecting much from Aksana, which is what we got, but Eve and Kaitlyn worked well. Sadly, even Layla was a little floppy and not very interesting in this match. I'm hoping she's not on her way down as Kaitlyn is on her way up. So while this wasn't a great match, it was better than a lot of what the Divas have done over the past year. The best part was the ending between Kaitlyn and Eve.
Winners – Layla & Kaitlyn (4:58)
Backstage Segment > C
Are they going to put Rosa with ADR because they speak the same language? That feels really cheap to me.
Kofi vs ADR > B
I do have to say that this was a better match than I expected. I really don't expect much from ADR these days, but working with Kofi made his broaden his moves in the ring. Kofi really helped ADR look good in the ring. Maybe ADR needs to spend more time in the ring with people like Kofi, because he sure looked better than I've seen him in months, if not longer. Sadly ADR will be back in the ring with Orton soon and we'll be bored again.
Winner – Kofi (7:54)
Team CoBro vs Colons w/ Rosa > B
The Colon cousins really shined in this match. They were crisp and seemed to hit every move with precision. I can't say it was a very exciting match, but it was entertaining. Santino so obviously knows what he's doing in the ring, but it seems like he's not allowed to do much beyond hip tosses, arm drags, and the cobra. I know he's comic relief, but since he knows how to work the ring, why not let him do it more?
Winners – Team CoBro (5:00)
Funkasaurus vs Barrett > B-
This match threw me for a loop. I understand Barrett being the babyface in his home country, but going against such a huge face felt wrong. I know Barrett was going to be over in England, but it would have made more sense for him to go against more of a heel. Yes, beating Clay made him look quite strong, but I thought it was unnecessary.
Winner – Barrett (3:01)
Slater vs Jey Uso > B-
It was nice to see a lot of matches on RAW this week. That's something they usually do when overseas, I just wish they were better matches. This could have easily been a tag match, and I think it would have worked better. I can't say this was Slater's best match, but Jey sure put everything into this match and really earned his show bonus. So even though this wasn't a stellar match, it was still above average. I think 3MB could be bigger than WWE creative expected them to be, but that's just a guess.
I also want to make a comment about Drew. I was really wondering why he wasn't there to support his band, but now that I know why he wasn't there, my heart goes out to him. I wish his mother all the best. Health issues can rock an entire family to the core, but if they're holding close and supporting each other, it will mean so much more to the one who is sick.
Winner – Slater (3:54)
Punk & Ziggler vs Cena & Ryback >
What was up with Ziggler's elbow drops? JR called them epic, and I have to agree. The way Ziggler hit those elbow drops, so quickly and gracefully, he really impressed the heck out of me. Anyone who doesn't think he's a raising star, and should be further up the food chain, watch these elbow drops and come back. Heck, watch Ziggler in all his segments during this episode of RAW, he was just wonderful! From being a letch to AJ to becoming the captain of Team Ziggler.
I actually have to admit that I enjoyed watching Ryback waiting on the apron. He stayed in character so beautifully, even though he wasn't the focus of the match. That really impressed me. I know it should be expected of the Superstars, but sometimes people drop the ball on the apron – Ryback absolutely didn't! (As I wrote this I could only think of how Kane got away with dropping character and kayfabe on the apron when King had his heart attack, but got away with it because he's under a mask.) Then when Ryback came into the match, he looked as solid as ever. He really worked Ziggler and Punk hard, but I hope he's given more leeway in the ring soon, he really has skills that he hasn't shown us as of late. Fingers crossed.
Winners – Cena & Ryback (10:12)
Rather than go through my normal schpeal here, I'm going to watch the rest of Smackdown Live, then watch the election results until I can't keep my eyes open any longer. To everyone in the USA who legally can vote, I hope you had your voice heard. To everyone affected by Sandy, my heart and hopes are still with you, stay warm.