Last week there was a discussion in the RIB comments about getting caught up in the moment. I had stated that I had cussed loudly when APA appeared on the 1,000th episode of RAW, but then I ripped on Brock for cussing at Trip on the show. After clearing up that I write the RIB, and that it wasn't testosterone leading my outburst, I stated that while I might have cussed loudly as I got caught up in the moment, I only did so because my younger daughter was asleep, and that I'm not on a TV show that pushes their PG rating in such a huge way. Now, I understand getting caught up in the moment, but I'm not going to yell and cuss loudly at a Girl Scout troop meeting, even if APA happened to walk in. It's all a matter of time and place, and on a PG is not the time or the place.
Taking that one step further, AW really stepped in it. Honestly, as I admitted last night, I did not hear what AW said as I actively ignore AW during matches. That he's on mic during matches is just horrible. I'll say it again, I'd rather listen to Taz, Tenay, Cole and Booker for an entire three hour show than listen to AW for only one match. I have not like this man from word go and feel he gives managers a bad name. I don't know who in the company has such a hard on for AW, but maybe the position he put WWE in could cool that feeling down a bit. AW put the WWE in a terrible position with his comment. First off, that comment was so far out of date – over nine years – that I wonder why is was at the front of his brain, or if it wasn't as much of a slip as he claimed. Then there's the issue that Kobe could really take offense to the comment and possibly come after the WWE for defamation of character. I've never been an AW fan, but this is more than that, he did say something he really shouldn't have said. And before I get attacked for being overly sensitive, I'm not complaining about it because of how inappropriate it is, and how not PC it is. I'm unhappy about this because the WWE is pushing their PG rating down our throat so hard that I can barely see past Cena's goody-goody smile, but they let this slide through with a few little apologies. If this was the AE, I'm not sure I'd bat an eye, maybe cringe at how tasteless it is, but the WWE is not all badass these days and this really doesn't fit with their image.
The other thing I want to hit on here before diving into the show is the recap videos that were tucked into the now three hour RAW. Honestly, if they were planning on filling in that extra hour with replay videos – at least three long ones about the feud and impending fight between Trip and Brock – they could have added it in on any weekend night the way they used to. By the time the third Trip, Heyman, Steph and Brock video was aired, Stacy had to about peel me off the ceiling as was so annoyed. While I understand that RAW was a little off kilter last night due to being their first regular three hour RAW, they had that fire, and then AW shoved his foot, minus the shoe he threw at Kofi, down his own gullet, there was no reason for all of that previously aired footage. Yes, they want to push Trip and Brock, but that was well overboard, and not the only video recap there was. I've been slapped a bit for attacking TNA for too many recap videos, but WWE took it to a whole new level last night. Makes me wonder if VKM has been watching too much TNA, no matter what he claims. I'm not saying that TNA came up with the idea of recap videos, but that they use too many to fill the show that should be filled with wrestling (figured I'd better say that so people don't jump on me far stating things I'm not saying). If the WWE didn't have such a full mid-card roster, and a lack of Divas, I might understand, but they have so many wrestlers who would have loved that time to show off how great they are. I'm going to step back and hope that this was a case of jitters and that we'll be getting more actual live wrestling next week, but I'm also going to start timing the recap videos to see just how much time is being spent looking back over pushing forward.
Video > B+
I give the WWE credit for how they started the show. I know I've been ripping on the recap videos, but this one made sense in many ways. First off, they wanted to make sure the majority of the fans were really settled in and ready for the show after the fire and evacuation. I'm sure most were, and I bet there were dark matches for Superstars, but the fire set their schedule back. So starting the show with this long, but well executed video made absolute sense. I'm willing to bet that they would have started with an opening recap video even without the fire, but I'm willing to be a bit more relaxed about such a long video because of the problems the WWE was having getting ready for the show.
In Ring Segment > A-
While I thought Punk was a bit long winded here, he's always a little verbose and had a lot to say with his heel turn. I loved that he went after King for what was said last week. Punk parking his bum on announce was a creative way for Punk to work. It will probably lead to a match between King and Punk at some point along this storyline, but not for a while yet. King needs time to really get riled up. I also loved how Punk verbally attacked Rock for not even responding to what Punk did last week after the year he spent with Cena. Punk is really setting the stage for Royal Rumble and I'm already getting excited. The Royal Rumble is almost always my favorite PPV, and the thought of Punk and Rock colliding brings a big smile to my face.
I thought Punk would talk more about being the WWE Champ and not main eventing any PPVs. I know it was implied in how the show should be all about him as he's the Champ, but I expected more. I think that Trip and Brock will be the main event for SummerSlam, and that will further goad Punk's attitude and feeling that he should be the star as he's the Champ. As much as Punk should be the main event at SummerSlam, that he most likely won't be should add more lovely fuel to the fire.
As much as Big Show is now the big, scary giant, his opening comment about it not being hard to steal the spotlight from Punk was quiet, well timed, and showed that side of him again. I love how Big Show told Punk he wouldn't still be Champ if not for Big Show. Punk's new heel ego would never agree with that, but it was fun to watch.
I was not expecting AJ in a power suit! She reminded me of a tiny Steph. The suit, the hair, the way she carries herself. I'm really looking forward to see what she does with the role. We might not be seeing Divas in the ring, I'm so impressed that the one that doesn't fit the mold has made it so far.
Backstage Segment > B+
I'm going to put both of Bryan outside AJ's office segments together here. I am always very impressed with Bryan, but the way he showed us so much without actually saying anything further impressed me. Even with all that fuzz on his face he can emote like so few can.
ADR vs Santino > C
I might be a huge Santino fan, and am impressed that Santino lasted more than two minutes with ADR, I just can't get past how boring ADR is! Honestly, I know that much of it is because his character is so stagnant and he's not putting anything behind his character and little more than that into his ring work. If he has such troubles with the WWE and the people in it, why is he staying? Yes, the WWE is the big name is pro wrestling in the USA, but there's so many other places to go. He was a big name in Mexico and is planning on going back there to work when his contract is up, so let him go as it seems like few fans care enough to give ADR pop or heat. Ricardo is much more entertaining and enjoyable than ADR. When ADR said he wasn't wrestling until his Title match at SummerSlam, I was thrilled, but then realized that I'd have to see him face Sheamus at SummerSlam and came back down to Earth.
Winner – ADR (7:35)
In Ring Segment > B+
I think this might have garnered a better grade without Vickie. I'm a bit surprised about that myself, but Vickie made no sense in this segment. I think it would have worked better if it had been Sandow coming out to verbally, then physically attack Funkasaurus.
I'm not sure how I feel about Funkasaurus and Sandow getting into a feud, if that is the plan. It doesn't feel like a good physical fit for either of them, but I could be horribly wrong. Character wise, they could be great. That Sandow got the upper hand on Funkasaurus shows that they could work well together. I do wish that Sandow would add a bit of Lanny Poffo's 'Genius' character in, but I'm a bit biased as I adore Poffo. Either way, I'm loving Sandow and hope he's heading into a big push. I do wish he'd do his cartwheel anytime he's out of his robe, not just after a match.
Video > C+
This recap made sense as it was a way to set up for the coming tag match. It was also short and to the point, really editing down the two big conflicting moments between Ziggler and Jericho.
Backstage Segment > B+
AJ handled Bryan quite well in her office. Him back-peddling about the guys in white was too funny. I'm interested in seeing what AJ is going to do to Bryan over the coming weeks.
Trip/Brock Videos > D-
I'm going to group these three identical recap videos together here. While showing this once would have made sense, that it was shown three times in its entirety was ridiculous. I love Steph, but I want to see her live, not in the same clip over and over. I'm very upset that they took the better part of ten minutes (as far as I can tell, each segment was about 3:17) from RAW for this. Looking at ten minutes out of three hours doesn't seem like much, but this first video was around the 45 minute mark, and there had only be 7:35 of wrestling so far on the show. To me that's a serious problem.
The second video did start off a little different, but ended up the same as the first one. This one was only 1:16, but still more of what we already know.
The third one was also a little different from the other two. It started off talking about Brock and Trip facing off at SummerSlam for the first time, but again went back to the same core video. This one came in at 3:33. So they were not ten minutes total, but there were too many showing us exactly the same thing over and over. Maybe they think they have to show us the same videos during each hour, but most people who are going to sit down and watch RAW are either going to watch the whole thing, or DVR the show and watch big chunks of it, and they will blow right through these videos. I don't think it does anything but burn time and let Trip toot his own horn to show this video so many times in one show.
Announce Segment > C-
I can't take too much away from the WWE asking the fans what we want for matches from the wrestlers, but King screwed it up a bit asking for A, B, or C, rather than the hashtags. Cole did a good job of turning this around without going all heel on King, or making him look like an idiot.
Backstage Segment > C+
I loved Sheamus' self deprecating comment about his pretty face and looking for the most brutal match. The reason I gave this a lower score is the way Sheamus was asking Josh if he was okay as he was acting a little nervous. I don't know what I might have missed, but this seemed to be a non sequitur. (I even went back to watch this segment and I still don't get it.)
Fire Videos > D+
I understand replaying about the fire that started before the show started, but they didn't need to play it as many times as they did. (0:36)
After Jericho and Christian defeated Miz and Ziggler, they had to again show us the fire. This was basically the same, and of the same length. (0:36) Since they started RAW with this video, they basically showed it as many times as they showed Trip, Steph and Brock, but in a more compact way.
Street Fight > B
I actually quite enjoyed this match. It made both of them appear strong and willing to work the ring hard, even if not for a PPV. While this doesn't make up for their 18 seconds at WrestleMania, this was very enjoyable and entertaining. The work with the kendo stick was solid, and neither held back as they worked all over the ringside and stage area. It was obvious when Bryan held his head up off the stairs as Sheamus pulled him off on for the pinfall, but that's taking care of yourself in that little moment, so I don't fault him for it at all!
Winner – Sheamus (13:51)
Video > C
This was only 31 seconds of Punk from the start of RAW, but it was setting up for more video after the commercial! Why?
In Ring Segment > B+
I was so confused by Bryan that he really brought question and tension to the show.
Punk Opening Segment Videos > C
Then another 1:27 of opening segment recap. I know they do that on every RAW at the top of the hour, but the recap videos are getting on my nerves. Okay, so they only showed Punk's recap videos twice, both much shorter than the other recap videos I keep harping on. I guess I can't fault them too much for showing these, he is the WWE Champ after all!
In Ring Segment > A
Between Bryan's work with Little Jimmy, R-Truth' work with Little Jimmy, and the men in white coats, this segment was great, but then AJ said that R-Truth wasn't the one in need of help, it was 'that little guy in the ring, Daniel Bryan.' I actually snorted at that one. From loving Bryan adoringly to calling him 'little guy' and saying he's unstable – brilliant! Further, the way AJ sold ever word she said with her amazing facial expressions was great, and topping it off with that air kiss, no one could have done it better.
Kofi w/ R-Truth & Little Jimmy vs O'Neil w/ Young & AW > D-
The only bright light in this match was Kofi. O'Neil man handled Kofi something fierce! I normally don't re-watch RAW as I write this – usually work from my RAW Results - but since I was going back to time certain segments and check certain moments for exact wording, I figured I'd keep the show on and watch as I wrote. Just before AW made his Kobe comment O'Neil manhandled Kofi because he just didn't know how to do what he was doing, and it didn't get any better from there. Personally I think he's dangerous in the ring and should not be in the ring with any of the WWE Superstars because of his lack of skills. I felt really bad for Kofi before he got nailed with AW's manky shoe, yelling 'Yo Mama!', after that I truly pitied him. That was three minutes Kofi should feel lucky he lived through without injury.
Winner – O'Neil (2:52)
Backstage Segment > A-
He was truly full on Punk heel to Cena here. That man can sure talk pretty, in both positive and negative ways. Hopefully this heel turn will bring back the edginess that Punk has been missing recently.
Announce Segment - B
Cole is such a different man when he's being the serious front man for the WWE. While he can be annoying as full out heel, the man knows how to handle situations like AW put the company in. He did a solid job of apologizing for AW's horrible gaffe.
Video > B-
And we had to see Punk talking to Cena again? Okay, that one line was quite poignant, so I understand why they did this.
Video > B+
This was a feel good moment from the 1,000th episode of RAW. While JBL's clothesline from hell was fabby, Lita's moonsault looked effortless! She looked as though she hadn't taken a day from the ring, never mind the years she's been gone.
Slater vs Orton > B
I have to admit it, the reaction for Orton was impressive. Even more than that, he really seemed to be soaking it in and appreciate it. I loved that Slater got a bit of an upper hand to start the match. I actually had hopes for Slater there for a moment. It was a brief moment, but a moment. Then Orton hit his five moves of doom and it was over. Yes, I said it, Orton was Super Cena in this match. He got away with it because the fans were so hot for him, but only for that. I hope Slater isn't going to turn into a forgotten joke after this match. Hopefully the good words from the legends on Slater's part will help keep him from falling back to Superstars and nothing else. I like Slater and I think he has spunk! After thinking about what my friend Asher said about Slater coming off like a young Edge, I have gone from loving Slater to being head over heel for him.
Winner – Orton (1:17)
Bryan's Backstage Segments w/ Shrink > A-
Bryan with the 'doctor' was hysterical! These were some of the funniest segments of the night. I like how they kept them short and each one had their own single joke. The first being that Bryan is vegan and didn't marry AJ, "YES!" "YES!" "YES!"
The second was the ink blots and the goat face. I loved Bryan's Greatest Of All Time reference. Then, of course he goes off on Sheen as if he's watching. Wonderfully funny stuff from Bryan!
The third and last segment with Bryan and the 'doc' was a bit shocking to me. That Bryan is not crazy is a shock. I love the 'weird obsession with 'Charlie Sheen', but even better was Kane! I know they're playing in Sheen's new show, Anger Management, but this could set up for a match for Bryan and Kane at SummerSlam, something that is vastly better than Bryan facing Sheen as many of us had worried. I'm willing to bet that Sheen will get involved with the match somehow. VKM wouldn't be putting this much time into such an obvious storyline without having Sheen tied down. Then again they brought Sheen in for his Twitter numbers and he closed that account before the 1,000th episode of RAW!
I also wonder if Kane is going to be AJ's enforcer/lap dog. I'd love to see her wrap Kane around her finger a bit to get things done. They have such a spicy chemistry that it could be a lot of fun, but still let Kane be a bit of a monster.
Christian & Jericho vs Ziggler & Miz > A-
Seeing Jericho and Christian together brought me back to a storyline they did back in 2004. Anyone know the storyline I'm talking about? Trish and Lita were running together at that time, so Christian and Jericho made a bet to see which could nail one of the Divas first. Christian was after Lita, Jericho after Trish. They bet one dollar, Canadian! At that point the exchange rate wasn't the best, so a Canadian dollar was less than one dollar in the USA. Well, things didn't go as they had hoped as Jericho really fell for Trish. Jericho and Trish did most of the writing for their character and those segments were so realistic that many fans were wondering if Jericho was cheating on his wife. They had sweet and tender moments, and some very steamy kisses, but Christian didn't fair as well. Of course the Divas found out, and Trish was very hurt. The Divas ended up in a match against Jericho and Christian. Christian had no troubles laying his hands on the Divas and fighting them, but Jericho would only work against Lita, and even then without much heart. Christian's willingness to hurt the Divas led to Jericho facing him at WrestleMania. Well, during the match Trish ran out to the ring and seemingly unintentionally cost Jericho the match. Well, that ended up not being quite true. Trish turned heel and we were presented with a nauseating display of Trish and Christian trying to suck each others tonsils out of their heads.
I flashed back to that storyline and was reminded of how much fun Jericho and Christian had as partners. While they are both in feuds right now, I'd love to see them tagging here and there against Miz and Ziggler. All of them work the ring together in a wonderful way, both teams are solid, and it can only help Miz and Ziggler in the long run. This match showed us just how good they can all be together as I was never bored, even though this was a well over ten minute match. They all worked their strengths and it was lovely. I want more of these four men! Not in that way, goodness!
Winners – Christian & Jericho (13:36)
Announce Segment > C+
More Touting, and I know why they do it. More fan interactive is great – to a point. I wonder if I've been black balled enough for working on WNW that any Tout I might post would never be on RAW. I might have to test this after I stop looking like Rudolph from my summer cold.
Tensai vs Kidd > B-
Interesting that Kidd got his entrance aired and Tensai didn't. Things might be looking up for the Kidd! It was also nice to see that they didn't rush the ring with white towels to wipe up Kidd's three drops of blood that seeped out onto his forehead. I thought that Kidd looked great in the ring, more solid against Tensai than he should, but I'm annoyed that Kidd is stuck with Tensai and that King and Cole were laughing at Bryan more than paying attention to this match. Kidd deserves their attention! He also deserves to be in a feud with someone that doesn't have such huge character confusion! WWE needs to do something with Tensai and the 'Albert' chants. VKM doesn't want Ryback on RAW because of the Goldberg chants, but the 'Albert' chants are much more pronounced than the Goldberg chants!
Winner – Kidd via DQ (2:11)
Announce Segment > B
I was thrilled to see Punk come out to announce. He is so good in that role. The only thing I felt was truly lacking, though I understand why he didn't wear a blazer to announce. It was sort of a silly thing he did, and it might not have worked with him being such a heel right now.
# 1 Contender Match > B
I have to say that both Cena and Big Show worked this match well. Okay, so we had a bit much of Super Cena, but that's to be expected when he's in almost any match, but especially when he's in with someone like Big Show. While almost anyone else on announce would have taken away from the match, Punk really knows how to work the announce table and get his point across at the same time.
Honestly, I didn't know who could go over in this match without it ending up being a Triple Threat Match at SummerSlam anyway, but Cena flying through Punk on announce handled that. Actually, all three involved handled that bump in a great way. Big Show guided flying Cena who didn't at all flinch as he flew into Punk who also didn't bat an eye at that body barreling through him. That was a sweet bump from all involved (as long as Punk was only selling his arm pain).
Punk attacking both Cena and Big Show at the same moment looked great. It could have been a hard thing to do, but they were all in perfect position. Shows how great the pros can be. Especially since Punk, on mic, figured he'd gotten out of his SummerSlam match in that wormy way heels have of doing these things!
Winner – Big Show & Cena (16:12)
In Ring Segment > B+
AJ making the WWE Championship Match a Triple Threat Match is lovely! Cena and Big Show will be so involved with beating on each other that Punk will be able to take the win. Yes, Cena and Big Show are annoyed with Punk – Cena for Punk's degrading comments backstage, and Big Show for the kick to the head to end the ring work. This is very smart booking. Also, the was AJ handled Punk without getting at all frazzled was fun. Sure seemed to tick Punk off that much more that he couldn't upset her in any way.
During the Street Fight, Cole stated that Eve had Touted that if AJ wants to wear a power suit, she needs to walk in heels. I actually went back and looked, and AJ was in heels, and walked gracefully in them. They appeared to be boots with a thicker heel, not the stilettos that Eve wears, but Eve looked a bit trashy wearing those with her suit. Honestly, I love the look at AJ in a suit, but it covers up her figure a bit too much. I understand wanting to appear as an authority figure, but AJ is dang sexy in her little outfits and I think the men might riot if AJ continues to cover herself up like this.
While there was some wonderful segments on this show, the recapping videos were more than a bit annoying. There's plenty of time that was wasted that could have been spent on some of the younger guys they don't seem to want to push while complaining that they don't have enough top guys! Then there's the Divas who haven't seen the ring in I don't know how long. Some great moments, but the WWE needs to work on some parts of this three hour RAW where they really dropped the ball. Hopefully after VKM gets past the first couple weeks and stops freaking out we will get more quality.
I would like some feedback on a few of the changes I made to the RIB. Putting the similar videos together, and stringing Bryan's backstage in one segment. I thought it might tighten things up a big as the RIB will be longer due to RAW going to three hours. Does this work for you, or should I go back to spacing things out as they happen on the show?