I have to say how impressed I was at Ziggler on Twitter during RAW last night. Rather than sitting back and wallowing in self pity, he was out there bashing everyone as they hit the ring. If I'd had the time during RAW, I would have followed Ziggler's tweets and the show would have been that much better. While he was a bit snippy at certain Superstars, he stayed – mostly – in character, and was quite entertaining. I think it's something the WWE should look into doing more with Superstars who are not on specific shows, and have them tweet along. Of course it should be Superstars who will not get themselves in trouble with what they say, but I think it could work with quite a few Superstars, and add a lot to the shows.
Video > C+
This week's opening video wasn't anything terrible, but it wasn't very inspired either. I will admit that I'm happy they started with some of the younger guys before going on to Brock and Trip.
In Ring Segment > B
Because I know you're expecting it, I have to talk about Fandango's new outfit. While I thought Fandango looked great, his outfit was very apropos for his character, I thought that Summer Rae's dress looked downright tacky. Then again I have stated that I do not like Summer Rae, and why I do not like her. Other than showing off her long legs, the girl can't dance. Jericho and Edyta looks great, especially Edyta, but she is a professional dancer, and is able to sell outfits like that amazingly.
I thought King, Jericho, and Fandango on mic were fantastic. Fandango is extremely lucky that Jericho is putting so much time into getting him over with the fans. I don't know what I was expecting, because I know Fandango and Summer Rae can't dance, but this wasn't it. I was not at all surprised that Fandango played a dirty trick and attacked Jericho, but I really thought we would see Jericho and Edyta dance before all the fighting began. The fact that they brought Edyta in for the show, I figured they'd at least let her dance – though she did flee quite quickly when the fighting started. All in all I thought this was a lot more entertaining than any of us ever expect these dance offs to be. Normally dance offs are the time to run for drink, or hit the potty, but this one was quite entertaining, and that is because of Jericho and how well Fandango works with him.
Video > D
They started the show with the recap video, why are we seeing more now? To me this was overkill, and way too early.
Ryder vs Ryback > D
So Ryder has been back these past couple weeks to job to anyone and everyone. Is he happy to be getting the TV time, or is there something more going on? Has Ryder finally realized that he really isn't much more than enhancement talent? Of course, Ryback needed somebody to beat down, and make him look like the monster they want us to believe he is, so why not Ryder? Well, because the whole minute they were in the ring together wasn't memorable.
Winner – Ryback (1:03)
Video > D
I understand that they're building toward a PPV, but looking back at everything Trip and Brock have done this past year is sucking up too much time.
Prime Time Players vs Tons of Funk > C
I think Sweet T has been much more entertaining as Sweet T. He really seems to be enjoying himself as well. His running senton is just fantastic to watch, and so much less painful to watch than him slapping around his follower. And while it makes sense for the Prime Time Players to cheat to win, I can't see as a plastic pick has enough oomfph behind it to do much damage, and it's not as if Clay was stabbed by it, so I don't know what they were trying to imply with this cheap win.
Winners – Prime Time Players (1:37)
Video > B
I thought they did a good job of showing what happened to Ziggler on Smackdown. They really pushed that Swagger was at fault for Ziggler's concussion. There was no question what the WWE was trying to tell us about who caused Ziggler's concussion.
Stage Segment > B
I think they needed to give Big E more than just one line to say about Ziggler. Yes, AJ did a great job of getting all riled up, but I think Big E needs to be stepping up during this time that Ziggler is out. I also think it's quite interesting that ADR and Swagger will be in an I Quit Match at Extreme Rules. I think I can predict this one right now!
Kofi vs Sandow > B+
I'm really bummed that Kofi will defend against Ambrose at Extreme Rules. I really wanted to see a 6 Man Tag Match with all belts on the line. I think it would be a fantastic match, and something I'd tune in to see on Sunday.
I was very impressed with Sandow in this match. He looked really strong, and while I was bummed that he lost, I understand why he did. Another thing that really impressed me was the fans chanting for Kofi. He's not one who's had the fans greatly behind him most of the time, even though they do seem to like him. The fans react to Kofi, but rarely chant for him, so it was nice to hear.
Winner – Kofi (2:30)
Video > B+
I rarely give a video such a high grade, but it's been a long time since we've seen a Strap Match, so a refresher made a lot of sense, even though that was a Texas Bull Rope Match. Further, it was Eddie and JBL! Any time the WWE puts Eddie on TV in such a light – as they usually do when showing clips of him – I have to smile. I miss Eddie.
In Ring Segment > C-
I know Josh trained to be a wrestler, but he's not a wrestler and shouldn't be abused just because he's a smaller guy. I understand what they're doing with Henry, but this looked more like straight up bullying than Henry showing his power. I usually try to separate the storylines from bullying, but Henry's has crossed that line.
I wasn't even overly impressed with Sheamus on mic this week – and it has nothing to do with Ziggler's comments on Twitter. He just came off as not as into this segment, until he went after Henry with the strap. Might it be that Sheamus is getting as bored with this feud as I am?
Video > D
More recapping. I still have to give McMahon props for how he took that F5, but they don't need to be jamming Brock down our throats!
Video > ?
I will not grade the trailer of a movie that I haven't seen. At least not the first time they show it. The 25th time, I will fail it!
Video > C+
Recap of the Dance-Off already? A bit soon, but I know it's to push their match at Extreme Rules, but it feels too soon after the actual segment.
Cesaro vs Orton > B
They spent too much time talking about the WWE App, and showing Big Show in the corner of the screen, and too little time with the early part of this match. Not that this match was long enough to matter, but they could have spent a little more time with it. And then there's poor Cesaro! He came out last week with a new look, a new direction, and it seemed as though things might be looking up for him, then he came out and was beaten in three minutes this week. Cesaro was on top through most of the match, or at least still really in the match, then one RKO and it was over. I know the RKO is supposed to be so amazing, but I'm as sick of Super Orton as I am of Super Cena these days. But at least with Cena, I like the man behind the character.
Winner – Orton (3:09)
Miz vs Slater > C+
This match got more time than any other match previously on the show. More time than Orton and Cesaro. More time than Kofi and Sandow. That makes no sense to me. Yes, they're going to start pushing Miz again, now that he's back from making his latest movie, but that doesn't mean he and Slater deserve that time right off the blocks, and over guys who have been busting their humps each week recently. Don't get me wrong, I like Miz. Heck, my service dog has a Miz collar (it was on sale), but over guys like Sandow and Cesaro who have been working so hard lately, nope! Though I will admit that Miz looks better, and his wrestling really isn't as bad as so many people rip on him for, but he will never be Bryan in the ring.
Winner – Miz (4:25)
Video > A
It seems as though Fox has been involved with many charities that the WWE is involved with. She's been in a number of these videos, and I can understand why. Fox is cute, sweet, and comes across really well to the public. The same can be said for Layla.
Yay, Brock was busted open and they went to black and white so we can't see the blood. Yes, we get it, they don't like each other!
6 Man Elimination Tag Team Match > A
I'm continued to be floored by Daniel Bryan in the ring. That man (and get over it, I'm going to say this) seems like the perfect combination of the Radicalz. Benoit's technical skills, Malenko's holds and reversals, Eddie's showmanship and charisma, Saturn's goofiness. He can work with anyone, and usually makes his opponents look better than they would otherwise. Bryan, above most on the roster, should be main eventing and strapped again very soon.
I was also blown away by the tagging work of The Shield. Those men are so effortless as a team that if I didn't know how good they can be on their own – other than Reigns, but I'm guessing with him – that I'd think they were only team wrestlers. They are a dream to watch, and putting them in the ring with Team Hell No makes me giddy. I didn't even mind Cena in this match because there was so much more going on in the ring that we saw more than Cena's regular use of the same moves.
This part really sucks, but I have to admit when I'm wrong. This sucks worse than usual because I argued the point with Jesse after it happened, and it galls me to admit he was right, but he was. Kane was eliminated from this match by DQ, not by Count Out as I thought last night. Shut up Jesse! I also have to admit that I went to the potty in the middle of this match, and I forgot to stop my stopwatch, so I didn't get a time for this match last night. I wasn't going to go back the 20 minutes and start timing it again.
At first I thought Ryback had his foot on Cena's family jewels, not on his leg, and I was all giggles. They both sold this well, but it was so obvious that Ryback slammed that chair on the mat, not on Cena's ankle.
Winner – Cena via DQ (23:20)
Video > D
Yes, we know all this. We know what happened at WrestleMania. I'm sure there's very few people who sat down and watched RAW who didn't watch WrestleMania, read about what happened at WrestleMania, seen recaps of what happened at WrestleMania, or had someone next to them explaining what happened at WrestleMania. Brock was beat by Trip, that's it, and it should have been left there.
Backstage Segment > C+
What's going to happen when Ryback loses at Extreme Rules? Who will he blame then? Cena? Most likely Cena, but he will have less of a fight behind him about it.
Video > B
Again, I have to admit I'm really glad to see that Swagger is taking the heat he deserves for being reckless in the ring and giving Ziggler a concussion, but I would love to see him go really reprimanded, or suspended, for his most recent actions in the ring.
Big E vs Swagger > B
Big E looked like a little kid playing in the chalk up on stage before he came to the ring, I'm not sure that's the best look for him. He is supposed to be a big, muscled, unstoppable man, but in that moment he lost all of his scariness. And since I am talking about Big E, but not his wrestling, I have to say I'm not sure about the singlet he's been wearing lately. While a different hue, that gray singlet has a similar tone as his skin, and when he is kicking out, it looks as though he's not wearing anything down there.
I have to say that Big E has been looking very solid in the ring, the few chances we've seen him actually wrestle. I really need to go back and watch all of the episodes of NXT. I know there is so much that I'm missing.
I have to say that I think most people voted for Swagger to be in this match because they wanted to see Big E flatten Swagger. I know I did, and didn't even mind seeing Ziggler in the lower corner briefly. Being that Swagger was going after the World Heavyweight Championship, I understand why this was a longer match compared to the rest, except the long match of course, but it doesn't make sense to me to reward Swagger with a longer match after the crap he pulled last week.
I did like they carried the feud with ADR on after the match, but Big E basically stood in for Ziggler. I will admit that ADR coming out on top here makes me worry that he won't win on Sunday, but I will keep my hopes up that Swagger will say those two little words.
Winner – Swagger via Count Out (7:18)
AJ vs Natalya > B-
Personally, I think AJ's new black widow hold was so beautifully, and gracefully executed that I had to bump up this match is full letter grade for that one move. It was great to see the Divas finally getting more creative in the ring. I know that these women have the skills – Natalya, Tamina, Kaitlyn, AJ, and Paige (NXT) – and should be allowed to show them off on a regular basis. That they scheduled this match just to keep the Divas on TV so people will remember their show on E! this summer really annoys me. The Divas are strong, talented, and beautiful women and should be utilized for more than their T&A. I know that Kaitlyn and the Bellas were on announce to further their storyline, but the whole thing felt forced. The Bellas are not very good on mic, and as much as I hate to admit it, they are better eye candy then much else. Before the new reality show was announced, I really had no clue why the Bellas were back – other than their boyfriends.
Okay, off that tangent. Sorry. Anyway, I really hope we see more of AJ in the ring. She was quite impressive, and while I hope she has a finishing move (been so long since we've seen her in the ring really working), but I love that she has a submission finisher. I know I rank on ADR something fierce for his submission finisher, but it's because it's all he uses, while we don't see Divas using submission finishers at all. It's unique and so different, and the way AJ used it was so lovely, that I can't help but love it.
Winner – AJ (3:21)
Video > F
I'm so over all the Brock recap videos in this episode of RAW.
Announce Segment > C+
I have to say I loved all of the comments made about JR going hog hunting with HBK. It almost made the recap of the Dance-Off not that bad – almost.
Backstage Segment > B+
I really hope that Jericho is not turning heel, but I like it that he's getting a bit more serious about going after Fandango. Jericho was graded all the fun and games, but sometimes he needs to get serious and this is the time. Richard was absolutely right on Ask WNW today. Jericho is so much more than all the other part time talent. The work he puts in, the passion he gives everything he does with the WWE, and honestly in all he does, is what makes him a Superstar. If the younger wrestlers gave half of Jericho's passion, then the WWE would be terribly exciting again. I know each character needs its own feel and its own flow, but Jericho puts so much into each type of character he plays. Fandango is very lucky to be working with Jericho at this point in his WWE career.
In Ring Segment > B+
I have to say that there's few things sexier than watching Trip as a cage lowers around him. I don't know what it is, but dang it's fine! (Sorry, I usually can hold that in, but sometimes I need to let it out.) Trip was really great on mic here, but imagine if that was directed at a younger wrestler coming up and wanting to knock Trip off his pedestal? Look at the work Jericho is doing with Fandango, you'd think the man who is being groomed to take over the company would be working for the best possible product, not just working his own ego with the highest paid waste in the company.
All that, but then hearing Trip banter with Heyman brings a grin to my face. Then again, why not have Heyman with a younger guy as well? Yes, he works well for Brock, and with Punk, but one more wouldn't kill him. He's done a great job of keeping his work with Brock and his work with Punk apart, so I think a third would be possible.
I have to admit that I need to show Sam this segment, because hate is a word that's not allowed in our house. Not just hate, but we push them to find other words for that type of word. I've always disliked the word hate, so we're using it as a vocabulary building tool. It's worked well with the teens too.
Trip's reasoning for Brock not working RAW, because Heyman can't afford Brock to work RAW. It's an interesting twist, something this feud greatly needed, but it still wasn't enough. I will say they made things look good in the ring, but that Trip wasn't injured working with Brock shocked me. Then again, there's still Sunday for Brock to continue running reckless in the ring. I understand why McMahon brought Brock in, but I don't think he's worth the money, or the risk.
That 6 Man Elimination Tag Match was so worth the time. For me, it made RAW. That they were willing to devote a half hour to The Shield, Team Hell No and Cena more than paid off. They keep giving The Shield the ball and they keep running with it. Of course it doesn't hurt that they spend most of the match working with Bryan. That man, as I said, is just inspired. That my nine year old daughter loves Bryan as much as she loves Cena is a wonderful thing. Bryan, with Kane has become relate-able, and with that has shown a lot of kids how great technical work can be. The Shield has been showing how great tagging can be, and AJ showed that Divas can throw some solid submission holds. What is the WWE coming to?