Every time I set up my page for the RAW Results I put together the html tags for line break, and bold for the titles of the start of the show, and the first segment. I always put video in the first slot, then revel in being able to change it when the WWE throws a curve-ball start to the show. I automatically put in video, even thought Mike McCarthy has stepped up in the OTP and has been telling us what WWE has been posting in their App, and said that Punk would be starting the show with a match against Harper. I just wanted to be sure they weren't throwing a little video in there to start. I wasn't ready to believe it until it happened.
Punk vs Harper > B+
I was quite impressed with the work between Harper and Punk. Punk seems to be able to work with almost anyone, but Harper is still new to WWE TV, and hasn't had many singles matches. Their match had a lovely flow, and I believed the struggle. It wasn't one sided, and it didn't feel as though one was letting the other get moves over on them that shouldn't have happened. I enjoyed their work, and was quite entertained. Watching this, it's obvious that this is going to be a great feud going forward. Add in Bryan and this is going to be a lot of fun, especially at Survivor Series.
Winner – Punk (11:12)
Announce Segment > B...D-
I'm grouping all of the announce segments together, because I just don't have the intestinal fortitude to write that much about JBL and Cole's bickering about Big Show being banned - for life! The first segment wasn't bad, and the first time they played the video with all the legal lingo, I thought it was solid, but then the whole thing devolved to them arguing like children over a swing. It became more annoying than interesting. They spent too many segments and to much time on this, and it turned into nothing important as The Board made an executive decision to bring Big Show back anyway. This was a time filler, and if the WWE thinks they need time fillers like this, then maybe they should go back to a two hour RAW.
Backstage Segment > B+
Punk came on really strong in this segment with Renee. It's nice to see Punk going into a feud with another strong talker. They could steal some shows, especially with Bryan and Punk facing The Wyatt Family. I'm so excited.
Paul's Phone Call > B+
I was kind of shocked that they didn't build to Heyman's phone call more than they did. Suddenly it was happening, but we didn't know it was coming. That's not a great way to build for one of the best talkers with the company, no matter how much McMahon and Trip despise the man. I loved Cole asking if Heyman was there on the phone and Heyman said he wasn't. 'Vintage' Heyman! Then there was all of Heyman's horrible injuries and how he's in Europe with his doctor looking for alternative treatments. Heyman sells wonderfully, and I can't wait to see what they do with him, and what condition he'll be in when he returns. Wrestling genius? Comic genius as well.
Video > B-
I'm glad they played the WWE App video to explain why Khali and Ryback were facing off, because it seemed very out of the blue. Hornswoggle handled the cupcake issue well, but it was Santino's comment about how everyone knows he doesn't eat carbs after 6!
Khali vs Ryback > D-
Why? Just why? I will say that it looked as though Khali was working stiffer than normal. It could have been my imagination, but Khali's cops seemed really stiff to me. I also have to say he looked less interested in taking the pin than ever before.
Winner – Ryback (2:25)
Kofi vs ADR > B
Since working with Cena, ADR has been looking stronger in the ring, but there was a couple of almost botches in this match. The first one I might catch guff for, but I thought that German suplex looked really rough. JBL said it looked like a textbook German, but I was cringing, Now, before you jump on me for going after ADR, read this next part. The other issue I had with this match was the head scissors from Kofi. I'm not sure who was in the wrong spot, as I'm not blaming either of them specifically, but they were way of from where they should have been for ADR to reach the corner like he was supposed to. It seemed as though at was channeling Trip with springs in his toes. I honestly don't understand how they do it, but ADR managed to hit his mark on the corner, and did so beautifully! That man threw himself toward that corner and sold that move in a serious way. It really feels as though ADR is trying right now, and I'm more than thrilled!
Winner – ADR (6:53)
Orton vs Big E > B+
I have to admit that I was shocked with the voting for this match. It has felt like they've been pushing Miz on Orton, but the voting was overwhelmingly for Big E. Honestly, I'm thrilled! I love Big E, and think TPTB should take a look at the landslide he won by. Obviously McMahon, Trip and Cena are all behind Big E, but so are the fans. Further, I think Big E really proved himself in this match. He wasn't as tight as he might have been if he was more seasoned, but that will come in time. There was only one spot that I thought really looked bad, and that's when Big E was setting up for his finisher, and rather than letting Orton wiggle free, Big E seemed to push Orton back and off his shoulder. Other than that, I was really impressed with Big E's ring work. Now he needs to work on his emoting and he will be a top guy.
Winner – Orton (12:23)
Fandango & Summer Rae vs Tyson and Nattie > B-
I was so excited to see Tyson back in the ring, and working with Nattie was very cool. He did have some ring rust, but I think I'd like to see him work the ring against Fandango more in the future. As per usual, I don't know why we were stuck with Summer Rae in the ring! She is a mess, and a waste of air time. I know that there's no way to get Tyson, Nattie and Fandango without Summer Rae, but ugh!
Winners – Nattie & Tyson (3:45)
Backstage Segment > B-
I really enjoyed Sandow on mic with Renee, and while I might catch crap for this, I think he held the time better than Zeb. I might be biased as I think Zeb is getting a bit single note lately.
In Ring Segment > A
While I was a bit bummed when I realized Cena was on mic, it was only because I was so excited for his match, but then I realized what he was talking about and took a step back and wrote what he said. Cena really is one of the best spokes models for the WWE, and he does a beautiful job with his charity work. Everyone should take a note of Cena's work and aspire to reach what he does each week for others less fortunate in some way.
Cena & Goldust & Cody vs Sandow & The Real Americans > A-
I really enjoyed how these six worked the ring together on Smackdown, and they took it to the next level with this match on RAW. As usual, Cody, Goldust, Cena, Sandow and Cesaro were on point! Sorry, but I'm not sure I'm going to get past Swagger, and I think I have good reason to be cranky about Swagger. While they were all fantastic in this match, and continue growing as wrestlers and as a team, there was one huge thing that jumped out at me. This jumped out at me on Friday night, and was even more evident last night on RAW. What I'm talking about is the chemistry between Cena and Cesaro. I've wanted to see them work together for a while now, but the way they worked together in these two matches showed us all just how great that feud might be. Hopefully TPTB saw what I saw and are scheduling it into their future, because they deserve it, and the fans deserve it. It's little sparks like their chemistry that make me that much more excited every week. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to see Sandow's push, and I hope it goes well as Sandow deserves it, but the sparks I'm seeing between Cena and Cesaro are on a whole other level.
Winners – Cena & Goldust & Cody (19:18)
Backstage Segment > B
Big Show looks so fine in a suit. I could just imagine what a suit cut for him would cost, but he really wears it well.
Backstage Segment > B+
I loved the work between Trip and Steph here. They're always great, but the way she threw the comment about Trip and the McMahon money was really great, and quite well executed. It was a great way to throw the nasty comments back into the face of so many members of the IWC who still seem to think that Trip married Steph for a place in the company.
Ziggler vs Axel > D+
While Axel has the technical skills, he sure doesn't know how to get any emotion, feeling, or sense of who he is across to the fans. He always seems slightly on edge, never quite comfortable enough, and that leaves the fans feeling somewhat uncomfortable in the process. Even adding in all of Ziggler's personality didn't help this match. It was five minutes of boredom! It just drives me crazy that Axel comes from Mr. Perfect, a man who oozed charisma, but his son seems completely unable to do so. The way things are going, I don't think Axel will be wearing gold for very long.
Winner – Ziggler (5:05)
Backstage Segment > B+
Bryan was as good as Punk in his interview with Renee. These two together is one of those things I've been hoping to see for quite a while, and I'm glad they've waited until Bryan grew to this level, as it will make their work together that much greater.
Backstage Segment > B
Vickie was fantastic with Trip and Steph here. Sometimes a twitchy Vickie is as much fun as an obnoxious Vickie.
Usos vs 3MB > C
The Usos have come so far in recent months that it feels like a huge step back for them to be facing the likes of the glorified jobbers that are 3MB. Now, I'm not saying that McIntyre and Slater are not worthy wrestlers, but they've been beaten down so badly that right now they are quite beneath 3MB, and barely worth the time.
Winners – Usos (3:57)
Backstage Segment > D
I don't think I'd have this much of an issue with this segment if Renee had been less the professional than she's been. Josh has always been quite a goober, but also great on mic, so strange segments were not unusual for him. Coach was the butt of everyone's jokes, so a segment like this would have made sense for him. But Renee has been professional and classy, so the overt sexuality, and downright wrongness of this segment hit me harder than it would have if Renee had been sillier and in more segments like this in the past. I guess she has to start off somewhere, but El Torito leering at her and thrusting his hips was a bit much for my taste. Yes, I've been a proponent for the WWE stepping back from the PG-ness a bit, but with the right people, Renee doesn't feel like the right person at this point.
Bellas & Eva Marie vs Tamina & Aksana & AJ > C+
I complain about Summer Rae, but she's nothing compared to Eva Marie. I guess we should be glad that all she did was pin Tamina, but what a slap to Tamina and all the work she's put in to better herself in the ring. But then there's Brie who looked even better in the ring. It looks as though the Bellas are spending some serious time working on their skills, and it's showing. I'm floored that they suddenly saw the light, but rather than questioning it, I'm running with it! Every bit of work they put in will only help the Divas Division, and bring back women's wrestling, hopefully to something grand. Now all they have to do is drop Eva Marie and bring in Paige!
Winners – Bellas & Eva Marie (3:12)
In Ring Segment > B+&D
I was honestly hoping for something more. Don't get me wrong, Big Show was great on mic, absolutely fabby, but that wasn't the whole segment. Okay, let me back up, Trip sold things wonderfully, and Steph was her normal raging bitch, but it was the way the whole thing ended that blew it for me. The mic work was great, that Big Show ended up beaten down by The Authority wasn't. We watched for a couple months as every RAW ended with Bryan being beaten down by The Authority, now it's Big Show's turn? Reeks of desperation and laziness on the part of creative. Hopefully they will step things up soon and not rely on the easy attack to end the show.
The designer in me forces me to comment on two things. The first being how happy I am that Big Show removed his jacket before he was beaten down and ripped up. That shirt had to have cost a pretty penny, but nothing compared to that jacket, and no where near as much work. Second, I have to talk about Kane's suit. I'm not thrilled with gray suits, I think they're out of date, but it's what he wears when he's working his politics, so it made sense he'd wear the same to ringside. I was shocked at how great Kane played off the suit. Just another aspect of the Kane character, and nothing we've seen before. I love it!
The more I looked at the filler in this episode of RAW, the more I'm sure that they need to go back to a two hour show. Just look at the announce segments, the filler matches, and the segments that did nothing but give a couple people show bonuses. The problem with them going back to a two hour show is that they would cut out half of the great stuff and still give us some of the chaff. Catch 22.
Queen of WNW