Monday, September 3, 2012

LIVE Raw thoughts - September 3, 2012

11:07 - I think we ALL expected CM Punk to interfere in that main event.  Particularly when they gave the opportunity for the action to continue backstage.  But the appearance of Paul Heyman, in cahoots with CM Punk, was a genuine surprise.  Bravo.  My only apprehension is:  Does Punk need Heyman?  Punk can speak for himself, and I'm concerned that aligning him with Heyman will only inherently lead to Punk playing second fiddle to Lesnar.

11:04 - I know that the entire Internet will hate the fact that John Cena knowingly raised his eyebrows upon looking at Del Rio's car, but I thought it was great.

10:49 - Geez, how many consecutive lawsuit storylines are we going to be having?  Hell, we have two going on right now!

10:46 - So if I'm not mistaken, we know the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship matches, as well as the Divas Championship match (Layla vs. Kaitlyn).  I would guess the Tag Team title match will either be Kofi/Truth vs. Prime Time Players or Epico/Primo or both.  But what on earth will the US and Intercontinental title matches be?  Based on the current booking, I wouldn't even be able to guess.  Oddly, the event is in two weeks and tonight did nothing to build either of those matches.

10:37 - So if the Kane/Daniel Bryan segment maybe went on a BIT too long, the Vikki/AJ segment definitely went on WAY too long.  I don't get it...why doesn't AJ just fire Vikki and then beat the crap out of her?

10:23 - I do have to wonder if these Twitter wars are instructed by WWE (and it's obvious they DO instruct their talent to write certain things) or if they're doing it to get some TV attention.  By the way, interesting dynamic having Miz defend Zack Ryder while Cole argued for Heath Slater.

10:19 - You know how I always defend WWE against these people who obnoxiously say "Be A Star" whenever something mean happens on their scripted show?  Well, now I WILL take a shot at the Alliance.  They have Perez Hilton doing commercials for them now.  Yeah, the guy who called somebody a "f#ckin' f#ggot!" is talking about how HE'S been made fun of and how that's mean and wrong.  THAT, my friends, is hypocrisy.

10:13 - I don't care for Cesaro's new theme music.  His original one sounded unique.  Do we need to hear another generic mainstream song used as a theme?

10:05 - That was a BIT long, but let me tell you what I liked about that segment:

- Daniel Bryan treating the hug like technical wrestling (behaving like he's going to lock up, when going for the hug)
- The chest bump teases
- Daniel Bryan yelling, "You didn't hug me!" when the hug wasn't returned
- The Miz providing actual color analysis for the hug
- The Miz wondering why a referee needs to be present for a hug
- Michael Cole asking, "is this what happens after you hug" when the fight breaks out
- The live audience blowing up when the hug finally happened

10:00 - In case you didn't realize it, Kane and Daniel Bryan hugging is the main event of hour #2 of Raw.

9:56 - I got a kick out of Cole's concerned, "that could have been me!" when talking about Kane beating up Josh Mathews.

9:49 - By the way, just going by my Twitter timeline, #WWEHug is so totally going to win this thing.

9:45 - Am I the only one surprised that Michael Cole is being so argumentative with Miz?  Cole has really been on his A-Game tonight.  I almost wish he was still out there alone.

9:39 - I'm not of the opinion that all heels need to be cartoon villainy, but it is a bit strange seeing one heel doing something so selfless like throwing his body in front of an attack, and then having another heel so torn up about the first heel's well being.

9:32 - Wow, Layla is even worse on commentary than Miz.  And ironically, that was the most fire we've seen out of Miz since he took the seat.

Also, I got a kick out of AJ crying about all of the people leaving her, mentioning Jericho as one of the individuals.  Let's be fair:  She was the one who came up with the "if you lose, your contract is terminated" stipulation.

9:20 - Despite the gods intervening and having the match canceled three months in a row, WWE has insisted on having this Sheamus/ADR storyline last for several months....and I feel like the build up is exactly the same each and every month.

9:17 - I have to say, for such a talented promo guy, I'm a little shocked that Miz isn't a better color commentator.  He seems mildly uncomfortable out there.  Anyone else agree?

9:13 - "CM Punk not only walked out on Sheamus, but his hometown of Chicago."  Did Michael Cole not learn anything from Jerry Lawler's mistakes?

9:09 - AJ not recognizing Matt Striker was odd and random and sorta funny.

9:04 - I'm curious what the endgame is for this Bryan/Kane Anger Management stuff.  Last week I proposed that the anger management leads to Kane redeeming himself with Zack Ryder, but I'm wondering now if it's actually leading towards a Bryan/Kane team.  Wondering if we'll see more later tonight.  I still like my Ryder idea, though.

8:58 - By the way, the tops Rey Mysterio now wears are pretty awkward looking when they're not made of the same material as the pants.  Oh, and Punk/Sheamus isn't even closing?  Is anyone interested in Cena/ADR?  Unless that's going to be the main event of hour 2?

8:54 - I think I asked this last week, but has any announcer mentioned the fact that Cody Rhodes used to wear a mask and that he felt liberated when he finally took it off?  This seems like a sensible motive for his mask obsession and a good way to support the storyline....but I'm yet to hear any announcer mention it (but, to be fair, I typically don't catch Smackdown).

8:36 - Perhaps we'll see a full-on feud between Ziggler and Orton?  I'd be okay with that.  As a side note, Michael Cole did a really effective job on commentary on his own.  Let's see what happens with Miz as his partner.

8:27 - Anyone else check out the CM Punk vs. Sheamus graphic on (below)?  My goodness, is that an awful photo of Punk to use.  He looks like a defeated old man who needs a nap.  And it amazes me how, despite being super slick and pretty state-of-the-art, constantly has the absolute worst photoshop jobs with their Superstars having titles that are clearly not actually draped over their shoulders.  I could do a better job.

8:16 - An intriguing opening promo.  I'm glad they didn't have Punk try to turn the Chicago crowd against him.  This entire heel turn has been based around the premise of him wanting respect, so it wouldn't make much sense for him to reject the one audience that was guaranteed to give him that respect.  Having said that, I'm not entirely sure what this promo did for Sheamus.  The fact that he stumbled a bit with his lines hurt him a bit (although I think he recovered nicely), but I was disappointed that he didn't defend his title a bit more.  Like, literally.  Punk pretty decisively claimed that the WWE Championship is more prestigious (which we all obviously know is true), so I wish Sheamus fought back and argued that greats like Triple H, Batista, Edge, Randy Orton, Kurt Angle, the Undertaker, and even Punk himself proudly defended the World Heavyweight Championship.  I'm interested in seeing how Punk vs. Sheamus goes down, though.

8:04 - Unique way to open the show, although I was REALLY hoping they would put this whole Lawler/Punk thing to rest.  CM Punk and John Cena have amazing chemistry together -- they truly bring the best out of each other in every regard.  Why do they feel the need to overcomplicate things by injecting Jerry Lawler?  For the matter, how does CM Punk go from overcoming Miz, ADR, Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, and Kane to struggling in hand to hand combat with Jerry friggin' Lawler?

7:06 - Hard to believe it's already September, isn't it?  Anyway, I thought we'd have an earlier than usual pre-Raw discussion this week.  A couple of days ago I was thinking about it, and isn't it remarkable (in a discouraging way) how many Superstars -- many of them upper midcarders -- that don't have any feuds going on at all.  Right now our main storylines are CM Punk vs. John Cena (with a hint of Jerry Lawler in the mix), Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio (with Booker T occasionally thrown in) and Daniel Bryan vs. Kane (with AJ involved as well).  Then we have some casual feuds further down the card, like Cody Rhodes vs. Sin Cara, Brodus Clay vs. Damien Sandow, and Ryback vs. Jinder Mahal.  But here's the thing....will any of those last three legitimately see a PPV match?  No, probably not.  And I guess you could throw Kofi/Truth vs. Prime Time Players vs. Epico/Primo in there too.

But then we've got Intercontinental Champion The Miz and United States Champion Antonio Cesaro who really aren't in any feuds whatsoever.  And then there are upper midcarders and legitimate main eventers such as Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler, Rey Mysterio, Big Show, Christian, Santino, and Tensai who don't have any feuds going on whatsoever.  I mean, is Christian injured or something?  I haven't even seen him on TV since practically getting squashed by Sandow.

They're actually quite fortunate the Night of Champions is their next PPV, because half of the story is already written for them.  They basically just have to insert the challengers and make the issue about getting the title.  But otherwise, I'd have to wonder how they'd throw together their next card.


Kyle Litke said...

I feel like the Punk heel turn is VERY forced and flat right now, with nothing really changing. What I like about adding Heyman (if indeed that's the route they're going) is he can go out and trash the fans in Punk's name without CM Punk himself doing it (which would pretty drastically change his character and make him more cookie cutter than he should be). And I'll never complain about more Paul Heyman.

I was iffy on Miz but he did have some good lines. Although I gotta say, the Miz/Cole argument during the Ryback match bugged me, if only because Cole seemed to be offering up the opinion of the current writers of WWE. "If you're not a big muscular monster, you're a pussy who runs away". Miz was trying to talk about psychology and outwrestling guys and Cole totally crapped on it and made it sound like you either have to be a monster or a wuss who runs away. I wouldn't care (since Miz does represent that type of heel) if it wasn't for the fact that it rang VERY true to what WWE has been doing for years now. Minor complaint, though. Overall, enjoyable show, much better than the last few. A couple good matches, a good hook at the end, and the Bryan/Kane stuff was fantastic. I'd like to see them in a tag team...Bryan can carry most of the match, Kane can be the monster, and if they want to play up the anger management stuff, they can be trying to calm each other down during the match, something like that. It might even be fun if they're constantly bickering and fighting amongst themselves too, but in a "can't control our anger" type way as opposed to "Wacky tag team partners who hate each other" way that is overdone.

Kyle Litke said...

Oh, by the way, I had no problem with Cena's grin to the camera. A little more goofy than I like, but no biggie, because it didn't WORK. Del Rio stopped him and took back control of the match. If Cena had grinned at the camera, then taken a weapon to the car, AAed Del Rio, and grinned while posing, I'd be pissed, but just smiling at the camera then having Del Rio stop him, no problem with that.