Monday, October 22, 2012

LIVE Raw thoughts - October 22, 2012

11:04 - That was a fine ending that did a nice job of making people want to see the two title matches.  However, it made absolutely no sense that the heels randomly started storming the ring (one by one, of course) when they previously seemed to have little interest in the actual outcome of the match.  The bit at the end, though, with Punk trying to escape and the faces throwing him back in was fun enough.

I still can't get over the AJ thing, though.  She was a bright spot for the show and somebody I think a lot of people enjoyed seeing.  During this pretty unsatisfied era, why would you take away people like and replace them with somebody they hate?

11:00 - Not to be insensitive but is Michael Cole having a stroke?  He literally repeated the "AJ Lee resigns/fraternization/John Cena" line -- almost word for word -- immediately after saying it.

10:56 - "CM Punk demands respect.  Sheamus has earned it."  Well that's odd, I don't remember Sheamus being forced by the announcers and legends to fight John Cena in order to earn their respect.

10:44 - Yeahhhh, they really didn't tell us EXACTLY what Austin said about Sheamus, now did they?

10:37 - If there was one thing I wish we could never see again, it would be that stupid thing they do where they show the live audience watching a segment on the Titan Tron, instead of just showing the viewing audience the segment itself.

10:30 - It's a good thing WWE has Ricardo Rodriguez on payroll.  That way, there's always at least one person in the arena who cares about Alberto Del Rio.

10:27 - Is there any better example than Ryder vs. ADR of the company saying, "this is who you will support, or else"?  If fans cared about or reacted to ADR the way they do Zack Ryder (at his peak), they'd be naming the company after him.

10:23 - Kevin Sullivan (author of the WWE Encyclopedia) made a great point:  If WWE had AJ resign due to rumors that she's fraternizing with the talent, why would they put Vickie Guerrero -- who has hooked up with several WWE Superstars and openly favored them with her authority -- in charge of the show?

10:17 - So we're all giggling about the recently divorced, rumored philanderer John Cena getting picked as the person AJ had an affair with, right?

10:14 - Okay, so Cesaro, Bryan, and Kane all jobbed.  How are they going to manage to have both Punk and Sheamus job tonight if they're facing each other?  I mean, all the champions are jobbing tonight, right?

10:13 - "She's the Managing Supervisor....not the General Manager or Interim General Manager, let's make that clear."  Yes, it's abundantly clear.  Despite the fact that she appears to have all of the responsibilities and authority of the GM.  But the actual title is different, just so that's clear.

9:59 - Relatively realistic options that would have been better than Vickie Guerrero:  Edge, Ric Flair, William Regal, Ted DiBiase, JBL, Road Dogg, Jim Ross, Shawn Michaels, and Batista.

9:42 - Cole just referred to Ziggler and Bryan as the "present and future of WWE."  Which one was which, exactly?

9:23 - Another thing.  Of all the problems Raw has, I can guarantee you that AJ being the General Manager wasn't it.  And placing Vickie Guerrero into that role isn't going to encourage anybody new or old to watch.  I'm just not following the line of thought here.

9:10 - So I was initially disappointed to see AJ step down as GM, because of the fact that she has been such a fun character and this role guaranteed her a central role each and every week.  On the other hand, her character did have to make certain changes when she became GM, so the possibility of her returning to her Geek Chic/Crazy Chick ways made me think it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if she became a wrestler again.  But then things took a nose dive, in my view, when Vickie was given the role of "Managing Supervisor."  First off, what the hell is up with that title?  Is it above or below the title of General Manager?  How do the responsibilities differ?  Is it just a new title for the same job?  If so, why not just make her GM?

And even people who grew tired of AJ had to admit that she was at least a fresh character.  We've already seen Vickie in this role.....and relatively recently, too.  If they were going to go this route, why not put someone fresh or at least monumental in there?  And to be honest, I think people are really souring on Vickie's role as well.  This isn't going to help.

So who do you think this mystery man is?  Which Superstars have they outed as being married?  Orton?  Triple H?  Mysterio?  Big Show?  David Otunga?  So I guess one of those guys?

9:06 - I am not enjoying this development, thus far.

8:58 - I'm going to wait to see how the rest of this promo plays out before commenting.

8:53 - In my view, Justin Gabriel is one of the most under utilized guys on the roster.  So I love seeing him earn an impressive victory.  It's just always frustrating seeing a champion lose cleanly.  It's such a lazy way to build a #1 contender.  Why not put the time in and steadily push Gabriel with several progressively high profile victories, with Cesaro being the end of that journey instead of the beginning?  Oh, and I kinda love the fact that AJ is the end of hour segment going against super stiff competition.  Go AJ!

8:50 - By the way, I'm not sure what to make of that Cena promo.  The guy cares more about being nice and upstanding than winning the WWE Championship?

8:42 - Random observation - I don't like how Punk doesn't wear designs on his shin guards anymore.

8:39 - At least Punk knows the name of the event.  He should keep the title based on that alone.

8:34 - It's never good when your biggest star (or the owner, for that matter) can't get the name right.  It's not Hell in THE Cell, it's Hell in A Cell.

8:25 - As expected, Rhodes/Sandow advanced to the next round, which is fine and good.  I do hope Mysterio/Sin Cara continue teaming together, though.  This tournament reminded me a great deal of the Smackdown Six.  Could be a fun series of feuds.

8:06 - I will say this -- one benefit to Sin Cara teaming with Rey Mysterio is that we've seen him whip out some pretty cool new color combinations for his mask/tights design.

8:02 - I do like the idea of kicking off the show with the tag team match, as it's sure to be a good match and people seem to be invested.  Plus, with Team Hell No essentially being tweeners, it makes sense for either team to advance, thus making the result a bit more unpredictable.

7:43 - After a one week reprieve, I'm back with my LIVE Raw thoughts.  Now, onto a pre-show discussion.  With Raw competing with Monday Night Football, baseball, and the final presidential debate, there's a lot of talk that this show is going to take a nosedive as far as ratings are concerned.  And many people are arguing that WWE shouldn't panic.  While I'm inclined to agree with that sentiment -- you should know by now how I feel about ratings -- I'm not sure I would mind so much if WWE panicked.  Should they do something they can't come back from, like remove the title from Punk?  No, because doing something like that would impact long term plans that have an upside.  But why not do something that WOULD rattle the foundation of the company?  Punk's heel turn didn't give us that summer fling that we were all hoping for, mostly because a lot of people weren't asking for it to happen, and the storyline behind it was so flimsy.  As such, we really haven't seen anything monumental happen since the Summer of Punk, back in the middle of 2011.  A Cena heel turn is unrealistic at this point, so I'm not holding out hope for that.  But they need to do SOMETHING that first hour to prevent people from turning the channel when all of the competition sets in.

What would I do if I was in a position of power?  Frankly, I'd have Dolph Ziggler cash in the Money in the Bank and win the title.  Sheamus' reign, while impressive, doesn't have the epicness of Punk's, so they're not screwing the pooch by cutting the reign short.  Additionally, Sheamus vs. Show is not the selling point of Hell in a Cell, so they can alter that match in a week's notice and not alienate their viewers.  Plus, doing that in the first hour (maybe even first segment) will give the show a special feel, and might encourage people to stick around.

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