Monday, October 8, 2012

LIVE Raw thoughts - October 8, 2012

11:09 - That was an interesting episode of Raw.  It was arguably better than the past couple of weeks (which, honestly, I didn't find horrible), but it was very disappointing due to the higher expectations.  When Vince McMahon returns, something huge usually happens.  But it didn't.  It was a very standard episode, with some questionable decisions (Larry King in two segments?  AJ in only one?)  It certainly wasn't anything that would make returning viewers want to stay.  Hell, I'm not sure it would make "on the fence" current viewers want to come back next week.

McMahon vs. Punk was fine, but I wish Punk didn't cower to McMahon.  Not because it made Punk look weak, but because it diminished the impact of when he ran away through the crowd because he was afraid of Ryback.  The decree that Punk must pick his Hell in a Cell opponent -- either Cena or Ryback -- is an interesting notion.  By the way, how far away is Hell in a Cell?  Because Cena still seems awfully immobile.

10:59 - Why has Ted Turner been mentioned no less than 100 times, but AJ only appeared in one segment?

10:50 - They did it.  Kane and Daniel Bryan saved a Larry King segment.

10:41 - I don't know what it is, but I could not be less interested in Layla as a character.

10:32 - Oh, you better bet your ass that I'll be buying the CM Punk "Best in the World" DVD.  I've been looking forward to that thing since it was announced.  Speaking of CM Punk, I decided to go with the Respect t-shirt.  The angle might be flimsy (I'm going to write in detail about that sometime), but the shirt looks pretty cool.

10:22 - I'm not entirely convinced that Santino is more over than Ryder...but they really seem to be forcing that perception due to the fact that they always come out to Santino's theme.

10:17 - Why did that segment just happen?  Surely we could have kicked off a Miz/Kofi feud without involving Larry King.  I mean, Larry King isn't going to bring in outside media interest OR internal fan interest.

10:15 - Loved Kofi nodding his head when Miz said he's had more titles than he's had main events.

10:05 - In some pretty awesome news, I just won a free t-shirt from Turnbuckle Tees!  I'm torn as to which one I should go with.  Any suggestions?

Oh, and who had one month in the "How long would it take to include Lawler's heart attack in a storyline" pool?

9:59 - Say what you will about the frustrating storylines and choppy character development, but these 3 hour Raws HAVE given us some awesome competitive matches.

9:57 - Kinda funny hearing Michael Cole talk about people having to do degrading things but not getting any benefits.

9:52 - This is the new CM Punk hat (using his new GTS lightning bolt logo):,default,pd.html
THIS is how I would have designed his t-shirt.  I would have made it a white/black ringer t-shirt (like his old Chicago Best in the World one), with the GTS logo on the center, with the black and yellow stripes along the sides.  That would've looked a lot cooler, I think.

9:44 - Daniel Bryan needs to get a haircut.  His crazy beard looks a lot cooler with the shaved head.

9:42 - By the way, it looks like WWE IS allowing their heels to wear pink now.  Dolph and Vickie are both sporting pink wrist bands.  And ADR is wearing that dreadful black scarf.

9:34 - When Tyson Kidd was already in the ring, set to go up against Cesaro, I thought we were going to see a basic squash.  I am pleasantly surprised by the highly competitive match we got.  Cesaro won clean -- as he should -- but Tyson had a lot of opportunities to showcase his talents.  Fun match.

9:28 - Larry King on Raw?  Really?  It's not that this has been a bad show, but it's certainly not the show I would have presented if I had a feeling that a lot of returning viewers might be tuning in.

9:23 - Why is this the first time we're seeing AJ?

9:17 - While I stand by the fact that Sheamus vs. Barrett was a needless risk, that was about as great a showing as you could have asked for.  It was a really good match and highly competitive (and it wasn't as if Tensai saved Barrett from losing, either).  That was a pretty rough landing when Sheamus was thrown out of the ring, though.

9:04 - By the way, this is a no win scenario for Wade Barrett.  I doubt he's going to win, and if he does, it's not going to be cleanly.  For whatever reason, Barrett hasn't had an opportunity to establish this bare knuckle fighter character, so jobbing him to the World Champion (needlessly) is an unnecessary hindrance.

9:03 - Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett?  Am I the only one who would rather see THAT match than Sheamus vs. Big Show (and certainly more than Sheamus vs. ADR!)

8:52 - I forget if I mentioned this last week, but I like the Mysterio/Sin Cara half and half masks.  Oh, and thank goodness Rey is FINALLY starting to make his tops the same material as his pants.

8:49 - I'm guessing we see Sin Cara/Mysterio vs. Rhodes Scholars in the finals.  As tweeners, Kane and Bryan are open to facing either team, which makes things a little less predictable.

8:39 - To tell you the truth, I'm mildly disappointed that we didn't get an actual State of the WWE Address.  There ARE issues with the company that need to be dealt with, and while not to that extent, I thought we'd get McMahon giving the "we won't insult your intelligence" speech.  Having said that, it was a good and effective exchange between Punk and McMahon, with Punk really laying on the insults (and thankfully avoiding instances where he's shown to be right, and thus becomes sympathetic).  But why continually knock down Punk?  Why constantly tell him he's not at the level of other legends?  That's not something they would've done to Triple H when he was the top heel.  I am intrigued to see what will happen in the Punk vs. McMahon match, though.  And I LOVED Heyman in the background saying, "Don't do it."

8:29 - I'm sure it'll grow on me, but I'm not a huge fan of the new CM Punk t-shirt.

8:26 - I do wish that the entire roster was in the ring or on the ramp.  Let's see if that happens.

8:19 - So I noted what a bad idea I thought it was having John Cena open the show since he's a sign of what made them tune out in the first place.  Yet, the first two matches featured Ryback and Brodus Clay.  While the segments themselves were overall weak (particularly the Truth/Brodus one), I do wonder if it was their intent to try to introduce the returning audience to their newer characters.

Also, I LOVE the fact that McMahon is appearing at 8:30 and not the top of the hour.  I mentioned this once before, but I think at least a small part of the reason why the ratings are so low is because viewers have been programmed to check the show out at the top of the hour, because that's when something big will happen.  If they don't like what they see then, they'll tune out until the next hour.  People need to be programmed to think that anything major can happen at any time.  Make fans be afraid of missing the show at 8:43 or 9:18, because something huge could happen.

8:06 - That opening -- at least the beginning part -- was the worst thing they could've done.  Cena making goat noises?  Cena making fun of Antonio's nipples?  Yes, he picked things up a bit with the Punk stuff, but the anti-Punk sentiment (even from a kayfabe standpoint) is so flimsy that it wasn't enough, in my opinion, to pick things up.

7:56 - Just saw that they're having John Cena open the show.  This is a TERRIBLE idea.  The announcement of Vince McMahon's presence is sure to bring in a bunch of the fans they've lost.  Having them tune in and immediately see John Cena is the last thing they need.

7:49 - Alright, so Raw begins in about 10 minutes and I'm actually looking quite forward to the show.  We have Vince McMahon returning with a State of the WWE Address, and when Vince is on TV, things typically happen.  I'm also really curious to see what he'll actually announce.  I WOULD say that it's to officially end the brand extension, but I honestly don't see that happening.  The brand extension literally only exists in two ways:  the physical championship belts, and the GM's.  And I don't see them getting rid of either (particularly under such short notice, for a show like Hell in a Cell.  But I honestly do have an inkling that he'll make SOME sort of big announcement.  And while most people will attribute this to panic mode, I think it's great.  Following the Nexus and the Summer of Punk, the viewers were really left with nothing monumental over the summer, and the company is paying the price.  Something big and unexpected is what this company -- and this show -- needs.

Oh, and CM Punk is FINALLY debuting a new t-shirt.  It's about darn time!!  Here's hoping it's a cool one.

No comments: