Monday, January 14, 2013

LIVE Raw thoughts (20th Anniversary Edition) - January 14, 2013

11:15 - I think I was more excited about seeing Finlay, Arn Anderson, and Jamie Noble than I was about many of those clips tonight.

All things considered, I think the Rock Concert was fine.  He kept it to a couple of songs (unlike the one last year, which was beginning to feel like a legitimate concert).  And I think it was smart to have Punk and Rock have a pull away brawl.  As crazy as it sounds, we've seen the Rock talk so much over the past two years that we need something different.  Cena/Rock was lacking in the physicality department, so this was a needed shift.

Overall weak show, though.  If there was ever a night to use a Brock appearance, tonight might have been it.

11:04 - Remembering how people argued that Rock has been phoning it in?  Right now he's doing a rock concert without a guitar.

10:53 - I know Kyle isn't going to like the result of that match...

And he's not wrong!  What was the purpose of this?  If Ziggler had won last week, it would have made perfect sense.  The steel cage would have been a logical stipulation as well, since AJ interfered at TLC and Langston had interfered last week.  So seeing the good guy persevere after getting screwed over twice would have been a logical ending.  But this.....wasn't.  Cena ALREADY beat Ziggler last week.  Cleanly.  After kicking out of all of his finishers.  That, right there, negated Ziggler's big win at TLC.  And this only hammered home the point that he is the better man.

I defended Cena's victory last week and if it was a standalone match I would have stood by that.  But this was overkill.  Either give Ziggler the cheap victory last week, give him the cheap victory tonight, or don't do the match at all.

10:37 - What's even worse than having all of these clips is the fact that I feel like we haven't seen so many of the current talented performers.  Where was Kofi Kingston tonight?  The fact of the matter is that guys like Austin and Triple H and Michaels and the McMahons aren't going to be on next why focus so much of tonight on them?  If some of those old fans are watching tonight, this was your chance to hook them in to want to watch again.  This show hasn't done that thus far.

10:27 - I feel like they're going a tad overboard with these clips.  Why not just get it all out of their system in an extended opening?  Do we really need the Miz introducing catch phrases?  Or AJ introducing weddings?  Or Michael Cole introducing car accidents?

10:20 - Hooray, they let Bryan win.  Oh, and Daniel Bryan needs to get a haircut.

10:18 - Chances that they actually let Daniel Bryan win this?

10:11 - Geez, Flair's ex-wives have gotten more mentions on Raw than Zack Ryder.

10:08 - As an attire mark, I'm a sucker for when foreign heels put the American flag on their tights when they're US Champions.  See:  Sheamus.

10:06 - I feel like we just saw this catch phrase clip at Raw 1,000.

9:55 - What is it about WWE and not wanting to, ya' know, surprise people with Flair appearances?

9:52 - Well that was quick.  Eve has officially quit WWE:

9:47 - Perceptive readers will know that I'm not a fan of EVERY SINGLE WRESTLER wearing his t-shirt all the time.  Back in the 80's, pretty much only Hogan and Piper wore their t-shirts.  During the Attitude Era, you had the nWo, Austin, DX, and a handful of others who did.  But now, EVERYONE does.  Aside from a few exceptions, nobody has an outside the ring personality.  The fact that Miz wears a suit actually adds a lot to his character.

Where is this rant leading to?  I miss seeing The Rock wearing his obscenely expensive shirts and dress pants.  Again, it added to his character (regardless of whether he was a heel or face).  Aside from WrestleMania 27, I believe, every single time we've seen Rock he's worn his t-shirt with some athletic pants.  Let's see him in those gaudy shirts!

9:44 - "You Rock Bottomed me last year."  "Nobody remembers that."  Another great line.

9:28 - It just occurred to me that they probably flew Foley out to Texas to come out and not even say a word.

9:25 - Here's what I like, but don't like, about Punk right now:  Love the haircut.  The shaved head/buzzcut looks great for a heel Punk.  Don't like how he trimmed the beard.  His full beard acts as a great contrast.  And no shin guards, so that's disappointing.  And when he's coming out to wrestle, I prefer when he wears the belt around his waist vs. Heyman holding it (although it's not a title match, so it's excusable).

9:17 - Mark my words, Kaitlyn will drop the Divas Championship to AJ Lee by WrestleMania.

9:10 - "I miss Lillian on Monday."  "You want her?"  Okay, that was pretty good too.

9:06 - I stand by my prediction:  Kaitlyn defeats Eve for the Divas Championship, only to eventually lose it to AJ Lee.  Perhaps at WrestleMania?

9:01 - Unlike Nexus, the Shield has almost always managed to escape getting the upper hand (in one way or another), so I was okay with the faces finally overcoming one of their attacks.  Plus, it only happened when the odds were evened out and it was a three on three confrontation.  Do you think they'll continue this Shield vs. Ryback/Sheamus/Orton feud until WrestleMania?

8:58 - The one downside of having three people walking through the audience towards the ring is that there was more than enough time for Foley to escape.  I mean, c'mon...

8:57 - WWE is really weird with their self spoiling, but then acting all shocked when things "officially" happen.  Nonetheless, good for Mick Foley....a hard worker, and kind hearted man who deserves this.

8:52 - I'm guessing that The Script's "Hall of Fame" gets used for at least one of the WWE Hall of Fame video packages.  By the way, I tried to get tickets for Hall of Fame but failed.  I didn't want to spend any more than $55 ($70 including fees), but those went like wildfire.  I'm going to have to wait to see if they release more tickets.  Still a bunch in the $80 range available.

8:41 - "I like that he can set things on fire by lowering his arms so far."  Best line in 20 years.

8:33 - AWESOME win for Wade Barrett....but why aren't they replaying the hell out of that?  I'd say this was the biggest win of Barrett's career, simply because it was so clean.

8:24 - I was thinking about this past year of very careful title changes, the Intercontinental Championship has been a bit of the red headed stepchild.  In 2012, there was only one WWE Champion (CM Punk), three World Heavyweight Champions (Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, and Big Show), four US Champions (Zack Ryder, Jack Swagger, Santino, and Antonio Cesaro), three Divas Champions (Beth Phoenix, Layla, and Eve), and four Tag Team Champions (Air Boom, Primo/Epico, Kofi/Truth, and Team Hell No).  Yet, there have been an astounding 7 Intercontinental Champions -- Cody Rhodes, Big Show, Cody again, Christian, Miz, Kofi Kingston, and Wade Barrett.

8:16 - Anybody who visits my blog knows I'm not a fan of Alberto Del Rio, but I found him bearable in that segment.  And he showed a lot of fire in the physical segment.  Plus, I love that the beginning portion of Raw -- with Mr. McMahon, no less -- focused exclusively on the always-underappreciated World Heavyweight Championship.

8:10 - I hope they haven't cut the car out of ADR's entrance, because it really set him apart and made him something special.  Also, I really like ADR incorporating green and red into his attire.  Oh, and I hope Del Rio has bought Ricardo Rodriguez something REALLY nice, because he's like 80% of the reason why anybody reacts to his character.

8:01 - Loved the opening, which spliced together the various videos that opened the show since the show's inception.  However, it really just accentuated how much cooler all of those were.

7:46 - So tonight is the 20th edition of Raw.  A huge feat, no doubt, and they should certainly be touting and celebrating it.  However, I feel like WWE needs to limit their landmarks to either years or episode numbers.  I mean, it was just a few months ago that we were celebrating Raw's 1,000th episode (again, another awesome accomplishment).  I feel like, by celebrating both, you're going to hit a milestone multiple times a year.  Yikes!

Anyway, I AM looking forward to the show, though.  I do wish WWE would stop resorting to these Rock Concert segments, though.  It was WILDLY entertaining during Rock's heel run against Stone Cold, but every time since then has sorta disappointed.

Oh, and I do remember the first episode of Raw.  I remember the old "Uncut, uncensored,'s RAW!" tagline, too.


Kyle Litke said...

That was a little awkward when King was excited to see which car ADR would come out in, and then he just didn't with no mention of it except JBL trying to cover that he doesn't need it or something.

I'm not an ADR fan and didn't care about his face turn, but I've actually enjoyed him the past two weeks. Maybe this is what he needs to shake things up a little, get a little boost. And it works for Ricardo, who has been getting cheered since the Rumble last year (if not before). I'm willing to give him a chance with the turn. It's already going better than Miz; I was in favor of turning Miz as I thought he needed a shakeup too, but he's more obnoxious as a face than as a heel (and I actually liked heel Miz, just thought he was floundering big time since he lost the title in 2011).

Matt Basilo said...

My issue with Miz's face turn is that it's just so repetitive. It feels like EVERY SINGLE WEEK we see him host Miz TV, and that either turns into him facing his guest, or him teaming with his guest against a mutual enemy. I'm hoping the feud with Cesaro actually gives him some purpose -- flesh out his character and give the fans a reason to cheer for him (or at least care about him).

In regards to Del Rio, I've found him unbearably boring since he's debuted. But I certainly WANT to be entertained, and this was a step in the right direction. This face turn reminds me of Edge's -- yes, it kinda spits in the face of the character he's portrayed for years, but the character REALLY needed freshening up, and this is a welcome change.

Kyle Litke said...

Oh man, missed opportunity for Kane to accidentally set the curtains on fire while Yesing.

Kyle Litke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Basilo said...

Hahahah, that would've been great!

Kyle Litke said...

Damn right I didn't!

What is it? What is it that makes WWE say "Gee, we just gave this guy we're trying to push a couple of big wins against top guys. What's step 2? I know! Have that guy he just beat kick out of all of his finishers and then beat him despite outside interference...then we'll DO IT AGAIN NEXT WEEK IN CASE YOU DIDN'T GET IT LAST TIME!" Are you kidding me? Last week was stupid enough in my opinion, but I let it go with only a little complaining as Cena getting his win back even though 50/50 booking with a definitive top guy against an up and comer is the type of crap that makes it so difficult for WWE to get anyone over at the top level. But now I'm actually annoyed. This was just stupid. Cena essentially has the match won about 10 times but Langston keeps stopping him, he kicks out of Dolph's finisher, fights off Langston, AA pin. Come ON. I agree with you, had Dolph pinned Cena last week (say, off Langston's finisher), then okay, it would have made total sense for Cena to win tonight (although I would have had him do it without Langston interference, I kind of hate the cage matches where there's a ton of interference when that's the entire point of having a cage match, to avoid it). Or if Dolph had gotten a cheap win tonight as the "tiebreaker" (even though Cena already beat him before TLC, but we'll pretend it didn't happen), fine. But instead he looks bad. And you know what? Now this is burying Langston too. Last week was whatever as far as he goes, I don't think it hurt him by itself, but now it's two weeks in a row that Langston, whose sole purpose is to help Ziggler, has completely and totally failed. Ugh.

Kyle Litke said...

How I would have booked it: Never had the match before TLC. TLC exactly as it happened. Last week exactly as it happened up to the Langston interference, Ziggler pins Cena off that. Cage match this week with Langston BANNED FROM RINGSIDE, Cena beats Ziggler in a hard fought match (ideally with both guys kicking out of finishers at least once instead of just Cena). Either that totally ends the feud or Langston comes out and levels Cena post match. This isn't rocket science.

Kyle Litke said...

I'm truly not trying to hate on Cena here, this has nothing to do with him, but as time goes on and I'm actually thinking about it, I have no interest in Rock/Cena 2. I never really did, but I always just accepted it as inevitable and then ignored it while Rock was doing other things. But now that Rock is back and feuding with Punk, it occurs to me that the entire basis of Cena/Rock was essentially resolved. And they've treated it that way on TV. Cena came out the next night and said Rock was the better man, they were civil at Raw 1000, and last week Cena started the show by sucking up and saying how great it was that Rock was back. The anger and bitterness that led to the personal attacks, Cena's rapping, all that is kind of gone now. I know the idea is to get Cena his win back, but honestly, does that really matter much? Cena's as much a top guy as he ever was, he main evented PPVs with Johnny Ace and the Big Show while the champ played second fiddle, and except for the fact that he's had a few extra very screwy losses this year than normal, he's still in the same position he always was. I'm not sure giving him his win back matters, and I'm not sure the right move is to waste Rock's big program of the year leading to WM on Cena again when he can help put over someone else.

Honestly, I never say this about PPV matches, but I'd actually be pretty happy with a screwy relatively short match at the Rumble where Punk retains (via DQ or winning) after Shield interference, leading to an epic WM match. I know they won't do that for a variety of reasons, many of which are fair, but I'm not crazy about Rock/Punk only getting a feud for a few weeks while Cena/Rock, who already resolved their feud, get a second go around.

I still fully expect Rock/Cena again, I'm just not sure I see the point. And it's also another reason I think there's virtually no chance at Punk/Undertaker for the title...either Rock wins the title (here or at EC) and faces Cena for the belt at WM, or Punk retains in a screwy fashion and gets Rock again at WM. There's just no storyline reason to do Rock/Cena 2 UNLESS it's for the title. At least for the title you can have Cena win the Rumble, or win a #1 contenders Elimination Chamber, or whatever, and challenge the Rock wanting to get his win back. Without the title involved, there's no reason to do the match. Their feud ended, it was resolved.