Monday, February 25, 2013

LIVE Raw thoughts - February 25, 2013

11:09 - I went into the match knowing Cena would win, so the result didn't really bother me.  But holy hell, did it make me wish that WrestleMania was Cena vs. Punk.  That match was SPECTACULAR!  And it wasn't all Punk.  Cena showed, once again, that he has the ability to be awesome in the ring.  And how about that hurricanrana?  And Punk looked great too.  He kicked out of an AA and escaped the STF numerous times.  Awesome stuff.  These two have incredible chemistry with each other.

11:02 - Cena breaking out the Batista Bomb was all sorts of awesome.

10:49 - Am I the only one who finds Cole and Lawler repeatedly referring to John Cena as "John" really awkward?

10:38 - So do you think Undertaker will return this match?  If so, a bit strange that WWE would (ONCE AGAIN) spoil their own surprise by showing the Tout just before the match.  What is with them insisting upon ruining their own surprises?  Don't keep telling us that we're going to miss something big.  Make us afraid that we're going to miss something big.  The difference is doing unexpected things at unexpected times, even if it runs the risk of some people missing it.

10:31 - Why is John Cena talking like Martin Luther King Jr.?

10:21 - This recent Jack Swagger push depresses me because it just shows how easy it is to make somebody a legitimate threat and main event player.  So why are they so resistant to the people that fans react to naturally?

10:07 - I loved Seth Rollins' Peter Griffin fall.  But based on this angle, it looks like this whole Sheamus/Wade Barrett thing is just a diversion.  Looks like we're going to see the predictable Orton, Sheamus, and Ryback vs. Shield.  Which is significantly less star studded than Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback. And based on Orton's treatment this past year, it's really no more impressive than Jericho, Sheamus, and Ryback.

And considering the announcers went on and on about how obsessed Ryback is with the Shield, wasn't it odd that he was the one person who DIDN'T come out for this?

9:46 - Ah, Cody loses again.  Drives me almost as crazy as this Kofi job stream.  Speaking of Kofi, maybe he should consider getting a severe knee injury.  Might get him a push.

9:44 - I still get a kick out of the "Cody is a grown man and he can grow a mustache if he wants to" line.

9:36 - I cringed when they announced that Sheamus would be doing an Oscar Snubs segment, thinking it was just going to be an obnoxious Sheamus comedy skit.  Instead, I was pleasantly surprised.  For one, Sheamus was actually pretty humorous.  And second, it was used to continue the build for his feud with Barrett.  Here's my one wish, though:  I DESPERATELY HOPE THIS IS A WRESTLEMANIA MATCH.  Here's hoping this isn't a "hey, let's pass the time doing this" angle (like Great Khali vs. Mark Henry).  Keep the build going and let them finish it off at WrestleMania.

The question remains, though:  What happens with the Intercontinental Championship?  Sheamus seems above the title (although grabbing a secondary title after a World title isn't that unnatural anymore), so should Barrett drop the title?  In an ideal world, I'd have him drop it to Kofi, and then have Kofi defend in a multi-person ladder match at WrestleMania (filling the role of spot fest and "get as many people in one match" all at once) with Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, and R-Truth.  Or just a normal four-way.  Or add Christian, Dolph, and Jericho, depending on how things play out.

9:20 - And I'll repeat (and rephrase) my comment from earlier:  What's the WrestleMania plan for Orton?  How about Cesaro?  Presumably Miz, I guess.  But I feel like 90% of the roster are completely directionless going into the biggest show of the year.

9:11 - My other issue with this "We the People" angle:  It's polarizing.  Which means that a portion of your audience is not going to support your babyface.  Frankly, there are probably a lot of people out there who DON'T agree with ADR's notion that America belongs to everyone and that anybody should be allowed to come here as long as they have a dream.  It was actually a pretty weak come back, to be honest.  And wasn't Zeb's character established as being Native American?  Which means he WASN'T descended from immigrants.

I will say this, though:  I'm PSYCHED for Old School Raw!

9:05 - I have my fair share of issues with this storyline (like, for example, that the World Heavyweight Championship is YET to be mentioned), but I do love the way Zeb condescendingly rolls the "R" in Alberto Del Rio.

8:54 - The Great Khali is one of those guys who the company constantly tells us we SHOULD be impressed by, but he hasn't been treated as such in years.  Everybody defeats the Great Khali.  Why should I be impressed that Mark Henry did?

Speaking of Mark Henry, what's the WrestleMania plan for him?  I say put him in there with Ryback.  THAT would have a big match feel to it, like the British Bulldog vs. Warlord.  Better than another rehash of Ryback + Partners vs. the Shield.

8:48 - Donald Trump is as deserving as any other celebrity inductee (except for Mr. T).  And hey, maybe this'll mean that they'll drop money from the rafters at WrestleMania.  I'm all for that!

8:44 - I was listening carefully to Punk's language to see if he'd drop any hint that he's going to be facing the Undertaker at WresteMania.  I didn't really catch anything.  His remarks about being an icon and God is more a shot at HBK than anything.

8:32 - While that match wasn't a squash, it did provide another reason why I'm not AS psyched about WrestleMania as I normally would be (again, considering the circumstances).  There are a lot of guys I really want to get behind, but they're treated like jobbers and jokes.  There's Dolph Ziggler.  There's Kofi Kingston.  There's Daniel Bryan.  There's even Zack Ryder.  And so far, ALL of those guys have been used to enhance the stories and feuds of guys who aren't as popular, aren't as talented, and have less of a shelf life.  I said it last week, and I still feel this way:  It saddens me that Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan were used as fodder to build the story for Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio.  And right now, guys like Ziggler, Kingston, and Bryan don't even have a clear direction for the biggest show of them all.  That makes no sense to me.

8:14 - Really enjoyed that opening segment.  For one, I love the fact that Heyman didn't back down and act afraid of Vince McMahon -- a grandfather with a replaced hip.  EVERYBODY always has to cower to him.  Not to take away from his incredible physical presence, but sometimes it's ridiculous (and awfully petty).  I'll never forget the time Eric Bischoff not only acted afraid of McMahon, but openly admitted that McMahon was going to kick his ass.  Here was a guy who was more than a decade older than him, and your martial arts master was afraid?  And McMahon was the heel in the situation!  So I was glad that Heyman showed some backbone (and only begged off when McMahon had a weapon).

The subsequent Lesnar and Triple H run ins were expected, but still handled well.  I'm not thrilled to see the match AGAIN, but if that's what they insist, then I should at least try to enjoy the ride.  The battle was even, and hey, Triple H actually looks kinda bad ass with the buzz cut.  But what the hell was up with his pants?  Was his ass sweating or something?

7:54 - Alright, we're about five minutes away from what is being hyped as a stacked Raw.  We have Punk vs. Cena, Heyman vs. McMahon, and based on this weekend -- likely the return of the Undertaker.

I've been pretty critical of the past couple weeks of Raw, mostly because nothing about this upcoming WrestleMania feels monumental.  It doesn't feel like there's a shake up.  It feels completely by the books.  And that's dpressing -- because I desperately WANT this to be a huge WrestleMania (I'm going, after all).  Hopefully things begin taking shape (and it's a shape I like) starting tonight.

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