Monday, February 4, 2013

LIVE Raw thoughts - February 4, 2013

11:12 - Cool ending, where the faces got the best of the Shield without the Shield looking weak.  Plus, I like when the entire roster bands together against a common enemy.  However, I don't like the idea of doing Cena/Ryback/Sheamus against the Shield at Elimination Chamber.  For one, Sheamus should be in the Elimination Chamber match.  And secondly, the threesome of Cena/Ryback/Sheamus is more star studded than Orton/Ryback/Sheamus, which seems like a natural for WrestleMania.  So why make WrestleMania look like a silver medal against Elimination Chamber, in regards to the Shield tag match?  They're starting at the top.

There seems to be a fair amount of negativity towards the show on Twitter, but I enjoyed this episode FAR more than last week's show.

11:10 - See, like they did it.

11:07 - Random observation, but I don't like how the Shield walk from the crowd together.  I wish they would flank from different directions.  People who stand in the ring unsure of what to do as all three of them walk slowly through the crowd is ridiculous.

11:01 - Wait.....did Big Show really pend that long eating that small dish??

10:47 - A lot of people argued that Jericho should have won that because of his less-than-stellar win/loss record during his last run, I think they went with the right decision.  They're not wrong....but at the end of the day, CM Punk is going up against the Rock for the WWE Championship at the next PPV.  And Chris Jericho isn't even booked.

10:22 - Piggybacking of off of my earlier comment on the fact that so many people are directionless, a big cluster match seems likely.  Money in the Bank probably won't happen, so what's on the line?  We don't have dueling GM's -- and that was used last year, anyway.  So what would be the storyline purpose of a big, multiperson match?  I think Antonio Cesaro vs. a face Jack Swagger is a great story for the U.S. title, but that leaves the Intercontinental Championship.  How about a big ladder match?  Wade Barrett vs. Miz vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow vs. Christian or R-Truth (whoever is healthy)?  I think that works just fine.

10:10 - This show is much, much better than last week's Raw Roulette.

10:06 - Gotta love the WWE logic that because Mr. McMahon isn't physically available, he apparently can't fire people.

10:01 - Why does everybody hit every single syllable of Brad Maddox's name?

9:48 - I'm having a conversation on Twitter right now about the World Heavyweight Championship, specifically:  What will the match at WrestleMania be?  Some thought it could be the Big Show vs. Ryback.  The rumor at one time was Sheamus vs. a heel Orton.  Then perhaps Alberto Del Rio vs. a heel Orton.  Now there's speculation that it could be Alberto Del Rio vs. a returning Mark Henry.  Honestly, I don't know.  It just seems weird to me that Sheamus received such a major push going into WrestleMania last year, and then won the title in a completely dominant fashion.....and then looked super strong throughout his reign.  Then he suddenly lost the title, lost the rematch, and it doesn't look like he's even going to be in the title picture at this year's WrestleMania.  And just as suddenly, ADR was PUT in that role.  The entire forecast for that title seemed drastically different even just two months ago.

We're a couple months away from WrestleMania and outside of Rock/Cena, nothing seems too set in stone. Punk vs. Undertaker is pure speculation.  Triple H vs. Lesnar seems likely, but certainly isn't confirmed based on what we've seen on TV.  But what about Sheamus?  Ryback?  Orton?  Miz?  Ziggler?  Kane?  Bryan?  Mysterio?  Kingston?  Cesaro?  Barrett?  Jericho?  Nobody seems to have much direction at all.

9:38 - I still love the shot of the Shield emerging from the darkness and surrounding Brad Maddox.

9:30 - I was pleasantly surprised by that entire segment.  They gave Daniel Bryan a clean win, which was awesome.  Then Mark Henry made his return in a surprising segment.  I was worried when they had Daniel Bryan getting disposed of so quickly and easily, but then when they had Mark Henry absolutely dominate Rey Mystero AND Sin Cara, that suddenly didn't seem too bad.  Oh, and I liked Sin Cara's new blue/white mix attire.

9:19 - Oh, and lest we not forget them considering the Great Khali for the Elimination Chamber match, while jobbing out Kofi Kingston as well.

9:16 - Jobbing Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler in order to build interest in an Alberto Del Rio/Big Show feud?  Jobbing Daniel Bryan and making Kane look strong?  Yep, this company sure has their finger on the fans' pulse.

9:01 - While I LOVE Cody's new mustache "Groomed for Greatness" t-shirt, I REALLY hope we're not seeing Cody Rhodes join the legions of guys who come to the ring in their WWE Authorized t-shirt.  He was one of the few guys who consistently wore a ring jacket (even though it didn't always match his trunks).  Oh, and why are they feeding ADR guys like Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes?  Same logic as Barrett/Sheamus and Cesaro/Ryback....why throw away matches that can be built into something legitimate?  Plus, stop jobbing Cody.

8:59 - I still think it was a terrible decision to take the luxury cars out of Alberto Del Rio's entrance.  "Hey, let's make this guy a mega over babyface by taking away the one thing that set him apart!"  Brilliant!

8:48 - Over on Twitter, one of the people I follow -- @TheHistoryofWWE -- wondered if Vickie Guerrero was a situational babyface/heel (that is to say, a heel or face depending on who she is interacting with), but said that the last strong one was Ric Flair in the 80's.  I disagree, I think we've seen many in the past decade or so.  Here are the examples that immediately popped into my head:  Chyna, who was a heel when escorting Triple H....but a face in her feud with Jeff Jarrett.  During the Raw/Smackdown Survivor Series feud, the Big Show and Kane were faces on Raw (with Big Show attacking Triple H in defense of Ric Flair) and heels on Smackdown (blindsiding Rey Mysterio and Batista).  And even during JBL's WWE Championship reign on Smackdown, Kurt Angle was a heel when against Big Show, and a face when put against JBL.  And there are tons more.

8:24 - These Cesaro/Ryback matches remind me of when they had Wade Barrett fight Sheamus in a series of matches on Raw, Smackdown, and Main Event.  I don't get it.  Like Barrett/Sheamus, this is a fresh match between two carefully protected competitors.  Like the previously mentioned pairing, one person is properly legitimized (Sheamus/Ryback), while the other is being built up effectively (Barrett/Cesaro).  The former is not really in a position to be losing, while the momentum of the latter would be damaged by a loss.  Further, as I said, the match is fresh!  And you're having them fight numerous times a week on television, without even giving them a proper feud.  In a few months or a year, people would probably pay money for a Ryback/Cesaro or Barrett/Sheamus PPV match as a culmination of a feud.  This just damages that freshness.

8:18 - Welcome to February, everybody.  I'm a little late to the show, as I missed the first ten minutes of the show, but I did catch the tail end of Punk's promo and the premise for tonight's Raw Active vote.  Right now, I think I'd vote for Punk/Jericho, since we never really saw a face Jericho vs. heel Punk match.  But I also don't want either guy to lose.  Oh, and how absolutely brutal are those Michael Cole Raw Active tutorials?


Kyle Litke said...

My guess at the WM card:

Cena/Rock (set in stone pretty much)

HHH/Brock (that one too)

Punk/Taker (I don't think it's just IS because we haven't even seen Taker but unless Taker doesn't do WM, nothing else makes any sense. Punk has nobody else he could face that isn't a step down, not really, and Taker has reached a point where if he isn't facing a top guy, it's almost a waste of time since you can't even pretend he might lose)

Shield VS Orton/Sheamus/Ryback

ADR VS Henry

Ziggler VS Jericho (although they may do this at EC instead, but I don't see who else Jericho could face that could make much sense unless you start radically changing the card)

Mysterio/Sin Cara VS Hell No (I would have included Rhodes Scholars if they hadn't broken up, in a triple threat for the tag titles...could also be Kane VS Bryan but with Bryan in the EC, not sure where they'd drop the tag titles beforehand)

Kaitlyn VS AJ

Cesaro VS Miz

You're missing a few guys there (Show, Barrett, Rhodes, Sandow spring to mind). Maybe they do another "a bunch of guys in one match" thing (big tag match, battle royal, whatever). WWE's booked themselves into a little bit of a corner with too many heels again. It wouldn't be as bad if they hadn't broken up Rhodes Scholars, but they did and I don't see what those two can do. Both secondary titles are held by heel champs and neither Sandow nor Rhodes is really World title or WWE title level right this second (Rhodes is closer but needs to win more). Maybe Show could get thrown into the world title match in a triple threat, but it seems pointless if Henry is in it.

Kyle Litke said...

And if Taker doesn't do WM, there's a huge mess because Punk doesn't seem to have a natural opponent unless he gets involved with the World Title. Unless they insert him into the Rock/Cena match, what else can he do? I guess they could add him to the Shield match (Punk/Shield VS four guys), which would make some sense, but I'm not sure who gets added to the face team.

Matt Basilo said...

Now that you mention it, did they ever do a Team Hell No/Rhodes Scholars/Mysterio and Sin Cara match? Because that WOULD have been an appropriate and well developed tag team title match, where anybody could win....and most people would be happy regardless of the end decision. Would've been a good WM match.

Matt Basilo said...

What about a Jack Swagger face turn, leading to a Cesaro/Swagger US title match at Mania?

As far as the Intercontinental Championship goes, how about Barrett vs. Miz? That's a pairing we've never really seen.