Monday, March 11, 2013

LIVE Raw thoughts - March 11, 2013

11:16 - For the first time tonight I'm going to say this:  The WRONG guy won.  Not only can Kane more than survive a loss to CM's incredibly important right now for CM Punk to seem strong.

And for those of you keeping score, NONE of the guys who I wanted a storyline set up for got one.  Still a lot of directionless people.  And it's not as if 100% of the show is being devoted to the guys who already have storylines.  It just seems like a lot of wasted time.

11:03 - To people bothered by the fact that Punk interrupted the Paul Bearer tribute....and to people who WILL be upset by the fact that Punk will almost certainly use the urn as a weapon, you gotta keep things in perspective.  Do you ever recall them devoting so much time paying tribute to an individual who wasn't on their active roster?  They have been showing clips the entire night.  The announcers have frequently been telling touching stories about him.  Overall, there's been a lot more respect than disrespect here.

10:57 - I hope this Ryback/Mark Henry SD match is a tease that gets broken up.  I mean, seriously, show some restraint and build up a match that people will want to see at WrestleMania.

And what do you think?  Does Raw end with Punk winning and staring down Undertaker, or with Undertaker and Kane paying tribute to Paul Bearer?

10:51 - How utterly convenient that there was a camera on David Otunga and Kane as they called Halle Berry.

10:49 - So the guy challenging for the World Heavyweight Championship lost the crowd, and the guy who probably won't even make the card won them back.  That's about right.

10:46 - Zeb is usually a pretty great and eloquent speaker, but he seems REALLY off tonight.

10:40 - I'm sorry, I just cannot get into this Jack Swagger/Alberto Del Rio feud.  I don't know if it's because people I like far more have been sacrifice and overlooked in order to make this feud happen.  I don't know if it's that Jack Swagger was treated like a loser for the better part of a year and now we're suddenly supposed to buy him as this severe threat.  I don't know if it's because Alberto Del Rio, as a heel, bored me for two years or so.  But I just can't get into it.

10:27 - Brad Maddox is actually the one new character I've really enjoyed....and I know this was deliberately supposed to be bad....but why?  He was doing fine with the character he was already playing, why turn him into this baffling moron who suddenly can't speak and doesn't know people's names?  And I hope at least either Miz or Jericho will end up feuding with Barrett for the Intercontinental title at WrestleMania.  Again....stop with these mini feuds when they should be focusing on actual feuds for the biggest show of the year.

10:20 - Hey, Jericho stole my joke!

10:17 - Budget cuts at the Highlight Reel?

10:11 - Much like ADR/Cesaro, the right team won....but I wish they would do something to clue us in as to what Sandow and Rhodes will be doing at WrestleMania.  Surely they can't leave EVERYONE off the card.  And Chris Jericho IS here tonight?  Then why haven't they done anything to build up to the (highly speculative) Jericho/Ziggler match?  And are Miz and Barrett going to feud?  If so, it.  If not, why waste our time with another mini feud?

9:50 - I still don't quite get how the Undertaker setting Paul Bearer on fire turned him into a red headed Southerner.

9:44 - Once again, the right person won....but was Antonio Cesaro the right person to put in that situation?  For the most part, they've done a great job of making Cesaro look legitimate and strong.  Yet in the past month or so they've randomly put him in situations to lose clean to guys like Ryback and ADR.  Why?

And still, we have no clue what Cesaro is going to for WrestleMania.

9:29 - I'm sure this is totally a coincidence, but I like how Mark Henry is in black and red, and Ryback is in red and black.  Made for a fun visual.

By the way, before Raw I named a list of people who are directionless going into Mania.  Of those people, we've since seen Kane, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, and Kofi Kingston, and nothing has happened to give us any indication of what they'll be doing for the big show.

9:20 - Am I sensing a Chris Jericho-esque face turn for Cody Rhodes?  The Cody-Kaitlyn storyline seems very similar to the Jericho-Trish one.

And by the way, there ARE plenty of talented Divas on the roster -- Natalya, Alicia Fox, Tamini, AJ Lee -- but they're just opting not to use them.

9:14 - Poor Kofi.  There's nobody else that they could have fed to Mark Henry?  Tensai?  Brodus?  An Uso?  What has Kofi Kingston done to get such negative treatment since January?

9:10 - I'm glad they had Brock just accept the challenge instead of extending it out for weeks.  I feel like they've done that with every Brock Lesnar match thus far.  By the way, what were the exact terms of his contract?  Because I"m guessing he won't wrestle before Mania (nor should he at this point), which means WrestleMania will be his third match in a year.  Was he really paid THAT much for three matches?  And if so, it seems strange that they used two of those matches for one guy.  Who is essentially retired.

By the way, I'm not complaining, but it's a bit odd how they're maintaining the continuity that Paul Bearer is Kane's father.  I'm fine with's just weird how they switch between establishing that Paul Bearer is a character played by William Moody, and that he's a "real" person within this universe they created.

9:01 - I don't know what it is exactly, but once Cody Rhodes started wearing that mask, I became a pretty big fan of his.  He's got a great upside and he's played a number of characters really well.  He's got a great look too.  Why aren't they finding something for him to do?

8:59 - Who else remembers how stupid the Undertaker's hair looked during his return at WresleMania XX? It really hurt the impact of what should have been a huge moment (and it still was, don't get me wrong).  Plus, it also didn't help that he was essentially in the same gear as his American Bad Ass character....just with a hat and slightly longer hair.  I still contend that he didn't truly feel like the Deadman until he brought back the tights.

8:50 - This may sound silly, but I honestly think Tensai would have had a better chance of succeeding if THIS was his attire when he returned.  No, not the warm up pants and silly hat....but the singlet or the shirt and pants.  I really think the shiny red trunks just made him look pale and fat.

8:42 - While I HATE HATE HATE HATE seeing Daniel Bryan lose (especially in a semi-clean fashion), to be honest I think Dolph needed that victory more.  And it was a great match.  Unfortunately, nothing was really done to make it clear what either of them will be doing for WrestleMania.

8:29 - And once again, Dolph Ziggler doesn't even get a televised entrance.  So much for the next Edge and Lita.  I had such high hopes for this Dolph Ziggler/AJ Lee pairing.  And the failure has been no fault of the performers.

8:23 - That could have gone A LOT worse.  And it's an effective enough way to build for the six-man WrestleMania match.  Although I do have to laugh at the fact that they spent the better part of the year trying to make Big Show as hated as possible, and then they're going to just up and turn him face.  Oh, and the Punk backstage segment was hilarious.

By the way, we now have Dolph vs. Daniel Bryan.  Two guys who really don't need to be losing any more than they already do.  And there's likely no chance that they're going to be involved in the same storyline at Mania.  So, basically, this match serves no purpose other than to hurt one of them even more.

Which also begs the question:  What's up with these little mini-feuds that aren't going anywhere but distracting the writers from coming up with an actual WrestleMania storyline?  Stuff like Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan (and Rhodes Scholars vs. NAO).  Focus on the big show right now.

8:15 - Loved that they had Kane come out in support of Paul Bearer.  If Punk hadn't interrupted, I wondered if Kane might come out as well.  By the way, I'm skeptical of this Big Show/Rollins match.  They've done an AWESOME job of making the Shield look tough -- which says something since they've been in there with guys like Cena, Sheamus, Orton, and Ryback -- but dealing with the Big Show isn't exactly the best way to maintain that aura.  Sending one of the smaller guys in there is even more potentially damaging.  Not a great idea.

8:10 - C'mon, you HAD to know CM Punk was coming out.  It just seemed TOO sweet and sentimental.  And truth be told, for all the things Punk could have said and done, his promo was actually pretty damn tame.  And that was smart.  Honestly, I didn't really have a problem with it.  Punk didn't do anything unforgivably disrespectful, and Undertaker did pay a nice tribute to Paul Bearer.

7:30 - We're now less than a month away from WrestleMania, and it honestly doesn't really feel like WrestleMania season.  A big reason for me is that 90% of the roster has absolutely no direction whatsoever.  Right now, we only have three confirmed matches (John Cena vs. Rock, Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger, and CM Punk vs. the Undertaker) and three presumed matches (Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, Ryback vs. Mark Henry, and the Shield vs. Sheamus/Randy Orton/Big Show).  That's six matches -- and granted, WrestleMania only usually has about eight or so matches -- but it just feels like so many people are directionless.

For example, the following people don't have even the faintest storyline going into WrestleMania:  Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan and Kane, Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett, United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, Divas Champion Kaitlyn, Money in the Bank winner Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, Kofi Kingston, the Miz, Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, and AJ Lee.  And that's just limiting the list to people who I believe can make a legitimate claim for being included on the card.

And part of it seems like either incompetence or arrogance.  Is there any reason why Kaitlyn and AJ Lee haven't been set up for a match.  You have the Divas Champion and the most over female on the roster.  They're former best friends, and one is a face and one is a heel.  The story is written for them.  But instead they're kinda sorta building a Layla heel turn that nobody cares to see (in most appearances, she just jobs to Tamina....who ALSO isn't being built up as the challenger).

And Jericho's limited schedule makes it somewhat understandable as to why nothing has been built yet for him.  But how about Dolph Ziggler?  Is there any reason why he gets no mic time and only appears to lose clean to build somebody else's WrestleMania storyline?  Dolph and AJ Lee could have been the next Edge and Lita (especially with each holding a title), but instead it seems like a conscious effort has been made to kill their momentum.

I REALLY hope that a significant step is taken forward tonight, with most of the people on the above list getting some sort of story heading into the biggest show of the year.  But instead we seem to be getting a pointless New Age Outlaws match.

No comments: