Monday, December 30, 2013

LIVE Raw thoughts - December 30, 2013

11:04 - Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about that ending.  I do like to wait to see how things play out before making judgments, but I found it personally frustrating.  For one, it's somewhat annoying that WWE is so willing to turn supremely major babyfaces (like Punk, Batista, and Bryan), but won't even tease that sort of thing with Cena -- who is desperately in need of some character complexity.  Why is Cena the only face that can't be compromised?  Everybody else can show physical and spiritual moments of weakness, but not him (compare Cena's struggles with Nexus to Bryan's struggle with the Wyatts).

The other thing is that when I look at major turns, I ask myself two questions:  Does the person's character need it to happen to remain interesting, and will the turn advance the wrestler higher on the card?  For example -- CM Punk last year probably didn't need to turn heel from a character perspective, but by turning he went from the #2 babyface to the #1 heel, so he did move up the card.  But in both cases, the answer for Bryan is "no."  Fans LOVE Bryan and they desperately want to root for him.  This is the absolute most over he's been.  And there IS a way to advance his story, but unfortunately (for WWE) that means giving him the title.  But that doesn't fit into their plans.  So they need to manufacture this heel turn.  Bryan's ascension from whiny, cowardly heel with a Napoleon complex to a scrappy, talented, motivated underdog hero was a great story.  The proper ending was a success story -- not a submission.

And then there's the question of whether this will move him up the card.  I don't think it will move him down, but it's lateral at best.  Not only will he not be the #1 heel (that still belongs to Orton, until at least WrestleMania likely)....he won't even be the leader of the group!

Of course, this could be a swerve.  And I hope it is.  Like I said, I prefer waiting to see how things play out.

10:57 - I enjoy the Bray Wyatt character and his promos are something different, but I wish they would add a little substance and consequence to his actions.  For all the talk they do, and for all the fear the announcers present, what has he really done since his debut?  The most "diabolical" thing would be to kidnap Kane.....but then Kane returned, completely altered his character (without any connection being made to the kidnapping) and it was all forgotten.  The Wyatt Family have kidnapped Bryan numerous times....and we're yet to really find out what they do.  Create some consequence for their actions.

10:54 - I typically enjoying the Old School Raws....but only when they go all the way with it.  Like, with the old school set and everything.

10:49 - Fun match with Harper.  Kicking off the show with Punk and ending it with Bryan is not a shabby way to close out the year.

10:27 - I hope 2014 is the year that Daniel Bryan finally brings back his awesome ring jackets.

10:12 - Is there a reason why the Total Divas suddenly don't like each other again?  Because they haven't bothered to explain that.

10:11 - Kaitlyn is kinda like the female version of Dolph Ziggler.  Started off the year as champion of her division, ended the year jobbing to pretty much everybody.

10:02 - When your screams sound like that of an old lady, maybe you should remain a silent killer.

10:01 - Mark Henry.  What a shock.

9:55 - Brock is looking a little leaner than usual.  I'm interested in seeing where this goes.

9:48 - I noticed that both AJ and JoJo were left off of that 10 Divas match.  Does that mean I can FINALLY get to see that match?

9:46 - Has Brodus won a single match since turning into a "monster" heel?

9:30 - Things are looking pretty meek, Kofi, when the Great Khali is beating you in an App vote.

9:21 - I like Barrett's elaborate new stage....but I find it odd that NOBODY saw him there until the very last moment.

9:20 - Didn't they JUST air an ad, which included Booker T, that said he'd be appearing for "one night only"?

9:13 - Fun match.  Good performance from each of them.

9:00 - The special hashtag and the in-ring introductions does make this match seem more prestigious.  Well done.

8:57 - Nothing sounds hipper than when Michael Cole talks about the "chatter" on Twitter.  I do like WWE experimenting with the hashtags, though.  Survivor does this -- every segment of the show (Redemption Island, Reward Challenge, Immunity Challenge, Tribal Council, etc.) has its own hashtag.

8:48 - Voting for Damien Sandow's opponent.  It doesn't get any bigger than that.

8:46 - It's incredible that Ziggler even shows any motivation during his entrance anymore.

8:39 - Not an Orton fan, but that was a cool video.  I especially liked how they spliced in his prior title wins as he was grabbing the unified championship.

8:34 - By the way, since they're still building Wyatt/Bryan, I'm guessing that the main event for Royal Rumble will be Orton/Cena.  Ah yes, the status quo is restored!

8:28 - Really fun match with some great psychology.  Really enjoyed the story they were telling there.

8:16 - These two are surprisingly awkward right now.  Two less than fluid looking spots.

8:12 - I liked the way Punk stirred the pot, because it didn't make the Shield look like idiots for falling for his mind games.  Everybody played their roles really well there.  Also, every time Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero come out, it reminds me how useless their roles have become.  How did the GM era outlast the two World Titles era?

8:03 - It's been over half a year (I think?) and I'm still not used to Punk's Wolverine sideburns.  I like the grown out hair....but grow the beard back!

7:55 - I wasn't originally going to do a LIVE Raw thoughts this week, since I thought the show was taped and I wasn't feeling well.  But since it's the last Raw of 2013 and I have off tomorrow, it might be worth it.  So, follow along.

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