Thoughts From Raw:
- As much crap as I (and the rest of the internet wrestling community) give John Cena for his promos, I give him a world of credit for the way he handled himself in the go-home segment this week. Despite all those great legends being in the ring, that Washington crowd wanted nothing to do with them. They wanted to chant for Daniel Bryan, and damn did they. They even chanted “boring” during Randy Orton’s half of the segment. It was getting downright embarrassing. The segment was supposed to be about one of the most important matches in WWE history, and they’d almost entirely lost the crowd. But Cena, to his credit, improvised. He pulled Bryan to the forefront, incorporated him into the promo, and let the fans do what they wanted. From there, he rode that wave of momentum back into his own material, and was able to get the segment back on track. Tonight was Bryan’s night for certain, but I came away from the show thinking about John Cena. Indeed, the “smark” in me is horrified.
- This week’s finale was choreographed extremely well, and it managed to set up what I presume is a rekindling of the feud between CM Punk and Triple H. Or at the very least, the beginning of a program between Punk and the Authority. The only thing I didn’t like was that we went off the air with Triple H’s music being played. It really should have been Cena or Orton’s, considering they’re in the big main event this Sunday.
- I have a question: Did the Slammys need to be this week for some reason? Were they counting on it to be a ratings boost? I get that. But the Slammys seemed to largely draw attention away from the fact that this was the go-home Raw before TLC. I’m not a wrestling booker by any means, but considering we’ve got “one of the biggest matches in WWE history” coming up this Sunday, you’d think they’d have spent most of the show talking about that. Instead, we were giving out trophies, and CM Punk was the only one who used his acceptance speech to actually hype the pay per view. C’mon, guys. Storytelling. That’s what I miss most when I watch modern WWE TV: Quality storytelling.
- We’re certainly missing some quality storytelling from TLC. The great main event notwithstanding, we’ve got a pair of 3-on-1 handicap matches. Again, I’m not a wrestling booker. But to me that’s lazy. There were ways to do both these programs without essentially presenting identical matches on the same night. This is why all the post-Summerslam pay per views have been received so poorly by fans.
- Oh yeah, it’s definitely Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania. And based on that little interruption we saw tonight, they’re building the tension early. I love it. Though Reigns might need to work on his timing. How long did Ambrose hold that “And the winner is…” pause before Reigns cut him off?
- Did Bret Hart roll his eyes a bit before he announced John Cena vs. The Rock as Match of the Year? I know I did. It should have been CM Punk and the Undertaker all the way. Don’t trust the app, folks. Don’t trust the app.
- By the way, the Great Khali doesn’t get to stand in the same ring with Bret. Ever. That was downright sacrilege.
- Ahhhh, so it’s Hunico under the Sin Cara mask these days. I’m happy to hear that. Despite the hokey mood lighting, I’ve always enjoyed the Sin Cara character, but the man behind the mask (the man formerly known as Mistico) just wasn’t able to stay healthy for lengthy periods of time. With the real-life Jorge Arias under the mask, maybe the character can finally get some momentum going. However, he might have missed that senton bomb on Alberto Del Rio entirely.
- Sorry Santino, but the Cobra was NEVER funny. Shawn Michaels, on the other hand is funny. But that’s because of his delivery. He’s one of the best mic guys the business has ever seen, so he’s got no troubles in that department. Plus, you can always tell he’s having fun out there.
- So they put the Superstar of the Year award in the second hour? How does that logic work? That’s the last award you give out! It’s your main event, not your midcard! Ugh. Weird…
- Stephanie won the Insult of the Year Slammy over AJ Lee’s “pipe bombshell?” Again, don’t trust the app, folks. Don’t trust the app.
- Kofi’s tights said “Skillz,” right? I swear to God, I thought they said “Ballz.” That would have been a bold choice for sure.
- Eve Torres was “one of the greatest Divas Champions of all time,” huh? As good as Eve was (and she was good), considering today’s crop of female wrestlers, that’s not saying much. She gave that Diva of the Year trophy to the Bellas, after all.
- Uh oh, looks like Brodus Clay is heeling on us. Look out Tensai, it looks like your gimmick might be going away.
- Was Mark Henry wearing the same pink jacket he wore when he made his “retirement” speech? Damn. Never thought I’d see that thing again.
Images from wwe.com.
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