Two weeks away until SummerSlam and we're finally getting somewhere storyline-wise. It's been a slow build up, with Lesnar/Triple H getting the only real hype over the rest (although that's not saying a whole lot), but gradually we've seen something of an improvement all round.
Daniel Bryan has finally been booked in a match against Kane (which I'm not too happy about to be honest), The Jericho/Ziggler feud has been developing nicely, Sheamus and Del Rio did something different at least, and finally, the WWE title picture has a bit more of a hype around it.
The hype has been better other years, but at least creative have stepped it up just a little bit.
AJ, Punk, Cena & Big Show
I like AJ, I really do. But since becoming GM of Raw, my interest in her as gone down dramatically. Maybe at this stage her character is a bit of an overkill, or maybe it's just the fact that I like people a lot less once they become an authority figure. I'm not quite sure yet.
The start to the show was fine. It was your typical talk, interruption, talk, interruption, talk, interruption, match announcement kind of segment so I don't know if there's anything that much else to say on that point.
The only talking point here concerns CM Punk, who's slow transition to turning heel has been a good watch. It was good to see him embrace the fans when he was on the ramp as it shows he still considers himself a good guy. Too many times we've seen wrestlers turn on the fans before the fans turn on them. Also, it was good to see him apologise to AJ, only to get back onto the topic of him being the most important man in the WWE.
There's a certain innocence and arrogance about him that just comes across really well. At this stage, he's neither a face, heel, or even a tweener for that matter. He seems to be in between of all those three things (which isn't really possible to you know, be in between three things, but you know what I mean).
CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
A fun match here to following the opening segment. Two years on and these two still have great chemistry together. They've had better bouts, but for a TV match this was perfectly fine.
Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio
I'm a very cynical fan these days. Like, really cynical. Anything done out of the ordinary and I jump straight to pointing out its flaws. This was the case here last night as Sheamus 'borrowed' Del Rio's car.
Now, if this was done 10 years ago I would have been perfectly happy with this scenario. I mean, we've seen stuff like this before, whether its Triple H driving out of the arena with Cactus Jack trapped in a cage or Steve Austin pouring cement into Vince's car.
These days though, I'm just not like that. Seeing Sheamus steal Del Rio's car made me point out so many things that I'm sure people were saying as well. Why didn't Del Rio ring the cops? Why does he care if one of his many, many cars gets messed up? How did Sheamus not get in serious trouble when he got back? These are all things that I said as the show went on. As I said, I'm just really cynical, but in a justifiable way.
In a hypocritical way, I can put up with Santino talking to his hand or a mentally unstable lady running an entire show, but this, I just couldn’t take.
Damien Sandow & Brodus Clay
Hate Brodus Clay, really fond of Damien Sandow. You might think I'd want Sandow to compete with someone else, but whatever my thoughts on Brodus, he's a good opponent for him.
They're both complete opposites character wise, and I think that's what makes this feud so good.
The beatdown on Brodus was particularly good this week, as it really made Sandow like a viscous bastard. He may not be the best wrestler on the roster, but his intensity is immense.
Kelly Kelly vs. Eve
Well, it was good while it lasted. I'll say what I said last week, except replace the words 'Randy Orton' with 'Kelly Kelly'. Welcome back, Kelly Kelly. I didn't miss you at all.
Good to see Eve in action though. She's awesome. And really hot. Mostly really hot.
Brock Lesnar, Shawn Michaels & Triple H
Not the explosive segment I was hoping for, but not the worst segment either. As much as I love the guy, I just don't really see the point in him playing a part in this match. It worked for WrestleMania XXVIII, but for this, I just find it unnecessary.
I was expecting a beatdown on HBK at the hands of Brock Lesnar, but the smile to Triple H in a way to say “I'll wait until SummerSlam to beat the crap out of you” was good enough for me. Or maybe the smile meant “I am looking forward to going out of drinks with you later on” or “that top looks good on you”, I don't know, but I'm guessing it was the first one.
The best moment of this segment however was Lesnar saying he'll see HBK before SummerSlam. I don't know what he means exactly, but it should make for some good television. I'm hoping for Lesnar to break into HBK's ranch and attack him there, in a way to really get some heat going into SummerSlam. I'll question Sheamus stealing Del Rio's car, but I wouldn't question that. Hypocrisy FTW!
Dolph Ziggler vs. Alex Riley
When I saw Alex Riley in the ring my first though was that he was going to get squashed, but in fact, he ended up getting the win.
Jericho was great on commentary here and played a really good part in how this match played out. Out of all the feuds at the moment, this has actually been my favourite one to watch. It's been an absolute joy to watch.
Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena
Around this time two years ago Daniel Bryan was wrongly fired for a segment involving John Cena. Fast forward to today, and he's just after competing in the main event of Raw against that very man. Justice, I guess.
This was a solid main event here that had both men looking strong. Bryan may have one of the worst win/loss records on the roster this year, but he's still looked like a fighting competitor throughout.
The show finished with the same way it opened – Punk, Cena and Big Show all in the ring. Punk's promo at the commentary booth was the type of standard you'd expect from him, but unfortunately didn't end with the focus on Punk once again.
I think they should have gone with that outcome instead of Big Show knocking out both men, but maybe they're going somewhere with this. We'll see.
Overall, this was a pretty good episode of Raw. It had two good matches and the filler in between wasn't too much to complain about. 3 hours though... still a drag.
- Why does the Raw opener close with the World Heavyweight champion?
- I think I know why the Big Show annoys me so much these days - His hat. His hat annoys the hell out of me.
- “I don't think there's been a superstar more popular than Rey Mysterio.” Jerry Lawler clearly overlooking the popularity of such people as Steve Austin, The Rock and Hulk Hogan.
- “Good move there by Rey” said Jerry Lawler as Mysterio went crashing into the ring post.
- Why do GM's always leave their office after talking to a wrestler? Shouldn't it be the other way around?
- I guess a Mother Theresa comparison is better than a Kobe Bryant one.
- Hey Cole, this wasn't the first time Bryan and Cena have ever faced off against each other. Remember the highly anticipated match from Velocity back in 2003? God, show some consistency!