Make sure to check out last night’s RAW Rundown for complete coverage of everything that happened on WWE’s flagship show. Also, hear what Brian and Steve thought on the latest Between the Ropes podcast!
Last night’s show opening was solid. I think the “every superstar on stage” gimmick is starting to run its course, but at least the result was a little different (that being the 11-on-3 handicap match). I seriously question the locker room’s ambitions, since they made Rob Van Dam their spokesperson – furthermore, they’re all buying into Triple H’s spill a little too easily. On the other hand, I really enjoyed seeing Triple H and Stephanie McMahon ham it up a little. Selling Daniel Bryan as the selfish one, not the COO, is a great way to make Hunter the type of villian fans love to hate.
The Miz continues to be on everybody’s crap list. I think he’s actually a pretty interesting part of this whole story, and I’m curious to see how this mini-feud with Big Show develops. Furthermore, I’d love to see him actually pursue revenge against Randy Orton. It could be just the (much needed) spark his character needs.
The Tag Team division is an incoherent mess. I guess The Usos are back in the title hunt after their victory last week – so why, exactly, did WWE push Prime Time Players so hard going into Night of Champions? That is, the same Prime Time Players team that lost easily to The Wyatt Family. It’s also the same PTP duo that dominated The Real Americans over the last month or so.
Another addition to the illogical booking list is Santino Marella. He made a supririsng return last week, and quickly picked up victories over Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger. This must mean brighter things in his future, right? Nope. Fandango handily defeated him last night, even though Fandango’s been languishing in the mid-card as well. All of these characters feel like they have zero trajectory.
Was Damien Sandow even on last night’s show? I don’t think so… there’s your future World Champion, folks!
Somebody who is NOT a future World Champion is Rob Van Dam. He got beat up bad last night – twice. He’s also taking month off in October. Do you really think WWE is going to put their (second) biggest championship on a guy who says “dude” and “sweet” now?
CM Punk came out and addressed the Ryback issue. I thought his pro-Chicago promo was perfect, and it gave everybody in attendance a reason to cheer. It was also something different. Punk understands the psychology of sports entertainment, specifically the “sports” part, and his mic time is so much more entertaining because of it. On the other hand, Punk looked pretty foolish for attacking Paul Heyman when Ryback and Axel were obviously waiting in the wings… but I guess fans need a reason to care about the match at Battleground. Good segment, though.
Fans are also starting to buy into The Shield as individuals. Props to WWE for developing their individual personas over the last year, to the point where Seth Rollins feels almost as relevant as Dean Ambrose. Also, I really enjoyed seeing Roman Reigns just tear people apart with his spear – he’s going to be a juggernaut champion one day. Their main-event handicap match was exactly what it needed to be, nothing more, nothing less.
Speaking of main-event, I loved the surprise attack from Cody Rhodes and Goldust right before the match. It was an exciting surprise, and brought back memories of Attitude-era unpredictability. I’m glad that WWE seems to be taking the Rhodes brothers a little more seriously. Like I said on Twitter – let Goldust get in the ring some more! He’s still got it.
Overall Show was entertaining, which is good enough for a Monday Night Raw. Was it the best ever? No. Was it a snoozefest? Definitely not. Some segments failed to capture my attention, while others felt completely irrelevant (the 30 second Divas match? really?), but the show worked well enough for the three-hour airtime. I’ll take it.