Anytime a show opening includes Shawn Michaels, you know you’re in for a treat. Still, this should’ve been so much more. Randy Orton deserves the most credit here for delivering the angriest face and most gravely voice he could muster – his intensity was fantastic. Unfortunately, Shawn Michaels no-sold him for most of the promo. On top of that, the logic here made little-to-no sense.
Why would Randy Orton openly threaten the man that controls his championship hopes? Fine segment, but nothing more.
Hour 1 of Raw has become the most uninteresting thing on pro wrestling television every week – save for maybe WWE Saturday Morning Slam. Want to see Santino Marella, or 3MB in action? Make sure to tune in between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. e/t!
Bray Wyatt’s “talking in riddles” schtick has about run its course. I think the character has a ton of potential, and believe that Wyatt has a better in-ring presence that he has yet to deliver. But his confrontation with The Miz last night gave me little incentive to tune in next week. I want to like both of these guys, WWE, so give me a reason too.
Triple H called out Big Show last night in what I was almost sure would be another Hell in a Cell match announcement. It wasn’t. Still, Triple H kicked his power-trip back into full heel-mode last night, which doesn’t make much sense from his actions in recent weeks, but I’m still happy to see it happen. He and Stephanie need to stay on the bad guy side of things. People seem like they’re finally willing to hate Triple H again (or, at least, hate Stephanie enough to hate him by proxy), so let it stick. For some reason Alberto Del Rio came out and stopped Bryan from attacking Triple H – I have no idea why Del Rio would side with ANYBODY in upper-management after the John Cena announcement last week, but I guess they need somebody legitimate on team Helmsley. A Del Rio-Triple H alliance might just be alright…
You wanted a tag-team division again? You got it. Unfortunately, it’s comprised of nothing but lower-to-mid card acts, a giant who can barely move, a couple of racists, and a tiny bull. Have fun!
Let’s have a moment of silence for Jack Swagger’s career….
Speaking of the tag-team division, what about that main event? Killer. Seriously, I was falling asleep in hour two AND three, but Cody Rhodes, Goldust, and The Shield put together the most entertaining wrestling match I’ve seen in weeks. The title change seemed obvious when it became clear this match was going on last – and while I’m not a big fan of it from a story perspective (whatever happened to The Usos and their #1 contendership?), the final thirty minutes on Raw were fantastic. Nearfalls, high drama, no disqualification, AND a championship. I can’t praise all these men enough.
Thanks to a “Beat the Clock” challenge (seriously, Ryback in a timed match to see how fast he can win? Are you TRYING to spotlight his in-ring deficiencies?), CM Punk versus Ryback became CM Punk versus Ryback w/Paul Heyman in a Hell in a Cell match. The singles match nobody cares to see just became the gimmick match nobody cares to see. And I’m pretty sure the Intercontinental Championship just dropped to a new low of irrelevancy…
Overall show was consistently terrible – until the end. It seems like the WWE product is in a tailspin right now, and the creative team can’t decide whether to be reactionary (like last week), or whether to just play it safe and underwhelm. The crowd was dead last night, and who can blame them? The WWE Universe has spent a lot of money supporting a product in recent weeks that doesn’t necessarily deserve it.
Were you disappointed by last night’s WWE RAW? How did you feel about the Tag Team Championship title-change? Let us know in the comments below. And, be sure to follow Between the Ropes on Facebook and Twitter!