You know how WWE always seems a little bit… different when it’s overseas? Well, last night’s show opening had to be one of the most bizarre segments ever. Not only did we find out that The Authority was on vacation (really?), we had Brad Maddox and suited-up Kane arguing about Randy Orton’s opponent. The Result? Orton got stuck in a 2-on-1 match against the tag-team champions. Huh? Because, really, WWE, it makes the MOST sense if your HEEL AUTHORITY FIGURES put the HEEL CHAMPION in a handicap match against the BABYFACE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM…. [Read more...]
The two main event segments that needed to deliver for the WWE on Monday’s Raw did just that in terms of ratings. The rating for Monday’s Raw was a 3.0 with an average of 4.11 million viewers up slightly from the 2.96 rating from last week.
The first hour produced a 2.7 rating with an average of 3.74 million viewers, hour two produced a 3.0 rating with an average of 4.2 million viewers and hour three including the overrun averaged 4.32 million viewers.
Usually the rating doesn’t go up from hour two to hour three. Hour two opened with Brad Maddox, Vince McMahon and Triple H coming out and Triple H announcing he will be the special referee for the John Cena versus Daniel Bryan for the WWE title this Sunday at Summerslam.
Hour three began with a Miz TV segment featuring great promos from Cena and Bryan to help promote Summerslam on Sunday. The final segment of the show was set to feature Paul Heyman versus CM Punk. Heyman came out and cut a great promo, which led to Brock Lesnar coming up as they promoted the Lesnar versus Punk match this Sunday at Summerslam.
Punk then came out from behind and attacked Lesnar to end the show. It is a good sign as the overrun did a 3.5 rating, which shows people are very interested in this match at Summerslam on Sunday.
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The show kicked off live from Sacramento, CA, with Daniel Bryan’s entrance to the ring. Final hype for SummerSlam should be the story of the night… [Read more...]
For complete coverage of everything that happened on Monday Night Raw, be sure to check out last night’s WWE Raw Rundown.
The contract signing between John Cena and Daniel Bryan was a good way to start the show. I liked how it picked up immediately where Raw left off last week, and it seemed to have a specific purpose in promoting the WWE Title picture. The contract signing made sense (instead of just an announcement for a contract signing later in the night), because it felt like a logical part of the story.
Let me also praise John Cena for his effective mic work. I’m one of Cena’s most vocal critics, but think he did wonders in putting over Bryan as a legitimate contender in this opening segment. He cut out the “funnyman” garbage for once, and his intensity took this feud up a notch. While we can all agree here on the internet that Daniel Bryan deserves a WWE Championship match, hearing it straight from the biggest star in the company means a lot to the casual fan.
Speaking of, Daniel Bryan is on fire. Is there anybody else in all of professional wrestling that’s hotter right now? He had an instant classic with Antonio Cesaro AFTER already being in the ring with Swagger for 10 minutes already. And the fans can’t seem to get enough of him.
The CM Punk segment just went a little too long last night. I thought Punk cut another incredible, believable promo, and climaxing with his challenge to Brock Lesnar was a perfect way to end it. Unfortunately, WWE delivered Paul Heyman “live via satellite,” and while Heyman is good, his part took all the wind out of what Punk had just accomplished. Less is more in this case. Let Paul Heyman trot out next week and accept the challenge, and blab on about his new best friend. But it wasn’t needed last night. Also, I hate that he kept talking to “Brock Lesnar” who happened to be just right off the screen. Nobody’s buying that.
That “Total Divas” stuff was terrible. Grumble, grumble, grumble….
Brad Maddox continues to fill out his role as new GM of Raw in a surprising fashion. I really like him as the mouthpiece for Vince, and he plays the “caught between the bosses” role better than Vickie (mostly because Vickie was a veteran, and Maddox can act like he has a lot to prove). I also appreciate that they’re using Vince’s classic disdain for the “small guys” as fodder for this storyline, because it gives Vince a real purpose for being around.
The overall show, on the other hand, felt like it had too much padding last night. I’ve argued on numerous occasions that three hours is too much for a weekly wrestling event. I think a longer Raw has its place – just look to last week’s packed show as evidence. But last night would have been much better served as a two hour event, highlighting specific feuds, while giving other storylines time to rest. Maybe WWE should only make every Monday Night Raw after a Pay-Per-View a three hour special? That way, the creative team gets a little more time to play around, and it serves as a good kick-start towards the next major event.
Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below! Or follow me on Twitter @therealwiseman
Be sure to check out the Raw Rundown for complete coverage of last night’s show!
Brad Maddox kicked things off on Raw, and what an impressive way to promote his first official night as General Manager. I was worried creative was going to make him look like the weak authority figure. Instead, they put him in the ring with John Cena, Randy Orton, and Fandango. Triple H and Stephanie even put over his “pick your own opponent for SummerSlam” as a good idea. Maddox has a lot of charisma, and I hope he continues to be used effectively.
Two surprise attacks last night also made things interesting. Seeing The Shield tear apart a beast like Mark Henry was fun and unexpected. Does this mean Henry is turning face? If so, he seems like the perfect foe for this powerhouse trio. For some reason, their segment didn’t feel like “just another Shield attack” for once. If they do beat the big man, this could be their shot at redemption. Likewise, The Wyatt Family surprised us with their attack on a returning R-Truth. Bray Wyatt cut an amazing promo here. Something about eater of worlds, the creator being a liar, etc. This character is something different and refreshing, and his lackeys are simply terrifying. Plus, his challenge to Kane should make for some interesting fodder between now and SummerSlam.
We all know CM Punk and Paul Heyman are really, really good. But sometimes the WWE product can skew our expectations. Let me say this: that segment last night was one of the best I’ve ever seen in professional wrestling. Not only did Punk and Heyman put together some of the most effective mic work that WWE’s seen in months (years?), Brock Lesnar was to perfection as the muscle. This feud feels personal only because of the way Heyman and Punk sold it. I have so much more I want to say about this, so maybe I’ll put together a full column on it at some point down the road. For now, just know that this was a must-see moment.
I was worried that Rob Van Dam would be lost in the shuffle last night. With so much else going on, there was no way WWE had time to really promote his homecoming, right? Wrong. Instead of putting together an artificial promo, or hotshotting a feud, they simply put him in the ring with another veteran and let him work. The message is clear – why should people care about RVD? Because he’s an exciting wrestler. His ring work is unique. The “you-still-got-it” chants were completely wrong, because RVD never lost it. This was an incredible, Pay-Per-View worthy match. Check it out.
John Cena finally picked Daniel Bryan as his SummerSlam opponent, and internet marks everywhere let out a collective sigh. This was expected, but it was the right call. John Cena always does better when he has a skilled mat technician to work with (just look at his epic feud with Punk), so these two should tear down the house at SummerSlam. Question: Does this mean Daniel Bryan has finally arrived?
Overall show was one of the best episodes of Monday Night Raw I’ve seen in months, maybe years. The crowd was hot, the show felt fresh, and everything delivered. I said on Facebook that this felt like a “post-Wrestlemania Raw,” but I was wrong. It was better.