Last night’s RAW opened right where Survivor Series left off – with the tease of champion vs. champion. This segment was a great way to re-establish The Authority, Randy Orton, and John Cena. And while I question the booking direction going forward (a match “eleven years in the making” only gets a three-week build? really?), at least this feud feels like something fresh. [Read more...]
Be sure to check out the Raw Rundown for complete coverage of last night’s show.
Money in the Bank All-Stars was highlighted in a very effective way last night. The show’s opening managed to get a bunch of stars in the ring together at the same time, for a very specific purpose, without feeling over-booked.I also thought each wrestler did a great job of selling why they were going to win the match. And while the “I just happened to be right behind the curtain when you happened to say this specific thing to make me come out here” bit was overplayed, it served as a great catalyst for getting everybody in the ring. Plus, the visual of seeing all six competitors in front of the ladder, under the briefcase, definitely sold a few more Pay-Per-Views. Good stuff.
I’m also really starting to dig the “All-Stars” idea. WWE has tried to promote the Royal Rumble as its own “All Star” game for a few years now, but the concept there just doesn’t work (what other sport has an All-Star game with bottom-tiered players involved?). This, on the other hand, actually makes a lot of sense. I’d even like to see the company take it a step further, and pick 14 All-Stars who have matches together to qualify for Money in the Bank.
The McMahons, on the other hand, were not handled well last night. It just felt like the EXACT SAME THING that happened last week – they all come in and give Vickie their opinion, and she’s stuck in the middle, unsure of what to do. Knowing that this is all going somewhere with Vickie’s Job Evaluation next week makes me feel a little better. I’m just not feeling the “hurry up and wait” storyline deliver of these past two Raw episodes.
The audience also played a huge role last night, just not in the crazy/unpredictable ‘night after Wrestlemania’ way. Instead, they sat on their hands and as little emotion as possible. And I’m not blaming them at all. Almost every match seemed to drag on, and without the audience to liven things up, the show felt like a total snoozefest. I blame a lot of this on WWE booking decisions – creative simply isn’t giving viewers enough reasons to be invested in the product. Last Friday’s Smackdown was great – purposeful segments, fun matches, and a brisk pace. This was the exact opposite of that.
The divas reality show is going to probably suck. Like the segment on Raw. And I hate the Bellas. Enough said.
Champion vs. Champion was great, though. They hyped it throughout the night, Vince McMahon himself even put it over as a big deal, and the show effectively used history to spotlight both World Championships. My only complaint is that I wish WWE would have advertised this earlier, and treated this like a “themed show” coming in. But that’s just me being petty. I think WWE was wise to make this feel like a big deal, and I’m glad John Cena and Del Rio delivered with an exciting match. The World Heavyweight Championship earned a little more respect last night. Kudos, WWE.