R-Truth def. Wade Barrett
This was disappointingly short match. Shouldn’t come as much of surprise seeing as this was the go-home Raw before TLC, so this turned out nothing more than advert or tease of what might happen on Sunday. It certainly didn’t do Barrett any favours after the great performances he’s given in recent weeks and to do this during this apparent push they’re giving him was odd.
Team Rhodes Scholars def. Prime Time Players, Epico & Primo, & The Uso’s
The tag team division is quickly becoming very dependable at producing an exciting and entertaining match on Raw every week, and this was no different. I’m also definitely a fan of having multi-team elimination style matches like this regularly as it breaks up the norm of just singles and standard tag team matches.
It was strange that WWE had Michael Cole acknowledge that The Uso’s were winning the RawActive poll on who should get a title shot, especially as they are one of the most underused and underrated tag teams in the company. Despite knowing this they still won’t give them the win this week, but maybe they’ll bear the poll results in mind in future, hopefully.
CM Punk Promo
It wouldn’t make much sense to not have a chance for the Champion to speak about his injury and the rumours that it was all faked and just just part of the storyline. The scars on his left knee certainly put any ridiculous ideas that it was.
Since he can’t face Ryback for the title any time soon they were they pretty smart with this promo by igniting the fire for the rivalry between Punk and The Rock that should lead into the Royal Rumble, just makes sense for business.
Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler
This was another great wrestling match, you expect nothing less from two of the most consistent performers in the WWE today. Some very solid back and forth action that would the satisfy any wrestling purists. If it is true that they are preparing Ziggler for a run as World Heavyweight Champion by having him work with Cena, then having him work with Sheamus is the right way to go as well.
Alberto Del Rio def. Zack Ryder
What a great week this can be considered for Zack Ryder. Not only was he given a TV entrance, but he also got a chance put some offence in against a main-eventer, he still lost with one quick move but at least he didn’t get squashed for the umpteenth time. I know he’s not the best worker in the ring but he has so much personality and charisma that there must be something more that he could offer the show.
As much I love heels even I struggle to motivate myself to watch an Alberto Del Rio match, they’re always seem to be exactly the same, especially the finish. Seeing as creative don’t seem to have much more for him maybe its time they pushed him as a face. Rey Mysterio is never going to be able to wrestle full time again and Sin Cara can’t seem to get the fans on his side unless Rey is there with him.
Vickie Guerrero def. AJ Lee
I thought after last weeks beating that Maddox would be off TV selling his again but not this time as he was the referee. I suppose the fact that he was there doesn’t make him look as weak if he can be back in action that quickly and having him as referee is a great way of generating heat on him before fans start to feel sorry for him.
First of all I’m glad they didn’t have Vickie score a clean pinfall over AJ, that would have made her look even weaker than before. It looks like they’re reverting her back to her ‘Crazy Chick’ chick gimmick, so much so that their changing the whole dynamic of her relationship with John Cena. Now that everyone knows he’s dating Nikki Bella people aren’t going to believe their on-screen relationship so she’s basically become one his crazed fans, much like when Mickie James debuted with Trish Stratus.
Antonio Cesaro def. Kofi Kingston
For me this was the best match of the night, I’m quickly more and more of a fan Cesaro each and every week. At some point during every one of his matches he seems to pull off a new and innovative move that I’ve never seen before. This time it was his backbreaker after catching Kofi as he was jumping off the top rope and then spin him into the right place to execute the move just shows that he has far more strength than you would expect for a man of his size.
MizTV with Team Rhodes Scholars
It’s strange that when their trying to push The Miz as a face that they don’t have anything for him in the ring. Instead they have him playing the part of a reporter by having him interview, or just insult rather, heels. Although he is very good at verbal beatdowns, I’m sure fans would react more favourable to seeing the bad guys get physically beaten as that is what they paid to see after all.
Biggest surprise of night, and a welcome one at that was the early return to the ring and mic of Cody Rhodes. In his young career he has already had many incarnations but moustachioed Cody Rhodes is one that is a bit of a head scratcher. Presumably he’s is trying to look as mature and wise as Sandow does with his beard but all his tells me is that he can’t grow a proper beard.
John Cena def. Big Show
As much as I respect these two for their hard work and dedication to the sport, this match I never going to grab my interest as they probably to of they most stale characters in the business today. I think we all could guess how this match was going to play out and it did. The only difference this time was that The Shield interfered before the referee could administer the three count.
Spark a massive brawl with added dodgy camera work which if intentional was a great move as it made it all seem more unexpected and out of control that can only be created with live television. The show ended before we could find out who got the upper hand, all of course to make you want buy the PPV which I’m going to have to do as it’s one of the few PPV’s that isn’t shown free on Sky Sports. Oh well.
Team Hell No def. Prime Time Players
As much I was enjoying the comedic interactions between the argumentative Kane and Daniel Bryan, it’s good to see the team evolve and start to get along as it stops it becoming stale.
After the match ‘The Shield’ interfered and attacked Team Hell No. It was good to see them display some other vicious type of offence by kicking the ring-steps while Kane’s arm was stuck between them and the ring-posts. It was a welcome change from just the standard mauling then powerbomb through the announcers table.
AJ Lee def. Tamina Snuka
Although it’s easy to understand why they have AJ winning matches. She is easily the most popular and marketable Diva they have at the moment, however, it’s extremely hard to believe that she would stand a chance in a fight with anyone the size of Tamina Snuka.
John Cena & Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler & Big Show
There wasn’t too much to be gained from this match. After some decent back and forth action the superhuman good guys did one move on their opponents and got the win, usual stuff.
Sheamus showed great strength to hoist the Big Show up onto his back, which even though impressive, has been done quite regularly by him lately that its lost all effect.
Damien Sandow def. Santino Marella
Once again the most interesting part of this segment was with Sandow on the mic. It’s about time that they gave Sandow a programme for someone to work with, he’s very good at working the crowd every week, but he would be great if he was degrading a crowd favourite every week that would help get the audience on his back.
It’s clear there just killing time before Cody Rhodes finally returns to ring from his injury.
I’m not too sure whether the WWE are actually serious about giving Sandow an apprentice. I don’t really think he needs one to be honest, it might actually detract from him, like Ricardo Rodriguez is actually more interesting than Del Rio. Maybe they could bring his scribe from Twitter, Ignatius, to television.
Alberto Del Rio def. Sin Cara
This seems to be a match that we have seen a million times, and they have all the attributes needed to have some classic matches. However, they are always restricted to about five minute matches that always end with Del Rio’s hand raised in victory. With some proper build up and not being used as just filler for when they have nothing better going on they could really have some compelling feuds.
Much like Damien Sandow, it’s clear that WWE has nothing for Sin Cara until Rey Mysterio returns from injury.
Vince McMahon & Vickie Guerrero segment
In a very similar segment to one they had just before the Hell In A Cell PPV, Vince McMahon managed to manipulate Vickie into making decisions that went against her personal interests. One would assume that McMahon realises that Vickie is out of her depth and her being in this position is a conflict of interests. I would think that this is beginning of a storyline that is steadily bubbling and will eventually end with her being replaced with a bigger name as General Manager.
Randy Orton def. Brad Maddox
I was glad to see that Maddox’s match against Ryback wasn’t the end of this storyline. He clearly has something about him, certainly something that has caught Triple H’s eye if reports are to be believed.
It’s a bit too early to make any judgements on where this story is going but I would assume Maddox is going to be given the gimmick of the perennial underdog, that will somehow eventually get his hands on a WWE contract. Interesting to see how they go about it as underdog gimmicks are usually given to lovable, good guys that audiences can relate to in some way.
As for Randy Orton his heel turn was supposedly put in motion at Survivior Series. It looks like its going to be a slow burner up until around Wrestlemania, but beating up a defenceless, weaker opponent is the right way to go. However try to make it someone who the audience are emotionally invested in to remind us of his vicious streak.
Antonio Cesaro def. R-Truth, Kofi Kingston & Wade Barrett (Fatal 4 Way)
The biggest shock of this entire segment came before the match when Teddy Long appeared before the bell rang and changed it from a tag team match and made it Fatal 4 Way match instead.
For me, Cesaro and Barrett where the stand outs form this match. Their physical feats seem to improve every time they step in the ring. Out of the four they look like they are ready for a main event billing any time soon.
CM Punk’s Lie Detector Test
Great to see CM Punk have the opportunity to slate The Miz with a series of pipebombs, the likes we haven’t seen in what seems like ages. For anyone who has seen his DVD it became even more personal and enjoyable as you will know how much Punk doesn’t like Miz for headlining Wrestlemania 27 instead of him.
I was glad that they had The Shield interrupt before the test revealed anything about Punk. They did reveal that he is unsure as to whether he thinks he can beat Ryback on his own, but that is the right thing to do, as it gives the fans the something to taunt him and adds to his persona that he full of himself, when we know he is vulnerable
As much as I’m enjoying The Shield it was probably right to see them on the receiving end of a beat down. It would have become a repetitive, even with my love for heels, to see CM Punk standing triumphantly over a beaten Ryback for the third week running.
Roman Reigns is the latest Samoan wrestler to come from the legendary Anoa’i family making him related to the likes of Sika, his father, Yokozuna, Rikishi, Umaga, and many, many others. Growing up around such experienced and illustrious names in professional wrestling would certainly make you believe that he has picked more knowledge than most rookies in developmental already.
Another wrestler who is his cousin and also someone he has been likened to is The Rock. Although being slightly shorter at 6ft 3ins and 265lbs they definitely are very similar in stature at least. His moveset also bears a resemblance to ‘The Great Ones’ as he chooses to use DDT’s, jumping clothelines, and his finisher the ‘Moment of Silence’ where he lifts his opponent from a back body drop position ends with him twisting him around and slamming him in way very similar to the ‘Rock Bottom’.
The way he’s being presented on TV right now is definitely as the muscle of the group, much like Batista in evolution, he’s very raw but has heaps of potential. As we saw in the interview last week his weak point is likely to be his mic work, but if they steadily give him just a bit more to say every time he has the mic I’m sure he will get there in the end. Just like the Animal.
Obviously, he has just made a huge impact on the main roster as part of The Shield. You have to worry that this might be all too much for someone who has only been in the business for two years. He’s still pretty green, especially when it comes to talking on the mic. But if he’s anything like the rest of his family he should be able to pick it up pretty quickly, and that he will have to do.
What does worry me about how quickly he has been called up to TV is that he has yet to find himself a gimmick that he can sink his teeth into, something that will give him an edge. When Cody Rhodes got to hide behind a mask he settled a lot quicker and develop a lot quicker as a performer and entertainer. The same opportunities did not happen for Ted DiBiase and look what’s happened to him. I hope same doesn’t happen to Roman.
We know how much WWE likes to try and push second and third generation stars so I would expect to see Reigns get a major singles push once his run with The Shield is over, hopefully that won’t be for a while though.