Welcome to our weekly "Raw Afterthoughts" piece. This is where I take a bit more opportunity to break the show down in more detail than I can during a show recap. Feel free to pose questions and opinions of your own below.
The placement last night of Ryback could not have been much better. As JR took that long walk up the ramp to a rather quiet crowd that hated CM Punk in that moment, Ryback turned that all right back around. His music hit and he got a good reaction. His staredown in the ring with CM Punk even got a rise out of the fans.
I hope they continue to do this right and build slowly to a moment with these two when they actually fight. Will it be Survivor Series, or whatever this December's pay per view event is called? Or will it just be a TV match down the road somewhere? Hard to say where it's going and where it will end up, but I hope they wait til it's a frenzied anticipation (as much as it can be) for Ryback to get his hands on Punk. They have a chance to make something here.
Silver Tongued Devil
Punk continues to wow on the mic. He gets better it seems with each passing week and just delivers solid performance after solid performance. Last night was no exception.
I'm a little down on the opening segment as I felt it had too many moving parts going on with Kane, Daniel Bryan, AJ, and Dolph involved. I guess it served its purpose to get the main event set up but it took the edge off an otherwise good Punk performance.
His interruption of the "JR Appreciation Night" segment hit a home run though. JR held up his end of the deal brilliantly too. Not always can a play-by-play voice, even someone of Ross' caliber, step in and interact like that with the wrestlers. JR did a great job.
Punk was pitch perfect. He played up the fact that Ross has been embarrassed by "people in the back" before and Punk just wants the same thing that JR was getting - respect. Both men were on point for this exchange and it was probably the best part of the night.
This show last night was really big on filler. For all the good that we got in the third hour, the first two hours were a true chore to watch. With all the short matches, filler segments, and that terrible debate segment, the whole show just feels like a placeholder before they really move into selling Hell in a Cell.
The third hour tried to boost the luster of the show, but just didn't. Probably a part of the reason why this show is the lowest rated of 2012 in the Neilsen Ratings.
- Cole and JR were on and did a great job of selling Antonio Cesaro hitting the Neutralizer on Brodus Clay. Really put him over for hitting that move on a big man.
- Can't tell who's to blame, but Ryback did hit his finisher on Tensai before, I believe. Kinda looks like Tensai was being heavy on his feet about it.
- AJ's executive coach lent nothing to the program and I'm not sure why he even made it on the show.
- Alberto Del Rio and Kofi Kingston had a good TV match but the star of that segment was Ricardo on commentary. He has a fun personality that seemed to click in this case.
- I like how they're spreading the tag team tournament across all WWE programming. Makes it feel important and special. Let's see where things go from here once we get a contender crowned.
That's all for this week. Join us again next week as we bring you more Raw coverage right here on Ring-Rap.com.