Welcome to this week's edition of Raw Afterthoughts.  This is our chance to break down some of the things we saw on last night's show in more detail than during a normal show recap.  Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts and questions in the comment section below.

"I Want a Contract..."

Brad Maddox came out and cut a promo to explain why he did what he did to Ryback at Hell in a Cell.  His promo skills definitely need to be worked on, as his delivery seemed timid and rough at times.  What he said was fine, but it ended up creating a sympathetic character as he talked about how he worked so hard to get his chance in WWE.  It's also hard to hate on him because Ryback has essentially no-sold the situation.

There's a nice twist that we could get out of this one.  Go ahead and let Maddox go over, with help from Heyman and/or Punk.  Cena ends up getting involved and it backfires.  They could really build to the triple threat match that way, keeping tension between Cena and Ryback going. 

It would also give rise to the question if Maddox was indeed in cahoots with Punk and Heyman.  Plus it gives Punk something to crow about, as he cost Vince a million-dollar contract.

Miz-placement:

Sheamus vs. The Miz was your extended filler match for the night.  By interjecting Big Show into the mix by having him out at the announce position kept the Sheamus/Show rematch story going and kept things interesting.

The problem for the Miz right now: no one I know buys Miz being in with the top of the card right now.  When Miz dropped the WWE Championship, they booked him in loss after loss and it really hurt him creatively. 

The matches he works against top guys are really never in doubt unless he cheats, and the fans don't buy his near-fall moments.

For now, they need to pull back on Miz a little and start rebuilding his credibility.  They can do this best by keeping him away from the main-event talent and protect him in the mid-card for a while.

A Story Adrift:

The AJ/Cena/Vickie storyline is really far adrift right now.  Vickie's latest evidence that she presented was campy and made no sense.  I did chuckle at Cena drawing attention to his limited moveset as a parallel to Vickie's evidence that she presented last week.  Beyond that, this story just doesn't excite me much and I'm not really all that interested in how it comes to a close.

Quick Hits:

  • The use of TNA's "Previously on iMPACT" formula, whether intentional or not, could be a poor choice depending on how they use it.
  • Back to the AJ/Cena/Vickie story a second:  Why is it considered a scandal that two single folk are doing naughty things behind closed doors?
  • Notable by its absence last night was a Punk promo of any length.  This is good, because Punk was starting to ramble just a bit.  This could help in the long run to keep his heat.
  • I personally enjoy seeing the Usos connect with their Samoan heritage by doing the tribal war dance.  And it's something fans do enjoy as well, so, why do we not get more of that...?
  • Wade Barrett being added to the Survivor Series elimination tag team on Ziggler's side makes good sense.  In fact, I'm a fan of how they shook the card up and rearranged everything, as I think it sells better than the original lineup.

That's it for this week, folks.  Join me next week for thoughts and afterthoughts on the go-home edition of Raw heading into Survivor Series.