Welcome to this week's edition of Raw Afterthoughts, where we break last night's Raw program down in more detail than we do on a normal show recap. Got questions, comments, or opinions? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.
I really thought WWE handled the debut of the bizarre Wyatt Family very well last night. We got steady and consistent build through the evening to their eventual live entrance with the reporter videos. The videos made sense and played into the nature of the trio. And Wyatt saying simply “we’re here” was perfect and drew a strong reaction from the live crowd.
I like it too that they went after Kane. Rowan and Harper attacked Kane after his match with Christian while Wyatt watched on from a rocking chair. Kane being in the MITB match on Sunday gives him a sense of importance over someone on the undercard, so they booked the debut to make an impact. The other thing is now it opens the door to speculation if Kane will be in the match, and who might replace him.
Perhaps this leads to something new for Kane too. Some speculate that Kane may actually turn and be a part of this group. It would fit with his warped character, so it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities.
All in all, a strong debut that lived up to the hype.
I remember a day when Vince McMahon’s music would hit and it would create a buzz. Vince’s arrival on Raw would create this sense that something big was about to happen. Now, I am guessing all this does for people is cue a long version of McMahon Family Feud. The appearances are getting so watered down from what they were.
This was a segment that ended up overstaying its welcome. There was a good moment from Stephanie in the early going, when Vickie stood to present her case. Stephanie politely, but firmly, told her “can you sit down?” Triple H responding to Vince just before the firing with “but mostly business” drew a chuckle. But that was about all of the good from it.
Vickie’s firing is newsworthy to a degree. What I don’t understand is the shift to Brad Maddox. I’ve seen some of his appearances at commentary on Main Event, and he is a good talker. But this change telegraphs that we’re still going to have the subservient authority figure going forward. Kind of hard to get excited about this.
MITB Entrants Face Off…
I thought we got two particularly good matches between competitors in the Money in the Bank entrants.
CM Punk faced Randy Orton in the main event in a really good match. The crowd was tough here though. My best guess is that it was a combination of being forced to pick between two faces and just being burned out from the three-hour format. Punk and Orton both tried to pump the live crowd up but they didn’t respond much. I was pleased with the clean finish. Bryan attacking was a bit out of place as it was an attack on two faces, but it created a good final image with Bryan standing on the ladder with the briefcase.
Speaking of Daniel Bryan – he and Sheamus had a quality match to start the show. They put a good spotlight on him without using silly skits and the like. I hope this is a beginning of his evolution into a more serious character so he can take the next step forward. Will him pulling the briefcase down at the end of the night, I guess fans will question if he will or won’t be doing that Sunday.
Land of Role Confusion…
I really don’t get what’s going on with Dolph Ziggler at the moment. Maybe I need to be a bit more patient.
Alberto Del Rio has really started to click as a heel this time around. However, Dolph is supposed to be the babyface character in this story. Earlier on in the night, we saw Dolph get seduced by AJ (the top heel Diva). Then during Del Rio’s match, he came out for that dumb introduction angle. The live crowd certainly had no idea how to react to him.
I guess what I’m waiting for with Dolph is that big moment where he rallies the fans behind him with a promo and really cuts ties from AJ and Big E Langston. With the manipulation from AJ, getting beaten up by Del Rio, and a lack of a strong “face change” moment, there’s no motivation to cheer for Dolph. Maybe that comes after Sunday.
They did a really good job of building up the All-Star Money in the Bank match last night. Sheamus and Orton can take losses, Bryan got a big chance to shine here, and there are questions about Kane.
WWE went out of their way to make Rob Van Dam look like a mega-star. The video packages definitely made him look like a big deal to all fans, and likely sold some pay per views with the consistent build.
Mark Henry unquestionably was the star of the face-to-face promo with John Cena. His part of the final hype to the match was well done.
I can’t say the same for John Cena. He resorted to tramping all over Henry with interruptions, the Snickers bar line, and some of the same basic expressions and body language he has used in other feuds where the opponent ended up buried. Cena continues to be bad for business in the top slot.
Kaitlyn hits a wicked spear. That is all.
Does WWE have this mindset that muscular women have to look like Chyna in her prime? Kaitlyn is far from fat, and this writer would not object to having her on his arm.
Speaking of “bad for business”, it was bad for business to bring back the Bella Twins. Their catty mean girl gimmick is tired, worn out, and unnecessary for this viewer.
So, if you’re familiar with the Comedy Central show “Brickelberry”, are you seeing the resemblance between Ryback and Connie the forest ranger yet?
I’m wondering if the exchange between Ryback and Vickie Guerrero backstage is a set up for Vickie to manage the monster. And that exchange was awkward in my opinion.
Did WWE forget about the match between Chris Jericho and Ryback on Sunday? They did nothing at all to promote or hype that match in any way.
I was entertained by Curtis Axel working with Jericho, but I can’t understand why they had Jericho go over clean here. Miz is working Axel on Sunday, not Jericho, so the loss doesn’t feel like it serves much of a purpose.
That's all for this week. Join us on Sunday night at 7:30PM EST for live coverage of the Money in the Bank pay per view event, then again Monday for more Raw coverage right here on Ring-Rap.com.