Welcome to this week's edition of Raw Afterthoughts, where I take the time to break down events from last night's show in more detail. Feel free to comment, debate, hike, or otherwise promote this work for discussion among the wrestling community.
We got a steady undercurrent all night long questioning the future of Triple H. As you probably know, Triple H lost to Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam via submission. The show opened up pretty well with solid promo work from Paul Heyman. He first took the time to put H over, then anointed Brock as the new King of Kings - a title Triple H has referred to himself as for a number of years. Shawn Michaels' segment was good for what it was.
My only gripe with this whole situation is that you really have to suspend disbelief that Triple H is retired. I am of the opinion that we will get to see these two men again in the future - probably at WrestleMania 29. This is a general consensus among a lot of folks.
They really could have worked a hook with the retirement angle at SummerSlam. In a market where they're looking for pay per view buys, they could have gotten a few buys out of the situation but for whatever reason, they didn't go there.
Losing the Big One...
The match between Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler was good last night - not as good as the SummerSlam affair but worked well nonetheless. I felt like Ziggler got a good rub from Jericho on his exit. The near falls really sucked the viewer in because there was so much on the line in terms of the contract vs. contract stipulation.
I really hope this is a launching pad for Dolph. He feels like he's ready to take that step forward - at least to run with the ball and see how he does. I still feel like he shouldn't be chained to Vickie at this point and her ability to get heat would be best spent on someone else now.
If Jericho comes back - which the Twitter traffic seems to indicate he will - there's a good chance that Ziggler will be World Heavyweight Champion at that point. A match between champion Ziggler and Jericho on a big stage, like WrestleMania, could really catapult Ziggler ahead. Jericho is so good at that.
No Questions Now...
CM Punk is definitely a heel, folks. After kicking the (somewhat) lovable Jerry Lawler, he's clearly in full heel mode. We shall see if this is "the turn" or if they end up going with more wishy-washy tweener stuff. Punk's slow turn work has been good, but you'd think with a guy as over as Punk is they'd have gone with a sudden turn.
Now, on to the closing promo segment. The work of the segment was very good. The content of the segment, I have a bit of a bone to pick with. It appears all signs point to a showdown at Night of Champions between these two guys. Cena did well not to smirk and laugh and joke his way through this moment and worked a serious promo.
Now, Cena's promo couldn't have been farther off track in terms of ego. It was nothing short of ridiculous for a guy to say that he is "best in the world" when the guy standing across from him has the title, beat him for that title, and has beaten him three straight times in big matches. There was a better way to convey this same story without making it sound like Punk is an insignificant nobody if Punk doesn't take him on at Night of Champions.
I can only draw the comparison between this current Cena run and the end of Hogan's first WWF/E run. We need an evolution in Cena and I think that would have helped the promo last night. If Cena approaches this with a sense of humble confidence - acknowledging the losses and saying something like "I still believe in myself" rather than saying "I'm the best in the world, not you...", I might not be so down on this promo.
- AJ is staring to jump the shark a little bit for me. She's not working as well in the GM role as I thought she might.
- I thought Big Show was a heel? So why did they put him in a face situation destroying David Otunga?
- The Diva's Battle Royale was a disaster. The production team messed up with the pre-match graphic because there was talent shown on the graphic that wasn't in the match. I also felt the wrong woman won, because I just am not feeling anything about Kaitlyn. I might be wrong, though.
- I give WWE credit for trying to tell a story with Jinder Mahal and Ryback. At least they're looking to work with the undercard - or at least these two guys.
- Speaking of guys needing to develop - Alberto Del Rio needs it and badly. His promo on this show felt so repetitive to me. It's time to reinvent with him.
Join us next week for more coverage of Raw right here on Ring-Rap.com. Feel free to comment and discuss anything in this piece, or other topics I didn't cover.