Welcome to this week's edition of Raw Afterthoughts. This is a feature where I take a closer look at some of the bigger issues of last night's show in more detail. Feedback is always welcome.
Dolph Gets Distracted:
Alex Riley went over on Dolph last night in their match, thanks to Chris Jericho getting involved and causing a distraction from his commentary position. He got up on the table and took a video which permitted Riley to roll up Dolph to grab the win.
Jericho did a great job on commentary. He set up the finish sequence brilliantly and even better than King and Cole do in other similar situations. He was key to focus on Ziggler's gloating and showboating. This creates the fact that he's easily distracted. Jericho didn't go too heavy with it either.
Overall, WWE is doing a really good job with Jericho right now. Jericho has a schedule that is crafted such that he doesn't need to be around the title picture. Given his veteran status, losses roll off of him pretty easily so he can give a guy a good rub to move his opponent up the card. This is a feud Ziggler has needed to have too for quite some time too.
The one thing that I am hoping to see is Ziggler go over at Summerslam. The usual signs are there in Jericho getting the better of Ziggler so regularly. Ziggler needs some rub too as the MITB briefcase holder. This could be the storyline that gives Ziggler momentum leading up to his cash-in for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Daniel Bryan is Doing Work:
For starters, the television main event between Cena and Bryan was well done. Bryan got the crowd to focus on him when the fans were chanting about CM Punk and Cena. Bryan got in a lot of offense too. His counter to the STF was well done and the match was a good showing for both guys. If WWE wants to go with a Cena/Bryan program to tie Cena over as they head to Wrestlemania, it could definitely work.
Bryan is definitely one of the most interesting characters on the roster right now. Bryan is doing good work, and even if I feel like some do that WWE is pulling too much of a 180 on the "yes" chants Bryan is making it work. I'm enjoying his work.
The one thing I feel indifferent about is having Bryan feud with Kane. It feels less than SummerSlam worthy and seems secondary to Bryan's ongoing conflict with AJ in her GM role. I think the match will be good, but nothing memorable.
Triple H, HBK, and Brock - Just Simmering:
This was a solid promo segment. They set up Michaels' role at SummerSlam then also put a target on HBK between now and the event. A lot of folks predicted we'd see that scenario play out during the show or the day of the show, but we didn't. That possibly could have been due to the fact that Michaels was involved in "Appreciation Night" after Raw went off the air.
Lesnar's role in the promo segment was perfect. He simply stood there and looked intimidating and said very little except right at the end. Having Heyman to be Lesnar's mouthpiece is perfect and covers up Lesnar's greatest weakness which is talking. I did get a chuckle out of Heyman's look when Lesnar took the mic though.
The other good thing about Lesnar's role is that he didn't jump HBK and Triple H. There's a lot of folks out there who would love nothing more than to see Lesnar kick the tar out of Triple H especially on a regular basis. I think holding off the physical confrontation before their match at SummerSlam is going to make the match more compelling than it would be if the opposite were true.
Kelly Kelly's return was very ho-hum. It just shows you how far the Divas have fallen off the radar in WWE.
Damien Sandow and Brodus Clay are heading for a good feud. Sandow's attack last night was brilliant and gives us a break from that silly dance entrance Clay does as well as gives Clay a reason to seek revenge. Here's hoping they utilize this feud the right way for both guys.
I'm glad we're getting airtime for the tag team division now, but give me a reason to get behind these teams, or hate them as the case might be. AW's heat feels like X-Pac heat at the moment, and Epico and Primo could use character development.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian served its purpose to get Sheamus in the car. I just pity Ricardo for having to clean that mess up.
Join us again next Monday for live Raw coverage as we get ready for the "biggest party of the summer" at SummerSlam.