Welcome to this week's edition of Raw Afterthoughts, where we break down last night's show in more details. Feel free to add your own comments, questions, and thoughts in the comments below, or hit us on Twitter.
Lizzy Borden once sung about it being “me against the world.” So now we know what Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose must have felt like last night.
The Shield took on eleven men last night and that ended up being the majority of the storyline arc for the night as it pertains to the WWE Championship and the McMahon/Helmsley power trip. I will say that the match was entertaining and for a 20-minute match it made television time go fast.
A couple issues though. First, this match did zero for the men involved in it. Rob Van Dam and Kofi Kingston were protected by their injuries from previous matches during the night. But the rest of the guys were just stuck in a no-win situation. How was anyone on that face team, aside from Bryan, going to get any momentum from a win? Either they were going to look like doofuses for losing to the Shield, or fans would have thought “well, gee, you had them 11-on-3, you should have won!” if they won. Not a good booking scenario.
Then there’s the power couple, Triple H and Stephanie. They opened the show with a very “Mickie James-esque” style of promo where they fed into the fans and played completely disingenuous characters. There’s a time and place for that, but it seems they should be going for true heel heat now and they’re just not getting there. Stephanie got almost no reaction when she came out for the MizTV segment, which is a sign that the act of “doing what’s right for business” isn’t doing anything.
Oh, and did WWE forget they have a pay per view coming up? Randy Orton isn’t talking about claiming the title. They had RVD beat down but not by Alberto Del Rio. No other match got established. Really, the only segment that advanced the pay per view was the Punk segment. Pretty disappointing sale of an event.
Other Points of Note:
Speaking of Rob Van Dam, he took a pretty brutal beating from Randy Orton. I like how they made Orton look sadistic and vicious, and the beating was entertaining. But that said, I question why they would have Rob Van Dam take that beating when he’s scheduled to face Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship in two weeks or so. As for the champion, Del Rio, he looked strong by putting away Kofi earlier in the night. I like that WWE is having him win that way, rather than by cheap DQ or count out finishes, or worse losses. If they hold true to this, they could actually help boost the value of the title in Del Rio’s run with it.
There is no place like home. Ask Bret Hart when he would return to Calgary. That is what immediately came to my mind last night when CM Punk emerged in his hometown of Chicago. This was a segment that made viewers laugh and but it worked. Punk did a wonderful job of tying in the story of the Chicago Blackhawks playoff run with the city and his own character. Everyone, hockey fan or not, could relate to that promo.
Heyman again played his part to perfection, using his New York roots and throwing barbs at Chicago as “the second city” and singing Sinatra when he came out. The bad motor scooter moment was a riot, as was how he played it up. They then turned it into good heat for Ryback with the lured in attack on the ramp. Live fans got their Chicago love fest, and WWE got heat on Ryback for the upcoming Battleground match. A win-win segment.
The Wyatt Family entrance serves as a great hook at times and it worked last night. It feels like it’s an event when they come out. That said, it’s time to move them on to their next program. We need more back story (especially with Rowan and Harper) about them and get them to more meaningful programs. This act has so much potential and I hope they don’t blow it by keeping them in neutral.
The Quick Strike:
Angry, determined Miz can be effective and his persuasion efforts with the Big Show clicked.
Stephanie McMahon can be a good heel and she’s getting more heat than Hunter is at times.
Less blubbering Big Show is good. And he did what many of us have wanted to do – knock out babyface Miz.
They did more in Brie Bella’s backstage interaction with Randy Orton than they did in the ten-diva tag match that lasted two minutes. I failed to see the point of that Divas match. I hear my co-writer Shanna sighing, but I just want WWE to give me a reason to care about the women.
Speaking of, did the segment with AJ and Stephanie backstage just come off like a “who can be the bigger bitch” moment more than anything else? It didn’t seem like it served any purpose.
About CM Punk – had he walked out with the Stanley Cup in hand, the place would have melted down. That would have been amazing.
JBL, even as the heel color guy, would have done wonders to sell the Wyatts as creepy and strange as opposed to cheerleading them. It’s good that he’s consistently behind the heels, but to have him creeped out as well certainly wouldn’t hurt.
That's all for this week. Join us again next Monday for our live Raw recap right here on Ring-Rap.com.