Welcome to a new feature on Ring-Rap.com... the Raw Roundtable! Each week you will get a quick review of the previous night's events and some hits and misses from the Ring Rap team. Here we go!
Drew Koscelek - Editor in Chief
Raw was such a confusing mess last night. On one hand we had some brilliant work from both John Cena and Daniel Bryan, on the other it was ruined by the McMahon family saga. We had a great ending to the show with the CM Punk/Brock Lesnar exchange, but earlier in the show, we had The Great Khali. It's like one thing wipes out the other.
From a wrestling standpoint, the matches were pretty lackluster. One match turned into a dance contest. Seriously? I know Fandango's gimmick is that of a dancer, but doesn't the guy want to win a title? I would. It's that pathetic separation of entertainment from wrestling that WWE insists on, and they insult our intelligence every time they do it. Wrestlers are there to wrestle, not to dance, not to strut.
It was finally nice to get something about Christian, since he's facing Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship on Sunday. Honestly I feel like it's too little, too late. And yeah, they will have a magnificent match. But no one will really care.
Highlight of the night, for me, was the exchange between Daniel Bryan and John Cena. Last week I told fans not to worry about about Bryan after Summerslam, and this furthers the point. WWE is perfectly comfortable with giving him a microphone and letting him go toe to toe with the face of the company. He might not win come Sunday, but he's in a prime position to be at the top of the card long term.
And what a freaking promo he cut! He spoke the mind of every internet wrestling fan out there. He even used the word WRESTLER! That's sacred! Well guess what folks - if you think for a second WWE isn't playing the IWC, you're sadly mistaken.
That being said, these two will have an amazing match, but Daniel Bryan won't win.
Cena held his end of the bargain too, I might add. I just wish he'd leave the Make a Wish stuff out, because it makes it seem like he's got a hidden agenda.
Once again how brilliant was Paul Heyman? Almost as brilliant as Daniel Bryan and John Cena, honestly.
Worst thing of the night, aside from The Great Khali standing on the apron for an entire match? Triple H tossing himself into a perfectly good main event at Summerslam. Keep your family feud out of my title match.
Oh, and one more thing - Dean Ambrose? Once again, on fire. Sure felt like he was talking to developmental during that promo. Loving it.
Shanna Harris - NXT Columnist
Overall, Raw was a mixed bag. Certain parts of the show that I wanted to see more of weren't given enough time. What I didn't want to see seemed to go on forever. But two particular parts of the show distinguished itself as best and worst of the evening.
Best: Miz TV with Cena and Bryan
This writer never misses an opportunity to take shots at Cena for his overall staleness. But last night was different. Cena got me to do something that he hasn't done since Extreme Rules 2012 when he was up against Brock Lesnar. He made me pay attention.
Daniel and John took this opportunity to deliver a strong promo. It was passionate (Passionate Cena is better than the Cena at normally see) and they had me completely tuned in to what they were saying.
I think the best part of all this was there were no distractions. No McMahon showed anybody up or brought down the seriousness of this final sell for Bryan vs Cena. And it delivered in every conceivable way.
Which makes this worst the WORST.
Worst: HHH as special referee.
The past few months with the McMahon's have been endlessly boring, but I was still holding on to the hope that Cena vs Bryan would remain a straight match with no overkill. But the one thing I was hoping wouldn't happen has.
HHH being involved in this match guarantees that we won't see Bryan vs Cena. It'll be Bryan vs Cena and wondering what HHH does. We will all be worried about what HHH is doing during the match that it'll interfere with the end result. Because a special referee match is exactly that.
To me, Cena vs Bryan is the kind of match that sells itself. It doesn't need special refs or rings of fire to make it better. Daniel Bryan could wrestle a french fry and make it meaningful. So the inclusion of HHH guarantees that something silly will happen and that will cause Cena to retain the title. From unpredictable to pedestrian in one swoop.
I just wanted to see Daniel Bryan vs John Cena in a WWE championship match. Two men, one on one, and without the extras. Was that to much to ask?