I can’t honestly stomach recapping this edition of WWE RAW. I don’t care about The Rock or John Cena, and the Road to WrestleMania is covered with high school taunts and tired cliches. WWE is banking all their chips on the Rock being able to deliver, and after tonight, it just looks like “The Great One” may have lost a step in the promo department. It’s a sad state of affairs when John Cena can in all honesty make Rocky look bad. But, he did. And, he did it easily.
First, let’s recap the matches:
1 – CM Punk (WWE Champion) and Daniel Bryan (World Champion) wrestled to a no contest in 10:15
2 – Kelly Kelly pinned Nikki Bella in 1:30
3 – John Cena defeated The Miz by submission in 4:03
4 – Primo & Epico retained the WWE Tag titles in a triple threat match also involving Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler and R Truth & Kofi Kingston in 8:36
5 – Sheamus & The Big Show beat Mark Henry & Cody Rhodes when Sheamus pinned Henry in :58.
Total match time: 25:22. Average match length: 5:04
Now, just looking at the match results, I see so many glaring problems with the booking. The first issue is four former World or WWE champions were booked as complete jobbers. Mark Henry could have been easily replaced by S.D. Jones, and “Special Delivery” may have gotten more offense in. Miz, who a year ago was hot, was nothing more than a glorified jobber for Cena this week. I would have rather seen Barry Horowitz in this match than Miz. And, then you have Swagger and Ziggler who are so firmly entrenched in the mid-card that I fear they may never get out.
And, this is my biggest issue with WWE right now. They are not creating stars. Actually, that’s wrong. They are creating stars, but they can not build them for the future. WWE has done a great job making Mark Henry a legitimate threat and champion last year, but now he’s jobbing out to Sheamus week after week. WWE put the strap on Swagger a few years ago, but bungled his reign and have screwed his character up with increasingly mixed results since. Ziggler may just be the third best worker on the roster, but as soon as he gets built up for a main even run, he has the rug pulled out from him every time. It’s just so frustrating to watch.
The next issue is the Champion vs. Champion match was just there to further the inane GM vs. GM storyline that someone must think equals ratings. Simply put, it doesn’t. It’s another example of forced booking where they force this issue on viewers. I don’t think it really matters who in the hell runs the show whether it’s Smackdown or RAW. For God’s sake, RAW was run by a computer for about a year. It just isn’t an issue. It’s a figure head and I don’t think anyone cares if Teddy Long gets fired or if he makes another tag team match to settle a beef in the ring. But, WWE would rather have that already tired storyline overshadow Punk/Bryan. The match was good for what it was worth, but it was yet another no finish to a match that has so much money making potential.
The triple threat tag title match was just a mess. No one cares about the tag division anymore. There were some good moments in the match, but it was really there as filler, and again just served the purpose to reintroduce Kane after a few week layoff.
The rest of the matches really shouldn’t have been thought of much less booked. WWE is simply in a coast mode for lack of a better word. They were again video package heavy replaying Cena’s two promos from last week and a lengthy (and unneeded) recap of Taker/Triple H. When in doubt, WWE goes to their production department to lazily put together a video package. Hell, Cody Rhodes even uses it as part of his gimmick with the Big Show now. It just comes off as lazy to put out a video to rehash the past rather than come up with new material.
As far as new material, there was a great promo between CM Punk and Chris Jericho to start the show. Both guys were on, and both guys made their points well. I didn’t like how CM Punk made reference to Jericho leaving because of how similar it sounds to the main argument that Rock and Cena have, but it was a good promo between these two where both came out even in my estimation.
From there, it was all downhill in the promo department.
Eve delivered a terrible one where she tried to be the second coming of Sable but just is horrible at playing any type of convincing character. Of all the people to become heel after the Cena/Ryder/Eve/Kane nonsense, WWE went with Eve. Good call. Speaking of Kane, he returned and destroyed the already fragile tag division for no reason. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.
Finally, in his highly touted return, The Rock came out (with notes on his wrist) and faltered in his spot. He went from one mindless chant (“Kung Pow bitch”) to the next (“Boots to Asses”) all while the mindless sheep so desperate to be part of a “moment” chanted his stupid comments without giving it any thought. Seriously, the Rock came back to say he wanted to slap Cena with a piece of Kung Pow chicken? What the hell is on the TV? Was that one of the notes on his wrist?
Cena came out to save what was left of the sinking ship, and actually really looked like he stumped the Rock when he brought up the notes on his wrist. Sadly, I think the Rock’s best promos are behind him, and Vince has to be worried. Just a bad, lazy promo from someone who needs to deliver more.
What I liked:
- The opening Punk/Jericho promo. Both of them are excellent promo guys, and both delivered.
- The Punk/Bryan match. The action was pretty good, and I’d actually like to see these two in a meaningful program instead of this.
- Kane’s return. I’m a mark for Kane, so sue me.
- The Rock’s pop when he first came out. He still connects with the fans.
What I hated (and wouldn’t have done):
- Eve’s promo.
- Having Johnny Ace and Teddy Long’s storyline overshadow the Punk/Bryan match.
- The recent trend of relying on video packages to tell a story.
- Jobbing out Henry in less than a minute. Just dumb.
- Why even book a Divas match anymore?
It was a below average show with poor booking, the reliance on video packages, and poor promos. The Rock looked out of his element, and no one really will know if he’ll be able to deliver come WrestleMania.
Last Week: 0.5
This Week: 4.5
Three Week Average: 2.8
It’s been a bad run for RAW as they plod toward WM. They really need to deliver starting next week.
- Falling Down (RAW 2/20) (hellinacell.wordpress.com)
- Off a cliff, and other stories about RAW (2/13) (hellinacell.wordpress.com)