Hi there. It's been awhile. I haven't really watched much of Raw in a few months, but got the urge to check out this week due to Chris Jericho hyping up Ryback on Busted Open Radio (I don't know what that is, by the way).
Why the long absence? Many reasons, mainly real life being super busy. But also because Raw is three fucking hours every week now and it's so overwhelming that I just kinda shut down. My general lack of interest in wrestling lately hasn't helped much either. No real reason, the product has been perfectly fine, far superior than many years I blogged about it, but I got burnt out. Is this a permanent return? I dunno, but I felt like doing a review this week.
But a disclaimer: I'm watching on DVR now, so I'm fast-forwarding through the stuff that bores me.
Let's see if I remember how to do this.
Team Rhodes Scholars vs. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara kicked off the show and can I make a new rule? No more "Team" in front of team names. "Team Hell No," "Team Rhodes Scholars," stop that. Just be "Hell No" and "Rhodes Scholars," we know they're a team, they're in a tag team match in a tag team tournament to determine #1 contenders for the tag team titles... I think we've figured out the "team" part.
If WWE is serious about rebuilding the tag division again, they'd be wise to build it around Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara. WWE came close to saving tag wrestling in 2009 thanks to JeriShow, but ultimately let it fall by the wayside. This is an opportunity for them because Mysterio & Cara are absurdly marketable as a team, but apparently it's going to have to wait since Rhodes and Sandow won the tournament.
Makes sense, I suppose, the crowd has made Bryan and Kane the good guys, so maybe they should ride that wave and let Rey & Cara chase. Rushing teams to the tag titles is what killed the division in the first place, so go for the slow burn.
Great match too, Sandow is gonna be something special. And Sin Cara's double springboard moonsault was amazing.
Razor's been out of the loop moment #1: I had no idea Kofi Kingston was the Intercontinental Champion or that Michael McGuillicutty was back. Didn't care for the match though.
John Cena was out next to explain why he gave a potential WWE Title shot to Ryback. Cena promises "change" with Ryback and honestly, I hope he's right. Here's what Jericho had to say on the radio show I mentioned earlier:
The number one thing people bitch about is that there is nothing new and it’s the same old same old with John Cena. This is the chance to create a new guy. This is the chance to make a new star instantly, and I know tradition says you must build a star. There is no tradition in a case like this. The comparisons are to Goldberg. Most of the fans in this day and age have no idea who Goldberg is and don’t care. We do, but in the year 2012 Goldberg was over ten years ago. How did Goldberg get over? By beating everybody. There was no loss for Goldberg. As soon as he did lose, that’s when things started going downhill for him. Ryback is not a normal guy. This is not a guy that we see that builds his way to the top and fans get behind him slowly but surely.Couldn't have said it better myself. Don't get me wrong, I love Punk, I love that his title reign is one of the #9 on the all-time list, but honestly, it means nothing. No one is sitting at home saying, "oh man, CM Punk has held the title for 337 day, I better turn on Raw." But they will tune in to see what this Ryback guy is all about. They will tune in to see WWE pushing a major new face that's not named John Cena. The crowd is begging for it... pull the trigger!
You want to pick a new guy? Have him beat CM Punk this week. Who gives a shit about Punk’s title reign? It means nothing. Here is a chance to take a guy who people are getting behind. If he beats Punk at Hell in A Cell and after three hundred and thirty seven days or whatever and Punk is finally beaten, people are going to start to take notice of this guy. Those who don’t watch Raw are going to tune in to see what’s going on. Ryback beats everybody. Ryback faces Rock at Royal Rumble. What happens if a couple of weeks before that something goes on with Ryback and Undertaker got involved in the Rock match? What if Rock wins the title and goes on to face Cena we expected and what if its Ryback vs Undertaker at Wrestlemania? What if Ryback beats Undertaker at Wrestlemania? You have a new star for the next ten years to headline pay-per views and main events."
Antonio Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel was a decent TV match with Gabriel scoring an upset win. I like the idea of two non-Americans feuding over the US Title.
Vince McMahon and AJ Lee in the ring next to discuss her tenure as Raw GM and she is resigning amid allegations of fraternizing with a Superstar. Hey, that never stopped Vickie Guerrero! This segment would probably make more sense if I had been watching regularly over the last six months, but it seems pretty dumb.
Paul Heyman interrupting helped because he's such a scumbag that he can make me feel bad for any character, no matter how silly their story. Heyman trying to weasel his way into the GM role is brilliant too because that's what Heyman does, but I'm so confused by the power structure of WWE now, I have no idea why Vince is out here or why Raw now needs a "managing supervisor" or why it's Vickie Guerrero, who is actually fraternizing with a Superstar, but whatever, at least Vickie is awesome.
But as awesome as Vickie is, the wrestling authority figure, evil bosses and corporate politicking stories need to go away. Let the commentators explain the rulings from the board of directors and just let the show run itself. This stuff is boring.
Ryback vs. Miz - I don't even mind that he's killing Miz... FEED HIM MORE.
Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler? Uhh.. OKAY! I guess one good thing about Raw going three hours is these guys get a lot of time to play with. Awesome match. If you didn't see it, go see it.
Then they to go ruin it with Matt Striker coming to make an announcement about a "therapeutic game show" between Kane and Daniel Bryan. Fast-forward.
Then Kane vs. Big Show out of this? I get trying for an organic flow, but if you're not a Kane or Daniel Bryan fan, WWE lost that portion of their audience for damn near an hour. Crowd was clearly beat by the end of all this too.
Fast-forwarded through Alberto Del Rio vs. Zack Ryder because, come on, we all knew how that one was going to end.
And in the main event, CM Punk vs. Sheamus in a massive lumberjack match. Good hype for the PPV, champion vs. champion is always fun and these two are rarely opponents, so it made for a good set-up. Crowd was still worn out, but the match was fun, even with the clusterfuck finish. Punk got the win thanks to the Big Show assist, but Ryback absolutely murdered him after the match and that powerbomb was NASTY!
C'mon, Ryback has to win, right?
A good Raw with the benefit of fast-forward, but three hours just leaves room for so much filler, and there was plenty of it. But it is what it is now, but I can't imagine sitting through it all every single week. But that's why we have DVRs.