David's RAW Thoughts
February 26, 2013
By: David Stephens of Wrestleview.com
There’s no better place to start than with what all of us came away from RAW thinking – freakin’ Piledriver!
It wasn’t even the lamely safe Tombstone Piledriver that The Undertaker delivers which keeps the opponents head a good six inches from making contact with the mat. Punk pulled out a full on sit-down Piledriver. Twitter lit up as the WWE Universe as a whole was shocked and blown away by the inclusion of such a maneuver. Word is that Punk got heat for it backstage, so we may not see it again, but in this match and in this context it was perfect.
Say what you will about John Cena but this match was easily the best match of the past two months. It’s an early leader for match of the year and in the least will last as the RAW match of the year unless something truly special happens. The match had everything that a modern wrestling fan could desire. The final sequence even silenced Cena’s critics for a brief moment. Sure, many are going to continue to whine that we shouldn’t be getting John Cena v. The Rock II. I understand the hesitance, the first match wasn’t that great, but it’s safe to assume that this match was already in the books nearly two years ago when the first Cena/Rock match was announced on the RAW following Wrestlemania 27. Rock was slated to win their first encounter and in exchange will take the Title loss in their second. It’s the type of long term booking that helps seal the multi-million dollar contracts that dictate these special attractions.
Punk proved his point tonight. Rock did not even show up for the taping, yet Punk came out like he does every week and this time he put on one of the strongest RAW matches in the history of the program. Oh and Cena did a Frankensteiner. It wasn’t perfect in execution, but it was near perfect in drama and timed delivery.
Vince/Heyman ended as most expected. We will clearly be getting another HHH v. Brock match. Their Summerslam bout was decent, though it didn’t make me scream for an encore. HHH and Brock are two guys that only wrestle a handful of times in a given year. Personally I feel like it would be more beneficial if they were spread out and had different younger opponents that could benefit from the exposure with a premiere talent on the biggest show of the year, but clearly the WWE feels differently.
I had to chuckle at the camera work by WWE in attempting to hide the blood. Lesnar was bleeding so profusely that it was smeared all over the ring. I just had the sudden urge to catch a CZW show.
Ryback defeated Ziggler with a victory that he needed. This did not hurt Ziggler as he appeared capable and still holds the case. Ryback has had a bad run of PPV bouts. Ryback needs to pick up a few wins against opponents of Ziggler’s upper-midcard caliber in order to retain his legitimacy. There is only so much fan reaction that the WWE can squander on his losses before the fans become disillusioned and finds their next Big Thing. It’s as though the WWE were surprised by Ryback’s popularity and have run out of booking ideas for the former Skip Sheffield. While we are still a good five and half weeks from the show, it appears Ryback will be featured in another six man bout.
Speaking of The Shield, I was not impressed by their segment this week. I understand that the good ole boys of the WWE were using the tactics of The Shield, but it came across rather lame. I wasn’t feeling like, ‘oh snap it’s about to get real’ it was more, ‘oh’.
In case anyone missed it the other five times it occurred – Mark Henry can lift up The Great Khali. But hey, give us that same match five more times, why expect creative booking?
Randy Orton defeated Antonio Cesaro in a short match. It’s what you would expect from Orton at this point. He does nothing for five minutes, hits one move and collects a paycheck. It’s like he’s not even trying anymore.
The returning R-Truth seems a bit less psychotic than his previous incarnation. I could see a midcard Title run if the company chooses to go that route.
Kane & Bryan were placed in a match that made the Primetime Players look like fools. They can’t even beat Kane and Bryan when they are severely handicapped, so any hopes of them as a successful tag team seems a moot point. Young is supposedly injured and Titus is in line for a push, so it’s about time that they go their separate ways.
There is a lot to be said about the Jack Swagger/Zeb Colter/Alberto Del Rio/Glenn Beck storyline. I have a unique connection to this one so I’m going to hold off on my comments until later in the week. That Feature should be up by Thursday.
Send me an email or discuss the show in the comments below. Until next time – Piledriver!
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David Stephens is the official recapper of WWE RAW for Wrestleview.com.