Dave's RAW Thoughts
April 30, 2013
By: David Stephens of Wrestleview.com
RAW kicked off with a segment that many were instantly ready to dismiss as an impending train wreck. Yet, as the match unfolded it turned out to be pretty entertaining. Ricardo Rodriguez was on point with his facial expressions tonight and Colter even imbued a few comedy spots that delighted the crowd. Ricardo’s win allowed Del Rio to pick the stipulation for the Triple Threat Match for the WHC at Extreme Rules. His decision of a ladder match is intriguing as all of the competitors in this match have benefitted as a result of a Money in the Bank Ladder match. I hope that Zeb is able to stick around when this gimmick of Swagger’s finishes as he is one of the real gems of the professional wrestling business.
The World Wish Day segment was touching and powerful. Whether or not the audience likes Cena was irrelevant for this segment. Those three children were deeply touched by the gesture. Making them honorary WWE superstars hopefully helped to bring a moment of joy to a tragic life.
It’s no secret that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of either Randy Orton or Cody Rhodes. That being said, they put on an incredibly showing tonight. They still have chemistry from their Legacy days but Cody has grown and matured as he’s developed his own signature style. Orton allowed Rhodes to look very strong in this match and it paid off.
Ah the Bella Twins are back in full force and actually managed to have multiple segments on the show. Come to think of it there were more Diva segments on the show tonight than I can recall in recent history. I can get behind the disqualification match result from the usage of Twin Magic. As JBL astutely observed there is no Instant Replay in the WWE. However, there is a General Manager who is watching the show. It’s about time there was a bit of consistency between what the viewers see on the screen and what the powers that be act on from a disciplinary standpoint.
3MB’s decision to involve themselves with the Shield ended pretty much how one would expect. It was interesting to note that during the Shield segment they discussed taking out The Undertaker, however they brushed over the fact that Ambrose actually lost to Taker in a singles match.
Oh before I forget – at one point Jinder Mahal said 3MB was going to, “Rock your face”. I legitimately face palmed when the words came out of his mouth.
I don’t understand how not a single agent in the back has approached Kofi Kingston and told him to make his double chest shots look harder. Every time Kofi smacks his opponent it looks like he completely whiffs and applies no force in contact. I appreciate Kofi’s value as a crowd pleaser but that one spot always makes me cringe during his matches.
Zack Ryder apparently decided that he was going to troll Jack Swagger tonight. While it was nice to hear the Broskie get a bit of mic time, coming out to antagonize an already angered Swagger was not a clutch decision. Also I like Ryder’s never hairstyle. Changing it up.
Mark Henry engaged in a bit of Tug of War with Tons of Funk. I’m not quite sure what the genesis of this segment was, but it came out of left field. I did enjoy Henry walking in the back with the rope. If I came across that in a dark alley I’d run for my life. Sheamus got in his cheap attack which will no doubt fuel up Henry. I kind of feel bad for Henry. He just wanted to have a bit of fun and show his strength yet Sheamus comes out and acts like a punk. Henry isn’t a monster, he is just misunderstood.
Brad Maddox deserves a bit of commendation for his role yet again tonight. It’s easy to hate on the guy but he has a natural sense of comedic timing that lends itself well as a supporting character. His facial expressions manage to style imprudent jokes as slightly endearing.
Once again Cesaro shines in a match only to lose. I have to believe that there is some sort of push coming for the Swiss star in the near future because it’s the only way I can rationalize his usage. They are consistently using him on TV each and every week so it would not be fair to toss out the cliché of being buried. I do think there is a plan for his character, I’m just not sure if it’s the one I think is logical or if I’m going to end up staring at the TV thinking what the hell is going on. It could go either way.
Fandango engaged in a ballroom dancing contest with the Great Khali because hey, RAW is three hours long and most the top stars were MIA for tonight’s broadcast. I will take the opportunity to welcome Summer Rae to the main roster. And by welcome Summer Rae I mean her legs. Those are something special.
The night’s main event was a bit curious. Ryback supposedly left the arena so Team Hell No was left to help an injured Cena take on The Shield. I’m not quite sure if Ryback’s fake walk out will have the desired effect as the ending came off a bit awkward. Cena was visibly annoyed in the match that he wasn’t being tagged, yet when he actually did make it into the matchup he was clearly hindered by the tendon tear. The severity of his injury is still up in the air. With Rock and Punk already knocked out of Extreme Rules because of injuries or injury related leaves the loss of Cena would suck out even more star power. HHH and Lesnar will become the main selling point of the PPV if they weren’t already, however needing to strengthen the program could result in using a few more of Lesnar’s appearances than the company wants to dish out at this early stage. Given his history I would expect John Cena to still compete in the Championship match. The WWE sure does like to utilize Cena as an Underdog.
RAW was surprisingly pretty decent this week. I was expecting one of the more dull in between PPV shows but for whatever reason the matches on tonight’s show were almost all strong. Anytime I make it through an entire three hour broadcast without wanting to toss my laptop out the window I consider it a decent show.
Follow me on Twitter! @TheDaveStephens