Dave’s RAW Thoughts
June 11, 2013
By: David Stephens of Wrestleview.com
RAW opened with a goofy segment that turned in to entertainment gold. The gimmick of Vince and Triple struggling for control will no doubt become an expanded storyline in the future. I enjoyed the constant match starts and endings. Not only was it amusing, it gave Curtis Axel two more nonsense wins for his resume. Paul Heyman is the perfect manager to seize that opportunity. Heyman was even able to leverage it into a Title shot for his new client.
Kane busted out some maneuvers that I have not seen from him in the past during his match against Dean Ambrose. There is a crop of young stars in the company that were widely praised for their pre-WWE personas and matches. While the WWE has a specific style that all must become acclimated to, more and more we are seeing expanded movesets. The bottom line with the WWE is that it’s not so much about the wrestling as it is the connection with the fans. Bryan in particular has been capitalizing on both strategies as he revisits the submissions in his arsenal.
Kane does deserve some props for his acting tonight. There is something enjoyable about watching a seven-foot monster exasperated that his partner is losing his mind. The Big Red Machine even got to hug it out with Vickie. I don’t see the reason to hate on Kane for this character because he can easily slip back into his mean spirit if the company so desires. If Undertaker can move on from being a biker, Kane will move on from the comedy gimmick.
Stephanie and Vince are harkening back to the last decade, and further, with their interactions. It leaves the viewer with the question of whether Stephanie is really trying to reconcile Vince and her husband, or if she is carefully manipulating the situation so that she will end up in control of the company.
Chris Jericho cut a strong promo leading into his Payback match against CM Punk. It is rare that a competitor be completely absent from TV leading up to a money match. It has happened in the past but only in a handful of occasions. Whether or not it will be a successful technique will ride on the first few seconds after CM Punk’s music hits on Sunday. I’m optimistic that the return reception will be monstrous.
As for the whole Langston/Kaitlyn/AJ storyline – at least they have a storyline that more than Divas fans have paid attention to at the moment. That’s more than I can usually say of the division. The segment was enjoyable if only for Langston’s awkwardness. Other than that the segment made me cringe just about as much as when Big Show decided to start crying a year or so ago on RAW.
I’m all about Team Brickie. The little sleaze ball that is Brad Maddox makes me chuckle with his facial reactions.
It’s nice to see Antonio Cesaro find a bit of success. It seems that he may be the newest acquisition for Zeb Colter. It will be okay because Cesaro came here legally. That’s Zeb’s thinking going into this merger. It could certainly bring good things the way of Antonio. The addition of a manger usually denotes at least short-term success.
Orton/Bryan/Rollins/Reigns were all strong in their matches tonight. The Tag match is one to look forward to on the PPV. I wouldn’t expect the new champs to lose the belts just yet, but the mix up of the tag team will make the bout stand out.
Cena and Ryback closed out the show in a segment that seemed more like an afterthought than anything else. Ryback and Cena were nowhere to be seen during the show. It wasn’t until the overrun that they finally made a short appearance. It’s as though even the WWE realizes that no one is tuning in for this main event. If Payback is supposed to be a “monumental” night in the career of John Cena than creative should hang up some horse shoes because their going to need a lot of work to make the Chicago crowd care.
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