David Stephens reviews WWE RAW for 9/2/13

Dave’s RAW Thoughts
September 3, 2013
By: David Stephens of Wrestleview.com

RAW is getting all sorts of crazy reactions this week. There are a lot of Chicken Little’s who seem to believe that the proverbial sky is falling. Chill the hell out folks. Getting upset at last night’s direction would be like getting your panties in a bunch over Gus Fring controlling Walter White. There is a bigger picture at work. We seem to live in a culture where nobody has any patience. This is a storyline arc. There will be highs and lows. Triple H is establishing his corporate heel character and the work is solid. Just a glance at Orton as he held the Title up in a cocky manner spoke volumes. There was a flash of a smile from Orton and Triple H as the crowd roared their disapproval. It’s the hallmark of a great heel to truly thrive amongst the heat. As fans we were spoiled for years and years by having the top of the card dominated by heroes and babyfaces. It’s time for a new direction.

It’s as though people seem to forget that this is a television show. The writing and characters were crazy strong last night. Yet fans are so blinded by their own preferences, biases, and desires that can’t accept that things aren’t unfolding like they want. The danger of fantasy booking is that it is just that – fantasy. So put the lube down, get out of the fantasies, and try to enjoy the birth of a new angle and presentation of the product. Cena is finally gone, Punk and Bryan are the heavily featured talents, but that’s still not good enough for some fans.

I’m sneaking this review in during a break at work, as things are hectic with the start of the new school year so bear with me today. Going to be a brief thoughts column, but even penguins have to dance in the shadows every now and then.

Nothing grates on fans more than when Triple H portrays things as good for business. The very fact that the audience despises the decisions that he is making proves that they are good for business. Sure it sounds contradictory but think about the bigger picture. By Triple H and Orton being so hated, it allows Daniel Bryan to rise as the rebel out to destroy their cause. Heroes need antiheroes. Orton and Triple H are bouncing themselves off of Bryan, which is creating a symbiotic relationship between the faces and heels. Bryan is following the hero’s journey. This is the same hero’s journey that has been utilized since the days of the Greek tragedies. Classic storylines are timeless.

With the novelty of his theme and dance wearing off Fandango is being revealed as a very talented wrestler. I’m not all that familiar with his developmental work but have read rave reviews. CM Punk is also a big fan of the talent.

The Miz is in a weird position. It’s not just that he isn’t getting over as a face so much as the audience doesn’t seem to care. When you are in attendance at a show there is also anticipation that arises before nearly every entrance. The fans collectively wait to see who will appear. When Miz comes out the fans don’t really cheer, they don’t really boo, it’s more a sigh of – oh, it’s just The Miz.

Booker T made a very random appearance backstage. Bryan tossed one of Booker’s lines back at him, which I appreciated, but the segment seemed odd. If Bryan and Booker have a past relationship I’m not familiar with it and was confused as to his involvement. That being said Booker was bugging his eyes out in the last shot of the segment – so I’ll call it a win.

Ryback finally got to do more than suggest sexually molestation of a young talent in the shower. Good for Ryback, he’s really branching out. He played the role well and his whipping of Ziggler added to his own character. Ambrose’s pre-match beating may have been formulaic but it got the point across.

The Primetime Players are really connecting with the crowd. I can understand the annoyance that some have over their recent push. Yes, it is being fueled by Young’s life outside of the ring, but so what? It doesn’t matter why a wrestler gets over, just that they are getting over. The guys are both talented and deserve this success. If they weren’t that great then regardless of life outside the ring the fans still wouldn’t care. Instead of whining about why wrestlers get the spots that they do, let’s just appreciate their work.

Cody Rhodes sold his firing like a Champ. The match was solid and Orton allowed his former Legacy mate to look strong. The near fall after Cross Rhodes was a masterwork. Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes are both gone from the company at the moment, which leaves Orton as the final member of Legacy. Cody’s lines about the McMahons hating his family for two decades and always screwing them over was well crafted.

Punk cut a decent promo this week. It was kind of an afterthought in the midst of the rest of the show. Punk and Heyman have a much different vibe from the power struggle going on at the top of the card. Punk brought the emotion and the lines struck home. Punk may be fighting Curtis Axel, but that’s not really what’s important.

Fatal Four Way for the Divas Title at the PPV. Yay?

The Big Show sure knows how to cry. Last year I would have thought that I’d seen the climax of his weeping abilities, but boy was I wrong. My only hesitation with the angle is that it screamed of copycat. Reports from the past week stated that Triple H loved the crying in the Heyman segment as he beat Punk with a kendo stick. Hunter wanted to bring out some of that same emotion in his segment, but it might have been a bit much.

I’m all for drama, angst and intrigue – but there is only so much of grown men bawling and sniveling in their underwear that I can take in a given week.

David Stephens

Follow me on Twitter! @TheDaveStephens