David Stephens reviews WWE RAW for 10/21/13

Dave’s RAW Thoughts
October 22, 2013
By: David Stephens of Wrestleview.com

Cena is coming home. I surely cannot be the only person still wondering about the reality of the high horse upon dawn’s first light. Obviously Cena will be at the arena and indeed in the World Heavyweight Championship Match. It just seems as though the storyline is already so well set that Alberto Del Rio will reinjure Cena’s arm and put him back on the shelf. If nothing else it would help guarantee that when he does return his ovation is more than mere timidity. More on Cena and the rest of the Hell in a Cell coverage in my PPV preview column this Sunday, for now the attention shall be turned towards RAW.

The broadcast kicked off with more of the Authority against Big Show storyline. I have to point out that as an avid fan of True Blood; WWE is really messing with my head by calling the powers-that-be the Authority. I keep expecting Daniel Bryan to infiltrate and turn into Lilith. I’m trying to invest myself in this storyline but there is a great struggle at work. The end result seems to be some sort of Triple H versus Big Show match. Or perhaps a litany of a thousand different scenarios meant to throw us off their trail. Let’s work under the guise that we do end up with Big Show versus Trips – does anyone care? I can’t recall a single time that those two competitors faced off against each other that so much as made one nerve ending in my body flush with excitement. I have no interest in the payoff match, so having interest in the boggling at best storyline is no simple matter.

Daniel Bryan and Dean Ambrose put together a nice matchup. It was as would be expected from these two competitors. Naturally Bryan won, as would Randy Orton later in the night. Things have certainly not been going the way of the Shield lately. This match was not a reflection on that greater storyline but more a vehicle to ensure a safe but compelling victory for Bryan heading into the PPV.

CM Punk continued his blood feud with Paul Heyman. It does not matter who CM Punk is really facing, that much is clear. Whether it was Axel on the last PPV or Ryback on this one, the angle is ultimately about Heyman. I just wonder how much longer till the interest of the fans fades.

Santino & Company provided a nice guffaw in the middle of the show. Elvis costumes including a hair style for the Elvis Cobra were pretty styling. A nice ovation for Jerry Lawler at the end of the segment made everyone happy, happy, happy.

Brie Bella has become a beast in the ring. Now, this could have been a one night showing. It could be because one of her opponents was AJ. Yet, either way you slice it she looked great in the ring. Daniel Bryan must be giving her some lessons, or she is studying his film hard, because there are some developing elements to her character and move set that I find intriguing.

Paul Heyman wanted to push the boundaries of lava eruption similes during a promo. Heyman won.

The Wyatt Family looked decent in the ring. Their large frames are finally becoming a selling point.. I would credit the commentary of JBL for really helping these big men. They were at a point of stagnation but JBL is working hard to explain the devastation of their size reality to fans.

Big E. Langston eventually teamed with CM Punk to take on Axel & Ryback. This continues the trend of Punk having random partners. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth come to mind as of late. I enjoy the turning of Punk from the blood thirsty loner into a man that realizes he may be the best in the world, but he is still fighting a stable.

The Real Americans are starting to actually get over and click. Okay, maybe not Swagger, but the rest of them. The fans are loud as they join in salute. The tossing of flags into the ring as bombs is a nice touch. The fact that a Spanish Box Promo from El Torito was featured before this match was fantastic. Plus, the involvement with Los Matadores has created a cacophony of commentary possibilities for Colter. Zeb was on fire in the booth last night and it was incredibly entertaining. Zeb’s gangsta choice to go all Indiana Jones with a bull whip made this segment even stronger. Now that’s what’s up.

The main event for the evening was a Tag match that was supposed to be for the #1 Contendership to the Tag Team Titles. The match was a hodgepodge from the beginning. The commentators were distracted which is always bad news when the Usos are in the ring. There was no winner as Dean Ambrose decided to get involved. His involvement was confusing as it came at a time when his stable was not on the brink of loss. Reigns had gotten his knees up to block a splash which could have resulted in a quick spear and pin. That being said the most confusing part was the decision of the WWE to not give the live crowd immediate resolution.

I understand that it is a sport and there can be unforeseen circumstances and all that jazz. Let us not pretend, however, that this whole shindig was not thought out in advance. Justin Roberts or someone with a microphone should have immediately announced it as a Triple Threat Match for the Title at the PPV instead of allowing the show to go to commercial. Granted there was resolution when the show returned, but it sure was an awkward lead in for the final segment of the night.

The so-called ‘go home’ segment of the night was bizarre at best. There was a contract signing, but there was no brawl around the contract table. There was a Hall of Famer in the ring, but he seemed intoxicated and slurring (descriptions not accusations ye keyboard warriors that like to fill my inbox with crazy insinuations). There were two men fighting over the WWE Championship, but somewhere along the way the fans stopped caring. There are only so many times that Daniel Bryan can win or be on the brink of winning the Championship before the fans give up. It’s too much of a tease. This PPV must bring an end to that particular Title turmoil because they are losing me.

And why was Big Show in a Big Rig? Is it because he is giant? I didn’t get it at all. The segment certainly did not come close to capturing the vehicular successes that this company has had in the past. Maybe if the truck had been able to drive to the ring and not just have to park at the stage? Such forethought would have required some engineering for the stage hands. It seems like everyone that could have stopped Big Show was either already beaten up or out in the ring. The guy could have walked through the backstage area if he so choose, the Semi seemed not just excessive – but confusing. The excitement level that it should have produced was vacant.

If not for the old faithful that has become the chanting of Daniel Bryan then this segment would have ended stale. Hell in a Cell is an important PPV for a myriad of reasons. Not the least of which is that it will at least give the audience some direction for the coming months. We hope.

David Stephens

Follow me on Twitter! @TheDaveStephens