Dave’s RAW Thoughts
December 2, 2013
By: David Stephens of Wrestleview.com
As I was recapping the show this week one thought kept running through my head – this feels rushed. With the spacing of the PPVs during the autumn and the ambitious Authority storyline it feels as though things have not had enough time to come together. Why is the biggest match of the past decade occurring on a TLC PPV rather than one of the big four? From a business standpoint it feels as though they are pulling the trigger far in front of the fans’ pocket books. There has not been enough time for fans to really become invested in what should have been a monumental storyline and build.
I was actually interested in the Authority storyline before John Cena’s return. Daniel Bryan was white hot and even the Big Show had a career resurgence of sorts. The earlier than anticipated return of John Cena seems to have thrown things out of continuity. The problem with focusing a major storyline on crowning a new face of the company while the big dog is out injured is that they were clearly not ready for Cena’s return. Since he has stepped back into the ring the booking and angles have seemed rushed and forced. Quite frankly the company is not as entertaining as it was just six months ago.
Not that everything is a negative. Stephanie McMahon is a phenomenal on screen character. Her promo chops are up there as quite possibly the best for a Diva in the history of the company. Sure Vickie Guerrero may get more boos, but there is a raw skillset that Stephanie has carefully honed to triumph. Her delivery is near infallible. Her constant reminders of Triple H’s Title holdings during the final segment were near perfection.
Kane seems to be getting his hair more under control. He was rocking some wispy nonsense over the past couple of weeks. This is a thinner and leaner Kane than in years past. His bureaucratic delivery was lovely and a testament to his intelligence. It was spot on. One of my friends sent me a text during the show that I have to share. He doesn’t generally watch the WWE save a few times a year when he checks in to see what’s going. I don’t know how long it has been since his last encounter with the Monday Night product, but apparently it hasn’t been since Kane’s character shift. He texts: “I refuse to watch wrestling anymore after they just made Kane into a normal person”. He’ll be back, sometimes wrestling is like a cigarette habit. Relapse is just a puff away.
I’m firmly in Corporate Kane’s corner but I understand the dissent. After all my little brother is still waiting for Kane to return. No matter how many times I try to explain it’s the same guy he insists Kane would never join the Authority so it can’t be him. Go figure.
CM Punk & Daniel Bryan have been put into very odd situations. With both men entering the TLC PPV in a 3-on-1 handicap match it feels as though the final shoe has not dropped. It’s like something crucial is missing in the buildup for these matches. CM Punk cut a great backstage promo in which he explained that he will lose but he is going to take some of the members of The Shield down with him. Okay, but what’s the point?
It’s not like CM Punk is a Mark Henry sized monster. It’s not even slightly believable that Punk or Bryan can win their matches. It does past the point of being a simple punishment because remember these are PPV matches. This isn’t an episode of RAW where such matches periodically pop up. People are paying money to watch the card. So I’m left scratching my head. At least in the Daniel Bryan match there is potential for a faction angle. Though in this business I wouldn’t be shocked if CM Punk ends up running The Shield by the end of the show.
Speaking of Bryan I only just noticed that he was growing out his armpits. Way to break free of the mold.
R-Truth and Xavier Woods took down Tons of Funk. It’s hard to tell whether a feud between Clay and Woods or Clay and Sweet T is being targeted. Both certainly have potential. It seems Xavier Woods is a better fit with the Funkadactyls. He has far more rhythm than Brodus Clay can fake. I never much cared for Woods during his TNA run but he has certainly caught my eye over the past couple of weeks.
Sin Cara finally managed to pick up a victory. It was even over the recent World Heavyweight Champion. It seems an actual push may be coming for the Mexican star. The hope is of course that it builds to a match between Cara and Rey Mysterio at Wrestlemania XXX. It may not have the luster of Mysterio v. Ultimo Dragon but it would still be a maskfest. We are reporting on the site that: “Hunico playing the role of Sin Cara and defeating Alberto Del Rio on last night’s WWE RAW was said to be a re-introduction of the character. There was a decision made by WWE yesterday to go with Hunico as Sin Cara going forward. The original Sin Cara, who currently resides in Mexico, is said to be done with the company barring a confirmation by WWE.” Fair enough. As someone who watched soap operas in his youth I can honestly say that I’m not as shaken up by actor switches as some of my counterparts. It comes with the territory. Hunico has the moveset nailed and if he can actually deliver a lucha style without being constantly injured then I’m all for the transition.
Now I’m not saying that Goldust is doping – but is Goldust doping? His recent resurgence is really mind blowing for those who have followed him over the past several years. Hey if it works then good for him. It’s not the most popular thing to say online but I’m really not that against certain borderline “treatments”. Certain testosterone supplements or blood doping methods can really work wonders for endurance and oxygen consumption. Especially as a star gets older in age. This isn’t a real sport after all. It’s just a bunch of guys in tights playing characters on a television show. I’m not talking steroids here which are a different matter altogether so let’s not muddle the two points. For the sake of not coming off as defamatory I will assume that Goldust just found a great nutritionist. But if that’s not the case – let’s get Vader back in the game.
Kofi Kingston and The Miz fell to the former Paul Heyman guys of Curtis Axel and Ryback. I can’t say that I really understand the current direction of The Miz’s character. He said in a recent interview that he enjoys being neither a heel nor face. To me that seems like a creative copout. We aren’t talking Attitude Era Austin here; it’s Miz for crying out loud. Let’s get some clear direction so that the fans have a reason to care one way or the other.
CM Punk gets props for belting out the word “gay”. I see what you did there.
Fandango needs a new direction. He is dangerously teetering on the edge of becoming a jobber. For the moment more attention is being spent on Summer Rae. She deserves a great career as she has mountains of talent at her disposal. The fact that watching her roll up an opponent is bonerific doesn’t hurt.
Sometimes creative is so proud of an idea that they really beat it to death. Case in point – Titus O’Neill with the tummy oh nos. It may have worked on Smackdown but it seemed pretty hokey on RAW.
Cena came out on top at the end of the show so Orton should be in control at the end of the go-home show. My crystal ball suggests that means Cena will walk out as the Unified Champion at the PPV. At the top of the article I said that it felt rushed and that’s certainly the case. The other main factor taking away from the match is that it lacks unpredictability. It seems so obvious that John Cena will win. So obvious that I’m bored. It’s hard to care when a behemoth of match turns out to be rushed, predictable & relegated to a small PPV.
Follow me on Twitter! @TheDaveStephens