Tuesday, April 9, 2013

RAW Review 4-9-2013


That was my "140 character or less" instant feedback to RAW last night.  It was one of the best RAWs I have seen in a long while.  The two biggest events were Dolph Ziggler's successful Money in the Bank cash-in and Ryback's heel turn on John Cena.  These two issues will be the primary focus here.

The main event did not live up to expectations at all for several reasons.  One is that I hate the, "You have to beat the champ in a non-title match to earn a shot at the champ" stipulation.  Second the match seemed rushed and Mark Henry losing via count-out seemed cheap.  I will give them some credit for seemingly telegraphing the outcome and then going the other way.  A Mark Henry win seemed to be a sure thing to me when that match started.  I figured it would be fluky, but he would win and earn the title shot.  Even after the loss the post-match beatdown seemed to suggest that as well.  The way they executed the whole turn was a thing of beauty.  Ryback coming down for the save made perfect sense given his history with Mark Henry.  There was a moment after Henry was taken care of that I thought Ryback may attack Cena, but he didn't.  It was when Cena got down from the turnbuckle and I half expected him to eat a Meat Hook clothesline right there.  By delaying it, I think it really helped how the angle played out.  It was a beautiful thing when Ryback finally attacked.  Leaving Cena laying was a perfect way to build a new challenger and end RAW.

Dolph's cash-in was a legitimately great wrestling moment which was enhanced by the "unique" Izod Center crowd last night.  While it was odd to see a crowd cheer a heel who cashed in Money in the Bank against and injured face champion, it made the moment that much more special.  A minor complaint might be that it looked like Dolph struggled with a clearly wounded Alberto Del Rio.  That really is a minor complaint though as the impromptu match was fantastic.  Ziggler reversing the Cross Armbreaker by twisting Del Rio's injured leg was phenomenal.  Having Ricardo Rodriguez, Big E Langston and AJ Lee at ringside also made the match seem that much bigger.  RicRod deserves a ton of credit for urging on his injured friend.  Like I said, it was a truly special moment. 

The rest of the show was really solid as well:
  • The show was very enjoyable even without The Rock, Brock Lesnar or CM Punk.
  • The Shield/Undertaker segment was intriguing.  Team Hell No making the save was a nice use of the Tag Team Champions.
  • Chris Jericho's attack on Fandango was a bit silly.  While I know he had been provoked prior to WrestleMania, it made him look like a sore loser.  Fandango using his last bit of energy to correct the ring announcer was hilarious.  That guy is going to be a star.
  • The Orton/Sheamus/Big Show segment was really good and very bizarre.  The bizarre part was the crowd's reaction to the Orton/Sheamus match.  I thought the match itself was enjoyable and then the path of destruction the Big Show left was the highlight.  
  • Swagger losing in a handicap match was weak.  The way his match played into Dolph's cash-in was nice though.  Also Zeb Colter Tweeting something along the lines that "At least an American holds the title" was gold.
  • I didn't really get why they did the two IC Title switches in two days.  That match was a mess even though I like both guys involved.  
Not a whole lot to complain about with last night's show. I hope they keep their post-WrestleMania momentum going for a little while at least. They seem to have some interesting issues unfolding and I cannot wait to see how some of them play out.

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