Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Raw Review: A Missed Opportunity

RAW was basically a one angle show for me last night.  Not that there weren't other interesting things going on such as the fallout from Best vs Beast (Punk/Lesnar w/Heyman), but the entire success of the show for me was going to center around the Daniel Bryan vs Corporation 2.0 storyline.

How was the follow-up to the Daniel Bryan storyline?  I cannot say it was actively bad, but it felt completely uninspired to me.  It started off promisingly enough with Stephanie's "B+" promo but the subsequent "removal of Daniel from the building" and his return later in the show was weak.  The good news is that with Cena exiting the picture due to injury it would appear that WWE is solidly behind Daniel Bryan.  The crowd was still incredibly hot for him and I don't see that changing anytime soon.  The rest just felt...typical...and not really something that was helping get Daniel over as the underdog hero that he has become.  I would hazard a guess that the idea was to build anticipation for his return later in the show, but the way the final segment was executed helped that fall flat.  From the awkward idea of having all the WWE SuperStars on the stage for Orton's coronation to Triple H coaxing Bryan into the ring the whole deal was off.  It just didn't work.

What did I like about the final segment?  I liked the RKO out of nowhere.  I liked Corporation 2.0 standing over the fallen hero.  I thought it was kind of cool to see The Shield working security for the McMahon family even.  Like I said, the angle wasn't terrible but it lacked a certain spark for lack of a better term.

Even when I am not churning out posts for this blog, I am reading Twitter, A1-Wrestling and on Wrestling Classics.  Some of the criticisms I saw related to this angle so far make little sense to me:
  •  From SummerSlam I heard a complaint about Cena not helping Daniel Bryan.  To that  I would say a) it's not really John Cena's job to save Daniel Bryan and b) WWE actually dealt with that well the next night with Cena saying he was in the training room having his injury dealt with.  Good work on their part.
  • Why didn't someone help Daniel Bryan on RAW?  Again, there was really on one person who might have fit the bill of someone who should have helped DB and that was Kane.  Kane was drug off to the Wyatt Family Compound or wherever so he wasn't there.  Beyond that if you start applying that kind of logic to wrestling you are going to be often disappointed.  There's always somebody that could help a fellow wrestler out.  I mean the whole nWo storyline could have played out in one night with the WCW roster annihilating the threat.  Would that be compelling?  Absolutely not.  The next complaint is the one I have the least issue with in general.
  • How can Randy Orton and the McMahons do business after their previous relationship specifically his treatment of Stephanie during the Triple H feud?  This one is simple.  First, political games make for strange bedfellows.  In order to protect their brand they got in bed with someone they may not love.  That's not rocket science.  Secondly, Orton is the one who held the Money in the Bank briefcase so in theory he is the only one that could immediately demand a match for the title after Bryan's SummerSlam win.  Lastly, if you start applying that kind of logic to wrestling you are once again going to be awfully disappointed.  There are tons of alliances where people team up after bitter rivalries.  It is kind of required to be honest.  I give Michael Cole a ton of credit for bringing up the past feud though. That was a nice tip of the cap to a storyline from the past and to me that was good enough.
As for the rest of the show, Cena's promo and reaction to the hipster/smark crowd was right on.  Cheering because a guy is leaving with an injury?  Pathetic.

Punk's pre-match promo was awkward.  I don't have a problem with the content like some did, I just thought he didn't come off looking particularly tough by railing on some random fan.  I appreciate what he was trying to accomplish, but it fell painfully short.  The interaction with Axel and Heyman was solid as was the Axel/Punk fight.

Ziggler vs The Shield and Big Show vs The Shield was nice.  Much like with the Mark Henry beat down I thought it served everyone well.  The Shield still looked strong but Ziggler and Henry look good in defeat.  That spear on Ziggler was awesome.

Bray Wyatt continues to impress.  This is one of my favorite theme songs and acts in the business right now.

RyBack bullying a local competitor was a waste of time.  Surely there will be some sort of payoff coming, but it was tedious watching that brief segment.

Former best friend, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes had a nice match.  Hopefully both are working towards bigger and better things.  It seems they are.

While I am never a fan of the Real Americans getting beat as I think Swagger and Cesaro are both money I actually enjoyed seeing the Prime Time Players get a win.  That is another solid act that deserves better.

Speaking of tag teams, the best news was that the Big Show and Mark Henry will be teaming to go after the title.  I hope the segment of the crowd that cares about this kind of thing can get past the fact that *gasp* they used to be enemies.  That will be one BIG, scary team.  

Overall the show as just kind of "there" for me.  It wasn't bad, it wasn't great.  I simply left the show thinking, "Well, I hope next week's is better."