Before I get started with this week’s Monday Night RAW Hits and Misses, I wanted to take time to thank everyone for their feedback on my column last week. I received a number of emails, and private messages, with both positive and negative feedback, which I greatly appreciate. I’d love to hear from everyone again this week. I can be reached at [email protected] Also be sure to LIKE us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/chinlockdotcom) and FOLLOW us on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/chinlock).
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton – Easily the bet RAW main event in ages. Admittedly, I was concerned when they decided to open the show with the match, but the double disqualification followed by an excellent, hard-hitting, action packed No Disqualification match at the bottom of the third hour of RAW erased any doubts I had. Is there any wrestler more exciting to watch right now than Daniel Bryan? The man is virtually untouchable. His constant evolution, while not forgetting the core of his character has been fascinating to watch for the better part of the past 24 months. The show of respect at the end of the match was also a nice touch, as was Orton laying out to let Bryan have his moment. It’ll be tough to find a better main event on RAW in 2013.
Paul Heyman / CM Punk – Another incredible segment, on the heels of Brock Lesnar returning to WWE and F5’ing CM Punk to conclude last week’s RAW episode. CM Punk reminding the WWE Universe of the history between he and Paul Heyman, and the very real near-firings he was subject to early in his career were a great reminder of how important CM Punk is to WWE, and how different it would be without him. Heyman’s emotional range in this segment rivaled that of Mark Henry’s range last week, but his delivery different enough to be unique on it’s own. It was hard not to believe Heyman, even though you know he’s a slime-ball liar who can’t be trusted. This segment gave me just enough to sink my teeth into, but left me wanting to see more. I can’t wait to see where this one goes in the coming weeks.
Mark Henry – If there is anyone better on the mic in WWE than Paul Heyman, in the past two weeks, Mark Henry might be his rival. Another home-run promo from Henry. My only beef? Slagging Mens Warehouse, the parent company of the company I work for (Moores Clothing for Men). I’ll let it slide this time, Henry. But next time, I’ll be pissed.
Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio – Del Rio is really on top of his game, and it’s amazing how fresh he feels after his recent heel turn. This is a moderate hit in that there was no doubt what the outcome would be, and the live crowd practically sat on their hands through-out the match which made it difficult for the home viewer to get excited about, but it was a really solid TV match that both Jericho and Del Rio came out of looking stronger. Dolph Ziggler’s post-match attack of Alberto Del Rio was a nice touch, but his attack on Chris Jericho seemed to confuse the fans more than advance Ziggler’s storyline (a recently turned babyface, that still has issues with babyface Jericho). Regardless, I’m looking forward to seeing the eventual rematch of Del Rio/Ziggler, likely at SummerSlam. This summer in WWE should be one of the hottest in recent memory, without a doubt.
McMahon Appearances – Have the McMahons meant any less on WWE programming than they have recently? They’re just completely unlikeable, even though they’re playing babyface characters. Vince McMahon has forgotten what made his character so successful in the first place. Obviously he’s best used as a heel, but even as a babyface, sometimes it’s important that someone get the better of him every so often, instead of him always being the top of the heap. Especially lately, he’s just an overbearing, unlikeable douchebag. It’s really a shame, too, because Vince’s character has been one of my favourites for years.
Kaitlyn/AJ saga – This whole thing is a mess. AJ went from being subtly crazy, to over-the-top crazy, to a crazy teenaged girl who picks on the one girl in the locker room who completely over-reacts to everything that happens to her? Am I supposed to believe that Kaitlyn is so distraught by the “secret admirer” ruse that she can no longer function (which would take into account she likely had about 65,000 stalkers on Twitter)? The writers need to approach the divas division with a little bit more maturity if they’re going to entice people to invest in this one. Granted, this is the most serious divas feud we’ve seen in quite some time. Ugh, what a mess.
WWE 2K14 Cover Reveal – To me, this should have been a bigger deal. You have the number one action star in America gracing the cover of your newly revamped video game, and it was used as the backdrop for bickering between Vickie Guerrero, and Brad Maddox. Maybe it’s just that I’m not a fan of the dynamic between the two of them, but it just felt like a really wasted opportunity to me.
Overall Show – This goes more towards my dislike of the 3 hour format. I have a really hard time dedicating three solid hours of my life to anything, much less professional wrestling. It’s more difficult yet when the show drags in the middle. There were some really hot segments (everything listed in my Hits, along with a solid Sheamus/Christian vs. Rhodes Scholars, and John Cena promo), but if you were to condense the show into two hours, cut all of the filler, and hit most or all of those high points, it would feel much, much more important. RAW wasn’t bad. It just suffered from being much too long.