So, we are staring the Elimination Chamber event in the face. It’s under a week away, and this is the prime time for top quality TV to help draw in maximum interest for the PPV. That’s why I was surprised to see an uncharacteristically average episode of Raw this week. I’m not a hater. I think (as I’ve said many times before) the product is the best it’s been in years, and I’ve been loving most episodes for the last couple of years now. Like most of you, I was sceptical when I heard the show would be switching to three hours. But I have to say, they are pulling it off! More, better and longer speaking segments for people like CM Punk and The Rock. Longer and more entertaining matches. It’s been great. So again, I was surprised at last night’s episode. It wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t great.
Speaking of entertaining matches, one major highlight of the show was the match between Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho. If you haven’t seen Raw yet, I still don’t need to describe the match for you. You should know what to expect from those two by now. A truly great wrestling match. The best thing about the match was it’s conclusion, and *spoiler alert* the revelation that Y2J would be in the chamber match to determine the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. However, something tells me he either may not make it to the ring, or will be ambushed at some point by Dolph Ziggler and company, what with Dolph currently not on the card at all. That’s pretty fishy. I hope something less predictable happens, and we get to see him in the match, but I have my suspicions.
This week has been good for that match in general. I’m really happy with the way the card is shaping up. Jack Swagger has been yet another guy to return with a brand new attitude, new intensity and in my opinion real promise. He is looking amazing. A great addition to the match, especially given his new hilariously republican manager (Who the HELL is that guy?! – If you know, please add a comment and tell me!) I’ve already mentioned my joy at Mark Henry’s triumphant return. The rest of the chamber is filled with reliable, former champions in Bryan, Kane and of course Randy Orton. I’m probably more excited about this match than any other. One thing Raw did successfully this week was get me pumped for this chamber match. That I can’t deny.
The other chamber watch is going to be a six man tag affair. I’m not sure if this has been done before, but it sounds awesome. I don’t know if this still means two men start and each participant is released at random every so often. I hope so, because that leaves so many possible dynamics open for the match (handicaps, tag moves, etc) – Either way, I love the sound of these six guys being locked inside that chamber at the same time. Provided it’s booked properly, everyone should come out of it shining. I genuinely don’t know if they are going to put over The Shield or not, but as long as it’s done well, either outcome could be great.
I didn’t like the pointless squash match between the three heroes and 3MB. I don’t see what that did, other than bury those guys even more, if that’s even possible. I’m pretty sure they are so below ground as a faction, that they are basically the earth’s core. I really don’t think it did much for Team Face anyway. It was dumb, and proved nothing. I much preferred the confrontations and vocal promos. They actually had a purpose, of building to something. The bottom line is I’m still looking forward to the match. My only reservation is the fact that I’m only feeling that way because of the building done prior to last night. Raw itself last night did not really add any momentum to the match in my opinion.
Big Show and Del Rio continued to move forward, but at a slow pace. This feud between the two of them has been great. It’s had everything: fighting in random places, car park brawls, and humiliation. I just felt that nothing significant happened with this last night. Big Show did knock out A-Ry, but all that did was show just how irrelevant he and Yoshi Tatsu have become. Show also laid out Matt Striker in the ring after he dared utter the words “Big Show, do you feel?” *punch*
As for Punk Rock Pt. 2, I have to say I’m fairly underwhelmed with this week’s contribution to the feud. The attempted retirement of Paul Heyman and subsequent tender moment involving him and Punk was a high point. We also saw Vince McMahon take Heyman’s advice and add a stipulation to the title match. If The Rock is DQ’d (he’s a face, so what?) or counted out (ohhhh-kaaayyyy) he will lose the title. Vince happily signs off on this request, just days after being f5’d by Heyman’s boy Brock Lesnar in the middle of the ring. Logic is clearly something the writers were never taught, but okay. I like the idea of the addition. It adds a bit of spice to things. It gives Punk a way back to winning the title. But I think we all know he won’t be screwing The Rock, he will eventually be doing the job.
The whole Vince-Heyman phone call debacle aside, not a lot happened. The Rock did cut a hilarious promo to end the show. He told a story about a car he once purchased from a crackhead in a bar, at the age of fifteen. The relevance you ask? The tale took place in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was living at the time, and where Raw was happening last night. The promo was funny, but it didn’t exactly light a fire under the match. Then again, do they really need to do anything to hype this match?
The show ended with Punk coming out to crash The Rock’s promo party. The two exchanged fists in the corner before Rocky hit his signature spine buster, and removed the elbow pad. Before he could hit the most unrealistically electrifying move in all of entertainment, Heyman pulled his leg as he hit the ropes. Punk capitalised and threw him up for the GTS. After delivering the knee, and leaving the champ laid out, Punk grabbed the title belt and left with it. I can’t wait to see if Punk is going to come out with the title, or if it will magically get back to The Rock in the meantime. I suppose that’s a little spice.
Aside from the chamber build up, there were a few things missing from Raw that meant it couldn’t match recent episodes. I was disappointed not to get yet another Hall of Fame inductee announcement, but I guess we have at least another week to wait now. There was no Brock Lesnar on the show. I know he has limited dates, but he is a complete tease. After he destroyed Vince, I expected to see a lot more of him, but sadly he was absent from the show. This, I didn’t love.
Overall, Raw was pretty underwhelming in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong. I can’t wait for the pay-per-view! I just felt that there was quite a bit missing from this show, considering the timing. It was good enough I guess. It got the job done, but it could have been much better. Nonetheless, with a card jam packed with great matches and probably more to be added on Friday Night Smackdown, I am biting my finger nails in anticipation for Sunday!
Let me know what you thought of Raw. Are you looking forward to the Elimination Chamber? Could I borrow a lighter? Do YOU know more about Swaggers new manager? Leave a comment, like the post or follow the blog!
Thanks for reading.