I was really impressed with last night’s Raw and as per usual, I’m going to write about it. I’ve decided to continue my attempt to become a more concise, blog-friendly writer. I’ll be doing the ‘five lines’ per topic/superstar format again, with a slight twist. I like to name my Fave Five a lot, but this week I’ll also be naming my Fail Five. The faves being the success stories of the show, and the guys that got over in some way. The fails being segments that bombed, or wrestlers that were buried. That kind of thing. That’s a lot of fives!
Before I get down to my choices, I’d like to point out a few things about Raw that I thought made it a very acceptable episode. They pushed the WWE app a lot, which would usually infuriate me, only this time I was using the thing from start to finish. I actually found it to be really, really cool. Getting to stay locked to the matches through the ad breaks, getting cool promo interviews loading up all the time, and seeing lots of cool pictures and features was really entertaining. I hate to say this but it actually did make the whole viewing experience much better. The highlight of my experience with the app was a particularly awesome Jack Swagger backstage promo interview. Why they would let the guy actually come out from behind Colter and speak with passion and rage on an app is beyond me. Put that on television!
There were a number of matches announced for Extreme Rules. I went into Raw feeling barely interested in the PPV. The build has been really weak in my opinion. Last night’s show changed all that and the developments on the card have really spiced things up. We found out that Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns of The Shield will be challenging Team Hell No for the Tag-Team Championship. Dolph Ziggler suffered a concussion last week, meaning the World Title match is scrapped. Sad news, but it’s replaced by what should be a great ‘I Quit’ match for the undisputed Number One Contendership for the title between Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio. My favourite announcement of all is the United States Championship match between Kofi Kingston and Dean Ambrose of The Shield. I pray they can all win the gold and legitimize both divisions again. There were a couple of others added too. Good times!
The ring work was solid overall, but this show shone because of it’s promos, segments and development towards Extreme Rules. On the show and the app, there were several really entertaining promo interviews (backstage and in-ring) and feature vignettes. They actually managed to make Randy Orton’s match with Big Show not seem like a snorefest, by putting together a video showcasing all of the “extreme moments” that the Viper has had at the pay-per-view over the years. I’ll go into some of the other good segments later. The overall star power of the show was top drawer. The big names were there, and it all came together to make for an excellent build.
Fandango: The opening segment for the show featured a “dance-off” between Fandango and Chris Jericho. This seemed like a total bust, but he actually made it very entertaining. He and Summer Rae played a clever rouse whereby she faked an ankle injury to get the attention of Y2J, before the extravagantly dressed Fandango laid a ruthless beat down on him. This set up a Wrestlemania rematch between the two of them this Sunday.
The Miz: This guy only just snook onto my good side this week. His fall from grace has been staggering. Over the last couple of years, Miz has been so badly demoted that anything remotely eventful involving his character can blow you away. He actually got some television time this week, in the shape of a match against Heath Slater. It’s not the biggest thing ever but it’s something, and he actually executed the figure four properly!
The Miz – Source: http://www.fanpop.com
Ryback: His squash against Zack Ryder didn’t get him on the list. That kind of thing seems to be his weekly MO again. The thing that I loved about his performance last night was his attack on John Cena. It was easy to predict that this would happen. But the way it was done was great. He stormed in, looked at Cena’s lifeless body and left the ring (as if he had found some heart), then returned, hit him with a chair and shell-shocked him!
Randy Orton: This man had a similarly un-phenomonal match against Antonio Cesaro last night, but he makes the list because of something that was probably prepared weeks before the show. The special vignette they release on the app outlining his past at the upcoming pay-per-view actually made him seem like a really big deal. It put him over more than weeks of Ryback promos and matches.
Brock Lesnar: It’s not hard to see why this man was one of my faves. As per his appearance on Raw, he was involved in the most important segment of the night. Him and Triple H closed the show with a face-to-face encounter which started with verbal exchanges between the ring and the apron (mostly lead by Paul Heyman) and ended in a full scale brawl inside the steel cage.
Tons of Funk: Pretty much every time I see these two Rikishi’s I want to vomit and this week was no different. They did their usual tired schtick, but with a new, refreshing twist. They jobbed out to the Prime Time Players. That’s a new low. They completely sum-up the irrelevancy of the current tag-team division, something which will hopefully be remedied by The Shield soon. They are all about comedy dances and costumes, and not reality.
Tons of Funk – Source: http://www.wwe.com
Dolph Ziggler: I admit that I was clutching at straws for names a bit and that’s why Dolph made it. He didn’t have to appear on the show to fail, and it’s not really his failure. This is more of just a bad situation for the fans. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was really excited about seeing a high-octane triple threat ladder match involving Ziggler at Extreme Rules. I’m disappointed that a concussion kept him off Raw and now the PPV. Bad times!
The Shield: So my favourite stable occupied the centre piece of the episode as part of a pretty epic six man elimination tag-team match against John Cena and Team Hell No. It was a great match and it was pretty much booked to perfection throughout. The only problem was the fact that The Shield were finally defeated as a total unit. The loss may have been by DQ, so they do remain undefeated, but I still thought this was a total joke!
The Tulsa Crowd: Take this card and this show, put it into the Izon Center on the night after Wrestlemania, and you have a classic. These saps were dead for pretty much the whole thing. I do so hate the generic WWE crowds. They wouldn’t even show any love for their home-state hero Jack Swagger. Zeb Colter hilariously tried to get the fans on board during his boys match against Alberto Del Rio, to little avail.
Zack Ryder: Unlucky Zack made the cut for the same reasons that could make him a stalwart if this becomes a regular feature of my writing. He jobbed out to Ryback in a typical squash affair. I really hope Ryder is having a good, wild time on the road with the WWE, because if not his time there is pointless at this point. I don’t see a genuine resurrection on the cards for his character in that company, but you never know.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Why not leave a comment and let us know what you think? Maybe post your own Fame and Fail Fives? We’d love to hear your thoughts.