10 Thoughts on Raw 08.02.11- Apocalypse Raw Redux (Cena, Punk, HHH)

Welcome back to 10 Thoughts on Raw! Before we get into this week’s thoughts, let’s talk about the fallout after last week’s Raw. I was honest with you last week when I said that I didn’t like the show; I had too many individual issues with the show and how they handled the championship issue to really enjoy it. And I wasn’t alone, but my issues with the show weren’t shared by everyone either. This whole angle is still proving to be divisive, and it serves as proof that there’s no way the WWE can please absolutely everybody. Personally, I want to see Punk back up his performance at MITB by beating Cena again at Summerslam. They need to keep pushing him; Cena is already an 11-time champion, he can stand to lose a few matches for the health of the company.

Now, a few words about the crowd reaction to Zack Ryder last week. I have gone back and watched and re-watched Zack’s match last week to try and analyze the level of fan involvement. While there were definitely some broskis in attendance, I would say they made up around 15% of the audience give-or-take. Also, I think some might have felt that my comments, and the comments of Mike Gojira, were critical of Zack. If that’s the impression you got, I apologize, because that wasn’t my intent. I was just voicing my opinion, which is that Ryder fans need to realize that it’ll take on-screen time for Zack to really get over; he can’t just show up one night and blow everyone away. Okay, enough with this junk, let’s get to the thoughts:

1. I found Cena’s expression after he won the belt back just a tad inauthentic. Why are you acting like you’re about to cry? You’re Eddie Guerrero, winning the belt after two decades in the business, you’ve had that ugly belt more times than I care to count.

2. I’m hoping Michael Cole doesn’t screw up JR’s flow. If it was up to me Cole, you’d be stuck running commentary on NXT, which is the WWE’s version of hell.

3. Mixed crowd here; I actually think this is a great thing. If they can play off the allegiances of the fans, they can make this angle more effective than it has been. Man, Punk is great on the mic, but I’m feeling a little odd about this promo. He buried the fans, and rightfully so, before MITB, now it feels like he’s sucking up to the fans a little bit. I want the abrasive CM Punk; I do like that he’s continuing to take pot-shots at Cena, because he is the status-quo in the WWE.

4. Divas discussion ban over! Beth deserves this, and she should demolish Kelly Kelly at Summerslam. And here’s Beth’s heel turn. The match itself was awful, but the ending was pretty damn cool, I’ll admit. And Beth’s remarks after the match? Just right. In all reality, Beth should have had the belt back immediately after she came back to the company.

5. Good point, R-Truth. Why did they bother to hold a championship tournament if they were just going to put the belt back on Cena and bring Punk back? Last week I said it felt that it was just filler, and that’s exactly what it has turned out to be. And if they were going to put the belt on Mysterio only to have him lose it within an hour, why not give someone like Kofi that push instead? Sure, he’d still lose the belt at the end of the night, but winning the tournament and having a hard-fought match against Cena the same night would have made him look good. Just sayin’, WWE.

6. This Miz/Truth vs. Mysterio/Morrison match has been pretty good. Morrison hasn’t been in the thick of the action much thus far, but he’s looked pretty solid; that pinched nerve in his neck isn’t bothering him anymore, obviously.

7. Okay, the WWE needs to stop referring to everything as “historic”. Yes, technically everything becomes history, it just doesn’t mean that everything is important. Cole and company described the tournament two weeks ago as historic, and then it ended up meaning exactly nothing.

8. I like the kind of “Ravishing” Rick Rude edge to Dolph’s character. And…here’s A-Ry. I guess this is his next feud, which could be okay. I think Dolph can make the guy look good in the ring. Man, Vickie is slurring the hell out of her words tonight; it’s like she’s stoned out of her gourd on quaaludes. Eh…that wasn’t the best thing for Dolph. Please just let the guy drop Vickie soon, WWE, you’re obviously making it look like she’s holding him back at this point.

9. I honestly want to crap on the pairing of Ryder and Santino, but it’s good for Zack, really. Santino, as much as I hate to admit it, is super over with the crowd and this could help Ryder’s push, so long as he doesn’t get pigeon-holed as a tag-team wrestler. Wait, you’re going to have Ryder lose to Otunga and McGillicutty? God, why not just have Ryder knock himself out after tripping over his shoe-laces; that’s the only way you can make him look worse.

10. You want to know what I would like? If Alberto del Rio rolled into the arena in an ’89 Toyota Tercel or something, just to screw with people. One night only though. It would bring up so many great questions: did Alberto just take a car from the parking lot? Did his own car break down? If that’s the case why even come out in a car? Get on this WWE, as soon as possible.

Bonus thoughts:

11. When JR starts calling the action, the quality of the commentary increases immeasurably. Unfortunately, Cole and King won’t SHUT THE HELL UP and get out of JR’s way and let the man call a damn match. Raw’s producers need to get in the ears of those two and tell them that, when the bell rings, they need to let JR take the reins. It’s not even like Cole and King are saying anything revelatory, they’re just blathering on about the same crap we’ve heard from them for months.

12. Uh oh, Johnny Ace is headed to the ring. This is feeling TNA-ish again Cena is on to something: I think Laurinaitis needs to bring back his “Dynamic Dudes” gimmick. Can he still pull off the day-glo short-shorts? Cena has been too jokey about this whole thing though; if you’re going to punch Johnny Ace, just go ahead and do it.

Well, we all saw that coming. It’s going to be Punk vs. Cena redux at Summerslam. This show was…alright. There were a few good matches, and I’m happy that Beth Phoenix is the number-one contender for the Diva’s championship, but it just felt a little flat to me, like Punk’s return should have been a bigger deal than it was but since it occurred so soon it lost a lot of its impact. Well, check out Caught in the Ropes this week and I’ll see you again in seven days. Oh, and Rhett, I’m calling for a Hell in a Cell match, unless you don’t got the stones, brother!

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