Yeah, yeah, yeah, 10 Thoughts on Raw is back. It’s been a busy, miserable week here in Southern California, so forgive me if I come across as a bit snarky. That said, I want to remind all of you reading this that you can send in your thoughts on next week’s Raw after the show and I’ll include the best ones in my column. I’ll include the e-mail address at the end of my tirade, so get to thinkin’ and send me your thoughts.
That out of the way, I thought last week’s Raw was a positive step forward for the WWE. A lot of changes need to occur if the WWE wants to become really relevant again. While some readers, like Cristo, thought the show was a little too TNA-ish, I have to disagree. I can see where you’re coming from with it, since all the backstage politicking had shades of TNA, but to me a TNA storyline isn’t a TNA storyline unless it’s incredibly convoluted. I don’t think the Punk/Nash/HHH feud has reached that level yet; there’s a number of ways this whole thing can go. Maybe the WWE will finally get around to answering some questions and we can see where this thing is headed. Let’s get to it.
1. Good video package recapping the whole Punk/Nash/HHH soap-opera that’s been unfolding over the last couple of weeks. That’s one thing that the WWE gets consistently right: video packages. It seems odd, but I do think that is the strongest part of their product, even more so than a lot of the promos that are delivered and matches that are televised.
2. Great reaction for Punk tonight. I’m hoping that he can sell this match with HHH…but it doesn’t look like it. Instead, it’s looking like he’s going to have to continue to work this feud with Kevin Nash. I’m sure the WWE wants to get Punk and Nash in the ring together at some point when Nash is capable of working a full match, but it seems to me that they ought to be using this segment to further the immediate match-up, and then throw in Nash at the end.
3. Wait…what? Nash sent a text from HHH’s phone to his own phone? Why? What sense does this make? Someone has got to go, Nash? I’m gonna take the guy who’s still marketable, and that ain’t you. Boy, that was a stupid twist.
4. Argh. Another mediocre tag match; Kofi and Evan Bourne are better than that. It seems like the Jinder Mahal/Great Khali partnership is coming to a close soon, however, which is nothing but good news. Jinder has done zero to impress since he’s come into this company, and the WWE really needs to find something else to do with him. I know they want to utilize him in order to broaden the product’s appeal in India, but he’s just not the guy to do it at this point.
5. Kelly Kelly had all the charisma of a stale fart on commentary tonight. She was totally overshadowed by Natalya. At least Beth squashed Eve in short order and ought to win the title at Night of Champions. Yeah, I know, I picked Beth to win at Summerslam, and the WWE made a fool out of me, as they are want to do, but she has to pick up the win now.
6. I like the R-Truth/Miz vs. Air Boom match at Night of Champions. Truth and Miz have had great chemistry since joining forces, and I see them as a good choice to push the new champions while the rest of the division is re-formed. It’s all I can hold on to while we’re treated to more â€œmagicâ€ on commentary. The Cole/J.R. dynamic hasn’t formed; instead, it’s just obnoxiously confrontational and disrupts the flow of the commentary.
7. Good match between Punk and Truth…and here comes HHH with a timely political joke. Trips, please, stay away from political comedy, you handle it as gracefully as an ape handles a computer. Oh, and the NoC match is going to be a no-DQ match now? How convenient; I’m sure we’ll see a Nash run-in and he’ll end up costing HHH the match. According to the internet, so take it for what it’s worth, Punk was set to go over Nash in their original match. I think we’ll see the same thing here: Punk walking out of Night of Champions the winner, ready to feud with Nash or the WWE Champion. Or not, now that they’ve added an additional stipulation regarding HHH losing his position as COO if he fails to win. Okay, Nash sticks Punk when he’s about to beat HHH. Or something. Forget it, I give up.
8. Groan. A Jerry Lawler match? Didn’t you learn your lesson after the extended Lawler/Cole fiasco, WWE? At least Zack Ryder is here to keep things from going completely downhill. The guy even got a nice video package before the match. I guess the WWE is really looking to push the guy now. Having Zack get the win really helps that push as well, instead of making him look like a total fool, which has been the WWE’s position for a while now.
9. Wait, why waste an Orton appearance on Raw with a match against Slater? Shenanigans? Or…not. I guess they’re just using Slater as a jobber now, which doesn’t speak highly of his career prospects in the WWE. I would like to note the guy in the front row keeping it real with a bWo t-shirt. Way to keep the dream alive, man.
10. I don’t get Cena’s complaint that del Rio doesn’t know the name of the cars he brings out. I’ve never heard anyone ask del Rio what car he was driving, unless I’m forgetting something, which is entirely possible. Well, this elimination-tag match was okay for what it was, though it did end with the usual Super-Cena schlock. It furthered the Ziggler/Swagger feud…kind of, and it set up a potential Sheamus/Christian feud. Could have been worse, I suppose.
Okay, that Kevin Nash twist had all the hallmarks of a bad Vince Russo/TNA storyline. Why not reveal Johnny Ace as the texter, or Vince, or the anonymous GM, or anyone really? Why sell us all on some kind of backstage intrigue when Nash was lying all along? I suppose this might have something to do with Nash not being cleared to work in the ring, so the WWE felt the need to switch up the whole storyline, but this was just the wrong way to go. Especially since the WWE has spent the last few weeks setting Johnny Ace up as the bad guy in all this. Hell, they did it again tonight! The only reason I can think of is that Nash was pulled in by Johnny Ace and Vince and he’s simply covering for them. Whatever. Let’s see if the WWE can dig themselves out of this hole next week.
Tags: 10 Thoughts, air boom, alberto del rio, Alex Riley, Beth Phoenix, christian, cm punk, David Otunga, Dolph Ziggler, evan bourne, Eve Torres, Heath Slater, HHH, jack swagger, Jerry Lawler, Jinder Mahal, john cena, John Laurinaitis, John Morrison, Kelly Kelly, kevin nash, Kofi Kingston, michael mcgillicutty, randy orton, Raw, Shaemus, The Great Khali, Wade Barrett, WWE, zack ryder