THE RAGER! Rope Them In Early (Raw, CM Punk, Mark Henry, Lord Tensai)

Soundtrack for this week’s THE RAGER is German rapper Peter Fox.

Pacing is truly an underrated quality in almost all things and WWE programming certainly is not exempt from this. Depending on what the desired effect at the end of the night determines the pacing of the show. With Pay Per Views, its start off small and get bigger and bigger matches as the night goes on but still spacing the big matches and hopefully making the kids back home glad they spent their hard-earned money on the product. Weekly broadcasting is a whole different beast because the strategy is basically (strictly from an audience reaction standpoint) get everyone’s attention at the beginning, see what sticks in the middle, and then end big/make everyone want to tune in next week or buy the upcoming PPV. Now, from strictly a ratings stance, the company and the network is going to want to win big at the tent-pole points at the top of each hour…which explains their fan-reaction strategy. These tent pole time slots are the exact reason that for years the 10 pm (EST) spot served as Cena’s promo time because it was proven that the audience would watch it every time. And do you think Raw runs over 11pm by accident every single week? I think not, that’s USA basically cheating so that they can claim they have a bigger audience during the 11 hour.

That explanation serves the purpose to show everyone that reads this just how important time spots and pacing is the show and to prove just HOW STUPID IS WAS TO END IT WITH LORD TENSAI BEING ON MY TELEVISION SCREEN!

Maybe its my fault for actually having high expectations after seeing a amazingly interesting match at the top of the show between CM Punk and Mark Henry (of which I’m glad it went down cleanly). The fact that the show opened with a major championship match was back in July (unless I’m forgetting something somewhere) and THAT show ended with ANOTHER championship match AND the surprise return of CM Punk. So pardon my expectations and at this point I will blame myself for thinking WWE would follow a GOOD precedent this time around. As for the match itself, started the show with a buzz (jump-started the crowd early) and its exactly what you would want to start off the show.
After the match we got Jericho cutting a promo via The Rock and announced the Chicago Street Fight match planned for he and Punk. What is the difference between a regular street fight and a Chicago street fight? Is it one where the audience gets their hopes up for so long about the outcome but get disappointed for 104 years? If so, I’ve had enough “maybe next year” speeches and would gladly trade Alfonso Soriano for some soda or a steak…just sayin.
I don’t have much to say about Santino vs Brotunga other than that I giggled at the ineptnesss of Otunga as he did some breakdancing when he botched a pin.
Honestly would’ve saved the Brock video for the 10 spot because people are still swept-up in the Brock-is-back excitement and would’ve tuned it for it but then again, it always looks better for the 10 spot be taken up by somebody that’s actually in the ring and so I digress.
Ryder jobs to Kane…moving on
The crowd gets back in it with the backstage segment with Daniel Bryan. My only thought here is that I think what he’s doing with the new Yes-fame is fantastic. We all had our worries that WWE would do their best to cover up the phenomena as a fluke and ignore it but two of the last three crowds have deemed it to be impossible. So in order to maintain the Bryan character, he’s turned the Yes chants into a heel notion during a short segment.
Cena takes the 10 spot just like he has for years and cuts a promo against Johnny Ace but basically only accomplishes that Cena will have a match later against an unnamed opponent. That weak sauce should have told me that something was wrong.
Daniel Bryan comes right about and presents his first YES lock and I thought it was a good spot after a boring talking promo.
I really am hopeful that we get a clean Brodus vs Ziggles match here soon because I know I was severely disappointed when that didn’t happen and ended up as a gimmick battle.
Khali and Big Show squashes Epico and Primo and that’s what you get for complaining on twitter, I suppose.
Cena faces off against…sigh…Lord A-Train. I know I had a discussion in the comments sections a couple weeks ago with a reader because I had some despairing about Tensai’s redebut and if that person is reader this, I’m sorry man but I am not impressed by ANYTHING he’s done since his return. It doesn’t matter what he accomplished in Japan, in the here-and-now he is just awkward and terrible. He had no business being in the main event and I wouldn’t be surprised if ratings dropped in that last spot. I’m all for being optimistic and finding the good points in everything but I just can’t find the appeal of ending the show with Cena trying to sell the green mist.
Speaking of, how stupid can Tensai be? The guy had an OPEN WOUND in his mouth prior to putting the dust or whatever in his mouth. Now, call me a pansy and this may be an overreaction and I for all I know that stuff could be safe as you can imagine but I wouldn’t want that green crap anywhere near an open wound. Cena could’ve easily sold the smothering move or whatever and it would have been just as disappointing (I’m assuming that’s the reaction they set out for and if so, kudos).

The point of all this is to tell you what you probably already deduced on your own: this episode was a big swing and a miss.

In Other News:
I’ve made it no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of the Starkid musicals. Well, I can’t end this column without mentioning my thoughts on their newest show, Holy Musical B@man. It premiered online last Friday and I enjoyed it thoroughly with the great music, nerdy super hero references and an Alfred that had a surprisingly great Michael Caine impression. If this is up your alley then I strongly suggest you give it a watch!

Follow me on twitter @cwsanders or find me on Facebook under C.W. Sanders and share your Raw/Tensai thoughts below!

Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do twice,

The Answer: I purposely skipped over R-Truth’s Sherlock Homes (get it?) segments and all the other instances that WWE wanted to be a huge pander bear over the fact they were in England.

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