10 Thoughts: WWE Raw 5.13.13 (John Cena, Triple H, Ryback, Brock Lesnar)

Raw Bridgeport 2012

1. Pretty solid segment for Fandango and Jericho. When Summer Rae went down, I honestly thought this was WWE’s way of writing her off of TV completely and going with the girl Jericho was supposed to be dancing with, especially with the hype they’ve given her all day on their website. I thought it was pretty funny that JBL was complaining that we were seeing a fight instead of a dance-off considering ALL of his segments as Bradshaw ended in a fight. It was basic but a decent segment to set up an Extreme Rules match and trust me, parquet floors are HARD! As a side note concerning all of this pitching for the WWE App, when I have it open and it goes to “live” video, it asks me to update my Flash player… on my Apple iPad… yup.

2. Dean Ambrose vs Kofi Kingston for the United States Championship at Extreme Rules? Would they even book Ambrose in a title match if he wasn’t going to win it? I guess The Undertaker & Kane gave the former Jon Moxley rave reviews because he’s had a rocket strapped to his ass as far as singles’ competition goes since his one-on-one match with ‘Taker. By the way, did you see this week’s Wallpaper of the Week? If you’re a fan of The Shield, I think you’ll be happy.

3. According to the WWE App, “After six previous one-on-one encounters, Antonio Cesaro has yet to pin Randy Orton.” Randy Orton has a match at the PPV in 6 days and Cesaro is lucky to get TV time. Why the hell would we think Cesaro ever had a chance?

4. For one second there (exactly one second), I really thought they might put Dean Ambrose over John Cena, even if it was after a Roman Reigns spear. IF that did happen, I think we’d all know who the breakout star of The Shield would be. That being said, the fact that only Dean Ambrose has been featured in one-on-one matches says a ton about the WWE’s perception of him.

5. Solid 6-man tag for The Shield… again. Surprisingly though I thought Daniel Bryan looked the best out of all six men in the ring. His offense was highly intense, believable & crowd-friendly of course. As entertaining as they’ve been, it’s truly a shame that Bryan is stuck in a tag team with anyone when he could have easily been inserted into the spot vacated by CM Punk within the championship picture (heel or babyface).

6. That’s it for the WWE Championship match hype? One chair shot and the cheesy “Ryback Rules” catchphrase? I know the WWE (and the fans) aren’t expecting much from this match on Sunday but with no Rock, Undertaker, CM Punk OR World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, they really needed to do more to sell this match and this pay-per-view. I’m actually pretty baffled by the lack of WWE Championship match build for this PPV since it seemed to start of so hot with the Ryback turn.

7. The crowd is ridiculously dead tonight, only popping for finishes or big spots. You always forget how much as crowd plays into your enjoyment of a show. A hot crowd makes even the lamest of segments entertaining, while a dead one causes the show to feel like 6 hours instead of the already horrible 3.

8. It’s a damn good thing that the WWE hopes to market the new E! Divas show to women who watch E! and not women who watch WWE Raw. The commentary during that match made me hit the mute button & reminisce about the days when women like Sunny, Trish Stratus or Ivory would get on headset and actually ADD something to the broadcast.

9. Business-wise, all logic points to Brock Lesnar going over Triple H at Extreme Rules in-order to re-establish Lesnar as the monster heel he first was when he returned last year and beat the hell out of John Cena on Raw. Since then, Lesnar’s been in a steady decline to the point where now he is only riding on the coattails of his name, past achievements, physical presence & mouthpiece/manager, Paul Heyman. There’s nothing about Brock Lesnar that should be as intimidating as he is made out to be. The WWE needs Brock Lesnar to be a MONSTER heel, every other one not in The Shield seems to be falling flat. Here’s hoping Paul Levesque recognizes that need and “Triple H” does the “honors” for Lesnar & the business-side of WWE.

10. For a lineup that features some big main-eventers (Triple H, Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Chris Jericho) and a ton of rising stars (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Fandango), Extreme Rules looks pretty damn good on paper but you would never have known that from this episode of Raw. Excluding the six-man tag team match, this show was filled with absolutely nothing new or interesting. There’s typically a lull directly after WrestleMania every year but tonight was pretty painful, both storyline & in-ring action wise. I know a lot of ideas were lost when The Rock, CM Punk AND Dolph Ziggler were deemed unfit to perform but the entire build for this Sunday’s PPV felt like they were treading water & never broke out into a full-out swim.

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