10 Thoughts: WWE Raw 6.17.13 (CM Punk, Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar, Mark Henry, John Cena)

Raw (Hartford 2013)

1. It’s surprising that the announcers aren’t even trying to act like Dolph Ziggler is a heel. The reason why the Bret Hart/Steve Austin “double-turn” worked so well is because neither man really changed their personalities drastically after their match at WrestleMania 13. Then again, this is a different era and that might have been the best heel promo Alberto Del Rio has ever given. I’m REALLY curious to see how Ziggler is booked to look in his first ever promo as a babyface.

2. Iowa is on their game tonight! Having CM Punk’s Raw return in the opening segment was the perfect choice to kick off the show & then they just set the tempo of the whole show by bringing back Christian in the next segment. The arena went NUTS for Captain Charisma! I have never been a huge Christian fan but there’s no arguing that his star-power has definitely been missed.

3. I don’t care that it was Triple H that pointed it out but I loved the fact they the WWE finally addressed 2 of the major “plot-holes” that have plagued the WWE for the last few years: 1) If the main event is made in the first segment of the show, what was the original main event scheduled before the show? And 2) If a wrestler has been medically cleared to wrestle for months & he’s a big of a star as Christian, why are you just throwing away money by keeping him on the roster but off of TV?

4. They’ve been doing the “doctor stoppage” angle far too much lately. I know it’s playing into the Daniel Bryan storyline but there have been matches that have been far, FAR more intense/vicious in which you never see the ringside doctor. Between Dolph Ziggler at Payback and Bryan tonight, if they continue exploiting this new avenue of storytelling its going to lose any impact it could have in the long run.

5. Is the pairing of Antonio Cesaro and Zeb Coulter weird and completely against what Coulter’s character is supposed to stand for? Yes, undoubtedly. But Cesaro is a great talent and if it takes him being paired with Coulter under a very weak storyline in order for him to get more TV time, I’m all for it.

6. If anyone saw the Mark Henry swerve coming, they’re complete liars. That was one of the most well executed feud/match setups in WWE history & it’s all because of Mark Henry. Surely after that performance Mark Henry has to be set to star in The Marine 4.

7. Where I would have ranted and raved of how AWFUL & STUPID it would have been if Sheamus had beaten two men… I’m perfectly fine with Chris Jericho beating all three of 3MB.

8. While we all thought the summer was going to be filled with the power struggle between Triple H and Vince McMahon, I’m enjoying the addition of Stephanie McMahon as another major player. I originally thought that she was just going to play both men behind their backs with the subtle allusions of her waiting to take control but having all three of them playing the political games should be fun. Especially since it seems like Stephanie’s heart is into being a strong onscreen character again.

9. Even though CM Punk being “blown up” & having “lost a step” is playing in his storyline of being away for awhile, he doesn’t seem to have any ring rust at all. In fact, he returned even better than when he left considering his knee injury going into WrestleMania. I wonder if he’s been doing DDP Yoga like Chris Jericho.

10. I don’t think anything could have been done better in that last segment. CM Punk genuinely looked confused by Brock Lesnar’s appearance but still unconcerned about it. Handing Lesnar a microphone was a nice tease as well. I was actually at the edge of my seat wondering what Brock would actually say to one of the best talkers in wrestling history. In the end, it was simple and more effective than anything elaborate or too talkative. It’s hard to believe that was the first time Brock Lesnar and CM Punk have ever been seen on TV together since they were in two completely different eras of the WWE. It says a lot that even though The Rock was taken out of the equation, the WWE & Lesnar have enough faith that CM Punk can pull in a big enough box office to justify burning more of Brock Lesnar’s dates. It’s going to be a fun ride!

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