10 Thoughts: WWE Raw 9.9.13 (Edge, Goldust, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan)

2011 Edge's Retirement


{Ed. Note: The above image is from when Edge announced his retirement on Raw from Bridgeport, CT in 2011. I can never pass up an opportunity to use this photo.}


1. It really doesn’t matter if this return happened in Toronto or Iowa, Edge’s reaction would have been just as huge because he’s just so damn good. When a microphone is in his hand, you really do miss the way Edge was always able to sell a story, especially one with any depth to it. While there will never be a payoff, his exchange with Triple H just makes you long for Edge to be a permanent character again. Edge just GETS wrestling, the wrestling business & how to just captivate a live audience.

2. Dolph Zigger versus Bray Wyatt holds a lot of promise & this match was good but I think everyone would have loved to see a longer match between these two. If nothing else, this match was able to showcase the uncanny quickness of the nearly 300 pound Wyatt. The speed in which he can hit his running crossbody & the splash in the corner is very impressive for a guy his size and Ziggler is the perfect guy to help Wyatt look even more vicious.

3. As awkward as the Paul Heyman segment was, I give them credit for actually explaining how Paul Heyman just happened to have his own doctor with him at the arena. A few years ago (even a few months ago), a plot hole like that would have just been completely overlooked and they would have hoped that the casual fan wouldn’t question the logic behind it. Instead, it actually made sense & it lead to a pretty decent segment in the end.

4. I love the fact that they are running packages for Goldust throughout the show. While most current fans know who Goldust is or what he looks like, there’s probably a lot of young WWE fans who’ve never seen Goldust on a regular basis.The WWE has always been pretty good at catching their fans up on older characters that are returning & they’re doing a great job tonight too.

5. Hey, a “PPV Kickoff Match” that actually makes sense and has repercussions for the PPV itself. Plus, it’s been a longtime since we’ve seen a Tag Team Turmoil match which are usually fun. I wonder if we’ll see the debut of Los Matadores beating the Real Americans in the finals to face The Shield on the PPV…

6. A “Holy Shit” chant for that giant swing was completely well deserved. I’m still in awe of it. And while that was a slick roll-up by Santino, did it have to come at the expense of Antonio Cesaro? Cesaro has a fantastic future & upside while Santino will always be a novelty act and is probably nearing the end of his in-ring career. Throw a member of 3MB in the ring with Santino and the result would have been exactly the same.

7. Randy Orton and Goldust put on a helluva of match! For a guy who doesn’t wrestle regularly and certainly not at the WWE level, Goldust held his own in a marquee match against the WWE Champion. His weak cardio kicked in but not until VERY late in the match and hell, half of the roster would have been blown up at that point. This was an extremely impressive showing for Goldust and did a great job at furthering the Cody Rhodes storyline.

8. There’s too many airbrushed singlets in this match for me to bother commenting on it.

9. Stephanie’s character went from the disingenuous “mean girl” to straight up bitch in just one week. I preferred the subtlety of the former character compared to the in your face heel she’s become.

10. Dean Ambrose versus Daniel Bryan was a nice taste of what is sure to be a major feud within the next few years. I think once Ambrose is allowed to break away from The Shield character and able to explore his own personality, the true heel Ambrose will be a solid upper-midcard guy who might toil around that black hole for a little while before breaking through the “glass ceiling” into the main event. Dolph Ziggler is a good example of the path I expect Ambrose to take because God knows the WWE makes you “pay your dues” & no member of The Shield really has had to face that abuse yet. I do think that Ambrose may have an easier path than either Seth Rollins or Roman Reigns as he is the most polished – promo & psychology-wise. Reigns still needs a good amount of work on almost everything if he wants to succeed as a singles star. Rollins needs to turn babyface to truly connect with the crowd. His babyface offense is very crowd pleasing and his promos (while not incredibly strong) are good enough for a high-flying babyface. I’ve said it for a year but I still believe that Seth Rollins can be the WWE’s new Jeff Hardy. Their looks & abilities are very similar with Rollins having an edge in the wrestling ring but Hardy possessing that “it factor”. The best idea might be to have Rollins turn babyface on Ambrose & let them get their feet wet against one another with Roman Reigns in the corner of Ambrose. Whatever they decide to do, the future of the WWE is the brightest it’s been in a long time. Daniel Bryan has entered the main event. Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns have all been positioned for success. Antonio Cesaro is in that black hole I mentioned but still gets a great reaction from the crowd simply because of his ring work. The Primetime Players, Big E Langston, Dolph Ziggler, The Wyatt Family, Wade Barrett & Fandango are all guys on the main roster that can be pushed on a whim. NXT still totes Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, Corey Graves, Alexander Rusev and Xavier Woods (among others) as all guys who can still be called up on a moments notice. The WWE’s 5 year outlook appears promising but of course this is all from an outsider’s, non-political fan’s opinion and not someone who makes any decisions.

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