THE RAGER! The Last Card (John Cena, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan)

I’m going into detail about my full thoughts on Raw this week because you probably should’ve already read them by now. Also, you guys probably don’t need yet another Raw recap/review/thoughts column at the moment. But I will say that the end of Raw has me really interested in TLC on Sunday. It’s like WWE suddenly woke up and realized how to sell a pay per view on a go-home show. Too bad that realization came 12 months too late.

Kickoff Match: Dolph Ziggler vs Fandango
There’s moments where WWE puts mid-card title matches on the kickoff and I go through the same assumption that they do so because they’re trying to draw attention to said kickoff show for their video hosting partners. And then there’s matches like these when I can only imagine the video hosting partners like Youtube and Yahoo throw both of their hands up and say “thanks for nothing.” And that hurts to say because, again, I’m a big fan of Dolph but this is his 2nd meaningless kickoff match in a row and I’m starting to lose hope. Also, I think it’s safe to say that Fandango is just the heel version of Planet Funk. He’s flashy, bright and dances a lot but never really has a purpose or feud.

Divas Championship Match: AJ(c) vs Natalya
Looking forward to this match because it’s Natalya and it feels kinda silly that she’s been out of the championship picture this long, especially with the departure of so many Divas within the past 2 years. Seems like AJ is just running through the entire cast of Total Divas one-by-one and perhaps that continues on Sunday. Let’s take a look at this, the season finale of Total Divas is this Sunday and I don’t believe they’re shooting the next season yet. If a member of the cast is going to win the belt, it’ll almost definitely happen while the show is being shot. Simple math.

Intercontinental Championship Match: Big E Langston(c) vs Damien Sandow
I see this as Damien’s consolation prize for being a good sport about the MitB cash-in and not going all Zack Ryder on twitter about it. Although it may not be much of a consolation prize with Big E as WWE’s new toy that they’ve been pushing.

3-on-1 Handicap Match: The Shield vs CM Punk
Honestly, this feels like Punk’s version of Cena’s run against Kane and the whole “embrace the hate.” I don’t mean that in the sense of Punk being coerced one way or the way because that’s more fitting of Daniel Bryan and the Wyatts. I mean it in the sense where Kane was clearly just keeping Cena occupied before he could set his sights on Rock and First in a Lifetime. This kinda feels like a way to keep Punk occupied in a way that’ll put him on this month’s pay per view but probably wouldn’t feel odd to drop the angle completely once whatever plan they have for Punk goes into effect. This match itself is gonna be a little odd to predict the winner because Punk hasn’t really had the upper hand during the build which usually is an indicator that he’ll win on Sunday. However, WWE is still high on Shield and it feels odd to allow them to lose to a single man not named Cena. But this is Punk and his favor with WWE is right up there with Cena and Orton right now so it’s not impossible. Besides, Daniel Bryan has come very close to beating Shield single-handedly in the past (and he probably has beaten them before and I just can’t remember) so there is precedent.

3-on-1 Handicap Match: The Wyatt Family vs Daniel Bryan
Take the “embrace the hate” comparison I just did with Punk and double it for Daniel Bryan and add in the coercion aspect. This is Daniel Bryan’s tribulation period as he ascends back into the championship game. Unless some wrench gets through into the match, I see Daniel Bryan finding a way to win. Afterwards, I wanna say that this’ll lead to a one-on-one match against Bray Wyatt but that might have to happen on the first Raw of 2014 because I don’t see how Daniel Bryan isn’t in the Rumble this year.

Title Unification TLC Match: John Cena vs Randy Orton
A title unification does make sense in the current era of the company and WWE can stop the charade of trying to make the World Heavyweight Championship seem like it isn’t a 2nd tier title. And I believe the new title should just be called the WWE Championship because it’s not like they’re going to scrap the belt design because they JUST got it. Just like after Summerslam 2011, I see them referring to it as “The Undisputed Championship” or something along those lines for a month or so before just dropping back to usual. That is, unless the winner still carries both belts around and someone takes one of them away sometime soon. Regardless of what it’ll be called, I’m not sure about this match. Of course a degree of apathy sets in because it is yet another Orton/Cena match and it still feels very fresh that we got one of those every month. Also, I’m not sure if there’ll be shenanigans to determine end of the match or if both men grab only one of the belts at the same time. And yes, all the chaos at the end of Raw could be an indicator that someone or multiple people will get involved. Personally, I’m not looking far into the meaning behind Raw’s ending and I’m just chalking it up to a throw-away thing but did more to sell the PPV than anything else. All I know about that Raw ending, (as I said on @CRAttire) by the time the show ended, somehow CM Punk found a hand grenade and Daniel Bryan killed a guy with a trident. In a year which WWE struggled greatly with booking and building pay per views, they finally found a way to get me excited for a pay per view that doesn’t have Punk or Bryan in the main event. Now let’s just see how they’ll screw it all up.

Fun note: There’s one TLC match on the card but no tables, ladders or chairs matches.

I hope you all enjoyed me briefly going back to my movie/music review roots last week. I’m thinking about doing more wrestler music reviews in the future (possibly whenever R-Truth comes out with his album) but it won’t be anytime soon because my brain still hurts from listening to that Jeff Hardy album more than once. But I will do it because I enjoy having fun with you whippersnappers. Although, the next one I do will also feature Blair (that’s right, this is my way to notifying him) because it’s only fair he suffers as well.

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

The Answer: Becoming a hero is a tough decision.

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