After last week, Royal Rumble hype was in full effect as we move, inch by inch, closer to East Rutherford, New Jersey on the Road to WrestleMania. While this week’s episode of Raw was perhaps not as eventful as some may have guessed, it still had several different developments.
With that, I’m gonna break down the interesting things I saw.
Here’s the Hit List.
Brodus Clay came out of the mouth of CM Punk last week in his “fake” pipe-bomb, even though what he said was somewhat true. Punk said that he was a 400-lb monster who jukes and jives for kids. I’m paraphrasing, but you get the jist. Brodus made a statement about it before his match with Punk about it, and then Gangnam Style’d his way out to the ring, only to tap out to Punk in a few minutes. If Mark Henry can go from Sexual Chocolate and the Kool-Aid Man to powerhouse champion, why could Brodus not do the same? I’d really like to see more out of the guy. I think he’s got a unique look, and could have a “monster” run if they worked out the kinks.
Speaking of monsters, CM Punk and Paul Heyman continued their amazing work together as they approach the Royal Rumble. We know Punk’s reign will end soon, which sucks because his 400+ days as champion have been extremely fun to watch. I’m also really interested to how that affects Paul Heyman. Will he continue to be Punk’s background man, will he shift from Punk when Brock Lesnar comes back, or will Heyman just, unfortunately, fade away into the background?
CM Punk’s opponent for the Royal Rumble is getting more mixed reactions to being back then I had expected. The Rock, since coming back, has basically been on repeat mode with how his feud with John Cena went. Get a couple things trending on twitter, sing a couple songs, rock bottom, and make sexual innuendo and borderline homophobic comments. Good times? I enjoyed the Rock Concert, but it seems like he just plays things safe. It doesn’t seem organic anymore. Hopefully that changes.
We have a new Diva’s Champion! Woo!...?? Kaitlyn finally won her first title. The crowd snored with approval. Here’s the thing, Kaitlyn seems to actually have been working her sweet ass off to get better in the ring. Not saying she’s in the realm of Nattie (where the hell is her title shot?) but all you have to do is think back to some of her matches from just a year ago to see she’s actually improved quite a bit. But since the WWE seems to “have” to have a Divas division, who is left to actually challenge her? They have about 5 divas on the roster now, and honestly only two can wrestle adequately (AJ and Nattie).
Speaking of which, I was actually somewhat sad when I found out, and then saw Eve quit the company. She wasn’t the best in the ring, but she was manageable. However the part that makes me miss her the most is that besides AJ, she was the only girl on the roster that actually had some character development. That might be THE biggest reason for the craptastic division we have. It’s not a coincidence that most girls that get over with the fans actually have some character development. Instead you just have basic traits (Tamina is the Amazon, Alicia Fox is the sassy black girl, Rosa is the latino, Nattie is the legacy, Kaitlyn is the punk rocker, etc). Get these girls some storylines, with men involved too (that way they interact on a main event stage, like AJ) and go from there.
It seems the TNA lawsuit dust has officially settled, and whether he has a contract or not, I don’t care…Ric freaking Flair is back in the WWE. After his appearance at the Slammies, it was just a matter of time before he came back, and the way he is being used is perfect. Use him to further a feud, or a character. We don’t need to see him in matches, or being a mouthpiece so to speak (although that would not be a bad thing either). Using him every once in a while keeps his appearances “special”. However is pairing him with the Miz the best idea? The Miz already has an established character.
Speaking of The Miz, what in the hell is up with him? I’ve been a Mike Mizanin supporter for a long time now. I thought a lot of the hate he got was unwarranted and even predicted last year that he could have a huge, successful babyface turn if given the chance. Here we are in the midst of a babyface Miz…and he’s AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWFUL. He’s trying to keep the same character he’s had all along (which was getting stale) and throwing in things to make the crowd pop. It’s not working. Ric Flair working with him only makes it seem worse. He needs to work a bit to make himself stop coming off as a douchebag if he wants to be a solid face.
Dolph Ziggler and John Cena had another quality match on Raw that was contested inside a Steel Cage. I remember the days when cage matches were scary. No one could get inside to help. The heel was left all alone with nowhere to run. On top of that, however, you could not get out either. You were locked inside, and the only way to escape your opponent was…well…escape. When did WWE change the rule to count pinfall and submissions? I know it has been a while, but when was it? You know what a cage match is with pinfalls and submissions? It’s a normal match that has bendable walls on the sides. I hate it with a passion. Plus they can’t even try to be creative anymore. Someone is going to get the door open, and use it to slam it against someone’s head. Just seems pointless to me. One of my favorite matches growing up just makes me groan now.
Mick Foley was finally announced on-air as the first inductee in the Hall of Fame, even though that had been leaked by WWE.com, every news source, and Foley himself the week prior. I think just about everyone could not be happier for Mick as he has been one of the most influential wrestlers/entertainers in the past 25 years. I’ll never forget the day of the infamous WCW “That’ll get butts in the seats”, and I turned it over to WWF to see Mankind win his first ever WWF Championship. The toll he took on his body and the sacrifices he made enabled wrestling to get to the heights it did and have. I was so excited when the Shield interrupted him Monday night, because I thought we might finally see Ambrose and him go face-to-face. They had a brief interaction last year around WM28. It wasn’t meant to be. That being said…Congrats Mick!
Finally, after watching a very mundane Monday Night Raw, I actually had to remind myself that the episode marked the 20th Anniversary of the show. Yes, they said it throughout the night but you could have fooled me. Where were the classic matches? The classic superstars? The…ANYTHING that reminds me of the last 20 years of Raw? They only had three legends show up: Foley, JR and Flair. I understand that they changed plans when HBK and Stone Cold already were booked for a hunting show. Where is Triple H or Taker? They could have done something better.
That’s all I have this week. What were your thoughts about Raw this week? Should I even use some of my hit list to talk about how terrible TNA is? Let us know in the comments below. You can also hit me up on twitter.
Make sure to check myself and Fozzie out every Tuesday morning as we break down headlines from the past few days. We’re the 78th best Headline writers in America, according to a survey I conducted.
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Until next time, smell ya later.