This is obviously a tough day to be productive due to the explosions that took place at the Boston Marathon today. It depresses me to know that someone or a group of people could do such a violent act in a public setting like that, but sadly that's the world we live in. All we can really do is hope that these terrible acts are not repeated in the future. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims in Boston as well as their loved ones. Check out BostonGlobe.com for more info. It's hard to think about other stuff, but maybe watching & writing about the silliness that is pro wrestling will be good for me. And I hope reading about it will be good for you too.
Live from Greenville, South Carolina this is the Raw Deal for episode #1038. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. If you're on Facebook please "Like" this post as well. Thank you.
The opening video package focused on Ryback's attack on WWE Champion John Cena at the end of Raw last week. We will also hear from CM Punk during this week's show.
The announcers for the show are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield. It looks like they're sticking with the three man announce team as a full-time thing on Raw. I approve. It's better than the two man team.
Randy Orton and Sheamus entered to take part in a handicap match. Raw is beginning with a match? That's not normal. They're against Big Show.
Randy Orton & Sheamus vs. Big Show
Show hit a side suplex on Sheamus early on. Sheamus dropped Show's neck across the top rope and then hit a shoulder tackle off the top rope for a two count. Show threw Sheamus over the top rope after he blocked the Brogue Kick attempt. Back in the ring, Show hit some chops followed by the Final Cut for a two count. Sidewalk slam by Show got a two count. To this point the match has been all about Big Show dominating the action against Sheamus. Show went for a splash out of the corner, so Sheamus got up, put Show on his shoulders and dropped back into the Electric Chair drop. That's a cool spot. Orton got the hot tag from Sheamus. Orton hit a dropkick on Show. Orton hit the DDT off the ropes with Show's feet on the top rope. Show grabbed Orton by the throat. Sheamus gave Show the Brogue Kick and then Orton hit the RKO to win the match for his team after seven minutes.
Winners: Randy Orton & Sheamus
Analysis: *1/2 It's weird to see the heel as the lone man in a handicap match, but it was still a good match. Big Show isn't hurt by losing because it was a 2 on 1 match where he dominated for the majority of the match and it took two finishing moves from former World Champions to put him down. The crowd was into the match too, so it worked as an opener.
There was a clip from last Friday on Smackdown when 3MB interrupted Triple H. The Shield ended up attacking 3MB.
Backstage, 3MB told Josh Mathews that they were going to call out The Shield. The show went to break.
The three members of 3MB (Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal) were in the ring for a promo. Slater complained about The Shield trying to steal the spotlight from them last week. Mahal said something. Nobody cared. McIntyre wanted The Shield to hand them a handwritten apology.
Instead of The Shield we got Brock Lesnar. His music started up to a big reaction. Lesnar went down to the ring. He threw Slater over the top. He gave Mahal a belly to belly suplex. The Lesnar hit McIntyre with a F5 to a huge reaction from the crowd. Slater ran away, but Lesnar hit him with a clothesline outside the ring. Lesnar's speed in getting out of the ring was ridiculous. Lesnar gave Slater a F5 outside the ring so that Slater's legs hit the top of the barricade. Then Lesnar did it again. Paul Heyman showed up to calm down Lesnar.
Analysis: What a beating. There is nobody else like Lesnar. The crowd reacts to everything he does like it's a big deal because his presence is unlike anybody else in WWE. He's a special talent.
In the ring, Heyman brought up the name of Triple H. Heyman mentioned that Triple H beat Lesnar at WrestleMania. He said if Triple H was there he would shake his hand and say he respected him for what he did at WrestleMania. Heyman said that Lesnar won at Summerslam and Hunter won at WrestleMania, so they needed to settle this one more. Heyman suggested a match at Extreme Rules. He said it's time to get uncensored, ruthless, raw and extreme. His client proposes Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H in a steel cage match. Heyman had two words for Triple H: "Challenge issued."
Analysis: I'm not a huge fan of the idea of a third Lesnar/Triple H match because their first two matches were just average at best. However, it's not a surprise that it's happening because they each won one match. If Triple H wants the match again who's going to tell him no? Hopefully the third match is better than the first two. I'd like to see Lesnar against a different opponent, personally.
Later, Ryback will explain his actions from last week. Next up is Antonio Cesaro defending the US Title against Kofi Kingston.
Prior to the next match, Antonio Cesaro did some yodelling on his way to the ring. That's a good way to piss people off. He was pretty good at it. I think. I'm not an expert in yodelling, nor will I be opening up TJRyodelling.com any time soon.
United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston
It's nice to see WWE remembers that the US Champion can actually defend his title on television instead of losing non-title matches week after week. Kingston won a non-title match on Smackdown. Kingston missed a corner splash, which led to a Cesaro clothesline. Kingston came back with a chop followed by a clothesline and then the Boom Drop connected. Cesaro ducked Trouble in Paradise. Cesaro threw Kingston up and hit a huge uppercut for a great nearfall. They went to break with both guys still in the ring.
Cesaro was still in control as they returned from break. Nice elbow shot in the corner by Cesaro for a two count. Kingston hit the SOS, but Cesaro got his hand on the rope. Kingston hit the Trouble in Paradise kick. Cesaro rolled out to the ropes. By the time Kingston rolled Cesaro back in the ring, Cesaro had enough power to kick out at two. Kingston went for a cross body off the top, but Cesaro caught him and gave him a backbreaker. That was an awesome power spot. Kingston got a rollup for a two followed by another, then Cesaro got a nearfall as well. Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise again. Cesaro sold it like he got knocked out, so Kingston covered the win after ten minutes.
Winner an NEW US Champion: Kofi Kingston
Analysis: *** It's the second week in a row where a secondary title changed hands because last week Wade Barrett beat The Miz to win back the IC Title. Cesaro's 200+ day US Title reign was pretty uneventful. Some good TV matches, but not one memorable feud. This match was pretty good. I enjoyed the action especially in the last few minutes. They really set up the nearfalls well and the crowd was really buying into them. I'm not that upset with Cesaro losing the US Title if it means he's going to move up the card in a more high profile role. I hope that's what happens, but I have my doubts because he has been booked poorly for a while. I also don't get why Kingston has to hold a secondary title again since he had the IC Title toward the end of last year. Isn't there somebody else you can put the title on? It just feels too repetitive to me. Still, it was an entertaining matchup and I'm all for that.
After the match, Josh Mathews asked Kingston how he felt. Kingston said he just brought the US Title back home. Kingston did grow up in America even though he was born in Ghana and was originally billed as being from Jamaica.
We were reminded of the Ryback promo still to come.
Back from break we got a full recap of last week on Raw when Dolph Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase to win the World Title from Alberto Del Rio. It was an awesome moment. Really well done. They showed the whole thing. I guess they had five minutes of time to kill.
Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee & Big E Langston were shown walking backstage as we head into the top of hour two.
The new World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler entered the ring along with his girlfriend AJ Lee and his friend Big E Langston.
Ziggler said that last week he became the new World Heayweight Champion. He called it the greatest moment in the history of Raw all because of him. He said he does everything better than everybody else. "I am just too good." He doesn't care what the fans think. Ziggler mentioned the NFL or Louisville basketball showing off just like him. He kissed AJ passionately saying that it was a perk of being the World Champion. He claimed that nobody would take the title off him.
Alberto Del Rio showed up along with his friend Ricardo Rodriguez, who was still on crutches. Del Rio had his left knee taped up. Del Rio said that when the time is right he's going to ask for his rematch. He wants his rematch right now. Ziggler said no to that.
The Managing Supervisor of Raw Vickie Guerrero appeared on the stage. She said if Alberto wants a rematch he gets one. She orders a referee to the ring right now.
Before the match could get underway, Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter showed up. Colter did a promo saying that Ziggler wouldn't have won without Swagger tearing Del Rio to pieces. He said Alberto didn't deserve another shot at it. Del Rio gave Swagger a clothesline over the top rope. Langston got in Del Rio's face. Swagger tripped up Del Rio and rammed his left leg into the steel post repeatedly. Swagger drilled Del Rio with a clothesline. Swagger applied the Patriot Lock (ankle lock) on Del Rio outside the ring. After it was over, Del Rio was in a lot of pain.
Analysis: It was a nice way to tease a match between Ziggler and Del Rio without actually doing it. It also furthered the Swagger/Del Rio, which obviously isn't over. I thought Del Rio did an excellent job of selling the knee injury. This could lead to a triple threat match at Extreme Rules. I doubt Ziggler will drop the World Title to either of these guys, though. Hopefully he has a title run that lasts four or five months at least.
The tag team champions Kane & Daniel Bryan were shown walking backstage.
Back from break, we saw a recap of Del Rio getting attacked. Then we saw him in the doctor's room backstage getting his knee looked at.
Prior to the next match it was announced it would be The Undertaker, Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield. That's awesome.
Team Hell No (Kane & Daniel Bryan) vs. The Prime Time Players (Titus O'Neil & Darren Young)
This is a non-title match. We've seen this match many times in the last six months. I remember it at a house show in September too. The tag division just isn't that deep. The heels isolated Bryan in their corner. O'Neil hit a Fallaway Slam on Bryan. O'Neil gave Young a front suplex onto Bryan. Bryan hit a clothesline to break free and hit the hot tag to Kane two minutes into the match. Kane hit clotheslines on Young followed by a sidewalk slam. Top rope clothesline by Kane on Young. Bryan hit a running knee on O'Neil outside the ring. Kane hit a Chokeslam on Young. Bryan tagged in with the Flying Goat Headbutt off the top rope to get the win for his team after three minutes.
Winners: Team Hell No
Post match, Bryan led the crowd in "yes" chants. That's a nice sign to see him embracing the fans.
Analysis: * Like I said we've seen the match many times, so it was nothing new. The tag champs continue to roll on. The rumor is a tag title match against The Shield at Extreme Rules. That PPV is on May 19 (sorry Kane), so there's plenty of time to build up to it.
We'll hear from Ryback after the break.
Ryback was shown backstage where he delivered a promo. He said WrestleMania was the best night of Cena's career while it was the worst night of his career. Ryback said the only place for him to go was up while Cena could only go down. Then a video aired from last week. Ryback said he had no choice because he didn't want to stare up from the bottom of the ladder again. Ryback mentioned when Cena said he was his friend and when Cena gave Ryback his title shot in October (got a clip of that). Ryback said that a friendship with Cena means you have to live in the shadow of Cena. He called himself the kryptonite to Superman (Cena). Then we got clips of Ryback nearly winning the WWE Title only for The Shield to put him through a table. Ryback pointed out that he was attacked by The Shield six times and he wondered where Cena was. "Designing your latest t-shirt?" Good line. Ryback said that he was there the three times that Cena was attacked by The Shield. Ryback said Cena got lucky at the Royal Rumble (last elimination was Ryback). Then at Elimination Chamber Cena left him alone in the ring to fend off the Shield and that led to another win for The Shield. Ryback said Cena only cared about the golden prize at the end of the road. He claimed he listened to Cena last week talking like nobody else could be in the ring with him, but last week he had enough. Ryback said he's the biggest threat to Cena's WWE Title. "Ryback Rules." That was the last line. They went to commercial.
Analysis: That was a five minute promo with Ryback talking to the camera with a lot of intensity. I liked how they included videos that helped him make all his points. You may not agree with him because he's a heel now, but in his eyes his actions were justified because he felt disrespected by Cena. He referenced all the times he helped Cena yet Cena was never there to help him. Perhaps "Ryback Rules" will be the phrase he uses as a heel. I thought Ryback did a good job. It was smart to do it backstage because he covered a lot in the promo and I doubt he would have done as well standing alone in the ring. Good segment.
Back from break, we saw a replay of Brock Lesnar destroying 3MB. Holy crap that was a lot of fun! I enjoyed it even more on the replay. That's nothing against 3MB. I don't mind them. It's just that I enjoy Brock Lesnar attacks immensely.
Wade Barrett vs. R-Truth
Truth didn't get a televised entrance. Barrett did. This is non-title. Remember when R-Truth was in two PPV main events in 2011? Feels like so long ago. Truth hit a jumping side kick. Barrett hit a shot to the kidneys of Truth to gain control. Boot to the ribs by Barrett got a two count. Truth came back with some clotheslines followed by a back elbow. Front suplex by Truth got a two count. Barrett got a boot, but then Truth countered a slam into the Little Jimmy for the win after just three minutes.
Analysis: *1/2 A champion losing a non-title match? It seems like we see one of those every week. It's the only way they know how to build up challengers to titles. I wish they were more creative. There was only a mild reaction to R-Truth. I wish they had fresher babyfaces in the midcard to challenge for the secondary championships.
Backstage, Teddy Long suggested to Vickie Guerrero & Brad Maddox that they do Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger. Vickie said she liked it. So did Maddox. They asked him if Booker T knew about it. Teddy said he didn't know.
Analysis: They're teasing friction with Teddy & Booker. It's being booked like Teddy thinks he is the one that has the power to make matches when in fact he's just the adviser to Booker.
Fandango is coming up later.
Prior to the next match, Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes talked about how they were going to advance the cause of decency for all. Sandow insulted South Carolina. Remember when they were breaking up the tag team? That ended. I'm okay with that.
Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) vs. The Great Khali & Santino (w/Natalya & Hornswoggle)
My favorite part of this match is Natalya looking gorgeous at ringside. It would be nice if she was having matches on television, though. Khali chopped Sandow early on, so Rhodes tagged in to face off with Santino. The heels ended up working over Santino with moves like the Elbow of Disdain by Sandow. Santino came back with his hip toss/headbutt sequence of moves. He went for The Cobra and it connected on Sandow. Rhodes saved his partner. Hornswoggle's mini cobra had no effect. Khali chopped Rhodes outside the ring. Back in the ring, Sandow rolled up Santino to win the match after three minutes.
Winners: Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow)
Analysis: * There's the weekly comedy match. I didn't like the finish because it would have been nice to see Sandow win with his finisher instead of a roll-up, which is a finish they do far too often. In the big picture this match didn't mean a whole lot since Rhodes & Sandow are not really in the tag title picture these days. Beating a comedy team doesn't do much for them.
Fandango is up next at the top of hour three.
Jerry Lawler was in the ring to talk about Fandango. They aired a clip from last week when the fans were singing along to Fandango. There were also clips from television shows where people were doing the Fandango dance. Also some online viral videos. They even showed that NY transit clip. Those guys are probably marking out. Lawler introduced Fandango.
Fandango made his entrance along with his ballroom dancing friend. There were some fans with "da da da" signs in the crowd. You couldn’t hear if the crowd was doing his song during the intro, but there were a lot of people dancing along with the music. Fandango cut Lawler off from talking. Fandango wondered if Lawler could move his hips, so Lawler excused himself to the announce table.
Fandango asked the crowd if they wanted to go Fandangoing with him. The crowd cheered for that idea. He wanted everybody to pronounce his name correctly. Faaaaan-daaaaan- (you've got to breathe in the A's) - goooooo! The audience did it with him. In four years of writing the Raw Deal I haven't done a detailed review of a guy pronouncing his name. Some in the crowd were humming his song. Fandango said that the crowd couldn't say his name right, so they could go Fandango themselves. Then he left.
Analysis: That was it? At least there was some audience participation. They needed to do a bit more with him, I thought. It was just a way to get heat from the crowd, but I think they wanted to cheer him. Next week with Raw in England he should get a bigger reaction because the Raw after WrestleMania crowd was heavily influenced by British fans.
Backstage, Matt Striker interviewed John Cena. Cena said that later on in the show he's going to the ring to meet Ryback face to face.
Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter made their entrance as the show went to break.
Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee & Big E Langston) vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter)
This is non-title. Heel vs. heel matches don't always work. Ziggler slapped him in the face, but Swagger came back with a boot to the face. Swagger hit a clothesline. Ziggler hit a back elbow followed by a neckbreaker. AJ was holding the World Title in her hands. Swagger crotched Ziggler on the top rope. Clothesline sent Ziggler to the floor. There's the vintage floor to commercial break four minutes into this match.
Back from break, Swagger went shoulder first into the turnbuckle. He was able to come back with a belly to belly suplex for two. AJ had a crazy look on her face. Swagger hit a running knee to the gut. Ziggler countered the Swagger splash out of the corner. Ziggler hit the best dropkick in the business followed by a sweet looking DDT for a two count. Good nearfall. Swagger hit a stun gun. He rolled up Ziggler for the pinfall and he got it? What? The match went 11 minutes.
Winner: Jack Swagger
Analysis: **1/2 It was okay. The heel vs. heel dynamic doesn't always work. Some cities may cheer Ziggler, but not this crowd. I was shocked by the finish. I realize you have to get Swagger wins to get him back into title contention. I would have been fine with some kind of DQ or countout, though. Pinning the World Champ a week after he won the title doesn't really help Ziggler. It hurts him more than anything. When Jack Swagger was World Champion three years ago he lost so many non-title matches. It didn't help him.
After the match, Del Rio attacked Swagger on the stage. Del Rio threw Swagger into the "WWE" logo on the ramp. He kicked Swagger in the head. Del Rio applied the Cross Armbreaker to Swagger on the ramp to end the attack.
Analysis: It looks like they're setting up Ziggler vs. Swagger vs. Del Rio at ERules. Ziggler losing non-title a week after winning? Questionable. It was also the second match on the show where a champion lost a non-title match on a roll-up. Don't the agents backstage go over the finishes so they avoid repeating stuff? It looks silly to see the same finish more than once on the same show.
They showed some tweets from The Rock. CM Punk and Paul Heyman were shown walking backstage. They're up next.
Matt Striker tried to interview Sheamus. Before he could say anything, Mark Henry tackled Sheamus into the interview set. Henry yelled: "That's What I Do!" I need that on a t-shirt. I don't buy many wrestling shirts, but I'd buy that one.
Analysis: You can pencil in the Sheamus vs. Mark Henry match for Extreme Rules. They had a good feud two years ago.
CM Punk and Paul Heyman entered the arena to a good reaction. It was mostly boos, but it was a superstar reaction for sure. Punk was wearing a grey hoodie. He walked with a bit of a limp too. They went into the ring.
CM Punk talked about how much he loved being the WWE Champion. He talked about how he wanted that next challenge in The Rock. As he battled one of the greatest superstars of all time, he still wanted more. Punk said he's never satisfied and that he always wants more. Punk wondered where do you go after all that he's done? He looked at the one thing other than being the champion and that was taking on The Streak of The Undertaker at WrestleMania. He said he pushed The Undertaker to the limit…long pause. It was a really long pause as the crowd chanted "Undertaker / CM Punk" during the silence. Punk hugged Heyman. He gave him the microphone. Then Punk walked out of the ring. He walked to the backstage area although he didn't go all the way up the ramp. They went to break.
Analysis: Punk has an arm injury that could need surgery, so we may not see him for a month or two. I doubt he'll even be on the Extreme Rules card. Prior to WrestleMania he didn't wrestle for a month, so obviously he has some injuries to deal with. I'm not sure what they're going to say except that he went home to find a new goal. I'll definitely miss him while he's gone. I hope he stays a heel because he's better in that role. He's a very good babyface too. It's just that he's clearly the best performer when he's a heel.
Backstage, Teddy Long talked to Booker T. Booker was mad that Teddy didn't consult him. Teddy said that Jack Swagger was now the #1 contender to the World Title. Booker said that Del Rio deserved a rematch even though he couldn't wrestle tonight. Booker made a World Title match with Ziggler defending against Del Rio and Swagger. He didn't say when it was, but I assume it's going to be at Extreme Rules.
Analysis: One of them is turning heel. Or Teddy is being booked as an incompetent old guy. Maybe he should make some tag matches? Let me holla at ya playa!
Kaitlyn vs. Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella)
Nikki is the one with the boob job. That's about all I really care about with the Bellas. Kaitlyn took down Nikki with a headlock. Baseball slide dropkick by Kaitlyn on the Bellas outside the ring. The twins distracted her to get the advantage. Nikki applied a submission hold using the ropes, which allowed Brie to cheat. Nikki slammed Kaitlyn's head to the mat. The crowd was dead for this as Nikki got a two count. Kaitlyn finally broke out of a boring submission hold. She hit some forearms followed by a shoulder tackle. Corner clothesline by Kaitlyn. Nikki hit a dropkick to the knee. Kaitlyn hit a Gutbuster. Nikki slipped out of the ring, so Brie went into the ring, tripped up Kaitlyn and Brie covered Kaitlyn to win the match. They got five minutes.
Winner: Nikki Bella
Analysis: 1/2* A five minute divas match on Raw is pretty rare. It wasn't a good match. The crowd didn't care. We've seen that kind of match finish many times. In case you're wondering that was the third champion to lose a non-title match.
Ryback was shown walking backstage for the main event promo segment or whatever you want to call it.
Next week on Raw in London, England it's Undertaker, Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield. That should be a hot show next week. The crowd will be better than this one.
This Friday on Smackdown it's Randy Orton & Sheamus vs. Mark Henry & Big Show.
Main Event Promo
The WWE Champion John Cena made his entrance to a big ovation. There were more cheers than boos as the cameras focused on the kids in the crowd. Of course they did.
Cena yelled "the champ is here." He called out "The Ryback" telling him to come out to the ring right now. Ryback is the top contender for the WWE Title even though he lost at WrestleMania and lost many other PPV matches? I don't understand that logic. But I didn't mind the Ryback promo from earlier in the show.
Cena said that Ryback has destroyed everybody in his path. Just not his PPV opponents (I added that part). Cena said he's not afraid of Ryback. For some reason there was an odd cut to The Shield that was probably not on purpose. Cena tried to listen to crowd chants, but they weren't loud at all. Cena called Ryback's highlight reel of excuses "boring." Cena didn't like all of Ryback's excuses. Cena wondered if Ryback knew who he was dealing with. Cena mentioned Orton, Triple H and Shawn Michaels - he called them friends. He understood what Ryback did last week. He just didn't like how he did it. Cena said that Ryback lacked the space between his ears and the piece between his legs. That was pretty clever.
Cena suggested they do things different from last week. He took off all of his merchandise to show that he was ready for a fight. He wondered if Ryback had what it takes to earn a championship. Ryback walked out of the ring like a coward. That's a heel move.
The Shield's music hit. The announcers acknowledged that earlier moment when The Shield was shown. I guess that's a way to cover the mistake, but perhaps it was intentional. Ryback stood outside the ring as The Shield made their entrance. Cena was alone in the ring.
The Shield attacked Cena in a three on one attack. Ryback watched from outside the ring. Reigns, Rollins & Ambrose took Cena down. It was the same attack we've seen from The Shield many times. They put the boots to Cena. They stared at Ryback. Ryback ended up walking up the ramp alone.
Reigns, Rollins & Ambrose hit the Triple Powerbomb on Cena. Ryback looked on with no emotion on his face. The Shield posed over Cena. Ryback left. That was the end of Raw.
Analysis: Ryback said nothing during the promo. That's for the best. He might need a manager soon, though. As a babyface you can be the silent assassin that doesn't talk much. As a heel it's better if you have somebody talking for you. It works for Lesnar.
The announcers were shocked that Ryback wasn't helping Cena. Didn't they see the promo earlier in the show? He made his intentions clear. He got tired of saving Cena while he claimed that Cena didn't save him nearly as often. It's the heel turn of Ryback. The problem is the fans aren't fully behind Cena, so it's a weird dynamic.
This isn't really dealing with the main event. It's more of an observation that I put on my Facebook page.
This week on Raw, three champions lost non-title matches. Another champion lost a title. Do they think that the only way to build contenders is to make champions lose non-title matches? I don't believe in this booking theory at all. If a champion loses non-title matches more than they win them then they look like a loser. If that person looks like a loser they are not going to be somebody that fans want to pay to see. You don't pay to see losers. You pay to see winners. So if that champion is booked like a loser then you not only hurt the value of the title, but you hurt the person holding the championship. That's why people don't get over.
We saw that on Raw too. Kofi Kingston beating Antonio Cesaro didn't feel like anything "special" you know why? Because we saw Cesaro lose so many non-title matches. I don't know who it is in WWE that believes it's a great idea to have champs lose non-title matches as much as they do, but I'm tired of seeing it.
Am I crazy in thinking this or do I have a point?
Three Stars of the Show
1. Brock Lesnar - Wish he was on more!
2. Dolph Ziggler
3. CM Punk - Honorary star because he's going to be gone for a while.
6 out of 10
Last week: 8
2013 Average: 5.53
2013 High: 8 (April 8)
2013 Low: 3.5 (January 28)
Last 5 Weeks: 8, 6, 5.5, 4, 4
It was an average edition of Raw. Not great, but nothing too bad either. I thought most of the matches were pretty enjoyable when they were given a decent amount of time.
As I mentioned earlier I wasn't a fan of the same roll-up finish being used in non-title times. Come on guys, you can be more creative than that! Also seeing three champions lose non-title matches on the show makes them all look like losers. I realize you have to book finishes like that to build up contenders, but three of them on the same show? That's ridiculous.
The Extreme Rules lineup tentatively looks like this:
John Cena vs. Ryback (WWE Title)
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H (Steel Cage)
Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger (World Title)
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
Team Hell No vs. The Shield
I think Randy Orton vs. Big Show is possible too. Obviously not all of them are confirmed and they have over a month to sort it out since the PPV is on May 19, but those are the big matches to look forward to. It's not a great lineup. Just okay.
I expect a better Raw next week in England. Those are always fun shows with a loud crowd. Looking forward to it.
Lastly, I'll miss CM Punk while he's gone. If anybody deserves a break it's him. The show will suffer without him, though. No question about that.
We'll bring it home with some plugs.
I wrote an exclusive column for LayfieldReport.com about Daniel Bryan that I'm really proud of. Basically I'm giving "The Dazzler" a lot of praise for becoming an all around performer who can do it all. Go "Like" it on Facebook too. I actually wrote a similar one in September. Consider this a follow up to that.
If you missed my Q&A column on Saturday check that out. There were a lot of questions about The Shield as well as a number of people asking for my thoughts on the World Title reign of Dolph Ziggler. Can't we just enjoy it while it's here instead of trying to figure out when he's going to lose it?
Also check out TJRWrestling.com every day for more work from me as well as our talented team of columnists.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org