Live from Biloxi, Mississippi this is the Raw Deal for episode #1062. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

Michael Cole welcomed us to Monday Night Raw and CM Punk's music hit. No video packages. No pyro. No music. It's CM Punk to start the show. It's a nice change of pace from the usual Triple H promo that we've been getting for the last couple of months. Along with Cole, the announce team consists of John Bradshaw Layfield and Jerry Lawler.

CM Punk entered the arena to thunderous ovation like usual. Video recap showed what happened last week when Ryback injured Punk. He talked about how predictable it was last week when he got beat up, but he's okay with that because he knows how the story ends. He said it ends when he gets his hands on Curtis Axel and makes him go to sleep. It'll end when he shows Ryback what happens to bullies. It will also end when he finally gets his hands on Paul Heyman and there's nobody left to save him. Punk encouraged a "Ryback sucks" chant. He said the story could end Sunday at Battleground or right here on Raw. Punk said he wouldn't leave the ring until he got a fight. He ended it by saying he'll put Heyman out of his misery.

Raw GM Brad Maddox entered the arena as Punk wondered why Maddox doesn't get entrance music. Maddox didn't say a whole lot as he told Punk that he had Ryback at Battleground, so he should cool it in the ring. Big E Langston entered the building. He said: "you want aggression. I'm your man." He attacked Punk with a microphone. Langston hit a corner splash and then missed a shoulder attack. Maddox called down a ref so they could have a match.

Analysis: Good opening segment. Like I said above, it's nice to see something different opening the show. Punk gets one of the loudest ovations on the show, so it starts off Raw on the right foot. Langston coming out to challenge Punk like that was a good idea. They could have had Maddox announce him as the challenger, but I think it was better to have Langston just show up because it makes him look tougher.  

I should also note that just like last October, WWE is working with Susan G. Komen's foundation for breast cancer awareness. They released a lot of merchandise in pink that you can find on WWEShop and at WWE live events all month. The middle rope in the ring is also pink just like last year.

(Commercial)

CM Punk vs. Big E Langston

The match started during the break. Langston dominated the action as hit a big splash to the back of Punk. That's a Kamala move! Running body attack by Langston got a two count. Belly to belly by Langston got another two count. Punk hit a roundhouse kick to the head for a two count of his own. Punk wanted the GTS, but Langston was able to get out of it as the announcers mentioned that Langston was too big for it. Langston missed a splash, so Punk made his comeback. Punk with the jumping side kick, neckbreaker, running high knee in the corner, clothesline and then top rope elbow off the top rope. He signaled for the GTS and connected with it for the pinfall victory after six minutes that was shown, but it was longer if you include the break.

Winner: CM Punk

Analysis: ** The winner was obvious. I was impressed by Langston. His offense looks very good and he's mobile for a big guy. He's not just about the muscles. He can take bumps well too. Punk's offense is great and the crowd loves it too. There's nothing wrong with doing a TV match of this length with the purpose of putting over somebody that's in a big match at Battleground on Sunday night.

Later on Raw it's Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton in a "face to face" segment. We'll also see the Rhodes Family later in the show.

(Commercial)

Fandango made his entrance. His shirt was pink as are most of the WWE shirts while the announcers showed they had pink on too. After Kofi Kingston made his entrance they showed a WWE Youtube video focusing on his Trouble in Paradise finisher.

Kofi Kingston vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae)

Fandango hit a clothesline early on to take control of the action. Kingston made a comeback with a DDT. He hit a dropkick, but Fandango sent him into the turnbuckle. Fandango charged at him, Kofi moved and hit Trouble in Paradise to win after three minutes.

Winner: Kofi Kingston

Analysis: * Neither guy has anything going on in terms of a storyline, so it was just a short TV match.

As Kofi was celebrating, Bray Wyatt's entrance started up as Bray entered the arena along with the Wyatt Family. Kingston was still in the ring as Lawler said he didn't have an opportunity to get out of the ring. Wyatt did a promo about how he wondered if his nightmare was ever going to end, but it never did. Now he understand what he must do. "One by one they will all fall down. Follow the buzzards." He laughed.

Analysis: That was it. No attack. Just a promo. This could lead to Wyatt vs. Kingston at Battleground or somewhere else down the road.

(Commercial)

The Battleground Kickoff match is Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow, which has no build.

Brie & Nikki Bella were talking about how Brie was the #1 Contender to the Divas Title. Evil Randy Orton showed up to congratulate Brie on her engagement to Daniel Bryan. He asked when the big day was. She didn't say. Orton suggested they have the wedding sooner rather than later because there's a chance Bryan won't make it down the aisle after Battleground because he won't be able to walk. The now babyface Bellas said nothing.

Analysis: I'm surprised he didn't say "make sure Bryan signs a prenup." Because he would know that's a good idea.

The lovely Renee Young interviewed Paul Heyman, who said that Punk was so obsessed with getting his hands on Heyman. She mentioned that Axel & Ryback were standing nearby as if he had a trap for Punk. Heyman said everything he does is a trap for Punk. He claimed to have a huge night planned on Raw and told Punk to try to find the manhood to make a move.

The Los Matadores debut is up next.

(Commercial)

Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal of 3MB were in the ring for a match. No sign of Drew McIntyre.

Fernando and Diego are the names of Los Matadores. They also had a midget wrestler named El Torito as part of the team. He was dressed like a bull. El Torito means "little bull" as JBL informed us. El Torito did some flips in the ring during the entrance.

Los Matadores vs. Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal

Diego is Primo and Fernando is Primo, in case you're wondering. They have masks on covering their faces (from the nose and above). They yelled "ole" before doing a monkey flip. Good audience participation. JBL said there was something familiar about these guys, so that's a way of telling the audience who they really are without actually saying it. Diego got the hot tag for his team with a flying body attack off the middle rope and then a chop off the middle rope. They did a tag team move that saw both men lift up Slater and then drop him down as if it was a back body drop. It went about four minutes.

Winners: Los Matadores

Analysis: *1/2 They're a babyface team meant to entertain the kids, especially El Torito. I laughed during some of it, but there were parts of it was pretty bad too. I'm optimistic about it, though. Primo & Epico weren't doing much as a team and weren't really over as a team, so at least they have something else to do now. Will the gimmick work? Not sure. I can understand if people hate it already.

Here's the video of Los Matadores just because I'm kind, caring soul.

The Rhodes Family "summit" is up next at the top of hour two. Hour one was pretty weak. I hope it gets better.

(Commercial)

WWE COO Triple H and Stephanie Pantsuit McMahon made their entrance. He asked the Rhodes Family to come out.

Dusty Rhodes, Goldust (in face paint) and Cody Rhodes walked down to the ring together to Dusty's music. They were wearing dress shirts and suit jackets.

Stephanie congratulated Cody on his wedding. The Rhodes boys did not have microphones. Hunter wondered why they had looks of hostility on their faces. Triple H summarized everything that's happened in the last month by going over the storylines involving the Rhodes family. Triple H figured Dusty was bitter because he couldn't make it work when he came to WWE. Hunter called it opportunity number four.

Stephanie said that Dusty trains talent in Orlando at the Performance Center, so he already had an important job. She told Cody and Goldust they wanted to give them a job. The stipulation is they have to beat Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns at Battleground to get their jobs back. I assume it's a non-title match. If they lose, they will never work in WWE again. Not only that, but Dusty will join them on the unemployment line.

Dusty grabbed the microphone from Hunter. He got in Hunter's face, then put his hand in front of Stephanie and she shoved it away. Dusty said he would be in the corner of his sons. She said Dusty was itching for a fight. She told him to be careful what he wished for because he just might it. Hunter and Stephanie left.

The Rhodes family was leaving when all of a sudden the Shield attacked as Roman Reigns hit Goldust with a Spear. Dusty was out of the ring, so he didn't get attacked. The Shield went after Cody. They put the boots to Dusty a bit, but Cody saved him. Triple Powerbomb to Cody. Rollins stomped on Dusty again as they told him to stay down. The Shield posed together to end the segment.

Analysis: I would have liked to hear Dusty speak more or to even hear from Cody because it would have been great to hear him speak up in a situation like this. The attack was obvious, but it worked too. I think it's very likely that Goldust & Cody will win on Sunday. It makes sense, but there could be another twist to the story too.

(Commercial)

Curtis Axel (w/Paul Heyman) vs. R-Truth

This is not for Axel's IC Title, so that should tell you who's going to win. Axel took control early on by draping Truth's neck across the top rope. Heyman smiled at ringside. Truth came back with some clotheslines and a front suplex into a neckbreaker for two. Cole called it "what a move" so Vince McMahon is proud of him for that. Truth whipped Axel into the ropes, he held on and Truth missed a dropkick as a result. CM Punk's music hit to distract Axel and scare Heyman. He never came out. Truth hit Axel with the Little Jimmy finisher and covered for the win after four minutes.

Winner: R-Truth

Post match, Heyman nodded as if to acknowledge the gamesmanship of Punk.

Analysis: * I don't like that finish. At least it wasn't a rollup pin. It was Punk's music that caused Axel to lose rather than the actual physical appearance of Punk. Heyman was the best part of the match with his confident facial expressions early on and then he looked worried after Punk's music hit. Heyman's as good as anybody in terms of going from happy to scared in an instant.

Brie Bella was shown walking with sister Nikki. One thing I learned while watching Total Divas is that Nikki always did a great job of pushing her hair to the side to show off her boobs more. She paid for them. Might as well showcase them.

(Commercial)

Michael Cole and the announcers mentioned that Trish Stratus gave birth to her son Maximus. JBL said with a name like Maximus he better learn how to fight.

There were clips from Total Divas that focused on the relationship between Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella. They came off as a good, normal couple on the show. I know the show's a work, but Brie was more down to Earth than Nikki, who is more outgoing of the girls. I can't believe I've analyzed Total Divas in this column.

Brie Bella (w/Nikki) vs. Alicia Fox

There was a "I didn't ask for this" sign in the front row. That's pretty damn great actually. No cheers for Brie on entrance. They just started working as faces a couple of weeks ago. Fox kicked Brie out of the ring. They showed AJ Lee and her friend Tamina watching the match on a backstage monitor. Back in the ring, Fox slammed Brie's face into the mat. Fox hit a headlock, Brie hit a running clothesline and a couple of dropkicks. Running knee by Brie as the crowd woke up a little bit. Fox hit a kick to the head. Brie came back with a slap to the face and then the X-Factor to win the match in about four minutes.

Winner: Brie Bella

Analysis: Brie's getting a Divas Title match. Alicia is barely on TV. Obviously Brie was going to get the win. It was short, so fine with me. I'd like AJ Lee to keep the Divas Title for a long time and I'm leaning towards picking her although no official pick until the weekend when we post the Battleground preview.

Later in the show it's The Shield vs. The Usos & Dolph Ziggler.

(Commercial)

In the locker room, Axel looked worried while Heyman told him that Punk is out of their league. Ryback showed up to say nobody should be worried about CM Punk. Heyman told Ryback to get something to eat. Heyman: "Isn't he beautiful?" Heyman said ever since Ryback saved his life he has a new outlook on life. "I'm going to go out to the ring and propose to Ryback." That's what Heyman said. End of segment.

Analysis: Odd line by Heyman. That's what he does! Wait, wrong guy. But that line fits too.

Big Show was interviewed by Renee Young backstage. They showed what happened on Smackdown when Show was furious with Triple H to the point where he almost punched him. Hunter mocked him. Back to the interview, Show said it's easy for people to tell him to do the right thing, but it's not easy when it's your neck on the line. He spoke about how he's a good person that's trying to do what's right for his family. Show was furious that he had to knock out Dusty Rhodes, who is a man he idolized. Show said there's only so much he can take. "I can't take it anymore. I'm not going to take it anymore." Then he made this over the top angry face with his eyes bugging out that you can see in the banner for this column. He said he was going to knock Triple H out. He left. The crowd cheered it.

Analysis: That's a good way to go to break because it leaves the viewer wondering if he'll actually do what he says when he sees Triple H later in the show.

(Commercial)

Backstage, R-Truth spoke to Raw GM Brad Maddox. Truth wanted an IC Title shot. Maddox said he'd take it under advisement. Show walked into the office, so Truth bailed. Show wanted Triple H, but Maddox didn't know where he was. He shoved Maddox against the wall and told him to find Triple H.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Zack Ryder

This is one of those non-title matches where you know the champion isn't going to lose. Del Rio defends the World Title against RVD at Battleground in a Hardcore Match. Ryder actually got some offense in with a clothesline over the top rope. Del Rio ended up throwing Ryder into the security wall. Back in the ring, Ryder slammed Del Rio's head into the mat and then hit a dropkick off the middle rope. Ryder hit a forearm in the corner followed by the Broski Boot that should really be his finisher. Del Rio countered the Rough Ryder attempt with a bridging German Suplex for two. Del Rio applied the Cross Armbreaker near the ropes and Ryder tapped out quickly even though he was near the ropes. Way to fight, jobber. It went about four minutes.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Analysis: * A short TV match to put the World Champion over a guy that has no chance of winning. Nobody believed Ryder was going to win a match like this, nor should they think he had a shot. I should add here that I have one really bad fantasy NFL team that's 0-4 (thank you Ray Rice ugh) that I've renamed "Ryder's Wheelchair" because the team is as bad as that Kane/Ryder storyline where Ryder was shoved off the stage in a wheelchair.

Heyman's "proposal" to Ryback is next.

(Commercial)

The announcers summarized the Rhodes family story from earlier in the show. There was a clip of the segment when The Shield attacked the Rhodes family. They showed some women at ringside that have survived breast cancer. Go to Komen.org/WWE to join in the fight against breast cancer.

Paul Heyman entered the ring with Ryback. Heyman did a promo against Punk by saying that he had to put Punk down last week in his hometown of Chicago. Here's another video package of what happened last week when Ryback attacked Punk. We already saw this earlier in the show. Heyman said there was a big, bad beautiful man that chose to save Heyman. Ryback said if there's one thing he hates is a bully. He called Heyman a genius and there's nothing (he means nothing) he wouldn't do for him. Heyman said 2013 is a progressive year, so we shouldn't be shy about our feelings. He spoke about how feels liberated because of Ryback and he wants to feel that way for the rest of his life. Heyman claimed that this needed to be an official commitment "til death to us part." He said: "Ryback, I want to make an honest man out of you." Heyman held Ryback's hand and dropped to one knee. "Ryback, you big, bad beautiful man. Will you become a Paul Heyman guy?" The crowd was chanting "no" during this.

CM Punk's music hit before we could hear Ryback's answer. Lawler said he thought he was watching Ryback Mountain there for a minute. Well played, Jerry. Punk ran in through the crowd. He jumped over the barricade and clutched at his knee. Punk tried to limp his way into the ring, but he collapsed while on the apron. The ringside doctor checked him out. Why wasn't he checking sooner? The guy sits at ringside. They should have had him out there right away to make it look more legit. Heyman walked towards the apron, so Punk hit him with a kendo stick after showing him he was just fine. Punk hit Ryback with the kendo stick. Ryback bailed as Axel showed up to take a beating with the kendo stick as well. Punk nailed Axel with the GTS. Cole said Punk was a third of the way to his goals by putting Axel to sleep.

Analysis: That was one of the most awkward promos I've ever written about, but it was funny in terms of how Heyman phrased everything. The crowd hated it while also laughing at it because it was obviously a parody of a wedding proposal. We never got Ryback's answer, but obviously he's a Heyman Guy now. Punk's attack was well done. He's at a disadvantage in a 3 on 1 setting, so it was smart to have the fake injury and give him the advantage in this rivalry heading into Battleground. That likely means Punk is going to lose at Battleground, which would be his third straight PPV loss. I don't think it's time to end the feud.

Big Show was shown in Triple H's office. They went to break there.

(Commercial)

The Shield was in the ring for their six man tag match. Dolph Ziggler made their entrance and then The Usos entered without doing their yell at the top of the ramp. Another plug for the WWE Youtube channel. They're not mentioning the App much, but they are plugging the Youtube channel a lot.

The Usos & Dolph Ziggler vs. The Shield (Ambrose, Rollins & Reigns)

The Usos worked well together early on as Jey hit a clothesline. Jimmy hit a dropkick that knocked down Ambrose & Rollins. Ziggler gave Reigns a clothesline outside the ring. The Usos hit a dive over the top at the same time to take out Ambrose & Rollins. That's the perfect time for the floor to commercial break.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Rollins had Jimmy isolated in his corner. Jimmy hit a suplex. Reigns tagged in for his team and The Shield was able to control Jimmy in their corner. Cole called it "vintage" because working together for less than a year earns "vintage" status apparently. Reigns hit a back suplex for two. Reigns went for an attack, so Jimmy ducked and Reigns went outside the ring. When Reigns came back in, Jimmy gave him a superkick to knock Reigns down. Rollins tagged in, so Jimmy gave him a back body drop. Rollins tagged in Ambrose and Ziggler got the hot tag. Neckbreaker by Ziggler to Ambrose. Ziggler hit the heart stopping elbow and then caught Rollins with a missile dropkick as Rollins tried to interfere. Fameasser by Ziggler got a two count after a save. Rollins tagged in for his team and hit a jumping kick on one of the Usos. Ziggler hit Rollins with a Zig Zag. Reigns ended up getting the blind tag for his team and he destroyed Ziggler with a Spear leading to a pinfall win for The Shield. The match went 12 minutes.

Winners: The Shield

Analysis: *** Best match on a show that has not been full of great matches. It followed the usual formula of Shield matches as they worked well together rand finished off their opponents in convincing fashion. The idea is that The Shield is such a well oiled machine that the Rhodes family is going to have a tough time beating them on Sunday. This was a good showcase match for The Shield.

Big Show was shown waiting in the office of Triple H.

(Commercial)

Police officers showed up in the room with Big Show. One of the cops called him "Mr. Wight" because that's his real last name. Stephanie McMahon showed up to say that Show doesn't understand his actions. She mentioned that now she's aware that Show has a big mortgage payment that's due soon. She said she would vouch for the Big Show. Stephanie told Show that she spoke to his wife and she told Stephanie that Show hasn't been "measuring up to her expectations." Well it's a short show? I guess. Stephanie left with the cops. Show walked up to a picture of Triple H's DVD on the wall and punched it. There was a hole in the wall after the punch.

Analysis: That segment was too cheesy even for WWE's standards. I did the like the idea of Stephanie making things even more personal by mentioning Show's wife. The stuff with the cops was a little much for me, though. This idea that people in wrestling would get arrested for making threats is silly considering that's what people do in promos.

Rob Van Dam was interviewed by Renee Young backstage. RVD said he'd like to show us how he excels during Hardcore Rules, so they aired the WWE Youtube channel clip of RVD's top ten moments. They actually showed all ten moments. RVD's promo was a whole lot of nothing leading up to him saying his name while pointing with his thumbs.

Analysis: The Del Rio/RVD feud could have used more build on this show. It's a little flat going into Battleground although they're likely going to get a segment on Smackdown as well. I expect Del Rio to retain the World Title at Battleground with Ricardo Rodriguez going heel to help him.

(Commercial)

This Friday on Smackdown it's Big Show vs. The Shield in a 3 on 1 Handicap Match. It's nice to know that Show can wrestle instead of just making angry faces and crying.

Zeb Colter and the Real Americans were in the ring. He did a quick promo where he insulted the crowd, but it didn't amount to much. Before the next match, they showed Antonio Cesaro's Giant Swing on Titus O'Neil on Smackdown.

Antonio Cesaro (w/Jack Swagger & Zeb Colter) vs. Santino (The Great Khali & Hornswoggle)

Cesaro hit a forearm shot and then an uppercut in the corner. Santino hit his arm drag and then chop. He wanted the Cobra, but Cesaro blocked it and hit the Giant Swing on Santino. The crowd applauded the Giant Swing spot. It was definitely over 20 revolutions. Santino stood up and then fell down quickly. When he got back up, he was able to knock down Cesaro and cover him for the win. It went about three minutes.

Winner: Santino

Analysis: The Giant Swing was pretty damn good. Everything else was forgettable. I wish Cesaro had a bigger role in WWE. Imagine where he'd be right now if he was a Paul Heyman Guy instead of Axel. I don't mind Axel. I just think Cesaro is better.

Bryan and Orton face to face is up next.

(Commercial)

There was a reminder that Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow is the Kickoff Match at Battleground.

Face to Face

Jerry Lawler was in the ring for the Face to Face segment. There was a picture on the screen showing photos from Bryan's engagement to Brie Bella. Bryan entered to a big ovation and plenty of "yes" chants like usual. He was rocking a pink "yes" t-shirt just like most people on the show in pink shirts. Even Orton's RKO shirt has pink in it although the main color of the shirt is black.

Lawler told them this was a verbal confrontation only. Orton said after Night of Champions he didn't like that Triple H refused to give Orton the title. Now he's okay with it because he's the Apex Predator again. He's "The Viper" that decimated The Miz in front of his own mother. "This Sunday, Daniel Bryan, I will beat you for the WWE Title." He said he's genetically superior to Bryan while calling him a "goat face troll" among other things.

Bryan said Orton sounds like he practices in front of a mirror. He told Orton that the reason Triple H wanted to bring the "viper" out because maybe he doubts Orton. Bryan said he didn't need anybody else to help him reach his full potential. This Sunday he's going to beat Orton to regain the WWE Championship. That led to "yes" chants. Orton yelled "no" at the crowd. Orton told the crowd to shut up.

Orton decided it to make it personal by wondering what is wrong with Brie Bella that she would settle with the likes of Bryan. One day Brie's going to realize she's not sleeping with a champion like Orton, but instead she's sleeping with a barnyard animal.

Bryan attacked Orton. He gave him a clothesline over the top rope. Orton threw Bryan into the steel steps and the ring post a couple of times. Orton drove Bryan's shoulder into the ring post. Orton picked Bryan up in a suplex position so that Bryan's ribs went crashing into the top of the security wall. Orton went to drop Bryan with a DDT off the apron. Brie Bella ran down to the ringside area. She had her engagement ring on, of course. Orton hit the DDT on Bryan with his head hitting the floor outside the ring. Brie told Randy to stop at ringside. Orton cleared off the announce table. Orton hit Bryan with a RKO on the announce table, which broke. Bryan was out while Orton stood over it. Brie was yelling at Orton to stop it. Officials checked on Bryan while Orton walked away looking proud of his work.

Analysis: I enjoy the work of heel Orton so much. While I didn't mind his babyface character as much as some people (the matches were always good), he's better at delivering promos as a heel. This was basically a normal promo until he made it personal by bringing up Brie. Is it smart for WWE to acknowledge Bryan's real life romance with Brie? I think it's okay. Of course if you acknowledge them then they might one day mention Cena's with Nikki when Cena gets back early next year. I'm not sure if relationships are the best angles for main event feuds, but it does make Bryan a sympathetic type of character. People feel sorry for Bryan because he got his ass kicked in front of his woman. That's an easy emotion to play off of.

The ending of the show makes me wonder because I figured Bryan would get the advantage before Battleground. I figured Orton would win the WWE Title at Battleground, so that would mean Bryan gets the advantage here. That didn't happen. Of course they could always do another segment on Smackdown with Bryan getting the upper hand. I'll likely pick Orton to win the WWE Title because I think that makes sense for the story. If Bryan wins the WWE Title for the third straight PPV they have to keep it on and then who does he feud with? Orton's more aggressive heel turn was likely done so they could book him stronger. It gives him that edge that he didn't have at Night of Champions when he lost to Bryan. That's what that final segment was all about too. Orton is as strong as ever.

----

Three Stars of the Show

1. CM Punk

2. Paul Heyman

3. Randy Orton

 

The Scoreboard

4.5 out of 10

Last week: 6

2013 Average: 5.83

2013 High: 8.5 (August 27)

2013 Low: 3.5 (January 28)

Last 5 Weeks: 6, 7.5, 6, 5.5, 8.5

 

Final Thoughts

This was not a great show, which is why I gave it a 4.5 out of 10 rating. It would have been better at two hours because none of the matches really mattered and you could tell there wasn't a lot of thought put into midcard feuds.

There are really only three matches at Battleground that matter: Orton vs. Bryan, Ryback vs. Punk and Rhodes Family vs. Shield. Everything else is not being treated as a big deal. None of the other matches were even furthered on this show. There was no interaction between Del Rio and RVD while AJ and Brie never faced off at all. Ziggler's in the kickoff match at Battleground against Sandow, who wasn't even on the show.

The Los Matadores debut was definitely memorable. That doesn't mean it was great. It just means I won't ever forget seeing a midget running around dressed in a bull costume. The gimmick feels very 1980s-ish in the sense that you don't see that kind of thing anymore.

My interest in Battleground is pretty low. I don't think this week's Raw did a great job in terms of getting people interested about Sunday's PPV.

---------

That's all I have for this week. Happy birthday to my buddy Steve Melo, who makes all my banners including the one you see at the top of this column. Thanks for your friendship and your great work.

It's the WWE Battleground PPV this weekend, so look for the preview up on the weekend at some point. I will not be able to see it live, so the recap will be on Monday. Also check out TJRSports.com for my NFL picks every Thursday & Friday.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

John Canton - mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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