So, HBK opens things up and it’s pretty clear to me that they are sowing any number of seeds here, for a few different finishes. Shawn could be favorable to his protege. Or, he could just try and screw Orton. Or, somehow do Triple H’s bidding. Where it lands, no one knows. I am most curious about the 3rd option…because if he said he dislikes how the last couple PPV title matches have gone, they are doing a good job of keeping Shawn and Paul away from each other on TV. Best friend or not, how good could that segment be? “Hey, Paul, how come you are on a power trip bigger than your nose?” Not that it will happen. Unless somehow, we are seeing WWE work up to a one-time-only kind of HBK return match, either between Helmsley or Orton. Or even the less-likely-to-me option of teacher versus student. I am sure Michaels can still go…I just kind of hope that’s not in the cards. However, with Vince looking for star power for New Orleans….stay tuned.
Miz and Orton have a match to get the actual wrestling portion of the show started. It had it’s moments, Orton predictably gets the W, and now Miz is the target for the Wyatts. A nice meaningful program for Mike would be nice. Could be fun. Let’s see if he can turn it on again.
Speaking of that wonderful power couple, I know they are heels, and I certainly hated them in their segments tonight, but I don’t feel like it was as much heel heat as it was I am just getting tired of it. It feels like it’s plodding along. It needs someone else inserted into the mix, someone who can serve as a power player in an executive role to rival Stephanie and HHH. At this point, I think the foregone conclusion is Vince, unless they’ve got something else up their sleeve. I am just waiting for a top of the hour segment during which the Billion Dollar Princess goes on a whiny rant, only to hear Vince’s music. Would be welcomed. If it’s Shane’s? I think I would mark out. But, feelings aside, they stood there straight-faced and said they were going to press charges on the Big Show for trespassing and assault. Oh, the disconnects, let me just point some out. For one, he was “fired” but never shown leaving the building. In so many similar scenarios (fired, escorted out, forced to leave), if we don’t see them leave, they haven’t left. So, most of us knew Show was still there. Second, you played his damn ring music. “Hi, Mr. Wight, you don’t work here anymore, but as you head out to the ring, shall we play your music?”. I doubt it. And, of course, this little item that anyone over a young age knows-it’s pretty damn hard to get backstage access in arenas. So…you are only there if you are supposed to be there. Finally, if Stephanie wants to claim assault charges for Big Show on Hunter, wouldn’t the next move be for Show to counter sue her for her own assault (when she slapped Show), and perhaps alleging a hostile work environment? Boring, perhaps, but there’s just so much mess here, it gets kind of frustrating.
And then, of course, we have Alberto coming down to attack Daniel Bryan, who had interrupted the power couple. And my first thought? “So that’s how WWE gets Cena tied into the Power Trip angle, without having him bump Bryan out of the WWE title picture”. Now, we don’t know that that’s true (yet), but it wouldn’t surprise me. If they had put the Bryan/Del Rio matchup last, I was thinking they’d have brought Cena out tonight.
A quick thought? Los Matadores. I am digging this incarnation of Primo and Epico, and even the Bull is growing on me. I do believe that, if given some room to be creative, they could have some very enjoyable matches with The Real Americans.
And another…bet Xavier Woods is happy, getting a few name-drops on the flagship program. Not bad for the former Consequences Creed. Makes you wonder if that will lead to something else.
Ryback goes over R-Truth in the first match of tonight’s beat the clock challenge, with the winner of the challenge setting the HIAC stipulation. As could be expected, it was a really short match, but Punk finishes off Axel in less time, so it’s Punks call…and it’s a handicap match, in the cell, but not Axel and Ryback…it’s Heyman and Ryback. If Punk doesn’t finally get the decisive win here, then they have to end it with some manner of 4 on 4 Surivior Series match up.
Orton disrupts the Bryan/ADR match, setting up the attack in the training room. Something felt off for me on this sequence, as you saw Orton go in, and Bryan finally manages to escape and the Bellas don’t look to be in anywhere near the distress they were when Randy closed the door. I get it. Randy snuck out, suckered Daniel in, and enjoyed the benefits….just that someone’s delivery felt off here. Overall, I’ve liked this feud for the most part. Kinda hard to not enjoy a reason to see more Bellas, too.
And, last but not least….the main event for the tag titles. Cody and Dustin take on The Shield, and it was a very enjoyable match. Violent, wild, passion-filled action. Dustin may have been barely used over the past few years, but he looks like he’s in great shape and these four are just working so well together. Making it a no DQ meant we knew that Rollins would have a hand in the match….and I am sure many assumed there would be someone stepping in on the Rhodes’ behalf. And, there was. Someone. Big. This time, no music, making it appear like, perhaps he had bought a ticket and was just coming down to the ring, but there was Big Show, eying The Shield, thinking revenge. And revenge was had, as he made use of his Knock Out punch, which allowed the belts to change hands.
Comparing this RAW to last weeks is hard. I thought last week’s RAW was very strong, top to bottom, where this edition felt like it was just lagging. It had it’s moments-really enjoyable ending, and it’s never a bad thing to have HBK on television with a mic in his hands. Next week is going to be big as they finish the build-up for Hell In A Cell.