Nice tribute to “Mad Dog” Vachon before Raw kicks off.
After Survivor Series went off the air, Triple H, Kane, John Cena, and Vince McMahon had some strange confrontation which made no sense. Cena and HHH faced off, and then Kane got ticked and threatened to chokeslam The Game, but then Vince came out… Nothing made sense. I watched some video online, it certainly seemed the main event ended earlier than scheduled so this was possibly something to send the crowd home happy.
I think, not only did the main event end early, but Vince could hear the crickets in the crowd during the main event and figured something bizarre like this might be good for the live crowd. It wasn’t, and no one cared.
Tonight on RAW there was big news. So, I doubt anyone cares about Xavier Woods defeating Heath Slater. A shame because the guy is uber-talented, but something isn’t coming off right on television. I doubt anyone cares about the Divas having a second Survivor Series match on RAW. Maybe someone cares about The Miz defeating Kofi Kingston clean once again. I think this could be the start of Kofi getting a new persona.
I want to care about Big E. Langston and Mark Henry devouring Curtis Axel and Ryback in a tag match, but we all know by now Axel’s days in the spotlight are over, and Ryback is a big fat zero now. How fast they rise… and how far they fall.
Here is what we do care about. Titus O’Neal is hysterical on the mic. He owned the Miz TV segment, which also raised eyebrows as to the direction Miz is heading in. He’s got the snarky heel-thing going, yet a friendly embrace with RAW Guest Host Michael Strahan showed he still carries the on-air respectful persona. We certainly care about some incredible matches tonight, starting with The Rhodes Bros and Rey Mysterio in a losing effort against The Shield, who appeared to be a solid team yet again. Reigns got a huge pop from the crowd. The Shield is looking strong again, so perhaps my fears of the trio splitting might be delayed for a while longer.
Daniel Bryan and CM Punk against all three of the Wyatt Family was another display of true amazingness. I just made that word up. The pre-match promo was great, Punk shouting out to some old teams of yesteryear, some modern-day indy teams, and of course to his buddy Colt Cabana. Bryan and Punk are solid, but you already knew that, and the fluid teamwork of Rowan, Harper, and Bray Wyatt make them a unique trio. Question is, why did they “kidnap” Daniel Bryan? Will he become a real goat-face? It seems the war between Punk and the Wyatts will continue but the sudden insertion of The Shield raises more questions, like why did they attack Punk after the Wyatts took off with Bryan?
Dolph Ziggler and Damien Sandow continue their ridiculous feud in bizarre stipulations, this time in a fan-voted Hampton Hardcore Match. The other choices was a Street Fight and a Lumberjack match. Considering the votes were just about equal, clearly no one had any idea what the damn differences are, and neither do I. Sandow got the win this time, in a match Michael Cole compared to the Attitude Era and Pete Gas. I mirror sentiments from JBL, wondering why the hell Cole would bring up Pete Gas.
Onto the main storyline: RAW kicks off with Randy Orton gloating about his successful title defense, until Triple H and Stephanie interrupt. Orton and The Authority get into a heated debate, which is interrupted by John Cena. The current World Champion throws the challenge down to Orton, Title vs. Title, there can be only one. Yes, it is happening at TLC, John Cena vs. Randy Orton, all gold on the line in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. Big news. This is big. They aren’t waiting for WrestleMania 30… Or are they?
It does seem very abrupt so suddenly unify both major championships at the TLC pay-per-view. Then again, the first Undisputed Champion was crowned in a mini-tournament at the 2001 Vengeance event. Oh Chris Jericho, where are you now? Oh, wait… On Youtube. Sigh… back to RAW, Orton continues playing the spoiled paranoid delusional brat, while Triple H now plays the boss who hates everyone. The main event match sees Cena and Big Show defeat Orton and Alberto del Rio, however Big Show is “injured” while Orton attacks Cena after the match is over.
Overall, RAW was decently entertaining. The problem WWE is facing is a lack of interest over the current major storyline. Perhaps PPV buy-rates are dropping, so the title unification at TLC is an attempt to rekindle interest? The live crowd chanted Daniel Bryan’s name nearly the entire night. The crowd was more awake for the Divas elimination match than for the main event. It is not the usual hating on Cena routine, but perhaps a true genuine disinterest by the fanbase in seeing a Cena/Orton feud. Let’s face it, the real “face” of WWE should be either Daniel Bryan or CM Punk. The current position those two are in is not a bad one, but it is not the one fans want to see. Bryan is already a two-time WWE Champion, and then suddenly removed from the title picture. Fans want Bryan back there. They want him WWE Champion again.
As I said, RAW was good, but it could have been better. I am not sure what WWE has in mind. I can tell you now, based on the past two nights of action a Cena vs. Orton feud towards WrestleMania 30 is a terrible idea. As much as WWE thought Rock vs. Cena was a good idea, it really wasn’t. Rock and Cena was a headline for Mania, but in the end it was a failed main event which did not send the live crowd home happy.
The stipulation is both major titles will be hung above the ring. It would not surprise if they pulled a title switch finish, where Cena grabs the WWE belt and Orton grabs the World Heavyweight strap. That puts Cena one step closer to breaking the title reign record of Ric Flair. Think about it people. It could happen.