Sunday, March 29, 2015

WWE Raw (12/02/13): 10 observations from this week's episode

Because I took part in a taping of the Philly Pheud representing Philly.com, I was unable to watch Raw live Monday night.

WWE Raw (12/02/13): 10 observations from this week's episode

Photo courtesy of WWE.
Photo courtesy of WWE.

Because I took part in a taping of the Philly Pheud representing Philly.com, I was unable to watch Raw live Monday night.

I was able to watch the entire show after the fact thanks to DVR and put together some observations from this week’s episode.

I have 10 in all so without further or do, here’s what I saw coming out of the Dec. 2 edition of Raw:

There is absolutely no heat for the John Cena-Randy Orton match

Maybe it’s because we’ve seen Cena and Orton 10,000 times. Maybe it’s because a title unification match came out of the clear blue sky with no rhyme or reason. Maybe it’s because of how WWE has botched every main event for the last four months. For whatever reason, there is no heat at all for this match. No one really wants to see it. No one seems to care.

WWE held a contract signing between the two to hype the match. Orton and Cena simply wound up brawling, which didn’t add any juice to this match. I think the match will be good and I think it will marginally help the buy rate for Tables, Ladders and Chairs, but no one is really excited to see this match despite WWE doing everything it can to make it seem like it is the biggest match of the last decade.

Not even Triple H guaranteeing there will be one champion can save this match.

CM Punk is finally going against the Authority

After being distanced from the debacle that is the Authority storyline for months, the biggest anti-authority guy, CM Punk, will seemingly go up against the Authority.

The only bad part is that the Authority continues to try to confuse people by saying that they respect CM Punk and that they had nothing to do with him being attacked by The Shield.

WWE is trying to be too cute and too smart for its own good. It’s more worried about outsmarting the audience than booking logical stories. I hope CM Punk’s talent can salvage this and make it worthwhile, but given the WWE’s recent track record, I’m not very optimistic about where this could go.

WWE sure does love handicap matches

WWE announced on Raw that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan would take part in 3-on-1 handicap matches at Tables, Ladders and Chairs. CM Punk will face The Shield and Bryan will face the Wyatt Family.

Why someone would want to see multiple 3-on-1 handicap matches on pay-per-view is beyond me. That’s not going to make people want to spend $55 to see the show.

Not to mention, it’s lazy booking to have two of these matches on the show. They couldn’t think of another way to change one of those matches? It just seems like they’re just throwing matches together for the pay-per-view as if it was an episode of Raw.

WWE may not place as much value on pay-per-views as it used to, but the dollar value for the paying costumer continues to go up. When people are paying their hard-earned money to see your product, you have the responsibility to offer them something worth paying for. WWE is not doing that with these two matches.

WWE teasing Daniel Bryan joining the Wyatt Family

WWE seemingly has no idea what they want to do with Bryan, and it’s a real shame. Just a month or two go the company looked like it wanted to make Bryan its next big main-event star.

Now, he’s seemingly only weeks away from joining the Wyatt Family. WWE seems to be in panic mode with some its booking and this is a prime example of how it just changes courses on the fly with no rhyme or reason.

Another example of this is Bryan being kidnapped last week, only to be in the ring wrestling one of his kidnappers the next. WWE’s reasoning behind Bryan suddenly being free was that he was found in a parking lot.

So the Wyatts just took him for a joy ride and dumped him in a parking lot?

I enjoy the Wyatts and Bryan so I’m looking forward to what could happen between them, but WWE has no idea what direction the company is going from week to the next with its stars. It’s hurting the product.

The Real Americans are the best pure tag team in WWE

I can’t say enough about the job Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger have done since they teamed up. They’re incredible. They operate so well together you wouldn’t be able to tell that they’ve only been on the same team for a couple of months.

They have the matching jackets, they have the cool handshake, they have the double team moves. They simply have it all. They are outstanding.

#BadNewsBarrett makes his debut

Wade Barrett was finally able to unveil the Bad News Barrett gimmick to the Raw audience after doing it for months on the “JBL and Cole Show.”

He delivered some bad news to the people of Oklahoma City and it was pretty funny. I don’t know where WWE is going to go with this and quite frankly, I don’t think WWE does either.

But I’m glad to see Wade Barrett back on television doing something that doesn’t involve him jobbing out for no reason. He’s too talented a performer to be wasted.

Why is Alberto Del Rio still on my television?

Del Rio is the stalest character on WWE television right now. He’s been overexposed and people are in desperate need of a break from him. He’s on almost every show working almost the same match and it has grown old.

He needs to take some time away from television so people could possibly miss him. WWE obviously has no plans for him because he lost clean in the middle of the ring to Sin Cara, who is nothing more than a jobber in a mask.

Del Rio has a lot of talent, especially as a heel, but overexposure has hurt him in the last couple of months.

Ryback and Curtis Axel actually won a match

After weeks and weeks of losing, Ryback and Axel finally won a match. They defeated the Miz and Kofi Kingston in a tag team match. What does this mean for the duo? Probably nothing. WWE will more than likely forget the match even happened.

The Miz and Kofi Kingston story is just plain weird

The Miz returned the favor to Kingston this week by slapping him in the face. That was apparently revenge for Kingston slapping him before.

This came after the two actually worked well together during the match. Once again, I don’t see the logical direction of this program. The Miz looked as if he turned heel a couple of weeks ago, but turned around and danced with Michael Strahan last week.

He then willingly teams with Kingston this week just to slap him in the face.

Mark Henry busted out sexual chocolate

During his match against Fandango, Henry did some sexual chocolate dancing in an attempt to woo Fandango’s dance partner Summer Rae.

Rae did not seem impressed, but it was cool to see Henry bring that back for a little bit.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
About this blog
The Squared Circle is a one-stop shop of pro wrestling news, recaps and observations. You can also enjoy interviews with some of your favorite stars from the world of professional wrestling both nationally and locally. Reach Vaughn at vjohnson@philly.com.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected