WWE returned to the USA Network for Monday Night Raw last night (Oct. 15, 2012) from Nashville, Tennessee, and featured one of the worst shows in the three-hour era.
Because I'm bored, brother.
So bored, obviously, that I'm stealing lines from infamous Hulk Hogan promos in the mid-90s. That's when you really know it's bad and this was just that. There should be a standard disclaimer at this point that the three-hour Raw shows just don't work, wearing down the audience until the end when the fade to black is more of a sweet relief than anything else.
Let's just get straight to reactions, which will be abbreviated this week.
- Maybe it's just me and my nose for business is hit or miss but Ryback seems like the type to elicit the correct crowd reaction but will never turn into a box office draw. Sure, it's fun to chant along when he's doing the "FEED ME MORE" nonsense but is this really a guy you're going to shell out $60 to watch have a match with CM Punk, even if the WWE championship is on the line and even in a Hell in a Cell match? I think not. But I guess we'll find out how the rest of the fan base feels in a couple weeks because that's what we're getting.
- I will say this for Ryback: he's got a certain charisma connection to the live audience. They feed off him while he feeds off them and his working with Punk and Vince McMahon has only served to make him look like a much bigger star than he actually is at present time. That part is fun. I just fear the big match will be a complete dud and not even Punk will be able to drag him to a decent main event.
- Oh good lord, Ryback is main eventing a WWE pay-per-view (PPV) in 2012.
- Here's the space in the weekly column where I talk about how awesome Paul Heyman is because he does all the little things right. Punk mock looking at his wrist like there's a watch on it while talking about how he's got nothing but time and Heyman quickly offering his wrist, which had an actual watch on it, was such a proper heel managerial thing to do. And it just made Punk look like a star player, exactly the point of having Heyman around in the first place.
- Can we do away with all the subtle nods to how the McMahon's really hate Heyman and wish he would just go get killed in this stupid backstage segments? We get it. ECW crashed and burned because Heyman was actually pretty shitty at a couple aspects of the job, like money management, but let's all just realize that he's got a great mind for the business and let him have some input into the creative process to improve this mostly awful product being presented to us week in and week out. You know something's wrong when Heyman himself is actually in the top three of compelling characters on the entire roster on television.
- John Cena putting over Ryback was nice but wasn't it interesting that he told McMahon earlier in the night that he really wanted the match and then did a complete turn later on in saying he just wanted to see Punk get his ass kicked and that's what Ryback would do? Just seemed odd. Again, though, having Cena endorse a guy isn't the worst thing in the world. Unless you're Zack Ryder.
- I like WWE calling an audible on "The Band" and renaming the group "3MB," which presumably stands for "3 Man Band." No matter which way they go, it's awesome because of how laughably bad it is. We're talking heat killing crowd destroyers here, folks. I don't know what they've got against Team CoBro or what the hell their purpose is but I'll laugh at it while it's happening.
- Has there been a more underwhelming run with the Money in the Bank briefcase than what Dolph Ziggler has put together? I get it that the entire point of giving him said briefcase is to give him a push when the time is right and get the belt on him and what not but can he do something -- anything -- memorable before that happens? I'd rather the bookers build a guy by having him win, watch him ascend to the top, and then see him reap the rewards. Otherwise, isn't the ensuing world heavyweight championship reign doomed to failure?
- I feel like WWE is trying to tell us something with these Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett matches. Like it's a primer for what's to come in the next few years and we should get used to it now because these are the stars of tomorrow and we're going to be seeing a lot of matches like this in the future. Naturally, they didn't give anything away with more Big Slow interference that gave the commentators the chance to convince us all that Sheamus vs. Show is actually worth spending real money to see. Monopoly money, maybe.
- It's good to see the Rhodes Scholars going over while Rey Mysterio is dealing with an "illness." I'll leave it to you Cagesiders to speculate on what that "illness" might be.
- Oh, Kofi Kingston. He's probably a fun guy to hang out with during a barbecue when a game of frisbee breaks out but his in-ring work leaves a lot to be desired. He's geared more towards the kids but don't tell Miz that, who is probably still seeing tweety birds buzzing around his head.
- Is it so bad of me that I really want Vince McMahon to be a consistent character on TV? Not to wrestle but just to take over the reigns and do his thing like he always used to? Is that bad?
This show sucked. There's no way to sugarcoat that fact. It was long and boring and failed miserably to keep my attention. There was a crazy Monday Night Football game on that I ended up clicking over to and enjoying immensely only to watch a replay of what I missed from Raw to realize I didn't really miss anything at all.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to give your thoughts and grade on last night's episode of Monday Night Raw.