Welcome the inaugural edition of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly here on Cageside Seats. The plan is to run one of these columns after every Monday Night Raw, live TNA Impacts and pay-per-view events. The gimmick has been done to death but for anyone not familiar with how this works I will essentially write about what I think was right, wrong and totally unnecessary with regards to the show being recapped. Simple, right?
As always there are bound to be those of you out there that totally disagree with what I like, dislike, etc. so make your voices heard down in the comments. On to the show!
- Dissension Amongst the Ranks of Team WWE - The lively "discussion" between R-Truth and Edge to start to show perfectly illustrated the complex dynamic of John Cena's super team. Two weeks ago a lot of people groaned that Cena's team was comprised individuals who had no real direction heading to SummerSlam. The multiple conflicts between faces and heels, heels and heels and faces and faces has kept this angle pretty fresh and has generated significant buzz for the seven on seven Survivor Series match at SummerSlam.
Edge vs. Wade Barrett - This was not a bad television match despite the lack of a finish. Barrett was able to display some offense and prove that he can hang with the nine time World Champion. Edge hit his spots and looked destined to win before Barrett called in the reinforcements. Despite telling the world in his opening promo that he did not want anyone interfering in his business against Barrett, Edge was irate at the lack of support from John Cena and co. and promptly quit the team. Nexus continues to be booked as a dangerous wolf pack while Team WWE is in shambles.
The Romancing of Great Khali - This might be my favorite sub-plot for Team WWE heading towards SummerSlam. Nexus allowed Great Khali to leave the ring unscathed last week and again tried to gain his good graces/plant the seed of doubt this week. While the days of Khali being booked as a legitimate threat are long gone it is still refreshing to see that the superstars of the WWE are in awe of him. We all know that Cena or Hunter the Destroyer will be the one to tear through Nexus but, in theory, Khali has the ability to take them out.
- Continuity! - One of the major knocks on the WWE product is the fact that they like to ignore the past. So I was more than happy to see Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler breaking down clips of a match between Sheamus and Goldust from ECW a year ago before the current day encounter between the two grapplers. Sheamus has come a long way since then, going from a rather bland character to one of the top heels in the company. Chalk it up to the Triple H effect, I suppose.
- Even More Continuity! - Sheamus bragged about ending the career of Triple H in his post match promo earlier in the night. Randy Orton jogged our collective memories by letting us know that he once sent Trips on an extended vacation thanks to a swift kick to the head. I miss Randy and his punting antics.
- Miz vs. Randy Orton - This match succeeded in keeping both WWE Title contenders looking very strong. The ascension of the Miz is really amazing as he has gone from the Marty Jannetty to John Morrison's Shawn Michaels to a top level superstar in a relatively short amount of time. While I have a funny feeling he will be the first superstar to fail to win the title after cashing in the Money In the Bank briefcase, I do think he is being groomed for great things in the near future.
- Alicia Fox on the Mic - I understand the reason why she was gabbing away after pulling out the victory for her team was to reintroduce Melina to the WWE Universe, a return that I have been eagerly anticipating (especially if it means a John Morrison/Melina vs. Ted DiBiase/Maryse down the line), but Alicia needs a lot of work on the stick. Her little rant felt very forced and not organic at all.
- Chris Jericho vs. John Cena - It is not that I think that this match was terrible but these two have worked each other so much over the course of the years that it felt like they were going through the motions. Obviously they weren't going to break out any crazy spots as this was only a free television match but I felt like I've seen this match a hundred times before.
- Ted DiBiase - A few months ago I thought Ted was going to be the more successful half of Legacy but "Dashing" Cody Rhodes has hit his stride while DiBiase is in limbo. John Morrison's involvement with Team Cena at SummerSlam has put their program on hold so hopefully we have something to look forward to for the Night of Champions pay-per-view. DiBiase certainly needs more than Maryse by his side to get him over with the WWE Universe.
- Natalya's Butterfly Suplex - I was fully expecting to slot the entire six Diva tag match in here but it was surprisingly watchable. This sequence really bothered me, though. I know that the WWE takes great pride in their production and almost always seems to have the right camera angles. Natalya's bridging butterfly suplex was a noticeable gaffe as Alicia Fox's shoulders were clearly not pinned to canvas. It may be a small detail but it sure was ugly, especially considering this show was taped last week.
- The Dude in the Front Row Dressed Like Hollywood Hogan - Nothing worse than going to a wrestling show and trying to get yourself over. That goes for you too, ROH, TNA and PWG crowds.
- Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg and the Bellas - Filler of the worst kind. Wahlberg's lines were pretty funny, though.
Overall, not a bad show especially considering it was taped a week ago. The spoilers did not do this episode justice.