WWE Raw Supershow tonight (Sept. 19, 2011) emanated from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. It was the first show since the events of Night of Champions so we were supposed to get a lot of answers. And we did. Kind of.
Before we get to the reactions to the show, it's time to give a shout out to the Cageside commenter who delivered the "Comment of the Night" in the Raw live blog thread. And that honor goes to Kyle Rancourt, who dropped this gem while Miz was rapping along with R-Truth -- "Miz rapping is a good idea in opposite land." Well done, Kyle.
If you want full results from Raw tonight, click here for the running blog. Time to get to reactions from the show:
- I'm torn on the main storyline to the show. On the one hand, it's easy to harp on how convoluted it's becoming and how it's hard to keep up with everything that is happening. But at the same time, haven't we been sort of asking for as much? Remember the Attitude Era? Some of those storylines were insanely deep and ran 10 times longer than this with more twists and turns than this story has even come close to. I'm going to try to stop bitching about the storyline moving so quickly from one thing to the next.
- That said, it's obvious where they're going with this. Well, maybe not obvious, but the clear explanation for everything that happened tonight is there will be an uprising of fired wrestlers against Triple H and his reign as COO. CM Punk made it clear that he recognizes "The Game" is not actually a part of the conspiracy, just an unwitting pawn, same as Punk himself. The other side is obviously led by Johnny Laurinaitis, who has opposed Triple H at every turn but maintains to his face that he is still a loyal employee. He even told Triple H to ignore Punk and tried to fire him, which was overruled by Trips.
- Miz and R-Truth are now major players in the main event storyline, which is both good and bad. Good because they're talented and can add a couple fresh faces to this thing but bad because they're not workers that can be depended on for a potential five-star match. Triple H firing them and kicking them out of the building means nothing, as no WWE firing actually does, other than allowing them to side with Kevin Nash and, eventually, Laurinaitis to build an entire faction to go against Triple H. A new nWo invasion style angle, if you will. Just please, for god's sake, don't call them the nWo. The entire angle will die right then and there. They've teased the return of the nWo in recent months, though, with Nash leading the charge an even did a kayfabe article on the WWE website speculating on possible members. Guess whose names were on that list? Bingo.
- Punk wasn't buried last night and he wasn't buried tonight. His teaming with John Cena was disappointing, simply because I'm not a big fan of the "team them up before their pay-per-view match against each other" style of booking but I loved it that Cena got beat down the entire match, while Punk was allowed to take the hot tag and get the big finish with Cena on the outside selling. I guess that was the receipt for jobbing to Triple H last night.
- On that note, Punk limping to sell the brawl last night was exactly how it should be. Triple H coming out and saying he's just as hurt but showing absolutely zero signs to reflect as much and not selling like he's injured at all is why we fans constantly worry that he'll bury everyone he comes into contact with. It's little things like that.
- At one point backstage, Alberto Del Rio made an off-hand remark that because he didn't like the fact that Triple H booked his title rematch against Cena in the Hell in a Cell and added Punk to it that he "prays for the day Vince McMahon comes back to run this company." That's all the foreshadowing we need. Old Vinny Mac just might be the guy behind Johnny Ace leading the charge with Nash, Truth and Miz. I dig the way that sounds but not WWE's ability to make it happen.
- Which reminds me -- I realized tonight that my ceaseless complaining about Triple H being booked like a babyface against Punk was silly. Knowing what we know now, that was always how it should have been and it was always the plan. He has to be the babyface to go against the returning heel faction led by Vince. This was always how it was going to be, or at least it seems that way. Is there still ego involved? Hell yes there is, but at least it fits within the storyline.
After the jump are thoughts from the rest of the show, which wasn't particularly strong.
- Mark Henry was, once again, phenomenal in his segment. He cut yet another amazing promo and is gimmick of going after everyone that ever doubted him, which is to say, everybody, is already over huge. Going after Jim Ross accomplished two things: 1) it got him even more over as a mega-heel and 2) Vince got to punish Ross some more. Anyway, Henry was great and I can't remember the last time a guy made me want to actually make a point to watch Smackdown. Henry pulled it off.
- It was a pleasant surprise that Orton wasn't at the show tonight. Made Henry look better by extension.
- Alberto Del Rio being booked to look strong and absolutely squashing somebody was the exact right move to make after the way he lost the title last night. That said, I didn't think it should be John Morrison, but whatever, he's a mid-card jobber and he served his purpose. Of course, matches like this will do nothing for ADR and how we view him if they never actually let him look like this against a main event level talent.
- I sure did like seeing Sin Cara on Raw and I really like the idea of the Sin Cara Mistico vs. Sin Cara Hunico storyline but there's just one problem with how they're doing it. They haven't clearly established just who the hell is who. This causes a great deal of confusion with the live crowd, who won't know who to cheer for, and kills all the heat the character has been building. That's a quick fix, though, and I'm looking forward to seeing more.
- Hugh Jackman, the guest star for the night so he could promote his "Real Steel" movie, was entirely too excited and enthusiastic to be there. He was overdoing it big time but he was obviously having the time of his life and it was refreshing to him someone marking out so hardcore right there on TV. They even gave him a nice spot with Zack Ryder and figured out a perfect way to intertwine the two for a nice way to get Ryder a win over Dolph Ziggler. Now let's see if WWE actually does what they didn't before and takes note of the reaction Ryder was getting and keeps him on TV. And not as a comedy jobber.
- That reminds me, I miss Santino Marella.
- Time to dissolve the "Diva's of Doom" since that's not really what they are if they can't beat Kelly Kelly and Eve, who have been booked to look like the weakest leading ladies in history. Kelly in particular is the weakest champion I've ever seen and her level of talent, which is still hovering in the negatives, is enough to actually piss me off while watching the show. It's like they're punishing Beth Phoenix for being Punk's girlfriend. Hey, wait a minute...
- Jack Swagger is now an official client of Vickie Guerrero and they're still building to the match no one wants to see, Swagger vs. Ziggler for the U.S. title. Ziggler is a great worker but Swagger is a heat killer and I don't like where this is going.
- They booked an entire eight-man tag match, that included the tag team champions, for the sole purpose of getting Sheamus over as a monster babyface. The only way I'm okay with this is if Henry keeps the title and they build it slow enough to get back to the solid feud these two had going before Henry moved on to winning the title from Orton.
Didn't think this was the best show but there's some nice potential with where everything is headed. But that's enough from me; now it's your turn to sound off in the comments with all your thoughts from tonight's show.
What you did like, what you didn't like -- everything. Don't hold back, Cagesiders. I never do.