Raw came back to earth last night with one of its predictably "meh" efforts. It is a shame that they become predictable, is it not? When you watch any sport or entertainment avenue for long enough, you see the patterns. The WWE, if they have four to five weeks between PPVs, will excel on the first show and the last show and might have enough momentum carrying over from the first show to produce a second good one in a row. By and large, the two-three Raws in-between will either be bad or bland. That's the formula. You come to expect it. That is less of a complaint and more a statement of the way things are.
Doctor's Orders: The PPV Perspective (Money in the Bank 7/1/13 - Not Exactly a Titillating Show, Was it?)
By The Doc
Jul 2, 2013 - 12:50:43 PM
Tuesday has become my weekly column writing day since Wrestlemania season ended, but I find myself uninspired after an uninspiring show. Rather than make up news like "TNA's top star is going to WWE" based on a promo video, I thought I'd just offer up a few random thoughts and call it a day. On a side note, I think it's hilarious that there's actually a "rumor" surfacing about Sting joining the WWE. I am of the opinion that wrestling newsletters do the same thing that does ESPN and E! News - they need something to fill their spaces so they take something and embellish the you-know-what out of it in order to give their viewers/readers something to chew on. "Sting to WWE" is wrestling's current equivalent to "Aaron Hernandez's tattoos."
Anyhow, onward with the show and other thoughts.
-AJ Lee is one of the most entertaining characters on TV right now. She needed a rival. I had no issue with building AJ's personality last year by having her hang with the guys and interact with top stars, but I have been more than ready to see her do something else besides interact with the boys. My problem, this year, with her was the same issue I have with the McMahons being on TV occupying several segments per week (and why I continue to fast forward through everything involving them): wrestling is about creating stories that lead to in-ring payoffs. That's why Austin-McMahon worked and Michaels-McMahon worked. AJ, prior to finding her way to the women's division to be its new face upon which rivalries can be built with other women, was the same as the McMahons being on TV right now - her presence was not likely heading to any major in-ring conclusion (and I will be convinced of that with the McMahons until proven otherwise after seeing Vince splash himself on TV for the last few years only to do nothing of consequence in the end). Conclusion: I really like AJ Lee. She's a good talker, she's a unique wrestler, and her match with Kaitlyn was so good that I am very intrigued by its next chapter. The next step for the ladies will be finding other women who can contribute and tell stories. The Bellas are horrible and, in my opinion, not what the WWE should be looking for with their non-E! TV show version of the Diva. We've seen their tired act already, but hopefully their boyfriends rub off on them because their new show is likely to put them right in the thick of things.
(As tribute to my buddy, Sir Fruity, I shall add a side note on the Bellas - I do not find those women attractive. The only alluring thing about them is that they're twins. We all love twins. Separate them and they're just two average looking females with a bunch of make-up and reasonably flattering figures)
-Call me crazy, but I really enjoy those big cluster segments like the one that opened up Raw. I feel like the Money in the Bank ladder matches of recent past have been so devoid of personal issues and side stories. MITB has become like the Royal Rumble of the last five or so years where its basically implied that it's awesome to win it, but the WWE does an astoundingly lousy job in reminding people of it in interesting ways. Look at the NFL - we all know that it's great to win the Super Bowl, but the networks do such an amazing job of building up the side dramas that the importance factor once the champion is crowned just soars through the roof. There's not a single season that goes by when it doesn't FEEL like a huge deal to get to and ultimately win the Super Bowl. This is one area where I dislike the emphasis on Wrestlemania because the WWE basically has an emphasis-o-meter that always tips the scales at Mania, but is cut at least in half for every other show. Conclusion: the six participants minus RVD for the All Stars MITB match (silly name that does nothing to enhance the match, by the way) promo battling each other got me more excited to see that match. I did not realize that I missed Christian until last night. He is one of the single most underrated talents in the history of the Wrestlemania era.
Money in the Bank verdict, as of last night: Still ordering...it will take a bad, bad show next week to make me change my mind. They've already got me.
-I have seen some people predicting a Wrestlemania WWE Championship match between CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. That's exactly where my mindset is right now and, for once, a hugely pro-IWC prediction actually looks fairly accurate. There is plenty of reason to think that it will happen, though I do not agree with the predictions that it will close the show. If John Cena is not in the title match, he'll be in the main-event losing to the Undertaker as the Deadman's final bell tolls. What a pair of classics that could be...
-Punk is the best in the business right now, in my opinion. It is no coincidence that his return has sparked my interest to start watching after my hiatus. 50% of my enthusiasm for watching Raw hinges on his being a major part of it. That's rare air for him to be breathing. I can say that only about Flair, Hart, Michaels, and Edge (circa 2005-2007) where my investment in a wrestling product hinged so greatly on one guy.
-Since Raw did a poor job of creating talking points, I'll answer the FAQ from my first Summerslam Series. What are my top 10 BEST Summerslam matches? I will give them here and explain on tomorrow's radio show:
10) Rock vs. Brock ('02)
9) Christian vs. Orton ('11)
8) Rock vs. HHH ('98)
7) Bret vs. Mr. Perfect ('91)
6) Punk vs. Hardy ('09)
5) TLC 1 ('00)
4) Edge vs. Taker ('08)
3) Bret vs. Owen ('94)
2) Bret vs. Bulldog ('92)
1) HBK vs. HHH ('02)
Listen to this week's radio show:
-What impact will Rob Van Dam have on the WWE upon his return?
-Who is the actual "Mr." Money in the Bank?
-My favorite wrestler who never made it to the top.
-The top 10 BEST Summerslam matches (explanations)