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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - Monday Night RAW Review of the "Go Home" Show before WWE Payback
By Mr. Tito
Jun 10, 2013 - 11:08:30 PM
Baby, I like it RAW!!!! Baby I like it RAW!!! Those are the lyrics of the late great Ol' Dirty Bastard. And baby, I didn't like Monday Night RAW this week. Just not sure where the WWE is going with their booking of television shows and hyping Pay Per Views. Having high viewership for television shows and strong buys for Pay Per Views is an important part of the WWE's revenue streams, but oh well. It's just money.
I'm growing tired of the excuse about how hard 3 hours of wrestling is to book. Before the summer of 2012, the WWE was struggling to write a compelling 2 hour show. The fact is that we have an idiot WWE Creative staff no matter the length of time and family members who own the majority of WWE shares overseeing that staff. Despite the WWE having a nice stockpile of talent, which I don't think former VP of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis gets enough credit for, the WWE Creative Team has no idea how to create entertainment that imitates a sporting event. You have World, Intercontinental, United States, and Tag Titles and all you have to do is create contenders to chase the champions. How hard is that?
Especially when you, the WWE, own the entire wrestling libraries of the greatest wrestling promotions of the last 30 years. Just WATCH what worked in the old WWF, NWA/WCW, AWA, ECW, or World Class promotions and use what got over back in the day. Think about it... Many of your viewers were born in 2001 when WCW and ECW promotions died... Like they would have any idea that you were stealing their old ideas. That's why when any of the recent Attitude Era wrestlers appear, nobody cares. WWE didn't realize that they have a whole new generation of wrestling fans.
As I write my introduction paragraphs for this column, the fans are going bonkers for Daniel Bryan with absurdly loud "YES" chants. The guy IS OVER and I'm glad to hear that the WWE is finally realizing it. Took them about a year, as Bryan was starting to get over as World Heavyweight Champion during 2012 despite the AWFUL booking surrounding him. If the WWE truly books Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena as the early indications of the Money in the Bank 2013 are showing, the WWE will be pleasantly surprised with the reaction to that feud and the Pay Per View buyrate improvement over the same 2012 show.
While I was casually watching the 8:00pm show, I was laughing at the outrage of Curtis Axel being swapped in for Fandango to fight for the Intercontinental Title at WWE Payback. My reaction? Who cares? He's replacing Fandango who is overpushed himself, so thus the overpushed Curtis Axel is a fitting replacement. The Intercontinental Title is trash, anyways. WWE has treated that belt and Wade Barrett like neither thing mattered, so I just don't care. They could have Hornswoggle win that title and I just don't care. If the WWE doesn't care about their midcard, I won't either. By having a lousy midcard, it actually saves me time by only watching parts of RAW (i.e. Main Event scene) while doing other things around the house or watching other shows. The LACK of a midcard makes flipping to Monday Night Football that much easier.
Psychology wise, Curtis Axel has "wins" over Triple H and John Cena... So why not give him a worthless midcard title shot?
Kane vs. Dean Ambrose has been booked for WWE Payback. Now that's interesting. Probably end up being a good match because Ambrose is a good in-ring worker and Kane is rejuvenated thanks to his work with Daniel Bryan. I figure that this match will be a pleasant surprise for those buying the show this weekend.
Speaking of WWE Payback, what is with Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow as a pre-show match? Those are 2 decent wrestlers... Why not try to have effective booking and add that to the show as a reasonable match? To my surprise, both wrestlers are Triple H personal favorites and yet they won't make the paid show. That's fascinating to me.
EXCELLENT televised match between Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins. That's how you work a match, folks. As I've repeated throughout the past few years, TALENT is not a problem in the WWE. It's the booking. When you have a Communications major who is only in the business because her dad owns the company as your lead booker, things will go wrong... Thankfully, though, the Shield has actually been booked strong and things are picking up for Daniel Bryan. There could be hope yet...
As I noted in my recent WHAT IF column, the WWE was planning a legitimate Vince McMahon vs. Triple H during the latter half of 2011. The plan was to have Triple H demote Vince McMahon as the figurehead boss of the WWE shows but for Vince to return later to start a family feud. Reportedly, this feud was to carry on and possibly have some kind of implication or showdown for Wrestlemania 28. As my "WHAT IF" column noted, the booking changed and the reactions for Triple H as "Chief Operating Officer" weren't there as expected. Vince vs. Triple H was scrapped... BUT IT'S BACK NOW BABY!!!
Really... It's well known and established by now that Vince McMahon is the CEO/Chairman of the Board for the real life WWE Corporation and Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are the successors. It's written in stone... Just go to any financial website and see it for yourself. Why on earth, here in 2013 after 10 years of Triple H being married to Stephanie, would we even suspend disbelief and buy into a Triple H vs. Vince McMahon feud? It's another example of how clueless the WWE's top executives are as to what the fans want. Like they want to see tired Vince McMahon, turning 68 this year, taking on his son-in-law Triple H, whom fans barely cared when he wrestled Brock Lesnar. Who on earth cares? The McMahon feuds were getting old by 2001 and that was 12 years ago.
Big E. Langston, which the insider dirtsheets called weeks ago, is Kaitlyn's secret admirer. BUT IT WAS A SWERVE!!!!! Just as Big E. was about to kiss her, he slammed her to the mat and AJ Lee comes out to zero reaction. AJ can try all that she wants to be a diabolical character, but the fact remains that the RAW General Manager angle took the winds out of her Daniel Bryan girlfriend sails... And the fake cying by Kaitlyn just adds to the misery. Man, AJ is just throwing around awesome words like "trash" and "trailer park", as if they were never used in wrestling promos before. Actually, a better swerve would have been Big E. actually going through with the secret admire stuff and then turning on Kaitlyn to help AJ Lee win the Divas Title at WWE Payback. Oh well.
Everybody keeps asking me about my thoughts on Bray Wyatt... I don't know... I don't watch NXT, nor do I watch FCW. I used to follow the developmental territories closely, but that was when I was without a family life and work that consumes me. In my mind, if I don't see it on WWE television, it doesn't happen. As far as I know, he's a repackaged Husky Harris who will have to impress me on WWE programming as something legitimately different. I just hope that the WWE doesn't push him or his "family" too hard or too fast. For every successful Shield there's an overpushed Curtis Axel, Fandango, and even his little brother, Bo Rotunda who disappeared. And holy crap, I did not know that Bray Wyatt was another kid of Mike Rotunda. That's awesome. Better yet, his uncle is Barry Windham and Bray Wyatt's real life name is Windham Rotunda. How cool is that?
Damien Sandow vs. R-Truth starting at 10:42pm tonight? What?!? I guess we need to hype Sandow for that FREE match before WWE Payback this weekend. I can just hear viewers clicking their remotes as I type this (and I like both wrestlers). Just peculiar to have wrestlers whom the RAW show hasn't built up for anything just wrestle randomly here at this spot before the main event segment. Then again, this is the same promotion that believes Vince McMahon vs. Triple H "dick measuring contest" will draw in 2013. After the match, Sheamus gets on the mic to hype their FREE WWE Payback. I like Sheamus as a wrestler, but I can't stand his babyface mic work. Just brutal, fella. LoP Columnist Chrisssssssss said he heard boos for Sheamus during his segment. I would have noticed that too, but I carried on with my life.....
Dolph Ziggler is back and he'll defend the WWE Title against Alberto Del Rio at WWE Payback. That should be a good match. I have no problems with the WWE pushing that as a one on one feud for the next few months. Could benefit both. Keep Jack Swagger away!
Backstage, Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, and Triple H are in an "office", which appears to be curtians with posters hanging from it. Vince McMahon said that "you're bigger than a match with Curtis Axel". Ouch. It's a true fact, but you just don't say it... Both guys want apologies from each other, attempting to decide whether the HHH vs. Curtis Axel match is still on, and then arguments over giving family members hugs. After the hugs, Vince and Triple H walk away and we're left with Stephanie smiling to end the segment. Damn she's pretty......
I've always had a soft spot for Lumberjack matches just because of the utter chaos that can occur between heels and faces on the outside. Better yet, some promotions used to have big leather straps to destroy opponents on the outside with a good whipping. Main event starting at 11:04pm was John Cena vs. Ryback in a Lumberjack match. I hear the ambulance sirens and I think Scott Steiner is coming, but it's Ryback. No more "Feed Me More" chants in that theme song, too. What a shame... Ryback won't enter the ring and thus, no main event match for us to enjoy. Just microphone work as a hard sell for the Pay Per View. Decent mic work, as I thought Ryback had one of his better nights on the mic. With time, this heel version of Ryback COULD work. It was just rushed since Wrestlemania 29 after a full year of the WWE pushing Ryback hard as a face. Cena and Ryback did attempt to brawl, but the lumberjacks were there to separate.
LAST WORD: I could keep ripping this show all night long. Too easy with the lack of quality, aside from anything Shield or Daniel Bryan related, to do. I just want the WWE Payback Pay Per View to be over and done with. Then, the WWE can reset storylines and move on. Some real booking changes are needed as well as better evaluation of WWE talents and how they are used. WWE has a bad habit of forcing NOT OVER wrestlers into positions where they'll obviously fail. I'll go a generous B- (B minus) for this week just because I cringed more as a wrestling fan last week and again, stuff involving Daniel Bryan and/or the Shield is what I want to watch as a wrestling fan. That keeps me going...
So just chill til the next episode...
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