There were no muppets on RAW this week, but the action in the ring could have fooled even the biggest mark. Straight-ahead matches, with barely any creativity and lackluster promo work made it easy to think puppets performed during the show instead of WWE Superstars.
Even though the show is still light years ahead of TNA, RAW isn’t nearly as polished as it could be.
With two weeks left before Survivor Series, this company has a ton of work ahead of itself to ensure a quality pay per view.
The first hour of the show wasn’t terrible, but the matches were routine and nothing was remotely interesting or unique. The exchange between Alberto Del Rio and CM Punk at the top of the first hour was decent, but could have been better if Del Rio had less time. Once Punk got the mic, things picked up a bit more than they would have otherwise. Shooting on Del Rio’s inability to cut a promo, he got the crowd into the show more than they had been up until that point. While this match is going to be solid, it needs help in the promo department. Luckily, Punk did as much as he could tonight.
Aside from that, Kelly Kelly’s segment failed to captivate and Kevin Nash’s promo was a waste of time. Sad that Nash, who used to be one of the best stick men in professional wrestling, is now simple average. With Triple H still out of action, this angle is a mess.
At this point, the WWE is unable to deliver a RAW that can deliver both a pure wrestling and powerful promo experience.
United States Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison: A decent opening match that suffered from lacks of cohesion. While both of these two have chemistry and are talented, several counters weren’t as fluid as they could have been, especially in a series which saw Morrison go from the inside of the ring to the outside and then back in, before he hit an AJ Style-esque Pele Kick. The pace was also a problem, as after the show came back from a commercial break, the match dragged. However, the amount of near-falls towards the end and the surprise win by Morrison via the rollup made this an intriguing contest.
Mason Ryan vs. JTG: An old school job match, which saw JTG get decimated. A slew of clotheslines and a full nelson slam was all it took for a Ryan victory. At this point, he has the body the company looks for, but is still incredibly green.
WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez vs. WWE Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston: After a small inkling of offense from Kingston, Del Rio worked on Kingston’s arm and then slapped on the cross-arm breaker for a pretty routine win. After the match, Del Rio continued to work on Kingston’s arm before Punk hit the ring and a promo session began.
Jack Swagger vs. Santino Marella: Swagger took it to Marella throughout the entire match and after his eye started twitching [Is this from the chemicals the Muppets threw in his face last week?], the former World Heavyweight champion latched on the ankle lock for the submission victory.
Zack Ryder and John Cena vs. The Miz and R-Truth: An entertaining tag match full of offense from all four competitors that was ruined by a crappy finish. Ryder took his licks here, but had some moments to shine. While he still has a long way to go, Ryder proved tonight that he could perform with the upper tier stars of the company. In the end though, it meant nothing, as Truth held Cena’s legs down to induce a victory for his team.