411 Instant Analysis 02.18.13: WWE Monday Night Raw
Welcome everyone to this week’s Monday Night Raw instant analysis! As usual, I’m Ben Watters and I’ll be giving you some inane ramblings on tonight’s post-Elimination Chamber episode of Raw. So, without further delay, let’s get to it and see what WWE can serve us up after a damn good Elimination Chamber PPV.
SEGMENT ONE: John Cena Looks Towards Wrestlemania
Not a bad opening confrontation between CM Punk and John Cena. Punk coming out to interrupt Cena made perfect sense, him being the bitter former champ. It didn’t really set the world on fire though. Not sure about the Punk/Cena match next week though. Whilst those guys always have good matches, it’s going to be difficult as hell to get into a match where Cena will 100% win, unless WWE lose their fucking mind and really decide to swerve us. And you gotta love Cena no-selling that Shield loss last night.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
SEGMENT TWO: Mark Henry vs Sin Cara
Match Result: Mark Henry via World’s Strongest Slam
Always going to be squash match – but Mark Henry destroyed Sin Cara, It was pretty fun to watch as Sin Cara sold like a champ. It was all fun and games until Mark Henry played the cowardly heel against the Great Khali – what the fuck was that all about? After the Chamber last night where Henry absolutely destroyed everyone? Pretty shitty booking. Khali may be a monster face but considering the amount of times that Henry has bested him, he should pose no threat to him.
Rating: 5.0 out of 10
SEGMENT THREE: No Disqualification Match – The Miz vs Antonio Cesaro.
Match Result: The Miz via Figure Four Leg Lock
I’m so glad that we all get the privilege to see this match again. I was tired of this feud going into Elimination Chamber and I knew it was going to continue after that weak finish at the PPV. In fairness, the No Disqualification stipulation really, really helped freshen this match up and it was damn good. Strangely short, but they packed a lot of innovative weapon spots into it. I’m surprised this wasn’t for the US title, but I guess it allowed Miz to get his win to, I imagine, end this feud.
Rating: 7.0 out of 10
SEGMENT FOUR: Alberto Del Rio vs Dolph Ziggler
Match Result: Alberto Del Rio via Cross-Armbreaker
After their stellar match on Main Event it’s clear these guys have pretty superb chemistry so this match was always going to be good. Sadly, it was very similar to Main Event match so it did seem pretty rehashed – although you can never really get tired of seeing Ziggler sell a reverse superplex though. The whole cash-in tease afterwards did not make Ziggler look good though. It made the whole group look like fools and, when combined with how Ziggler almost never gets an upper-hand against any face, makes me wonder what the hell WWE are doing with him. I have no issues with Del Rio looking strong going into Wrestlemania, but the constant weak booking of Ziggler doesn’t really make any sense if they want to build any sort of cash-in intrigue for the World Heavyweight title feud heading to Wrestlemania.
Rating: 7.0 out of 10
SEGMENT FIVE: Let’s All Go and See Dead Man Down
So Barrett hyped a movie trailer that he was literally in for a split second and then Sheamus (not Bo Dallas) came out, plugged Colin Farrell, spectacularly no-sold his anger at the Shield and then got shooed off as we were out of time? No words.
Rating: 1.5 out of 10
SEGMENT SIX: Brodus Clay, Tensai and Naomi vs Primo, Epico and Rosa Mendes
Match Result: Brodus Clay via Splashes
Practically a non-event here. Brodus and Tensai came out, beat Primo and Epico clean again and danced. We’ve all seen this before. Seriously, do something with face Tensai. Something, anything. He’s been entertaining in segments, but Brodus and Tensai coming out every week and doing the same shit isn’t entertaining.
Rating: 3.0 out of 10
SEGMENT SEVEN: Jack Swagger’s State of the Union Address
I think maybe 2 weeks ago I stated I was sick of Swagger as he was stale as fuck. Keyword being stale. In a couple of weeks, Swagger’s character has been revitalized to the point where I was very excited when he won the Elimination Chamber last night. I have high hopes for the Del Rio/Swagger feud and this laid the groundwork for it, so to speak. It wasn’t an incredible promo and the crowd wasn’t really into it, but the whole ‘heel patriot vs Mexican face world champion’ storyline definitely intrigues me and Zeb Coulter plays his character to perfection. Looking forward to the next few weeks and hopefully there’ll be a few improvements in the coming weeks too.
Rating: 6.0 out of 10
SEGMENT EIGHT: Jack Swagger vs Daniel Bryan
Match Result: Jack Swagger via Patriot Lock (No longer the Patriot Act, sadly)
A pretty good match between these two which the crowd sadly weren’t particularly into. I guess there really is a lot of building Swagger up in terms of heat before his title match at Wrestlemania. And I genuinely hope they can as, like I said before, I’m very intrigued by Swagger’s character at the moment – it’s possibly one of the most intriguing characters on Raw at the moment. I also expected some sort of Kane interference to build towards the obvious Kane vs Daniel Bryan match at Wrestlemania, but that didn’t come.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
SEGMENT NINE: Vickie Has an Announcement
I was pretty damn convinced this segment was going to be horribly painful until Brad Maddox was announced as being the Assistant to the Managing Supervisor (whatever the fuck that entails). A Maddox promo can brighten even the darkest segment. The Heyman/Vince interaction was unexpected and I’m looking slightly forward to the trainwreck that is them ‘fighting’ next week. No idea what’s going to happen there. More importantly though, there was limited Vickie mic time – which is always a pleasant development.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
SEGMENT TEN: Chris Jericho, Sheamus & Ryback vs The Shield
Match Result: Dean Ambrose via Seth Rollins’ Flying Knee
Kicking off this match with Lawler getting Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins mixed up. Way to go. Good match though with a great finish. I genuinely thought Jericho was going to pick up the victory having Ambrose in the Walls of Jericho but again the Shield pick up the victory, as they should. Credibility is a word that’s thrown around all too often but the Shield getting all these big clean wins is really adding to their credibility as a stable. They still look as threatening as they did when they first debuted. Only now with the added bonus of putting on entertaining matches every time they step in the ring.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
SEGMENT ELEVEN: Damien Sandow Puts a Beating on Kofi Kingston
Inoffensive is probably the best way I can describe this. Sandow comes out, cuts a fairly funny promo, looks vicious against Kofi and then R-Truth returns to save Kofi. No idea if that’ll be followed up on though. At least it was short. The less said about that celebrity hype for G.I. Joe the better though.
Rating: 4.5 out of 10
SEGMENT TWELVE: Kane vs Randy Orton
Match Result: Randy Orton vs Kane
I just can’t get into this match. Anytime they do it. For me, it’s dull, plodding and lacks any kind of excitement. The crowd weren’t into most of it either, which didn’t help it at all. The Daniel Bryan interference at the end was fairly predictable and he didn’t come out to do much, but I suppose it adds a bit more to the Team Hell No feud so that’s a plus. Please no more Kane/Orton matches though. Please
Rating: 5.5 out of 10
SEGMENT THIRTEEN: The Rock Celebrates Retaining His Title
Holy fucking shit, a new title?! I did not expect that. Now this will probably divide opinions, but I do not like this new belt. I’ve not liked it since the leaked picture of it hit the internet and I don’t like it now. I will say it’s nicer than the spinner belt and a refreshing change, but that’s it. The faceplate is too simple, to the point where it just looks lazy as hell – as if someone’s just slapped a massive WWE logo on the front of a title and said “Yup, looks pretty modern and everyone will love it”. It seems to have come from the man who made the NXT title belt, and I hate that belt as well. And the sideplates being Brahma Bulls? Yeah, not a fan. Although they’ll obviously come off when Cena wins it. It just doesn’t look like a legitimate world title, or at least not in the same way the Winged Eagle title or the WCW Championship or, say, the Undisputed title was. I think I’m glad for the change though, as the spinner belt was ugly as fuck and it’s good to freshen things up, but I’m not a fan. As for the segment itself – screw it, it gets a 7.5 for getting me very excited for a new title belt. Oh, and for the intrigue of Punk being involved in the Cena/Rock feud.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Segment of the Night: Chris Jericho, Sheamus & Ryback vs The Shield
Trash Segment of the Night: Dead Man Down hype
Final Analysis: Up and down episode of Raw again. There were some good parts as usual and there were segments that really, really dragged on. Seems like the formula for 3 hour Raws. There weren’t any spectacular segments, but I’d say there were enough enjoyable parts to this for it to even out as a pretty good show overall. But yeah, no-one’s reading this – everyone’s discussing the new title belt. And I don’t blame you.
Verdict: 6.8 out of 10
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