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411 Instant Analysis 01.28.12: WWE Monday Night Raw

January 28, 2013 | Posted by Ben Watters

Evening everybody and welcome once again to 411mania’s Raw Instant Analysis. As always, I’m Ben Watters and, fighting through a post Royal Rumble hangover, I’m here to deliver some thoughts and views on this Vegas themed Raw. So let’s get to it…

SEGMENT ONE: Punk Opens the Show

Good start to the show here. Made perfect sense for Punk to come out and flip his shit. He did it in a very entertaining way as well and y’know, it made losing the title that he’s held for 434 days seem like a huge deal. Which it is. Nothing much of importance really happened here though – Punk complained of being screwed but I very much doubt that’ll be followed up. We’re riding the Cena/Rock II train all the way to Wrestlemania now, and we’d better like it.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10

SEGMENT TWO: Randy Orton vs Antonio Cesaro (w/ Miz as Special Guest Referee)
Match Result:

We’re still doing the Miz/Cesaro feud, eh? Was kind of hoping last night was the end of it. The feud itself isn’t too bad, but I’m really not a fan of face Miz and some of his promos in the build to the US title match were pretty damn awful. This match though was pretty solid – Orton and Cesaro have some solid chemistry. Although we’ve seen this match quite a few times in the past few weeks. The finish was fairly predictable too – Miz screws Cesaro then stands very tall. Not great but not horribly offensive.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

SEGMENT THREE : The ‘Make Me Laugh’ Challenge

This segment was pretty damn awesome, if you ask me. The Primetime Players were money as usual, Ryback did what Ryback does and, crucially, the whole segment was relatively short and didn’t overstay its welcome. Probably could have been better, but it was still rather enjoyable.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10

SEGMENT FOUR : Bo Dallas vs Wade Barrett
Match Result: Bo Dallas via Hip Toss Powerslam (?)

Well, this won’t go down well with some people. Myself included. Not because Barrett lost, I don’t really care about that, but because of Bo Dallas getting this strong push. I honestly don’t see anything in the guy, he’s very average in the ring and his mic skills are plain as hell. I’m really not sure why WWE are so high on him – I’m ready to be surprised at Bo Dallas, but I really, really don’t think I will be.

Rating: 5.5 out of 10

SEGMENT FIVE: John Cena vs Cody Rhodes
Match Result: John Cena via Attitude Adjustment

Well, this was straight up pointless. I understand that Cena just won the Rumble and should be looking strong, but we didn’t need this ‘Cena exhibition squash match’. Basically consisted of Cena getting all the offence and hitting all his moves. Not interesting in the slightest. Cena’s promo afterwards was another weird one – where he basically said he can’t beat The Rock and CM Punk but in a very rambling and long winded fashion and announced what we all knew – that he’d challenge for the WWE title at Wrestlemania. The only thing that somewhat saved this segment was the Shield attack. I’m glad WWE are continuing to make the Shield look incredibly strong at times – it’s what they need – although they do seem to be doing essentially the same thing every week. I know the random attacks are what they’re all about, but it is practically the same angle every week, especially when assorted faces from the roster run in for the save as well. I’m not annoyed by it, but mixing things up a little would be welcome.

Rating: 5.5 out of 10

SEGMENT SIX: Dance Off – Brodus Clay vs Tensai
Match Result: No Winner Was Announced – Personally I say Tensai via Sick Dancing

To quote Michael Cole – “We’re heading towards the greatest segment in the history of Raw”. Yeah, I doubt that. If it was the Lingerie Pillow Fight, however, then it probably would be. This was just fucking surreal though. Tensai dancing was pretty damn funny, although seeing him in lingerie just made me question what the goddamn hell I was watching. That, and I usually find WWE dance-off segments to be a horrible waste of time. WWE just need to make Tensai some kind of comedy character at this point as well – whenever he’s in these burial segments I actually find him very entertaining. And I’m not laughing at him, I’m laughing with him.

Rating: 4.5 out of 10

SEGMENT SEVEN: Body Slam Challenge – Alberto Del Rio vs Big Show
Match Result: N/A

No match here and I’m glad, because this was an awesome segment. WWE do quite a few extended beatdown angles, and some can be tedious, but this one worked incredibly well. Big Show attacking Ricardo whilst Del Rio was taped to the ropes was very savage – it made Big Show look like a totally remorseless and vicious heel whilst Del Rio didn’t look weak, he just looked helpless and sympathetic. I’m still totally behind the Del Rio face turn – he seems to be getting more over by the day and this feud, in my opinion, is helping it a lot as it’s very good. Last year (or the year before?) we got a garbage Big Show/Del Rio feud and now, with the roles reversed, we’ve got a pretty awesome one.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10

SEGMENT EIGHT: Las Vegas Showgirl Lumberjill Match – Kaitlyn vs Tamina
Match Result: Sports Entertainment Finish

Well, this was what it was. A poor gimmicked Divas match shoehorned into the show. The only entertaining thing about it was the commentary and Cole shooting on it. Oh, and the Divas theme song, which is pretty rad. Yeah, I said it.

Rating: 3.0 out of 10

SEGMENT NINE: Your New WWE Champion – The Rock!

I’m not sure why, but I didn’t really expect the Rock/Punk feud to continue to Elimination Chamber and I didn’t expect a one-on-one rematch at Elimination Chamber either. I’m glad it is though, as I always enjoy Rock/Punk confrontations and this one was no different. I did kind of hope The Rock would introduce a new title belt and I believe there were some rumours of this happening, but that was always a pipe-dream really. Hoping for many more of these Rock/Punk segments in the future as they always deliver.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

SEGMENT TEN: Tables Match – Damien Sandow vs Sheamus
Match Result: Sheamus via White Noise through a table

Hot damn, this was an enjoyable match. Sandow and Sheamus haven’t had too many singles matches in the past, but the ones they have had have usually been pretty damn solid. Add in some tables and baby, you got yourself a stew goin’. Some pretty hard table spots in this one and the White Noise through the table at the end looked absolutely brutal. Good stuff.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

SEGMENT ELEVEN: Karaoke Challenge

Hmmmm. This segment was a waste a time. 3MB didn’t even save it and the crowd shat all over it. I will admit that Khali singing Shawn Michael’s theme was tremendous though – purely for the fact that I have no fucking idea what he was doing out there. The lyrics were on the screen in front of you Khali and the music was pounding out through the arena – why the hell were you about 10 seconds ahead of said lyrics?

Rating: 4.0 out of 10

SEGMENT TWELVE: Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler vs Team Hell No
Match Result: Team Hell No via Chokeslam

I was one of the many of you shocked by Jericho’s Royal Rumble return and I loved it. Very glad he’s back. The return promo here by Jericho was some harmless fun – he came out, said some signature lines and joked around a bit – and then Ziggler came out and looked good as well. I enjoyed the last feud between these guys and I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one. The strange bedfellows match set up by the Raw Roulette was alright as well – didn’t set the world on fire but was short enough to not outstay it’s welcome. Only existed to further the Ziggler/Jericho feud though, which is fair enough.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

SEGMENT TWELVE: Paul Heyman’s Personal Performance Review

This was an interesting segment. First off, Vince and Heyman played their roles really well here – Heyman as the lying weasel and Vince as the scolding boss – although, to me, it all seemed a bit underwhelming. Most of these ‘performance review’ angles (which WWE seem to adore recently) come off as such though. The reveal of Heyman as the mastermind of Maddox and the Shield was also a bit disappointing, in my opinion. It makes perfect sense, of course, and it still leaves the storyline open to Punk having no idea what Heyman was doing, but I was hoping for a bigger and more shocking reveal of why Maddox and the Shield were helping Punk. It could have been bigger than Heyman just paying them off, although I will admit that I loved the ‘hidden camera’ footage of Maddox and Heyman’s meeting. It was actually really dark and made the Shield look pretty damn evil. And then, of course, there was Lesnar’s return. I didn’t expect it (even though I should have, seeing as it’s Road to Wrestlemania time) and did enjoy it. Guess we’re setting up for that HHH/Vince and Lesnar feud for Wrestlemania and, to be honest, I’m disappointed by that. I don’t really want to see Triple H vs Lesnar again – it’s been done already and there can only be one winner of the rematch, and that’s HHH. Hopefully I’m wrong though.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10


Segment of the Night: Body Slam Challenge – Alberto Del Rio vs Big Show

Trash Segment of the Night: Divas Gimmick Whatever

Final Analysis: Not a bad episode of Raw. Again though, it suffered from ‘3 Hour Syndrome’, where there are definitely some good moments but, naturally, they’re countered by some other shit on the show (usually filler material) which drags the overall rating of the show down. As always, there were some sweet highlights on this show – but there was some seriously poor segments to go along with it. I guess that’s also a natural outcome of the Raw Roulette gimmick as well. I love the Raw Roulette gimmick, but it’s naturally going to come up with some filler segments and WWE comedy (which is bad comedy). Could definitely be worse though.

Verdict: 6.8 out of 10

0 – 0.9: Torture
1 – 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
2 – 2.9: Very Bad
3 – 3.9: Bad
4 – 4.9: Poor
5 – 5.9: Not So Good
6 – 6.9: Average
7 – 7.9: Good
8 – 8.9: Very Good
9 – 9.9: Amazing
10: Virtually Perfect




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