|By Michael Souza | February 05, 2013 | Comments|
The February 4th edition of RAW is in the books. This was supposed to be an episode where we got answers, and a clearer picture of what's to come heading towards the Elimination Chamber PPV. What we got, however, was 3 hours bookended by great television, with a huge grey area in the middle.
There were some hits, and some misses. Lets take a closer look, shall we?
Wow, what a start to the show! CM Punk delivered a captivating heel promo that drew major heat. I thought he did a great job conveying exactly how he feels about his current status within WWE, using true emotions that Steve Austin would appreciate. This guy is one of the best in the business, and his epic title reign had to come to an end because a part-time Superstar needed to take the strap and drive up PPV buys for Wrestlemania. Listen, I completely understand the reasoning behind it, but appreciate Punk's frustration. He verbalized that sentiment beautifully and made us believe that he is taking back what he deserves at the Elimination Chamber. Great hook, I'm buying it. It came through terrifically on TV, and was one of his best on-air segments in recent memory.
I wasn't exactly impressed by Miz TV (Heyman was gold, however), and didn't find the introduction of Vickie Guerrero to be necessary. The dialogue between Miz and Heyman was awkward, and never really got to the point… You know, where we were supposed to find out what the deal was with him and The Shield?
Enter, Brock Lesnar to save the segment! I'll be honest… I completely forgot why everyone was even out there once his music hit. They have once again positioned Lesnar to be a powerhouse that cannot be stopped. Whether it is Triple H, or someone else, I am excited for his build to Mania, and I think the WWE is doing a good job so far. Props to Miz for taking that beating, by the way.
But once again, we are left with nothing to latch onto coming out of this bit other than to wonder if Vickie and Heyman get fired. I don't think I am taking too much of a leap here when I say I don't think that will happen. This ended up being a trend which I will get to later…
The Punk vs. Jericho match was outstanding. Without The Rock there, the WWE needed to have a solid main event that would get people to stick around for the 3rd hour. This match certainly delivered. I really enjoyed Punk calling he fans Marks, and mocking Jericho by screaming "ask him!" over and over while he had him in a front face lock. He is so good at the little things. This bout gave us an array of false finishes that ultimately lead to a Punk victory while allowing Jericho to look very strong. I just hope Punk didn't hurt himself at the end of the match.
What followed was Brad Maddox, not John Cena, calling out The Shield. Maddox is fantastic (and different) on the mic, and is being positioned to be an important figure in the months to come. I was glad to hear The Shield speak when they arrived. WWE really needs to start developing their characters a bit more rather than just having them assault people week in and week out. The end of RAW (which ran awfully long, no?) planted the seeds for what could be a match between The Shield and the team of Cena, Ryback, and Shaemus for the Elimination Chamber PPV very nicely.
Also, we saw an exciting return for the World's Strongest Man! I wasn't exactly sure what direction the WWE would take with Mark Henry when he came back, but this was a great start. Even though it was a shame Henry got hurt, the break he took was much needed for his on-air character. He absolutely destroyed Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio and made a believer out of me. The question is, who will step up to stop him?
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