3/4/14 RAW Review
The March 4th Throw Back RAW is in the books, and we saw the much-anticipated return of the Undertaker. WWE brought us another show that was entertaining throughout, a trend they need to continue as they step closer toward April 7th.
There were some hits, and some misses. Lets take a closer look…
WWE wasted no time revealing The Deadman's return, followed by another phenomenal promo by CM Punk, and run ins from Orton, Big Show, and Shaemus respectively. Punk's words for Taker during the open instantly showed that this program will be very good, and anticipating Taker's response will get us to come back next week, as teased in the final moments of the show.
We all knew Punk would be the one to come out on top in the Main Event, but the match was a success and it was a smart way to gain interest for the 3rd hour of RAW. Each participant (even Big Show) performed very well, with finishers being passed out to end the contest. I expected The Shield to come out and attack Sheamus and Orton, but they stayed in the back. Regardless, the WWE will start to build a match between The Shield and a team of Orton, Sheamus, and a player to be named later. It will be interesting to see who mans that third spot. Maybe we see Show turn back to babyface?
I have been saying it for months… John Cena and The Rock are always better when they are serious and make things personal. Although these two ran on just a little long, and said they would beat each other more times than JBL says "We fight on Friday Night," they made for an electric atmosphere and progressed their storyline even further. The subtle comedy definitely added value to the segment, and the stand off at the end was a nice touch.
Also, the quantity and quality of matches on last night's RAW was strong again. Seven to eight per episode is just the right amount to balance the storyline advancements, promos, and recaps throughout the show. Aside from the stellar Main Event, Ziggler and Miz shined. These two have great chemistry and could make for an entertaining feud down the road, possibly for the WHC if the company ever lets Ziggler cash in. Miz definitely needs to be back in the Main Event scene sooner than later.
As much as I enjoyed the theme of the "Old School" RAW, the use of legends was quite weak. Aside from The New Age Outlaws' impressive and nostalgic match, Hacksaw Jim Duggan got buried by Swagger, while Dusty Rhodes and Sgt. Slaughter essentially came out just to get smashed with a 2x4. The Million Dollar Man, someone who is incredible on the mic, was sent to the sidelines to "observe" a Tag Team match and didn't say a peep. Honky Tonk Man is just brutal, and also served no purpose. Although, that was a nice guitar shot on Heath Slater, BABYYYY!
Ric Flair, one legend who still has something relevant to offer, is a whole different problem. Yes, he is a novelty that likes to have fun and entertain, but his best attribute is being a heel. The Miz does not need Flair, a mouthpiece, or a Figure Four to get over. With the early success of Uncle Zeb helping Jack Swagger, WWE should partner Flair with someone who needs a clear heel distinction to bring a Superstar to the next level, or turn from a babyface. With his throwback style, I think someone like Cody Rhodes would benefit greatly with Flair in his corner.
Lastly, the momentum for the Lesnar/HHH program took two steps backwards last night. It is so difficult to get behind Hunter's long, drawn out stories and attempts to build a rivalry nowadays. This was made evident by the lackluster cheers in Buffalo when he called out Lesnar. This is supposed to be a marquee bout at WM29, but I am not getting a "Big Match" feel after last night. WWE should keep both Brock and Hunter off the mic and make this rivalry as much about their hatred for one another as the conflict between Vince and Heyman, maybe with them accompanying their respective Superstars to the ring at Wrestlemania to add another layer to this rivalry.
- I understand Zack Ryder is upset with his current situation, but was wearing trunks that read "Push Me" really necessary? #Overboard
- Ziggler and Barrett lose again. I'll spare the rant, but can anyone tell me the last time either Superstar has won on television?
- Daniel Bryan is sheer comedy each and every week. I laugh at everything he does.
- Could Ryback vs. Mark Henry be a success at WM29?
- If anyone can get Fandango over, it will be Johnny Curtis. The build is good so far, much like Sandow when he debuted. Instant heat.
- The production team did a fantastic job with the Lesnar/HHH video package. Much more impactful than what HHH had to say in the ring.
- Glad to see The Shield's backstage segments continuing, great for character building with these three.
- The whole "Old School" theme worked very well last night. Brought back fond memories, especially the music.
Overall, I thought RAW was very good for a third straight week in a row, delivering compelling matches and promos from the company's top stars. I have come to grips with the fact that mid-card talent development will have to wait until after April 7th, and am still waiting to see where guys like Chris Jericho fit into the equation for the big dance. I am sure the secondary feuds for Mania will be addressed next week.
That's all for me ladies and gentleman, thanks so much for reading. Please let me know what you think about last night's RAW!
Tweet me your questions and comments at @MikeSouzaJT. Have a great week!
Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.