1. There was some good wrestling y’all.
John Cena and Sheamus as a tag team was pretty fun. They are goofy and made for each other and as a team, they worked well together. On the other side, Dolph Ziggler and Big Show were good as well. They wrestled a fun TV match, but the finish left a lot to be desired if you were actually interested in seeing Dolph Ziggler and John Cena wrestle at the PPV.
The four-way between Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Wade Barrett, and Antonio Cesaro was a great look at guys who WWE should be pushing really hard in 2013, especially Barrett and Cesaro. It was my favorite segment on the show and my favorite Raw match in several weeks.
Even the Team Hell No vs. The Prime Time Players was a quality wrestling match.
2. The show felt like it was five hours, not three.
Thankfully, there was fun wrestling because most of the talking segments were extended far too long and we had far too much of Miz talking. He’s supposed to be a babyface. Yet, he’s the world’s worst babyface. Actually, if he was still supposed to be a heel, I’d say it was his most effective run ever. That’s how bad he is as a babyface.
The entire show was based around The Miz setting CM Punk up to take a lie detector test. What was Punk lying about? Oh, that he and Brad Maddox and he and The Shield aren’t in on shenanigans together? It was a pretty clever angle, though it kind of came out of nowhere, but Miz was the wrong guy. Punk did his best to save it but it was the storyline that never, ever ended. And of course, we got no payoff, but you knew that was going to happen.
Vince McMahon and Vickie Guerrero had one of the more odd segments you’ll see. The entire segment was entertaining because both of them are really good at their jobs. Vince was out to help Vickie make a meaningful match for TLC. Vickie made John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler because Ziggler wanted revenge. Vince asked her what the stips were and she suggested a few that he thought were a little safe. His Vince McMahon-ness got her to agree to put Dolph’s Money In The Bank briefcase on the line in a ladder match. Vince was terrific here, but on this show, it just felt like one of the super long segments that stretched on and on.
And while the work was great, the booking was bad. Why wouldn’t Dolph just cash it in now against The Big Show so he wouldn’t lose his opportunity?
3. The Shield is working.
How can you not enjoy The Shield right now> They’re mysterious. They’re interesting. And they’re getting over. While I’m not sure that’s going to continue with the word that CM Punk is now out of the match with Ryback because of a knee injury and the new match is Ryback and Team Hell No vs. The Shield at TLC, but right now, it’s good stuff. I hope it can continue, but Ryback is pinning one of them in the match.
I also wanted to give a shout out to Kane because while I’ve never been a big Kane fan, his team with Daniel Bryan is some of the best work of his late career. Some of the credit has to go to Bryan for giving Kane’s character life, but I’m entertained by their segments and it’s not only because of Bryan.
I love it when WWE puts stars in the tag team division because when they do, they get the belt over and the segments over. And it raises the game of the other tag teams just to be associated with them. When it’s just mid-carders vs. mid-carders, it’s rare that anyone really gets over. So kudos to WWE for making the tag division interesting again.
With Punk out of the show, it’s really going to take some begging by my kids to convince me to get this show. I just wish we could skip to the Royal Rumble.