WARNING: I’ve got a cob on.
I could have recapped Raw in the usual way this week, but as it was two hours of WWE repeatedly patting themselves on the back for broadcasting 900 Raws over the past 17 years, there wasn’t a great deal to catch up with. Between the flashbacks to Monday nights past and novelty matches, there wasn’t any real time left for much of merit with regard to how things will move forward. Also, the thought of going back through the entire thing again listening to Jerry Lawler inform us that they had produced more shows than a whole host of over top programmes was a task I would rather like to avoid, thankyouverymuch. I’m more of a quality over quantity kinda gal myself, but hey, whatever, congratulations WWE.
Before I get to the good/important bits, a further grumble about the current state of play on Raw. I did warn you I’ve got a cob on! I assumed that once Summerslam was out of the way, the Nexus group would gradually ebb away and a return to singles competition would follow. Not so. When the Nexus invasion first happened it was a stroke of storyline genius. It was a total surprise and the whole Daniel Bryan fall-out almost caused the internet to implode. A few months on though, it’s turned into a bit of a damp squib. Raw is cram-packed full of main eventers. Actually, they have too many main eventers to give each of them an equal amount of time every week. Throw a group of (now) six fairly green guys into the mix who all need airtime and matches, and those two hours disperse before anyone beyond Cena, Orton and Sheamus have had a serious look in. And this is without Triple H peacocking about under the umbrella of heir-in-law.
Edge, for example, has practically taken on the guise of wallflower since his draft to Raw. On Smackdown, he quite comfortably held the position of co-Top Dog with the Undertaker. Now I struggle to remember which bits he was involved in every week. I’m going to hope that his appearance in the American SyFy ads promoting their acquisition of Smackdown is a positive sign that he’s returning to the blue brand. After all, nothing in advertising happens by chance.
With regard to the Nexus, it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff and send all bar Wade Barrett and possibly Justin Gabriel to the mid-card, if not back to FCW, to work on either their character delivery, their wrestling ability or in most cases both. They’ve played their part in a memorable storyline, but really, the fairytale needs to take a little detour for the time being. I feel a little sorry for the guys who were already on the Raw mid-card before Nexus muscled in. People like Zack Ryder and Evan Bourne who, while they’ve both had something of a push this year, should be involved in some singles storylines where the veterans can really put them over. After Night of Champions, where I have a sneaking suspicion that The Game might be back in play, let that be an end to all these multi-man matches and group PPV runs. I want to see some well-planned, professionally promoted, one-on-one feuds as they start on the long road to the next Wrestlemania.
This week’s Raw did, however, have a few moments of interest and excitement. Ironically, they were largely the product of Smackdown superstars. I’ll leave Andrew to the discuss the unification of the Divas Title and the Women’s Title when he gets stuck into the third, all-female series of NXT.
And I’ll set the glorious addition to the SD roster that is Alberto Del Rio aside until I recap this week’s Smackdown.
But the one thing that saved this week’s Raw from being a snooze-fest was CM Punk’s epic promo. A promo for what? Well, just a promo for CM Punk, to be honest. It looks as if the SES spiel might have had its moment. Serena’s been genuinely given her marching orders and Joey Mercury’s torn a pectoral, leaving him on the outside of the ring for a couple of months. It’s not much of a society if there are just two of you, so it may be that Punk will be a one-man-band again fairly soon. If the purpose of his Raw appearance was to remind us of who Punk was before he began babysitting junkies and shaving heads, it was a huge success! On the off-chance that you haven’t seen it, I’ll stick a YouTube video just below.
Yeah, I enjoy a good babyface. ‘Aww, so cute and wholesome’ and all that malarkey. But let’s be honest, villains are so much more tantalising. Somehow, he managed to pull off making himself appear even more awesome than usual. He managed to showcase some of the very best moments from Raw in the past couple of decades while disparaging them at the same time and mentioning that most taboo of storylines past – Katie Vick. He took the loathing for him in the crowd to a new level when he teased and coerced them into believing that The Rock, DX and Stone Cold Steve Austin might march out to shut him up. They didn’t. And he played straight-man to Big Show’s punchlines beautifully. In summary, the perfect heel promo.
Now, watch the video. If you’ve already seen it, watch it again or I’m sending Punk round to tell you you’re not funny and nobody likes you.