WWE Raw SuperShow originated from San Diego, California. As always, hit up Kaleb Kelchner's live blog for the run down.
The WWE resumed it's normal methodology last week with a fairly weak show overall. This was after a dynamite program two weeks ago. Despite all of it, the WWE needed to build momentum towards the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view this Sunday. All six Raw Elimination Chamber match participants were in action. In addition, Shawn Michaels was advertised for a special appearance.
Opening Segment. I am not a fan of wrestling debates as a matter of course. That said, the audience helped the segment. Punk and Truth were in good form tonight. Ziggler seemed to have a slight lisp for a moment, but he shook out of it. Miz had a few nice riffs on the other Superstars.
One thing I liked was the flat characterization of each wrestler's gimmick. It felt appropriate as a nice dig at all the Republican Primary debates. Punk and Jericho continued to lay the groundwork for their feud. Jericho was in good form as well. Normally, the debate segments just don't work, but it did tonight. Good stuff.
Kingston vs. Jericho. Jericho has rarely defeated Kingston in one-on-one competition. Both men opened fast which was befitting the crowd before Y2J slowed it down. Jericho showed some nice ring awareness in the match. A few nice spots helped stave off any sort of entropy from the audience. The ending was appropriate as Jericho needed the victory and the thumb in the eye protected Kofi. Could have used a few more minutes, but worth the time. Match of the night. *3/4
SmackDown Plot Hook. Possibly getting rid of Teddy Long? That is an interesting idea honestly and might generate a few more viewers. I like Long's character, but a change might help the staggered Blue Brand hit the next plateau in viewership.
Big Show vs. Orton. The match opened with the usual Big Man match formula with Orton being overpowered in spots. The commercial break during the match felt abrupt, but I guess it had to be stuck in somewhere. Big Show seemed a bit uninterested in the action. Orton got some nice elevation on his drop kick.
Big Show had a bad botch that hurt the flow of the match by selling the RKO before Orton even went down. The match couldn't end "cleanly" given the status of both men, so the ending was appropriate. The match served it's purpose, but it could have been more. Orton carried the match well enough to avoid a complete disaster. *1/4
"DX" segment. Seeing HBK in a ring is always wonderful in any capacity. Michaels was in good "DX" form at the start. Triple H came out to the ring looking fairly serious. The segment continued Triple H dodging Undertaker's demand of a rematch and added some nice depth to Triple H's character when Michaels asked Triple H "who he was."
Triple H turned the intensity factor up to ten and teased a nice heel turn when he talked about why he won't face Undertaker. I've forgotten how good Michaels and Trips' chemistry really were, and the "We are The End of an Era" speech was very well done. The video package from 'Taker was well done as well. Stunning segment overall.
Ryder's Puppy. Admittedly, I really haven't cared for the angle all that much, but Eve kissing Cena in front of Ryder was nicely done, though the "break up" felt artificial. Zack's character is turning into a whipping dog of sorts. Hopefully this builds some interest into his character. Given "Poor Zack" was actually trending on twitter, it seems that way.
Punk vs. Miz. The match started off a bit slow. Punk sold pain in his arm in the first segment of the match. The two exchanged some nice reverses and hit their standard moves. The finish was nicely done. Fun match but the crowd wasn't into it and it didn't have enough time to merit a main event. I blame Kane. *1/4
End Segment. The entire segment had a couple of bright spots provided by the crowd. The start seemed like a public service announcement, which isn't a strong way to end the show. Ryder coming out to the ring was nicely done in the fact if made Ryder relevant. It didn't really tease anything they hadn't before save for a possible heel turn by Ryder. Kane's promo was kind of watered down, but it served it's purpose. I dislike this angle overriding the WWE Championship match during the final push towards Elimination Chamber, but it was adequate to close to show.
Elimination Chamber sell. They worked hard to push the upcoming pay-per-view with the matches and building towards the blow off of Kane vs. Cena. Nicely done tonight in that regard.
Truth vs. Ziggler. The match started off well enough, though it felt like Ziggler held the headlock a bit longer then he needed to. The match was too short to really do what it needed to, but it was nice to see Ziggler's arrogance costing him the victory again. 1/2*
Booking. The booking for this show was unusual. They started tremendously hot and hit a peak with the "Top of the hour" segment with Triple H and Michaels, then they started a massive downward trend with rushed segments and matches. Punk vs. Miz and the Cena, Kane and Ryder segment saved the show from going off the rails.
Tamina vs. Brie Bella. The TNA Knockouts Championship match at Against All Odds lasted seven minutes and was entertaining. This match which was just an enhancement affair for Tamina that lasted a minute. I'll let you do the math and figure out how I felt about it.
"Journey 2" promo. I don't really care for a movie that I won't see that's been out a few weeks. They could have simply run this as advertisement, gave the extra time to other matches and called it good.
Well, glad they cleared that up.
Debates = Ratings! If Romney threatened to punch out Newt, it probably would.
For some reason, Kofi reminds me of a younger Matt Hardy on the mic.
Jericho's coat needs to come with a seizure warning label.
Kofi's push is real? Wait, did Jericho win a match? Logical booking? Am I watching a WWE program?
Ryder's setup could not have been more obvious had it been in a "Friday the 13th" movie.
Why does everyone try to put Big Show in a sleeper hold when it never works?
"You f'ed up! You f'ed up!" I love this crowd.
The fact Michaels has stayed out of in-ring action since his retirement is a testament to his honor.
Damn. That. Was. Good.
I asked the question earlier on twitter "When was the last time Ziggler was actually in a bad match?" Well, I guess that answered the question.
No disrespect to Tamina, but the fact she was used as a jobber through to the last few weeks when she suddenly became "dominant" is a testament to how badly the WWE has mangled the Divas division. At least she didn't fart.
If the WWE experiences a massive second hour loss and wonder's why, I'll spell it out. They had that massively great top of the hour segment and then went to a five-minute promo for a movie that's been out a few weeks. Just saying.
The Cena and Kane segment pretty much killed the crowd before the main event.
"We all hate you! We all hate you!" Bless this crowd.
Ryder would be right at home on the set of the show "Jackass."
Final Grade: B
This was better show then last week's affair, the but the booking was weird. It opened quirky, got hot, climaxed, grew cold and then warmed up towards the end. Strange.
In any case, there really wasn't a "memorable" match, but some fantastic promotion work and nice acting (for wrestlers) helped pace the show. The Divas continue to drag and there is no tag team division to speak of. I'm not a fan of the Kane vs. Cena angle, but the heel-turn tease by both Ryder and Cena was a nicely done spot to add emphasis to Sunday's pay-per-view.