The show opened with Paul Heyman and CM Punk in the ring disputing the end of last week's main event tag match. Suddenly one of the hundreds of main event tag matches we've had on TV is being disputed. The segment continues with them asking the referee to resign and a joke about the NFL that I don't understand.
As expected, Raw skipper AJ came out, but it didn't ruin things this time because they weren't that good anyway. Actually, that's not true, the joke about the word "assume" that everyone's heard before definitely lowered the standard. Things picked up after that though. If Punk and Heyman end AJ, I'll be delighted.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston couldn't just be a match unfortunately, we had to have minutes of tedium with R-Truth throwing water over Vicki Guerrero first. Surely no one in the world could care, but it did leave no one at ringside—though if that was the main intention, they should just have had the two men come out alone.
The match itself was pretty good, aside from an early dropkick from Kofi clearly not touching Dolph. Ziggler won, as you'd surely hope, but it seemed to set Kofi up as a credible singles competitor again. Jim Ross accidentally referred to it as a main event.
The show's Kane and Daniel Bryan sketches were more off-the-wall than ever. I really wonder how they came up with these. The later When Harry Met Sally one might be the most incredible thing ever—incredible in its truest sense.
The Prime Time Players quickly saw off Santino Marella and Zack Ryder, which is a good move. It's a little bewildering how, but Santino and Ryder are credible singles performers, so having a proper tag team beat them keeps tag teaming as a particular skill and not something any two good performers can do together.
We may not have seen Mick Foley for a while, but we still see him often enough that it's not that special—much the same with Shawn Michaels. When he called out CM Punk, it crossed my mind that they may have got him back to do another Hell in a Cell (silly, I know). The promo between the two was fantastic.
Before Ryback vs. The Miz started, I predicted The Miz would get disqualified or (more likely) counted out. They wouldn't give away a clean result for Ryback's first proper opponent ever on Raw. I was pleased to be surprised. They're finally doing something with Ryback.
Before it started, JR described Sheamus, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga and Ricardo Rodriguez as "unpredictable". Well, he was dead wrong. A shame really, as there were some good exchanges between Del Rio and Mysterio.
The WWE universe voted for Kane and Bryan's team to be called Team Hell No. I get it, but it's rubbish compared to Team Friendship. Why on earth they put such a big decision in the hands of people who think saying "hell" is edgy and cool, I don't know. Couldn't they have just had a vote for what colour Sin Cara wore that night or something? It's good to see Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow forming a tag team. The more teams chasing them, the more the belts mean.
A Divas tag team match was quicker than the entrances, though at least it did more to advance some story than most Divas tag matches in recent history. It's not as successful as efforts to improve the tag team division (not yet, anyway), but it's good that some effort is being put in.
Brodus Clay vs. Tensai is a "What would happen if?" kind of match, albeit one that would be quite low on the list if you were drawing one up. The answer to what would happen turns out to be that The Big Show would come out and bury the both of them.
To close, yet more terrific promo work between CM Punk and John Cena. It gave no answer as to whether they'd definitely have the match at Hell in a Cell—understandably with Cena's injury. But whether they do or not, at least it was a good segment. And it looks like they really will be doing something with Ryback.
It was a really great Raw overall, far more hit than miss. Raw's kept up a great run of quality overall since SummerSlam, after months of my worrying whether it could ever be any good again.