As WWE traveled across the pond to Birmingham, England, this week's edition of RAW featured drastic changes to the Survivor Series card ,as well as a handful of meaningless matches that served no purpose.
That aside, the electric environment thankfully saved this show from being a complete disaster, as the crowd made even the most ridiculous segments fun to watch.
Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show. I will also provide a combination of prediction and wishful thinking about what I hope to see in coming weeks.
The Miz quits Team Punk
Interesting opener featuring The Miz and Paul Heyman, in a pre-taped segment.
I'm not exactly sure why The Miz would quit Team Punk, but I would assume it's WWE's way of building suspense as to who might eventually replace him.
It was something out of the ordinary to start the show, and I found it to be a refreshing change of pace.
R-Truth, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara def. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and Prime Time Players
Fun six-man tag team match with R-Truth, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara defeating United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and the Prime Time Players. It was a hot way to kick off the wrestling portion of the show and all the competitors involved delivered.
It furthered the feuds involved, and got Truth back into the U.S. title picture with his pinfall victory over Cesaro.
Vickie Guerrero shows video footage of John Cena with AJ
Mediocre segment involving John Cena and Vickie Guerrero. It was basically what we saw last week, just with more "incriminating" evidence of the alleged AJ-Cena affair.
Obviously, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that Vickie is organizing the entire thing, as Cena's character would never be involved in such activity. However, I do give props to the English audience for making this segment much more enjoyable than it would've been, as their various reactions toward the clips were hilarious.
Cody Rhodes (w/Damien Sandow) def. WWE Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan (w/Kane)
Brief match, with Cody Rhodes defeating WWE Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan. The action was great while it lasted, hence I would've liked to see it last a bit longer.
The crowd absolutely loved Bryan, which is exactly why the WWE should've given him a bit more in-ring time here. This gives Rhodes a nice win over a former World Heavyweight Champion, despite the fact he never received a televised entrance, when he obviously should have.
WWE Tag Team Champion Kane def. Damien Sandow
Decent match with Kane defeating Damien Sandow. Although this bout lasted a bit longer than the previous match, it wasn't much different.
The action felt rushed, but at least it evened the odds between the two teams. This match could've been better saved for another week, but I understand they held both singles' bouts back-to-back in order to kill time.
Brad Maddox explains his actions; Mr. McMahon makes an announcement regarding Survivor Series
Horrendous promo from Brad Maddox. I couldn't care less what he had to say, to be quite honest, and the live crowd seemed to think so as well, given their lack of reaction.
This promo dragged on way too long, and I speak for myself when I say that I don't wish to see Maddox as any type of on-screen character going forward. Mr. McMahon's subsequent promo with Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero was equally as confusing, and really killed the crowd for a good part of the show.
Not only did the delivery of the announcement of the Triple Threat WWE Championship match at Survivor Series fall flat, but it made absolutely no sense. Why bother booking Team Punk vs. Team Foley last week if it was never going to come to fruition?
This mind-boggling booking practice seemed to be a common trend throughout the show.
Sheamus def. The Miz
Good match between Sheamus and The Miz. I enjoyed the action and it received great time, but the crowd wasn't all that into it.
Miz had a nice showing, but the finish was pretty predictable. World Heavyweight Champion Big Show played his role well on commentary, and helped hype his upcoming title defense against Sheamus at the Survivor Series pay-per-view.
Kaitlyn and Layla def. Divas Champion Eve and Aksana
Fine tag team match, with Kaitlyn and Layla defeating Divas Champion Eve and Aksana. The action wasn't bad at all and lasted longer than you'd expect, which was a pleasant surprise.
Kaitlyn scoring the victory for her team was good booking, as it allows her to go back after the Divas title against Eve. On a side note, I'm glad Layla received a (partially) televised entrance, as she's from England and deserved that hometown pop.
Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston def. Alberto Del Rio (non-title)
Smart booking by having Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston go over Alberto Del Rio. We've seen the match numerous times before, but the ending sequence was suspenseful and well done.
To my knowledge, Kingston has never before defeated Del Rio, so this was a shocking victory for him and a great boost for the IC title. Meanwhile, it helped continue the Orton-Del Rio rivalry and build towards their Falls Count Anywhere match on Super SmackDown.
Santino Marella and Zack Ryder def. Primo and Epico (w/Rosa Mendes)
Meaningless tag team match with Santino Marella and Zack Ryder defeating Primo and Epico. The match was fine for what it was, but it could've ultimately been skipped.
I realize it was just used for filler, but I continue to appreciate the effort the WWE is putting into their tag team division by featuring them more. However, Primo and Epico's new entrance music is absolute garbage.
Wade Barrett def. Brodus Clay
Nice match with Wade Barrett defeating Brodus Clay. I'm happy WWE didn't edit out Barrett's massive pop, as he deserved every bit of that homecoming reaction he received.
His match with Clay was nothing more than a glorified squash, but it made Barrett look good in manhandling a giant. I'm also glad to see him involved in the five-on-five tag team match, as he could certainly make for an intriguing factor.
Heath Slater (w/Jinder Mahal) def. Jey Uso (w/Jimmy Uso)
Throwaway match with Heath Slater defeating Jey Uso. Seriously, what was the point of this match?
This was something you'd see on an episode of WWE Superstars, as it wasn't even established why these two were facing off. While it's nice to see an Uso appearance on RAW, the action was flat and the crowd reacted accordingly—by not reacting at all.
It's unfortunate that Drew McIntyre couldn't appear alongside the 3MB here, due to his mother being extremely ill, as he's the only member of the three who's actually from the United Kingdom and would've garnered some sort of a reaction from the crowd.
Ryback and John Cena def. WWE Champion CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler
Solid main-event match with Ryback and John Cena defeating WWE Champion CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler. They all worked well together and developed nice chemistry over the course of the contest.
It told a good story and picked up pace by its conclusion. Did Ryback's domination of both Punk and Ziggler make the latter two look weak?
Possibly, but the focus was rebuilding Ryback and his momentum, so the finish was effective in that aspect.
The post-match stare-down between Cena and Ryback was extremely intriguing and helped establish tension between the two heading into Survivor Series.
Overall, a decent show that had a hot first hour, a boring second hour, and a third hour that regained momentum in its latter half. The action was good as a whole, but most of the matches felt like filler and only dragged in order to kill time.
However, the electric English environment was the real the saving grace of this show for this viewer, as their numerous chants and enthusiasm made the overall viewing experience enjoyable. Sure, they died down by the second hour, but there wasn't much to get excited about at that point in the show, so I don't blame them.
Besides, they made the most of what they were given, and the typical stage set never gets old. What really killed my excitement was the absolute asinine booking when it came to the Survivor Series build, as there were so many replacements, substitutions and changes made to the card that I eventually lost track.
While Survivor Series may end up being a fantastic show, its lack of consistency has seen me lose my anticipation for the event. Also, I did enjoy the fact that England's own Wade Barrett, Layla and even William Regal made appearances on the show, as those small cameos made this episode all the more memorable for this viewer.
Watch my latest WrestleRant video for my full thoughts on the show.
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