It seems the Impact-style opening recaps are here to stay on WWE television. I don't like them no matter who does them; they're too soap opera-like and hint too closely at the artifice of the show.
Raw was from Birmingham in England. I'd considered going when I heard a couple of months ago that it would be in my country. We'll see tonight whether I'll regret not attending or happily have saved money.
The opening tag team match of Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara and R-Truth vs. The Prime Time Players and Antonio Cesaro looked like it would be quite ordinary until Cesaro and Titus O'Neil did some interesting manhandling of Mysterio. It was OK, but we've seen the two tag teams face each other such a lot recently, and an Cesaro vs. R-Truth feud isn't especially interesting to me.
Probably to get it out of the way near the beginning of the show, next came the Vicki Guerrero/John Cena/AJ Lee segment. I'm embarrassed that this storyline is happening, embarrassed to be watching it and embarrassed to be the same species as those involved. Only Dolph Ziggler redeemed it slightly right at the end. It's not just moves he can sell; maybe he could even sell this rubbish.
The crowd blew hot or cold throughout the night and there was no constant buzz. Show them Wade Barrett or Daniel Bryan and they'd be very lively—yet for Kane vs. Damien Sandow, not nearly as much. Of course, Kane's never leant himself to chants easily. His name has one syllable, and while "Big Red Machine" has enough, it'd be hard to get it going. This difficulty was shown as they confusedly tried to start a "Yes! Yes! Yes!" chant during the match instead.
Brad "The Lad" Maddox's promo justifying his actions followed next. I'm not sure if it was good or bad, but it was undoubtedly there. A million-dollar contract if he beats Ryback next week could make a big star out of him. More likely it'll be a karmic squash.
Vince McMahon put right what was shaping up to be a terrible wrong and made a WWE Championship match for Survivor Series: CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Ryback. It's an intensely interesting idea for sure, being as none of them could afford to lose—or worse, be the one pinned.
Sheamus defeated The Miz in a far more hard-fought contest than I expected. The Big Show was also quite funny on commentary.
Kofi Kingston defeated Alberto Del Rio with a roll up pin as Del Rio was distracted by Randy Orton's music. I despise this kind of thing. It's so predictable and happens practically every week in one feud or another.
Santino Marella and Zack Ryder (Team Cobro, though I prefer the name Team Cretins) defeated Primo and Epico, who weren't helped by a new and much inferior entrance theme.
Hometown hero Wade Barrett put away Brodus Clay, though not as quickly as I would have liked.
Heath Slater defeated one of The Usos. It's not like he's defeated Randy Orton, but it's good to see him looking slightly credible at least.
The closing tag match did a good job of building suspense for Ryback's eventual tagging in. And Ziggler looked good. That's about it though.
Raw wasn't the absolute disaster of the previous week, but it wasn't spectacular either. Average is the word.