After Raw’s dramatic developments last week, we saw further plot developments in another good show from the WWE’s flagship programme.
Various matches for Survivor Series were finalized, as the pay-per-view’s go-home episode of Raw was successful in adding greater bulk to the card for this Sunday.
Add to that an impressive crowd and some quality in-ring action including a blockbuster main event, and we were given plenty to discuss in this week’s article.
Though there were other pressing matters that unfortunately didn’t make the cut, here are the five most prominent issues to come from Monday Night Raw.
A couple of weeks ago, this one looked set to be one of the big feuds heading into Survivor Series.
However John Cena’s insertion into a WWE Championship match, as well as Dolph Ziggler’s new role as one of the new team captains quashed any chances of a PPV showdown.
Nonetheless, we saw both men come face to face on Raw as a result of the AJ/Cena affair scandal, thus keeping open the possibility of an extended rivalry between these two.
It seems odd for the WWE to have initially pursued this one, before dropping it fairly unceremoniously only to revisit the idea just a few days later.
Logic would suggest that perhaps Cena and Ziggler could do battle at WWE TLC: Tables Ladders and Chairs next month, and as a result the affair storyline will most likely continue.
Whether that’s a good thing or not remains a widely contested topic, but at least the scandal could yield a great match between Ziggler and Cena in what may be the former’s final test before a rumored main-event push.
Since his slow-burn heel turn, CM Punk has somewhat failed in his attempt to garner genuine and widespread heat from the WWE Universe.
But his quest for such vilification came to an ugly end this week, with him and Paul Heyman distastefully re-enacting Jerry “The King” Lawler’s most unfortunate heart attack.
I appreciate that heels need to be disliked, but was this really the right call to make from Creative? To have CM Punk mock a particularly grave and potentially fatal real-life incident?
As much as I like the guy, I can’t help but feel that the WWE Champion went too far this time.
Regardless of whether Lawler approved the segment, it was still a highly unsavoury moment on Raw and one that took the ideas of the “Reality Era” a little too seriously.
Nonetheless, perhaps in a more cynical judgment, the incident served its purpose in creating heat for CM Punk’s heel persona.
But surely there were other more appropriate methods of achieving this?
Moments before Brad Maddox’s match on Raw, we witnessed Paul Heyman approach the rookie and proceed to apparently discuss some form of dastardly plan.
But what exactly did Heyman say?
At first I thought the plan related to either Maddox’s or Punk’s match that night, but that was not to be the case as neither encounter saw an outside interference.
So perhaps the consequences of this exchange will be made apparent at Survivor Series.
Punk clearly demanded that Heyman put things right regarding the Champion’s upcoming title defence, but how exactly could Brad Maddox be of any help in this one?
While he could simply interfere and help CM Punk retain the belt via disqualification, surely the WWE wouldn’t subject us to such a cheap finish, would they?
Your guess is as good as mine here, but I certainly feel that this discussion could have drastic repercussions for Survivor Series this Sunday.
This one was predicted by many, but the method by which we arrived at this conclusion was arguably less guessable.
The Raw-active poll seemed something of an anti-climax to me, particularly as Miz was against Santino Marella and Zack Ryder in the running for the final spot on the team—hardly the most troubling of competition.
Furthermore, we didn’t see the much-speculated face turn that many were hoping for, and in the end it was a rather mundane way of involving The Miz in the match.
However, this may of course open up the possibility of a face turn, or a more dramatic development from the Awesome One at the PPV itself.
Given that he has featured so prominently on the promotional material, I wouldn’t be surprised to see The Miz shine at Survivor Series this weekend in some way or another.
By far the most positive aspect of Raw this week was the return of Jerry “The King” Lawler after his aforementioned heart attack.
To see Lawler back to full health was great, and he clearly hasn’t missed a beat as he was on good form at the commentary table once reunited with his partner Michael Cole.
Another issue to emanate from this one, though, is the role of J.R.
Will he simply be removed from television and continue to operate in the role he had before this terrible turn of events?
One would have to hope not, as he has arguably proved in recent weeks that he is still the best in the business at the announcer’s table.
And besides, he received one of the biggest pops of the night when he emerged before the show last week on Raw, so surely the WWE will want to capitalize on that?
I’m not usually a fan of three-man commentary teams, but if it facilitates the return of The King and the retention of J.R., then in this case I would certainly be all for it.
Though there were positives and negatives to take from the show, on the whole I find myself perfectly satisfied with Monday Night Raw this week.
Sure, the build for Survivor Series has been fairly minimal, but I feel the WWE have done well to create a buzz ahead of the event in the extremely limited time span that they had.
And with the potential for more matches to be announced on SmackDown (a rematch of Raw’s eight-man tag match being a standout candidate), I would rather look forward to one of the WWE’s biggest PPVs that criticise its prior build.
Please feel free to express your own feelings on Raw below, as well as your opinions heading into Survivor Series and of the issues discussed in the article.