The Evolution of the Viper
Ric Flair kicked off this week's show and uncharacteristically stuttered and stammered his way through a promo before being interrupted by WWE World Heavyweight champion Randy Orton.
Raise your hand if you thought Orton would out-perform Flair on the mic.
John Cena's arrival and his sticking up for Flair, whom Orton referred to as "overrated," was solid and helped portray Cena as someone who cares about the history of professional wrestling. It did little to hype the upcoming title match between he and Orton, but there is still plenty of time to add a new element to that bout outside of the "hey, its a rematch" booking approach they have taken so far.
I wanted this to end up later in the article, I really did.
I wanted the followup to the intriguing "Bryan joins the Wyatt Family" segment that ended last week's broadcast to be awesome, but instead, I'm forced to settle simply for good.
Bryan made his way to the ring with the Wyatt Family and wrestled in the evening's first match, a six-man tag team bout against Rey Mysterio and the Usos. There was nothing inherently wrong with the match. In fact, it was a nice, action-packed way to kick of the evening's festivities.
The story surrounding the finish, of Bryan and Harper disagreeing on a tag, setting up Harper to be rolled up and pinned by one of the Usos, was interesting, and the backstage segment that followed did a little to explain why Bryan joined the group.
You see, he wants to be a monster. Or something like that. And he wants to share his expertise with the Wyatt Family. Maybe.
Anyway, a match between the Usos and Bryan and Bray Wyatt was set up for next week's show where, hopefully, the creative team can focus more on the angle and less on where to fit Nikolai Volkoff on the show.
Laying the foundation for Langston vs. Ryback
As a main event heel, Ryback failed miserably because he simply is not good enough to work at the top of the card against guys like John Cena, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. His in-ring limitations rear their ugly heads, and he looks incredibly out of place against workers of their quality.
But as a midcard heel, Ryback has great potential to make an impact in World Wrestling Entertainment. As we saw this week, he appears poised to be the next challenger to Big E Langston's Intercontinental title.
That match could be a very interesting and entertaining clash between jacked Superstars, and with Ryback's involvement, it could restore some legitimacy to the Intercontinental championship.
Which is always a good thing.
Rikishi and Too Cool vs. 3MB
OK, so the match was nothing special, but for a fan who grew up watching Scotty Too Hotty, Grandmaster Sexay and Rikishi have some extraordinary tag team and six-man tag team bouts in 2000, seeing them return to Raw to face the modern-day Job Squad known as 3MB was not only nostalgic but also entertaining.
Scotty, in particular, brought a ton of energy to his performance, something that always made him one of the better midcard acts throughout his time with the company.
This was the perfect use of the legends, as it reminded fans of why they loved Too Cool and Rikishi and allowed them a moment in the spotlight without damaging any other Superstars on the roster.
Face it, as talented as the members in 3MB may be, they are going nowhere at this point and another loss meant nothing.