Before I start, I would like to point out something very noteworthy. This episode of Raw was the first three hour supershow in a long time that did not feature the three man commentary team of Stryker, Lawler, and Cole.
Now I ask you, is this because of the real-life feud ? I think so. Now onto my review.
Intro with Bret & Teddy/Edge & Orton
I’m going to come straight out and say it. This segment was saved by Randy Orton and Edge. Bret and Teddy introduce us to "Viewer's Choice" Raw and explain the rules. Now, bear in mind that this is what Cole said last week:
"You make the matches. You choose the participants. You choose the stipulations."
That statement means the fans should have had complete control. We picked one match, we chose three participants, and we chose the stipulations from an already chosen list.
To be honest, when I found out that the voting wasn’t taking place until Monday, I knew it would not be a complete viewer's choice. How can they script a three hour show in one day?
Anyway, apologies for the rant! The promo skills of Edge and Orton saved this segment big time.
Jericho vs. Big Show in a Half Match/Half Body Slam Challenge
I don’t really know what to make of this. It was described as a body slam challenge but it used the format of a match. To me, a body slam challenge is as follows:
One person tries, then the other. But this was a match which ended with a body slam. Go figure.
Then just for good measure, the show completes all the other options!
The Hart Dynasty vs. Khali & Hornswoggle
Not even a match. Just a waste of time. Nothing major to report apart from another attempted sneak attack from the Usos, which failed.
Kozlov vs. Santino in a Dance Off
A dance off? Seriously? Why?
While I admit that it was somewhat entertaining, it simply has no place on a WWE show. I just want to say that Kozlov is surprisingly coordinated.
Divas Battle Royal
Again it was a typical divas standard match. It's depressing to see how poorly the divas are portrayed. To think that WWE is letting talent like Mickie James, Maryse, Natalya, Melina, Gail Kim, etc. go to waste as they rot away each and every week.
Kane vs. Sheamus
Finally, a half decent match.
Nobody should have expected a quick paced match here. It was a solid contest from both men with some nice moves executed by both parties.
However, the finish did leave a bit to be desired.
R-Truth & John Morrisson vs. The Miz & Ryder
I really wonder if these partners were "chosen" by the fans. Anyway, not a bad match. The pace was a bit slower than what I expected but it picked up near the end.
Morrisson’s flying chuck received a nice reaction; it was a good finish. It made sense as it gives The Miz a win over the US Champion and puts him back in the mix.
Edge vs. Randy Orton in a One Arm Match / Post Match Attack
The match was nothing really, which is to be expected given Orton’s physical condition.
However, there was a nice spot afterwards, with Orton taking a big blow to the shoulder—not sure if it was kayfabe or real. That is a testament to Orton’s skills!
Drew McIntyre vs. Matt Hardy
Nice to finally see Matt get his hands on Drew! However, I got the feeling that the match was rushed. Drew didn’t get in much offense.
Drew took what looked like a sore bump into the ring post in the corner. He is either a great actor and timed the move to perfection, or he made legitimate contact and it hurt. Nice to see Hardy get the win.
Piper and BA Baracus
A nice little nostalgic segment here. It would have been better if Mr. T had come out after Piper had made his speech though. Apart from that, the segment was rubbish.
John Cena vs. CM Punk
This segment depicts what Raw should be about. Two top stars battling each other in the main event. I have to say that this was a great main event. There were some nice moves from both men, with Cena even utilizing a head scissors at one point!
I cannot rate it out of five as I am unsure of the finish. I don’t recall hearing a bell, so I’ll just rate it out of four.
The NXT Invasion
This is where I take my hat off to the WWE. This was one of the most unpredictable and controversial endings to a WWE show in years.
The rookies utilized a blitzkrieg style approach and just destroyed everything in their path!
Nobody was safe—time keepers, tech crew, referees, announcers, or wrestlers. Nobody!
This segment raises more questions rather than answers and that’s all you can ask for in a weekly episodic show. For the first time in a while, I am excited about next week's Raw!
Raw tonight was average. The first hour was an absolute disgrace for a WWE show, whether it is more entertainment-based or wrestling-based.
Things picked up in the second hour with a good match between Kane and Sheamus and a good tag match.
However, it was the final two segments which saved this show from being the worst in the last two years, at least in my opinion.
The highlight of the night goes to the NXT rookies. If any member of authority in WWE is reading, we will have some more of that kind of compelling television!
As for the Viewer's Choice gimmick, either do it properly and give us complete control by letting us vote a week before the show, or drop it completely.
Final Rating: 2.7/5
Thanks for reading and, as always, please let your opinion be known…