Tonight's Raw was a combination of excitement, confusion and controversy.
I felt that the WWE really took the intrigue out of most of the storylines tonight by giving us too much of a preview of Survivor Series. The entire night, though exciting, seemed to cause more confusion for the fans yet again.
As I do every Monday night after Raw, I present the "Top Questions Going Forward." We need to dissect each item and attempt to understand what is actually going on.
At the beginning of Monday Night Raw, Triple H was attacked by Kevin Nash. Nash used a sledgehammer to “injure” Triple H so severely that it was reported he may have a broken neck. Michael Cole in particular proclaimed many times that Triple H may indeed have a “broken neck.”
I’m no doctor, but I play one on TV (lame!). Actually I am married to a nurse, and she said a broken neck could take three months to a year to fully recover from, depending on the severity.
Triple H may not REALLY have a broken neck, but if he comes back next week on Raw, I would call that a speedy recovery. I think it was a tad overboard to suggest the man has a broken neck. A “broken neck” angle would destroy any momentum the feud between Nash and Triple H had left.
Is Triple H going to be “injured” moving forward?
Before Hunter was attacked, he was demanding that John Laurinaitis find Nash and give him a contract so they could battle it out. What will this injury do for that potential match?
Fluke win or something much bigger?
That is the question that will be determined in the coming weeks for the lovely Alicia Fox. Fox pulled off an upset victory over Natalya on tonight’s episode of Raw.
All Natalya’s buddy, Beth Phoenix, could do was watch as the “Submission Specialist” lost cleanly. Even when Beth and Natalya attempted to demolish the speedy diva, they failed.
I would have automatically assumed that Alicia was going to be Beth Phoenix’s next challenger, except when I saw the camera cut to Kelly Kelly and Eve laughing at the end. That five second scene gave me pause in anointing Alicia Fox as the future No. 1 contender for the Divas Championship.
Fox was not overly impressive since Natalya was in control for most of the fight, but she has the capability of putting on a very exciting match. If marketed correctly, she could be a legitimate contender for the Divas Championship. I have confidence that she and Beth could put on the electrifying match needed for the Divas division to become credible again.
The problem is that this win could have only been a one-time deal. With Eve and Kelly Kelly STILL in the background, there is always the possibility that the WWE throws one of them up against Beth Phoenix at Survivor Series.
Only time will tell if Alicia Fox will be the next contender.
Last night at “Vengeance” Dolph Ziggler retained his United States Championship against Zack Ryder. Tonight we saw Mason Ryan looking like the next contender for Ziggler’s belt. The only problem is that in the last month we have seen both Ryder and Mason bring pushed as potential rivals for Dolph Ziggler.
So who is being pushed for real?
WWE Creative has been very inconsistent in who is being pushed against Dolph Ziggler. One week, Ryder has a victory over him, and the next week Ryder is nowhere to be found. Then Mason Ryan is introduced into the storyline, and he and Ziggler have an altercation.
Just when we forget about Zack Ryder, he gets booked to a US title match at Vengeance against Ziggler, where he loses. Tonight Ryder has nothing to do with Ziggler, and Ryan is the one who looks like he wants to get in the ring with the current United States champion.
Who is it going to be? Ryder or Mason?
The rumor was that Zack Ryder was eventually going to get his hands on the United States belt. I find that hard to believe when I am not even sure Ryder is the biggest threat to Ziggler at the moment. I would like to see some consistency in this storyline.
For now all we can do is wait to see who truly becomes the No. 1 contender for the US Championship.
Does CM Punk forget every outcome to his matches at pay-per-views before Raw? Or does WWE Creative just like moving Punk from one storyline to the next without resolution?
I find it troubling that CM Punk just lost a match in which the Miz, R-Truth and Kevin Nash beat him and his partner, and tonight you would not even suspect that Punk was involved in that match. The feud between Punk and those three men just seems to have dissolved without explanation.
We have all been following this feud between CM Punk and Nash, the Miz and R-Truth. Ever since Nash attacked CM Punk we were lead to believe that this was a major feud on the rise. Then the “Awesome Truth” entered the equation, and once again CM Punk had legitimate beef with them.
Apparently, the last few months do not matter. Just like when Triple H and CM Punk feuded for a month, had a match that solved nothing, and then became friends. Why does the WWE insist on building up feuds only to drop them before we ever see a climax?
All inside sources have confirmed that CM Punk was due to be pushed into the WWE Championship scene after he became the biggest merchandise seller for the WWE.
However, would it have killed Creative to tie up all of their present storylines before randomly pulling CM Punk from his current feuds and inserting him into a new one with Alberto Del Rio?
We never see resolution in the WWE anymore. The last few months have been extremely exciting, yet confusing to the point where we constantly question everything instead of enjoying the action.
CM Punk being in the WWE title picture is a good thing, but I would have liked to have seen closure among him, Kevin Nash and The Awesome Truth.
I thought announcers were supposed to “announce,” not be on Twitter or be involved in matches.
I know some people absolutely loathe Michael Cole, and I am surely not his biggest fan, but my complaint is far beyond just him. The announce team has become so distracting that I would rather mute them and have my cat “Professor Xavier” try to call the action.
Why is a ridiculous feud between Jim Ross and Michael Cole a part of Monday Night Raw? Who is this rivalry being marketed towards?
I miss wrestling when the announce team consisted of a legitimate play-by-play man and a slightly heel color commentator.
Tonight, Michael Cole was more concerned with tweeting corny jokes on Twitter than he was with calling the action in the ring. Jerry Lawler only filled the silent air time by pointing out what Cole was doing. This honestly occurred multiple times during the program.
The announcers are starting to become bigger than the action going on in the ring, and that is disturbing. They are there to describe the environment, not create it.
2011 has seen far too many matches involving Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole. WWE Creative really needs to either make Cole a manager or change his gimmick. The man is capable of getting legitimate heat, but he cannot be doing that successfully when he is supposed to be calling a match.
Next week Jim Ross will be participating in “Cole’s Challenge,” whatever that is. Apparently if Jim Ross completes the challenge, Michael Cole will quit. Good luck with that happening.
While CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio, the current WWE Champion, feel like mid-carders, John Cena continues to main event Monday Night Raw.
John Cena was obviously unhappy that the Miz and R-Truth jumped him last night at Vengeance. Their interference assisted Del Rio in beating Cena to retain the WWE Championship.
Tonight on Raw, Cena made it clear to John Laurinaitis that he wanted some revenge on the Awesome Truth. He was given the opportunity, but instead lost the match.
However even though he lost tonight’s battle, the war will continue. At Survivor Series, John Cena will be teaming up with the Rock to face the Miz and R-Truth.
I just sit here confused. The Miz and R-Truth were just feuding with CM Punk and now they are facing John Cena and the Rock? The ONE storyline the WWE had that was interesting just threw out their top rising star and inserted tried and true John Cena.
The argument the last few months has been that even though CM Punk was not in the WWE title picture, at least he was the center of the biggest storyline created in years. Now Punk has been kicked to the curb, and John Cena will be the phoenix that rises from the ashes to defeat evil incarnate, aka the Awesome Truth.
I am VERY happy to see Punk going for the WWE Championship, but Creative is missing the point. The focus should be on making the WWE title credible and having it as the top focal point of the WWE. It does little for Punk if the WWE is going to have every pay-per-view center around John Cena, regardless if he is in the title picture or not.
It’s fitting that Punk pays tribute to the “Macho Man” Randy Savage with the elbow drop; he is to Cena what Randy Savage was to Hulk Hogan in the early nineties.
Oh, the WWE will give Punk the title, just as Savage was given the belt at WrestleMania 8, but Cena will need to share the stage just like Hogan did during Savage’s second run as WWE Champion.
John Cena and the Rock’s storyline will dominate all events through WrestleMania and will overshadow CM Punk’s rivalry with Alberto Del Rio. The problem isn’t necessarily John Cena, so much as Creative’s inability to make the WWE Championship mean something again.
Honestly, who believes the Awesome Truth have any chance against two men who held over 20 championships combined?
After tonight, I do not know what to make of John Laurinaitis. I think most fans had him pegged to be the mastermind behind all the “conspiracies” and attacks going on as of late. Unless he is the greatest actor of all time, tonight made me doubt he was behind anything at all.
On Raw, Laurinaitis yelled at Kevin Nash, apologized to Triple H and threw out the Miz and R-Truth much to the applause of the audience. Unless we see a dramatic screw job, I think Johnny Ace is honestly just filling in until the WWE hires a permanent Raw General Manager.
I am all but convinced that Laurinaitis is a neutral party. Tonight he came across as a man overwhelmed in his position. We saw more attacks tonight than we saw in all of Triple H’s time presiding over Raw, and Laurinaitis just looked powerless and frustrated. He certainly did not come across as a scheming mastermind.
Still, the WWE has a habit of pulling twists when you least suspect it. Everyone assumed he was going to be the next “Vince McMahon” character, so maybe Creative is trying to fool us. There may be a heel turn yet in Johnny Ace.
Or maybe not. We will see.
Originally, I believed that all of the current storylines were building toward a climatic “Survivor Series” match where all feuds would be settled in a five-on-five elimination match. After tonight, I am not so sure.
John Laurinaitis created a match between John Cena and The Rock against The Miz and R-Truth. CM Punk seems to be set to take on Alberto Del Rio for the WWE Championship. Kevin Nash and Triple H seem to be heading for a grudge match in the coming future.
How can there be a Survivor Series tag match if they are all fighting in individual matches?
Apparently nothing is related in this angle. We all assumed Nash was in cahoots with the Awesome Truth, but it just seems to be coincidental. The “conspiracy” storyline does not seem as complex as it once was, and that is disappointing.
We can also assume that there is not going to be any “super stable” coming out of this. WWE Creative has made no effort in tying any of these storylines together.
Survivor Series was the perfect place to have all of these storylines to come to a head. It would have been interesting to see “Team Triple H” against “Team Kevin Nash,” but that seems very unrealistic at this point. In fact I doubt we will see any Survivor Series tag match that will involve anyone other than mid carders.
What questions came out of Raw for you? Comment below and make sure to follow me on Twitter @ClassicJoeyMac. Keep it Classic, everyone.