As of last Sunday, my weekly reviews of WWE programming have since returned to Bleacher Report, this time covering last night's haunted Halloween edition of Monday Night Raw. Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show, as well provide a combination of aftermath and wishful thinking as to what I predict we will hope to see in coming weeks.
The Rock agrees to team with John Cena at Survivor Series
The Rock's promo regarding whether he'd join John Cena at Survivor Series was a smart way to kick off the show. Everyone knew he wouldn't be there live, but his promo was great besides the fact it was via satellite. WWE should continue to heavily hype his return to the ring in the coming weeks to effectively increase pay-per-view buys.
World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry def. CM Punk by disqualification (non-title match)
CM Punk and World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry could have gone much longer in their bout, as two minutes seemed way too short. Alberto Del Rio's tactics were logical, but it inadvertently makes Ricardo Rodriguez come off as a sympathetic babyface. On the brighter side of things, WWE successfully saved this match for a future date while also protecting both Punk and Henry, respectively.
Vickie Guerrero and Jack Swagger interrupt Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy
Personally, I found the segment featuring Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy being confronted by Vickie Guerrero and Jack Swagger highly entertaining. Vickie's meeting with Piggy was anticipated, and it certainly delivered. Not only that, but it also set up two matches for later in the night. Comedy well done.
Eve won a Halloween-Themed Over-the-Top-Rope Battle Royal to be crowned the No. 1 Contender to the Divas Championship
The Divas battle royal to be No. 1 contender for the Divas Championship was what it was, but it was thankfully over quickly. No one really stood out and giving Eve another shot at the belt does nothing for me. If they were heading in this direction the entire time, what was the point of signaling a push for Alicia Fox last week with her victory over Natalya?
Beaker meets Christian and Sheamus
In another Muppet highlight of the night, the Sheamus and Beaker got a major chuckle out of this Muppet fanatic. I never originally thought of the similarities between these two, so it was quite the surprise. Hey, at least Sheamus is actually humorous, unlike John Cena.
Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett def. WWE Tag Team Champions Air Boom (non-title)
Solid tag team match that saw Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett defeat WWE Tag Team Champions Air Boom in a non-title bout. As much as I like Rhodes and Barrett as singles competitors, I can't help but think that a tag team consisting of Christian and Cody or Barrett and William Regal would make for better chemistry.
Nonetheless, I'm really enjoying the idea of Christian leading a stable consisting of Barrett and Rhodes, but why does Sheamus continue to attack Christian? Didn't he already beat him twice? Despite that, I'm sure we'll see a rematch between the two teams tonight at the SmackDown tapings due to Evan Bourne's recent wellness suspension.
Big Show def. WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio (non-title match)
Extremely boring match between WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio and Big Show. The rest holds were logical in wearing Show down, but the crowd was not into it at all. They just had this match two weeks ago on SmackDown, so why a rematch was necessary is beyond me.
The only positive aspect I had running through my mind during this contest was that Del Rio would hopefully force Show to tap out, but alas, that was not the case. The World's Largest Athlete quickly defeated the WWE Champion with one swift punch after taking abuse for nearly 10 minutes.
Show did not need this clean win after picking up so much momentum since his return. By the way, how do CM Punk's tactics following the contest represent WWE's bully campaign?
Santino Marella def. Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Throwaway match between Santino Marella and Jack Swagger. These two just do not work well together, which is painfully obvious given the audience's reactions. Beaker's involvement with the liquid was pure campy comedy, as Santino's victory against a credible heel like Swagger was unneeded.
Zack Ryder def. United States Champion Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Much like their previous encounter at Vengeance, United States Champion Dolph Ziggler and Zack Ryder once again contested a very good match. It's no secret these rising stars have apparent chemistry, with them getting even more time than they did on pay-per-view.
Although I really enjoy Ryder's recent winnings, does this mean his pursuit of the U.S. Title continues? Forgetting about Ziggler's rumored rivalry with Mason Ryan, who wasn't even featured on television last night, was illogical.
Michael Cole calls out Jim Ross; Hornswoggle meets the Muppets
It's quite a shame the creative team didn't have enough time for the Jim Ross/Michael Cole match, as I'm surprisingly anticipating a possible Ross return to commentary. Cole bashing Ross for blatant lies was garbage, but at least they'll have the sense to instead feature it next week.
I'm glad they were able to get one more Muppet segment in at the end of the night, this time involving the crazed Hornswoggle, who desperately wanted to get on the show with them. Believe it or not, but I actually found myself excited to see 'Swoggle for once.
John Cena def. The Miz
Good match from John Cena and The Miz in the main event, but nothing different than what we've seen before. I liked how they tied the fact that their initial WrestleMania encounter took place in the very same city, adding some historical significance to bout.
Cena cleanly defeating Miz despite help from R-Truth goes to show that the Chain Gang Commander doesn't in fact need The Rock come Survivor Series. Hopefully, WWE manages to get lost heat back on the cowardly Awesome Truth alliance going into the event.
Overall, a good show that had decent action all night long, but nothing worth going out of your way to see. I'm glad the rivalry over the WWE Championship is shaping out to be solid, yet the angle featuring Rock, Cena and Awesome Truth could definitely use some work.
Being the longtime Muppet fan that I am, I thoroughly enjoyed their part on the show, as it also played into the Halloween theme of the show. Much like with Hugh Jackman in September, the use of celebrities as guest hosts on the flagship show is a brilliant idea if done correctly on occasion, and this episode was certainly one of those times.
Visit my website at Next Era Wrestling as well as my WrestleRant andSpoilers podcasts for more of GSM's thoughts and writings, along with WWE/TNA news, recaps and more. Follow me on Twitter @SAVE_US_GSM.