Tonight, Monday Night Raw was held in Liverpool, England for the first time ever. We witnessed Cena’s entrance overshadowed by Zack Ryder's, a stunning picture of Kelly Kelly and CM Punk being thrown through the appetizer table.
As I do every Monday night following Raw, I present the "Top Questions Going Forward."
These questions are meant to stimulate conversation and give us pause so we can examine current storylines.
Shall we have it?
Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison? Mason Ryan vs. JTG? Jack Swagger vs. Santino Marella?
Are you serious, bro?
With the amount of talent held back on the WWE roster, can someone explain to me why these are the matches getting air time on Monday Night Raw?
Raw is starting to become a predictable formula: John Cena starts us off, 45 minutes of irrelevant matches, a promo for a WWE straight to DVD movie, 30 minutes of irrelevant matches, a meaningless Diva moment and John Cena ending the night.
I have written so many articles on the fact that the WWE does nothing to create storylines involving the mid card titles. Instead of forcing us to watch Jack Swagger and Santino AGAIN, why not use that air time to create a rival for Cody Rhodes or have Dolph Ziggler actually defend his U.S. title?
I just wish I knew why we get such irrelevant matches. Does anyone honestly care that Jack Swagger wanted to avenge his loss to Santino?
WWE Creative just continues to make themselves appear lazy. They are even taking advantage of the fact that we all realize how many matches John Morrison has lost since August. Do you think Morrison defeating Ziggler makes any difference?
A better idea would have been cultivating the feud between Ziggler and Ryder to set up a better story for their inevitable United States Championship match.
If Raw continues to be centered on John Cena and the Rock with bunch of filler matches around them, how do you expect to keep your fans happy?
At Survivor Series we will be able to witness a traditional five-on-five match. Randy Orton and Wade Barrett will each captain an opposing team.
The problem is that Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston will both be involved in the match. I think it is safe to assume that neither champion will be defending their belt at Survivor Series.
With Kingston, it’s understandable, considering that his Tag Team partner, Evan Bourne, has been suspended. By using Kingston in a traditional match it does not draw attention to Bourne’s suspension.
However, Cody Rhodes not defending his Intercontinental title is just disappointing. At the last PPV, Rhodes was involved in a non-title match with Orton. So now he will not defend the IC Championship again?
Why have an Intercontinental or United States Championship if they are not important enough to ever be defended?
I prefer the Alberto Del Rio who throws people through fruit trays over the cowardly one.
Tonight, Del Rio looked fairly strong. He was decent on the mic, he attacked CM Punk twice and he is starting to seem more ruthless. The question is, will Alberto Del Rio continue to be more callous, or will he go back to being spineless next week?
CM Punk said it best tonight when he told Del Rio that “when he wins he will make the WWE Championship exciting again.” Most people want to see the WWE title picture become electrifying again, regardless who is the champion.
Del Rio did a nice job making it seem exciting tonight. The man showed passion and seemed to be the heel we all were hoping he would one day become. CM Punk has the fans in his pocket, but we need Del Rio to pull off his half of the feud as well.
If the WWE wants to create a memorable feud, then we need to see both men have the upper hand at times. Punk cannot humiliate Del Rio the way John Cena did. Alberto Del Rio cannot just run away all the time; he needs to retreat only when it makes sense. Tonight he was effective in beating on Punk and then had Ricardo Rodriguez take the punishment. There was a purpose in his withdraw, and he still looked strong.
If that was not enough, Del Rip attacked Punk a second time and this time he was the one who came out on top. I have been hard on Del Rio, so I was pleased that he put it all together tonight. Punk seems to realize that every great hero needs a legitimate villain. Instead of brushing off Del Rio as a pushover, like we did when Cena was involved, it would be nice to see this feud go back and forth.
We were moments away from the “Divas of Doom” beating down Kelly Kelly when they ran away from Eve and Alicia Fox. They did not even get one punch on the beautiful blonde.
Is it just me or do Beth Phoenix and Natalya seem like all talk?
How can you refer to yourselves as the Divas of Doom when you never really do anything but talk? Kelly Kelly was alone in the ring and they had an opportunity to actually make themselves look powerful. Instead, they ran away, like they always seem to do.
I love Beth and Natalya, but this storyline of them against the pretty divas is so old. I would take it more seriously if Beth and Natalya would actually dominate a few of the Divas and separate themselves from the pack.
The truth is, Natalya has lost more than she has won lately, and Beth has not looked great since becoming the Diva’s Champion. The momentum shifts every week in the Diva’s division; one week Beth and Natalya win, the next week they get chased away.
Will we ever see the Divas of Doom truly dominate the division, or is this just a façade?
I admit that tonight was the best Kevin Nash has worked a mic since his return, but was it enough to make anyone care about him?
The only heat Nash has with anyone right now is Triple H. Well, Trips is going to be out of action for a month, so I am not sure anyone really cares about Nash. His presence has been inconsistent ever since he returned to the WWE.
Nash had some tough words for Triple H, but when their rivalry cannot advance due to Triple H’s injury, it just did not feel important tonight. I also do not think many people care about seeing Triple H against Kevin Nash anyway. How does this help your younger talent?
Both men are former champions and are well established. In fact, we have seen them fight many times before, so I do not even see the point in this rivalry. Triple H’s role continues to confuse me.
I just wonder if the WWE needs to throw Nash into a few warm-up matches so we can see what he has left. If WWE Creative wants me to believe Nash is still relevant, then why not have him dominate until Triple H returns? We may start caring more.
Zack Ryder has done a nice job getting fan support by using the Internet. The audience was firmly behind the self proclaimed “Internet Champion” tonight on Raw. The fans’ voices are being heard by the WWE front office to deliver us more Ryder.
That said, is John Cena using Zack Ryder’s popularity to stay on top?
It bothers me that Cena is jumping on Ryder’s momentum in an effort to make himself look good. Did Kevin Nash teach you that secret, John?
Zack Ryder should be involved in creating a more consistent rivalry with Dolph Ziggler, not swaying the fans to cheer harder for John Cena. These are the moves that make me wonder why the WWE is so hell-bent on pushing John Cena down our throats.
The worst part is that I respect Cena for his contributions. I just do not see why the WWE will not allow him to take a backseat to anyone or anything else.
Jerry Lawler can continue to proclaim John Cena as the “most controversial superstar ever,” but the fact is when you have half of the fans booing you, that just means you are not endorsed by everyone. There is nothing controversial about doing the same mannerisms every week and always coming out on top. It’s called being stale and annoying.
Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels all went through different changes in their characters. In fact it reinvigorated fan interest and solidified them all as some of the greatest men to ever enter the “squared circle.” I will not be cliché and say “John Cena needs to turn heel,” but it is alarming when the WWE is using other faces to get Cena more over with the fans.
You could make a case that having the Rock team up with John Cena is just another way to keep Cena hot and at the center of the WWE Universe. I am not some basement dwelling “Cena Hater,” but I am tired of the WWE using all of their resources to push one man continuously, while Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler are pushed to the brink of irrelevancy.
John Cena is the most established wrestler on the roster. He should not need Zack Ryder to garner fan support. Alarms should be going off in the WWE Creative department when Cena is getting booed and CM Punk is getting bigger pops every week.
I have watched the WWE since the last '80s, and every major star always took a break or sat out a few months at one point or another. Even legends such as Bret Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock needed to step away from the spotlight so we did not get tired of them. I continue to sit here in awe as the WWE pushes John Cena like an up and coming star every week.
John Cena is a future Hall of Famer, but when Zack Ryder is helping you stay on top, I think it’s time for a change.
What do you guys think? What questions did you have after watching Monday Night Raw? Let me know below and always give me your feedback, questions and criticism. Also follow me on Twitter @ClassicJoeyMac.
Keep it Classic!