With only 13 more days remaining until the Survivor Series pay-per-view, Liverpool, England, played host for another electrifying episode 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 about what we will hope to see in coming weeks.
John Cena chooses Zack Ryder as his partner in the main event against Awesome Truth
Decent opening promo from John Cena to kick off the show, providing us with some incentive to look forward to his anticipated team with The Rock at Survivor Series. Awesome Truth didn't do much here, but I'm loving the rub they're giving to Zack Ryder recently. The Long Island Iced Z is more over with the crowd than ever before.
John Morrison def. United States Champion Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) (non-title)
Great match between United States Champion Dolph Ziggler and John Morrison that got excellent time and showcased both of them as stars. It's no secret these two have chemistry, so the match quality is an automatic hit.
However, I question the move of giving Morrison the win here over a credible Ziggler, who desperately needs victories if he is going to mean anything as champion. Commentators really should have started to mention Morrison's subsequent losing streak before tonight, as it made his win here feel like little to nothing.
Additionally, they could have made a real angle out of Morrison's continuous losses by turning him heel at some point down the line, but obviously, that can no longer be done.
Mason Ryan def. JTG
Nothing more than an enhancement talent match for Mason Ryan with his win over JTG. Although I'm not entirely sure if he's entrance was later edited or not, it seemed to me that Ryan received a pretty good pop from his native crowd.
He has certainly improved in the last few months, and his video package that aired before the match shows that creative has faith in him as a top star, something which I have no problem with as long as it's done right.
However, would it really have hurt to give Ryan a worthier opponent than JTG, maybe someone like Drew McIntyre? I highly doubt people watching the show even knew the former Cryme Tyme member was still employed.
WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio def. WWE Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston (non-title); CM Punk confronted Del Rio
Quick match with WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio logically defeating WWE Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston, a contest that could have gone on much longer given the past encounters between the two. Del Rio's promo with CM Punk was pretty good for what it was, but it called for Punk to shoot straight on Del Rio in order to make the segment intriguing. Nonetheless, I'm glad to see this rivalry get some major focus going into Survivor Series.
Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero) def. Santino Marella
Forgettable match between Jack Swagger and Santino Marella. The match was just as short as it was last week, just a bit better wrestled. Obviously, the contest was put it place to give Swagger the win back against Marella, but in the end, this entire segment served no purpose.
Kelly Kelly revealed her Maxim cover appearance
Throwaway segment from the Divas in an attempt to shamelessly plug Kelly Kelly's appearance on the Maxim cover. Even though it wasn't another one of the same old, stale matches featuring the same workers every week, shouldn't this promo have been more focused on Eve, seeing that she'll be the one challenging Beth Phoenix for the Divas Championship in the foreseeable future?
Kevin Nash explained his actions
Impressive promo from Kevin Nash that not only explained his actions two weeks ago on Raw, but it also gave motive for what his problem is with Triple H in the first place. Numerous people were complaining three months ago that his promos were not very well done, so it's great to see how far he's come since then.
Although I'm not a huge fan of two part-time wrestlers feuding, this segment got me a bit more intrigued for an inevitable match between the two former Kliq members. Hearing the nWo music hit the arena for the first time in months was also a nice touch for this viewer.
Awesome Truth def. John Cena and Zack Ryder
Solid tag team match featuring the team of Zack Ryder and John Cena against Awesome Truth, a contest that surely showcased Ryder's skills as a top performer who has major potential. The contest received nearly 17 minutes of back-and-forth action, only to end anti-climatically with The Miz pinning Cena with help from R-Truth after a boot to the head.
The crowd had absolutely no idea that the match even ended, therefore explaining the lack of reaction. Given this result, no one really benefits here. My expectations for the main event tag team match at Survivor Series are getting lower and lower.
Overall, a middle-of-the-road show that seemed more like filler than anything else given next week's huge three-hour extravaganza, featuring the return of The Rock to television. Most of the matches on the show gave zero build for Survivor Series, which is a week from Sunday. They could have put members of the Team Orton vs. Team Barrett match at the event in singles bouts on the show.
On a side note, this is the first time since September that no SmackDown stars (besides the Divas) were featured on Raw, due to a live event occurring at the same time. It definitely took away from the episode as a whole in my opinion.
I was extremely looking forward to the return of Brodus Clay this week, but it was unfortunately cut due to time constraints, leaving me to question why they couldn't have just cut the Santino/Swagger match to make room for Clay instead.
Nonetheless, WWE has some serious work to do next week on Raw to get me, or anyone else for that matter, excited for the pending pay-per-view.
Visit my website at Next Era Wrestling as well as my WrestleRant and Spoilers podcasts for more of GSM's thoughts and writings, along with WWE/TNA news, recaps and more. Follow me on Twitter @SAVE_US_GSM.