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The W - Pro Wrestling - Raw #1054 8/5/13
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It's False
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Since: 20.6.02
From: I am the Tag Team Champions!

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.38
Half-decent Raw, even if the first instinct was to immediately change the channel when Stephanie McMahon kicked off the show.

Daniel Bryan's corporate makeover didn't go as anyone hoped. This was a pretty wretched segment that Bryan was able to save almost single-handedly. Vince wanted Bryan to shave his beard, so he brought out Wade Barrett to shave it, for some reason. Bryan doesn't comply and he winds up shaving Barrett's beard in a cruel and ironic twist. Vince is not happy and proceeds to give us the same angry Vince faces that he's been giving us for the last 15 years.

John Cena comes out later in the show for rebuttal, but gets interrupted by Randy Orton. The fact that they're telegraphing a potential Orton cash-in this early makes me wonder if that idea isn't going to happen, after all. Anyway, Orton vows to cash in on Cena or Bryan at some eventual point. The Shield come out, because...reasons. Bryan runs out and Brad Maddox tries to make himself useful by booking the six-man main event. Why do we need him again?

Rob Van Dam beat Alberto Del Rio after Ricardo-ference backfires. A run-of-the-mill TV match then takes a legit shocking turn when DEL RIO TURNS ON RICARDO and beats the ever-loving shit out of him! Well...I certainly wasn't expecting that. Del Rio draws some of loudest heel heat he's drawn in years, so...yeah, this is a winner of an angle right here! It should also be noted that Miz was at ringside doing commentary and did absolutely nothing, proving what a dynamite babyface he is!

Kofi Kingston returned...to absolutely ZERO fanfare. You'd think he'd come back aching for some revenge on Ryback, but NOPE! He comes out and gives us the exact same act he's given us for the better part of seven years! True sign of a midcarder for life. He beats Fandango clean, which was a head-scratcher. Why wouldn't Fandango just take a walk like he always does? Well, it turns out Ryback already stole that finish for his match with Mark Henry earlier. D'oh!

Dolph Ziggler faced Big E Langston again. AJ tried to run interference, but Kaitlyn ran out and just made things worse. Catfight in the middle of the ring ensued, which only gave Big E the opening to kill Dolph dead. It should be noted that the ref saw ALL OF THIS and never called for the bell, which even the moronic announce team found illogical. This entire segment was a clusterfuck. Dolph deserves so much better than this.

The Wyatt Family destroyed Tons of Funk in a quick squash. Bray Wyatt killed Brodus Clay with the Sister Abigail post-match, for fun. Kane appeared on the 'Tron and gave a vintage Kane promo, lighting the turnbuckles on fire, as Bray only laughed maniacally. This feud is all kinds of cheesy fun. I love it!

CM Punk faced Curtis Axel, which wound up taking a back seat to a Punk/Brock brawl. Punk actually got the upper-hand, but made the mistake of trying to get Heyman, which opened up Brock to kill him dead with the F5. Brock then goes apeshit on Punk with the chair. This was all damn great and this feud pulls me in more and more by the week.

Cody Rhodes fished out Damien Sandow's briefcase and offered to give it back. Damien Sandow comes out and demands Cody leave the briefcase and exit the ring, because he's smart and knows Cody will ambush him if he runs in. So Cody leaves the briefcase and exits the ring, but still winds up ambushing Sandow anyway. Well, that was something. The crowd, of course, reacted to NONE OF THIS! That's another strike against Cody's face turn.

We finally hit the main event, which ended in the now-requisite "Oh, these Shield guys aren't answering the 5-count for the triple team. Better DQ them!" finish. Post-match Orton destroys Bryan with the RKO. Then he RKO's Cena and teases cashing in the case, but The Shield return to pick the bones, as Orton runs off. In any other circumstance, this would constitute a heel turn, but who the fuck knows anymore?

Like I said, half-decent show. There are a lot of problems, like the multitude of guys that are AGAIN just floating around aimlessly. Mark Henry? Nothing. Ryback? Nothing. Kofi Kingston? Welcome back, but we have nothing for you. Zeb's Tea Party Patriots? Nothing. Fandango? Nothing. Miz? Nothing. Wade Barrett? Nothing. Van Dam? Man, are they dangerously close to pissing away all that momentum the first few weeks of his return built up. But it's going to take a lot to touch the wretchedness of some of these early 2013 shows, so this is at least a plus in that department.

Until next time!

(edited by It's False on 5.8.13 2136)

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JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.79
    Originally posted by It's False
    This was a pretty wretched segment that Bryan was able to save almost single-handedly.


I thought Vince was terrific, babyfacing Bryan with all the reasons people think Vince won't let Bryan be pushed (as he's giving him this big push). I thought everything with Cena, Bryan, and Orton was very well-done, including Cena's best/first good serious promo in a long while.

The Punk/Lesnar brawl was even better. That fight and the series of Shield attacks and RKOs at the end were really well-thought out. All three guys have been so good at playing their roles, which says something about why CM Punk, not John Cena and not Triple H, is the first Lesnar opponent who he gets a pure heel reaction against.

I really hated Del Rio killing Ricardo, even if it's the first thing he's done to get serious heat since he beat up Rey Mysterio for the thirtieth time in 2011. Del Rio is so boring and without Ricardo he's that much worse. Hopefully Ricardo comes back for revenge but doublecrosses the babyface ADR is wrestling because he's a sniveling little servant.


    In any other circumstance, this would constitute a heel turn, but who the fuck knows anymore?


I wondered the exact same thing. You'd think Orton's turn would've happened with the dramatic briefcase culmination so I don't know, for the time being he might just have No Absence Of Malice.


    There are a lot of problems, like the multitude of guys that are AGAIN just floating around aimlessly. Mark Henry? Nothing. Ryback? Nothing. Kofi Kingston? Welcome back, but we have nothing for you. Zeb's Tea Party Patriots? Nothing. Fandango? Nothing. Miz? Nothing. Wade Barrett? Nothing. Van Dam?


But at the same time, six different SummerSlam feuds are already going on, including guys like Christian, Sandow, and Rhodes who had just been in go-nowheresville.

Mark Henry is feuding with the Shield and had been waiting for his partner the Big Show to get healthy, although the Shield may've just been written into the Cena/Bryan/Orton/Vince/HHH storyline.

Kofi/Fandango and Usos/Americans started TV programs tonight. Now that you mention it, Kofi coming back after Ryback tonight probably would've been better, but I guess they wanted to start him back with a win, especially if Ryback is being saved for someone more important like Sheamus. p.s. is was weird to see Kofi so tiny.

RVD pinned Del Rio and never got pinned in the #1 contender triple threat so I guess he might be getting put in the World title match.

Miz was given the prestigious position of host of SummerSlam since they knew in advance they'd have nothing for him to do.

Barrett is indeed going nowhere but maybe his career just changed tonight and he'll become Brutus The Barber Barrett.
dMp
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Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.89
They pretty much needed to get rid of Ricardo, because his awesomeness is what made ADR a face.
You just -want- to join him in his introduction and rrrroooollll those rrrrrrrr's.

John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 33 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.17
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro
    I thought Vince was terrific


He was.

    Originally posted by Justin
    Barrett is indeed going nowhere but maybe his career just changed tonight and he'll become Brutus The Barber Barrett.







"Cody, I mustache you a question." - The Miz
Lexus
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Stafford, VA

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.71
"Paul, say something stupid."

Line of the night.



"Laugh and the world laughs with you. Frown and the world laughs at you."
-Me.
Tenken347
Boudin blanc








Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.97
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro
    I thought everything with Cena, Bryan, and Orton was very well-done, including Cena's best/first good serious promo in a long while.


Cena's serious promos are always pretty good, but he and Bryan laid out some choice cuts last night. I really like the idea that they've taken this feud and added the dimension of "I love wrestling" (and man, did we hear that forbidden word an awful lot last night) vs. "I love WWE." It's a direction I didn't expect them to go in.
Matt Tracker
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Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 7 hours
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.85
That crowd knew what was up. Main event faces were cheered like crazy. Midcarders got the "eh." DEAD for Cody/Sandow, but look at what they got: A video package and comic props with a muddle of a payoff.

Bray lighting and blowing out the lantern twice in his entrance still bugs me, but I LOVED his upside-down face before giving Tensai over to Sister Abigail.

JBL's strained efforts to play the heel announcer for the Ricardo beatdown was weak. Combine that to his he's not making Dennis Miller allusions (see: Baryshnikov, most recently seen not dancing on Sex and the City in 2004) he's bringing nothing to the show.



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
kentish
Andouille








Since: 19.8.05
From: My Old Kentucky Home

Since last post: 11 days
Last activity: 3 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.97
    Originally posted by Matt Tracker
    That crowd knew what was up. Main event faces were cheered like crazy. Midcarders got the "eh." DEAD for Cody/Sandow, but look at what they got: A video package and comic props with a muddle of a payoff.


I agree. Sometimes the crowd doesn't cheer/boo because WWE has given us no reason to care about so many of these guys for years now. In fact, I am always surprised when we get a NY, or Chicago, or Philly crowd that DOES seem to pop for guys like Cody, Dolph, etc. Some guys deserve no response based on how they have been used.

If anything, those hot crowds may give WWE a false sense of security that they are doing a lot of things right.
used2bcool
Bockwurst








Since: 5.11.08
From: Lake Forest, IL

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 6 hours
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.38
    Originally posted by Lexus
    "Paul, say something stupid."

    Line of the night.


And boy, did he ever. Paul wants a one-on-one match with Punk? That didn't make a lot of sense to me. I don't buy that Punk's broken from Brock's attack - it was just an F5 and a few chairshots. I mean, Punk took an F5 on the table and came back fine from that. Plus Paul's not the kind of guy who would want to put Punk in a position where he can get his hands on Paul much more easily than otherwise. Of course, by next week, Heyman will have wizened up and will have Axel as backup, and we'll get shenanigans and Punk's sweet, sweet retribution will have to wait till the PPV (at least), and that is the right way to go about things.

I loved Punk's urgency in that match against Axel, and I loved how he never missed an opportunity to chase after Paul. It cost him a couple of times, too. That was a nice, simple story for that match, and they told it well.

Looks like the bad finish epidemic has carried over from Impact to Raw. Also, the referee got it absolutely wrong when he DQ'd Punk for assaulting Paul Heyman. He's allowed to do that! If Heyman assaults Punk, it's a DQ, not the other way around. You got that wrong, Mike Chioda!
Mayhem
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Since: 25.4.03
From: Nashville, TN

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 7 hours
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.72

I can't be the only one who has the Wyatt family song in my head all day ...

I've started growing my beard out just to get one of those new DB shirts.
CruelAngel777
Frankfurter








Since: 7.4.02

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 19 hours
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.79
I'm not surprised with the crowd's dead reaction to Sandow/Cody. Just a few weeks ago Sandow was getting the shit kicked out of him by Shaemus every week, while Cody came in to do the occasional job to fill time. Rhodes last major story was the dropped Bellas/Rhodes Scholars/Tons of Funkdactyls pre Wrestlemania. Like others in this thread have said there is no reason to care for either man in this feud due to lack of purposeful usage.

I think it's pretty safe to say Vince has evolved his evil boss character to cater to both the new audience and the old. The fact that Trips and Steph put over the fact that Vince doesn't like smaller wrestlers like Bryan is very self-aware. Even Cena bringing up the fact that wrestling in gymnasiums and anywhere outside of WWE means nothing compared to what he has done in this company is very self-aware and somewhat meta.

Creative knows Bryan is going into Summerslam the favorite. He has the smarky internet fans (us) and a strong amount of casual fans on his side (everyone) so playing vanilla babyface Cena isn't going to cut it. Bring on the serious tweener Cena who makes valid points because John is getting booed at SummerSlam either way, might as well give the fans a reason without turning him all the way.

Cena is taking Bryan seriously as a threat and a sees his words as an insult. Vince wants a "bigger" challenge to his company face for one of his biggest yearly PPV. Triple H says he'll back up Bryan if Vince tries something dicey, but he still is a corporate subordinate and son in law of the company boss, plus Triple H's words can never be fully trusted. Plus Orton will be lurking in the background waiting to pick the winner's bones. Bryan only has himself and the thousands of fans in the "Yes! Revolution" on his side. I can't wait for SummerSlam!

Heel Layla is the best, no one plays cowardly female as well as her. She even brought back "Flawless".



I believe in The Shield....
CruelAngel777
Frankfurter








Since: 7.4.02

Since last post: 2 days
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.79
(deleted by CruelAngel777 on 6.8.13 0959)
Horsemen4ever
Linguica








Since: 14.6.13
From: Baton Rouge, LA

Since last post: 12 hours
Last activity: 5 hours
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
    Originally posted by used2bcool
      Originally posted by Lexus
      "Paul, say something stupid."

      Line of the night.


    And boy, did he ever. Paul wants a one-on-one match with Punk? That didn't make a lot of sense to me. I don't buy that Punk's broken from Brock's attack - it was just an F5 and a few chairshots. I mean, Punk took an F5 on the table and came back fine from that. Plus Paul's not the kind of guy who would want to put Punk in a position where he can get his hands on Paul much more easily than otherwise. Of course, by next week, Heyman will have wizened up and will have Axel as backup, and we'll get shenanigans and Punk's sweet, sweet retribution will have to wait till the PPV (at least), and that is the right way to go about things.

    I loved Punk's urgency in that match against Axel, and I loved how he never missed an opportunity to chase after Paul. It cost him a couple of times, too. That was a nice, simple story for that match, and they told it well.

    Looks like the bad finish epidemic has carried over from Impact to Raw. Also, the referee got it absolutely wrong when he DQ'd Punk for assaulting Paul Heyman. He's allowed to do that! If Heyman assaults Punk, it's a DQ, not the other way around. You got that wrong, Mike Chioda!


Well if they'd go back to saying that managers have licenses, Heyman would have the right to be at ringside without being brutally assaulted. Attacking a licensed ringside attendant should be a DQ in that case.



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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.47
ESPECIALLY after the Steph/HHH backstage segment, I think the seeds are being planted for some major McMahonery to come out of SummerSlam... and not in the good way. I'm getting a really unpleasant feeling about how I think things are being set up to come down.



Mayhem
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Since: 25.4.03
From: Nashville, TN

Since last post: 3 days
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.72
    Originally posted by CRZ
    ESPECIALLY after the Steph/HHH backstage segment, I think the seeds are being planted for some major McMahonery to come out of SummerSlam... and not in the good way. I'm getting a really unpleasant feeling about how I think things are being set up to come down.


I, too, thought the same ... Vince aligning himself with Cena or Orton ... shades of Vince/Austin at WMXVII.
CRZ
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.47
Well, mine's more along the lines of how I think Steph may be setting up Hunter. (We didn't SEE Vince yell at Steph, but we did see her crying and riling up her husband. We also cut away before we could see if she was going to curl her lip and twirl her mustache after Triple H left.)

Or maybe, hopefully, I'm reading too much into what I DIDN'T see. They could always go the easy way and book Vince AND Steph AND H as heels. I just don't get that vibe, though.

Someone remind me: Is Triple H able to wrestle again or is he currently under some "never wrestle again" stipulation? I have to admit I'm too old to remember and too lazy to go back and look.



odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.77

As great as it was, DAnielson's promo felt like an update version of The Punk Speech.



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used2bcool
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Since: 5.11.08
From: Lake Forest, IL

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.38
    Originally posted by CRZ
    Someone remind me: Is Triple H able to wrestle again or is he currently under some "never wrestle again" stipulation? I have to admit I'm too old to remember and too lazy to go back and look.


Pretty sure Trips is allowed to wrestle. His last match was against Curtis Axel on the June 10 Raw, where he lost via Vince McMahon shenanigans and bell-stealing.

I don't think they want all three McMahons to be heels. Vince is pretty clearly the heel (since he wants both Cena and D-Bry to spontaneously combust), and Trips and Steph are on the other side. And that dynamic goes back to the whole Vickie Guerrero firing saga a few weeks ago on Raw. Even yesterday, Steph's attempt at D-Bry's makeover was portrayed as something done with good intention but ultimately futile - in a sense more stupid than evil. Triple H seems to be playing a suited up version of his DX character, who's a douche but picks on evil people and hence should be cheered.
Dr Unlikely
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.27
I really didn't like the opening marathon segment. They're misreading what got Bryan over, and they really misread that crowd last night, who only popped for wrestling-related things and got treated to (almost) all half-assed non-matches with an All-Star Collection of Wrestling's Laziest Finishes.

    Originally posted by CRZ
    ESPECIALLY after the Steph/HHH backstage segment, I think the seeds are being planted for some major McMahonery to come out of SummerSlam... and not in the good way. I'm getting a really unpleasant feeling about how I think things are being set up to come down.
Yeah, between the opening and that segment with its "I, HHH, have to save Daniel Bryan and the WWE and all of wrestling!" overtones, the first half of the show did what I didn't expect to be possible and took a little of the shine off my interest in Cena/Bryan, which should be so easy to make great. Get the McMahons out of there, get these two face-to-face in the ring where Bryan looks potentially out of his depth, get them in more matches where Bryan is then seemingly running circles around Cena as a partner and Cena suddenly realizes he might have to step up.

Cena's segment later was weird, but better. There was a glimmer of something truly beautiful last night that we'll never get to see: Vince protesting a little too much about not wanting John Cena to be champ, Cena giving his seemingly strange argument of "If I can't wrestle in WWE, I'd rather not wrestle at all" (kinda puzzling considering the rest of his character), The Shield - with nothing else to gain - regrouping and marching back out to stop Orton from cashing in on Cena...I mean, no, it's not going to happen, but visions of Suit-Wearing, Powerpoint Presentation Champion John Cena embracing his destiny with the Shield at his back...ah well...

Punk/Brock, though, oh man. Loved all of it, starting with Punk trying and failing to do the Perfect gum swat through how good that whole match was until the backwards ending. And the actual Punk/Brock battle was terrific, laying out how Punk theoretically could beat Brock in a wrestling match, but the danger of letting up for even a second and giving Brock a chance to straight up murder him. That belly-to-belly on the floor was insane, and Brock looking like his head was about to pop at the end was wild, as was the "Say something stupid!" promo in the back. Zero complaints about what everybody (including Axel!) is doing here.
dMp
Banger








Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

Since last post: 2 days
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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.89
    Originally posted by CRZ
    Well, mine's more along the lines of how I think Steph may be setting up Hunter. (We didn't SEE Vince yell at Steph, but we did see her crying and riling up her husband. We also cut away before we could see if she was going to curl her lip and twirl her mustache after Triple H left.)




      I figured they knew it would just be bad comedy with Vince snarling and Steph trying to sell 'crying'.

      I liked how Bryan stood his own in the segment with Vince.
      He did not look out of place but his words seemed true (indy god who advanced to conquer the wwe with wrestling (and a catchphrase))

      Cena's promo was so different then his usual "soundbite! soundbite! wwe universe! soundbite! soundbite!" shit.
      I noticed right away there was a different flow in his words and it showed, it sounded like he cared about what he said. Perhaps it was because he could be slightly heelish, or because he didn't have to act like the big conquerer of vile evilness like usual.

      I had no issues with the Shield interfering at the end.

      As for other things like Cody & Sandow. I think they'll be just fine. Cody has gotten a good pop in the past few weeks. I blame the random crowd more than the current booking.


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Just my opinion, of course, but I agree with MM44 that Raven and Justin Credible were just wasting away in WWEville, and that a move to NWA-TNA would be a big plus for both of them.
- Downtown Bookie, Raven and Justin Credible CUT! (2003)
Related threads: Raw #1053 7/29/13 - Raw #1052 7/22/13 We're Not Proud - Raw #1051 7/15/13 - More...
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