1. Very hot open to Raw tonight… well after the Vince McMahon/Paul Heyman promo. This was Wrestling Booking 101. We all knew this was going to happen and yet IT STILL HAPPENED BECAUSE IT WAS LOGICAL! And while it was unintentional, Brock Lesnar being busted added immensely to the segment. These two men are in a blood feud and FINALLY blood was actually involved. Also, I never thought it would make a difference but Triple H’s haircut actually makes him look more jacked and badass. This segment made look forward to a match I didn’t have any interest in a week ago.
2. Another week and another loss for Dolph Ziggler. The meteoric fall of Ziggler over the last few months has been absolutely mind-boggling and I honestly think the only reason why he is still on Raw is because of that briefcase that means less & less every week. If he doesn’t start winning or cash in the briefcase soon, Dolph Ziggler may be considered one of the biggest lost opportunities in WWE history.
3. I’m pretty sure that CM Punk promo just solidified the CM Punk vs The Undertaker match at WrestleMania. The promo was fantastic but he reiterated numerous times that he defeated “everyone”, was “the best in the world” and “is God”. Those are all themes and verbiage that have related to The Phenom in the past. I guess the house show matches this past weekend went better than expected. I just hope he is able workout before ‘Mania or at least has the sense to update his wrestling gear so his spare tire isn’t as prevalent as it was in the house show photos.
4. I keep going back and forth on this Wade Barrett/Sheamus feud. On one hand, it’s a feud based on a movie that Barrett is barely in. It’s essentially a comedy feud. Then again, its a feud between the Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and Sheamus that looks like it will be featured at WrestleMania in a semi-prominent role. These two guys have a ton of history coming up in the business and have fantastic chemistry. The material they have to work with might not be the greatest but at least the in ring action will be stellar. The only thing that would make it better is if the IC title was involved as it should be.
5. Woah weird… I shot a student film in the same house that WWEShop.com commercial took place in.
6. God Dean Ambrose is just gold on the microphone and Rollins and Reigns are no slouches whatsoever. While I’m a little confused as to why Sheamus is involved in this feud as well as a program with Wade Barrett, the addition of Randy Orton is perfectly logical and his chemistry with any one of The Shield would be phenomenal. Considering the content of The Shield’s promo, it looks like we’ll be getting a 6-man tag at WrestleMania between The Shield and 3 other main eventers with nothing to do. My guess is Randy Orton, Ryback and Chris Jericho.
7. Interesting that Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler revealed The Undertaker’s return DIRECTLY before the John Cena vs CM Punk match. If they were going to go with the announcement of the Punk/Taker match at WrestleMania, I highly doubt they would completely reveal The Undertaker’s return before the segment. Yes it was one way to keep people tuned into Raw but at this point, I think whatever audience you have isn’t going anywhere.
8. I read last week that Vince McMahon was completely bored with the CM Punk/John Cena feud and their matches against one another, meaning that tonight’s main event would be their last for awhile. I can’t honestly disagree with him.
9. Despite how much these two have faced off in the last two years (and it has been far, FAR too much), Punk & Cena’s chemistry is absolutely undeniable. We criticize John Cena a lot, more than maybe anyone in history, but he’s had numerous feuds/matches where he has had incredible chemistry with his opponents. Guys like Chris Jericho, Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels have all had their own series’ of matches with Cena where we were always surprised that Cena was able to pull off such good matches. And we always said it was because of his opponent and yes, Jericho, Orton and Michaels are all great in-ring talents but the obvious common denominator is John Cena. He might not be the smoothest in the ring and he definitely will not go down in the history books as a fantastic in-ring competitor but he knows what he does well and he knows what makes a good match with whomever his opponent is. Trust me, I don’t like giving Cena this much credit but sometimes you just have to give the devil his due.
10. An interesting closing sequence but I can’t help but feel it was anti-climatic. They tried hard with the false finishes and Cena’s attempt at a hurricanrana but in the end it was an Attitude Adjustment and a clean pin. No “Dusty finish” with the hope that Punk may make it into the main event of WrestleMania. No Undertaker appearance to either cost Punk the match or tease a match between the two. There wasn’t even really a moment in the match where you felt John Cena’s title shot was in jeopardy. I really thought WWE, CM Punk & John Cena had a chance to have their own “End of an Era” match and instead we had a paint-by-numbers Raw main event that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the dog days of summer instead of a match worthy of WrestleMania season. If you can even call this “WrestleMania season” because honestly everything but the opening segment left A LOT to be desired.