ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 04/22/13

Paul Heyman comes out. Triple H interrupts him and nails the pedigree on Heyman. Before that he accepts the challenge for a match with Lesnar for Extreme Rules.

^It’s nice to see the face get the upper hand this week after Lesnar was so dominant last week. Everybody loves it when Heyman gets beat up, even when he does cut such awesome promos. Heyman talking is never a dull way to kick off Raw.

R-Truth defeats Antonio Cesaro in a short match with the little jimmy.

^And Cesaro continues to fall. I’m totally confused by his booking, and bordering on disgusted. The guy was a dominant force when he came into the company and has since been treated as irrelevant. Good for the vet in Truth to get a win here, but let’s talk about a character that’s had even less direction than Cesaro.

Damien Sandow defeats Brodus Clay with a rollup after a Cody Rhodes distraction.

^At least there’s some justice in the world with Sandow getting a victory here. I hate the tag team rivalry because it involves Brodus, but at least WWE is attempting to keep the rivalry interesting.

Backstage segment where Ziggler and AJ send away Big E. so they can have privacy. Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero tell Ziggler that Jericho will be added to the World Title match at Extreme Rules if Jericho defeats him tonight.

^I’d be thrilled to see Jericho involved in the four way at Extreme Rules, but I’m expecting him to be booked in a rematch with Fandango. I wouldn’t complain if he were in two matches, though.

The Shield appear on the tron and talk about defeating the Undertaker tonight and making a statement.

^I love when the Shield have these videos. They’re original and intense; it works for their group.

Dolph Ziggler defeats Chris Jericho after a thirteen minute match with the zig zag. Fandango’s music distracts Jericho so Ziggler can pick up the win.

^Match of the night. These two will never stop having kickass chemistry, and this one was no different. Great wrestling like this usually boosts the overall rating of the show for me. Jericho losing courtesy of Fandango’s distraction keeps their rivalry going, and Ziggler gets the big heel win without cheating too much on his own. That’s how a heel World Champion should be booked.

Mick Foley is interviewed by Josh Mathews about Ryback facing John Cena in four weeks.

^I used to like when legends were brought in to help enhance a rivalry(like Roddy Piper), but this just seems pointless to me. I love Foley, but why not involve him in something that doesn’t involve John Cena?

Tensai defeats Cody Rhodes with a splash.

^I hate this crap. Sweet T is awful, and Cody Rhodes should be in the midcard title scene at the very least having good matches with guys like Zack Ryder, Kofi Kingston, and R-Truth. Hell, turn him face and put him in a feud with Wade Barrett or Antonio Cesaro.

The Shield attacks Team Hell No backstage.

^The Shield is booked as dominant while they’re undefeated, but there’s no denying their strategy of trying to weaken their opponents before a match starts. It would be clever for creative to make mention of this when they start having one on one matches and see who can avoid being attacked backstage before facing one of them.

Ryback is interviewed by Josh Mathews. He wants Mick Foley in the ring later tonight.

^Definitely a heel. Anyone who STILL wants to argue otherwise, open your eyes please.

Big E. Langston defeats Zack Ryder in a squash.

^Ryder teased a heel turn this week on youtube, and I hope he’s not just teasing us. Anything to make him relevant again would be worth doing. Big E. still has a limited arsenal of moves despite being athletic, and that sort of wrestler just doesn’t impress me.

The Shield defeats Kane, Dbry, and the Undertaker. There is a brawl before the match starts when the Shield attacks the Undertaker. Undertaker refuses to hug Dbry after the match so Kane hugs him instead.

^I wasn’t fully expecting the Undertaker to not win here, but I guess if he isn’t taking the pinfall and the Shield looks dominant then it makes sense. Maybe Taker could have a feud with one of these three for his match next year at Mania? It was nice to see the deadman in the ring again, even if it was just a small outing. Fun match; the Shield gets to look dominant but we also have to remember those heel tactics used beforehand to ‘weaken’ their opponents.

John Cena and Mick Foley are shown talking backstage. Cena is worried about Foley meeting Ryback in the ring later.

^Cena gets to play superman. You can already tell how this is going to go.

Fandango defeats William Regal in a short match. Jericho attacks Fandango and throws him off the stage.

^I loved seeing Regal in the ring, but this was a joke for him. I would’ve liked to have seen a knockdown fight that went for ten minutes or so, and then Regal could’ve made Fandango look damn good. Having Fandango sell a good old fashioned beating and then prevail as the victor would’ve been perfect for building his stock. This just didn’t work for me whatsoever. I’m glad his feud with Jericho is going so well, but WWE really failed on this segment in terms of the match.

Kaitlyn comes out and announces a divas battle royal to determine the next number one contender. AJ Lee wins it.

^It’ll be cool to see AJ as Divas Champion once she finally captures the gold, but will it really matter in the grand scheme with how WWE is treating the divas these days? Maybe this is the start of something more for them(I can pretend to be optimistic for them after all the crap they’ve been booked in).

Mick Foley comes to the ring with a chair. Ryback comes out. They exchange words and Ryback declares that he will win the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules. Ryback gets confrontational and Cena comes out for the save so Mick can get out of the ring. The Shield comes out and Cena stays outside the ring. They beat on Ryback for only a moment when Cena comes in with a chair and hits them so they run off. Cena hits an AA on Ryback after dropping and leaves the ring. Ryback gets up and they stare each other down to close the show.

^I didn’t like Foley’s involvement(his promo work was good as always, but his purpose here just doesn’t excite me), but the overall scene here was pretty entertaining. I’m legitimately optimistic that these two can have a good match at Extreme Rules. Will it be a technical classic? Of course not. Will it be a kickass knockdown brawl? Here’s hoping so! Good way to end the night with Cena having a strong showing this time around with Ryback.

Not a bad show whatsoever. I enjoyed most of the wrestling even with a lack of direction for a of guys on the roster. I guess I just don’t always need good stories and promos to enjoy a show when decent wrestling matches are presented to me. I’ll be back with Smackdown and Main Event on Friday night. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – add me!