ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 10/22/12

Raw opens with Team Rhodes Scholars defeating Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara to become the number one contenders for the tag team titles at Hell in a Cell. Kane and Dbry “congratulate” the duo after the match and Kane performs “magic” by blocking Dbry’s head and standing in front of him while saying “now you see him, now you don’t.”

^This match felt way too short, and I know Rhodes and Sandow were meant to look dominant, but is this really how Mysterio and Sin Cara should look when you’ve built them up to be one of the most exciting tag teams on the roster?

Kofi Kingston defeats Michael McGillicutty in a short match with Miz on commentary. Kofi catches trouble in paradise from out of nowhere to pick up the win.

^I know it was just a short match, but seeing Michael McGillicutty go one on one with the IC Champ is very exciting for me. I’ve been a huge McGillicutty fan for some time now and a big push for him is due in my opinion. They worked a good match for how short it was.

John Cena comes out and talks about CM Punk. He says Punk is a man who tells the truth, and says Punk wanted change. Cena says this Sunday at HIAC, after 337 days of Punk being champion, we see change in the form of 291 pounds(Ryback). Punk comes out and says Cena didn’t want to face him at HIAC. Cena says he wasn’t allowed to, but that he is now medically cleared to compete. Punk heads down to the ring to fight Cena but then backs off and leaves.

^I honestly wanted Cena/Punk, but I’m sure we’ll get it again before the rumble. Good promo work by both men, but I hope Cena is wrong about Ryback holding the WWE Title. It would honestly be the biggest mistake in WWE since Nash was given the gold in 1994.

Justin Gabriel defeats Antonio Cesaro with a 450 splash in a non-title match.

^This match was good, and the finish was even better. I know Gabriel won’t win the US Title from Cesaro, but a good length competitive match for the gold on Sunday at HIAC will make for an entertaining sight. Cesaro losing clean now is interesting to me; it just makes me wonder why WWE couldn’t come up with something a bit more CREATIVE to make a number one contender for the title.

Vince McMahon comes to the ring with AJ. AJ resigns as GM of Raw after announcing that allegations have been made about her fraternizing with a WWE Superstar. Paul Heyman comes out to pitch himself to Vince as a candidate for the GM spot. Vince tells him no and introduces the new Managing Supervisor, Vickie Guerrero. Guerrero comes out and books CM Punk vs Sheamus tonight in a lumberjack match in response to Heyman asking her to cancel Punk vs Ryback at HIAC. Heyman leaves and Vickie taunts AJ. AJ attacks Vickie and they roll around the ring in a brawl before Vickie gets away.

^What the hell was this? This feels like the show has been pulled in a random direction because of someone’s random idea. I don’t get it; AJ was hardly being used in her role and barely involved with the show, and now instead of bringing her back into scenes and using her power, you’re just going to toss her to the side and force us to listen to queen boring? HORRIBLE.

Ryback defeats Miz with shell shocked in a short match.

^It’s starting to feel like the Miz is being completely buried again; I hope I’m wrong and I hope this losing streak leads to some better booking for him as the angry heel.

Eve is shown backstage on the phone trashing AJ; Kaitlyn is behind her. Kaitlyn confronts her and says she has proof that Eve was behind the attack on her at Night of Champions. They start brawling and Layla tries to break it up until Eve attacks her as well. Layla and Kaitlyn attack Eve until officials break things up.

^Well, this was fun! I’m guessing we’ll get a triple threat match booked on Sunday because of this little angle. It seems a bit lazy for WWE not to explain the evidence that incriminates Eve, but I’m just glad we potentially have a good divas match coming from it all.

Josh Mathews has a Sheamus brawling buddy and then interviews the real Sheamus. Big Show interrupts and punches the doll before telling him he needs to be serious about their match on Sunday.

^Well that was fun. Sheamus and Show is actually one of the matches I’m most intrigued by on Sunday; these two have never really gone one on one(that I can recall) and I’m curious what their chemistry is like together.

Dolph Ziggler defeats Daniel Bryan after Kane distracts Bryan in his match by getting the crowd to chant “yes.” The duo argue after the match until Matt Striker comes down and tells them Vickie Guerrero wants them to do a therapeutic game show against Sandow and Rhodes. Striker tells Kane and Dbry to talk a little bit about themselves. Team Rhodes Scholars interrupt when they talk about themselves and start arguing. They refuse to participate. Striker declares Team Hell No the winners by forfeit. Striker goes to leave and gets thrown across the stage by the Big Show.

^The match was exceptional. The game show segment was foolish but Dbry and Kane found a way to make it work. Good segment overall, but Matt Striker should be fired; he annoys me.

Big Show knocks out Kane per the distraction from Team Rhodes Scholars and picks up the win. The pair take out Daniel Bryan after the match.

^Interesting situation here. I love seeing Big Show look so dominant, but I think WWE is trying to fool us on both accounts with this one. Making Show look dominant will make us think that he’ll win the title on Sunday, and making Kane and Dbry look weak will make us think they’ll lose their titles to Rhodes and Sandow. In reality, WWE can book it any which way they see fit. Kane and Show wrestled an okay match, but the two guys together are never really all that impressive.

John Cena talks to AJ backstage and she tells him the business dinner they once had together was what led to the accusations against her. He hugs her and tells her he will fix this. Cena approaches Vince and explains things but Vince says there was some incriminating evidence. Vince tells Cena that Vickie having the position is likely temporary. Vince leaves in his limo.

^I know WWE has always been a soap opera, but sometimes it’s a bit over the top. Yes, I’m downplaying it because I don’t want to spend a lot of time complaining about this. Vickie is in for now and that probably means creative felt Vickie would get better ratings because she gets more of a crowd reaction than AJ(good or bad).

Alberto Del Rio defeats Zack Ryder in a short match. ADR gives Ryder a second cross armbreaker after the match to add insult to injury after cutting a promo on his match with Orton this Sunday.

^Is Del Rio ever going to have a competitive match with someone not in the main event scene? It gets tiring to see nothing different from him, despite the purpose of the match being to make him look strong for his fight with Orton Sunday.

Backstage segment with Cena and Vickie Guerrero. Vickie tells Cena he cost AJ her job.

^Now the Vickie/Cena rivalry starts to unfold here…interesting.

Dolph Ziggler is interviewed by Josh Mathews. He talks about Cena being the reason AJ is no longer in her position and that actions have consequences.

^Cena vs Ziggler at Hell in a Cell, anyone? I hope that’s what is being set up by these promos. Cena and Ziggler would be quite interesting in a one on one match, but I’d be okay with WWE waiting for Survivor Series for that one.

Paul Heyman and CM Punk are shown backstage. Punk says he already misses AJ. Heyman hypes Punk for his match at HIAC and tells him he will defeat Ryback.

^Punk misses AJ? That’s funny. Heyman giving Punk confidence for Sunday is good; I hope WWE lets Punk’s run as heel champion continue by finding an outcome for the match that benefits everybody.

CM Punk defeats Sheamus in the main event lumberjack match after Big Show chokeslams Sheamus while standing on the apron. Ryback comes down after the match and continuously beats on Punk as the locker room keeps tossing Punk into the ring with him.

^The match was a little bit slow, but I’d rather have this for a main event any day over some silly talking segment. Anytime CM Punk and Sheamus are in the ring together, I’m happy. They seem to have a really great chemistry working together and I could definitely see them having a WrestleMania match some day for one of the top titles.

Overall, the show was filled with ridiculous storyline developments. It feels like they came from out of nowhere. Aside from all that, the wrestling portion of the show was pretty good(despite some short matches). Dbry and Ziggler was the match of the night and the main event wasn’t bad either. I do wish the rest of the matches were a bit longer, but what can you say for Monday Night Raw when it comes to a lack of wrestling? I guess I’d just have to call it right down the middle and not say whether or not the entire show was good or bad.

That’s all for this one. Hell In A Cell predictions will be up by Saturday night and my rundown will be up on Saturday as well. Also, Thunder and Lightning’s second inductee in our Pure Pro-Wrestling Hall Of Fame will be inducted on Sunday with a tribute column. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – add me!