ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 12/03/12



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Team Hell No defeats the Prime Time Players. Daniel Bryan wins with a rollup on Darren Young. The Shield watch from different parts of the arena and attack the champions after the match.

^Raw opened with a tag match and no talking? I guess some changes must’ve been suggested by creative. The match itself was longer than I expected, and it was slightly above average. The attack on the champions is what I find most intriguing because the eventual explanations will be interesting.

AJ defeats Tamina in a competitive match with a surprise rollup when she goes to the corner for the superfly splash.

^This really wasn’t an epic back and forth battle, but the purpose was served to keep the heat going between these ladies. I find it funny that no matter how hard they try to “glam” up Tamina, she still looks just like her father.

CM Punk comes to the ring with Paul Heyman. They both run their mouths and Punk takes away credit from the Shield being the reason that he still has his title. He also complains about facing Ryback again. The Miz interrupts. Miz challenges Punk to take a lie detector test tonight to prove that he’s full of it. He taunts Punk into accepting his challenge.

^Now why can’t the Miz be rivaling with Punk instead of Ryback? I know Miz is still trying to get over with the audience as a face, but wouldn’t be awesome(no pun intended) for him to challenge Punk for the title right now?

John Cena and Sheamus defeat Dolph Ziggler and Big Show. Cena hits the AA on Ziggler for the win.

^This one felt a big dragged out, but the two rivalries have been well drawn out and their conclusions coming at TLC should be exceptional. I find it funny that more often than not the faces are getting the wins in these big, multiple rivalry, random tag matches.

Damien Sandow does his new apprentice promo where the contestant failed to answer the third question correctly. Sandow defeats Santino using the end(modified neckbreaker).

^Damien Sandow has been nothing short of amazing with his promos since he came into WWE a year ago. Seeing how far he’s come in just one year gives me confidence in predicting that he will be a World Champion within the next few years. I hate seeing Santino used the way he is, but knowing his role is something he’s become rather good at.

Ziggler is shown asking Vickie for a rematch with Cena at TLC and she grants it. Brad Maddox is shown in her office. After the commercial, Vickie agrees to put Brad on the show to give him another shot.

^I like how short these segments were. Getting to the point and not dragging the show out in useless segments is somewhat important if you want to keep people interested.

Alberto Del Rio defeats Sin Cara using the cross armbreaker.

^This was a great match between these two. I know we just saw it recently, but this one was longer and told a much better story. I don’t know what exactly the long term plans are for either of these guys, but Del Rio has improved to a level where I could see him carrying a top title and actually main eventing show after show. As far as Sin Cara goes, he seems to be coming into his own and finally catching on to what a good match should be without crazy mistakes.

Vince McMahon talks to Vickie Guerrero in the ring. Vince suggests that Cena vs Ziggler be a ladder match with the MITB briefcase on the line and Vickie makes it official. Vince then suggests that Paul Heyman should face Ryback next week on Raw if Punk is found to be a liar later tonight and Vickie reluctantly agrees to that as well.

^I think the entire IWC saw the stipulation coming for Cena and Ziggler. I like the possibility of Ziggler cashing in before that match or even having Cena win the match and a title shot whenever he chooses.

Randy Orton squashes Brad Maddox in a match where he could earn a WWE contract. The Shield jumps in the ring after the match and beats down Randy Orton.

^It was nice to see Orton back, but the match here was far too short. The Shield jumping in on this one makes me think Maddox is a part of the group working with Punk. How much more obvious could this be?

Ziggler and Paul Heyman both “scold” Vickie backstage. Cena comes in and thanks Vickie for the match at TLC. Vickie shows Cena some of AJ’s bows that have Cena’s face in the middle of them.

^If this is all the Vickie/Cena/AJ drama we have to deal with for one night, then I’m not complaining.

Kofi Kingston and R-Truth are set to take on Antonio Cesaro and Wade Barrett. Teddy Long comes out and makes it a fatal four way for one of the titles. The fans vote for the US Title to be on the line. Cesaro wins the match after a neutralizer on Kofi.

^This fatal four way was setup well and was much more exciting than any tag match would have been. I figured the title wouldn’t change hands now just for the simple fact that Cesaro is being pushed as a strong champion. This was a really exciting match.

CM Punk comes down for the MizTV lie detector segment. After answering a few questions truthfully, Punk may have told a lie when he says he can beat Ryback on his own and the graph spiked. When Miz asks Punk if he is worked with Brad Maddox at Hell in a Cell and the Shield at Survivor Series, Punk gets angry and the Shield hits the ring at the same time to clear the ring. Team Hell No comes out but gets beat down. Ryback comes out and things even out. After the ring is cleared, Punk kicks the Miz and celebrates, but Ryback comes back and nails him with shell shocked to close the show.

^What a chaotic way to close the show! I doubt Ryback will see WWE gold before the year ends, but his presence as a top contender is definitely in the process of being solidified. I think Punk not answering that question was predictable, but it makes things very clear now for anyone at home who couldn’t connect the dots. Good ending to a great show.

As good as Raw was last week, it was twice as good this week. You had all this action and storylines being set up and just some really great wrestling. Awesome show! I’ll be back with the rundown this weekend along with Final Resolution predictions! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!

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