Welcome! to what I hope will be a weekly, Tuesday series of columns about Monday Night Raw for PWMania, discussing what we witnessed, and what we can take away moving forward from the RAW broadcast. I am a lifelong wrestling fan and invite you to join me in discussion on Twitter: @davyshrader
This week was the “go-home” RAW broadcast prior to this weekend’s Hell In A Cell PPV, and again it was a mixed bag. WWE Creative has been all over the place in recent weeks, from dropping the ball with Dolph Ziggler, to even successfully building their new heel faction, The Authority. At any rate, here are 5 things we learned as we head into the Hell In A Cell PPV:
The Authority: In Trouble With Big Show
The corporate heel team of Stephanie and Triple H has come together nicely, and while Steph has been cutting the best promo work of her on-screen career as of late, her pairing with Triple H only makes them that much more diabolical as a pair. Hunter is at his best as a smarmy, slimy, smart-aleck bad guy, and this character is in full effect alongside his wife in recent weeks. But they can’t seem to shake the onslaught of Big Show.
The Authority’s proverbial chickens will eventually come home to roost, and all the personal attacks against Show will soon run it’s course in the form of a Giant unleashed, even possibly in a Show/Hunter match at Survivor Series or later. This week was no exception, with Show driving a semi truck into the arena in the final scenes of the show, on top of cutting a great promo during Raw’s opening segment. Show, when given time, can cut an emotional promo like few others, and this week was a great example of such mic work. Now we must spend the rest of the week trying to figure out how he gets involved in this weekend’s PPV, given that the WWE Championship Match is in The Cell.
John Cena Returns This Weekend
For all the complaining and griping from some fans, for all the haters and malcontents weekly against him, John Cena will finally return to the WWE this weekend at Hell In A Cell, and return is much needed. And while his match against Alberto Del Rio is certainly a questionable choice, there’s not much else for Del Rio right now to be involved in, but Cena will almost certainly not take the World Championship off of Del Rio this weekend.
One thing to expect would be that Cena isn’t actually fully healed, and this match with Del Rio will end with Cena in an armbar submission. This end result would certainly be plausible given that Cena wasn’t expected to be back until Survivor Series or even later, and that his return will be short lived, if only to add some PPV buys from the WWE Universe.
Wrestling Matches: A Novel Idea for RAW
Every Monday RAW treats us fans to several lengthy matches that are usually of decent quality, but this week we got several more in addition to the three of four bouts we are usually treated to. From Ziggler and Orton to Bryan and Ambrose to The Wyatt Family’s match against those trusty mid-carders, RAW this week was bountiful with some decent to good matches from it’s reliable talent.
And it’s no secret that Daniel Bryan is still on fire, with his skill set such that he can put on a nice match with just about anyone he is paired with. His continual bouts with Dean Ambrose over these past couple of months are a prime example of WWE’s young talent pool finally coming into their own, and it’s serving them well by showcasing these new guys, week in and week out. It’s hard to get tired of watching such talent on a regular basis, and here’s hoping the WWE continues this trend.
Brie Bella: Starting To Get Over
It’s taken several months, but it finally appears that Brie Bella is starting to get over with the WWE Universe. And this really is well deserved. For years prior to the recent Divas reality show, Brie and Nikki Bella had been a couple of the best WWE heel Divas that the company has had in several years. With the popularity of the Total Divas reality show, the time is now for the girls to strike if they are ever going to truly get over, and doing so as faces is even more compelling.
Brie Bella has put in her time. She is carrying the Bella Twins team right now with her sister being injured, and she has really started to come on into her own as an actual wrestler in recent weeks. All of this is starting to finally pay dividends, with Brie having a nice showing this week on RAW, with the crowd behind her as she got the pinfall. I’ve longed believed The Bella Twins are the next Diva legends in waiting, and it looks like they are finally starting to turn that corner.
The Tag Team Titles Will Be Defended AT The PPV
In a fitting wrap-up to the great rebuilding project that has been the WWE Tag Team Division, this weekend at Hell In A Cell the Tag Team Champions Cody and Dustin Rhodes will defend their titles in a triple threat match against The Uso’s and the Shield’s Rollins and Reigns. Undoubtedly this match has the potential to steal the entire show Sunday night, as all three teams have been on fire in recent weeks.
It’s certainly a renaissance time for Dustin Rhodes, and to an extent his brother Cody, but also a nice coming of age for The Uso’s as well. Both teams are performing at a very high level, and the Rhodes brothers are certainly deserving of their current title run, with Dustin still capable of compelling and high quality performances, and Cody finally starting to catch on with the fans. This could certainly be the match of the night this weekend, and it could only be more compelling if they would hold it inside the Cell structure.
Who’s watching the PPV this weekend, and how was this week’s RAW for you? Sound off below in the COMMENTS section, and argue with me on Twitter: @davyshrader