THE SPECIALISTS TUCKER'S INSTANT REACTION - Raw 10/8: McMahon brings out the big guns...
Oct 8, 2012 - 10:48:19 PM
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Instant Reaction - WWE Raw 10/8 By Benjamin Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist
Overall Score - 8.0
After Raw scored one of its worst ratings since 1998, Vince McMahon decided to bring out some of the big guns. And bring them he did. Tonight's show moved at a much brisker pace than previous three-hour Raws, was much more focused, got over new talent, and I thought hit a great ending note. Vince McMahon had probably his best match since he faced Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 22 in 2006. He took bumps that I would never expect from a man his age. The intensity of his match with Punk was great, and was only heightened by the amount of hype it was given throughout the show. Heyman questioning Punk's thought processes was a great way to address his past with McMahon, and it served as not only a good vehicle to continue Punk's feuds with Cena and Ryback, but was also a fun three-hour story arc. Both Punk and McMahon deserve credit for delivering a quality main event.
I thought the rest of the show was pretty good as well. Match quality was high this week, with all of the tag matches delivering. Rhodes Scholars looked good, Ziggler/Del Rio vs. Hell No was a lot of fun and was given a good amount of time, and PTP vs. Rey and Cara was good as well, even if a bit too much was cut out via commercials. Barrett vs. Sheamus was one of the better matches of the night. It firmly established Barrett as a legit competitor, allowing him to move on to bigger opponents, and Sheamus looked good as well. More than anything, they're hyping his match with Big Show about the best that they can. The whole "Unstoppable force vs. Immovable object" concept works perfectly here, and seeing Show flip Sheamus outside the ring like that did a good job of pushing Show as a new type of threat. But, man, I miss Mark Henry.
The few smaller matches on the show also worked well. Antonio Cesaro looked great in his match with Tyson Kidd, and the Divas match worked well also. The Layla-Eve dynamic is actually developing very well, and I can see a match between the two down the line actually meaning something if they follow through. The Larry King bit with Miz was about as hokey as you can get, but it did get Kofi (apparently) into a meaningful program, which can really only do good at this point. His stock has fallen considerably this year, and a feud with Miz can be a lot of fun (if done correctly, of course). And, as usual, I thoroughly enjoyed the antics of Bryan and Kane. It's not old yet!
Some readers last week were quick to point out that I'm passing judgment on the trio of Mahal, McIntyre, and Slater prematurely, and they're right. The odd group hasn't shown enough yet for me to say whether they mesh well or not, even if their gimmicks are about as far apart as they can possibly be. While it seemed a bit awkward, their attack on Santino and Ryder tonight was a solid effort and did a good job of continuing to establish the group's signature moves, catchphrases, etc. I just hope they can find a way to make the group not feel thrown together.
Besides the terrible Truth-Brodus segment and the overall length of the show, I don't there's much to complain about from tonight's Raw. I'm still amazed at how well WWE has juggled the Punk-Cena and Punk-Ryback feuds, and tonight was no different.
Any questions or comments? Feel free to message me on Twitter at BTuckertorch .
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