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TUCKER'S INSTANT REACTION - WWE Raw 12/3: Where did Raw improve and fall short this week?

Dec 3, 2012 - 10:55:36 PM
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Instant Reaction - WWE Raw 12/3
By Benjamin Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist


Overall Score - 7.0

Despite multiple overarching flaws, Raw was much more entertaining this week than most of the post-Hell in a Cell Monday night shows. While TLC hype was dreadfully lacking (apart from the focus on Cena-Ziggler and the Shield), we were treated to a highly entertaining fatal four-way match, a nice outing between Sin Cara and Alberto Del Rio, and a good tag team match with Cena, Sheamus, Big Show, and Ziggler. The main issues of the show (aside from the fact that it's too long, which is a well I don't feel like going back to tonight) reside mainly within the storytelling department.

For one, as much as I enjoyed the first Punk-Miz segment, the lie detector interview was just too much. Miz really amped up his annoying persona, but instead of coming across as a likeable scamp, or even obtaining a persona similar to Cena with his bad humor, he became almost as grating and annoying as he was back when he hosted the Diva Search. He needs to contain his enthusiasm, because it's just too much. It was so grotesquely over-the-top that Punk started to look sympathetic by the time The Shield ran interference for him.

The post-interview run-ins were perfectly fine, yet Ryback's interactions with Punk felt like too little, too late. He was hardly focused on throughout the broadcast, and his upcoming title match with Punk was overshadowed by the lie detector drama. They still have time to get people excited for Ryback-Punk II, but this was a huge step in the wrong direction. At least Ryback looked great by only being used once on the show.

And, of course, Ziggler takes another loss. At least at this point I understand why he's losing so much - it makes it seem that Cena has a high chance of taking his briefcase at TLC - but even beyond the fact that Ziggler needs wins more than anything at the moment, it seems like this course of action is doing more harm than good. Of all of the talent affected by Even Steven booking, Ziggler is perhaps the most affected, due to his high rate of matches. For people to take him seriously, he needs a lot of definitive wins, and fast. If that doesn't happen, his title reign could very likely be a flash in the pan. At the same time, why announce Cena-Ziggler in a ladder match in such anti-climactic fashion? Vince burned through one of his valuable appearances for nothing.

Still, the show wasn't bad. The above matches were very nice, and the opening segment was done perfectly. It's nice to see Kane and Bryan actually working as a cohesive unit, and The Shield's attack was built up nicely. The A.J.-Cena affair was kept to a minimum, and A.J.'s Divas match with Tamina wasn't that bad. Both Damien Sandow and Brad Maddox had great nights on the microphone as well. Sandow is really in touch with his persona, and Maddox's natural arrogance and charisma is astounding. He's the world's biggest over-confident, narcissistic jerk, and I absolutely love it.

Solid action brought this show up a notch after a relatively poor night of storyline development. It was far from perfect, but Raw did enough tonight to keep me entertained for the full three hours, which is more than I can say for some of the last few episodes. Next week really needs to highlight TLC, or else WWE is giving themselves trouble.

Any questions or comments? Feel free to message me on Twitter at BTuckertorch.


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