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TUCKER ON RAW 4/15: DVR Guide & Instant Reaction - Thumbs Up, but what is there to get excited about?

Apr 15, 2013 - 11:14:55 PM
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Instant Reaction - WWE Raw 4/15
By Benjamin Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist


DVR Guide - What to Watch Later

- Lesnar destroys 3MB (Q2)
- U.S. Title match (Q3)
- Ryback promo (Q7)
- Punk loses his smile (Q11)

Overall Score - 6.0

Great. C.M. Punk is going home. The guy deserves it, but I'm not sure if I can make it through three-hour Raws for an extended period of time without at least some dose of Punk. Tonight's show was what any typical Raw has been lately - a few hot segments weighed down by a bloated mid-card filled with one-dimensional characters. I mean, the differences between Dolph Ziggler and even Alberto Del Rio are stunning. So much of the show fails to capture my attention because none of these people have anything I can invest in.

Antonio Cesaro was going somewhere before he started yodeling. While his U.S. Title match against Kofi was very good, I just can't get excited over seeing Kofi win yet another mid-card championship. What's the point? WWE's never going to pull the trigger on him. They almost did two-and-a-half years ago and look where he is now. The same gimmick. The same moves. The entire WWE mid-card, with only a few exceptions, is one-dimensional and lifeless. And on a three-hour show, that's kind of a problem.

First off, it makes so much of the show feel like filler. Well, a lot of it was. The Divas match was basic, and the Rhodes Scholars tag match was something that could have aired on Saturday Morning Slam. Barrett's loss to R-Truth was another nothing segment that just made him look bad - Truth has been gone from meaningful television segments for so long that I can't invest in him. Kane and Bryan faced the Prime Time Players for the... sixth time in two months? Or is it more?

World champion Dolph Ziggler is doing the best he can right now, but to be honest he's making both Swagger and Del Rio look bad. His smooth, natural promos make the other two look even worse than they have over the last month-and-a-half. The match against Jack Swagger was very good, but I'm hoping that they can get their feud over with quickly so Dolph can move on to some more worthy challengers.

The verbal segments tonight overall did fare a bit stronger than the in-ring portion of Raw. While I don't see Lesnar vs. Triple H in a cage being the least bit entertaining, they did do a good job of getting there by having Brock destroy 3MB. I was genuinely surprised by how well Ryback came across in his pre-taped promo. It wasn't the best segment ever, and it dragged a bit towards the end, but it all made sense and Ryback still has enough credibility to back up his words. Cena dressing him down on the mic and having Ryback walk out confuses me to no end, though. Ryback is a monster. It doesn't matter if he's a heel or not - why walk out? Or, have Shield interrupt before Ryback leaves, then have him leave the ring so that it makes sense? The end of Raw really didn't do much for me or for Ryback, for that matter.

Raw was mixed tonight. There was more good than bad, with two pretty good matches and a couple of solid verbal segments, but the lifeless mid-card is really starting to get to me. And with the temporary wrestlers leaving soon (along with Punk), it seems as if it's going to be a long road to Summerslam.

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


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