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WWE RAW REAX #5: Did the heart attack angle work because it generated buzz or did it fail by turning away viewers?

Nov 14, 2012 - 2:28:45 PM
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-- WWE Raw Reax 11/12

Bob Magee, PWTorch reader (5.0): As much as I usually hate that kind of angle, I knew WWE was going to go for something like Punk/Heyman's mock heart attack. Go back to the footage of the night Lawler had his heart attack. Either as it was happening, or shortly before Lawler suffered his attack, Punk asked the question (referring to the beating Punk had laid on him previously) "How are you feeling, Jerry?" It stuck in my head when it happened. Once Lawler recovered, I said that that line will be brought back in some sort of angle. Heyman and Punk's delivery was SO over the top, that it didn't offend me. Further, I'd be shocked if Lawler didn't either actually write the damn skit, or at least suggest details on it... The biggest problem with the show is the A.J.-Cena storyline. Vince, short of them having sex live on-air, no one is going to care. It's such a transparent set-up that it isn't even interesting. Vickie Guerrero is a great natural heel. Give her better stuff to work with, huh?

James, PWTorch reader (6.0): I personally liked the heart attack angle. You don't see heels stoop that low anymore. It had some edginess to it! And, let's be real, it's not like Lawler was oblivious to the whole thing. I also thought Punk's promo was fantastic! I think a lot of the people outraged by the segment would have praised it if it happened in 1998.

Eric E., 26, of Newbury Park, Calif.: Punk and Heyman's fake heart attack angle has succeeded, looking at the buzz and discussion about it. The thing I found more tasteless was the video package heading into commercial - it made it seem like an actual life and death situation was a regularly-staged portion of the show with the footage, graphics, and Cole's commentary from the night of the occurrence. I understand that WWE is an entertainment company, but re-living what was a genuinely unnerving and upsetting moment for everyone involved through the typical "wrestling vignette" rubbed me wrong. That being said, the resulting promo and angle with Punk & Heyman was another dastardly, low-life thing you'd expect a heel pairing to do considering their history with Lawler. Odds are, if Jerry wasn't okay with the angle, it wouldn't have happened... As for the rest of the show, I thought Ziggler's interaction with A.J. was money. If this is building to a Ziggler-Cena encounter to move DZ further up the card, I'm all for it. And, Foley popped me big time with the "Amy Schumer says hello" swipe to Ziggler. I also like the idea of making Miz a tweener/face, as he's been very enjoyable on commentary for Main Event. Finally, Kane as the sane one in Team Hell No amuses me.

Jacob of Corpus Christi, Tex. (n/a): I won't rate this Raw because I didn't watch the whole show and for the most part what I did watch, I enjoyed. I'll give WWE credit for what they have done in the tag team division over the last few months. There's no veteran team to anchor the division, but there is a lot of talent there. Also, I swear that WWE is following the Claire Lynch formula by the week with what they unveil, but they could change it up all they want and I still wouldn't care... Now here's the big one because this is where I turned the DVR off. Jerry Lawler deserved a feel-good moment, but the backstage rescecitation video is exactly why there were questions when Jerry suffered the heart attack in the first place. What's next - the Owen Hart fall video when WWE is in Kansas City next? The best way to decide whether or not what they did was low-class is to think about how they would have proceeded if Lawler actually died. If Jerry died that night and hadn't been resuscitated, Vince would be in the media speaking in a somber tone about WWE's Wellness Policy having procedures to help them gauge the physical condition of the talent. They would never mock the situation had Jerry not survived, but since he did, McMahon sees it as fair game to exploit. I was embarrassed to be a wrestling fan on Monday, and my interest in watching the show and ordering the PPV is at an all-time low.

***

[Torch art credit Grant Gould (c) PWTorch.com]


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