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Hits & Misses
HITS & MISSES - 2/18 WWE Raw: Cena Gives Punk a Shot, Ziggler vs. Del Rio, The Shield, We The People

Feb 21, 2013 - 1:16:19 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialist

RAW HITS

Miz vs. Cesaro: This is a marginal Hit. I was confused and then upset about the fact that unless I missed something, WWE never made it clear that this was a non-Title match. I guess they never said it was a U.S. Title match, but they never said it wasn't, so I was surprised when The Miz got the tap out win on Antonio Cesaro and then wasn't the new U.S. Champ. But, the match was still good while it lasted, but not long enough to amount to much. I liked how they used the No DQ stipulation. Maybe it was because they weren't going to go long, but it was nice to see them wrestling at a quicker pace than they have in some other recent matches.

Ziggler vs. Del Rio: This match should have been hyped ahead of time. But, Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio had a good match against each other. Ziggler continues to look bad constantly losing all of his matches, but I am tired of his act right now with AJ and Big E Langston, so I guess I'm over being upset about it. They should keep him strong so that if he does become the World Champion he would be more of a believable Champion. But, while I am a fan of Nick Nemeth the performer, I am starting to cease to be a fan of Dolph Ziggler the wrestler, so I'm ok with him taking these losses. The tease of him cashing in Money in the Bank with Ricardo Rodriguez running interference after the match was well done and fun, but we've seen Ziggler attempt to cash in and get interrupted too many times.

Swagger vs. Bryan: I am not a fan of this new We The People character for Jack Swagger (more later), but I appreciate the fact that WWE changed his music to fit his new personality. Either way, he is a good wrestler and had a good match against Daniel Byran. I was a bit surprised to see how competitive the match was considering they are still rebuilding Swagger as a World Title contender. However, I am ok with it as Bryan is a former World Champion himself so Swagger still looked strong for winning, even if he didn't squash him. Also, it gave us a longer better match which I enjoyed watching.

The Shield vs. Jericho/Ryback/Sheamus: Raw had pretty good in ring action and this six man tag that went over 13 minutes was the highlight of it. I didn't like how Chris Jericho got involved in it (more later), but I did like the results. This was a good match which gave non-PPV buying fans their first chance to see The Shield in an actual match. They continue to look good individually and as a group. They work well together in the ring. They have good chemistry as a team. I know that they cheated to win, but it still felt like a strong win getting the pinfall on Jericho. The match was well booked and well executed and fun to watch. I also continue to want to see more from The Shield and to see where WWE is going with the group.

Rock's Celebration: This is another marginal Hit. I liked the fact that The Rock introduced a new WWE Title belt to replace the old spinner belt. I like the new belt a lot better, though I don't love it. I'm curious to see if the brahma bull logos on the sides are interchangeable so that each new Champion can customize it. Rock's mic work was good, but not great. My problem with it is that instead of getting a big stare down between Rock and John Cena, I was reminded of the horrible opening of the show with Cena giving C.M. Punk a chance to win his WrestleMania Title shot (much more later). Cena's appearance just to stand on the stage was odd. Punk hitting Cena with the old belt was a nice metaphor for something, but he hit him in the middle of the back and it knocked him out? I didn't get that. The very end was a let down, but it was still good enough to get that very marginal Hit.

RAW MISSES

Cena - Punk: I was so upset after the first segment of Raw that I stopped watching and it took me quite awhile to get back to watching the rest of the show. The idea that Cena would just give Punk a chance to win his WWE Title shot at WrestleMania was so terrible. I hated it. This trivializes the entire notion of the Royal Rumble. That's the second biggest PPV of the year, and now I don't really care as much about it. We all knew that Cena was a total goof, but now he is a total idiot. I respect the fact that they hyped this big match a week in advance, and I'm guessing without looking at the schedule that Rock won't be on next week and this is part of their way of combating that? Either way, it is stupid. I didn't see any reason why Cena would have proposed that match, and the fact that he would actually allow Punk to dictate the terms boggles my mind. Cena wanted the match right then and there, he was the one giving Punk the shot, why did he allow Punk to say next week? Even if I could look past how stupid Cena was for giving Punk the match at all, he should have told Punk, "if you want it, you take it now." I'm guessing this is their way of trying to possibly set up a triple threat match for WM, but if that's the way they are going (meaning no Undertaker vs. Punk) then they could have gotten there some way that didn't make their top babyface look like a fool and without trivializing the Rumble.

Jericho Interjects Himself Against Shield: This was just too random and forced for my tastes. Chris Jericho's appearance to give Sheamus and Ryback a pep talk and interject himself into their feud against The Shield was so random that I almost expected him to turn on them and join The Shield in the match. It felt like the only possible reason he would put himself into the feud was to set Sheamus and Ryback up. I don't mind Jericho getting involved in the feud. I just don't like the way they got there.

We The People: I am not a fan of this new character for Jack Swagger, and am not that impressed with the job Zeb Coulter is doing so far. Last week, I wrote that I feared this would lead to people changing the channel. I got confirmation from some readers who told me via email that they did indeed change the channel last week. I understand that they are supposed to be heels and heels say bad things. This is just too real and too close to the mark with ultra conservative Tea Party types for my tastes. And it worries me that there are probably fans who agree with them. So, then are they heels at that point to those particular fans? I am trying to review this show which happened before Swagger's arrest. I will certainly be looking forward to seeing what WWE does in the wake of his arrest.

Vickie/Heyman/Maddox/McMahon: I don't like storylines that focus on authority figures. I don't like storylines that focus on managers instead of their wrestlers (though I see great value in good managers like Paul Heyman). So, here we have a segment that involved the head of WWE in Vince McMahon, the head of Raw in Vickie Guerrero, her new assistant in Brad Maddox, and a manager in Heyman, and no wrestlers. In the proper role, I would like any of these performers, but not all at once and certainly not it a way of setting up a physical confrontation between Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman, even if it is just a set up for Lesnar and Triple H.

Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com's WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at jmezz-torch@sbcglobal.net.

For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell's views to mine by visiting prowrestling.NET's "Hitlist" section here.

[Torch art credit Travis Beaven (c) PWTorch.com]


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