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Hits & Misses
HITS & MISSES - 9/30 WWE Raw: Punk and Heyman, The Big Show, The Shield vs. Usos & Ziggler, Bryan - Orton - Bella

Oct 3, 2013 - 6:05:23 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, Torch Specialist

RAW HITS

Punk vs. Langston: This was a solid match that served its purpose well. C.M. Punk got a win against Big E. Langston who served as a stand in for Ryback. This gave Punk a strong win over a larger stronger opponent which showed that he can get Ryback up on his shoulders to deliver a GTS in their match at Battle Ground.

McMahons - Rhodes Family: There have been parts of this Rhodes family saga that I have enjoyed. There have been other parts that I haven't. I liked this segment for the most part. Triple H and Stephanie were good in their roles. This set up a match that the fans should want to see with Cody Rhodes & Goldust having a chance to win jobs back with WWE by defeating The Shield's Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns. The beating from The Shield at the end was well done, but doesn't give the fans much hope that the Rhodes will win on Sunday. Don't they need that glimmer of hope? There is a problem with how Triple H is being portrayed. John Bradshaw Layfield is a heel, yet he was making the best points on the announce team when talking about the fact that Triple H didn't need to give them any opportunity, and this opportunity is better than none. I would have liked to have heard Michael Cole pointing out Triple H's hypocrisy in terms of doing things that are good for business. If Dusty Rhodes is good at his job as the head of WWE's Performance Center, then setting him up to be fired is bad for business. If he is bad at his job, then he should just be fired. So, I have some definite issues with this angle, but it worked just barely well enough to give a very marginal Hit.

The Shield vs. Ziggler & The Usos: This was definitely the highlight of the night from an in ring stand point. This was a good 6 man tag match. There was a lot of high energy wrestling action throughout. There were some high spots from The Usos which got the crowd excited. Ziggler is always fun to watch in the ring and so are The Shield. Their matches are pretty formulaic, but they are well executed to create chaos towards the end of the match which The Shield is great at taking advantage of to pull off the win. Roman Reigns' spear has been a move that I really look forward to seeing in each of his matches.

RAW MISSES

Punk - Heyman: As strong as the performances have been from C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman lately, this week they were on Raw too often and while some of it was good, most of it was not. They started by showing a replay of the beating that Punk took after the ambush from Curtis Axel and Ryback. Punk's show opening promo was solid, but nothing special. Brad Maddox did not give a good performance in coming out to interrupt. That led to Punk vs. Langston. I did like Heyman's interview with Renee Young later on, especially when she commented that Axel and Ryback were hiding during the interview to trap Punk. During Axel's match against R-Truth, Punk's music interrupted which distracted Axel allowing Truth to get the win. This was well done and Heyman's "you got me" facial expression was the best thing that happened on Raw. So, why is this a Miss? It just kept going and it got worse.

The follow up scene in the back with Heyman, Axel, and Ryback wasn't good. Axel gave a poor performance and I am not as big a fan of the Heyman bromance character than his conniving or bragging character. Then came the overly long and overly cute segment with Heyman "proposing" to Ryback. This started with another replay of what happened last week. Did we need to see it again? The whole proposal bit was way too cutesy for my tastes. Punk's interruption with his fake knee injury was just too much content for one storyline on one show. This seemed like it needed to be stretched out over a few weeks. The fake injury was very cheesy. Heyman was great in reacting to Punk's trick earlier in the show. But, here he and Ryback looked too foolish, especially after being tricked once earlier in the same show. So, while there was some good in this angle, there was just too much of Heyman and Punk on Raw this week and it ended very poorly.

Los Matadores: I wasn't really impressed by the debut of this new team. I always thought Primo & Epico had potential. They are athletic and have talent in the ring, so Los Matadores have potential to become a good team. However, this was not a good debut. Their match against 3MB wasn't good. The gimmick is silly. It was all very bland. When El Territo (is that right?), a little person running around in a bull outfit, is the most interesting part of the act, then you know you have problems.

Big Show: I continue to not be a fan of The Big Show's current storyline. I don't enjoy watching Big Show cry. He does a decent job in the role, but I don't like the role. The idea that he snapped and was going to knock out Triple H was ok, but was really just another tease to the fans of something that might happen. But, the more and more you tease these things, the less and less likely they seem to be, the smaller and smaller the pop is going to be when it does happen. Every time you pop for Show when you think he is going to snap, you get disappointed that he doesn't, and then the next time your pop is not as big as you don't think he will actually do it. It is the law of diminishing returns. The scene where the cops came in to arrest Show was awkward. We got more of Stephanie taunting Show about his financial situation and then made the snide comment about Show's wife. I understand that those comments are supposed to get heat on Stephanie, but Show isn't going to knock her out, so how is he going to ever get revenge for all these terrible things she has said to him and "forced" him to do?

Rob Van Dam: This was a terrible performance on the mic from Rob Van Dam. There is a reason why RVD can't be considered a great all around pro wrestler, because mic skills are a part of being an all around pro wrestler, and he doesn't have good mic skills. He certainly can do better than he did here. It was poorly scripted in that the only hook for his World Title match against Alberto Del Rio at the PPV is that it is hardcore rules. So, talking about those rules and showing some of his best hardcore moments was WWE's way to hype this match and it didn't work.

Orton - Bryan - Bella: What a terrible ending to a pretty bad show. The verbal encounter between Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan to start the segment wasn't very strong. It was okay, but not particularly good. But, I was not a fan of the strong beating that Orton gave Bryan. Bryan started the fight, but Orton ended it very easily. He didn't do anything heelish to get the upper hand on Bryan. Orton just straight up kicked his ass while his fiancee watched and begged him to stop. I still object to having Bryan and Brie Bella's real life relationship turned into an on-air relationship. This made Bryan look so weak. When he looks strong the fans suspect that the McMahons will somehow screw him out of the WWE Title for a third time. But, when he looks this week, do the fans even think the McMahons will need to screw him at the PPV? I get that they are trying to set up Bryan to get revenge, but he looked too bad here.

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 Grant Gould (c) PWTorch.com]


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