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Hits & Misses
10/28 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Sandow vs. Cena, Michaels - Bryan, Punk vs. Ryback, Orton's Title Celebration

Oct 30, 2013 - 4:55:44 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, Torch Specialist

RAW HITS

Langston & The Usos vs. The Shield: During a backstage hand held video promo, the first seeds of dissension were planted among The Shield when Dean Ambrose said that he was the only member of the group to hold a Championship, which drew a look from Roman Reigns. I hope that this is just a very early hint at some trouble that will play out over a long stretch of time. I was glad that The Shield was on the same page the rest of the night, including this six man tag against Big E Langston & The Usos. We only saw about 5 minutes of that match, but what we saw was good. The ending was particularly strong with The Usos seeming to take control until Reigns hit that great double spear for the win.

Michaels - Bryan: The in ring encounter between Shawn Michaels and Daniel Bryan was very strong. The performance from Michaels on the mic was good, and the body language shown by Bryan throughout was spot on. Michaels was great in trying to act in a reasonable manner early on, while growing more and more frustrated throughout until he ultimately snapped in demanding respect from Bryan. Will Michaels actually come out of retirement for a match against Bryan? Part of me would love to see it, but another part of me would like to just see him stay retired. Either way, I will only believe it when I see it. Other than that, what is this setting up? Bryan vs. Triple H? I would have said so, but not when The Wyatt Family attacked Bryan later in the show.

Rhodes Bros vs. The Real Americans: This was a good tag match. I didn't like the result (more later), but I did enjoy the match. The match went 12 minutes and was fun to watch. These are two talented teams. I did miss a Giant Cesaro Swing, but I liked seeing Antonio Cesaro's huge European Uppercut on Cody Rhodes. That led to a believable near fall that was broken up by Goldust. I didn't like the very end, but the match did build very nicely to that end.

RAW MISSES

Sandow vs. Cena: The minute that Damian Sandow failed to win the WWE Title in the first 60 seconds of the match (the way that say almost every other successful cash in has happened), I knew with 100% certainty that he would lose. In fact, as soon as they took a commercial break when he cashed in, you knew he would lose. Also, given the sense of urgency, it was unforgivable that there was a commercial break later in the match. To me there was absolutely zero suspense in this match. John Cena was going to pull off a SumerMan victory against the odds and Sandow would continue to look like a total loser, like he has in just about every match that he has had since winning the MITB briefcase in the first place. There was certainly good wrestling action in this match. Cena and Sandow played their parts well. Part of the problem is that Sandow has looked so ineffective in the last few months, that WWE hasn't even done close to a half way decent job of building up his finishing move. So when he hit it, how many people even thought "that's his finisher"? The storytelling was terrible here and Sandow was buried just to once again cement the fact that Cena is SumerMan.

"The Devil Made Me Do It": Are the Wyatts being elevated into a program with Bryan and CM Punk? Or are Bryan and Punk being lowered into a program with The Wyatt Family? After being in the main event and a high profile feud against Paul Heyman, this does seem more of a demotion to me. But, that isn't really my big problem. My big problem is that while I am a bit intrigued as to the meaning of Bray Wyatt's new tag line to replace "follow the buzzards," my issue is that it points to some higher power for Wyatt. He hasn't been around long enough to suddenly suggest that he isn't the actual power behind the group. Maybe I am misinterpreting this statement, but it seems to suggest that he is taking orders from someone. We are supposed to start to think about Vince McMahon, or Triple H, or Paul Heyman, or someone else. I get that. I just am not sold on The Wyatts vs. Bryan & Punk or this notion that someone else is pulling the strings.

Kane: Perhaps I am being too impatient here. Perhaps we will eventually get a good explanation as to why Kane beat up The Miz at the PPV, what happened to him after The Wyatts kidnapped him, and where he has been the last two months. However, when they haven't even addressed those questions at all, why would I think that they will now address the reason why Kane has given his services to Stephanie McMahon. There may be some potential for Kane as Stephanie's go to monster, but it seems like a waste of Kane to me. It seems like this is a position that could have gone to a debuting wrestler as her enforcer instead of a long time veteran like Kane. And I am also over the whole mask thing at this point.

Punk vs. Ryback: I would have thought a Hell in a Cell match where Punk was able to get his hands on Paul Heyman and "finish him" would be the end of Punk's feud against Ryback. I don't understand having a rematch on Raw the night after what appeared to be a major blow off match at a PPV. That makes no sense to me. Given that, the fact that this match was under 5 minutes seemed odd to me. It was not an inspired effort. It should not have happened at all. Punk's solid promo should have put the matter to bed, and then the Wyatts could have come out. Also, I like how clearly Punk and Ryback put together a match that would have been almost exactly the same regardless of the stipulation voted on by the fans. If it had been falls count anywhere, they would have thrown in a few near falls on the outside, then done the same thing. If it had been a tables match, it would have been exactly the same only the match would have ended when Punk elbowed Ryback through the table.

Rhodes Bros Lose: I hated the fact that Goldust & Cody Rhodes lost to The Real Americans. I have no problem with building up The Real Americans as a legit Tag Team Championship contender. They are certainly good enough to get a feud against the Tag Team Champs. However, they just lost the night before to Los Matadores, a comedy team who is mostly feuding with 3MB. I don't understand the timing on this at all. The announcers spent much of the match talking about their feud with Lost Matadores, so it doesn't seem like the feud is over. Given their PPV loss the night before, why were they even getting a non-title match against the Champs? Why have them win? Why have the Rhodes Brothers lose so early in their run as a team after Goldust's return. I don't understand this at all.

Rae vs. Natalya: I appreciate the fact that there were two Divas matches on one show. I appreciate the fact that WWE would give a Divas match 5 minutes. However, Summer Rae vs. Natalya was probably not the match to give 5 minutes to. And if they were going to do it, why have Rae dominate the entire match? That made the match very boring. Rae looks like she has some potential in the ring and Natalya is good, but having such a one sided match go this long wasn't a good idea. Having the babyface have to win after distraction from The Great Khali doesn't make much sense either. Fandango only got up on the ring apron to gloat and celebrate with Rae. He didn't cheat or cause a distraction. And why was this the main event match?

Orton's Celebration: I liked some of the ending to Raw, but not enough to save it from the Miss column. I wasn't happy seeing the roster once again forced to stand and watch the proceedings. That was too remindful of those terrible Raws that followed SummerSlam. I liked Triple H's initial promo introducing Randy Orton including his history with Orton. Orton's mic work at that point wasn't good. The Big Show's interruption was predictable and more of the same. They explained last week that Show was able to get on the big screen and into the building with the help of some WWE employees, but those employees were fired. Therefore, it is totally unbelievable that someone would actually help Big Show get back in the building this week and then someone would play his music. He doesn't work for the company. A good sound technician would cut his mic off. The crowd was into it and he got a nice pop when he knocked out Orton, but again the focus was on a non-regular wrestler in Triple H. I am much more interested in seeing Show vs. Triple H than Show vs. Orton.

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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