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KELLER'S TAKE
KELLER'S SIX PACK: Thoughts on Raw including how WWE handled Rock's absence, Punk-Jericho, Sammartino back in WWE, Henry's Road to WrestleMania, more

Feb 5, 2013 - 2:06:14 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

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(Wade Keller's full report on Monday's Raw plus added analysis with more thoughts and select key quotes was posted exclusively on the PWTorch VIP website and VIP mobile site Monday night. Subscribe here to go VIP: PWTorch.com/GoVIP)

-- Overall, a lot happened on this show. A lot to digest. Interesting to see a show with WWE Champion who won the title just eight days ago absent. I think, big picture, they should have done more with that - as in putting it into historical perspective, touting his life's journey from WWE to movie stardom back to WWE. To keep Rock a draw, and to get a rub from Rock being their champion, they need to turn his busy schedule into a reason to be amazed he has accomplished yet another WWE Title run, not try to hide the fact that he's already missing a week.

-- C.M. Punk vs. Chris Jericho was a very good TV match. It felt fresh with Jericho being away for six months, but with Punk set to face Rock and maybe Undertaker, putting this on TV didn't cost them a money match on PPV. It also gave Punk a big win over a legacy star in front of a huge Raw audience.

-- WWE needs to fill TV time, but it does seem like Ryback vs. Antonio Cesaro was a match worth a little more hype ahead of time. I could have easily seen this being billed as one of the big main events of the show - the long-running U.S. Champ against Ryback. It was just thrown out there as the opener instead, which tends to make Cesaro seem to be a mid-carder there to boost Ryback, not really be seen as a rising threat. It's one of the prices WWE pays for having to fill three hours, although they could have billed this as a bigger deal and it would made it seem like a bigger win for Ryback while not defining Ryback down as someone who's not worthy of any special hype when facing Ryback.

-- Mark Henry's return sets him up to be entered in the Chamber, win the Chamber, and face Del Rio at WrestleMania. I had forecast Henry as a darkhorse to win the Rumble to set up ADR vs. Henry, as it seemed like the only fresh and realistic WrestleMania-worthy World Title match-up unless Orton turned heel. This is another route to get to the same place.

-- It's going to be very interesting watching Bruno Sammartino get reintroduced to the WWE Universe and the whole ecosystem of promoting DVDs and participating in panel discussions and wherever else this alliance takes WWE and Bruno. It's good to see. Although I would have never held it against Bruno if he chose not to, I understand totally his decision to come back under certain conditions he felt comfortable with. WWE has a good track record treating the top-tier Hall of Famers well and giving prestige to the honor.

-- During an inset promo, Bo Dallas smiled and blinked in a weird way during that, like he was nervous or really happy or maybe being threatened to be hit with a baseball bat if he didn't smile the whole time.

(Wade Keller's full report on Monday's Raw plus added analysis with more thoughts and select key quotes was posted exclusively on the PWTorch VIP website and VIP mobile site Monday night. Subscribe here to go VIP: PWTorch.com/GoVIP)


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