WWE Raw Review: Who Is in Charge Here?

wwe-raw-logo You might've noticed that last week I took a little sabbatical from my review of WWE programming. This was for one really good reason, The Big Show lawsuit storyline. This thing is so riddled with logic holes that it almost drove me crazy. WWE Raw from Manchester, England was definitely one of those nights. Two weeks from Survivor Series, it seems the focus of the night was more on who was or wasn't in charge then the pay-per-view itself. A few months ago, I wrote an article on how I thought authority figures on wrestling programming needed to go away. This night definitely proves my point. The night opens with Randy Orton coming out saying that the authority of Triple H and Stephanie are on vacation. The face of the WWE says he's in charge. Kane, the new director of operations says he's in charge and he wants to book the champion in a match. Raw General Manager Brad Maddox interrupts and says he is the General Manager of the show. So he's in charge. Kane and Maddox argue on whether his opponent will be Goldust or Cody Rhodes in a singles match. Out comes Smackdown General Manager Vickie Guerrero, who got a great reaction and said she knew what was best for business - making a two on one handicap match having Randy Orton both of the Rhodes boys. This would lead to each of the authority figures making their own handicap matches throughout the night. Maddox makes John Cena vss the Real Americans and Kane makes The Shield vs CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. This game of one-upsmanship didn't seem to enhance the show, it seemed to hinder anything they were trying to build. Basically that became the focus of who was in charge the whole night and everything else felt secondary. I'm not sure if this was WWE commenting on themselves or they actually think people care about who is in charge. All they basically got across his everybody is subservient Stephanie and Hunter, even the WWE champion. No more is this evident than in the first match as the Viper battled the Rhodes boys in a handicap bout. The match had nice back-and-forth for quite a while. Soon however, Orton decided discretion was the better part of valor and tried to leave. Big Show appears and sends Orton into the steel steps on the outside. The giant, noticeably limping, then sets up steel steps by the announce table. He grabs the champion by the throat and climbs the stairs. He chokeslams Orton through the table. No help from Kane, Maddox or Guerrero during this whole sequence. I have to admit it was a pretty cool visual but what does it do really? Big Show got Orton back on television for the attack last week, but only because the authority wasn't in attendance? So what does that really do? For the champion or for anyone? Big Show quickly exits out of the arena in a taxi. Glad to see you have no control over him again. You would think that if these authority figures wanted to get in the good graces of The Authority they would have done something like booked the number one contender in a match, right? It really establishes the secondary characters as more like buffoons. Even Kane, who is supposed to have this more serious businesslike tone to his character. We see a few segments with Randy Orton again as he bitches that everyone will pay when Triple H and Stephanie get back. Is this really how you want to showcase your WWE champion as a whiny little spoiled brat? They had The Shield even say that Randy was on his own this week. From one week to another it just doesn't make any sense. We see comedy with Los Matadores with Santino with bullhorns battles the very popular band across the pond the Union Jacks a.k.a. 3MB adorned in the country's flag complete with cheesy British music. Nothing much to this. Except the appearance of the Bull Cobra getting the victory. Damien Sandow seems to have found a resurgence defeating Kofi Kingston following the Money in the Bank loss. I am unsure if this will actually lead to a rebuilding of Damien. Or this was just to fill time on a rather lean show considering the European tour schedule? Following of a victory over Axel last week on Raw, Dolph Ziggler gets a title shot this week. I have to say the match really felt like everything was a step off. It might just be me or the wear and tear of international schedule but it didn't feel as crisp as it should have. I don't know where the future of the Intercontinental title lies... it was supposed to be Big E Langston, but it may go another direction. Tamina defeats Nikki Bella thanks to a distraction and a well-placed boot from AJ . Natalya getting a title shot this Wednesday on Main Event with Total Divas returning I can see the divas having a Traditional Survivor Series Match. It seems that could be the only option as the Bellas don't seem to be in the title picture for the time being. Speaking of Natalya she joined her husband Tyson Kidd as he battled Fandango. They played an upcoming clip from Total Divas in which TJ gets a little jealous of the dancing superstar, who is also Union Jack'd to the gills much like 3MB. Tyson looks really good in his second return encounter on Raw. However, this time comes up a little short on a sunset flip leading to a leg drop off the top from Fandango for the win. I wonder what their plans are for Tyson Kidd going forward? John Cena vs The Real Americans was a surprisingly good match. Nice give-and-take from Cena. In the end though, The World Champion overcame the odds and locked on the STF on Jack Swagger for the win. Like I said, a really great match. Swagger and Cesaro got in enough offense to make themselves credible as tag team title contenders. I know some would complain that he got the victory at all, but I don't really have a problem that. After the match, Cesaro attempts to get revenge on the loss, Del Rio joins in on the attack. The Mexican import does a cross arm breaker with the assist of a steel chair. Big E Langston comes to Cena's rescue. This leads to a match between two later in the night. Langston once again looks good and credible against Alberto Del Rio. Plenty of offense from the big man, much like with CM Punk before Hell in a Cell Langston was used to help make Alberto seem like a credible contender to Cena. Langston might've lost the match, but he gained another big notch in his belt as a credible mid-card competitor for the company going forward. Ryback lost to R-Truth via roll up. The future of Ryback as a top star for the company definitely seems to be in a state of flux. Given the appearance of Paul Heyman and his thoughts on Ryback's actions involving their matches with CM Punk and causing his injuries. It really makes you wonder what they're going to do with the juggernaut going forward. As I said , Heyman appeared in front of live crowd showing destruction of CM Punk in a wheelchair adorned with braces. He makes a promise to come back with a vengeance. This leads to CM Punk coming out and destroying Heyman again after knocking out Curtis Axel. Good segment. They then transition into the main Event with Daniel Bryan and the Shield. The match itself was pretty good. Everybody did their part. Just as Punk and Bryan seem to get the advantage the lights go out and the Wyatt family shows up. This causes an argument between both the Shield and the Wyatt family. This gives Bryan and CM Punk enough time to regroup and dispatch the warring factions as the show goes off the air. Now it seems like if I had to wager a guess that Kane is behind the Wyatt family attacks. That would explain the devil made me do it line that Bray Wyatt had been saying. The Shield seems to be at the behest of Brad Maddox or Vickie Guerrero playing into the warring of the subordinates of the authority. We now know that Daniel Bryan and CM Punk will face the Wyatt family at Survivor Series. What does this mean for the Shield is anyone's guess. Maybe they will be added to the match in some way. I guess all will be answered next week when the bosses return. Not the best of the company's efforts across the pond, but it had its moments.
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Paul Jordan is a handycapable source for all things entertainment. Whether he is watching the guys who go bump in the night with the world of professional wrestling or the latest small or big screen feature you will receive the blunt and honest truth on everything