Well things have certainly taken an odd turn in WWE. With CM Punk out for TLC, how will Creative handle the go home RAW? Will Punk still make an appearance? How will Ryback feel being bumped down to a 6 man tag? How will The Shield respond to their first PPV match? Which match will now be slotted as the main event? Will Vince show up again to steal the show?
Tag Team Turmoil: So its Epico-Primo vs The Usos vs PTP vs Rhodes Scholars to decide who goes to TLC. Not to face Hell No but to face Rey-Cara in a #1 Contenders match. Sounds a bit convoluted, but that they have enough teams to pull it off is something. There’s a nice mix of high flyers and mat based wrestling in this match. The Usos were very impressive, tagging in constantly and working as a cohesive unit. Too bad they fell to Rhodes Scholars, who head to Sunday. Booking wise it makes sense to make the match heel vs face. Good to see Cody back even if if he sporting a bizarre mustache.
Ziggler/Sheamus: Not that The Pale One needs it, but Dolph was in his usual selling form in the ring. This was a great match with each guy getting in their signature moves and the momentum shifting several times. I particularly like Sheamus using the Cloverleaf submission, mainly because it adds variety to his brawling arsenal and is so different from most of what he does in the ring. Yes, Ziggler using a chair to cause the DQ was a cheap finish and it’s sure to bring heavy criticism, but it can’t take too much away from the quality of the match.
Champs: We had the challengers of Barrett and Truth face off earlier so its only fair that Champ Kofi and Champ Claudio I mean Antonio face off. When RAW moved to 3 hours, it was hoped that the extra time would be devoted to matches. While that wasn’t true in the beginning, lately we’ve seen many extended matches that make use of that time. Kofi-Cesaro wasn’t on the level of Bryan-Mysterio from a few weeks ago, but it was still we wouldn’t have seen on a 2 hour RAW. Cesaro’s backbreaker counter of Kofi’s top rope attack is worth the match in and of itself.
MITB: I really hope Dolph retains his briefcase, not only to give him a victory over Cena, but to finally prove he can have hang in the main event. He’s proven before that he can, yet Creative never seems ready to give him a real shot. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that this may be a way to get Cena back into title contention. With yet another briefcase in hand, he would be right there amongst the Punk-Rock buildup for the Rumble, plus I’m sure Vince wants all the proven moneymakers in the main event as Mania approaches. I know Dolph’s MITB is technically for the WHC, but that hardly matters when the brand split is nonexistent and WWE can always come up with some excuse to make it work. I do like how Ziggler stayed at the top of the ladder throughout the opening promo, even though that meant he got pushed off it.
Vince: There’s really no reason Vince should be here this week, as well as last week. Him ‘suggesting’ matches to Vickie easily could’ve been done backstage in one of those ‘people talking to someone on the phone’ segments, right down to her shockingly blurting out matches like she’s doing on the mic. Does Vince feel the need to show up and pop ratings? Or is this the beginning of yet another authority-figure-in-jeopardy angle? It sure seems like Vickie is just a bridge to someone bigger, perhaps Ric Flair as has been heavily rumored on the Webbernets.
MizTV: As excited as I am that Miz is finally turning face, I really hope this week’s edition of MizTV, with Rhodes Scholars as guests, is not an indicator of things to come. He was far less funny tonight then he usually is, making lame jokes about Cody’s new ‘stache and a new team name for them. Cody compares Miz to Honey Boo Boo and Miz tries to sow dissension among the Scholars. Just a messy segment that didn’t really accomplish anything. Oh and it was followed by a Cena-Show main event that ended when The Shield came down to interfere. At least we got to hear Cole mock Ziggler, who was doing commentary.