Here in the last week prior to Survivor Series, I’m doing my RAW results analysis a little differently.  Maybe it’ll work out well, maybe not.  You be the judge.  Typically I watch the entire show and I write down questions which come to mind along the way.  With a 3-hour RAW and other things going on at the time, I didn’t have the opportunity to do that (same with Smackdown from Friday), but as I’m interested in analyzing WWE’s product anyway, I decided to still write an article.

Let’s start with the Intercontinental Championship.  Because that’s a belt associated with Smackdown, I didn’t expect to see anything about it on RAW, but because this was an especially long version of RAW, I’m glad they gave Dolph Ziggler time to be promoted apart from just the “blue” show.  He’s a great athlete, he’s good enough on the microphone and continues to show improvement, and his angle with Vickie Guerrero is one of the longer-running storyline arcs currently in WWE.  The comparison with Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth isn’t one that I would necessarily make, but I do find it interesting that WWE has decided to no longer ignore one of the more popular wrestlers of the past 25 years.

I also found it interesting that Dolph Ziggler defeated Mark Henry with a sleeperhold on RAW.  Mark Henry gets pushed as a poor man’s version of The Big Show, and for Ziggler to get the opportunity to choke him out is a good thing, as it shows that Ziggler can be versatile in how he wins matches.  I’ll be interested to see on Smackdown if he ends up with a booking for Survivor Series.  Personally I probably would’ve had him involved in one of the Traditional Survivor Series matches, but it seems like RAW isn’t going to get such a beast.

Of lesser interest to me at present is how Ezekiel Jackson is being treated.  He was the final ECW Champion, was sidelined by injury for a while, and now they’re building him back up as a juggernaut.  As a long-time WWE fan, I do find it appropriate that the person who got to lose to Zeke on the Old School RAW was the Brooklyn Brawler.

I continue to have some mild interest in the Otunga / Nexus storyline arc.  The splintering between the two started a while back, and as they amped up the pressure and widened the gap between Otunga and the rest of his Nexus members a week ago, am I the only one who fully expected he was going to lose to Edge and be thrown out of the group back on Smackdown?  I doubt it.  Having him lose to Kofi Kingston isn’t really a surprise to me, though I didn’t hear whether or not that match had the official stipulation about Otunga being thrown out of Nexus if he didn’t win.  I’m guessing it wasn’t the stipulation, but I’m also guessing that within the next 7 days, we’ll hear something from Wade Barrett about it.  Wouldn’t you think that a loss to Edge would be more understandable than a loss to Kofi Kingston?

On a sidenote, having watched clips from the match, does anyone else notice that when David Otunga goes for a clothesline, half the time the clothesline sails WAY over a person’s head.  Maybe he’d win more matches if he fought guys like Great Khali on whom those clotheslines would connect.  On second thought, that Otunga / Khali match would be unwatchable.

Am I the only one who thought George “The Animal” Steele looked almost exactly like he did 25 years ago?

Hopefully it didn’t come as any surprise to anyone that Alberto del Rio was not only involved in the Old School RAW, but that he defeated an over-the-hill American Icon, Sgt. Slaughter.  Is the fact that MVP came to Slaughter’s aid perhaps more surprising?  Only if you noticed how little interest WWE Creative seemed to have in MVP a few months ago and failed to notice his resurgence.  MVP has actually been given a decent increase in stature in the past few weeks.   With both of those guys being involved in the lone Traditional Survivor Series match announced for the pay per view thus far, this match and the aftermath was a decent way of pushing towards that match.

Given my druthers, I’d like to ignore the Divas Championship all together while the WWE continues to book itself in circles.  I am glad they took a week off from the Natalya / LayCool run-around to include May Young and a bevy of beauties attacking LayCool, even if the outcome was a bit rediculous.  I’ll be glad if the pay per view puts an end to that spin cycle.

The way the US Championship is being pushed the past few months has been enjoyable.  I’m not a hater of The Miz, but I felt like his reign with the US title was over-shadowed by his other priorities during that time.  The “American Dragon” Daniel Bryan (Danielson) is adding quite a bit of prestige to the belt with high quality matches.  Part of me still didn’t expect AmDrag to defeat Jack Swagger.

Am I the only one who is happy to see Ted DiBiase get involved with the United States Title situation following Swagger v Bryan?  Anything that puts the belt into the center focus of a feud is a good thing.  Having Ted DiBiase decide that the US Title is worth more to him than the Million Dollar belt is even better.

According to WWE.com, there’s still no match with the two at Survivor Series.  Does anyone else think that would be the perfect spot to involve those two guys in some sort of 5-on-5 traditional elimination match?  If CM Punk hadn’t gotten hurt, I’m sure AmDrag would at least be on the card.  Maybe they’ll be on Smackdown this week to help push something… which would be something of a waste, since they could’ve done something on RAW.

Just like the Divas Championship, I’m getting tired of the circular booking with the World Tag Titles, but at least this week there was some progress.  Though I’m not in favor of the Hart Dynasty splitting up, is anyone else REALLY glad that they finally picked a direction to go with that feud?  Was anyone else tired of seeing the Hart Dynasty get a shot at the champions week after week (whether it was for the belts or not)?

Am I the only one who has a hard time understanding why Tyson Kidd was the one who decided to turn his back on his partner, given that WWE Creative wanted to pick one of the duo to make the heel turn?  Wouldn’t DH Smith have been a much better candidate to be the heel, given the exciting nature of Kidd’s offensive arsenal?  Are they afraid that people would end up losing complete interest in Smith?  I’m thinking they’re going to have a tough time getting people interested in cheering for him now.

Also on the Tag Title front, am I the only one who thinks it would be a bad thing if the World Tag Team Championship belts leave Survivor Series with Santino & Kozlov?  I like those guys as a pairing, but the belts need a little more stability right now, and Nexus has far more potential for storyline purposes if they’re able to keep the belts.  Given the Santino / Tamina Uso connection, you’d have to think that we’re going to get a Santino & Kozlov / Usos angle over the next couple months with the tag titles in the background.

Speaking of Santino, with the feud continuing for the third (or fourth) week in a row between Sheamus and John Morrison, it begs the question:  Why does Sheamus continue to seek out Santino to attack, especially when John Morrison always seems to show up?  Why does it take John Morrison calling Sheamus a coward for Sheamus to decide it’s prime time for him to boot Morrison in the face?

As far as the RAW World Title is concerned, WWE took interesting-yet-not-unexpected steps last night.  The use of Roddy Piper and his Piper’s Pit was a fun way to end the show, though I appreciated the way they had Mean Gene Oakerland do an interview with the folks from the stage apart from the ring like they might’ve done 15 years ago, as you can see in the image which headlines this article.  I can remember classic moments with Bret Hart, Owen Hart, the Legion of Doom among others from that stage setup position.

“Cowboy” Bob Orton showing up was a nice way to bring the Old School into the New School, with his son Randy Orton being the current World Champion.  I did have to laugh when I saw he had the cast on his arm, as I’m sure it’s not still broken.

The Miz showing up and being involved takes another step to make you wonder just how they’re going to get him involved with that Money In The Bank briefcase, as you know he’s almost definitely going to play a role in the outcome at the pay per view in one way or another.

One thing I’m a bit torn on is the fact that Alex Riley got put into a match against John Cena.  I understand they’re trying to help make The Miz seem a bit cowardly in ducking Cena, avoiding having to face him, and while I like the fact that Riley is getting some in-ring time and some decent exposure, I would like to see him actually get involved in a feud of his own, instead of being forced to JUST be a lacky for The Miz.

Another thing I’m wondering about is the rumored “Genesis” stable.  Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty are members of Nexus, and they got involved on RAW in opposition to Randy Orton.  Initially it seemed like those guys had plans of being part of a different stable which, at one point, seemed like it might include The Miz and Alex Riley.  What of that being a possibility?  It would certainly take away some of the steam from Wade Barrett.

Speaking of the current leader of Nexus, was anyone else mildly disappointed that his warm-up for Survivor Series was R-Truth?  I realize that Truth has been pushed more lately, and they’re having him be presented as a good friend to John Cena, but I don’t know that I’m going to be impressed that Wade Barrett defeated him.  They could’ve done worse, but they could’ve done a lot better.  That’s all I’m saying.

All in all, I think RAW left a lot on the table this week, which is disappointing given that this was the “go home” show towards Survivor Series for the guys on RAW… not to mention the fact that they had an extra hour to work with.  I suppose injuries have kept Survivor Series from being as good as it could be, but I would’ve still liked to have seen another 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series match, and hopefully on Smackdown we can get enough appearances from guys on RAW to make that happen.

My favorite images from the night: