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Monday Night Raw thoughts from Memphis:
The King got out unscathed in his home town. That somewhat surprised me and, just thinking out loud, I wonder if WWE missed an opportunity to help a villain IE Del Rio have more momentum for this Sunday's HIAC PPV? It better serves the returning John Cena to face a hot antagonist.
WWE TV folks, including the talented Adam Pennucci, were stars of the show with the production, editing, etc of the Daniel Bryan and John Cena video packages. No one does these videos on TV better than the WWE TV team.
Find it humorous that on my Twitter feed @JRsBBQ that those that did not like Cena before he was injured STILL don't like John even after viewing the videos. Without question Cena is amazingly polarizing but also, without question, John Cena is the biggest star in WWE, like it or not.
The in ring product last night was solid and enjoyable for the most part. Any one who thinks that WWE, or any one else, can have three hours of great, TV rasslin and it all be really good needs to be drug tested. That's not going to happen any time soon. I honestly don't think that's possible at this time in the business.
Ambrose vs. Bryan was a really, nice match. Bryan provided his fans 'hope' while Ambrose taking a clean loss gives him something to bitch about and to plot for his retribution. Great selling and near falls which are two essentials of any good, pro wrestling bout.
Orton vs. Ziggler was another good bout that Orton needed to win and Ziggler provided the 'shine' for that outcome. Another loss that did not destroy Dolph who has proven to me that he is one of WWE's top talents. Many fans are growing impatient of Ziggler's current status on the card but all he can do is continue to out perform as many of his opponents as he can on a regular basis and his time will come. That's akin to HBK being considered only a tag team wrestler and never any thing else for years until Shawn got into one on one bouts and, over time, became a show stealer.
As I wrote in my last blog, the obligatory comedy segment was what it was. I'm an old school guy and I'm of the belief that the final RAW prior to any PPV should be all about selling the PPV especially when one is selling the 2nd PPV on a monthly billing cycle. Nonetheless, Santino Marella 'gets it' when it comes to comedy within the genre.
Paul Heyman's promo was the best verbal presentation on the show but that can be said more often than not. Heyman knows how to be an antagonist and how to facilitate fans to dislike him. Villains who purposely make fans laugh are erroneously produced in my view. Bobby Heenan could pull it off but 'Wease' was a genius and he did not have writers providing his material.
Certainly feel that the Heyman-Punk personal issue is nearing a definitive end. I guess we will find out on Sunday. I'm not sure where else it can go involving the two especially as it relates to Punk giving Heyman the long promised physicality that Heyman's TV persona deserves.
Enjoying the opportunity that Big E Langston is getting and hope that he allows his personality to be unleashed and that E becomes a star. Very bright, athletic kid who played defensive tackle at Iowa after being a state heavyweight wrestling champion in Florida. I enjoyed working with Big E when I would make my trips to Florida in both Tampa and Orlando.
Made another comment on Twitter last night that some elements IE texture of the Bray Wyatt in ring promo last night was reminiscent to some of Jake Roberts' work back in the day. Jake was one of the all time best promo guys and if Bray Wyatt can merely approach that level in today's world he will be a bigger success.
I can only assume that Antonio Cesaro is on his way to become a fan favorite simply by his use of the Giant Swing on so many big talents and the number of revolutions on the smaller ones and how the announcers sell it. .
Zeb Colter was good at the announce table on a night where the announce table, at times, felt/sounded overly busy.
R Truth was spot on in his role as a pitch man for WWEShop.com. It was an entertaining sales job.
Thought HBK was effectively utilized in Memphis and much better than the week before. I tweeted @JRsBBQ last night asking if RAW would end the night with 'hope' or 'heat' and the answer obviously was one of 'hope' as the overachieving, underdog Daniel Bryan...along with the Big Show....left the live audience on a high and hopefully, for the talents and WWE's sake, the motivation needed to purchase the HIAC PPV this Sunday.
It will be interesting to see how many titles change hands come Sunday at the HIAC PPV in Miami. I'm also curious as to what main event closes the show.
Brilliant creative for UFC to have Chael Sonnen travel to Brazil to join Brazilian folk hero and MMA star Wanderlei Silva on the taping of the 3rd season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) that will air in 2014. Chael knows how to play the ultimate antagonist, especially as the cerebrally mouthy American on Brazilian soil, which sets up a potentially lucrative fight for Sonnen vs Silva next year.
A great example of smart, long term booking. This is exactly how Cowboy Bill Watts used to book long term and he used Mid South events in the Super Dome as his destinations. Those main events were penciled in and then the subsequent TV shows were produced to get us to that destination. All the markets within the territory got some form of the card that was built long term for the Super Dome events.
Q&A's here are updated as of Tuesday morning USA time. Not sure of the reluctance of some to register here on our site to be able to ask questions and leave comments. I do not share the info of the folks that are registered here and actually don't even have access to the list as that is retained by our webmaster .
As mentioned earlier this week, I wish I knew why the Vegas odds makers have made OU a 7 point favorite over undefeated Texas Tech this Saturday in Norman. No one and I mean no one is a bigger OU fan than me but the Sooners being favorited in this nationally televised game on Fox Sports is a real head scratcher. If you give the home team the obligatory 3 points that means that OU wold be favorited by 4 if the game were to be played in Lubbock.
What were the Minnesota Vikings thinking, or were they, when they decided to start an obviously, not ready to play, QB Josh Freeman which turned out to be one of the worst MNF games in history?
I'm likely going to travel to Steve Austin's Broken Skull Ranch later this year to attempt to reduce the deer population on his sprawling, Texas ranch.
Remember that JR's products are just as tasty in one's kitchen as they are on the grill. Hit americansoda.co.uk and wweshop.com for quick and efficient online shopping.
Have a great day!