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Thanks for stopping by for some quick thoughts/observations on Monday Night RAW from Orlando. Gearing up for what we hope is a great holiday season with our online biz from both http://www.wweshop.com and in Manchester at http://www.americansoda.co.uk for JR's delicious, family of products. Next......

RAW Thoughts:

Overall one of the better shows in a good while in my view. Not sure that there will ever be a GREAT, 16 segment, three hour RAW but this one was fun to watch by and large and had a helluva first hour or so.

Solid match featuring new, World's Champion John Cena versus MITB winner Damien Sandow who did a good job of being more aggressive and maximizing his minutes in a multiple segment bout that opened RAW. Nothing fancy about the match...nothing cute...nothing needed to be. For those that are still having issues with Sandow's 'casting' my only suggestion is to move on or simply get over it. Sandow's perception raised in my eyes via his performance. A string of those types of bouts will generally get a talent where he wants to be. Sandow needs to remain as aggressive as he possibly can on every outing.

Cena being World Champion adds much needed credibility and recognition to the World Title...whether fans like Cena or not. Announcers calling John 'Superman' does Cena no favors. Fans who bitch at me on Twitter re: @JohnCena also don't get responses FYI. What do you want me to do? Simply agree with you to placate your angst?    

 I enjoy both Big E and Dean Ambrose and feel that they both will be top hands as they move forward. Actually enjoyed their 'cold' match on Sunday at HIAC. Not wild about the Shield being at ringside Monday night and predictably interfering in the match. Personal opinion says that both men, E & Ambrose, would have gained more if there had been a winner even if had been draped in controversy.

Did not mind the match evolving into a 6 man tag even though the process for doing so has been done a great deal. I'm liking the evolution of the Usos.

Not sure if Brad Maddox looks more like Eric Bischoff or Brian Gewirtz. Maddox has always reminded me of the late, Eddie Gilbert in the ring.  

 Intriguing, subtle facial expressions during the Shield pre match promo initiated by Ambrose. If nothing else it gets folks talking and thinking. I think that the trio has more mileage as a unit. However, I'd be thinking of a WM30 plan involving them perhaps imploding.

Loved the HBK-Daniel Bryan segment. Not sure where it's going but I'd bet ample amounts of BBQ sauce it won't culminate in a match between the two. If I'm right then creative can't give me something that they can't deliver and if I'm wrong...then I'm wrong and we likely get a helluva match with no clearly defined villain at this point in time.   

Anxious to see where the Wyatt Family fits into the "Devil made me do it" biz and who is playing the role of "The Devil" these days. The Wyatt's should not be seen in the 'general population' such as the last scene on RAW along with the other talents. I'd keep them separate and special. They are mutants, renegades, misfits (Quoting Bill Murray in Stripes) and should be treated as such.

Not sure what was gained with Los Matadores vs 3MB that couldn't have been gained using extras in the role of 3MB.

Brie Bella should have gone to the hospital with her fiance and not wrestled in a tag team match. Big disconnect to me no matter how it was explained.

 Big news with the Kane/Stephanie development that was essentially dropped within seconds of it occurring. Curious to see how it evolves as it looks like the evil, power structure/authority storyline is moving full steam ahead.

Surprised that Punk beat Ryback so convincingly. From day one, if Ryback had been put with a skilled tag team partner he likely would have been better off as he continues to evolve. I still think Ryback has value but am curious as to how WWE addresses his situation going forward.

Punk got as big an ovation as any one on the show from where I was sitting. Funny how it works when a fan favorite does what he says he's doing to do and then mentions it.  

No matter the era or genre, fans HAVE to have HOPE that their heroes can eventually get the job done . At some point of continued short comings and an overall lack of success, many fans move on and find another hero on which to hang their hat.

Strong tag team match with the Real Americans. who were in a serious mode which actually fits them better, vs. The Rhodes Brothers. I could see this being a great live event bout as it would likely be given the time to tell a good story which duos like this need to establish their skill set and personas. Nice booking...better outing for both.

After seeing Summer Rae many times in NXT, her in ring efforts aren't surprising to me and I feel that she will only get better. WWE has done a nice job developing their female talents and the young women down in NXT are all promising in a variety of ways.

Big ending to the show with Orton's WWE Title Celebration feeling a little strange/unnecessary but that may well have been the point. It allowed the WWE Title to be the backdrop to forward the HHH-Big Show storyline which obviously is leading to a match down the road. The longer that matter plays out the better.

These three hour Raws are LOADED with information and the average viewer has no way of retaining it all. The announcers have to constantly provide data/info and to bring things forward that's often not retained. I'd suggest keeping any wrestling show somewhat simple and straight forward more often than not and throw the curve ball only on the matters that are collectively believed that will sell tickets, PPV's and earn ratings. There is so much info to address in these RAW's that embellishing what the talents are doing on the TV screen is often ignored to varying degrees.

 I'd like to see more character development/vignettes as in learning more about the Shield, Big E, Ryback and others who we learned about when they first came onto the scene but have learned very little new info since. These personality features should be a part of every RAW.

 Again, I thought the first hour of RAW was one of the better kickoffs to the show in a good while.

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J.R., The only thing that really has me excited right now in WWE is Bray Wyatt and the fam. I think WWE has a golden opportunity here to have them serve as a rogue wildcard during this entire authority vs presumably Vince Mcmahon saga. I loved that they finally started mixing with major players last night... Bryan and Punk. But I think it would be equally interesting if they randomly started attacking heels as well. I absolutely HATED that they were seen on the stage last night during the main event promo. This is the group that's been randomly attacking the talent and has been sold as almost not being official roster members in a way and you put them out there and have them get lectured by "Authority"?!?!? When Bray's whole gimmick is that he is his own ruler, etc. I was so hoping for them to show up in the middle of it and freak out Stephanie or something. I would love to see a scenario where Bray and the fam are the "elephant's in the room", never mentioned by team vince or team hhh/steph until their attacks become such a huge problem that both Vince and HHH have to actually put the power struggle aside for a moment due to talent safety and do a whole "Bray Wyatt... you have our attention" promo together. Bray could be kidnapping talent, belts, etc. I think it's a golden opportunity to have a Heath Ledger Joker like character who just wants to see "the world burn", an "agent of chaos, etc." Not interested in the gold and power etc. Curious your thoughts on all of this, thanks for reading!
Paul Heyman called himself the Devil Incarnate in HIAC. Do you think that this was foreshadowing on his part and that he is managing and manipulating Bray Wyatt? Or is this just a coincidence?
This RAW left me sad. Sad because while I hope Sandow's showing leads to bigger and better things, but my feeling is it will leave him nothing more than the answer to a trivia question. It's also sad because I think Cena's WHC run is the beginning of the end of that legendary title. The WWE Championship to me will never be anything more than the Northeast Territory Heavyweight Championship. Sad because they turned Shawn Michaels heel. While the crowd didn't exactly boo him when he came out, it was obvious the love was gone. No one wants to boo Shawn Michaels. It's ludicrous. Sad because the Daniel Bryan push is over. We all knew it was going to end this way. No one 5 foot 6 was ever going to be the face of WWE, and the recent lower buy rates and ratings justify ending it, even if they were because of other factors. JR, I know what you mean about too much information. Don't know if that's it, or that there's nothing worth remembering. I can't remember what happened Monday night, but I can quote 30 year old Dusty Rhodes promos verbatim. I just thought that was part of getting old. Or maybe that old stuff was just that much better.

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