Welcome to this week's edition of Raw Afterthoughts, where we look at last night's show in more detail than we can during a show recap. Give us your comments, thoughts and feedbac in the comments below, or hit us on Twitter.
In this economy, it matters to most people. I might spend it on gas for one of my (admittedly thirsty) V8 powered trucks. I might end up buying a nice sized bottle of Jack Daniels. Our fearless leader Drew might go buy a video game with it. There is one thing I am going to be hard pressed to spend it on.
I’ll be covering the pay per view live on Sunday night, so indeed I will be buying this event so I can cover it. But if it were not for that, I highly doubt I’d be spending my money on this event. This pay per view feels completely skippable and the card for the event just does not seem to feel compelling.
The main event is the match for the WWE Championship that is held in abeyance. Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan faced off at the end of the night in a segment that turned physical. For the first time we got some sense of Orton’s desire to chase the title. When he cut his promo he said that he wanted to regain the WWE Championship, however he focused more on the personal relationship issue between Bryan and his new fiancée, Brie Bella.
Bryan is on the edge of possibly winning the WWE Championship for the third time in three months. The first two times, Triple H made his influence known and cost Bryan those victories. Last night (nor over the past several weeks in fact) Bryan really didn’t give much indication that he’s upset over those events. So why should I care about Bryan winning on Sunday? Why would that compel me to buy the pay per view?
Speaking of power trips, let’s talk about the stars of the power trip show – Triple H and Stephanie. The one thing that was noticeable is their limited appearances. When WWE does this, the act works a bit better than if they are all over the show. Their most noticeable moment was the “Family Summit” with the Rhodes family.
I thought that segment was well done. Dusty did not cut a rambling and lost promo like he did a couple weeks ago. He came off very well. Cody and Goldust will work out very well as they challenge The Shield for the right to have jobs in WWE. The match itself is fascinating, and I think it’s Booking 101 to say that Cody and Goldust will go over Sunday. There is enough doubt though for fans to give some investment into it. And this has been doing wonders to get Cody over as a face.
The lone thing that saved the build to the pay per view is the CM Punk/Paul Heyman exchange throughout the evening. Punk’s early promo was solid, even if the appearance of Big E. Langston came off as random and Crash-TV-esque. Heyman again was great on the mic when he appeared as well.
The “proposal” segment was great. Heyman’s mic work drew heat for both him and Ryback. Punk was masterful with the faked injury. The trainer could have come over right away and added to the moment, but that’s nit-picking. By the time all was said and done, the segment was hot and exactly what it should have been.
So despite what good stuff we’ve seen, WWE hasn’t done enough to convince me that Battleground is worth buying. As I mentioned in the live coverage, I felt that this was a good show but not a go-home good show. I’m not chomping at the bit to buy this show on Sunday.
Other Points of Note:
Alberto Del Rio will take on Rob Van Dam this Sunday. This is a title match that has such little heat behind it. The YouTube video did wonders for Rob’s sell of the match, but his promo left me wanting. Rob seems somewhat motivated – at least more so than he was in TNA – and has had good matches since his return, but he’s less than a compelling hero. Del Rio is working as a strong heel right now, and he needs to have that signature opponent.
The current casting of Big Show frustrates me. He cuts this decent promo about not taking any more abuse, and then he promptly got embarrassed by Stephanie McMahon later in the night. They’ve embarrassed him, made him punch out legends and babyface stars, and been forced to watch beatings happen by the Shield without being able to get involved. I’m not too sure that they can come up with a way to redeem the character now. If he gets his and does punch out Triple H, why should I care?
The Quick Strike:
I do enjoy the WWE investing in the cause of breast cancer research. I have my personal issues with the Komen Foundation, but given that my mother died from breast cancer I am glad they support the cause generally.
Big E. Langston should be taken off TV, and then given a big return with a fresh direction. His involvement tonight felt so random. He lost all sense of direction after he parted with Dolph.
Speaking of characters with no direction, Kofi Kingston and Fandango just feel like they’re winning and losing arbitrarily. Neither has a direction, and Kofi especially could use one.
I just don’t care about Brie Bella vs. AJ. Neither did Biloxi care about Brie as she came out to crickets.
The Wyatts came out after Kofi faced Fandango, but only cut a promo. That felt odd and random.
What. In. The. Hell. We see a bull come running out with the Los Matadores. Way out of left field. As for the bull, talk is that it’s Mascarita Dorata and he is a talented worker. I just think the bull is just bad packaging.
Woo woo woo, you know Zack Ryder got way more offense than I would have expected him to get when he faced Alberto Del Rio. Again, we really need to get Del Rio a signature opponent.
I am assuming the Usos get their title shot at Hell in a Cell, given the fact that the Rhodes boys are getting their shot at the Shield.
Dolph Ziggler has fallen so far. He’s gone from a champion to a pre-show act with Damien Sandow that just feels random. WWE has six hours of programming, so surely they can find a way to get him in a real story.
That's all for this week. Be sure to join me on Sunday night for live coverage of the Battleground pay per view, and we'll be back next Monday with all the fallout from Battleground right here on Ring-Rap.com.