“Your arms are too short to box God!”
Well. That was some closing segment. 20 days until the Rock faces the Best in the World at the Royal Rumble. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at what happened last night on Raw.
Punk-Rock: GOLD on the stick.
Call me a mark but that was some compelling wrestling television. From Punk’s masterful promo on how he played the people, setting himself up as the Anti-People’s Champion to the Rock coming out to defend “the people,” it told a simple story and set up the narrative for the championship match at the Rumble. Strip away the so called “corny” elements of the Rock’s promo and I feel like his work here was way better than last year against Cena.
I’m not into picking who won or lost but if the promos stay this fun, I’ll be joining Showtime in advocating for keeping the belt on Punk and doing Punk/Rock II at Mania. With the Rock scheduled for Friday’s SmackDown broadcast, this war of words is just getting started.
John Cena still has Dolph Ziggler’s number.
Outstanding, PPV-quality opener from these two and with Dolph Ziggler involved that’s no surprise. While I didn’t enjoy Cena’s opening promo, when you’re dealing with yelling-goofy Cena that’s to be expected, the match more than made up for it. Parts of last week’s show closing pseudo-shoot promo are the way Cena should aspire to be on the mic.
Should the outcome been different? Probably. That would be my only gripe with the match. Ziggler is on the cusp of superstardom. Two wins over John Cena would make up for having fake poo dumped on him last week and make the Show Off an even bigger deal going into the Rumble.
Oh. Big E. Langston’s finisher is the pitts. He does that move with a bigger guy on his shoulder, how does it believably not hurt Langston?
Hell Yes: Rhodes Scholars defeat Kane & Daniel Bryan in non-title action.
This feud got a little derailed because of Rhodes’ shoulder injury and Team Hell No’s involvement with the Shield, but these two teams have excellent chemistry together. Now that the Lord of Literacy and #CodysMustache have defeated the champions, this feud should carry into a championship showdown at the Royal Rumble or perhaps the anniversary show next week.
Add to that that Kane and Daniel Bryan’s anger management skills are up for review, fun times are ahead for these two teams. I saw online this morning people comparing Team Hell No’s backstage antics to Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck’s “Duck Season/Rabbit Season” bit, and I must say it’s a great comparison. They are just the right amount of goofy to keep me entertained. Santino? Not so much.
TLCS: Tables, Ladders, Chairs, & Stairs!
Getting back to the champ, Punk defeated Ryback once again with the assistance of the Shield. Everyone in our informal twitter poll last night had Punk going over last night but it didn’t hurt the match that Punk was expected to retain. Really fun match with brutal bumps, equal offense, and a weeping Paul Heyman made this eons better than their Hell in a Cell pay-per-view match.
Ryback has come a long way and I think Punk and the Shield can be credited for getting the fans behind him big time. Crazy to think that Punk’s knee injury resulted in 2 good TLC bouts: the excellent 6-man at the TLC PPV & last night’s title match.
Who’s Wheaties did Kofi Kingston whiz in?
If you blinked you missed Kofi Kingston eating a WMD from The Big Show. It seems like now that Kofi’s lost the Intercontinental Championship he’s sliding back down the ladder. I get the need to have Big Show squash people quickly to get his dominance over, but Ricardo Rodriguez lasted longer against Show than Kofi did. Kingston moves merch and is loved by the kids so I don’t think he’s in danger of being released, but creative seriously needs to do something with him before he becomes less and less relevant.
I wonder if he’s yearning for the days of Air Boom?
How great are Heath Slater and 3MB?
Maybe I’m in the minority here, but Heath Slater has really upped his game since hooking up with Jinder and Drew and the 3MB are killing it as a midcard comedy act. It also helps that McIntyre isn’t too shabby in the ring and Slater’s work just gets better and better. Even in losses Slater has had two good competitive matches in a row with the Miz and Randy Orton.
Final thoughts: Great show that would have worked even better as a two-hour broadcast. The Road to Wrestlemania that begins each new year is always an exciting time, and expect more stops to be pulled out next week for the 20th Anniversary show next Monday!
Be sure to leave us your thoughts on last night’s Raw in the comments.