The best part about RAW this week was the in-ring competition.
Between Dolph Ziggler-Sheamus, Antonio Cesaro-Kofi Kingston (ignoring the unfortunate "boring" chants), the four-way tag-team match and even John Cena-Big Show (which wasn't by any means horrible), RAW provided a decent evening of wrestling.
Many of these matches also had room to breathe, which in my opinion has been the best part of a three-hour RAW. Even if you don't choose to watch all three hours, you will have the opportunity to watch longer matches on WWE's flagship program.
Many storylines were furthered and brought to a crux going into Sunday's TLC Pay Per View. The end of RAW saw a pier 6 brawl between the Shield, Team Hell No, Ryback, john Cena and Dolph Ziggler, with the feed fading to black as everyone fought in the ring. The uncertainty will certainly have made some members of the WWE universe want to order the PPV.
Also, the secondary titles received some much needed (and deserved) attention -- with both intercontinental champ Kofi Kingston and U.S. champ Antonio Cesaro on commentary and TLC challengers Wade Barrett and R Truth facing off in the ring (Truth picked up the win). Later on the show, both champs had a match, where Cesaro was the winner (interestingly, both participants of the U.S. title match were winners).
The tag-team division has become important again, much to my delight. With tag champs Team Hell No occupied in one of the main event matches at TLC, Team Rhodes Scholars won the four-way match on RAW (also involving the Usos, Prime Time Players and Primo/Epico) and now faces Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara at the PPV to become No. 1 contenders. Normally I'm not a big fan of No. 1 contender matches on PPV (unless the title match is happening the same night), but in this case it makes sense.
** Dolph Ziggler was terrific on commentary and to me did the most out of any other segment to build my interest in his match with John Cena on Sunday
** Vince McMahon continues to create matches on RAW through a clueless Vickie. I hope this stops soon. I'm fine with happy Mr. McMahon, but not the "managing supervisor." I have lost interest in Vickie in this role.
** Eve defeated Alicia Fox. After the match she invited a WWE photographer in the ring to take pictures of her posing with the fallen Fox. Nice touch to her villainous character.
** Yes, King, how does Miss Piggy Tweet? An excellent question.
** CM Punk and Paul Heyman delivered a promo that was passionate and par for the course for these two. No interruption, just straight talking to generate heat.
** There was an awkward/ridiculous backstage vignette with Great Khali and Hornswoggle helping Vikie stretch, putting them in a precarious position. Mr. McMahon walks in and says "I thought this was a family show." I bet some in the WWE universe wished it wasn't at this point.
** The Shield had a cool looking promo, where they promised to unveil "The Sword." Just thinking out loud -- doesn't Brock Lesnar have a sword (knife) tattoo on his chest?
** Alberto Del Rio defeated Zack Ryder. Ricardo stole the show by being Ricardo.
** Vickie Guerrero beat AJ after special referee Brad Maddox essentially screwed her. I'd like an explanation why Maddox is allowed to be backstage at WWE events, as well as receive so many opportunities on RAW.
** The Rhodes Scholars appeared on Miz TV and it was a one-liner back and forth. Miz's line about Manny Pacquiao was funny.
** Next week on RAW we are treated to the Slammy Awards for 2012. Here are the categories, with my picks to win:
Superstar of the Year (CM Punk)
Breakout Star of the Year (Ryback)
Trending Now Award (The Rock)
Comeback of the Year (Jerry Lawler)
Kiss of the Year (John Cena / AJ)
"Tell me I did not just see that" (The Hand is all grown up at RAW 1000)
LOL moment of the year (Kane/Daniel Bryan anger management videos)
Match of the Year (Triple H vs Undertaker, WrestleMania 28)