"This debate is completely ridiculous. There's no reason for a debate."
It's an election year. We all know how the McMahon family loves itself an election year. But I think it's fair to say Big Show sufficiently covered all the bases with those two sentences.
On Friday's Smackdown, Big Show defeated Randy Orton to become the No. 1 contender to Sheamus' World Heavyweight Championship. On Raw, the two were engaging in a debate, arguing about the Big Show's body odor and whose finishing move is move devastating.
This segment accomplished nothing that these two couldn't have done in a traditional promo exchange. I'm not one to stifle creativity and stick to the status quo, but this was pretty much a waste of time.
"This isn't funny," Big Show declared as the segment neared its close.
Big Show wins this debate on pure principle of speaking the truth. Sheamus retorted everything saying he beat Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds, when Big Show lost to Bryan in 45 seconds. This only further adds a problem to the situation, as it's reminding fans that one of the tag team champions was made to look like a joke at WrestleMania.
The segment ended with the threat of a fight, but Big Show bailed before it could begin. That's one decision I can agree with, as champions and challengers too frequently have contact before their title match. With this being billed as a first-time-ever match, it's best to keep them separated.
Overall, the segment wasn't overly long, and anyone claiming it ruined or killed the show is over-exaggerating. But one has to question whether a debate - or an arm wrestling competition or dance-off, for that matter - does anything to get fans interested in watching a wrestling match.
It may sound hypocritical to blast a concept like this when fans always clamor for the creative team to do something new or original, but there are ideas that should be ruled out before leaving the conference room.
When promoting a match between a tough Irish brawler and a monster giant with a deadly punch, there are probably better strategies than political satire.
- The opening segment was such a train wreck, but it was also highly entertaining. To hit the high points: Vickie Guerrero and Paul Heyman want to be general manager; AJ is under probation as the GM; Kane and Daniel Bryan are individually and jointly the tag team champions; Punk believes Mick Foley disrespected him; and Dolph Ziggler continues to be directionless. Oh yeah, and AJ booked a tag team match for later in the show.
The main event was filled with good action, but that's to be expected with these four individuals. Punk and Bryan have proven what kind of chemistry they have, Kane mixes well with them and Ziggler can work with anyone. There was nice continuity in this, as AJ inserted herself as the special guest referee and ejected both Guerrero and Heyman. Ziggler left with Guerrero, much like Punk and Heyman did to Ziggler a while back. Team Hell No picked up a big win, pinning the WWE Champion. I like the dynamic of that team, as to where they work together during the match and then argue after. It's a refreshing take on the old odd-couple team, and without the overexposure of vignettes, they didn't overstay their welcome tonight.
- Jim Ross Appreciation Night went better than expected, but it still wasn't a great night for one of wrestling's greatest commentators. Punk interrupted his moment, and the two had a really good verbal exchange, despite a few slip-ups from the champ. At least JR didn't end up covered in barbecue sauce this time. But one glaring flaw seems to be that Mick Foley last week and JR this week seem to indicate that being called the best in the world is more about being thrown off, through or at least around in a cell than holding the WWE's top prize. Punk has beaten Cena in the past; why does he have to do in a cell to prove he's the best? There's certainly some flawed logic there. But as Punk tried to make JR retreat to the back, Ryback came out and had a staredown with Punk, who ultimately backed down. This really seems to be heading in a direction that has me very, very scared.
- Primo and Epico are a good pairing to face Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara because they can keep up with the faster-paced lucha style. These four had a good match, but Sin Cara did have at least one signature botch. This tag team tournament is shaping up to be good television. We learned that Santino Marella and Zack Ryder will face Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel on the debut episode of Main Event, while Kofi Kingston and R-Truth face off with the Prime Time Players, who came out to scout both teams in tonight's match, on Smackdown. I like the way this is playing out slowly across all shows.
- Damien Sandow may have had his star-making performance against Sheamus tonight. The two had one heck of a television match, and they were given the time to make it seem to be something special. Sandow never looked out of place, and he certainly has a future as a world champion. The finish of the match kind of deflated things, though, as Cody Rhodes tried getting involved, and he and Sandow ate a double Brouge Kick, allowing Sheamus to get the win. Despite that, this turned around what was quickly becoming a mediocre show.
- Divas Champion Eve defeated Beth Phoenix, despite the fact Phoenix dominated most of the match. Eve did a good job playing her role, stalling the match and trying to capitalize. She hit a neckbreaker out of nowhere for the finish. At least Phoenix is still around, as reports have stated she's on her way out the door. I like Eve as champ, as I think he's a good blend of the WWE divas mold and a talented performer. And while it may not be setting the world on fire, she is at least involved in a storyline, which is a rarity for the divas division.
- How do you get a new stable over? Have them attack Santino Marella, of course. Heath Slater and Marella were having an alright match, though the crowd didn't seem to be into it, when Marella seemed to have the match won. At that point, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre jumped Marella. OK then. We still don't know their motivation, but they're killing the midcard, one comedy act at a time.
- Brodus Clay was involved in yet another squash match, but this time, he was on the losing end. That was certainly a surprise. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro made quick work of Clay, who actually outsized him quite a bit, and impressively hit the Neutralizer for the win. If anyone still doubts that WWE wants to push Cesaro, you need a reality check.
- Alberto Del Rio got his backside handed to him by Kofi Kingston for an entire match before capitalizing on one missed maneuver and making Kingston tap. I was worried they were going to make another tag team tournament contender look weak, but Kingston emerged from this looking strong enough.
- Intercontinental Champion The Miz regained some momentum after being killed by Ryback last week by defeating Zack Ryder in a short, but solid match. Ryder didn't look like a joke, which is good as he's part of the tag team tournament, but Miz looked strong in victory. This was a win-win for the most part.
- Those who missed the Ryback vs. Tensai match on Smackdown got to see it again - this time with 100 percent more botched finished. They screwed it up not once, but twice. This was ugly. We'll leave it at that.
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara d. Primo and Epico
Antonio Cesaro d. Brodus Clay
The Miz d. Zack Ryder
Ryback d. Tensai
Eve d. Beth Phoenix
Santino Marella d. Heath Slater by disqualification
Sheamus d. Damien Sandow
Alberto Del Rio d. Kofi Kingston
Team Hell No d. CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler
Tonight's Raw was all over the place. The first hour was off to a decent start, then the second hour really drug the show down to a very low point. Sheamus and Damien Sandow turned things around, and CM Punk and Jim Ross kept the show alive with some great mic work. The main event also delivered, but by that point, the show seemed as if it had been going on forever. Raw just seemed to be off tonight. If other share that opinion, WWE will probably blame it on the absence of John Cena. Who knows , they may be right...
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