It's that time of the month again -- when we talk about the last WWE Raw before a pay-per-view and gauge whether the show made us want to spend money on the upcoming event at the end of the week.
Right now, I'm lukewarm at best on the whole card (and Raw, for that matter).
There were some bright spots for me -- seeing Xavier Woods finally make his WWE main show debut as R Truth's tag team partner was a #ThisMakesMeHappy moment for me. The circumstances of the debut were even more interesting because, in 2007, Woods debuted in TNA also as R Truth's partner. #TheLittleThings.
I like Big E Langston as Intercontinental champion. The Curtis Axel experiment seems to fall in the theme of this article (lukewarm), and he wasn't doing much with the Intercontinental title (what a shock). Will Big E turn the title around? At this point, it's not even worth caring. He will be world champion one day, so I guess this is just another notch on his resume, which is fine.
The problem is -- regarding Survivor Series on Sunday -- (right now) Xavier Woods and Big E Langston aren't on the card.
What we do have on the Survivor Series card is John Cena against Alberto Del Rio, which is not a match in which I'm emotionally invested. I've cared much more about John Cena's promos in the ring after live events on WWE's European tour than I have about this rematch. It's not going to make me buy the pay-per-view, no matter how injured John Cena's arm is and how "devastating" the cross armbreaker is.
Randy Orton against the Big Show makes me scratch my head and wonder how and why Daniel Bryan suddenly got booted out of the WWE title picture. Not because I'm a huge Daniel Bryan fan, but because it seemed so sudden. And Randy Orton vs. Big Show doesn't scream "show stealer" to me, despite the fact that both are staple veterans in WWE.
We have two traditional Survivor Series matches. First, a 7-on-7 Divas match that I'll be surprised if it goes over the time of a typical Divas match in the past few years. Then, Goldust, Cody Rhodes, The Usos and a returning Rey Mysterio against The Shield and The Real Americans, who many still don't really understand why they have suddenly joined forces for this match. The Real Americans and Cody Rhodes/Goldust have a tag team title match on WWE Smackdown. I'm still waiting for (and calling) an Antonio Cesaro double-person Giant Swing. To me, the biggest challenge with traditional Survivor Series matches is the lack of a stake -- what's the value in the match? What are they fighting for? What's the prize? With the Royal Rumble it's clear -- the winner gets a WWE title shot at WrestleMania. Survivor Series matches should have a stake to make them more exciting and worth watching.
The Internet is gushing over CM Punk and Daniel Bryan against The Wyatt Family (Harper and Rowan), and why not. Lots of talent in this match. I'm also looking forward to it. Will it draw people to buy the pay-per-view? That remains to be seen. It doesn't have the feel of a pay-per-view main event, but it's definitely a "I'm happy it's on the card"-type match.
Taking all that into consideration, I'm lukewarm on Survivor Series.
What else you need to know from WWE Raw:
-- This week, 3MB was the "Rhinestone Cowboys," and it was funny. I like 3MB being comedic backstage segment fodder and not losing to the same team for several weeks in a row.
-- There's a lot of talk on "The Authority" lately. Will this signal a return of Vince and/or Shane McMahon?
-- The Big Show beat Ryback in a match that lasted much longer than I ever thought it would.
-- The Miz turned on Kofi Kingston. Oh yeah, they are facing off on the pre-show for Survivor Series. The panel is Bret Hart, Booker T and Mick Foley. Back to The Miz -- he's better as a heel, in my opinion.
-- AJ embarrassed Vickie and forced her to submit. I like that Vickie's ring attire still pays homage to Eddie. #TheLittleThings.
-- Dolph Ziggler beat Damien Sandow in a "Broadway Brawl" with lots of musical equipment in the ring. They both hit each other with drums and guitars before Ziggler finally won.
-- The Shield and The Wyatts against Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Goldust and The Usos was a good, entertaining match. I like Dean Ambrose shaking his hand after Erick Rowan gave him a tag, like it hurt bad. #TheLittleThings.
Follow Arda on Twitter @arda_ocal
Check back later this week as Arda will provide his predictions for the 2013 Survivor Series.