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What was heading towards being the worst Raw I’ve seen in a long time is saved by the final quarter of the Show.

The reason why, for me anyway, this Raw was particularly poor was not just because the matches weren’t great; they were all pretty lackluster excluding maybe two. They were all so bleeding obvious. This Raw fell into the trap of being a pay-per-view momentum filler. I’ll briefly toot my own horn and say I managed to successful predict the result of every match on this show. However, I really don’t think it was very difficult.

Big Show (w) vs Daniel Bryan

Building up to the match we had Big Show wittering on about how he will destroy Sheamus to become World Heavyweight Champion and him wishing to erase the memory of his last 45 second title reign. So, he challenges Daniel Bryan and after some quick “NO NO NO”‘s we have the match.
Fairly obvious that Big Show is going to win. He needs to keep momentum going into Hell In a Cell and Bryan isn’t vying for any singles titles at the moment so a Bryan win would serve no purpose. The loss also doesn’t affect Bryan in any way, being the tag champs, it causes no loss of momentum or crowd reaction for him.
The match itself is fairly boring and what looked like one of the coolest parts; a spear from Show, happened in the ad break! We get a few Show slaps and Bryan kicks and a bear hug from Show. Bryan comes back with two dropkicks into Show in the corner followed by an attempted top rope move, this is countered into a chokeslam, pin, win. That’s about it, hardly a long match and one that followed the classic WWE method. The favourite starts well, then the underdog gets the upper hand in the middle, only for the favourite gets a second wind and comes back to win at the end.
We get a little bit of afters with Kane protecting Bryan from what would have been a knock out punch. Showing that they can, just sometimes, work together.

Alberto Del Rio (w) vs Brodus Clay

Well If you couldn’t see ADR winning this I’d be booking an appointment with Specsavers. Del Rio; who has a match again Orton at HIAC, against Clay, who is being just as much of a whipping boy as Tensai. Another short match with little talking points. ADR wins by dodging a should charge in the corner, following it up with an arm breaker and then the cross arm breaker.

Santino + Zack Ryder vs The Prime Time Players (w)

Team crowd favourites vs the PTP, sorry, its team CoBro. Anyway, the team that looked as if they were going to take the tag team division by ‘storm’ against two mid card wrestlers. Not hard to guess that PTP would win this match. Another short-lived match with no real flow. We saw all of Ryder’s 3 moves in a row, followed by 3 participants finishers. The last being O’Neil’s sit out powerbomb to win the match.

Ziggler + David Otunga vs Ryback (w)

So down comes Ziggler shouting that Ryback doesn’t deserve a WWE title shot and it should be him. He then states he wants to beat Punk and cash in his MiTB to hold both titles. Now, as soon as he started mouthing off about Ryback I instantly thought, Ziggler vs Ryback. Fairly standard WWE, you run your mouth about someone then immediately end up in a match against said person. So I was rather confused initially when David Otunga started coming down the ramp. I was sat staring at the TV with a rather puzzle look on my face thinking, “what in God’s name is this idiot doing out here”. I should have known better really, thinking they would have Ryback defeat just one opponent, silly me. However, it didn’t take long for the penny to drop. Then sure enough we get the 2 on 1 handicap match.
Like all the matches before, the winner was obvious. Ryback. He was winning this match all day long. He has a potential contract signing for HIAC at the end of the show, it would have been ludicrous to make Ryback lose, ending his unbeaten streak and in a match with Otunga … er, not in a million years.
So the actual match itself was the usual Ryback no contest and took less time to finish than the build up. Meat hook clothesline, backpack stunner (I think), Ziggler runs away and Otunga gets Shell shocked, pin, win. The only thing that made the match somewhat enjoyable was the fact Otunga was getting beat up.

Antonio Cesaro (w) vs Justin Gabriel

Poor old Cesaro, still not getting ANY crowd reaction. Again, obvious he was going to win. The match, like most on the show, didn’t last very long but I do enjoy watching Cesaro wrestle. No one else on the roster does any moves like him, he’s a breath of fresh air in the ring, a ring that primarily “That’s vintage …[insert wrestler]”. We had a gut buster from Cesaro, shortly after Gabriel swung the match around setting Cesaro up for the 450 splash. This was dubiously countered by Cesaro getting his shoulder up. Gabriel then tried a high risk move, proving to be just that, as Cesaro thumped him with an uppercut, neutraliser, pin, win.

Matt Striker vs Kane (w)

While nothing more than a comedy match, the mini interview by Kane at the end was one of the highlights of the show. Not sure if this shows how poor the matches were; if a 2 minute ‘interview’ was one of the best parts of the show, or if it shows the versatility of Kane. Oh yeah, Kane won, who’d have thought.

Sheamus (w – DQ) vs Wade Barrett

I really enjoyed this match last week, two very similar wrestlers in style, I’d be tempted to say Barrett is just a heel version of Sheamus (current characters). Another good match, by far the best of the show up to this point. Unfortunately it didn’t seem as good as what I watched the week before, sometimes it felt a little, I’ve seen this before. However, I did particularly like when Sheamus dodged the steps after Barrett kicked them. It was a cool move last week but I’m glad they didn’t just repeat the same thing again.
The match consisted of a good mix of punches, whips and power moves. I particularly enjoyed the buildup to what would have been a legitimate end to the match. Both guys exchanging big moves, suplex from Sheamus and a tilt-a-world side slam from Barrett. Culminating in what looked like a front leg sweep that allowed Sheamus to apply the texas cloverleaf.
Of course Big Slow had to come down and ruin everything, in the name of the storyline I’m sure. Then to make sure everyone was even, making up for Big show ending on top the week previous, Sheamus delivers a brogue kick to Barrett and clothelines Show as he’s entering the ring.

Eve (w) vs Layla

WWE regularly screws over the diva’s and we get bitch matches that last about 2 or 3 minutes. This wasn’t much longer but Eve is the divas champ and they are trying to build up her storyline. The match itself wasn’t great, it didn’t flow particularly well, demonstrated in the first few minutes as Eve tried to bundle Layla under the bottom rope, the ending also sucked. The only thing that went some way to saving this match was Eve’s cool figure 4 headlock that she started while standing then rolled through. ENDING

Rhode Scholars (w) vs Pimo + Epico

It was at this point in the show that I stopped taking notes for this article because I was so bored after sitting through 2 hours of predictable shit. Thankfully this match helped claw the show back for me. What should have been the tag team finals was replaced with this match due to Mysterio being ill. Many of us knew Rhode Scholars were going to win, Primo + Epico were already eliminated from the tag tournament. Regardless of the outcome being predictable, the match itself was still very good.

Kofi Kingston (w) vs The Miz

Possibly the only match that actually required an ounce of thinking before coming to the conclusion that Kingston would win. I came to my decision based on the fact WWE had been building up Kingston as a singles competitor, he needed momentum to solidify a title challenge and if he won now, Miz could win in the title match on Main Event (which I now know he loses :p). As with the running theme of the show, the match wasn’t great, pretty forgettable excluding one part. Kingston’s trouble in paradise ending the match was an absolute cracker. Clocked Miz right between the eyes, I almost momentarily felt sorry for Miz as it looked genuinely painful.

So the show finished with the big contract signing for Hell In A Cell, would it be Ryback or John Cena to face CM Punk at the paper view? After a lovely speech from Cena he tells us how he wants Punk to get such a beating that he is going to let Ryback sign the contract. So there we have it, it’s Ryback vs CM Punk at HIAC.

I can’t help thinking that this decision was made as a result of Cena’s current injury situation. This is a big match for Ryback, he’s got a current undefeated streak forming the backbone of his character. What happens if he loses? We shall just have to wait for HIAC and find out.

Until next time, cheers for reading and comment below.