Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Monday Night Raw, 5/27/13: "We forgot about Curt Axel!"

Lest anyone doubt my perennial criticism of WWE's current philosophy of booking, let's take a look at the last week. Last week on Raw, Big E Langston defeated Alberto Del Rio by pinfall. That is a major upset and a big victory for the newcomer Langston. Last Wednesday on Main Event, ADR defeated Big E. Gotta get that win back! Last night on Raw they squared off for a third time, and ADR won again. Gotta pay those dues! AJ cost Langston the victory which at least moved the storyline toward the inevitable Langston/Ziggler split, but come on WWE. Was Langston unwilling to do the job for anyone else on the roster that night?

John Cena has been promoted to head booker as he opened the show by telling The Ryback, "Nah, we're having a Three Stages of Hell match." Smart move making the second stage be a tables match. That allows Ryback to defeat John Cena without actually pinning him. And if nothing else, Super Cena has a well known weakness to tables. The Ryback showed up to snort and snarl for a bit, and then Heyman and Axel walked out. Just as I predicted, Heyman is selling last week's match as Curt Axel beating Triple H. They gave Terse Driveshaft some new music already. I liked the remix of the old Mr. Perfect theme much better. Cena accepts their challenge to a match. It wasn't enough for Trips to bury Axel last week, but now they're feeding him to Cena already?

Daniel Bryan got to meet his hero, Bretdalf the Grey. The look on DBry's face was priceless.

I just criticized WWE's Groundhog Day style booking, but I'll make an exception for the Shield, Kofi, and Team Hell No. Those six guys work well together. The Dean Ambrose vs. Kofi match was great. The Rollins-Reigns vs. Team Hell No match is a contender for best match of 2013. As the crowd said, it was awesome. The show took place in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As an homage to the Hart Foundation, Kane and Bryan performed a Hart Attack on Rollins. Bryan's new gimmick is proving to everyone that he's not the weak link. As I've repeatedly said elsewhere, he is the best wrestler on the roster and the most over guy in the company. Those running drop kicks in the corner look brutal. Rollins eventually pinned Kane after a flying knee to the head. Keep it up Shield. I haven't emotionally invested in any wrestler this much in years.

Poor Wade Barrett. Just... poor Wade Barrett. It looks like the Fandango craze has died off. At least there might be an upcoming feud over the IC belt. If only the IC belt weren't worthless now.

Khali and Tons of Funk squashed 3MB. Khali led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to Natalya. Little known fact: "Happy Birthday" is not a public domain song. That's why you seldom see or hear it anymore.

Looks like CM Punk is returning sooner than expected. Good. I'm also glad Jericho and Heyman acknowledged their history together in ECW.

The Bellas beat Natalya in her hometown, on her birthday. Dat booking.

Curt Axel held his own against John Cena for much of their match. He even went for the Perfect Plex, for which I thoroughly marked out. But Cena ended up getting distracted by the ambulance and Ryback. I'm amused that everyone keeps mistaking the ambulance for Scott Steiner's entrance theme. What is that guy up to these days anyway? The ambulance was probably more over than any of the other wrestlers for that segment. Next week on Raw: Curt Axel vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin. Toward the end of their match, Stone Cold gets bored and wanders off to go get some beer.

Bray Wyatt is coming. And the fandom will rejoice. Much like the last few weeks, what would have been a below average Raw was saved by the Shield. Believe in them.

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