Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monday Night Raw, 7/15/13: Bray Wyatt is the new Galactus

I take it back: last night's Raw is the best non post-WM Raw of the year. The crowd was hot which always makes a big difference. When the Shield triple power bombed Mark Henry they chanted HOLY SHIT and WWE didn't even bleep it out until it was too late. From what I heard, Money in the Bank went over well. I was surprised that Damien Sandow captured the briefcase, but when he jobbed out to Christian last night I said, "That's the MITB curse we know and love!" Cody Rhodes has made his face turn after betrayal most foul from his former colleague Sandow.

The show opened with the first major decision by Brad Maddox as the Mad Ox regime begins. He gave Cena the chance to name his own Summerslam opponent. "I could pick anyone! Like Dok Hendrix or Dutch Mantell or Michael Cole! Maybe one of the Bellas!" he said with a wink. Orton comes out to yell at him, Fandango interrupts, and then Orton beats him in a match. The match was surprisingly good. What's even more surprising to me is that Orton won his MITB match. He's only one strike away from taking a permanent Wellness vacation so I didn't think WWE was going to creatively invest in him much for the rest of his career. Given how the rest of this night worked out, I have an idea of where they're going with him. If I'm right, it'd be a brilliant move.

Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee have had their acrimonious split. It looks as if AJ is getting full custody of Big E Langston, as he delivered his finisher on Dolph after his match with ADR.

When R-Truth came out, I was astonished to see that he's still with the company. I haven't seen him on TV in ages. The last time he was on TV he had a full head of hair. He looked for all the world like he was preparing for a match but then he was interrupted by the family:

That is seriously one of my new favorite entrance themes. Bray Wyatt delivered an intense promo. The crowd tried to "WHAT?" him, but he outsmarted them by varying his cadence, a lesson other superstars would do well to learn from. I like to imagine the crowd growing increasingly frightened of Wyatt: "WHAT? What? W... what...?" Bray Wyatt told us that heroes aren't real, that the people who tucked us in bed at night are secretly plotting to betray us. But Bray is real. He'd never lie to us. He is the eater of worlds! Before delivering his finisher on Truth, he gives him the kiss of death. That was the best Wyatt family promo since their debut last week!

Paul Heyman and CM Punk are great together because they can tell great stories with nothing but their facial expressions. Heyman said that Punk has no family and no friends, that all he has is the unwashed masses whom he now shamelessly panders to. Punk's face expressed shock, outrage, and murderous intent. Punk swears that he will get Heyman and burn everything down around him until he does. This promo was intense because there was a good deal of worked shooting involved. Punk and Heyman have a lot of real life history together and they made me feel their anger over each other's perceived betrayals. Brock Lesnar came out and tried to destroy Punk, but in the end Punk was standing tall. Compelling television at its best. I loved it.

The main event was Y2J vs. RVD. Rob Van Dam is like the living embodiment of the 1990's. He looks exponentially better than during his time in TNA. Both he and Jericho are in their forties so I wasn't expecting an energetic match, but damn me they delivered just the same. My one criticism would be that it went on too long, nearly thirty minutes.

I am disappoint that Cena did not choose the Brooklyn Brawler to be his SS opponent. But he did the right thing and challenged Daniel Bryan. Did he accept? YES! YES! YES! YES! Which leads me to possibly the most diabolical scheme of all time. Fans have been clamoring for Randy Orton to make a heel turn for months now. What if Daniel Bryan defeats John Cena for the title at Summerslam, and Orton chooses that moment to cash in his MITB brief case? Imagine Bryan holding the championship for only five minutes before getting RKO'ed and pinned by Orton. Orton instantly becomes the most despised heel in the company. Heck, I hate him just thinking about it. Summerslam is going to be bigger than Mania this year!

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