RRC 2013: Mar 4th

The Raw Review Crew

March 4th 2013: On this week’s Raw Review Crew…Old people, plus quotes and selected words from entrance themes.

When I was looking to update the Old School Raw banner I was surprised to find out that it was November 15th 2010 when they did it, a show which scored a 9, but was so long ago that it was two weeks before the start of the short-lived RRCv2, which saw the debut of Justin C and the end of my time doing the RRC (although I did have time to give a 10 to Miz’s WWE title win in the week in between). Much time has passed since then and Justin has been in the RRC ever since, but this week, he moved on to be a TV star.

Yes Justin C is really Paul Heyman. Not really, but it’s a cool sign with an Oratory plug, although RRC>Raw Deal would have been better.

A Old Man Standing in the Dark
People mocked Undertaker’s classic “you, me, Summerslam” promo to challenge JBL to a match a few years ago, then when he faced Triple H at WM27 they just looked at a sign, but Taker has managed to edit down those lengthy promos to simply standing in front of a logo. He didn’t even walk all the way to the ring, even Kevin Nash probably thought he was a bit lazy.

Punk/Orton/Show/Sheamus Promo
Punk wanted to take something precious for the fans so wanted to break the streak. Not the greatest reason for a Wrestlemania feud, but it makes some sense, and some other volunteers showed up wanting to job to Taker to make it seem like more of a big deal. Vickie came out and made a four-way where the losers face the Shield at Wrestlemania, she didn’t say that, but you know it’s true.

Cesaro vs Ryback
Stop jobbing out midcard champions on Raw.¬†They should get Bart to write that in the opening credits of The Simpsons. As jobbing goes Cesaro did a decent job of it although because it was a long Ryback match, it meant lots of it took place in the break. Mark Henry had a staredown with Ryback after the match, I guess that’s the direction they’re going for Mania, although Ryback still has unresolved Shield issues that would make more sense for him to deal with.

Henry vs Ryder
As Mark was in the ring, may as well squash a jobber. That’s what he does.

Some Guy vs The Miz
Ziggler really has no momentum at all, so after he jobs to Jericho at Wrestlemania, then wins the World Title, they’ll probably wonder why he’s not really over. He’s good enough to overcome that, but it’s a weird way to book somebody. Miz is at least improving in the ring, but his whole character needs refreshing, leeching heat from Ric Flair isn’t something that he can use forever.

This was a brilliant PPV preview/review column on the Oratory from back in the early-to-mid noughties by Mark Price with a bit of Lauren C and Mike Maloney. The WWE’s Point/Counterpoint wasn’t quite so good, it had a few good lines like Rock’s about Lance Armstrong, but rather than serious and intense it was more slow and boring. I know I’m miserable and negative lots of the time, but the crowd reaction for this wasn’t great either, so I clearly wasn’t the only who wasn’t really feeling it.

Swagger vs Duggan
Boring. Swagger can’t even make beating up legends interesting, and obviously Del Rio didn’t come out to help, because why would a Mexican give a shit about American legends.

Hell No vs PTP
I guess millions of dollars was the best way they could link DiBiase to anything new school, there wasn’t much point in him being there for this match, but it’s better than getting hit with a 2×4 by Swagger. PTP lost and there was no Bryan/Kane tension this week.

Brodus/Tensai vs McIntyre/Slater
This tag match contained no tags and lasted about 20 seconds, they could have just had Honky hit Slater with a guitar and not bother with pretending to have a match, although then we’d have missed the impressive win by Sweet T. The Hip Hop Hippo doesn’t seem like such a bad nickname now.

Kofi vs Faaandaaangoooo
Since Justin Roberts always overemphasises everyones names when he introduced them, it’s funny that Fandango isn’t happy with the way he’s introduced. As a gimmick, complaining about how people say your name doesn’t have much long-term potential, although I bet Roberts wouldn’t pronounce Krizbii right either.

Triple H Promo
I haven’t missed writing that as a segment header and considering his feud with Lesnar didn’t need a long drawn-out rambling HHH promo, we got one anyway. Last week’s ass-kicking Triple H was kind of cool (even with distracting short hair), this was just regular boring Hunter.

Shield Promo
If it wasn’t already obvious that the main event losers were going to face the Shield at Wrestlemania, the Shield pretty much confirmed it.

Barrett vs Del Rio
Fandango should just get a personal ring announcer like Del Rio. I don’t know why they need to have Del Rio defeat people like Barrett so regularly, it could be a future main event and with Swagger out there, it was an occasion where Del Rio not winning clean would have at least made sense, so although it was the World Heavyweight Champion who won and produced a decent match, this calls for a picture.

New Age Outlaws vs Primo and Epico
Apart from Billy’s hair, the Outlaws look pretty good and could probably add a bit of a different dimension to the tag division for a while if they had a tag division.

Mae Young is Old
Cena look kind uncomfortable stood by Mae’s cake with lots of jobbers. Punk interrupting was a classy touch for TV, but they gave Mae a nice present really.

Punk vs Orton vs Sheamus vs Show
A very formulaic four way with two people fighting each other at a time and everyone getting to hit their finisher at the end. Unlike last week where Raw had a genuine PPV main event quality match, this was a routine IC title curtain jerker four-way with the winner obvious and no real high spots. OK to achieve what they set out to do, but not really a memorable match. Afterwards Taker showed up again, but didn’t have the stamina to get much closer to the ring than Mae Young had managed earlier. Hopefully he gets in the ring and actually talks at some point in the feud. Staring and pointing and silence isn’t the best way to do a Punk/Taker angle.

Final Thoughts
The old school gimmick was just that, apart from Mae Young’s birthday there was no reason for any old people to be there, only the Outlaws did anything worthwhile and they had so little ideas for the Hall of Famers that Dusty Rhodes was a minor distraction to an unimpressive attack on Jim fucking Duggan. The best part about the old-school theme was the look of the arena and the music, can’t they just keep the Attitude era theme for when they’re saying what’s coming up after the break, the usual break music is dire. Taker being back wasn’t a surprise, Punk winning wasn’t a surprise and although it was good that they made facing Taker seem like a big deal, the actual match that decided his opponent was disappointing and now the Shield get sloppy seconds with what’s left. Rock and Cena lacked any real intensity in their promo, Swagger continues to lack any intensity ever, Ziggler continues to job as do the IC and US champions, but at least Miz is over. Except he’s not, Flair is over, and keeps on passing that torch, but no matter how many torches Miz gets, he sucks the heat right out of them. I didn’t hate this show, but it wasn’t a good old-school episode and it wasn’t a good road to Wrestlemania episode, it was just kind of there.

Score: 4

RRC By The Numbers
Last Week: 6.75
2013 High Score: 6.75 (Jan 7, Feb 25)
2013 Low Score: 3.75 (Jan 28)
2013 Average: 5.31
Writer Averages
Krizbii: 5.5
Justin C: 5.375

Average Score: 4