Finally the RAW B&W articles have returned after a somewhat lengthy absence. Given that I was away, I was written off GuysNation after Rob attacked me with a chair and put me through a table during our MITB discussion when I dared suggest Orton was a favorite. This will presumably lead to feud centered around the soon-to-be-created GN Championship. More importantly what will happen as WWE ramps up for ‘The Biggest Event of The Summer’? How will Bryan follow up his massively epic Gauntlet Match from last week? Can he even come close to topping it? Does anyone even care that Ryback is facing Cena again? Will we get more monumentally awesome mic work from Punk and Heyman? What ever happened to The Shield’s momentum? How creepy are the Wyatt Family? Did TNA actually put their World Title on someone not from WWE or WCW?
Ch-Ch-Changes: The landscape certainly has changed since the last RAW column. Ziggler’s face run is slowly gaining steam, we have MITB holders who were not the favorites headed in, the Wyatt Family is leaving a buzzard trail of destruction, Cody Rhodes has turned face against his ex-best friend and some former Paul Heyman Guy returned. While Ziggler is always one to watch, of these new developments I’m more interested to see how the Rhodes-Sandow feud turns out. Cody’s mustache at one point was more over then he was, so it bears watching to see how he catches up with it. Stealing Sandow’s briefcase on Smackdown and then tossing it into the Gulf of Mexico is certainly a big starting point. It also continues the WWE tradition of people and/or things being tossed into large bodies of water, i.e. Cena tossing Edge into Boston Harbor and Mysterio putting Swagger into the Gulf are just two examples.
Trolls: So Daniel Bryan has gone from being called a goat to now being referred to as a troll by GM Bradley last week. This week Bryan correctly deduced that he was getting his talking points from Mr McMahon during the show opening promo. However, it wasn’t just a physical comparison that was taking place. Vince was going heavy on the anti-Bryan rhetoric, mocking his stature, among other things, and totally trolling the audience. His role in this angle is clear; rile up the crowd and get them more invested in Bryan’s underdog status. Not that Mr Yes actually needs it, but Vince wants as many people as possible to buy the PPV to see if Bryan can overcome Cena. Also it was a pretty interesting collision of worlds as you had the personification of Indy wrestling going toe-to-toe with the creator of ‘sports entertainment’.
Main Events: WWE actually did a good job of promoting their double main event throughout the show, which is something they don’t always do. Bryan-Kane was solid as was epxected, but the focus was more on the Wyatts attacking afterwards. When was the last time you saw a win by a main eventer pushed aside for a midcard angle? Didn’t we just see a Tables match between the Cena and Ryback during 3 Stages of Hell? It was actually pretty good and Ryback was acting more like a bully then the crybaby of recent weeks. Maybe to spice it up next time they could make it a Spanish Announce Table match where you have to put the other guy through the Spanish Announce Table. Oh wait that only happens on PPVs.
Pink Slipped: So Booker T and Teddy Long are technically unemployed, in storyline at least, so why do they keep getting TV time? They’ve been teasing dissension for so long that it seems like the eventual payoff won’t be that impactful. The major hint is that Teddy will turn heel or just turn his back on Booker, but then where do they go from there? For Long it might be as a manger since it’s something he’s done in the past and the Prime Time Players seem like an option. However, since Creative is prone to dropping storylines without any explanation, that’s an option as well.
Total Divas: How thoroughly pointless is this show? First off WWE has been promoting a show based on ‘reality’ during a show that’s based on everything being scripted. Do they not realize the irony there? How are people supposed to sympathize with the backstage struggles of The Bellas when they’re presented as manipulative heels on regular programming? Having another venue for them to hog screentime from someone more infinitely valuable like Natalya just reinforces the notion that WWE doesn’t really care about the division.
Battleground: So it was announced during the show that the newest PPV ‘concept’ is WWE Battleground which take the place of Over The Limit in October. Can’t they decide on one consistent for PPVs? It seems like every year there’s a new name that replaces what was previously a new one last year. It’s not so much the name changing that’s the worst part, it’s the fact that this new one is in the Early October slot sandwiched between Night of Champions and Hell In A Cell. So after NOC, it’s a three week build to Battleground, then another three weeks to HIAC. Creative can’t even come up with consistent builds during a normal four week schedule, so this means the storylines will be rushed and not given enough time to actually develop. The company could spread out the rest of the PPVs or even go to fewer, but as long as they make money that’s something Vince will never do.