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By Revin Samuel on 12/6/2011 8:24 AM

RAW – 12/5/11

What needs to be accomplished on this week’s Raw?
• TLC Hype. I guess WWE doesn’t like making money, because they’ve once again have done nothing to promote their monthly pay per view and hopefully they announce more than one or two matches, but I’m not hopeful
•Rebuild Jack Swagger and Kofi Kingston. These two have become designated Raw jobbers and need some protection. Kingston got a nice won on Smackdown and hopefully they don’t ruin that on Raw
•Storyline advancement with Ziggler-Ryder, Nash-Triple-H and whatever program CM Punk is going to be involved with
•Continued character development with Miz and John Cena. I said last week that I questioned whether WWE will just drop this somewhat intriguing John Cena storyline, because I’m not sure where they can take can it and whether WWE would risk taking it there. I’ll be interested to see if they advance it or just go back to a standard Cena storyline
Show Breakdown
1.       A small nitpick to start with, but Michael Cole opens the show with ‘the longest running weekly episodic” nonsense when maybe it would be wise to right away say “We are two weeks away from TLC”. After all when you’ve done no promotion for a show, perhaps the so called machine can kick it into high gear
2.       Good to see it doesn’t appear they are dropping the John Cena,  are the boos getting to him storyline
3.       I am not liking this Cena promo too much, it’s once again going along with the theme that boos is what the company wanted the entire time instead of trying to correct the issue. It’s just another attempt to control the audience. On another note if you are going to even address the fact that people boo Cena, why does the producer go out of his way to only focus on fans who are cheering Mr. Cena
4.       I like that this segment is focused on who is getting the next title shot that being said it is dragging a bit for my liking
5.       Cena once again doing bad comedy. This segment is all about the writers and that is what WWE is about
6.       Cena putting over Ryder and Punk does nothing, but water down everyone. The Cena character is just so dead
7.       This is one of those opening segments we’ve seen one too many times and it’s just predictable and overdone at this point
8.       Orton-Miz. Of course this match should have been advertised in advance for the key three reasons I’ve pointed out before (fans are more intrigued, the wrestlers feel important, match feels special). If Kurt Angle can have the three I’s, I’m going to have two I’s and an S, IIS.
9.       That opening segment should not have even happened. The theme for this Raw should have been thought out and advertised last week. This company has so many issues
10.   WWE predictability here. Orton loses the match, but instead of chasing after Barrett he stalks back to the ring. Why? Why does Orton just not continue to give chase, he already lost. Another flaw of this burnt out writing team
11.   ‘Most interactive network in history’. I hope that means something instead of just another slogan they force feed us till we begin to resent it. Also coming from Michael Cole makes it more annoying. I hate to be so down on the show so early when it hasn’t been that awful, but I’m just annoyed by some of the tactics they implement when at this point they should have adjusted
12.   Fine Network commercial, I’m going to need to hear more than hearing Michael Cole say ‘Most interactive network in history’ over and over again
13.   Cena doing more bad comedy. I still maintain this the #1 reason why he gets booed. He is just not good at comedy and he’s never been good at it. Also do they think it helps Zack Ryder to be endorsed by Cena? Or do they think it will help Cena get cheered? Most likely both and all it does is water down both guys
14.   The outcome of this Cena, Ryder backstage segment is intriguing and would have been a good cliff-hanger for the audience on last week’s Raw if WWE was able to book long term storylines
15.   I’m shocked Triple H and Kevin Nash, two of the ultimate power players would have their match be announced in a throwaway backstage segment. Why is this a ladder match? Creative being too cute for their own good yet again. I wouldn’t be shocked if both men get seriously hurt in a match like this
16.   Cole tells us this is the first time Kevin Nash will be in action on Raw in over 8 years...IIS
17.   Every time I see that World’s Strongest Slam from the second rope, I cringe for Mark Henry’s knees
18.   Reason #1075 why Michael Cole is done as the lead announcer. On the one hand you want us to get excited for the WWE network because he says it will be the ‘most interactive network in history’, yet on the other hand he does this heel character and annoyingly rants ‘loser, loser, loser’, this is a company that does not understand their audience anymore, bottom line. Michael Cole is just counterproductive and clearly his only objective is to be entertainment for the Head Honcho, Senior Citizen backstage
19.   Del Rio needed this win here and Lawler tried to save it by saying Bryan is injured, but it doesn’t matter who you are, from Barrett to Kingston to Swagger to Bryan, these guys are not enhancement talent and they shouldn’t be jobbing in three minute matches
20.   Will this be another cog in the machine divas segment? I was going to say it was a pleasant surprise to see them do a brief video package on Beth and Natalya, but instead it was a way to show us that coded message again, which is an example of WWE being Creative so to speak and it paying off. Oh and yes this was another cog in the machine divas match. I thought they were building to an Alicia fox-Beth match, but suddenly Kelly pins Beth? Whatever
21.   Vince McMahon trying to manipulate the audience yet again through the commentary. I would be all for it if it was working, but it’s not and it’s just transparent and insulting
22.   Funny last week WWE designed a segment on the bases that the crowd would be booing John Cena and it was actually one of the more receptive crowds to Cena in months. This week they did that segment at the beginning thinking the crowd would be chanting for Zack Ryder and they haven’t been all that into him
23.   Fun match with Cena and Ryder and I’m glad Cena gave Ryder some offense
24.   That segment with Cena and Laurinaitis finally did something to make Cena likeable. Cena intense and serious works so much better and I liked him in that segment, I felt for him and I wanted to punch John Laurinaitis in the face...that is how it’s done! That being said they did try and make Ryder look like a heel with the way he reacted to Cena beating him, and I really have to question if they are intentionally trying to cut down Ryder’s fan support by doing that in another attempt to get fans to cheer Cena
25.   I’m still not excited for Kane
26.   I thought this was going to be Brodus Clay especially with Otunga out there, I’m not going to complain seeing Mark Henry though
27.    It’s crystal clear again that WWE is doing everything they can to get the crowd to cheer John Cena even at the expense of Mark Henry. One hell of a dumb finish and what now, does Henry feud with Cena? Why didn’t Big Show cost Henry this match? Will Henry even seek revenge?
28.   Good timing on the punch line there with Ziggler and Swagger, fine backstage segment
29.   I had a feeling Santino would be delivered to Kevin Nash and if there is one guy you can deliver to Kevin Nash, it’s Santino. Also good to see them giving us some storyline continuity with why Santino has a reason to want this match
30.   I’m guessing Brodus Clay is trending, because I’m not the only one who thought it would be him facing Zack Ryder
31.   I’m shocked that we didn’t see Triple H. I assume he’ll return next week and that will mean Nash and HHH have one week to see their match that has been building for months. I’ll have more to say about this in my final notes
32.   Good to see the crowd chanting ‘Let’s go Sheamus” after last week’s Smackdown where WWE did him no favours by having him become John Cena the second
33.   Nice finish to Ziggler and Sheamus. I thought Ziggler and Ryder in a ladder match would be awesome at TLC, but instead they used that on Nash and Triple H?
34.   I’ll say it again, but Miz needs a posse, I look at him out there and I feel like I could kick his ass and that’s not a good thing
35.   IIS! – Mark Henry and Cena announced in advance, although I’m not sure why it’s on Raw
36.   Punk doing comedy. Let’s break this down, Punk says “You took them out? Like on a date?” he’s got good comedic timing. Cena delivers that line and the crowd groans. Some people just can’t do comedy well. When Rock came back at that Raw in Boston before Survivor Series, with all that Rock charisma he delivered the line “Had breakfast, not a fruitypebble in sight”, it was funny, because Rock has comedic timing. John Cena delivers that line and were all complaining about Cena talking about Breakfast Cereal and not because it’s John Cena and he’s pushed down our throats, but because his strength isn’t comedy
37.   I laughed at Laurinaitis wishing Morrison all the best in his future endeavours
38.   Solid promo exchange with Miz, Del Rio and Punk. Glad to see Del Rio pointing out all his accomplishments this year
39.   Good final segment. I hope that WWE doesn’t turn Miz and Del Rio into Miz and Truth from Survivor Series and they get some good heat on Punk next week.
40.   I would have pushed the Slammys harder since it’s an 8:00pm start time next week, but WWE has forgotten how to hype things properly in alot of ways. They know how to kill us with buzz words like ‘trending’ and ‘most interactive’, but they don’t know how to promote the things they should be hitting properly
41.   Are they really going to do a ppv without Cena having a match? I don’t have a problem if they do that even though it might not be good for ppv numbers. It’s an interesting experiment to say the least
What was accomplished on this week’s Raw
The Good
• Zack Ryder-Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Nash-Triple H storylines were advanced. I didn’t particularly care for the way these matches came to fruition, but they somehow got there
•TLC Hype. I said they needed to deliver here, they did somewhat
The Bad
•John Cena storyline development – For this week at least it appears this story is just another attempt to get the audience to cheer John Cena. This might have been their best shot at it yet by having Cena sacrifice his title shot for Zack Ryder, still verbally Cena needs an overhaul with the way he’s scripted
•Nash-Triple H announced in a backstage segment. WOW, For all the talk that Triple H is going to clean things up when crazy Vince is gone then you see stuff like this happen. If 2011 has shown us anything it’s that perhaps Triple H isn’t as smart as we might hope he is
•WWE Network promotion. I am going to put this in the bad, because I am pretty sure we are going to be hearing ‘most interactive network’ for the next few months and it’s just going to make everyone hate the idea especially when it comes out of Michael Cole’s mouth
•Mark Henry pinned and it wasn’t because of Big Show, but because of John Cena. John Cena-Mark Henry for free on Raw next week? Unbelievable that better be an angle and nothing more, but at least it got advertised in advance
•Miz looks like an idiot again. Is this guy ever going to be a credible contender? WWE does him no favours and he needs alot of help
•The Divas...nothing more needs to be said
•Zack Ryder’s story – I thought they were a bit counterproductive on the Ryder front this week and having him hang with Cena doesn’t help him. Also making him an underdog jobber who gets lucky isn’t going to help him. Part of me thought WWE was actually trying to sabotage him this week
What needs to be accomplished for next week?
• Triple H better return to television and they better put some major heat on the Nash-Triple H program, essentially on a one week build they are giving us this match, which has been brewing for several weeks now.
•ANNOUNCE AN ACTUAL CARD FOR A PPV. Don’t give us two matches, don’t in passing tell us something is happening without giving the audience a graphic. Take a few minutes and have a card rundown, I know that’s not going to happen
•Miz and Del Rio need some major heat behind them. I am not talking about Miz pinning Punk with Del Ro holding his leg down in some anti climatic finish. I mean violence and an actual beat down