RAW – 6/2/2012
What needs to happen on this week’s Raw
•I felt like last week’s Raw was the first show, television or pay per view that felt like we were indeed on the road to Wrestlemania. I hope that trend continues and that the company continues to promote Elimination Chamber as an important show, while also promoting Wrestlemania. I know some people get tired of it, but I have no real issue with everybody and their mother pointing to the Wrestlemania sign
•John Cena-Kane. Perhaps I’m the only one who hasn’t totally been turned off by this storyline, it’s been hit and miss, but I thought last week was a definite win. WWE is going to shove John Cena down our throat either way and if I have to watch him, I want him intense as oppose to doing bad John Cena comedy. I’m intrigued where this goes next. Does it involve Kane assaulting Zack Ryder or Eve? I want more heat put on Kane so it keeps John Cena focused and angry
•Chris Jericho-CM Punk. I really felt like some of the spice was taken out of Jericho with the Royal Rumble loss and he needs a killer promo to make up for it. I hope we get it tonight that being said Jericho and Punk should not be the only focus of the Raw Elimination Chamber match since there are four other participants.
•Speaking of those participants, two of them are in need of a couple solid wins in Dolph Ziggler and The Miz. I’m not holding my breath that they’ll get those wins, but I will ask that they are at least protected tonight
•Smackdown synergy. I really hope WWE delivers some nice hype for the first time Bryan-Orton match set for Smackdown this week
What this show accomplished
•I like the continued hype for The Elimination Chamber and Wrestlemania. They seem to be more focused on their pay per views and surprise, surprise that’s what happens during Wrestlemania season. It’s like Vince wants to make his money here so he can just toy around with the product the rest of the year
•John Cena-Kane match announced. I like that they announced another match for the pay per view. It was kind of a throwaway backstage segment, but I’m sure they will emphasize it further next week
•Video packages. The video package for Wrestlemania, Elimination Chamber, The Undertaker and John Cena were all great stuff and materials that WWE needs to leverage more when building matches, characters and pay per views
•Chris Jericho-CM Punk chapter 2. A fine second chapter with Punk giving Jericho a dose of his own medicine and their interaction in the six pack challenge was also very creative
•Sheamus win over Otunga. I liked that they gave Otunga some offense, but Sheamus continues to build momentum towards Wrestlemania
•Daniel Bryan/AJ-Big Show. Fine segment to further develop the AJ/Bryan pairing. I said it at the top of my column and I’ll say it again here, Bryan is the best microphone man in WWE for 2012 so far.
•Triple H promo. I had some issues with this due to the length and repetitive nature of it, but in one segment they’ve already established doubt that the streak can continue. Even I am thinking to myself that they would have the gall to let Triple H be the one to end the streak
•Nicki Minaj as the Wrestlemania soundtrack. I think the song will get old quickly, but she’s one of the most in artists there is right now
•The heels continue to look like fools. Once again Ziggler and Cody Rhodes, perhaps the two most promising talents in WWE for 2011 lose and lose clean. The Rhodes one is even more bewildering as he loses to an immobile likely not around for the long haul Great Khali who then gets buried by Orton. This segment was the epitome of everything wrong with WWE Creative
•Tamina push. I’m shocked Natalya didn’t take the loss here. The Tamina push is not going to work here. The music is terrible, nobody reacts to her doing the splash and her outfits are bad. I realize it’s not creative to give her Jimmy Snuka’s music, but if she’s going to get the crowd behind her she definitely needs a better theme song. She could also use some talking time and perhaps a cameo by Snuka himself, plus footage of him doing the splash. Yes WWE put the effort into push her, don’t just give us your haphazard standard diva of the month push
•The promotion for Bryan and Orton. A slight nitpick, but I thought they could have done more to push this match
•Nickelback as the Elimination Chamber soundtrack. They couldn’t go two for two on music choices. I don’t mind Nickelback myself, but I know for the majority of the audience they are very played out
•The six guys who will participate in the Elimination Chamber Raw match all face each other on Raw in the same match. I hate when they do things like this in an attempt to build a future pay per view match between the exact same guys involved! It’s like the enemies who become tag team champions garbage.
•I feel like this overall analysis is something I’m going to add to my column going forward. I thought while this was a show where nothing really happened, it was a show where they built thing and created intrigue for The Elimination Chamber and Wrestlemania. I actually think WWE needs to have more shows like this in the future, although the storytelling and match selection could be improved
What needs to happen next week?
•Strong Elimination Chamber push. It’s the go home show and everything can’t be overshadowed by Wrestlemania and the confrontation between Shawn and Hunter
•John Cena-Kane. I said in my goals for the show that I was intrigued to see what they do next and I don’t have an issue that they basically held both men off the show this week. It would have been nice if Kane got some major heat and then Cena could deliver an intense go home promo, but that can still happen next week. All I hope is that Eve doesn’t turn out to be Kane’s next lover seduced by evil or something straight out of TNA
•Give me a reason to believe Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler or R-Truth can win the Raw Elimination Chamber. I will not hold my breath for anything here as just like with Survivor Series with Rock and Cena, WWE probably thinks all they need to focus on is Jericho and Punk, but I disagree. There is no reason you can’t give the other guys some credibility
•The return of the Funkasaurous, Yes I’m calling for it. I actually liked that they kept him off a couple shows as they should do that with more characters. This week neither him nor the United States Champion made television, I’d like to see one if not both of them back next week and maybe programmed for Brodus’s first title shot at the pay per view. Although that might be too quick of a turnaround.