Jan 28th, 2013 by mranastasia
1. Loved The Shield getting involved with the Rock-C.M. Punk feud. Not only does working with someone the caliber of The Rock only elevate them, but The Shield's attack puts a needed chink in the armor of the Rock. This is huge, as the causal fan has to be looking towards an easy win for The Rock prior to the attack.
2. Surprised The Rock made a Manti Te'o joke...I thought this would be a no Samoan on Samoan violence
3. As for the final RAW build for Royal Rumble...in terms of the C.M. Punk - Rock match, the build was sort of maintained, but nothing rose to the level of their initial encounter two weeks ago. The Rumble match itself benefited from some Beat The Clock matches, but the final segment only seemed to highlight the spotty nature of the hype for what is one of the biggest matches in the WWE calendar.
4. An finally...was that the worst Cena promo ever??? I have defended the man at times, despite his flaws, but that was one of the biggest wastes of time ever, considering a strong promo could have really hyped the Rumble match to new levels. WWE Creative must be assuring themselves that the audience will simply buy the PPV based on Rock-Punk alone.
Just a few quick thoughts about Friday night's SMACKDOWN, in no particular order:
1. I'm not sold on Del Rio as a Babyface just yet...but he simply was too one-note as a rich heel. The main event was basic, but He has potential, especially if the Big Show continues to be as generous in the ring as he has been recently.
2. The "fall" of Kofi continues. How odd was it that Antonio Cesaro got the win ( even kicking out of the SOS) , without even getting an intro before the match. His push continues, as it should, although it seems like a feud with the Miz is inevitable.
3. The Miz was a prime example of "punching down" with his promo on Primo and Epico. Why they felt the need to bury two guys verbally that they don't even use regularly on television I don't know. This must have been what JR refers to as "maximizing one's minutes." The match was solid, and I didn't even mind the Figure-Four that Miz applied,as his Babayface that still acts like a smarmy Heel is a bastardized version of Ric Flair anyway.
4. Not sure what the plans for the Diva's division is, despite seeing the foreshadowing they did with Layla coveting the title, as they booked Kaitlyn extremely weak in a match with Aksana. A strong babyface would help the division immensely, and the audience, for no explicable reason, seems to be bhind Kaitlyn. It makes sense to build her up with some convincing wins. It doesn't look like that is going to happen.
Just a few quick thoughts about Thursday night's TNA IMPACT, in no particular order:
1. Youth Movement, Part 1: I love the idea of York and King continuing their feud. Both guys have a lot to offer in the ring. That said, this match reeked of over-planning. Now I'm not a booking Luddite, but this match would have benefited a bit more by calling spots in the match. It seemed like they simply tried to hit rehearsed spots, which came off clunky and disjointed. Both guys are incredibly athletic, but this looked like a sloppy ROH spot-fest, except condensed.
2. Youth Movement, Part 2: TNA made the right choice with Jay Bradley. The guy has natural Heel charisma. He doesn't need "seasoning" in OVW, like some previous Gut Check winners have, so here's hoping TNA puts him on TV promptly. A little interview time could surely establish him with the audience.
3. Initially I didn't "feel" the Christopher Daniels - Jeff Hardy program, but upon reflection, this makes sense. With TNA now booking towards fewer PPV events, they will need to generate compelling television that allows them to elongate feuds and interconnect the roster. Obviously elongating feuds makes sense, but by interconnecting the roster, as the Bad Influence , Hardy and James storm match accomplished, allows for more organic booking options as you deal with planning cards that will not come to fruition until months downs the road instead of weeks.
4. I thought the wedding segment were better than expected (particularly when it comes to how great the Knockouts looked in those Bridesmaid outfits.) The reveal of Taz being aligned with Ace's and Eight's was probably met with groans from many, but I like the "mouthpiece" aspect that he brings to teh table. That said, teh faction needs some sustained success if they can truly be viewed as a dominate group in the TNA Universe.
Just a few quick thoughts about last nights RAW, in no particular order:
1. I thought RAW was still a PG show...seems lie whenever the Rock is on, the language gets a little saltier. Not so much a complaint as much as an observation.
2. Love Wade Barrett going over Randy Orton. Sure, it was a non-title match, but it was a convincing and clean win that really can give Barrett a boost in the eyes of the audience. I say "can" because it's all for not if they just trade a win back on Smackdown. Orton is over enough to sustain few loses to up and comers, as noticed by the strong reaction he still received when he ran in on the Shield segment.
3. That was the most crowd reaction I have heard from a Diva's match in a while. I thought that Eve and Kaitlyn told a nice story in the ring. If this is Eve's swan-song from WWE, then she went out in arguably her best match. Hope they can continue to develop some characters/motivations for the Divas.
4. I was surprised that The Rock and Punk had a pull-apart brawl to end the show, as I figured they would save that for the go-home episode of RAW next week. That said, the energy between the two stars is still really strong. Creative didn't do much to sell a card for the Rumble so far, or even the Rumble match itself, but the magnitude of the main event is crystal clear.
..I'll have an audio rundown of the show up later today.
On today's' show, Chris breaks down what made the Rock-CM Punk confrontation so engaging, and what John Cena and co. could learn from that encounter. Plus we map out the three keys to watch for on Monday, and look at TNA Impact's new PPV strategy.
On today's broadcast...D.J.'s back! And, he is telling everyone "I told you so" after C.M. Punk hit a fan on Raw. Plus, we discuss if Ryback is getting pushed too far, too fast. And, we give our predictions for Impact Wrestling's "Bound For Glory" PPV.