Monday Night Raw Warm Up for Vengeance (10/23/2011)

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Last week WWE presented Monday Night Raw from Mexico City for the first time in the show’s long history and it’s hard to see the result as anything but a success in terms of pleasing the live audience. Watching at home was enjoyable as the show was very straightforward and stood above a lot of recent weeks. As we head into the annual Vengeance pay-per-view event tonight, most of the participants on the card were showcased nicely even if some of the matches and stipulations seemed to be coming late in the game.

I really wanted this to be a great show solely because it was live in Mexico City and the crowd was really into it. Attendance was reported at just over 14K, but it looked and sounded like a lot more people. They definitely weren’t very interested in Interim Raw General Manager, John Laurinaitis’, remarks until he brought Jim Ross back after his “firing” last week. Putting him into a match with John Cena against Alberto Del RIo and Michael Cole seemed like it would be the low point of the show but the crowd seemed to love it. Having announcers in a main event tag match isn’t what I want to see from week to week, but it worked to setup the Last Man Standing stipulation between John Cena and Alberto Del Rio at Vengeance tonight, even if it seemed like a last minute addition.

The Mexico City fans also seemed to love Randy Orton which I’ll try not to hold against them. The six-man tag match he was involved in was fun and it says a lot about the development of feuds on Smackdown since that’s where Orton has been getting most of his work with opponents like Christian, Mark Henry and Cody Rhodes. This finish was was clearly setting up Vengeance as well with Orton/Rhodes and Sheamus/Christian fighting off through the crowd followed by Henry’s big spot to finish off John Morrison. Henry’s title defense against The Big Show was the only match that wasn’t spotlighted on Raw, but Henry made a nice showing for himself.

It was great to see C.M. Punk get a huge reaction and I’m genuinely looking forward to his tag team match with Triple H against The Miz and Truth tonight. I know Brian (who will rejoin me tomorrow to recap tonight’s show before the next edition of Raw) and I have criticized how this storyline is unfolding, but it’s still fun and all four of these guys bring a lot to the table. I particularly enjoyed Truth telling Punk he talked to0 much after 8 minutes of mic work from “the Awesome Truth.” Laurinaitis having Triple H removed due to errors with his immigration paperwork was also a nice twist to employ with the show in Mexico City.

On a night where everyone was getting the anticipated response from the fans in attendance (unlike the shows North of the border), Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and Vickie Guerrero may have been the top heels of the show. It may have actually been the least amount of screen time they’ve seen on Raw in months, and I really think it was the right move to keep them from being overused. Involving Mason Ryan in a feud with the group and pairing him with Zach Ryder may be the best way to get him over, but I’m still not sold. Should Ryder take the U.S. Championship from Ziggler any time soon, I’d expect a heel turn from Ryan much like I’m expecting a heel turn from Kelly Kelly tonight should Eve come anywhere near winning the Divas title from Beth Phoenix tonight at Vengeance.

WWE Vengeance begins tonight at 8PM only on pay-per-view. Scheduled matches include:

  • John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio in a Last Man Standing match for the WWE Championship
  • The Big Show vs. Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship
  • Triple H & CM Punk vs. The Miz & R-Truth
  • Randy Orton vs. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes
  • Sheamus vs. Christian
  • Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler with Vickie Guerrero vs. Air Boom (Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston) for the WWE Tag Team Championship
  • Eve vs. Beth Phoenix for the WWE Divas Championship

Read more about World Wrestling Entertainment on MyLatestDistraction.

Keep up with all of our weekly Monday Night Raw Warm Ups:
October 17th, 2011 edition / October 24th, 2011 edition

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