Monday Night Raw Warm Up for November 14th, 2011

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For a UK show, last week’s Monday Night Raw from Liverpool lacked any real hometown favorites on the card. This is strange considering past shows from England and the way hometowns have been recurring theme this year. C.M. Punk’s match with John Cena at Money in the Bank revolved around being held in Chicago this Summer. Tonight’s Raw is in Cena’s hometown of Boston and will feature the “return” the Rock. The Rock will be his tag team partner this Sunday at Survivor Series, but his opponent at WrestleMania 28 which will be held in the Rock’s hometown of Miami. With Wade Barrett getting a lot of attention lately, I expected him to at least appear on last week’s show. In fairness, Barrett did get a huge victory over Randy Orton on the UK edition of Smackdown, but we’re here to talk about Raw, where WWE decided to push newcomer Mason Ryan of Wales instead.

Ryan originally appeared as part of the Nexus, but he’s been getting some attention in past few weeks via a feud with Vickie Guerreo’s team of Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler. Last week he was upgraded to a video package and a singles match in front of a fairly supportive crowd for the Welshman. Pitting him against JTG and Michael Cole talking him up did nothing for me, but he’s not completely terrible in the ring.

While Ryan was put over in a big way, John Morrison’s losing streak was in the spotlight in his match with Ziggler. Morrison apparently hadn’t not won since August, and I feel like his victory over last week took all the wind out of that storyline just as it was getting interesting, but Ziggler starting a losing streak of his own  over the last few weeks may be a better angle. Ziggler gained more from that loss that his partner Swagger did in squashing Santino Marella. Swagger’s eye twitch undoes all the points his Muppet bits earned him last week.

A large portion of the show was spent on Alberto Del Rio and C.M. Punk’s upcoming WWE Championship match at Survivor Series. I don’t normally care about Alberto Del Rio’s cars, but the Aston Martin convertible was nice and his quick win over Kofi Kingston was a good lead in for his in ring segment with C.M. Punk. Their feud is thankfully very straightforward and puts both of their strengths on display. Punk’s criticism of Del Rio never really saying anything week after week rings true unfortunately, but I haven’t gotten tired of Ricardo Rodriguez yet. Del Rio putting Punk though a catering table backstage was great and the WWE ’12 video game promo with the two of them gave them a little more air time. I don’t expect to see much of them tonight with the Rock returning.

Thankfully, we didn’t see too much of John Laurinaitis and Kevin Nash last week as the two were kept until the hour and half mark and limiting them to one segment was a good move. This was Nash’s best appearance since his return even though it was still pretty rough. His role is a lot clearer since he took out Triple H and that made his mic time much more focused.

I suppose Kelly Kelly on the cover of Maxim is actually decent mainstream attention for WWE, but I want the Divas to be so much better than their segment last week. Things were unfocused and with limited air time dedicated to them, it just feels like a waste. I am wondering if the inclusion of Alicia Fox with Eve and Kelly indicates a heel turn is coming for Kelly or the return of Kharm. Although after a Diva does a magazine shoot they usually enter a downward spiral taking them out of the company.

Liverpool did not like Cena, but not surprisingly they wanted to see the Rock. He couldn’t make it (though he will be on the three-hour show tonight). Cena did put over the “10th Wonder of the World,” Zach Ryder, and the crowd seemed really up for it. In their tag match with Miz and Truth, Truth took a nasty bump after going over the top rope. I was glad to see him finish the match, and I hope a concussion doesn’t lead to change in a Survivor Series main event that already feels thrown together.

Another first time city with an excited crowd, but I don’t know that this show was as well put together as Mexico City. Despite the response to Ryder, there wasn’t much there for the hometown crowd considering the reaction William Regal regularly receives. It did provide an opportunity to set the entrance with an Inspector Spacetime DARSIT, so it wasn’t a total loss for the locals.

Read more about World Wrestling Entertainment on MyLatestDistraction.

Keep up with all of our weekly Monday Night Raw Warm Ups:
November 7th, 2011 edition / Survivor Series 2011 edition

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