Monday Night Raw Warm Up for May 27th, 2013

Posted by under *mixed, Television |


Triple H wasn’t the only one confused about the ending to last week’s Raw in Kansas City. Hopefully the narrative continues with a bit more coherence tonight in Calgary.

Happy Memorial Day from MLD! A heartfelt thank you goes out to all members of the United States Armed Forces as we remember those who have fallen while serving.

This week’s Raw comes to us from the land where the main export seems to be gifted wrestlers with names like Hart, Pillman and Storm: Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It also happens to be WWE’s officially designated “Bizzaro World” where the heels rule and the good guys can’t catch a break. We’ll surely be treated to a lively crowd, as it has become an essential component to inject some life into a show that has been anything but extreme, despite last week’s show coming off the Extreme Rules pay-per-view. While there were some strong matches during last week’s broadcast, the ending segment ultimately left us puzzled, perplexed, and pondering who’s gunning for the top spots on the roster.

THE JASON: Let’s start with Paul Heyman’s newest client. I, for one, did not expect the reintroduction of Michael McGuillicutty with a new, manly beard. Curtis Axel is kinda, sorta a less embarrasing pseudonym (unless the Wrestling Family he was originally connected to is Beulah’s), but “Axel Hennig” was right there and about 10,000 times better. Joe Hennig would have been just fine as well. My money was on Kassius Ohno or Conor O’Brien getting called up from NXT. 

PTB: It certainly was a surprise, but a relative unknown was really the only direction they could go. No established name was going to top Brock Lesnar’s return to WWE or compare with Heyman aligning himself with C.M. Punk. Getting Hennig in the name would have worked better in my mind as well, but that’s not really the WWE way. I’ll never understand the initial move to roll him out as “Michael McGuillicutty” when his heritage was no secret, but he’s here now (beard and all), side-by-side with Heyman (one of the all-time greats), and if this can’t get him over nothing will. Above all else, the entrance music is where they really got things right in this repackaging. It’s perfect.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2z1aC60Fd0]

THE JASON: Paul, as always, had me drinking the kool-aid. He was building Axel up and I could almost believe that maybe… just maybe, he could be a breakout star. This is the same guy that managed Brock Lesnar, who served up CM Punk in the new ECW. Sure, he’s also the guy that managed the poet laureate of the WWE circa 2003, John Heidenreich, but I’m willing to forgive that misstep. It didn’t matter since HHH came out and promptly undid everything in a matter of moments.

PTB: I can’t believe I’m typing this, but working with Triple H last week didn’t do any favors for Curtis Axel (I’m glad they’re using Curtis because it’s just too close to Kurt Angle otherwise). The finish was so confusing and so focused on Triple H that I have to agree that Axel and Heyman were distant afterthoughts by the time the credits rolled..

THE JASON: I don’t get it. HHH is ostensibly retired. He looked incredibly strong in his matches with Brock Lesnar, with Brock doing most of the selling in the Extreme Rules cage match. He gave Axel virtually no offense until he basically collapsed from an apparent concussion to close the show. The only man who can beat HHH is HHH! This is stupid. If he really had any idea how to “make” a guy, Brock should have destroyed him in the cage and if that wasn’t an option then he should have allowed Hennig to do so since he was supposedly “concussed already.” It’s 2013 and the guy still needs to look unstoppable. In all of this serious concussion business, Hennig Jr. was completely forgotten.

PTB: Completely, and to be fair it’s Hennig III. I’m sure the story will be that Lesnar dealt Triple H some serious damage on Sunday that led to the his collapse on Monday, but what does that really do for anyone other than Hunter?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7I41DOp97k]

THE JASON: The Miz teamed with Jericho against Wade Barret and Fandango. Barret actually had some good entrance music, which has now been replaced by something which is not that at all.

PTB: This now the third music change for Barrett in the last year. I don’t know what they’re looking for but they haven’t found it yet. Barret also certainly deserves better than a program with the Miz. He’s a guy that should have a real future in WWE.

As far as Jericho and Fandango  (one of my top feuds right now), I think I would have preferred another “dance off” for Jericho and Fandango when it was all said and done.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDZ6ENfctTk]

THE JASON: Fandango bailed on Barret to dance with Summer Rae on the outside of the ring. He then bailed on Summer Rae when Miz and Jericho came after him. Jericho then proceeded dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge Summer. Maybe just dip. This girl’s expressions and charisma are better than nearly every other girl that they have on the roster (Side Note: AJ vs. Layla made it’s way onto Raw last week. Hey, Layla still has a job!).

PTB: Summer Rae is showing signs of being a bright spot among the current Divas and this is the second time we’ve seen Jericho try to steal her away.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3-GO9NbA7E]

THE JASON: The Shield, now possessing the Tag Titles and U.S. Title, took on Team Hell No and Kofi Kingston in a great twenty minute match. Bryan looked like a star, and even though being angry is part of his character, I was glad he was upset with Kane that they lost the belts.

PTB: I don’t know what the future holds for Team Hell No, but all they’ve done in their time working together is convince that it will be entertaining. I doubt they’ll be getting the belts back from The Shield anytime soon though. WWE has hit on something impressive with these three even if I do take exception to hearing Michael Cole and JBL say they “hold all the gold.” There’s a lot of gold out there to be held right now.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KClHyX530Ac]

THE JASON: Randy Orton was the winner of some WWE App nonsense to face Jack Swagger. The only thing that this match won for me was the recurring Randy Orton fast forwarded award. Though I sat through Sheamus vs. Titus O’Neal and it was fine. I like Titus and I wish that the interest in Tag Teams last more than a few weeks last year since I dig the Prime Time Player’s act. They even have a new t-shirt!

PTB: I want the Prime Time Players (really any organized tag team) to be a hit, but nothing can keep me tuned into Orton or Sheamus at this point. They’re clearly trying to rebuild Orton as a fan favorite and I’ll have none of it, but he seems to have his fans.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qirlWzSkCwg]

THE JASON: Big E. Langston got a surprising win over Alberto Del Rio. The scariest thing about Big E. are his tights. I feel like the dude is a deep squat away from a serious wardrobe malfunction. Someone, get this guy some shorts.

PTB: Dolph Ziggler’s injury has created some chaos in the World Championship scene and Langston is reaping the benefits. Ziggler ‘s absence from the show is a big loss.

THE JASON: I suppose the other big happening was that we went an ENTIRE SHOW with no John Cena and learned that Sonic has ice cream shakes (as did a select few people in the expensive seats).

PTB: A night without Cena is a rare thing, but we did have to suffer Ryback trying to promote their upcoming ambulance match after the Extreme Rules match ended in a draw. I’d have preferred Cena showing his face somewhere since it amounts to another night without the WWE Champion on the show and that’s the Rock’s gimmick.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_gKF7EAuPc]

THE JASON: Ryback started off the show with a promo on top of an ambulance. I hate to admit this… but the promo was pretty good. This is the most natural Ryback has sounded and his wacky over-annunciation was greatly curtailed. He went down the road that has been ridden by many heels by reminding the audience that he was nothing like them, and they are all fat and unmotivated. He actually chided them for not knowing anything about nutrition! Well, what do you expect Ryback? WWE is giving away Sonic shakes, baby!

PTB: I’ll give Ryback some credit here, but like so much of what we’re seeing from week to week on Raw there seems to be some holes at the top of the card. And yes, a big part of that stems from the absence of C.M. Punk.

THE JASON: The show is lacking something and WWE seems to in an odd re-building phase. There are some good talents on NXT but no one is being brought up…at least not yet.

All photos courtesy of WWE.com. Read more about World Wrestling Entertainment on MyLatestDistraction.

Keep up with all of our weekly Monday Night Raw Warm Ups:
April 8th, 2013 edition / June 3rd, 2013 edition (coming next Monday)


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