Last night, “RAW” aired on a two-hour tape delay from the Birmingham LG Arena in Birmingham, England. The night saw dramatic change to the Survivor Series elimination match set on last week’s “RAW.”
Apparently, officials felt having CM Punk and Ryback as the captains of opposing teams at Survivor Series wasn’t enough, and decided to take the two men out of the preset match and set them up in a triple threat with John Cena. Now Audiences are left with an awkward, seemingly pointless match with a team led by Dolph Ziggler taking on a group brought together by Mick Foley.
There’s no rivalry there like there is between Punk and Foley, so it doesn’t add up the same way. This triple threat match will give the Second City Saint an out where he doesn’t have to pin Ryback to win, which will keep Ryback looking strong, but most fans are certain that Punk won’t be losing his belt two months before a match with The Rock that has been building since July.
Ryback did get a victory over the current WWE Champion in a tag team match last night. The Big Hungry and Cena beat Punk and Ziggler, with notable tension between the Cenation Leader and Ryback at the end of the match.
That was just one of four tag team related matches last night, and “RAW” managed to brandish six tag teams, which would have been unheard of a few months ago. Santino Marella and Zack Ryder beat Primo and Epico, Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara and R-Truth defeated the Prime time Players and Antonio Cesaro, and Cody Rhodes won over Daniel Bryan just before Kane was victorious over Damien Sandow.
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The tag team division has become a way to include numerous superstars in the three-hour “RAW” format. There was even a Divas tag team match where Aksana and Eve Torres lost to Layla and Kaitlyn.
The AJ Lee scandal angle was worked on again on this week’s “RAW” as the rivalry between AJ and Vickie Guerrero heats up. The rivalry should be short lived, being that AJ is one of the most talented Divas on the roster in the ring and on the mic, and it’s wasted on Vickie being that she can’t wrestle and can only gather heat for herself and whoever she represents.
Sheamus defeated The Miz with Big Show on commentary. The Giant wasn’t in action last night, but his harsh words during the Celtic Warrior’s bout played up the World Heavyweight Championship match the two will have at Survivor Series on Nov. 18.
Kofi Kingston gained a huge upset victory over Alberto del Rio. The two men worked well together and having the Mexican Aristocrat in a fight for the IC Title could do more for him than wrestling and losing in pursuit of a World Championship.
Wade Barrett beat Brodus Clay in the first match where the Funkasaurus gained momentum in recent memory. It was earlier this year that Clay was an unstoppable force in the WWE, but over the past few months he has lost tractions and become a high end jobber.
The Bareknuckle Brawler showed sign of struggle when facing Clay, which made Barrett’s victory even more notable. Squash matches only work for so long, but real challenges make a performer legitimate.
A true jobber on the rise is Heath Slater who has found success since forming 3MB with Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre. Slater earned a victory over Jay Uso and will hopefully be rising the ranks along with his mid card cohorts, especially the underappreciated McIntyre.