WWE Champion CM Punk takes control of World Champion Sheamus.
Great opening segment featuring Paul Heyman, John Cena, and others. Although Heyman made his case as to why the conclusion of the WWE Championship at Night of Champions was in fact not controversial, was it ever really that questionable to begin with? Cena's shoulders were clearly pinned, meaning the finish was definitive. Nonetheless, Cena played his role well here in admitting he was right, but deserved another shot at the title. Alberto Del Rio's involvement felt random, but at least he made logical points and it also effectively set up the main event for later in the night.
Fun tag team match with Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara defeating Epico and Primo. The two teams had great chemistry and the crowd really seemed to enjoy it. I've been loving the Mysterio/Cara combo in recent weeks and truly hope to see them in contention for the WWE Tag Team titles at some point. The Prime Time Players attacking the masked marvels following the bout was very well done, as they both displayed real intensity and came off as vicious. I'm glad to see an actual feud develop in the tag team division and hope the division continues to flourish going forward.
Fine match between new Divas Champion Eve and Beth Phoenix. The fact Phoenix didn't receive a televised entrance really doesn't make her come off as a threat anyway, so I think that's one of the few things wrong with the treatment of her character lately. The match was fine while it lasted, but as we saw from the two ladies last year, they're capable of much more. Even still, it furthered the feud between Eve and Layla since the Britain native was on commentary discussing the match.
Throwaway match with Brodus Clay defeating Heath Slater. We've seen it dozens of times, but the only real thing worth watching about this match was the fact that United States Champion Antonio Cesaro was on commentary. He did exceptionally well and put over the prestige of the title. Clay and Cesaro are both good acts, but it's not exactly the feud I had in mind over the star-spangled prize.
Intriguing segment with Intercontinental Champion The Miz hosting the first-ever edition of Miz TV. Miz has always been a great talker, so I'm glad to see him get his own segment. It could be used to further feuds and give himself more television time while doing so. However, nothing that he said here (especially to Booker T) had all that much significance. Ryback coming out and wrecking the set was a cool sight, and I'm completely behind the idea of putting these two together in a feud over the title. Both need feuds at the moment, so a rivalry between them could be fun while it elevates Ryback to the next level as well.
Meaningless match between Dolph Ziggler and Santino Marella. Sure, it helps get heat back on Ziggler, but does it make much of an impact when the victory comes over a guy like Santino? The match was a basic squash, but I liked the finish with Ziggler hitting his finisher twice on Santino and then getting the win. I'm hoping they either continue the rivalry between him and Orton or just attempt to rebuild him while he's still Mr. Money in the Bank.
Wade Barrett scores a victory over Justin Gabriel.
Brief match with Wade Barrett defeating Justin Gabriel. The crowd was flat for the match, but at least it was smart to reintroduce the returning Barrett to the Raw audience. The match furthered his new bare-knuckle fighting style and make him look more aggressive, in which he was successfully in doing so. Furthermore, it was nice to see Gabriel appear on Raw with an entrance and all, as he has potential and could use some more exposure. Bonus points to the Bridgeport audience for loudly chanting "We Want Nexus" throughout the course of the contest. That was brilliant.
Good match with Kane and Daniel Bryan defeating Kofi Kingston and R-Truth to successfully retain their WWE Tag Team Championships. It wasn't as good or as dramatic as their Night of Champions bout, but still fun. The action was well wrestled and of course the tension between Kane and Bryan was once again the focal point. I'm glad they had Kingston and Truth use up their title rematch early, as they can finally go their separate ways as singles stars.
Decent match between Randy Orton and Tensai. Both sold well throughout and hit some nice spots, but it was basically the same thing we saw on SmackDown last week. That being said, this match felt pointless and was only used to get Orton on the show. Having someone attack Orton following the bout (perhaps Ziggler) would've been nice. Heck, Tensai physically abusing Sakamoto after losing could've made this more logical.
Entertaining match with Damien Sandow defeating Zack Ryder. What saved this match from feeling like complete filler was the pre-match promos from both Ryder and Sandow. They were both short and sweet, and set up the subsequent match nicely. They work well together and made the best out of the time they were given. Sandow hasn't appeared on television in awhile, so re-establishing him here was necessary.
Solid tag team match with John Cena and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus defeating WWE Champion CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio. It wasn't anything special, but still great action involving four great workers. It incorporated two major rivalries and made both feel equally important. The screwy finish supposably gets Cena another title match, but I've never been a fan of the heel being cheated out of a victory. I won't dwell on it too much, as it might just lead to something in coming weeks.
Overall, a good fallout show from Night of Champions that had its fun moments but ultimately didn't mean much. Despite some good action, most of the matches were merely filler, which is expected since the next pay-per-view isn't for another five weeks and they didn't need to start building towards it here. Additionally, the three-man commentary booth involving Michael Cole, JBL and JR was amazing and really helped enhance the show. I realize JBL won't be around after this week, but my fingers are crossed that Ross gets officially brought back for the time being until Lawler returns. While nothing noteworthy happened, I'm bumming I didn't get tickets to this Raw from my home state of Connecticut as it looked like a fun show to attend, but there will always be future shows I suppose.
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