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The Raw RerunRaw featured a really good match and an angle that left you wondering at the end of the show. One thing I will say is that they’ve figured out how to pace the show better, though there are still some change the channel segments and it’s hard not to watch it on DVR so you can fast forward through things.

Joe Hennig is now Curtis Axel.

Rock and Joe HennigYes, I skipped over the part where he was Michael McGillicutty. Curt Hennig’s son became Paul Heyman’s third wrestler under his tutelage. WWE’s website had an article after last week’s Raw wondering who it would be. Some thought it could be Ryback. Others thought RVD would make his WWE comeback. But most hoped it’d be someone new. Axel isn’t necessarily new, but he’s also not someone who had several chances and I think most wrestling fans see him as someone who deserves better. Specifically, he was The Rock’s training partner before his most recent comeback.

As for the name, I’ll admit that it’s goofy, though it does make a little bit of sense. The Curtis part stands for his father’s first name and his last name stands for his grandfather’s nickname (The Axe). The key for him of course is that he’s treated as someone who is the real deal, much like the Shield. If they treat him like Antonio Cesaro, it’s a failed experiment. They need new stars, not new mid-carders.

Triple H can’t stand up!

When Heyman introduced Axel, Triple H came out to talk down Heyman and bully Axel a bit. They made a match between the two for the main event. I was hoping for a Shelton Benjamin star-making performance, but instead, what we got was all angle.

Before the match started, a WWE employee came into HHH’s dressing room and told him that the doctor didn’t think he should wrestle. Foreshadowing! Triple H said he’s wrestling and the doc could quit.

After a long stretch of time in the ring, Triple H started to lose his equilibrium. He went outside, sat in a chair, requested water, and then tried to get back into the ring. He fell to the ground and couldn’t as the show went off the air.

I had several people ask me if it was real, so whatever they did, worked. And while it was an engaging storyline, I don’t think it was what Axel needed, though there’s still time.

They could be either playing off Ric Flair’s real issue that has come up from time to time where he has an inner ear issue and loses his equilibrium. Or, they could be playing off a concussion angle. Or maybe, Triple H was just too worn out from the beating Brock gave him. Whatever it was, at the very least, people will be interested to see where they go next.

The Shield defeats Team Hell No and Kofi Kingston in a great match.

This match would’ve been the best match at Extreme Rules. They got nearly a half-hour which meant a lot of Daniel Bryan working with the Shield. Kane went to clean house and was setting up Roman Reigns for the choke slam. Dean Ambrose came off the top rope to interfere, but Kane caught him and choke slammed him. Then Seth Rollins hit the flying knee on Kane from the top as he was trying to get Reigns again and Reigns speared him for the win.

It seems like Bryan is being made out to be the weak link, but Kane was pinned here so there may be something to that next week.

Ryback wants John Cena in an ambulance.

Ryback started the show cutting a promo on top of an ambulance. He cut down the fans and proposed that Cena face him in an ambulance match.

While there were a few things to like here, Ryback was still being Ryback, which means he’s a bitchy heel. He did hold off on the snarls and wide opening of his mouth to show his huge teeth, so it was better than it was. He also decided to bite Bully Ray’s style of clothing.

Cena wasn’t on the show to respond, selling the angle from the PPV, which ended as a non-finish.

And the rest…

  • Chris Jericho and The Miz beat Fandango and Wade Barrett. During the match, Fandango went outside the ring, grabbed the mic and said his name. Then, he and Summer Rae started dancing all while Wade Barrett was taking finishers and losing inside the ring. Fandango bailed, leaving Summer Rae again. Jericho grabbed her, looked like he was going to make out with her, dipped her, and then put the hand to the face and laughed while she was humiliated.
  • Titus O’Neil lost to Sheamus in a surprisingly more competitive match than you’d expect.
  • Big E beat Alberto Del Rio which means that he just beat the number one contender to Dolph’s title. Unless they’re going splitsville soon, this made no sense. Big E could’ve beaten anyone and beating Jack Swagger was probably the better choice since he lost on the PPV.
  • AJ beat Layla.
  • Randy Orton beat out R-Truth and the Great Khali (at least they learned from the last time when they put Orton up against Jericho thinking he would still win the vote) in a fan vote via the app as to who would face Jack Swagger. It was a long match and the ending sequence made you think Swagger had a chance, but he lost to the RKO.

The show was interesting and didn’t really peter out. I liked some of the follow-ups and am just glad that smiling John Cena wasn’t no-selling the beat down from the previous night.

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4 thoughts on “The Raw Rerun (4 Weeks Until Payback)

  1. Daniel Bryan has been wrestling like a man possessed these last few weeks. He’s like Dynamite
    kid level intense.

    If this show does badly, I won’t be surprised. I think the opening segment plays a big part in shaping your attitude to the show, and when the first thing I saw was Ryback rambling incoherently on top of an ambulance, I determined instantly that I would be using the fast forward button a lot. I can’t be the only person who felt like that.

    Heyman did an incredible job of building up Axel. It’s pretty hard to repackage lower card guys nowadays and have them taken seriously, and I think he did as well as anyone possibly could. He also sold the name change very well (in-spite it being a bit odd sounding and ill fitting) and made it seem like it was logical and made sense. It will be on Hennig now to push it the rest of the way through now.

  2. Do you think Triple H treated him kind of like a jobber? He dismissed him pretty quickly. I thought it was set up for him to get a big win and that didn’t happen either.

  3. Sort of, but I kind of feel like it made sense in the context of the story. Like, if you think about it that’s probably how HHH is meant to respond in that situation. If you are a top guy, and some punk rookie gets up in your face, you would be expected to laugh it off rather than take it deadly seriously. It would be then on them to earn your respect – which I thought., as you mentioned, was what they were going to do in the match.

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