RAW: Night of Champions Feedback
Sorry this is late.
Nice way to start off, as youíd expect, with the video package from last week to bring us up to the main event of tonight, which should be a great match btw. Some good hyping of the entire card and concept here too, building up all of your title match and the situations surrounding them well.
Iím extremely surprised to see you opening the show with a promo, especially one from Cena. It just seems like a more match orientated show, but I guess if this develops stuff itíll work fine. Good start from Cena, doing his usual hype job as you blended the serious side and the joking side of Cena pretty well, while also getting his ďThe champ is hereĒ line in there well when you had him step it up and talk about what the WWE Title means to him. The good passion from Cena all throughout the opening portion of the promo that weíve come to expect from Cena. A little surprised Cena is confronting Shane, but itís good to see the promo have more of a point, rather than having him just talk up the title match later in the show. The recap of Shane trying to get to Cena last week from Cena was written well, sounding right on for the Cena tone, while the way he called Shane out was done nicely too, setting the scene to continue their problem along. Obviously having Shane actually come out would be a bit of a throwaway, so I was glad to see you have Coachman come out instead. Having him surrounded by a bunch of security guards is also a nice little way to show what a coward he is in being afraid to even step in the ring with Cena alone. Having Coachman talk like a tough guy from behind the security guards is even better, and the way he talked about respecting the McMahons was really good, tying it in well with an insult at Cenaís expense. Cenas interrupting the speech about the McMahons to try to call them out was a nice little touch, while the way you again transitioned the promo back onto Coachman by having Cena talk about respect was good. The threat of the screwjob with Cenaís title match later in the show was clever too, while the brawl in which Cena disposed of the security team with Coachman running away was a nice big ending to the segment. Solid opening to the show.
Nice promo from RVD here, going about talking up the spirit of ECW well, while also bringing up McMahonís disdain for ECW and questioning Lashley passion for ECW as that cult type of deal in a good way. While RVD isnít easy to write for, I thought you did a fine job here.
Absolutely nothing wrong with the choice of the tag title match to start the show. Solid start to the match, with the bit of doubt between Rated-RKO showing before some nice solid psychology in first attacking Flairís back, before Carlito played the face in peril. Rated-RKO breaking down was pretty much to be expected at the end, not that itís a bad thing, while the gaining of new champs to start the show is good too. Iím not sure what youíve got planned for WrestleMania with the tag titles, as a match with TWGTT seems to have peaked before ĎMania for Flair and ĎLito, but itís good to see two guys who will be giving them some exposure in the future get the belts. Nice way to start the in-ring aspect to RAW.
Surprised to see Dykstra siding with the guy who isnít destined for a WrestleMania main event, but I canít say I mind, as I feel heís probably better suited with Orton. I have to say though, I hope this Edge/Orton stuff doesnít get in the way of your build to WrestleMania, as Edge really hasnít felt like the Royal Rumble winner this week, nor did he feel like it last week. I really think you have to get his build going soon, because heís headed to a main event in the biggest show of the year.
Speaking of which, Iím really excited for WrestleMania, and I fully expect it to deliver with the way things have been going.
Smart booking here, keeping Punkís winning streak going at the same time as Nitroís losses. A solid midcard match to boot, which, despite being short, seemed nice and exciting.
Continuing to hint at the thing between Kelly and Punk is nice, although Knox almost appearing as a sexual predator doesnít seem like such a good look, even for a heel. Just something I wouldnít like to see on a wrestling show. I know Punk is ultimately going to beat Knox, but itís just something Iím not entirely sold on, especially for a midcard feud.
The Hart Legacy should be a good addition to the RAW tag team division for sure.
Iím glad to see you giving Dykstra some good mic time here to go along with his push to the Intercontinental Title and alignment with now seemingly only Randy Orton. Dykstra giving the speech about how he put Jeff on the shelf, before calling for the count out victory led up to the appearance of Matt well, which, while I think is a good idea, I thought you maybe made it a bit obvious that he would be showing up in place of Jeff. Still, itís a fine way of making this match.
Good start to the match with Dykstra going for the jump, only for Hardy to start to dominate. Dykstra trying to walk out on the match before he took control was a nice touch too. Not so sure about him focusing on the shoulder, as I thought you were establishing him as a guy who goes for the concussion type injuries. Nice to see you pulling everything out in having finisher kickouts (within reason due to the way you explained them), although the finish with the chair perhaps called for more of a focus on the head of Matt throughout the match. Still, a good match, continuing Dykstraís run of dominance over The Hardy Boyz.
While Lashley should rarely find himself in front of a microphone, I really just loved this promo from him. It continues his move towards heeldom by having him play the guy who was screwed out of everything, placing the blame of everything firmly on the crowd favourites. Simply yet effective.
After having him conduct interviews with both competitors, itís a nice little touch to see Styles out for the final ECW Title match. A nice start to it with a bit of an extreme environment to it right from the beginning, although I donít know about the spear from the top rope through the table, as it seemed like a VERY risky spot that could easily go wrong. On top of that, it would have been a great nearfall, so having it just before the break without a cover seems like a bit of a waste. The end of the match was nice though, bringing in RVDís old extreme moves, before some good counter wrestling around the table to give RVD the win with the big Five Star through the table. A nice match here, and a good way to retire the ECW Title with RVD as the final champion.
@ Flair getting the women, as usual. A little surprised you threw the Kennedy stuff in here, although the way you went about it with Flair denying the challenge continues to keep his storyline with Flair going along the same path, while Flair declaring that theyíll be defending the titles at WrestleMania (which I find unlikely with Kennedy/Flair sure to happen) is good to see, because it means they obviously care about the titles. TWGTT making their intentions clear here and continuing their feud with Flair and Carlito is good too, because that makes for a decent feud for the titles, even if it seems to be near itís climax.
Interesting way to show the transformation of Lashley continuing by having him take out his frustration on Maria. Itís good to see he still knows right from wrong, but heís slowly turning into that bad guy.
While it seems clear now that Michaels will be turning heel tonight, this promo was absolutely great from Michaels, setting up his new direction as someone who follows God and can blame all of his actions on him. A good way to make use of Michaelsí real life beliefs to make a cowardly character that can hide behind his actions (should the turn happen, of course).
Nice match between Victoria and Mickie, keeping the intensity of their feud running high with a more high impact style of match than you usually see from the divas. Some good psychology in the focus on the back from Victoria throughout, while the win for Mickie is good to see, finalizing this feud so we can see you move onto something else with the women.
Nice little dig at the ECW Title from McMahon to begin with, before getting onto the business of Cena. I absolutely loved Vince saying he was going to take matters into his own hands by sending Shane out after Cena. Iím not quite sure what to expect in the main event now with interference being run from here, plus Michaelsí possible turn, but it should certainly be interesting.
Another squash keeps Umaga simmering along nicely here, with the streak looking good in recent weeks after wins over Lashley and Van Dam. Good to see Estrada getting some more mic time, again signaling his intentions of seeking a challenge, although Iím not so sure about Punk interrupting. What Punk said was good, mocking Umaga well, before making the connection and the challenge, although Iím not so sure Punk/Umaga is a match that does anything for Umaga. While it should be good for Punk and will likely allow him to look good, this isnít really much of a step forward at all for Punk. Still, it should be a good match next week, plus this was a nice little promo, especially with the last line for AAE.
As I said last week, Iím quite the fan of the pairing of Masters and Nitro. Two guys with a lot of talent who I think could do a lot for the tag division on RAW. Glad to see it happening.
Nice little confrontation between Triple H and Shane, giving more hype to the fact that Shane will be interfering, while keeping Triple H looking like the badass face ahead of the main event.
Very clever little start to the match with Michaels and Triple H being allowed to go at it to begin with, giving the people what they wanted to see. From there the pace of the match picked up nicely, leading to some good counters and a long run to the finish for an exciting match. The interference of the McMahons right when it looked like Cena had it won was well done, well and truly costing him the match, making for a nice nearfall. The turn of Michaels that came as a result of the chaos was beautiful too, seeming absolutely out of nowhere, despite the match building up to the finish really well. A great way to finish the show and crown Shawn Michaels as the new WWE Champion, finishing off a show that certainly delivered. Well done.
All in all, I thought this was by far your best show to date. It had everything you could want in terms of feud development, exciting matches, character development and of course title changes. A show that you can really be proud of as you continue to heat things up on the road to WrestleMania. Great stuff, my mang.