The Batista promo was pretty darn solid. If anyone can make their threats sound believable it’s a 300 pound Animal that looks like Batista. After the debacle of the Bash though (I don’t care that he was taking on Show, Dave is big and nasty enough to take him on head on), I think he needs to beat RVD in emphatic fashion if he is to remain a believable monster heel.
Beating Carlito was a formality, and while I still think he’ll need to beat RVD convincingly at Summerslam to keep his momentum, it was still a good idea for him to go low in their fight at the end of the show. At this point, I don’t think it would help sell RVD as a threat if he simply got his ass kicked by Batista without something like a cheap low blow for Dave to get the upper hand, especially when he‘s suffering a beat down for the second week in a row. Batista blindsiding RVD last week and cheaply taking him out this week calls for some payback next week. I expect to see a chair wielding Van Dam on Raw - ECW RVD - on Raw next week.
There’s a high number of British themed stables around the section at present, so you’ll need to do something to make them stand out. I know from previous conversations that this is something you’d planned for some time, but still, I’d like to see you do something with this stable to separate them from the BTB crowd. Maybe the eventual recruitment angle with Finlay - I’m assuming this is where it’ll lead - with the Irishman seemingly floundering as of late, could be the way to go. A stable headed by Finlay & Regal?? -
You do seem to love your triple threat matches. Unfortunately, I see the womens title match being nothing but an afterthought at Summerslam, a match that’ll likely be sandwiched between two much bigger matches. Not always a bad thing, but I’d hope some life is injected into the Womens division after the event. You gave me the impetus to put more focus on the womens division in my thread, so I’m confident you have something planned to spark the division into life … but clearly that time isn’t quite yet, as the set up for the triple threat was a little off. Victoria got a shot for walking out on Mickie?
The Vince/Show issue doesn’t feel major league to me, much at all. Like I said to you, Vince appears to be nothing more than a background player since Trips got turned into road kill, and while I accept that the story is being cooled off whilst the focus is on Summerslam, his role recently has been defined down to bit part player. If Shane is running the show, and Trips is out of the picture, what exactly is Vince hanging around for anyway? Just to be threatened by Big Show? I’m probably unfairly judging this angle on my utter disdain for the Big Show character in real life, but it’s not capturing my interest at all. If something on Raw needed a jolt, it’s this issue.
However, the JBL/Punk rivalry is one I’ve enjoyed quite a bit. Being such polar opposites in general makes them natural rivals, and while I think the natural end for the feud is Summerslam, it’s been an enjoyable ride. “I smell like smoke” line is a beauty of a catchphrase, and I always enjoy seeing JBL say it, whilst it was typical JBL to work in a few shoot comments, mocking Punk about his run in the indies.
I was surprised - in a good way - that Bradshaw would admit that one day Punk would be a star, as typically when he was an active wrestler, he’d generally put people down completely. It’s also interesting to look at this feud, with JBL probably on his way down, aiming for one last run at glory, whilst Punk is on the upswing wanting his first taste of glory - it just makes for a pretty compelling story that the WWE dropped the ball on at this same time period.
The Kane/Orton angle also feels like it ran out of steam pretty quick, resorting to a predictable run in already from Orton, and Orton sneak attacking Kane backstage … nothing to get excited about - it wasn’t even a decent beatdown. There was an opportunity here - as there is with such an ‘out there’ character like Kane - to go down a different route, but at this point, this feud feels very … fillerish.
As an aside, didn’t Kane request an Inferno Match last week? Banner says Street Fight.
Get the tag belts on Helms and MVP.
Also, Kennedy (& Punk) beat Cody (& JBL), but you’ve got the winners listed the other way around. Not sure what you’ll do with the Intercontinental Title going into Summerslam, that’s a feud that’s nicely poised, with Kennedy gaining a lot of momentum, and I’m not sure just how high you are on Cody as the champ at this point - but like I said, Summerslam will be the telling outcome. If Cody comes out of that with the belt still in tact, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was to go on a long run as champion building some momentum of his own.
The booking thus far is solid, but underwhelming if I’m honest. While it didn’t seem that way initially when reading the show the other day, writing up this feedback just sort of pointed it out to me. You’re rapidly approaching Summerslam, but despite the line up being worthy of the show … a lot of the angles building to it just aren’t capturing enough attention. On Raw that is. Smackdown, to be fair, is building toward the show just fine. Raw needs an injection of something though, and I hope you do have one or two things up your sleeve before the PPV to get the red brand cooking.