CM Punk and AJ confront Daniel Bryan and Kane.
Decent promo to kick off the show featuring Mr. McMahon, John Laurinaitis, and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus. McMahon received a great reaction from the crowd and played his role well with Laurinaitis. However, the Celtic Warrior's part in this segment didn't make all that much sense, but it was a nice tie-in to his match that followed.
Good match between World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Tensai. Their styles meshed well and impressed me with how much they were actually capable of. While it was blatantly obvious Sheamus was going over, Tensai looked good in defeat. His post-match attack on his Sakamoto didn't mean all that much since he's been around for only two months, but at least it means they haven't completely given up on the Tensai character.
Throwaway mixed tag team match with Beth Phoenix and Ricardo Rodriguez defeating Divas Champion Layla and United States Champion Santino Marella. While Ricardo may indeed be a talented athlete, he's forced to limit himself due to his gimmick. The main focus here was giving Phoenix the win over Layla to receive another shot at the Divas Championship, and it worked.
Solid promo featuring WWE Champion CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Kane, and AJ. This three-way title rivalry hasn't been given all that much mic time since it started, so I'm glad they were able to further the feud in this segment. AJ was awesome as usual, and Punk's verbal change with Kane and Bryan was also very good. Much like the opening segment, it's main purpose was setting up the mixed tag team match for later in the night.
Entertaining Fatal-Four Way elimination number one contender's match featuring Intercontinental Champion Christian, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, and Great Khali. Thankfully, Khali was out early, so it left the three best workers to finish the rest of the bout. I liked the extra layer of Ziggler eliminating Swagger, as it adds even more tension between the team. Suspenseful near-falls between Ziggler and Christian, a duo that exhibited their awesome chemistry last week on SmackDown and even more so in this bout. Cool finish with Ziggler capitalizing on Christian's injury to pick up the much deserved victory.
Typical squash match with Ryback dominating two local athletes. I found the jobbers' entrance to be pretty humorous, as well as their antics during the bout. Although I've said it time and time again, Ryback must be inserted into a legitimate feud sooner rather than later, as those tired Goldberg chants continue to grow louder and louder each week.
Sheamus takes advantage of the Big Red Mosnter Kane.
Effective segment to kick off the show featuring World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio. Ricardo Rodriguez's Sheamus impersonation was hilariously funny, and it was nice to see some heat put on him rather than the usual sympathy by attacking the Celtic Warrior. What didn't make sense to me was that Teddy Long was in charge, when John Laurinaitis easily could have had either David Otunga or Eve to fill in for him.
Throwaway match between Alberto Del Rio and Great Khali. Obviously, Khali isn't the best worker, so his offense against another guy the crowd couldn't care less about didn't mean much. However, Del Rio picking up the submission victory was a nice momentum shifter and came off as impressive.
Nice aggression from Brodus Clay during his squash match with Derrick Bateman. I'm glad to see him move over to Friday nights where he can hopefully have longer matches and be given more room for his character to evolve. It's a shame to see Bateman be Clay's latest victim, as the current NXT rookie does indeed acquire talent.
Slow match between Drew McIntyre and Sin Cara. I liked how McIntyre was able to get in some offense, but Sin Cara looked like he was moving in slow motion on several occasions. It could quite possibly be due the fact that he just recently returned from injury and wanted to keep it at a slower pace to avoid any botches. Nonetheless, Sin Cara has improved in the ring since he's return and will continue to flourish on Friday nights.
Although the visual of Ryback picking two men up on his shoulders to execute his finisher is still pretty cool, we've seen it so many times in the last few weeks that it wasn't as special as it once was. If they won't push Ryback into a legitimate feud yet, then he should at least go back to squashing under-carders on the roster.
CM Punk leaps outside the ring to attack Daniel Bryan.
Decent promo to kick off the show featuring John Cena, John Laurinaitis, and Michael Cole. Cena's rebuttal to Big Show was nicely done, but everything else didn't do much for me. Cole's heel gimmick jumped the shark a year ago, so it seemed pointless to rekindle that for no reason. I'm not sure if the Cena vs. Cole main event hook was supposed to keep viewers tuned in, since it wasn't all that intriguing of an announcement either. Not the best way to start an edition of Raw to say the least.
Good match between World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler. Sure, we already saw this on SmackDown only a few days prior, but this was able to show the world (no pun intended) what these two are really made of. I'm still stumped as to why Ziggler is still with Vickie Guerrero at this point, but at least Jack Swagger wasn't at ringside. Ziggler desperately needs the push he so rightfully deserves, but he looked strong in defeat here. Alberto Del Rio's attack on Sheamus following the bout made him look more aggressive than ever before.
Fine match between Sin Cara and Hunico. I'm glad they're expanding Sin Cara back to Monday nights where he can be re-exposed to the Raw audience, and even gladder that his old rival Hunico was his opponent. Hunico was able to get in some offense and mesh nicely with Sin Cara's style, mostly since they're very similar in the ring. Sin Cara was certainly impressive here as I didn't notice any obvious botches, which is somewhat shocking given the fact this was live television.
Typical squash match from Ryback yet again. While he is doing the same thing he's been doing for weeks by facing two opponents at the same time, his sheer power never ceases to amaze me. The live audience seemed to be impressed as well, but it's time to put Ryback in a legitimate feud where he can really shine.
CM Punk delivers a flying elbow to Kane from the top rope.
Fine segment to kick off the show featuring World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, David Otunga, and Alberto Del Rio. Everyone here played their parts well, but the show almost always kicks off in the same. It needs a newer change of pace that makes the overall broadcast feels fresh.
Good return for Sin Cara with his victory over Heath Slater. I didn't notice any obvious botches in his moveset and seemed much more smoother. Slater sold well and put over Sin Cara nicely. Hopefully, they take it slow with Cara and continue to build him back up to an important status.
Impressive showing from Damien Sandow by defeating Ezekiel Jackson in under a minute. Granted, Jackson hasn't meant anything in ages, but he's still an intimidating force nonetheless and having Sandow dominate him made Sandow look strong. I'm loving everything Sandow is doing at the moment, as he could really be a valuable player in WWE if built up correctly.
Strong match between World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler was able to get in tons of offense, and looked very credible in defeat. After walking out on Jack Swagger and Vickie Guerrero this past Monday night on Raw, I was a bit surprised to still see them involved in his match, but it might be a slow break-up. Regardless, Ziggler sold like a champ per usual for the Celtic Warrior and made his moves look ten times more vicious. I would have loved to see Ziggler pick up a victory to regain some momentum, but this was a great showing against the World Champion.
Typical squash match from Ryback yet again. We saw him dominate two local athletes last week, so this week was much of the same. However, I'll never grow tired of seeing him execute his finisher on two people like that. An astonishing sight to say the least. Anyways, he needs to move into a real feud soon or risk being lost in the shuffle on the blue brand.