WWE Champion CM Punk demands respect from Jerry Lawler.
Strong opening segment featuring Jerry Lawler and WWE Champion CM Punk. Both guys played their roles excellently and delivered solid mic work. It gave viewers a hook for the rest of the show as to whether Lawler would fight Punk or not, thus setting up the main event effectively. As much as I don't dig Punk's new bald look, I guess it was necessary now that he's a full-fledged heel.
Fine match between Ryback and Jack Swagger. This was what I wanted to see following their mini-match last month, so I was glad we finally got it. It didn't last long, but that was expected. Despite the obvious outcome, Swagger was able to score some offense while Ryback picked up a major victory over a former World Heavyweight Champion. Ryback needs a legitimate feud, but it was nice to see the commentators reference Swagger's recent losing ways.
Nice match between Divas Champion Layla and Natalya. They're two of the best women wrestler on the roster today, and while the match was only a mere two minutes, it at least featured some fun spots from both Natalya and Layla. My only complaint was that they made the entire match feel meaningless with all of the focus being on Vickie Guerrero at ring-side. I'm not exactly sure what the point was of AJ clobbering Vickie, but it was a pleasant surprise and showed some fire in AJ that we haven't seen since she took the reins of Raw General Manager.
Good match with John Cena defeating Intercontinental Champion The Miz. It didn't exactly feel fresh since we've seen it nearly a thousand times, but they were given a sufficient amount of time and made the best of it. There was some fun action, but the predictable finish took away from it a bit. It made Miz look weak and the Intercontinental title even weaker, so I'm not sure as to why they had Miz face Cena rather than someone else who could've taken a loss and not be harmed by it.
Hilarious anger management segments throughout the night featuring Daniel Bryan and Kane. In recent months, Bryan has been flourishing in his role and has become an absolute riot in the process. Kane was also great here, whose story was extremely entertaining and was the highlight of the night for this viewer. I hope to see more of these segments in coming weeks, or even a potential Bryan-Kane tandem.
Meaningless match with Santino Marella and Heath Slater. With focus being put on Slater's newfound "winning" streak, I thought there was a chance he would win here, but sadly, that wasn't the case. It contained comedy that was found funny by no one, especially since there were a number of "boring" chants throughout a majority of it. Antonio Cesaro didn't even appear, so this whole thing felt like one giant waste of time.
Daniel Bryan and Kane attend anger management classes.
Decent tag team match with Brodus Clay and Sin Cara defeating Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. The pre-match promos from Sandow and Rhodes were brilliant, and I surely hope they're a tag team going forward. Their gimmicks are a perfect match for one another, and contain good chemistry together. Nonetheless, the match was successful in building both feuds respectively and gives the faces the victory after suffering from losses last week.
Brief match between WWE Tag Team Champion R-Truth and Daniel Bryan. The action was fine for what it was, but the match was more so about Bryan and how he could keep his anger under control. In that aspect, it was entertaining and kept the crowd alive. Bryan is undoubtedly the most entertaining act in WWE today, so I hope they continue to utilize him correctly as time progresses.
Standard promo from Triple H. He said everything you'd expect him to without really revealing whether he's truly retired or not. Most of it came off a bit forced, but he did the best he could with what he was given. I couldn't buy in to it mostly because it's pretty obvious he won't be retiring at all, but rather return to face Brock Lesnar in a rematch at some point. It didn't feel special or need to be dragged out, but it could've been worse.
Solid tag team match with World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Randy Orton defeating Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler. It was typical action with nothing really out of the ordinary, but it was still a nice showing from all four guys. It helped promote the World title picture on SmackDown while also incorporating some good action. The heels losing doesn't surprise me, but it wasn't a smart move either.
Throwaway match between Zack Ryder and David Otunga. Neither guy is regularly featured on the show, so the crowd was pretty flat for this contest. Regardless of that, I was glad to see Ryder pick up a victory here and not actually get buried at the hands of Kane. Kane attacking Otunga seemed strange, but I won't call it a face turn either since the Big Red Monster has been and always will be a tweener.
Boring main event match between WWE Champion CM Punk and Jerry Lawler. The outcome was never in doubt, so there was absolutely no excitement to it whatsoever. I have no intentions of watching a 62-year-old man wrestle in the main event of Raw, but at least he was able to get some spots in. The Steel Cage made the match a bit more brutal, especially when Punk got cut open. Punk forcing Lawler to submit doesn't mean much since he's only a commentator, but continuing to beat down Lawler following the bout made him look strong and get over as a heel. On a side note, Punk's match with Cena at Night of Champions was announced by AJ Lee in an anticlimactic fashion, so hopefully they make it feel like a bigger deal next week on Raw.
Overall, a decent to lackluster show that certainly felt like it contained a bit more filler than normal. The three hours didn't drag for this viewer, but some parts of this show were completely wasteful. However, a few feuds were furthered and featured nice action, so those were among the few highlights of this week's Raw. If you missed the show, the only thing I suggest going back to watch are the segments featuring Kane and Bryan, which had me laughing the entire night through.