This week’s RAW was stacked in an attempt to make up for the fact that this week’s broadcast was not live; so as a result we see what has been the dark match main event for weeks with WWE Champion John Cena facing Ryback in a tables match. This works because we knew that this week’s show was not going have any hug surprises or they would be all over the internet, meaning the real job of this week’s show was to continue building hype for SummerSlam, without giving away any content considered too good. These requirements make the dark match main event the perfect main event for this show, however there were obvious differences between what was shown on RAW compared to what is usually done for the live audiences. The first thing I noticed was the elaborate stage set up of tables upon tables to really emphasize the fact that this was a tables match.
I like tables matches, even though they can be horribly boring, they leave a lot of possibilities open and create an atmosphere of uncertainty. We remember back a few years with John Cena defending the WWE title against the new kid Sheamus, and nobody thought there was any chance Sheamus could win. However through a shady ending Sheamus walked out the new Champion; meaning the ending of tonight’s RAW could have been anything. Unless you look at the recent backstage happenings in the WWE, which point to the fact that Ryback’s little use is being burned through because he still looks impressive, then putting him to the back of the picture. Perhaps it’s a matter of being an internet fan taking some of the joy out of the product that I love so much, but as entertaining as the main event was, obviously John Cena would win and the show would end with him and his SummerSlam opponent Daniel Bryan in the ring.
When the cameras were showing off the large amount of tables all over the stage they showed the bottom of table that were stacked two high. If you were paying close attention you could see grooves and designs in the tables, meaning that those tables were plastic at the top of the stage, and not the wooden tables we’re used to. This upset me because after seeing that, as a fan you kind of know that they weren’t going to be touched and were just put there as decoration. Just one spot of John Cena throwing Ryback into that huge pile of tables, having them fall over like an avalanche, would have been dangerous admittedly, but gosh darn that would have been some great television. As with their Ambulance Match, John Cena and Ryback, both men not exactly known for their in ring prowess, gave us a few moments that we’ve never seen on WWE TV.
The moment of Ryback picking the table up and trying to ram Cena with it was pretty memorable to me; it offered a cool possibility of how the match could end. Would have been much more impressive had Ryback been able to fully break the table in half off the ring post when John moved, but the effect was still there. Also the image of the tables placed between the ring apron and the ring steps was interesting, changing the dynamics of the jungle gym of the wrestling ring. However I thought the final segment with Ryback smashing the table to get to John Cena was stupid, John is obviously not scared of Ryback, and if this was a real fight, why wouldn’t Ryback have just straight thrown the steps into John’s face? All in all it was a pretty good much for free TV, it was just essentially throw away material, buying time until the WWE team is back on live TV. Just as a side note, my buddy asked me what would happen if someone ent through the announcer’s table, I don’t think that’s been done before, but would be unexpected.
It really is crazy how over Daniel Bryan has become; his interaction with John Cena to close the show was a little predictable, but still had all the intensity of Daniel Bryan’s latest work. Seeing Bryan grab the title originally was pretty interesting, perhaps things would get physical between these two men. Bryan then seemingly was going to gladly hand the title over, when he pulled it away from Cena, showing glimpses of Bryan perhaps going more towards playing the bad guy. This prompted Cena to go along with the YES chants, much like he did the night after WrestleMania, saying “Feed Me More.” To me this made Cena look like a pandering kiss-ass, that was until he snatched his title back real quick from Daniel Bryan; proving that while he respects Daniel Bryan, John Cena don’t take no crap from anybody. This week’s RAW didn’t seem to really progress any of the stories, not a bad installment, but seemingly a waste of time heading into SummerSlam.