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TUCKER ON RAW 6/3: DVR Guide & Instant Reaction to the Daniel Bryan & Friends Show

Jun 3, 2013 - 10:58:18 PM
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Instant Reaction - WWE Raw 6/3
By Benjamin Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist


DVR Guide - What to Watch Later:
- Opening segment (Q1)
- Six-man tag (Q2-3)
- Bryan vs. Ryback (Q11)

Overall Score - 5.5

It's a shame that WWE still seems to be gunning for a Daniel Bryan heel turn because face Bryan has become the number one reason to watch WWE television. His performances tonight out-shined every single member of the roster by a mile. He showed incredible range in his moveset and an un-matched connection with the crowd. The fact that he managed to bring a dead crowd to the edge of their seats within 15 minutes is astounding. Every single week he improves more and more, and while I am not a fan of where his story seems to be headed, I have to give him his due - he was the true, unquestionable star of tonight's broadcast, including carrying Ryback to what was most likely the strongest singles match of Ryback's career.

The rest of the show? One of the dullest three-hour Raws I can remember in quite some time. If Daniel Bryan was not on this show, the viewer would have been subjected to hour upon hour of middling wrestling and talking segments. While I will say that some good was done in hyping Payback, the pacing of tonight absolutely killed two-thirds of the show for me.

The hot start to Raw was perfect. I don't even care for the McMahon story that they were trying to tell, but it still got the crowd hot, setting up a great atmosphere for the show, and led to a great interruption from The Shield. It's moments like the crowd erupting in cheers to Daniel Bryan mounting a comeback or the pop that The Shield received that really makes me love wrestling, and the fact that there were so many of those moments in the first 45 minutes of the show really pleased me. Of course, having the McMahons just leave during the commercial break was a tease, but overall it was still a very nice first part of the show.

Then came the two-hour lull in the show. The Triple H drama is fine, but not exactly my cup of tea, so I'll at least let those segments slip by. But we were subjected to a random Usos vs. Players tag match spotlighting wrestlers treated as jobbers, the fifth Del Rio-Langston match in the last 15 days, yet another enhancement match for Sheamus that was there for him to bully Damien Sandow yet again, a Great Khali match that did not have a finish, a filler Divas tag match, and an insignificant non-title match where the Intercontinental champion lost. Again.

The Heyman-Jericho segment started off strong, but then started to fall apart towards the end after Heyman talked up the Chicago atmosphere. Jericho seemed a tad lost trying to find a way to end the segment without flipping the table over and attacking Heyman. It was okay, and they did what they needed to do, but it was not the usual stellar mic work from both men. I will say that I was premature in some of my observations on this feud last week, and with a fresh look I do see this as a potentially very good angle. But, while I see last week's segment in a better light, this week was not as successful.

The main event was fine, but most importantly it continued to highlight Ryback as a monster after he dominated Bryan at the end of their match. He is finally getting the monster heel treatment that he deserves, and while it is not swaying my opinion that he will lose to Cena in less than two weeks, it is making me more excited to see their blow-off match. Curtis Axel is still not gaining much momentum as he is being treated more like the butt of a long-winded joke than anything, but at least it is something for him.

The hot start to Raw was great, but the two hours that immediately followed that were a test of endurance. There was almost no incentive to check out anything between the first and final half-hours, and on a three-hour show that is unacceptable. WWE seems to be shying away from the fresher presentation they were using two weeks ago, and I don't think that will do them any good.

Any questions or comments? Feel free to message me on Twitter @BTuckertorch .


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