THE SPECIALISTS RAW STORYLINE TRACKER 11/21 - WWE Title picture, Cena-Rock fall-out, Miz-Truth split, "It Begins" vignette, other stories & segments
Nov 28, 2011 - 2:37:13 PM
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WWE Raw Storyline Tracker
By Robin Scannell, PWTorch Specialist
November 21, 2011 episode
(1) WWE Title Picture
The new WWE Champion, C.M. Punk, opened Raw and talked about wanting to be a professional wrestler when he grew up. Punk said that the title will stay on his shoulder and that he is the new face of WWE.
Punk said that he wanted John Laurinaitis to be the Former Raw General Manager. Laurinaitis interrupted, saying that they both want what is best for the fans. Punk called Laurinaitis is like middle management. Laurinaitis countered that he is upper management.
Laurinaitis then booked Punk against Del Rio for the title next week. He then announced Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler in a Champion vs. Champion match and Alberto Del Rio against Zack Ryder. Punk said that people want to see Ziggler against Zack Ryder, not against him. Laurinaitis said neither Ryder nor Punk could defeat Dolph Ziggler. Punk said he would beat Ziggler and Del Rio. He then said that someone would one day beat some sense into Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis then began texting on his phone.
Punk's music played and Laurinaitis went back to his phone to send a text. At the announce table, Cole plugged Ryder's big night at Survivor Series when the crowd chanted for him all night. They went to footage from after Survivor Series when the crowd chanted for Ryder during Rock's show-closing promo. They showed Rock endorsing Ryder before going back to the arena.
During Ricardo Rodrigeuz’s introduction of Del Rio, Ryder took the mic from his to say his catchphrase. In a short match, Alberto Del Rio defeated Zack Ryder by submission.
Later, backstage, Dolph Ziggler was interviewed and claimed he won two matches the night before, at Survivor Series. Josh Mathews pointed out that he was the first person eliminated on his team, however, Vickie said he was still on the winning team. Ziggler then called himself the new face of the WWE. C.M. Punk defeated Ziggler in a very good Champion vs. Champion match.
Reax: I would have been in favor of having the John Cena-Miz/Truth segment before this match. I think Ziggler vs. Punk is the type of match WWE should be finishing the show on, rather than one heel turning on another heel. I think putting Ziggler in that main event spotlight, at the end of Raw, would have made him look even better in his loss than he did.
(2) John Cena vs. The Rock / The Miz & R-Truth
Throughout the night, the announcers hyped that Cena would respond to Rock. Near the top of the third hour, John Cena came to the ring and said that he and Rock showed they could co-exist as a tag team, as they defeated The Miz and R-Truth at Survivor Series. Cena explained that after they won, Rock asked Cena back into the ring and ended up hitting the Rock Bottom on him. Cena then hyped their WrestleMania match.
Miz and Truth interrupted and said that Rock showed Cena up last night and that the audience were chanting “Don’t tag Cena.” Cena said that no one cares about Miz and Truth and they’re not a legitimate threat. Cena then tried to turn Miz and Truth against one another. Miz and Truth bickered, with Miz saying Truth is stupid for not seeing that Cena is trying to play them against one another. They exchanged a punch each. Miz then said they should both go and get Cena. However, as they walked up the ramp, Miz turned on Truth, by hitting the Skull Crushing Finale on the ramp.
Reax: No-one cares about Miz and Truth? And they’re not a legitimate threat? I guess you’re right, Cena. So next time there’s a pay-per-view with them involved, or even a TV show where they’re in the main event, there’s probably not much point in caring or watching.
With regards to Miz’s action, I assume the final segment was just writing off Truth’s character because of his Wellness Policy Violation.
I’m a little interested at what Cena will do for the next three pay-per-views. Perhaps the story will be about him trying to reclaim the title, but as Punk has the title, there’s no real need to go back to those two right now. Cena could possibly continue his feud with Miz, but it’s nothing new, plus they've already had the blow-off match and Cena has already outsmarted Miz and Truth.
With TLC to think about, and with Del Rio’s re-match being on the upcoming episode of Raw, they could have someone else in mind. If they don’t go with Del Rio, I would think that The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, and Brodus Clay are the top three predictions from Raw. If they open it up to Smackdown too, then Wade Barrett is the main pick. For all I know, Alberto Del Rio will win the title back. If he does, he’ll be a three time WWE Champion, with all three title wins happening since August.
(3) The “It Begins” Vignette
On Raw, a link to the vignette was shown where the Twitter logo was. The video was on YouTube, and has shots of a boy writing at a single desk, spliced with shots of running water and swings. The boy says “Come, my people, and shut thy doors about thee. For a power shall come to punish the meek for their inequity. For on the second day of 2012, a familiar force shall arrive to claim what is his ... and it will be the end of the world as you know it.” The words “It begins,” were then shown on the screen.
Reax: The first sentence is a paraphrased version of Isaiah 26:20 from the American Standard Version of the Bible. “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast,” and the next sentence refers loosely to Isaiah 26:21, “For, behold, Jehovah cometh forth out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”
If that how it begins, I’m sure we’re going to see more clues and developments as we approach the date, which in six episodes time. I’m intrigued.
(4) Promotion without Pay-off
Recently, WWE had advertised Triple H for Monday’s Raw, and he didn’t make an appearance, not even to the live crowd. The Michael Cole Challenge aired two episodes of Raw later than it was originally promoted for. Jonah Hill was advertised (somewhat heavily) as a guest star, and didn’t show. WWE didn’t even mention it. Finally, Brodus Clay was meant to debut, first in Liverpool, then on Raw Gets Rocked. On both shows, John Laurinaitis deferred his debut another week. However, he didn’t feature on the Raw that aired on Monday. This time was different, though, WWE didn’t even bother to try and explain it away.
Reax: Nothing is more revealing of WWE’s lack of planning than their inability to actually feature whatever it is they promoted the week before. The reason that promotion is used is to entice the viewing into watching the next episode, to get the fans excited about seeing the development of a storyline or a debut of a new wrestling. Now, WWE might argue in their defense that nobody is watching only for a particular small storyline or new superstar, but that is just missing the point.
How can fans get excited about anything being promoted, when the things being promised each week are not actually featured in the show? At best, they are brushed off in a blasé manner, at worst, they are completely ignored. This is the number one way to lose goodwill with your fans. There’s a couple of simple solutions. The first is to plan in advance, so that you can always make good on any promises you make. The second is to not promote anything unless it is definitely going to happen. To put this in context, it’s not like WWE is promising five things, and delivering three of them. They’re promising one or two things and delivering zero.
Other Stories and Segments
- The announcers showed footage of The Rock praising Zack Ryder after the pay-per-view went off the air.
- Kevin Nash continues to buy time until Triple H makes his return. This week Nash talked about the 1996 Curtain Call MSG incident, where babyfaces Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon were joined in a hug by the heels Triple H and Diesel, as Razor Ramon and Diesel were fulfilling their last contract date before leaving the company. Nash said that their friendship was real but that Hunter was his boss, rather than his friend. Nash said he and Hunter should have gone against The Rock & John Cena. Nash then said he was the last survivor of the group.
- At Survivor Series, Sheamus got disqualified for not stopping attacking Jack Swagger after a five count from the referee. On Raw, the announcers said that Swagger asked for a match. Sheamus won the match cleanly in around five minutes.
- Cody Rhodes cut a promo about being unleashed and unmasked and that he was unbeatable. Rhodes squashed Santino in a minute. The announcers referred to Booker T’s problems with Rhodes. After the match, Rhodes confronted Booker, saying he has heard what Booker has said. Rhodes ended up throwing water in Booker’s face. Booker T was on commentary because Lawler had lost his voice from Survivor Series.
- A dark vignette aired with someone holding a gun and a lit match. The video featured a man screaming and a mirror smashing. The video then ended with a burning mask falling to the ground. Interestingly, in one of WWE’s Twitter updates, they noted that “Masked Kane” was trending.
- Big Show came out to the stage and said that he’s better than Mark Henry. He said that Henry took the easy way out with the kick to the groin. Show referenced his attack on Henry’s leg. Show then said he was waiting for Henry and reminded him to bring his title with him.
- Backstage, Beth Phoenix and Natalya insulted Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox, who were playing the new WWE video game backstage.
- Wade Barrett had an inset promo talking about his team winning at Survivor Series and his path towards the World Title. Barrett defeated Kofi Kingston, with Randy Orton at ringside. Barrett repeated the fact that he won the match, on the mic. Orton head faked towards Barrett, causing him to flinch.
Feel free to email any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on twitter @robinocracy for my thoughts on Raw and non-wrestling related things.
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