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411's Instant Analysis 11.26.12: WWE Monday Night Raw
Posted by Chad Nevett on 11.27.2012





Welcome to this week's Instant Analysis of Monday Night Raw. I'm your humble reviewer, Chad Nevett and I trust all of you Americans survived your Thanksgivings? I myself experienced an American Thanksgiving Miracle when I was doing my periodic search on Walmart Canada's website to see if they have any $5 WWE DVDs that I don't already own in stock and they somehow had copies of the first Survivor Series Anthology in stock. For $5. With free shipping. It seemed fitting somehow. Tonight, we'll get to hear what Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns have to say. Anyone want to bet that they might be Paul Heyman guys? Let's get to it...

SEGMENT ONE: Ryback vs. Titus O'Neil
Match Result: Ryback pinned Titus O'Neil
Match Length: Three minutes, 15 seconds

This was more energetic and fun to watch than I was expecting. O'Neil's power put him closer to Ryback than a lot of other guys and he actually got to look powerful against Ryback, planting him a couple of times. Darren Young distracting on the outside gave O'Neil another reason to get in some offence, even scoring a rare pin attempt on Ryback. Obviously, Ryback was going to win, but they managed to construct a match where that foregone conclusion didn't seem as certain. It may have been a downgrade from 100% certainty to 95%... but that's something!

His post-match demand of a match with Punk was a fine enough way to book a TLC match. The crowd ate it up and Ryback continued to look like a beast.

Rating: 6.8 out of 10

SEGMENT TWO: Alberto Del Rio vs. the Great Khali
Match Result: Alberto Del Rio made the Great Khali tap out
Match Length: Three and a half minutes (shown/joined in progress)

That was the only acceptable result to this match. It would be easy to give the WWE credit for that, but it was the only acceptable result to this match. If Del Rio is losing to Khali in 2012 then things have gone horribly wrong. That Del Rio is facing Khali in 2012 is a bit disturbing, actually. At least this wasn't worse... faint praise.

Rating: 5.0 out of 10

SEGMENT THREE: The Shield Speak

This was interesting. Not a blow away success or anything like that; it was a promo that does make me curious about how this gimmick will play out in the coming weeks. "A shield against injustice" could lead to some unexpected results depending on where and when they interfere. The interview itself was good. Dean Ambrose is a good 'spokesman,' while Roman Reigns played the heavy perfectly. Part of me is glad that this wasn't an immediate home run. Expectations weren't raised too high, but curiosities were piqued, which seems like the right goal to have now.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10

SEGMENT FOUR: Alicia Fox vs. Tamina Snuka
Match Result: Tamina Snuka pinned Alicia Fox
Match Length: Two minutes

Two things that I noticed right away: 1. I had no idea if Alicia Fox was a face or a heel until her opponent came out. 2. Tamina got her last name back after not having it for a long time. Even after watching this match, those seemed like the most noteworthy things to mention.

Rating: 5.0 out of 10

SEGMENT FIVE: AJ Can Do Whatever She Wants

The glacial pace continues, but at least we're finally getting to some actual wrestling as a result of this tepid, inane story. As far as I can tell, that is the only thing worthwhile to come out of this segment. How long until our international nightmare is over?

Rating: 3.0 out of 10

SEGMENT SIX: Kofi Kingston vs. Tensai
Match Result: Kofi Kingston pinned Tensai
Match Length: Around three and a half minutes

Wade Barrett's commentary was decent and Tensai was solid 'enhancement talent' for Kingston here. Kingston's strengths are his speed and agility, and if they can be used to defeat a powerhouse like Tensai, it seems possible that they can translate over to Barrett. The way that Kingston won was a bit of a good news/bad news resolution. Good that Kingston won in a different manner than usual to create the impression that he can possibly get wins in a variety of ways. Bad in that it underscores just how weak Tensai is, losing in that fashion. Overall, a decent part of building to Kingston/Barrett.

Rating: 6.25 out of 10

SEGMENT SEVEN: #WWEBryan vs. Rey Mysterio
Match Result: Rey Mysterio pinned Daniel Bryan
Match Length: Around 13 minutes

While many are no doubt disappointed that Kane won the Rawactive Twitter poll, it did mean that we got Bryan/Mysterio instead of another round of Kane/Mysterio. That seems like a big positive, especially given that this was a good match. Daniel Bryan is usually working with larger opponents and he got to show a side we don't see too much against the smaller Mysterio. He was a bit more of a bully than usual, a little more physical dominating. And I'm a sucker for any time the 619 is hit in a different way like this one around the ring post. We've seen it before, but I still dug it. This was a good first match and I would definitely like to see more.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10

SEGMENT EIGHT: John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler
Match Result: John Cena pinned Dolph Ziggler
Match Length: Around 13 minutes

After a slow start, the second half of this match was quite good. Lots of unexpected counters and moves along with a genuine sense that anything could happen. Granted, what happened was the weak finish and the post-match makeout session, but that's not too bad. Cena is the top guy in the company and Ziggler winning already would seem out of place. It would just guarantee that Cena would win the feud, while a loss here gives Ziggler something to prove and could result in him getting the upper hand in the end. Maybe? But, that combo of kicking Cena in the head and hitting the flying DDT was awesome.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

SEGMENT NINE: Sheamus vs. Antonio Cesaro
Match Result: Sheamus won via countout
Match Length: A bit over 12 and a half minutes

I was hoping this match would deliver and it did. It began slowly, but began impressing just before the commercial break with some nice spots outside the ring. The second half of the match was just two guys beating the crap out of one another without being able to finish the job. Neither man could hit a really big move until right there at the end with that giant European Uppercut that countered Sheamus's top rope Battering Ram before Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick, knocking Cesaro out of the ring and earning a countout win. This was a rare match where a countout finish worked to both men's advantages. The Brogue Kick got to decimate Cesaro, but Cesaro also didn't get pinned. And he hit many European Uppercuts in a variety of ways. I do love those European Uppercuts. Cesaro definitely showed that he can work with main event talent. It actually reminded me a bit of those Sheamus/Barrett matches from a few months back and that's a very good thing.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

SEGMENT TEN: Damien Sandow vs. Zack Ryder
Match Result: Damien Sandow pinned Zack Ryder
Match Length: A little under five minutes

A fine match, though utterly forgettable. Sandow got a win and continues to sort of tread water while Cody Rhodes is out. Zack Ryder continues to be fine yet utterly forgettable. Seems about right to me.

Rating: 6.0 out of 10

SEGMENT ELEVEN: CM Punk vs. #WWEKane
Match Result: CM Punk pinned Kane
Match Length: A little over ten minutes

This was an entertaining match. Not a lot that stood out, though. These two have solid chemistry and delivered a perfectly acceptable match. In a night of good wrestling, this was among the weaker matches, which is unfortunate for the main event. But, it was more about what happened after the match where the Shield seemed like its concept of right and wrong isn't easy to pin down when they attacked Kane after he lost to Punk. That should cause a bit of debate about their true motives. Taking down Ryback when he came out made more sense and it allowed Punk to end the show standing tall again.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10


FINAL THOUGHTS


Segment of the Night: Sheamus vs. Antonio Cesaro

Trash Segment of the Night: The Cena/AJ/Vickie promo segment

Final Analysis: Tonight's show was definitely a step up from last week. The pacing is still off with the higher quality, longer matches stacked in the second half of the show, but I can live with that given that that's where the three-hour Raws need the most help to maintain interest. The Cena/Ziggler and Sheamus/Cesaro matches both stood out tonight, and I also dug the Bryan/Mysterio one. The developments with the Shield definitely have me interested every time they're on screen. Not everything landed, obviously, but after last week's weak follow-up to the Survivor Series, it's nice to see them recover a bit.

Verdict: 7.0

411 RATINGS SCALE:
0 - 0.9: Torture
1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
2 - 2.9: Very Bad
3 - 3.9: Bad
4 - 4.9: Poor
5 - 5.9: Not So Good
6 - 6.9: Average
7 - 7.9: Good
8 - 8.9: Very Good
9 - 9.9: Amazing
10: Virtually Perfect


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