Re-Booking RAW

October 24, 2012

This morning in class I was discussing RAW with my students. I'm always curious to hear what my students think about the show. It gives me an alternative outlook on the show and also gives me some insight into how said students view the wrestling industry. One of my main points of contention with RAW was the number of guys, who are wrestling on the PPV, that got beat.

While I realize that for every guy who picks up a win, someone else must be handed a loss, I do think it's important to build guys up in order to feature winners vs. winner on PPV as much as possible, because you are expecting people to pay for these matches. With the exception of the Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton match (the only none title match oddly enough) someone in every HIAC PPV match, lost or got beat to death Monday night. Let's take a quick look at the PPV line up before I get into my RAW closing segment booking idea, which I came up with on 30 seconds notice when a student asked me, "Well what would you do?"

Antonio Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel: While this match has not been announced I can only assume after the match on Monday is will end up on the PPV. I know having the baby face challenger defeat the heel champion in a none title match is pretty standard fair, but I would not have handed Cesaro a loss on TV this early in his run as US Champion. Cesaro is still getting over and working his way up, so why not have Gabriel win a #1 Contenders match to look strong and have Cesaro pick up another strong win against a different challenger so they both go into the show with momentum?

Miz vs. Kofi Kingston: I can't see this match having any interest what so ever going into the PPV. Miz got absolutely killed and beaten by Ryback Monday night, looking like a complete loser. Add that to the fact he lost 2 TV matches to Kofi last week, as well as his match on SD and Miz could not be colder as challenger heading to the PPV. There had to have been someone else on the roster they could have fed to Ryback.

Tag Team Title Match: (I refuse to type their silly team names) Both Daniel Bryan and Kane (the defending champions) got beat on RAW. Both got pinned and neither of the guys who beat them are involved in the tag title match on Sunday. Bryan and Kane are the baby faces in this match and both lost their match because they were easily distracted and don't pay attention. I know dissension is their gimmick and having them look incompetent might "further the storyline" it does nothing to sell the match you are trying to SELL.

Big Show vs. Sheamus: At least in the case Big Show was the one who cost Sheasus his match and if this was the only case of a guy on the PPV losing a match I'd have been more than fine with it, but when it is every title match on the show where one of the guys in the match is getting beat it leaves me feeling that I'm expected to buy a show featuring a bunch of guys that don't win matches.

CM Punk vs. Ryback: Both of these guys won their matches Monday so that was good, but having Punk get absolutely destroyed by Ryback to close the show was a huge mistake in my opinion. Maybe I'm too old school but when you've got a Villain with good quality heat and absolutely unbeatable Hero poised to destroy said heel, I leave the pay off of him doing so until the PPV where people have to lay down their money to see it. Punk got absolutely destroy to close the show Monday destroying any credibility he had and leaving nothing but the Title change on the table for Sunday. If Ryback doesn't win the title, even if he destroys Punk on Sunday he'll have accomplished nothing he hasn't already done on RAW, and if he is winning the title, why kill Punk Monday and then beat him and take the title off him on Sunday, why have him in the losing role twice?

This is where my idea comes in. I was telling my students how I wouldn't have let Ryback kill Punk as he did on Monday, to keep Punk strong and leave the big physicality for the PPV. To this my student asked, "Well what would you do?" With no more than 30 seconds of thought I came up with this:

I would have had the Cell up on RAW under the guise of reminding fans how huge and demonic the structure really is. The commentators could have referenced it at the open of the show and Cena could have had it lowered during his promo to talk about how deadly and intimidating this structure really is. With this being done in the first hour it would have been more than 2 hours later when we get to the main event. You could do everything primarily the same but when the heel lumberjacks are beating on Sheamus the announcers could speculate that Heyman must have these guys in his pocket because they seem to be helping Punk. Then at the end when Ryback comes out you could feed him a dozen to 20 guys on the floor, that Heyman paid off. As he fights his way to the ring to get Punk. Punk and Heyman can be in a panic and you have Heyman on his phone screaming instructions (old school pop for Heyman on a cell phone). As Ryback is a one man wrecking machine destroying dudes, the cell starts lowering (as ordered by Heyman on his phone) by the time Ryback kills 20 dudes the Cell reaches the floor just as Ryback reaches the Cell. You then have an enraged Ryback shaking and ramming the Cell trying to get at a terrified CM Punk with JR selling the fact that Ryback is the most destructive force he's ever seen, he's just walked through 20 men to get his hand on CM Punk and while the Cell is providing Punk a safe haven now, on Sunday at HIAC he's going to be locked inside this thing with Ryback. We then go off the air with CM Punk standing in the ring looking terrified, but untouched, Paul Heyman behind him maybe on his knees with tears in his eyes clutching the WWE title to his chest, with a raging Ryback shaking, ramming, and trying to tear open the Cell, with JR screaming Oh My God what’s going to happen on Sunday.

Food for thought,
Lance Storm


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