Welcome to the Weekly Top Five (WTF) for the August 6 episode of Monday Night Raw. Before I rank best moments of the show, allow me to remind you that the second edition of WWE Encyclopedia is now available for pre-order on Amazon.
5. ALBERTO DEL RIO
For too long, Alberto Del Rio’s association with the wildly amusing Ricardo Rodriguez has left the former WWE Champion to sometimes play second fiddle to the funny guy. It didn’t help that Del Rio was seemingly missing that certain dimension that all heels need, the one that makes fans hate him. Instead, he gave the impression he was playing a character, similar to one that could’ve been found in the mid-1990s.
But now, Del Rio’s mean streak, coupled with Rodriguez’s somewhat lessened role has made the Mexican aristocrat a quality main event heel fans can detest. And Rodriguez is playing his role perfectly by interfering to help Del Rio get the win. It just makes fans want to see Del Rio’s impending beat down even more.
4. WADE BARRETT
His vignette was one of the best I’ve seen in years, complete with WWE’s typical Hollywood blockbuster production quality. You really can’t say enough about the job WWE’s production team does. BUT, why is Wade Barrett talking about Fight Club? Rule No. 1 is you never talk about Fight Club. Duh!
3. BROCK LESNAR
It may seem small, but the Lesnar-Triple H angle took an important step forward today when Paul Heyman revealed his client’s goal. According to Heyman, Lesnar is not going to SummerSlam to entertain; he’s not looking to be Mr. WrestleMania or Mr. Hall of Fame. Instead, Lesnar is competing at SummerSlam to prove that he is “the baddest dude on the planet.”
I especially liked how HBK backpedaled like a helpless mouse being cornered by a larger cat while Lesnar and his maniacle eyes advanced toward him. Even better: Lesnar told HBK he’ll see him before SummerSlam, effectively requiring Lesnar fans to tune into Raw in the weeks leading up to SummerSlam.
2. ALEX WRIGHT
No, wrestling’s worst dancer was not on Raw tonight. But Chris Jericho did accidentally refer to Alex Riley as Alex Wright on commentary. It certainly made me laugh, as did Andrew Goldstein’s tweet : Das Blunderkind.
Others may have Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena as their No. 1, which I understand. It was a great match. But before I start getting excited about PPV-quality matches being shown on 3-hour Raws, I want to see how they negatively or (hopefully) positively impact PPV buys. It’s a very thin line WWE is walking here. All that being said, the best thing from this week’s Raw was Sheamus’ joy ride with Del Rio’s car.
- It was funny.
- It provided something for ADR to get upset about, feeding into his new meaner personality.
- It was an effective and acceptable use of Tout.
- It further advanced their storyline.
- Most importantly, in my mind, it brought me back to the days of Stone Cold Steve Austin having a new story every week that he would continually weave into an entire episode of Raw. I felt like I was watching Stone Cold toss The Rock’s championship off a bridge again. A lot of fun.