Best match: Smackdown MITB
Worst match: Divas
This show delievers every year. For me it is one of the 3 I always order (Rumble and Mania being the others). I was worried that Smackdown all heel match would be devoid of heat, forgetting what town they were in. The spots with Swagger and Cesaro were especially great. What added to this match was I could legit seeing any one of them win for different reasons (or directions). The Raw ladder match was no slouch just at many times it had those moves or moments that looked like actual chaos. I was convinced at various times Orton, Sheamus, and Punk were legit hurt. The Paul turn was well done in the match. The interference all made sense to progress things. Axel and Heyman with Punk. Shield always interferes, but the Usos come out to counter. The AJ in Ziggler match. When Ryback came out for his match it still amazed me how dead he is now. First PPV win since Sept wont automatically change that either.
Complaint- a fraction of the WWE viewing audience orders PPV vs watching Raw. Why I ask do we contnue to get things on PPV like;
Performance Center video
All of those things are fine to fill Raw, in fact more than fine. A full recap of the WWEPC on Raw would have been wonderful for all those viewers not watching tonight as part of the 3 hours plus overrun. None of this took away from the show just one of those things.
5 Thoughts on WWE Money In the Back 2013
Sandow winning is good surprise, but is he world champion material yet? Or even in the forseeable future? He may be over as the irritating villain everyone wants to see get beat down, but whether that can translate into a real draw is differnet matter. Admittedly, Ambrose, who may have been a more popular choice, is also still a bit green in the ring. Rhodes proved once again he has something worth investing in, and a feud with Sandow might help that along. Hopefully that could booked in such a way to give both guys some main event clout and momentum. The match itself was one of the better MITBs tho, even if its for a chance at the shot that more and more seems like the IC title of old compared to the Cena's flagship belt.
Curtis Axel fails to show much flare in or around the ring yet again. He's not bad, but his talent seems very WWE – the young generation's Randy Orton. His namesake and Paul Heyman differentiate him from a pack of near identical developmental products, it may be assumed managment has seen something more in him given the push. He looks poised to be involved with Punk, Lesnar, Bryan and possibley RVD given the rest of the crowd heading into Summerslam. There's no better time for him to step up his game and impress – here's hoping he does.
Chris Jericho once again takes an expected and even deserved ego out of the equation to put a young superstar over. With Bourne a few summers past, to Punk at Mania last year, to Ziggler for his “second hiatus”, to Fandango at Mania this year, an now Ryback. Having proven he can exist and flourish as a star not only outisde of the company, but far outside the industry, Jericho may has more pull than anyone outside of Cena (and maybe Punk now) to politically maneuver his way into a more comfortable place at the top of the card. He's a veteran, one of the best in the business and still a draw, why should he be putting these young guns over again and again? It certainly hasn't been the precedant set by others over the past decade or so. It's extremely encouraging to see Jericho not only go there time and time again, but to never put in anything less than a top effort. Angle may be doing it in TNA, and HBK may have done something like it for a short while before his retirement, but Jericho is doing it best and it may pay dividends for some of these young careers if only the writers can keep up with his generosity.
Mark Henry is gold. Who would have thought that given start-stop pushes, facing numerous longterm injuries and being on the tail end of a long career he would be at his best now. It's great to see. Big Show, Kane and Henry may not be the flashiest in the ring, but their role as maleable monsters in the main event territory in their career twilights is invaluable (when booked properly, of course). Veterans who can work a crowd and a match, and one need not look further than Henry's match tonight to make a case for him being the best. The build for this match was exactly what it needed to be to make what could be a groan-inducing and predictable encounter into pay-per-view material. Between the lead-up, the story of the match, and Henry's facials and mannerisms therein, there was more than enough to compensate for what ever in-ring limitations and extremely predictable booking may be there to hinder this title bout. Of course Cena went over, and that's fine. Henry, a two-time world champion already, proved that his career is noteworthy regardless of a WWE title rein.
The main event may have been the most interesting MITB match ever. No true heels in the match (although Sheamus almost became one here). The first one-on-one square off is between two former MITB winners and world champs – two of the most over men in the company who most would have assured you could never be in such a position not so long ago (seriously, two former ROH champions main eventing in the WWE and Claudio's around too – your 2005 counterpart's jaw just hit the floor). The return match of a hometown hero diminishes the aura of every of star. A story within the story completes Punk's face role against Heyman while setting up the inevitable Summerslam encounter. All of these compelling components might just serve to make the ending a fitting one – arguably the least interesting competitor wins, earning the prop to revitalize his character that his been treading water since his last world title loss. It wasn't long ago that many said Orton's face turn would be huge, but the reality was much more underwhelming. Both the fans and Orton look to be ready for another heel run, and the MITB contract might be the perfect way to get there. Not that Orton needs it to get over as a contendor, and while he might not have been the best or obvious choice, his character has desperately needed something new for a long time now. Sheamus and Punk have no need for it at this point, and Christian is better suited as a guy in a postion similar to the one Jericho is working in. RVD would have been nice, but its hard to believe WWE would award him that given the TNA stint and widely-reported part-time schedule he's assuming upon his return. Would Bryan have been the best option? He is surprisingly over, and the fact he's continually been given something reasonable to work with since his return at Summerslam a few years back suggests that despite his size and indy history, the company has a strong amount of faith in him. Could he be a leader amongst the stars of the next generation? His talent and connection with the crowd confirum the potential, another MITB win and a proper title win and reign to boot may have sealed it. No need to lose hope yet though, as it appears he might have some role to play in the Punk / Axel drama, or even a score to further settle with Orton.