What I Liked:
WWE threw us a curveball starting Raw with Sheamus, who talks about Alberto Del Rio. The Chicago crowd erupted when CM Punk would come out and talk about being in his hometown. He talks down to Sheamus, who gets upset that Punk interruped him. They both exchange words, and Sheamus says he is the World Heavyweight Champion. Punk calls him the second best in the world, and then we get AJ Lee. She comes out and books Sheamus vs. Punk and Cena vs. Del Rio for tonight. This was the best way to start out a show. I am glad they did not have Punk diss his hometown by talking down to them. This would not work, and would be a cheap way out. I also really enjoyed the interaction between Sheamus and Punk, as I felt Sheamus held his own and looked really upset. He stayed in a face character, even though he was getting booed. This is such a tricky crowd, and WWE executed the beginning of the night perfectly.
Dolph Ziggler Defeats Randy Orton
What I Liked:
Orton starts off by really taking over the match, including a beautiful suplex by using the top rope as leverage. Orton is very intelligent in the ring with every move he hits. The action turned over to Ziggler, but Orton would explode out of the corner and send Ziggler to the outside. This was not a clean wrestling match, but more of a fight. Both guys really work well together, as Orton kicked down Ziggler time and time again. The pace slowed down in Ziggler's favor when he applies a headlock on him. Dolph needs to get more credit for his overall character shining in the ring, the show off character fits him perfectly. At the end, Orton would hit a hanging DDT, but Dolph would avoid the RKO and roll up Orton with his tights to steal the victory. That was hard to execute, but Ziggler was able to pick up a big win. I have been saying for so long that he needs to pick up a clean win on Raw. He did that tonight in a well drawn out match with many pieces falling into place. Great in ring work from two men of excellence.
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