Raw Ladder (11/23): Young Stars Go Up, Young Stars Go Down

Chris Cash

UP A STEP
Kofi Kingston

He looked great coming out of Survivor Series and it still looks great after Raw last night.

When Randy Orton was placed in the breakthrough battle royal, I assumed that Kofi would be the one to cost him the match.  Luckily, I was right and the great program between the two continues.  Kingston has a lot going for him and getting the win at Sunday’s pay per view did him a lot of good.

Now, we just need him to beat Randy Orton in a one-on-one bout.  At least once.

 

DOWN A STEP
Jack Swagger

This is the first of a few guys that I think WWE’s missing the boat on while they are succeeding in pushing other young talents.  I guess the WWE jury is out on him right now, but I think he has a lot of potential.  His recent back-and-forth with The Miz was going well, in my opinion, and it seems like they are nixing that idea for now.  I agree that Swagger needs further development and although last night was only one night, I hope they don’t forget about him while they focus on the young guys of the future.

 

DOWN A STEP
Legacy

I know I bring these guys up a lot, but someone should!

I just don’t understand why their momentum (especially DiBiase) has to be lost in such extreme fashin.  The WWE are finally realizing that they need new faces to help their company in the future and it seems like it would have been easy to follow up with the tension these two have had with Orton in the past. 

They can always go back to it, but it will not mean as much if they don’t continue laying the groundwork for it now.  If nothing else, at least keep Rhodes and DiBiase somewhat important on your weekly shows.  You would think that with DiBiase’s movie coming out, that would be a definite, but apparently not and I’m not sure why that is.

 

UP A STEP
Sheamus

He has a tough task staying strong now that he’s challenging the indestructible John Cena, but with the Tables Match gimmick, maybe they can find a way to keep him looking good while Cena keeping the strap.  That being said, the WWE was clearly looking for someone to hold Cena over for a month while waiting for the Rumble and the "Road to WrestleMania" to begin.  Sheamus is that guy and while he’s not one to sell pay per views yet, that’s why you have Cena there. 

It is nice to see Cena get away from D-X though and start working with a young talent like Sheamus while Orton does the same with Kingston.  It makes you think the WWE is actually serious about this new movement.  But we have the Rumble and WM coming up and there’s not a lot of time for these new stars to develop into main-eventers.  Let’s see if McMahon can find a way.

 

DOWN A STEP
Degeneration X

I’m placing them down a step this week because I think their main event title match at Survivor Series is wrapping up to be a joke.  They took the rediculous angle with Hornswoggle more serious than they did a chance at the WWE Title.  I’m okay with them challenging (and probably winning) the tag team straps, but they should have been doing that with JeriShow already. 

I don’t really see the point now.  So what if they win the titles?  They are in the same boat as Jericho and Show with no one to work with after they do.  They could renew the program with Legacy, but I doubt it.   They could continue with JeriShow, but one of these two teams is breaking up soon and my money would be on Jericho and Show.

I guess I’ll take the "wait and see" approach, but I would have much rather seen a more serious program with Cena for the title.  One that could have led to D-X splitting up and working against one another.  This time with HBK heel as opposed to Triple H.

 

UP A STEP
Maryse

DID YOU SEE HER LAST NIGHT?

That alone is worth a huge step up, but it’s also nice to see her back in a Diva’s division that is a complete mess right now.  She still needs development in the ring, but her attitude makes up for what she lacks there.  Welcome back Maryse and please marry me.

 

UP A STEP
Overall Show

While the go-home show to Survivor Series last week was good as well, I thought they did a great job following up last night as well.  It is clear that for the time being, the WWE has a plan to push a number of young stars.  Jesse Ventura’s promo confirmed that theory by putting over how the title picture is always the same guys.  The WWE does need a revolution and it’s nice to see it happening.

So we know that Sheamus will be challenging for the WWE Championship at TLC, plus D-X will be taking on JeriShow for the Tag Team titles.  They have an entire month now to hype these matches since they decided on them so quickly.  We could only imagine that Orton and Kingston will continue their feud there as well.  So far, so good.

I thought Jesse did very good last night as a guest host and was definitely in the top three guest hosts thus far.  His segments with Vince were entertaining and I thought they did well at the announce table.  I am glad that kept to only one match, however.

The WWE continues to show change in their product, but after the TLC pay per view next month, we lead into the most important part of the year for the company.  My only concern is whether or not WWE will revert back to what they know with the people they know when it comes to the main events at two of their biggest pay per views of the year.

Time will tell, but for now, I’m content with what we’re getting on Raw each week.

 

Chris Cash can be reached at wzchriscash@yahoo.com.

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