Fans who watched tonight's Raw -- and maybe even those who didn't -- will likely complain endlessly about the show's opening.
The first full segment on the show featured a non-title triple-threat match pitting WWE Champion CM Punk against Daniel Bryan and Kane. This same combination just headlined the No Way Out pay-per-view eight days ago.
Since Punk's title reign has started, his feud -- no matter the opponent -- has played second fiddle to whatever storyline John Cena has been involved in, at least in terms of being the show-closing angle.
Fans have been outraged. Even my From the Rafters Radio co-hosts and I have railed the decision-making process on the air. And I stand by those statements; the WWE Championship should be viewed as the most important aspect of the company's product.
But it's clear that continued complaining from fans isn't going to make any difference. So it's become almost futile and even actually drains a bit of the enjoyment from watching the show when all you see on Facebook and Twitter are fans whining about match placement. On pay-per-view, it's one thing; TV is another beast.
Punk himself has even defended the situation on social media, saying it doesn't matter where he's at on the show as long as he's stealing it. Pardon the paraphrasing.
The bottom line is that fans should enjoy the matches they're being presented rather than whining and complaining endlessly about placement. A good match is a good match, whether it opens the show or closes it.
Tonight's triple-threat match was a solid effort, but if it would have been presented as a main event, it likely would have been considered a let down. The three men have worked together so much lately that it's beginning to seem like we've seen all there is to offer.
And some combination of them, if not all three, are sure to compete again at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view next month, so it makes sense they're holding back a little on television, but this 10-minute match never seemed to hit high gear.
It did, however, continue to build on the story that has been told for several weeks, as AJ's appearance distracted Kane, allowing Punk to hit the Go to Sleep and eliminate him.
Bryan, capitalizing on the opportunity, delivered a kick to Punk's head to eliminate the champ. Bryan needed the win and the momentum, as he's come up short in most of his matches with Punk this far.
This match accomplished what it was supposed to do. It wasn't meant to be a pay-per-view-quality contest; it was meant to advance the story and give Bryan a sense of momentum.
It seems likely that the WWE Championship match at Money in the Bank will be Bryan vs. Punk, as guest General Manager Vickie Guerrero announced Kane will compete in the actual Money in the Bank match.
As wrestling fans, it's easy to get too wrapped up in things and over analyze it, but there comes a time when it's necessary to step back and realize that an angle can be focused on without it closing the show.
Punk, Bryan and Kane opening Raw doesn't mean WWE has lost faith in any of them. It just means that in today's WWE, there are other priorities, and that doesn't seem likely to change, no matter how much fans whine.
Just enjoy the show, or at least try your best to do so. It's not always easy, but hearing the same complaints week in and week out gets a little tiring.
If Punk doesn't have an issue with it; neither should you.
- The main event match pitting Cena against Chris Jericho was decent, but like the opener, it never seemed to hit high gear and it was more focused on story than anything else. Jericho and Cena reversed each other's signature moves several times before Big Show made his presence felt and attacked Cena. It makes sense, but it was strange to see both the opener and main event suffer from the same issues.