Raw kicks off with the camera on the WM XXX sign and out comes the power couple to start the show. We get yes chants for Daniel Bryan interrupting Stephanie right away. The crowd boos when they call the show the most satisfying. Hunter mocks the crowd for not getting what they want. The crowd continues to boo.
^You’d think they would wake up and stop making such a joke about how pissed off the fans are.
Stephanie says Randy Orton will defend the WWE World Title inside the Elimination Chamber at the pay per view next month. Daniel Bryan interrupts the Authority and comes to the ring and the crowd goes crazy. Nonstop yes chants. Dbry tells the crowd to stop chanting because the Authority doesn’t like it. More chants.
Dbry goes on to say that a lot of people are talking about his match with Bray Wyatt. Hunter says it was a good little effort. Stephanie says it was incredible. Dbry says the biggest disappointment in the Rumble is him not being in the match(according to fans). Dbry says the people wanted him in the Rumble. Dbry says there is a yes movement going on for him. The crowd chants you suck at Stephanie when she says they didn’t want to put him in jeopardy by having him wrestle twice. Dbry says they’ve done it to him plenty in the past, and Hunter says that’s why they stopped now. Dbry says they care about what is worse for Daniel Bryan than what is best for business. Stephanie asks if Dbry thinks all the people in the arena only came to see him and we get the loudest yes chants of the night. Loud Daniel Bryan chants all at once when Stephanie says the fans can’t get all their chants in sync. Dbry wants a title shot at the Elimination Chamber. Dbry tells Hunter neither of them should leave the ring until he gets what he wants and then gets in his face. Hunter says Dbry has company and the Shield’s music hits.
The Shield come through the crowd and Dbry gets a steel chair. Dbry swings his chair but Reigns gets him and they all beat him down. Sheamus makes a run in and goes after the Shield but they beat him down. I wonder who could be next. Hope it’s not Batista. Nope, it’s Cena. Possible six man tag main event later? Oh hell yeah!
^That is how you kick off Raw. You bring the issues that fans are having and convert it into more of a storyline, and I honestly believe you’ll see Dbry get his time in the sun sooner rather than later. Great opening segment for the show!
Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio take on Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro. Zeb Colter gets mad and slaps Jack Swagger during the match. Commercial break. Sin Cara is unable to get the tag he needs to Mysterio after he launches Cesaro to the outside and Cesaro pulls Mysterio off the apron. Sin Cara counters Cesaro into a victory roll but only gets a two count. Cesaro with a huge slam on Sin Cara for another two count. He tag in Swagger and they double team slam Sin Cara. Sin Cara is FINALLY able to tag Mysterio as Swagger tags in Cesaro. Mysterio with the upper hand on Cesaro right away hits the seated senton from the top rope and a bulldog slam. Swagger breaks up the next pin attempt and gets dropkicked to the outside by Sin Cara for his efforts. Mysterio with a 619 and a senton missed by Sin Cara. Cesaro hits the European uppercut on a flying Sin Cara before nailing the neutralizer for the win.
^Excellent tag team action for something so short; I really enjoyed this match. Cesaro and Swagger definitely have something together, but I’d still rather see Cesaro in singles action down the road with all the talent he has.
With thirty minutes of the show gone by, I’m impressed with that opening segment and that match. Great start!
The Shield will take on Cena, Dbry and Sheamus tonight in a six man tag. The winning team will ALL qualify for the Elimination Chamber match next month. Also, Cody Rhodes and Goldust will get their rematch against the Outlaws tonight!
Wade Barrett has some bad news for us. I have some bad news for him too. His gimmick sucks.
Barrett says we have a match that will pit the Miz against Dolph Ziggler. He says it’s the battle of Cleveland. He’s glad it’s not the battle FOR Cleveland because it would have two losers.
^What is the point of this? It’s not entertaining.
A sneak peak for the WWE Network. Advertisements for their products on their own show. Overkill. It’s a preview for Raw vs Nitro.
^I assume it will be the classics on demand airings from the past with some editing to it and new commentary.
Summer Rae and Fandango come out and dance. Commercial before whatever match this is going to be. Fandango goes one on one with R-Truth. Xavier Woods does commentary.
^I wonder when Truth and Woods will break up and feud.
Emma from NXT is at ringside with her Emma-lution sign. JBL refers to East Carolina as the Harvard of the South while talking with Woods.
Fandango goes up top for his finisher on Truth and misses. Truth with the little jimmy finisher(no longer called that since he found a real(probably temporary) friend in Woods) for the win. Woods celebrates with Truth after the match.
^Not a long match, but not too boring for being this short. Solid work from the vet in truth with the up and comer in Dango. Truth and Woods dance.
Randy Orton is on his way to the ring as we have ten minutes left in the first hour. Another commercial break.
Brad Maddox is introduced as GM of Raw(I sometimes forget) and then Maddox introduces Randy Orton. Orton takes the mic and says the champ is here. Orton is mad about his title defense at the Elimination Chamber and he goes off on Maddox. Batista interrupts.
Batista comes out and starts talking. The crowd chants Daniel Bryan and boos Batista. Batista says he doesn’t care who he faces at WrestleMania for the title. He obviously doesn’t care about much, does he? He clearly hasn’t worked on his mic skills. Boring. Brock Lesnar interrupts with Paul Heyman. Lesnar vs Batista down the road? Yes, please!
^As Lesnar walks to the ring, I want to point out that the first hour of the show is over. I’m scoring it a 6/10 and that’s mostly for the quality stuff we saw in the first segment and match.
Heyman talks for Lesnar and tells Brad Maddox that his name is Paul Heyman(pretty sure they worked together on behalf of CM punk in 2012). Lesnar’s patience is running thin and he wants the Authority to know they have two choices. Heyman wants history tonight to be made with Randy Orton defending against Brock Lesnar. That won’t happen. Heyman says they are suggesting and not demanding. Choice number two is that he puts Lesnar against Batista. Heyman says the fans will win either way. Lesnar wants an answer from the Authority tonight, or else. Lesnar stares down both Batista and Orton before walking away.
^How about Daniel Bryan vs Brock lesnar for the Championship at some point? That would be EPIC. Not a bad segment now that Heyman saved it with those intriguing options. I’m guessing we get neither match tonight and Lesnar gets put in the Elimination Chamber.
It’s time for Miz and Ziggler in the battle for Cleveland! The crowd chants Cleveland rocks during the match. Back and forth action. Miz with a figure four leglock on Ziggler. Ziggler makes it to the ropes and then gets a small package for two and Miz counters for two. Ziggler with the zig zag right after for the win.
^Not much of a match at all, but the fans seemed to enjoy it. I wish something more would be done with both Ziggler and Miz. At least they were on the show, anyway.
The Usos take on Ryback and Curtis Axel. The Usos get the pin on Ryback after the splash from the top rope for the win.
^I’d love to see the Usos challenge the Outlaws on the WrestleMania kickoff show and win the titles. Why have these two not been champions already with the experience under their belt? It’s ridiculous and I hope they continue to dominate the tag team division. The match wasn’t overly exciting until the final moments, but it was solid wrestling overall.
Alberto Del Rio goes one on one with Kofi Kingston. A pre-taped promo airs for Del Rio and it’s obvious that he’ll face Batista at the Elimination Chamber. Del Rio gets his foot on the rope during the pinfall after an SOS and the count is stopped. Del Rio tries to win the match with a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker, pointing at the WrestleMania sign, and then hitting the backstabber on Kofi for only a two count. Del Rio is furious as the crowd chants for Kofi. Del Rio with a double stomp on Kofi’s chest/head from the top rope. He kicks Kofi in the head and pins him.
^Solid match. Too slow and full of rests to be great, but pretty darn good performance from both guys. Kofi’s momentum and offense was nice. How many times have we seen these two wrestle in the past with no actual rivalry enhancer?
The Outlaws defend their newly won Tag Titles against Cody Rhodes and Goldust.
In an update, this is five minutes before the end of the second hour, and I’m rating the second hour an 8.5/10 for Heyman’s promo work and three solid matches.
The Outlaws cut a promo before their match and hype the city of Cleveland before doing their original intro. Road Dogg says they became tag team champs because they are the best at what they do, and not because of past relationships. Dogg says they were good last night, but they weren’t good enough. Road Dogg gets punched by Cody before he can drop the mic.
^Good heat on the Outlaws by having fun and staying heel. Feels very much like the Attitude Era all over again with three out of the four guys in this match! It’s just a nice blend of old school and new school on the show.
Road Dogg tells Billy they shouldn’t have to defend the titles the night after they win them. It’s match time! Mid match, Road Dogg runs out of the ring when Cody goes for his moonsault. Smart veteran there. Rhodes yells for Road Dogg to get his old ass in the ring. Doesn’t he realize his brother is only two years younger than Road Dogg? 28, 42, 44 and 50 are the ages of the four guys in this match. Wow.
The match ends when Brock Lesnar attacks Cody Rhodes and Goldust. Paul Heyman says this is what happens when the Authority doesn’t give Brock Lesnar what he wants. Lesnar attacks Cody and Goldy with a chair as he hits them over and over again.
^Fun tag team match ended with unfinished business. It works for Lesnar being put over as an angry jerk, and it keeps the Brotherhood in line for another match with the Outlaws down the road. I like it, and the wrestling was fun(not to mention the three man commentary team and their humor).
The Bella Twins, Cameron and Naomi take on AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka, Aksana and Alicia Fox. The Bellas and the Funkadactyls win when Naomi pins AJ Lee. They all point to the WrestleMania sign after the match.
^Exciting action for a divas match. Not horrible, but the post match Bella dancing was better than the whole match.
The second Hall of Fame inductee for the Class of 2014 is going to be announced after this commercial. I expect it to be Jake the Snake Roberts, but I guess it could be any number of people. Anyone else think Bam Bam Bigelow belongs? How about Vader?
Jerry Lawler is in the ring and he reveals the video for the next inductee. It’s a snake on the screen! About DAMN TIME! Jake gets a quality video package and it’s worthy of his great career. It would only be fair for them to induct Damien, Lucifer and Revelations as well, right? Excellent choice for the Hall of Fame!
Another WWE Network preview. Because you know, why put wrestling on when you can advertise for three hours? It’s a preview for the insight of WrestleMania show with analysis from current stars on past matches. Should be a good show, but I saw this preview the night the network was announced. Just saying.
It’s time for the six man tag main event!
We get twenty minutes of incredible action and the match ends by DQ when the Wyatt Family attacks John Cena. Cena, Sheamus and Dbry fight off the Wyatts. Cena, Sheamus and Dbry qualify for the Chamber match and the faces celebrate to end the show.
^Excellent wrestling in the main event. I don’t believe Dbry will win the WWE World Title, but we can hope I’m wrong and the booking gets better
The final hour of the show had that outstanding six man tag, Jake’s Hall of Fame announcement, the tag team title match, and the divas. I’d give the final hour of the show an 8.5 out of 10 as well.
Hour 1 – 6/10
Hour 2 – 8.5/10
Hour 3 – 8.5/10
23/30 = 76%
A 7.6/10 for the show. It wasn’t as exciting as some post Rumble shows with major storyline updates, but the wrestling was excellent overall. The score seems fair when you look at it from that perspective.
Thanks for reading!