ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 02/03/14

Randy Orton whines to open the show. Triple H and Stephanie interrupt. They book Orton in a match with Daniel Bryan tonight, and they tell him that they may have to consider Bryan the face of WWE if Orton loses. They also tell Orton he’ll be facing other Elimination Chamber participants over the next few weeks.

^All the talking with these idiots opening the show has me bored, but THAT main event has me excited! I don’t care how many times Orton and Dbry have one on one matches; they have amazing chemistry.

The Shield defeat Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston and Big E. Langston in a six man tag. Ambrose steals the tag when Reigns is about to do the spear and hits his finisher on Big E. for the pinfall.

^Solid six man match. The Shield should really be the Six-Man Tag Champions if such a thing existed today. Ambrose and Big E. could have some good matches down the line if they decide to merge those titles.

The Shield have some arguing after the match. The Wyatts pop up on the big screen and have some words for the Shield.

^That match is going to be excellent(assuming it doesn’t get wrecked or changed).

Bad News Barrett tells the unhealthy fans that they’ll probably be dead before next year’s Super Bowl. Jerry Lawler gets on the mic and tells Barrett he has some bad news and hopes he won’t be here next week.

^Random, but I assume Lawler is hinting towards a return of someone to beat down Barrett. Maybe they can beat him all the way back to his Corre/Nexus persona.

Christian defeats Jack Swagger with a rollup.

^It’s refreshing to see a wrestling purist like Christian back on my screen. Swagger has never entertained me, but he can put on a decent match. This was just something nice to see for a change of pace, and one can assume that it’s being used to enhance the Christian/Cesaro rivalry for the Chamber match.

Zeb Colter gives Swagger “tough love” after the match. Cesaro is ringside and he’s not impressed with it.

^Split them up and make Cesaro the star that he deserves to be, please.

The New Age Outlaws defeat Cody Rhodes and Goldust inside a steel cage to retain the tag team titles. Billy pins Rhodes after a fameasser(after Rhodes moonsaults off the top of the cage and barely connects with Road Dogg).

^That was a fun match. I was surprised not to see problems developing between the brothers. I assume the Outlaws will end up dropping the titles to the Usos in the future, but for now their reign is actually refreshing despite their age. Those two can still go.

Titus O’Neil crushes Zack Ryder in a short match. The Miz comes out during the match and snags a headset. He’s pissed that Titus is getting the spotlight.

^Titus is another big guy with a decent personality. I can see WWE doing a lot with him, and it looks like a feud with the Miz will be up first to put him over as a singles talent.

Fandango and Summer Rae Dance. It’s a dance off. Santino comes out and chooses Emma(from NXT) from the crowd to dance. She does her funny dance and wins the contest. Michael Cole does the hand motions at the announce table and looks ridiculous.

^That was pointless, but I welcome Emma wrestling on the show anytime; she’s got talent.

Sheamus defeats Curtis Axel with a brogue kick in a solid match.

^When Axel isn’t trying not to stumble over his words on the mic, the dude can straight up wrestle. He’s just like his father in the sense that he can tell a good story and execute moves almost flawlessly(perfect?). Good match here; nice to see Sheamus back putting on decent performances. I’m thinking Sheamus may get stuck in a feud with Ryback as we head towards Mania, and that doesn’t intrigue me very much considering how limited Ryback is.

Batista comes out. Alberto Del Rio interrupts. They exchange words. They get physical. Batista gets the upper hand and Del Rio runs off.

^Looks like they’ll be having that match at the Elimination Chamber ppv after all. I’m wondering if Batista will put his title shot on the line.

The Wyatt Family defeat Xavier Woods, R-ruth and Dolph Ziggler. Bray pins Ziggler after a sister abigail finisher.

^More six man action to put over the strength of the Wyatt Family. Those guys are talented, but eventually they’ll need to do more as a faction and capture some gold. Nice uses in both six man matches of some talent lacking overall direction.

The Shield pop up on the tron after the match and have some words for the Wyatts.

^Same thing we saw earlier from the Wyatts. Nice feud enhancers. The match better deliver.

Alexander Rusev vignette with Lana. Pisses me off that ANOTHER big guy is being pushed with all the other talent down in NXT.

Naomi defeats Aksana. AJ is on commentary for the match with Tamina at her side. Alicia Fox tries to attack Naomi after the match, but Cameron makes the save.

^Naomi next to challenge for the title? Works for me. Nice to hear AJ talking more; the girl needs a microphone because she’s got talent. Nice to see a divas tag team rivalry forming on tv; it’s refreshing.

Daniel Bryan defeats Randy Orton in the non-title main event despite interference from Kane. Dbry hits the flying knee on Orton for the three count.

^As I expected, that was an excellent match. Anyone who doesn’t believe Dbry is best performer in WWE needs to have their head examined. Do I believe WWE will push Bryan the way he deserves? No, I don’t. BUT, at least for now we got to see an awesome match with the fans loving Dbry for his performance.

Kane and Orton beat on Dbry after the match. Kane chokeslams Bryan to end the show.

^Nice to put the heel heat on the Authority and Orton here. I’m curious what will happen with Kane now that his other rivalry vanished. Nice ending to the show.

For entertainment value and feud enhances, the show gets a 7/10. For wrestling quality, it gets a 9/10 from me. Taking the average, this was an 8 out of 10 Raw for me with no surprises or big spots. It was just a good clean wrestling show that delivered from start to finish. Thank you, WWE.

Thanks for reading!