ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 03/03/14

We open Raw and CM Punk’s music hits. Paul Heyman comes out. He talks about CM Punk. Then he changes gears and talks about Brock Lesnar(who comes out). Lesnar cuts a promo. Mark Henry comes out to confront Lesnar. Lesnar destroys Henry(as usual) and hits an F5 through the announce table.

^Smart of WWE to put the Punk part at the beginning of the show and tell them up front that he isn’t in the building. I like the Brock Lesnar transition because it straight up says that WWE is moving forward despite Punk’s glaring absence.

The Usos defeat the Outlaws to become the new tag team champions.

^That was fun, and a bit overdue. It was a good choice to book the change in front of this crowd; it shows that WWE cares about the audience and making things right for them.

Big E. takes on Cesaro. Jack Swagger jumps in the ring and attacks Big E. early in the match to cause a DQ finish.

^I’m enjoying the subtle brilliance of this slow breakup of the Real Americans. This should be an excellent triple threat match(it feels as though they’re heading that way) at WrestleMania and will make the IC Title feel important again(it would help if someone would talk about the damn belt every now and again).

The Wyatts come out to take on the Shield. Seth Rollins goes off on the Wyatts and gets a huge upper hand, but he later walks out during the match leaving Ambrose and Reigns to fend for themselves. The Wyatts get the win when Bray pins Ambrose after the sister abigail finisher.

^That was incredible. Rollins proved that he is main event caliber and possesses the most in ring talent out of the three members of the Shield. I’m excited to watch the breakdown of the group continue. The Wyatts winning is the way it belongs; I just hope Bray’s momentum isn’t ruined by losing to John Cena at WrestleMania.

Renee Young interviews Batista about facing Daniel Bryan. Batista thinks the yes movement is the dumbest thing he’s ever heard of in his life. Batista says guys like Daniel Bryan will never be guys like himself.

^Way to make Batista sound ignorant and stupid. It’d be nice if he actually possessed an ounce of talent.

Emma and Santino take on Fandango and Summer Rae. Emma forces Summer to tap out to the emma-lock.

^Well this mini rivalry has been fun, but what’s the end game for these four? Is it just going to continue for weeks and weeks with no new developments?

Christian takes on Sheamus. Sheamus pins Christian after a brogue kick from the apron(Christian in the ring and Sheamus on the apron).

^That was awesome. This is a rivalry that I can get behind for months as long as we get matches like that. PLEASE let this one go to WrestleMania and even beyond.

Christian attacks Sheamus when Renee Young tries to interview him backstage.

^Keep the feud going! That’s the spirit!

Nikki pins Alicia Fox and the Bella Twins defeat both Fox and Aksana.

^And nobody cares. The Bellas have improved drastically in the ring, but the way these matches and feuds(or lack thereof) are booked, nobody cares. It’s like time filler for the main stuff that we want to see. It never felt this way during the attitude era. Just saying.

Daniel Bryan comes out and cuts a promo. The Authority comes out and talks down to Dbry. Hunter continues to turn down Bryan’s challenge for WrestleMania. Dbry refuses to leave the ring and so Stephanie calls out Kane. Dbry leaps on Kane and security comes out to stop Dbry from getting back in the ring.

^I love the build for Mania, but the match needs to be made official within the next two weeks. Dbry and Hunter will be an interesting matchup. Dbry needs to win or there’s going to be some serious outrage.

Dolph Ziggler w/Aaron Paul defeats Alberto Del Rio with a zig zag(via distraction).

^Remember when Hugh Jackman helped Zack Ryder beat Dolph Ziggler on Raw a couple years ago? Yup, this is that all over again. I hope Ziggler matters more in two years than Ryder does at the moment.

Big E. takes on Jack Swagger. Cesaro lays out Big E. before the match can start. Zeb forces Swagger and Cesaro to make up after the match.

^More build for the IC Title match? I’ll take it. Someone needs to mention the value of the gold though.

John Cena cuts a promo. The Wyatts pop up on the tron. Bray tells Cena he’s going to put him down.

^Bray should talk more. Cena should talk less. Their match is going to need something extra to make it special.

Alexander Rusev is introduced by Lana. He cuts a foreign promo.

^Another big guy that no one cares about. Who would’ve guessed?

Daniel Bryan defeats Batista by DQ when Randy Orton interferes.

^It must kill Batista on the inside to realize how hated he is. I wonder if he really does regret coming back. Daniel Bryan is the hottest thing going; I hope WWE is smart enough to give him the big moment or at least give him a little bit more momentum as he feuds with the Authority.

Kane, Batista and Triple H end up ganging up on Bryan. Batista with a batista bomb followed up by a pedigree from Triple H. Stephanie mocks the yes chants as they stand over Dbry to end the show.

^It’s good hype for their potential match. I expect it to go on last on the Mania card. Nothing will top the cheers for Dbry in New Orleans.

The show was filled with good wrestling and good mania build. It was enjoyable from beginning to end, and WWE did a very good job addressing the CM Punk situation. It’s a 9 out of 10 show for me when you put wrestling that solid with feel good moments and Mania hype.

Thanks for reading!