We are two weeks out from the 2014 Royal Rumble PPV, and with this weeks RAW being one of only two RAW broadcasts left before the event, one would believe one would get some great hype moving forward for said PPV. Well, this week that was simply not the case. It’s unclear why WWE continues to do such a mediocre job at getting the hype machine out for the PPV events on a regular basis – maybe they expect us to buy this one on its name alone. Whatever the case, this week on RAW they had a chance to push ahead and generate more interest in the upcoming Royal Rumble PPV, but the result was a swing and a miss.
That’s not to say that this week’s RAW was not without some great developments. In fact, the show itself came off rather well, and I found myself enjoying almost every segment it produced – which is something I do not tend to do. So let’s take a quick look at 5 things we learned following this WWE RAW television broadcast:
The Ultimate Warrior Will Go Into The Hall Of Fame
WWE does a great job of promoting the incoming Hall of Fame class each and every year as we head towards the big night prior to Wrestlemania, and this year appears to be no exception. And in a fairly surprising move, WWE announced that the first inductee into the 2014 class will be none other than The Ultimate Warrior.
This is a huge development, but only somewhat surprising, Vince McMahon and the Warrior have been at odds for decades, and only recently have they seemed to bury the proverbial hatchet. In 2013, Warrior turned up in ads for the WWE2K14 video game, leading to further speculation that he and Vince were on the mend, and sparking rumors of a possible induction into the Hall of Fame. Seems as though we will get that this year on the night prior to Wrestlemania, and as a fan I couldn’t be happier.
Daniel Bryan Turns On The Wyatt Family
As a fan, this is a huge moment we all love. But as a critic and analyst of the product, it leaves me wondering WTF!? Of course this turn was expected, just not so soon and without little explanation. Maybe that’s something we will get in the coming weeks, but such an immediate about face makes me wonder why they have decided to abandon the Daniel Bryan / Wyatt Family story line. Bryan willingly gave himself over to Bray Wyatt several weeks ago…and now he’s suddenly against them?
That being said, it was an angle that absolutely worked on live TV. The fans at the live event last night were absolutely rabid for this face turn. It was a risky move, but then again, the explanation following Bryan joining has been suspect, with not much for us as fans to really dig our claws into and get behind. So it looks like the WWE has let this one go, and rightfully so – Daniel Bryan is still a man we love to cheer for.
Kofi Kingston Pins The WWE World Heavyweight Champion
In a shocking, quick-pin ending, Kofi Kingston defeated WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton in a non-title contest on RAW this week. This was a huge win for Kingston, who is certainly over with the kids in the crowd, but whose character has just been lost in the shuffle due to WWE Creative stalling on his overall development and direction.
The win over Orton likely won’t mean much of anything in the long term. Kingston will not wrestle in any PPV main event for the title anytime soon, but his snappy, surprise victory over Orton helps to re-establish to us fans that WWE isn’t above trying to shock us every now and then. And it keeps us coming back for more, wondering when that next big surprise will come along. Good for Kingston now, but I fear Orton will bring a beatdown on him very soon.
John Cena and Damien Sandow Have Another Great Match
In a match with no relevance as far as its outcome goes, this week John Cena and Damien Sandow got to go round and round again on RAW. Several months ago when Sandow cashed in his Money In The Bank contract against Cena on RAW, both men gave us a potential Match of the Year candidate performance. Their contest this week on RAW wasn’t as good as that previous matchup, but it was still pretty stellar nonetheless.
I like that WWE isn’t willing to let Sandow just fall away. I like that they continue to put him in these types of matches every so often and we get to see just how good he really is. And alongside Cena, both guys always seem to put together something special. This week was no exception, complete with a huge falling neckbreaker from Cena that I have not seen him perform before.
Listen, like him or not, John Cena can go with anyone on that roster, and he continues to impress me week after week. It also doesn’t hurt that he stopped to hug a girl whose sign read “it’s my 1st RAW, can I get a hug?” on his way to the back after the match. Class and talent, and setting a great example for guys like Sandow on a nightly basis.
The New Age Outlaws Turn Heel On CM Punk
In the “yea we saw that coming” category, the New Age Outlaws this week again teamed with CM Punk in a 6 man tag team match, only this time they turned on him when he needed to tag out. This will further the story line behind Punk still being bitter against Triple H and Stephanie, or The Authority, as he most certainly blames Hunter for having his boys from DX turn on him mid-match.
Was it shocking? If you are new to the NOA, then yes; they have been hot in recent weeks since Old School Raw, and the Road Dogg can certainly get the crowd fired up, and that schtick of theirs hasn’t gotten old. In fact, his introduction of CM Punk several times recently has been outstanding, getting me fired up as I sit in front of a TV, hundreds of miles away. But they are DX through and through, and DX members are loyal only to each other, even all these years later. A nice twist and reminder that these guys are truly old school, and a nice way to set up Punk versus Triple H down the road at some point.
Fans, did you enjoy RAW this week? Sound off below in the COMMENTS section, and on my Twitter: @davyshrader.