04th Feb2014

WWE RAW Results & Review (03.02.14)

by Chris Cummings

WWE-Raw-logo

Welcome to this week’s write-up of Monday Night RAW.

The show begins with Randy Orton making his way to the ring, the WWE World Heavyweight Titles around his shoulders, to a chorus of boo’s from the fans. The announcers talk about Randy Orton defending his title against five other men inside the Elimination Chamber at the next PPV. Orton talks about it too, and is greeted with a loud crowd chant of “CM Punk” who has recently been involved in a controversy in WWE after rumours emerged that he has “walked out” in the past week. Orton says he will beat Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Antonio Cesaro, Christian and Sheamus in said match at the PPV and go on to defeat Batista in the main event of WrestleMania. The fans continue to boo Orton. Triple H’s music plays and “The Game” makes his way out alongside Stephanie McMahon. They stand on the stage area together and Stephanie tells Orton to calm down. The fans chant for CM Punk again. Triple H says that Orton doesn’t sound like the “face of WWE” and that “maybe” they should put their faith in someone else. The fans cheer and chant “yes”. Stephanie announces that Orton will wrestle each of the men who oppose him in Elimination Chamber in the coming weeks, tonight being Daniel Bryan. The fans cheer and chant “yes” while Triple H does the “yes” motion with his arms. The reaction for Bryan is diluted compared to normal because of the CM Punk issue, which is a damn shame for Bryan who is being overshadowed by Punk walking out on WWE. Ugh.

The Shield are out next for six-man tag team action against the team of Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston and Big E Langston. Kingston and Rollins have a nice exchange and show themselves as the two workhorses of their prospective teams. Kofi, repackaged, could be something special but is bland in this role, a role he has been in since he debuted years ago. The Shield’s offence is impressive, as always, with Reigns looking like the star he is bound to become. There’s a nice spot involving Mysterio being knocked off Rollins shoulders by a Reigns clothesline, much-like The Hart Foundation did back in the day. The clumsy and green Langston cuts Reigns’ eye in the match when he hits his silly running splash move, a move that cut Ambrose a couple of months back. Ambrose ends the match by pinning the dangerous Langston to win the match for The Shield. The Shield argues a little after the match due to the nature of Ambrose’s victory but are interrupted by another weird Wyatt Family promo. Bray Wyatt talks about sacrifice and clawing and stuff. The usual Wyatt verbals.

We return from a commercial break to see “Bad News” Barrett on his podium. He insults the fans and talks about the fans being “fat”, and he laughs at them. It’s a big daft. Jerry Lawler gets on the microphone and tells Barrett that next week Barrett might not “be around”. Whatever that means.

The announcers hype the WWE Network again and we see another video package for the shows that will premiere when the Network goes live in less than a month (in the US).

Christian is out next for his first match on RAW in a while, to face Jack Swagger in one-on-one action. The match is decent with Swagger playing up his heel character and the fans behind “Captain Charisma”. Swaggs is in control for much of the contest, hitting power moves and using submission holds on the former World Champ, Christian. Christian fights back with a reverse DDT for a two count on the Real American. The match ends when Christian rolls up Swagger with a sunset flip for the three count.

The steel cage begins to lower around the ring as we make our way to the next match which is for the WWE World Tag Team Championship, with the champs, The New Age Outlaws defending against the former champs, Cody Rhodes and Goldust. Road Dogg does his 1998-era promo prior to the match, and the nostalgia has hit it’s peak as far as I’m concerned, I just want these guys to crawl back under a rock and allow the young guns, like The Uso’s, have their time. Cody and Dustin make their way out to a nice pop from the Omaha crowd. The match, though held in a cage, features the ability for pinfalls and submissions and not the chance to escape, unlike most cage matches. It seems the only reason they are in a cage is to stop outside interference. The match itself isn’t even a tornado tag match which makes the cage kind of pointless and silly to watch. The match is slow and plodding for much of it’s allotted time, with the Outlaws both gaining the upper hand in the first half of the match on Cody before the young Rhodes brother makes the tag to Goldust who hits some nice and well received signature spots on Gunn and Dogg. Cody hits the disaster-kick on Billy for a close two-count. The fans boo loudly when Gunn kicks out of this. Cody then takes to climbing the cage and launches himself off with a moonsault, which he half-hits by knocking down Road Dogg but the legal man is Gunn who jumps at Cody and delivers a “famouser” for the three. The Outlaws win.

Zack Ryder, who we haven’t seen in a long time, is in the ring next for a match against the newly-turned-heel Titus O’Neil. We see a replay from Smackdown where Titus turned on his former partner Darren Young after they lost a match. Titus is a slow and boring wrestler who doesn’t, to me, have the factor to be a big star, though he does have the size that WWE seem to look for. The Miz comes out and complains about not being on RAW. Ryder, once a popular guy on the roster, doesn’t get much of a reaction, and ends up being squashed by the barking and boring O’Neil. I hope they don’t push this guy because he is not good. O’Neil wins with a powerbomb.

Fandango and Summer Rae make their way to the ring next for a dance-off. Santino is announced as Fandango’s opponent. The faux-Italian moron power-walks to the ring. Santino says that he isn’t dancing tonight, but that Summer Rae will be dancing-off against Emma, who is a development prospect from NXT. Emma is an entertaining character and her ring-work is top notch, let’s hope we get a chance to see that soon. Summer dances a little to a chorus of boo’s. Emma does her usual dance thing too, which doesn’t really get a reaction from the pretty-terrible Omaha crowd who haven’t reacted to anything except for the lack of CM Punk tonight. Emma is announced as the winner of the dance-off and the segment ends with Emma and Santino fooling around in the ring.

Sheamus, still working as a bland babyface, is out next for a one-on-one match with Curtis Axel. Axel has Ryback beside him which leads to loud chants of Goldberg directed at the always-hungry powerhouse. The fans then chant “CM Punk” again. This match is here to allow Sheamus an easy television victory, and that’s all that this is. The match is boring and dull and the fans don’t seem interested in doing anything except for chant for Punk again. The match ends when Sheamus nails Axel with the brogue-kick for the three-count and the victory.

Batista is out next to a mixed reaction and wearing more denim than any man should. He poses in the corner and shows off his arms, which are muscular and orange. It’s the usual Batista stuff. The fans boo when Batista’s music stops. Alberto Del Rio comes out immediately and stands on the stage area. Batista proves his toughness, Steve Austin style, by telling Del   Rio that he “doesn’t have a problem with him”. Wow. Del   Rio says he was winning major titles while Batista was following his dream of becoming famous. Batista, like John Cena before him, no-sells everything Del Rio says. At one point, ADR tells “Big Dave”, “I will hurt you until you say, Del   Rio, don’t hurt me anymore”. Wow, this was written by feral cats with pencils taped to their paws, right? The segment ends with the two brawling and Batista hulking up.

Dolph Ziggler, R Truth and Xavier Woods are up next, facing The Wyatt Family. It’s obvious before the match even begins who is going to go over here, and that’s a shame. The Wyatt’s brawl and use rest holds and locks on their more active opponents, while the face team try to speed things up with kicks and aerial moves. Wyatt ends the quick match by pinning Ziggler after hitting his finisher. The Shield cut a promo on the titan-tron after the match, talking about how The Wyatt Family can’t hang with them in the ring.

We get another Alexander Rusev and Lana promo spot with Rusev announcing that his time is now.

Cameron and Naomi are out for a divas match with Naomi taking on Aksana. Alicia Fox is accompanying Aksana to the ring. AJ Lee and Tamina come out to do guest commentary during the match. AJ Lee does her heel thing on commentary, dissing the divas division again. Naomi looks decent here, but the match is kind of sloppy and the fans aren’t interested in it. The announcers do nothing to put the women in the ring over, talking about twitter and listening to AJ unnecessarily put down the other divas, which does nothing for anybody except for AJ. Naomi hits a nice split-legged moonsault on Aksana for the victory. A sloppy match with a nice finisher to end it.

Daniel Bryan is out next and he wakes up the crowd who chant “yes” as he makes his way to the ring. This is the most the fans have been into anything all night. Randy Orton is out next, and the main event begins. The fans chant “Daniel Bryan” early on. It’s funny how WWE wanted to ignore the chants for Bryan a week ago, but now CM Punk has left and chants for him have begun, WWE are almost pointing out the Bryan chants more than anything else and are trying to ignore the Punk ones. We here “CM Punk” chants here too, but there are more Bryan ones, and they are louder, so that’s a good sign. I was afraid that Punk’s departure would overshadow Bryan’s popularity. The match is good, as usual, because these two have a great chemistry and have proven to work well together. Bryan uses some nice submission locks on Orton and gets a good reaction for all his offence. The match goes back and forth for a while, with Bryan getting a lot of great moves in and Orton selling like crazy for him. It goes a good amount of time and is the saving grace of this show. Both guys hit the spots they are known for while throwing some new holds and exciting moves in for good measure. The fans continue to chant for Bryan in the later stages of the match. Bryan locks on the “yes lock” but Orton makes it to the bottom rope to break the hold. Bryan hits the diving head butt on the Champion for another near-fall. The fans are on their feet. The match, by its final moments, is as good, or better, than the PPV matches these men have had in the past. Kane suddenly appears at ringside and Bryan does a suicide dive on him and Orton, laying them out, before getting in the ring and hitting the flying-knee on Orton for the victory. Daniel Bryan wins, defeating the WWE World Heavyweight Champion on RAW. The fans cheer and chant “yes” along with Bryan. Orton and Kane then attack Bryan and Kane chokeslam’s his former tag team partner as the show goes off the air.

A very bizarre RAW with very little going for it. The opening match was decent, and the main event had some great moments, but all that existed in-between was bad or mediocre. It feels like WWE are in a panic and don’t know how to book their shows. The CM Punk chants drew heat from Bryan which was a shame too, and the Omaha crowd was one of the worst crowds in a long while. Just a poor RAW at a time where it should be at its best. Until next week.

RAW: Best Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

RAW: Best Talker: No-one

RAW: Dud of the Night: Batista/Alberto Del Rio segment, Omaha crowd, Santino

RAW: Surprise Moment: Emma makes her proper debut

RAW: Honourable Mentions: The Shield, Kofi Kingston

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