22nd Apr2014

WWE RAW: Results & Review (21.4.14)

by Chris Cummings


We are on our way to Extreme Rules, the annual WWE show where feuds are heated up, often with anything goes stipulations added to the matches. The post-WrestleMania content that WWE produces is important and sets the tone for the rest of the year before the “Road to WrestleMania” begins again.

We are live from Baltimore, Maryland tonight, and with feuds such as Bryan/Kane, Evolution/Shield and the Intercontinental Title Contender Tournament to keep our eyes on, it should be an interesting night. My thoughts go to Daniel Bryan also, who lost his father this past week. After experiencing such professional and personal highs in the past fortnight, with his winning of the WWE World Title at ‘Mania, and his marriage to Brie Bella, this must have been a huge blow. Bryan still worked this RAW, which is testament to his respect for the fans, who I’m sure would have understood if he had taken the night off.

The match results:

  • Bad News Barrett pinned Sheamus to advance in the I-C tourney.
  • Los Matadores & El Torito beat 3MB & Hornswoggle
  • The Uso’s defeated Cody Rhodes & Goldust
  • Emma pinned Layla
  • RVD beat Cesaro by count-out to advance in the I-C tourney.
  • Paige pinned Aksana
  • Alexander Rusev squashed Sin Cara
  • John Cena beat The Wyatt Family by disqualification

The show opens with Daniel Bryan and his new bride Brie Bella standing in the ring, chanting yes together along with the Baltimore fans. It’s a cool moment, and one of the first occasions that Brie has accompanied Bryan to the ring. Stephanie interrupts before we can hear Bryan or Brie talk, and she announces that as a wedding present to Bryan, she is putting him in a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Extreme Rules against “The Devils Favourite Demon” Kane. Kane then hits the ring and attacks the champion. He gives the tombstone piledriver on Bryan on the ringside mats, then on the steel steps, then finally on top of the announce table. Bryan is taken away on a stretcher as Stephanie wishes Bryan well. Brie did a good job of looking afraid/worried/concerned here. I wonder if we’ll see Brie accompany Bryan to the ring for his matches now, because I’m not sure that is a good idea if it’s in the plans.

The Fandango & Layla (previously Summer Rae) versus Santino & Emma feud is bloody awful and seems to have been going on forever and a week. It just reeks of lazy booking and makes me sad to see Emma, a standout female wrestler when she was on NXT, lumbered with the dated and faded comedy-act of Santino, and working with a crappy worker like Layla. She deserves better than this, and so do we. Emma began using the “cobra” finish tonight, more reason to hate this silly sodding feud.

Evolution stood together again and reminded the fans about how dominant a faction they were back during their initial run in the mid-00’s. The Shield came to the ring and gave their thoughts on Evolution while warning them that at Extreme Rules they will end Evolution’s new run. Triple H brought out the eleven heels that faced The Shield in last week’s main event when The Shield attempted to approach them. Neither team got physical here, which is a good thing and keeps the fans wanting to see them fight. Hopefully they will keep them apart until Extreme Rules.

I am enjoying seeing Paige on the main roster and look forward to seeing her progress over the coming years. She is one of the best female workers in WWE as well as the youngest, and has the ability to work as both heel and face. Her upcoming title defence against Tamina at Extreme Rules could be a top notch women’s match.

The semi-finals for the number one contendership to the Intercontinental Title in which the winner will take on the I-C Champion, Big E, at Extreme Rules, were on point. Sheamus and Bad New Barrett wrestled a wonderful match that the crowd were into throughout. Barrett picked up the win to advance to the finals next week. Cesaro and RVD also had the crowd on their side in their enjoyable encounter. RVD won this one via count-out after Jack Swagger interfered. This sets up an RVD/Barrett final for next week and continues the Cesaro/Swagger feud that should come to a head at Extreme Rules. I’m hoping we see Barrett versus Big E for the I-C title at Extreme Rules too, with “Bad News” winning the title and getting a nice run as champion. Wade Barrett is one of the best all-rounders in WWE today and deserved a nice fresh push in a relevant and high profile way.

The progression of Alexander Rusev continues in WWE. The big Bulgarian brute has been on a winning streak in which he has annihilated his opponents in quick and powerful fashion since he debuted in the ring the night after WrestleMania. This is good booking and makes Rusev look like a potential main event powerhouse in the process, his manager Lana adds a nice dynamic to the package too. At Extreme Rules, Rusev will take on both Xavier Woods and R Truth in a handicap match. This is similar to how they brought Ryback into WWE, but Rusev is a better worker, so this could end much more successfully. Rusev easily beat Sin Cara here, using his camel clutch finish to end the match.

Random thought: Why do wrestling fans insist on chanting during matches that are promoting change and giving new faces a chance to shine. I mean… during the Paige match, which wasn’t too bad, the fans chanted “boring”. During the Rusev match, in which WWE are pushing a talented new worker, the fans chanted “JBL”. I hate this trend of fans shitting on everything whenever they see fit. It makes me, as a viewer, feel awkward and it isn’t fair on the people in the ring either. I am all for fans voicing opinion when it means something and has value (like the “yes movement” or chanting for under-used wrestlers who deserve better treatment), but just being antagonistic for the sake of it is something (like chanting for the announcers during decent matches that feature young and talented workers) I am not fond of at all.

Bray Wyatt cuts a promo about his feud with Cena, and the upcoming cage match that has been booked for Extreme Rules. Wyatt is on top form again here with his dark and poetic vocalization. Later in the show, as voted on the WWE App, John Cena took on the entire Wyatt Family in a handicap match. Cena sold intimidation a little when his opponents were revealed which is the best we can ask for at this point. Harper, Wyatt and Rowan were in charge for most of this match, tagging regularly and beating Cena down each time he tried to regain offence. Cena did get plenty of offence in and his selling was often, as it usually is, sketchy. The Wyatt’s were disqualified here. They left Cena beaten and floored at the end of the match after a three-on-one beating. I’ll be happy when Wyatt can move away from Cena and onto a feud with someone who makes him look more fearsome. Cena is terrible at selling anything, and it harms everyone. RAW went off the air with Bray Wyatt cradling John Cena in his arms and singing “he’s got the whole world in his hands”.

A decent RAW that did plenty to continue ongoing feuds and heat things up between enemies. We have lots of matches now green-lit for Extreme Rules and the show could be a very good one.

RAW: Best Match: Barrett vs. Sheamus

RAW: Best Talker: Paul Heyman, Stephanie McMahon

RAW: Dud of the Night: JBL/Lawler commentary, Santino, Cena promo.

RAW: Honourable Mentions: RVD, Cesaro.

Until next week…


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