More In Depth Thoughts on Raw – February 10, 2014

Raw was another mixed bag last night but things are looking interesting going into Elimination Chamber. There isn’t as much to talk about this week though.


We’ll start with the old white elephant in the room. Betty White was the guest star last night and was fine. She’s one of those celebrities that it’s hard to not like on some level. Her segments totaled about seven minutes total and while they weren’t funny, she didn’t hurt anything and was charming so I can’t complain too much. The Outlaws bit was rather dumb but that’s comedy in the WWE for you. Oh and Big Show gets mauled by Brock two weeks ago and comes out just fine? Really?


The Authority did their usual schtick by making Orton look like a hopeless joke which we just have to live with anymore. HHH and Stephanie aren’t getting shown up anytime soon because they’re just so darn likeable and amazing so Orton gets to be the scapegoat. Nothing much to this segment, but can we please stop with the cutting off promos ten seconds in? This has become a thing recently and happened with Orton and Kane last night. It’s kind of annoying, though at the same time it’s less Authority related talking I have to listen to so I’m split on this one.


There were two more long and well done tag matches with a six man and four man version. While both were entertaining, I’m getting a bit tired of them. There are so many stories going on right now and since Smackdown is absolutely worthless anymore, everything gets crammed into Raw in a bunch of tag matches. They’re entertaining, but I kind of roll my eyes when I hear one announced.


After the Wyatt six man we had a promo from Bray Wyatt, calling the Shield toy soldiers in a war they can’t win. Bray said after the war the Family would be moving on to another plan, which has to mean Cena. I’m excited either way as the Wyatts have nailed their gimmick so well it’s unreal.


Miz interrupted Santino vs. Fandango and ranted about not being able to get into a match while the two of them wrestled. As soon as he left, Cole asked what Miz’s problem was. Lines like that are what make me want to watch the show with the sound muted.


I liked Sheamus’ promo about walking into a bar with Christian. It was simple, to the point, and tied back into the Chamber. Nothing wrong with that.


Cesaro looked great in the tag match last night and needs to get away from Swagger immediately. That being said, it’s Swagger who looks to be turning face soon, even though the fans are behind Cesaro. Obviously Colter can’t be turned face, which is what makes me think it’s coming.


Ziggler is supposed to be in line for a push so they job him clean in 90 seconds. Gotta love WWE logic.


Batista beat up Del Rio and their match was announced for Elimination Chamber. I gave Batista the benefit of the doubt at the Rumble and still don’t mind him winning, but the spark is just not there at all. Batista looks in great shape and will probably be fine in the ring, but if he’s the one in the main event of Wrestlemania winning the title, the crowd is going to die a slow and painful death.


Lita is going into the Hall of Fame. The low cut tops she wore when she was with Edge alone are more than enough justification for me. Also, Trish has to induct her right?


It looks like we’re getting Usos vs. Outlaws soon which hopefully gives us the long overdue Usos title reign.


Ambrose’s open challenge was what it should have been. Henry wasn’t much of a challenger but at least it was a title defense that wasn’t wasted. One other thing though: what else was Henry going to do if there wasn’t an open challenge? His return was advertised all night and last week, so were we getting a basket weaving lesson unless Ambrose issued the challenge? Also Dean’s reaction with the bugged out eyes and forced smile when Henry’s music hit had me in stitches. The guy’s facial expressions are some of the best in wrestling today.


That brings us to the coolest part of last night’s show: the Wyatts came out after Ambrose’s match to stare down the Shield. The place went NUTS when it looked like the fight was on but Bray and company backed down. They need to let that match be an all out war instead of a tag match but it’s going to be awesome either way.


The Divas match last night was horrible. I beg of you WWE: put Finlay in charge of them again. The wrestling was horrid and they’re getting back into the horrible habit of the girls being models instead of wrestlers.


Kane vs. Bryan is coming and odds are it’ll be on a big Raw before Wrestlemania. No complaints from me.


The main event was of course Cena vs. Orton again, which isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. The matches are still good but I don’t get excited about them at all. It’s been done so many times now and the premise doesn’t work. Cena is so long since established as the top star and Orton just doesn’t work as the huge rival anymore.


That being said, there were some very good things about the match. First of all, I love how Orton learns during his matches. If you watch his work against guys he’s fought before, Orton will start countering/avoiding signature spots. He did it on Friday by countering the sunset flip out of the corner and last night he avoided the Cena shoulder blocks. It’s a very simple thing but it shows thinking in the ring, which is a lost art.


Speaking of lost arts, Orton put on a clinic in working a crowd like an old school heel last night. He stalled, he played to the crowd, and he had the people wanting Cena to kill him. If you want the fans to pay attention to you, pay attention to them. It’s how Cena has saved a ton of crowds from getting away from them and it’s how almost every top star ever has gotten where they are. Look back at Rock, Austin, Cena, Sting and Bryan now: they all play directly to the crowd and ask them to react to things. Fans love nothing more than being a part of the show and it works the same for heels. Good stuff in that area.


A few more notes about the show:


Can we get Cena checked for short term memory loss? A few weeks ago Orton attacked his dad and never mentioned it. Then the Wyatts cost him the title at the Rumble and he hasn’t talked about that either. I know it’s coming, but at least mention it again.


All of the champions in action lost last night. On top of that, the Outlaws were in a comedy segment that appealed to five year olds. I’m so glad we got the titles off of Goldust and Cody so the tag champions could be used in comedy sketches.


Has Big E. Langston fallen into a hole and no one has been around to hear him scream for help? The guy has disappeared since the Rumble.


Speaking of disappearing, does anyone remember Brock Lesnar demanding to be #1 contender? It looked like he was going to fight the Authority about it and then just disappeared. Good thing too, as it almost looked like the Authority might have to face some adversity and that’s not Best for Business.


Rumor has it that Shelton Benjamin worked a dark match against Tyson Kidd last night.  However, he and Kidd say this isn’t true so chalk another one up for internet reporters.


Steve Austin and RVD were backstage last night with Austin there to talk to Zeb Colter about being on the podcast. From what I’ve heard, there are no plans to bring RVD back to TV soon.


Overall Raw was entertaining, but there was nothing that needed to be seen. It did a good enough job building up the Chamber show, but it didn’t do much for me.


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