Reviewing the Review – Monday Night Raw: March 11, 2014

We’ve got a lot to cover this week after a huge Raw last night.

 

First up was Hogan making his announcement that he could rip the bumper off a Cadillac (jack) and wanting to wrestle the whole neighborhood. Other than that the big announcement was the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal which is a great way to put thirty names on the card. That’s the best way they can go about doing so as the roster is huge and they couldn’t fit everyone in without having about thirteen matches with a bunch of multi-man matches. The battle royal also opens up the possibilities of some new faces, hopefully from NXT.

 

After the announcement, John Cena showed up to praise Hogan and throw his name in the battle royal. While a lot of people may not like them, Cena and Hogan are two of the biggest stars of all time and seeing them together for a glorified photo-op is worth seeing. After the usual speeches, the Wyatts showed up with Bray making an incredible speech with the great line of if Cena looks up at him he’ll see a friend, if he looks down at Bray he’ll see an enemy but if he looks Bray in the eye, he’ll see a god.

 

Cena responded with the usual jokes and a Jimmy Buffett song. You knew this was coming and thankfully it was just a quick blast of jokes before he went on to challenging Wyatt for a match at Wrestlemania. Later in the night Bray accepted the challenge after saying he saw Cena’s future in Hogan. There’s probably a lot of truth in that and an interesting look at where we could be moving with Cena’s character. At some point Cena is going to start facing the end of his career and it’s going to be interesting considering how WWE is his life. That’s a very interesting idea and something we haven’t ever really gotten to see.

 

Oh and Cena beat Rowan after getting destroyed (just like he was by Cesaro) before getting a quick pin. Rowan has a future and has looked very good in his two matches with Cena and Bryan.

 

Moving on we had the Authority demanding an apology from Daniel Bryan. I’ll save the rest for later as it’s a huge moment.

 

The Usos beat up Ryback and Curtis Axel in a quick match and it’s pretty clear the Outlaws are getting a rematch at Wrestlemania. Not much else to say here.

 

Kane made Shield vs. the Rhodes Brothers, saying their problems started when they lost the Tag Titles. The Shield said that Kane was deflecting his anger from losing two straight matches last week on them. It seems like a way for Kane to leave the Authority by giving into the inner hate and losing his corporate image. It makes sense and is the logical progression for the character, assuming they go there.

 

Big E. beat Swagger with the second rollup finish in under three and a half minutes of the night. The story here though was the Real Americans being forced to shake hands after Cesaro refused to help Swagger cheat. Again it implies a face turn for someone which is interesting given how strong he’s been pushed lately.

 

We got Undertaker doing his usual Wrestlemania promo on Brock Lesnar after being interrupted by Paul Heyman. There isn’t much to say here as it was the same stuff we’ve always heard: Brock will dominate, Undertaker is unbeatable, the match will be a way. The most intriguing part here was the commentators saying Brock had almost no chance at Wrestlemania. That’s not something you hear that often and it’s another interesting twist to the match.

 

One other note: Paul Heyman mentioned that Shawn Michaels had never won two straight matches at Wrestlemania. Incorrect, as he won at Wrestlemanias VII and VIII. Yeah VII was the Rockers but Undertaker won a handicap/tag match at Wrestlemania XIX so pick one or the other.

 

Shield vs. Rhodes Brothers was exactly what you would expect after these teams fighting over and over. Cody and Goldust are pretty much done as a top tag team but it’s nice to see that they haven’t split. The Black Out from Rollins was awesome looking though and is a good finishing move for him.

 

Next up was the Divas match which continues to prove one simple truth: the Bella Twins are not very good in the ring. You can see them making sure to go through every single spot step by step without being natural about it at all. They’re basically wrestling in swimsuits (nothing wrong with that) but treating them like they can keep up with the traditional wrestlers is just wrong. Nikki pinned AJ and held up the title while looking at Natalya. I’m thinking a multi-woman match at Wrestlemania for the belt.

 

This brings us to the big segment of the night. Daniel Bryan came out for the apology but said tonight he was getting what the fans wanted by occupying Raw. The show went to a break and came back to see probably over 100 fans in and around the ring, all in Daniel Bryan shirts and chanting YES. Bryan stayed on the corner and said the show wasn’t going anywhere until he got his match at Wrestlemania with HHH. The Authority came out and said no way, but security walked away from trying to clear the ring.

 

After a LONG back and forth segment, HHH finally agreed to the match. That still wasn’t enough for Bryan though because he knew the fans wanted to see him wrestling for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania. Therefore he threw out an idea: if he defeats HHH, Bryan gets inserted into the title match in the main event. HHH said it would destroy Bryan but finally agreed.

 

This was quite the spectacle but it wasn’t perfect. For one thing, the segment went on too long and HHH looked like he just snapped instead of letting this build up over time. On top of that, the Authority just can’t act. Stephanie’s acting has always been a joke but HHH sounds like he’s trying to take it too far. The segment felt a bit forced but it didn’t go terribly.

 

That being said, it got the job done. There was really no other option to get the results that were needed at Wrestlemania short of a fourway which I don’t think would have worked at all. It seems obvious that Bryan wins the title after beating HHH, but I can’t shake a feeling that Batista walks out with the title. I don’t think Bryan loses to HHH of course, but for some reason I think he loses the main event, probably setting up a rematch at Extreme Rules.

 

Sheamus vs. Christian was good and a nice blowoff to their feud. I could have done without the musical instruments stuff, but it was a good brawl with some nice false finishes. Sheamus still does need to lose once in awhile, but at least the match wasn’t a squash. Christian is falling apart before our eyes though and I can’t picture him being around much longer.

 

That brings us to the main event which didn’t mean anything at all. Occupy Raw should have closed out the night and the match just didn’t work as a result. It was basically a reason to get Bryan in there with the title contenders and there’s nothing wrong with that, but the match was a letdown after the bigger moments earlier in the night.

 

Raw last night was all about the heavy lifting for Wrestlemania. We got Bryan vs. HHH, Cena vs. Wyatt and a thirty man battle royal all set up for the PPV. It solved a lot of the problems the show had been facing and gave us some awesome moments in the process. It was a show that needed to happen for awhile now and a lot of things look better. Wrestlemania is a stacked show now with almost everything of note set up. That’s what these shows need to do and they’re doing it quite well.

 

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of on the History of Summerslam at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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10 comments

  1. Dark Grin says:

    Can’t believe HHH is allowing his match w DB to just be the “appetizer”. But then again, I don’t think he had a lot of options at this point. One thing this does mean – anybody holding out hope for a Punk return before WM is shit outta luck.

    ted Reply:

    Why wouldn’t he? He’s not the same level of legend as a hogan or austin. Despite the video packages to the contrary. He does the right thing…. eventually.

    Plus he’s management why would he care how he’s portrayed win loss wise?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    A huge ego and delusions of grandeur?

  2. M.R. says:

    Cena has always been woefully unfunny, his serious promos are always excellent, and his “comedy” promos awful.

  3. Killjoy says:

    It seems they wanna avoid a second triple threat match for the IC title which is a shame because I feel it would’ve been more beneficial for Cesaro, Swagger, Big E and the title itself thapn just having the Real Americans implode.

    Cesaro is great but Jack Swagger or the Real Americans aren’t exactly names with much momentum.

  4. Rocko says:

    Hopefully Cena just did the ‘funny’ promo cause he was in there with Hogan.

  5. Jay H. (the real one) says:

    I thought HHH & Stephanie were brilliant during the Occupy RAW Segment.

    Mike Reply:

    Of course you did

    LSN Reply:

    Instead of being someone who just piles on someone who may not get much respect on this site, why don’t you explain why you didn’t think HHH and Stephanie were good? Without copying and pasting from KB, of course.

  6. Jordan says:

    The battle royal was totally random but it’s a great way to add a ton of guys to the card. Bray Wyatt’s work last night was incredible but Cena really brought the segment down in my opinion. Cena needs to cut some different promos than he typically does as Wyatt is truly a one of a kind character and you can’t treat him like anybody else.

    The Occupy Raw segment was too long but I understand what they were going for and it worked. While the outcome of Mania seems quite predictable now, this was really the only realistic option for WWE. Just having Bryan against HHH wasn’t enough and Batista/Orton would have been an absolute mess.

    Solid Raw though and Mania is shaping up to be a hell of a lot better than last year’s show.