Reviewing the Review – Monday Night Raw: March 18, 2014

Last night’s show was about driving these shows into the fans’ hearts. The matches are mostly set but now we need a reason to care about what we’re watching. The show did a good job of making you feel what the wrestlers were feeling and that’s hard to do. Let’s get to it.

 

The HHH/Batista/Orton argument to start things off was as good as it was going to be. Batista being acknowledged as a movie star and the No Paparazzi shirt were signs of a character change for him and of things to come. HHH getting so frustrated with both guys that he put himself into the match makes sense and offers some drama to the Bryan vs. HHH match.

 

Yeah it’s obvious that Bryan makes the title match and gets the belt (in theory) but it’s nice to see them adding something to it. There’s nothing wrong with having an obvious ending, but adding some drama isn’t a bad idea. This is the Mike Tyson as guest referee of Wrestlemania XXX.

 

It’s also nice to see some animosity between Batista and Orton. Until now they’ve just been kind of there in the background of Daniel Bryan vs. HHH which didn’t work as there was no actual guarantee either of them would make the title match leading into last night. I’m glad they haven’t been forgotten because there’s a natural history there if they’ll just acknowledge it. Making it a three or even a fourway isn’t my favorite thing in the world but it’s the logical call this year.

 

The Real Americans beat the Usos to presumably earn a title shot. Because THERE ARE NO OTHER IDEAS IN THE HISTORY OF BOOKING OTHER THAN HAVING THE CHAMPIONS GET PINNED BY A CHALLENGER BECAUSE JUST HAVING A FREAKING #1 CONTENDERS MATCH IS TOO COMPLICATED FOR A BUNCH OF HOLLYWOOD HACKS WHO CAN’T GET A JOB OUTSIDE OF STEPHANIE MCMAHON’S OFFICE!!!

 

I wasn’t big on the booking if that wasn’t clear.

 

WWE has a new animated series called Slam City where the wrestlers all get fired and have to get real jobs. It’s an idea but can we get a Hulk’s Rock And Wrestling channel on the Network?

 

Sheamus beat Titus O’Neil in the St. Patrick’s Day thing. It’s nothing of note but it looks like Titus is going to become a jobber to the stars. Titus, Sheamus and Christian are all in the battle royal which isn’t a surprise.

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Scooby Doo will be guest stars next week. Yeah Arnold isn’t a big deal anymore, but I sat through Florence Henderson as the guest star of a Raw I went to. I approve of Arnold.

 

Cena and Bray Wyatt had the segment of the night. Cena admitted to being afraid of Bray because Wyatt is something he’s never faced before. Bray has accused Cena of being hollow and being afraid of what’s coming to him after his career is over. There’s a HUGE story to get into with that angle if they choose to but I have a feeling it’s not happening. When I say huge, I mean that could culminate at like Wrestlemania 35.

 

Bray continues to be one of the best promo men in the business as I totally bought everything that he’s saying. However, there was one thing during his promo that was incredibly interesting: a John Cena chant.

 

Think about that for a minute. Bray Wyatt is talking about getting rid of John Cena and the fans LOUDLY chant for John as a result. You often hear fans booing Cena and the “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks!” chants, but as soon as the idea of no more Cena comes up, it’s “CENA! CENA! CENA!” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it here again: so many fans aren’t going to realize how truly great Cena is until the day he’s gone.

 

I’ve mostly covered the Orton vs. Bryan stuff earlier, but the No DQ stipulation helped a lot here. Batista came out to help Bryan and they set up a nice shot at the end: Batista takes out Orton, Bryan steals the pin. Nice “what if” scenario for Wrestlemania.

 

Heyman’s weekly promo was nothing special but the idea of Brock being able to destroy Undertaker’s opponents far more easily than Undertaker could. The line of “Now he conquers death itself” line was excellent.

 

Goldust vs. Fandango was an interesting idea but the match wasn’t much. I did really like having a random match though, just as a breather from the rest of the show.

 

Kane vs. Shield sounds like a way to bring Ascension up as the replacements for the Shield. There isn’t much else to say than that. Lawler was just a catalyst for the story advancement.

 

Yet again a champion got pinned to set up a future match. It seems like we’re getting Nikki vs. Naomi vs. AJ vs. Tamina for the title. It’s so we can have a Total Divas season finale, but at least they didn’t rush through AJ’s title reign to get there.

 

Mr. T. goes into the Hall of Fame. No complaints from me on that one.

 

The battle royal match was nothing special and exactly what it needed to be. I’m sorry for all the short lines here but there isn’t much to say about a lot of this stuff.

 

Bray squashed Kofi and looked awesome doing it.

 

The big segment to end the show was HHH saying he respected Bryan but being sent back on Stephanie’s orders. Cops came out and handcuffed Bryan before being revealed that they weren’t really cops and it was all A RUSE. The huge beating ensued and HHH looked pure evil. That’s what this story has needed and it worked like a charm here. I’ve heard complaints that HHH beat him up too long but I didn’t get that feeling at all. I forgot to mention that Stephanie revealed she had the key all along. Why that’s supposed to be a shock doesn’t quite register to me.

 

Overall last night’s show was excellent and there’s nothing I can really add to it. It’s really hard to go on and on about a show I really liked and it’s even worse when it’s just building up to the rest of the pay per view. Great episode this week and Wrestlemania is going to rock.

 

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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And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

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4 comments

  1. Eric says:

    Your thoughts on the obvious jabs at CM Punk by HHH?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    That they’re sailing over the heads of 90% of the fans but they probably make VInce feel better about himself for some reason.

  2. Marky-Marc says:

    What’s the HUGE story they could get into with Cena? That he’s always been on his own and has nothing else outside the WWE?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Him trying to define his legacy and realizing that one day he’ll have to leave this all behind.