Reviewing the Review – Monday Night Raw: March 25, 2014

We’re getting very close to Wrestlemania last night with only one Raw left after last night. The big story was the absence of Daniel Bryan but everything else was covered. Let’s get to it.

The opening was Stephanie being called a slut by Batista and Big Dave spearing Orton. This worked very well as the focus shifted to Batista vs. Orton instead of just HHH vs. Bryan as we’ve seen for the last few weeks. They’re doing a great job at planting seeds of doubt about Bryan winning, which is the best thing you can do in a match that has a seemingly obvious ending.

Having Batista and Orton have their own issues also opens up a few more doors to the match. It’s going to be boring if everyone is waiting for Bryan to hit the running knee on someone to win the title, so having the others have issues helps a lot. This and the very good HHH promo later gave me a lot more hope for both matches.

The HHH interview was HHH sounding evil and letting us inside his mind heading into Wrestlemania. While it’s clear that HHH is corrupt and evil, it’s ok as long as he can justify his own actions. HHH wanting to be the champion himself because he’s the only one he can trust is where this story should have gone from the beginning and it’s the right ending now.

The fourway was really good stuff with a lot of great false finishes. I love the idea of having a #1 contenders match to earn a title shot rather than just having someone beat Big E. to set up the title match. That being said, Christian didn’t get the shot as he was injured in the match but it was a nice idea at least.

Wyatts were awesome. Nothing new here.

Scooby-Doo was just there to promote the movie and there’s nothing wrong with that. The movie is good too if you’ve got an hour and twenty minutes to kill. I’m not sure what Sandow did to tick WWE off though.

Los Matadores beat Ryback/Axel, who are still getting a title shot at Wrestlemania. Apparently Los Matadores and the Real Americans have been added to the title match as well which helps a lot.

Fandango vs. Cody happened and that’s about all I’ve got on that one.

The Hogan/Schwarzenegger segment was exactly what it needed to be. Miz getting to come out there might have been the second biggest night of his career.

Big Show beat up Titus O’Neil. Titus looked good but it doesn’t matter when Big Show just shrugs off the offense and knocked Titus out for the pin.

Cena didn’t see the sheep mask in a bathroom mirror. People were comparing this to Hogan vs. Warrior and Undertaker vs. Orton but it came off more as the Wyatts are creepy. Cena literally didn’t see it so it was the Wyatts stalking him and Cena not knowing what was going on rather than him going nuts.

Harper and Cena had the best match of Harper’s career. Luke looked GREAT out there and thankfully didn’t have to job at the end of it. Cena continues to make people look far better than anyone else can and he did it very well with Harper last night. The ending was eery with the Wyatts tying Cena to the ropes and putting the sheep mask on his face. The fact that it was in the dark made it even better as you were left to think about what those creepy guys might have been doing to Cena.

The Divas Title match was announced and apparently AJ will be defending against thirteen people. The Total Divas theme song playing to end the segment made one thing clear: this was a big commercial for the show. Even with that, I have a feeling they’re going to keep the title on AJ, perhaps for a Paige debut the next night?

Scott Hall is going into the Hall of Fame. I’m surprised they listed him as Razor Ramon instead of Scott but the fact that he’s sober enough to be inducted it wonderful.

Shield vs. Real Americans was good stuff and Rollins continues to look awesome. I already went on a rant about the Outlaws being in the six man with Kane at Wrestlemania does nothing for me so I’ll spare you from a repeat. The word on the street says that it’s so the Outlaws can work with the Shield because they want to, and Heaven forbid the Outlaws don’t get what they want. Hopefully Shield destroys them and sends the Outlaws back into retirement.

I’ve never been the biggest Outlaws fan in the world but they’re not horrible. The problem is I don’t see the benefit in having them around anymore. It was a nice nostalgia run and them winning the belts was a nice moment, but it’s been done and they lost the titles and their rematch. Why do we need to see them anymore?

Heyman/Lesnar vs. Undertaker was exactly what you would expect and there wasn’t much to complain about with it. Undertaker was creepy and Lesnar got run off again, meaning the odds are he’ll get the better of the dead guy next week as we head to Wrestlemania. The build to the match has been different than most as Brock is being treated as a huge underdog despite being the biggest threat to the Streak in years.

Raw was another solid effort last night. The company is clicking at the right now time and Wrestlemania is looking better and better every week. Bryan not being there last night was a good thing as he gets most of the attention whenever he’s on screen. It made the show feel more like a complete card and even added three matches to fill the whole thing out. It was a good show and I’m fired up for Wrestlemania.

Oh yeah and there were Punk chants.  WWE just ignored them and went on with the show, as they should have.  The strategy worked and the whiny fans got into the show multiple times.

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

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J58H5CY

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

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

12 comments

  1. Awesome_Miz says:

    Agree 100% with you on the Outlaws deal. Why in the blue hell do they get to face Shield more than anyone. WWE could have used someone who needed a little bit of a rub. Not Ascension like most wanted and hoped for, but rather some guys who are actually a part of the main show like Luke and Eric. They already have the history and wouldn’t lose anything and actually built up Bray as the strongest guy in the family. Also, if I remember right, since you don’t see Main Event, Lawler or Cole said the Outlaws vs Usos II never happened cause they wanted to use their rematch clause later on. Word in the street was that Dogg was injured apparently. However, that freakin’ sets up Outlaws vs Usos II at Mania. But, no they needed The Shield for who knows what reason.

  2. M.R. says:

    Though I find the Outlaws being picked as Kane’s partners a bit uninspired, I don’t have a huge problem with it. It was annoying when they were heels and continued to do their popular shtick, but if they act like heels like they have been lately they’re just as suitable for the role as any other team.

    Also, why is Hall being inducted as Razor Ramon? Feels like they’re ignoring his WCW run with that one.

  3. chad says:

    i think they had him as Razor so that when the nWo is inducted he can go in as Scott Hall then, same with Nash, when he’s inducted solo it’ll be as Diesel.

    M.R. Reply:

    That’s incredibly stupid if that’s the thinking behind it.

    frank Reply:

    Not really it’s a way to squeeze more money out of the fans and hall by inducting him twice.

    M.R. Reply:

    In what way are they squeezing more money out of anyone?

    frank Reply:

    Fans will now pay to go to 2 hall of fame inductions to see Scott inducted. They can now make at least 2 dvd’s on his career in both wwf/e and one for the nwo. He can make appearances this year on raw/ppv as razor and again the following year for an nwo reunion.

    M.R. Reply:

    All of that would still be possible had they inducted him as Scott Hall, and then inducted the NWO in a few years.

    frank Reply:

    True but you forget Vince McMahon and the wwf/e Created Razor Roman. This allows them to take the credit for their Genius once more. One must not underestimate the egotism of the people involved.

    M.R. Reply:

    Actually Scott Hall created the Razor character himself.

  4. Jordan says:

    The Batista/Orton segment was really awkward and forced but storyline wise it worked. I’m not sure if Orton could look any weaker as a champion at this point though. The build for Cena/Bray continues to get better and better and Cena/Harper was great.

    I don’t like Scott Hall just going in as Razor Ramon, as this sets up more multi-time HOF inductees. I think most fans would agree that Hall is more well-known from and made a bigger impact in wrestling in WCW as Scott Hall than he did in WWF as Razor Ramon. Let him go in as “Razor Ramon” Scott Hall and just acknowledge his whole career and be done with it.

    Lesnar/Taker is probably the laziest build of all the marquee matches this year and I’m getting less and less interested in seeing this match. We all know Lesnar is gonna lose, but creative has done absolutely nothing to make us think the end result could be different. How many times have we seen the empty casket and then Taker appears? Just lazy writing. They know this match is money so they’ve put absolutely no effort into the build-up.

  5. M.R. says:

    That was one oddly hard slap, and Orton’s reaction was even more bizarre.