Full Monday Night Raw Review – April 14, 2014: Do You Really Want To Cross The Line In The Sand?

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 14, 2014
Location: BJCC Arena, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

Tonight is going to be an interesting episode as it’s a tribute show to the Ultimate Warrior. However there’s going to be some regular stuff too, including the start of a tournament for the #1 contendership to the Intercontinental Title. In a way that’s good as I’m not sure there’s enough Warrior stuff to fill in three hours. Also given how good things are going for the WWE, it’s nice to see things continue. Let’s get to it.

We open with the roster on the stage and an In Memory graphic on the screen. Most of the people are in Warrior shirts.

First up is a music video set to a song called Catch A Falling Star. We get a highlight video of Warrior with various people, including HHH, Hogan and Stephanie, talking about how awesome he was. It also shows some shots of his Hall of Fame speech and shots of him with his daughters. There are also shots of his speech last week.

Ten bell salute.

The fans have been given Warrior masks. Nice touch. HHH starts a Warrior chant.

Here are the tournament brackets.

Mark Henry

Cesaro

Rob Van Dam

Alberto Del Rio

Sheamus

Jack Swagger

Dolph Ziggler

Bad News Barrett

Intercontinental Title #1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio

Van Dam starts with some kicks to the face and a spinning cross body out of the corner for two. A clothesline puts Alberto on the floor but he comes back in and kicks Rob down to take over. Alberto gets two off a suplex but is sent outside as we take an early break. Back with Del Rio in control and getting two each off a DDT and Backstabber.

Van Dam scores with a kick but gets caught by the enziguri off the top rope for two, frustrating the former aristocrat. Back in and the armbreaker is countered into a rolling cradle for two and Van Dam pulls Del Rio off the top, sending him head first into the buckle. The Five Star sends RVD to the semi-finals at 10:15.

Rating: D+. This really didn’t do much for me as the offense was WAY off with the kicks and punches missing left and right. On top of that a good chunck of the match was spent in the commercial so we only got about two thirds of the thing. RVD is good in the ring but he should be putting over young guys, which to be fair he might do by the end of this.

We look at the end of last week’s show with Shield officially turning face by attacking HHH, Orton and Batista.

HHH, Batista, Orton and Stephanie shake hands and have a meeting we can’t hear in the back.

We look back at a classic Warrior match. From Summerslam 1988 with Warrior winning the Intercontinental Title. Amazingly enough, it’s a thirty five second match and they show a package on it instead of the whole match.

HHH tells Orton and Batista they need to be united. They both want to be champion though, and say HHH is on his own.

Ryback/Curtis Axel vs. Goldust/Cody Rhodes

Goldust starts with Axel and we’re already on the arm work. The Brothers take turns on Curtis’ arm and Goldust gets two off a knee to the chest. Goldust is taken into the corner for the tag to Ryback and the heel beating begins. A middle rope splash from Ryback and middle rope elbow from Axel combine for two.

Off to a chinlock from Ryback for a few moments until Goldust fights up and makes the tag off to his brother. The moonsault press mostly misses and almost looked like Ryback slammed him down instead. Cody dives off the top to take Ryback down again and a springboard missile dropkick gets two. Everything breaks down and Ryback is able to clothesline the heck out of Cody for the pin at 6:00.

Rating: D+. I didn’t like this for the most part either but the right team won. Ryback REALLY needs to get away from Axel though as Curtis is just dragging him down every time they’re on screen together. Also, can we get a banning on just combining wrestler names to make a team? Be creative, like with Rhodes Scholars. That was at least thinking.

Legends House ad.

Bo Dallas is coming.

We look back at Paige winning the Divas Title last week.

Alicia Fox vs. Paige

Non-title. Paige easily takes her down to start and sends Fox out to the floor. Back in and Fox shoves the new champion around with ease, only to get chopped HARD out of the corner. A northern lights suplex with a great looking bridge gets two for Fox. Paige comes back with some clotheslines and a running kick, setting up the Scorpion Crosslock for the win at 3:29.

Rating: C-. Paige looked WAY better this week which is probably due to a lack of nerves. To be fair though, last week was only one really bad looking move. Paige is going to be something special though as she’s being given the time to get over with the audience. That finisher is going to help a lot as well.

Usos vs. Batista/Randy Orton

Non-title and the Usos are in Ultimate Warrior themed paint. The Usos quickly send them to the floor for some big dives and the Ultimate Warrior rope shake makes the fans happy. Things start properly with Orton hammering Jey into the corner and the backbreaker keeps him in trouble. Off to Batista who grabs a quick suplex for two before it’s back to Orton. A spinebuster gets the same and they head outside with Orton ramming Jey into the announce table, only to have Shield run in and massacre Randy for the DQ at 4:08.

Rating: D+. This didn’t have time to go anywhere but the Usos not losing clean is a good thing. Yeah they were in trouble but they didn’t get pinned and that’s all that matters at the end of the day. Shield going on offense is interesting as well and the match at Extreme Rules should be awesome.

Batista takes the Superman Punch to send him running.

Another Warrior Moment: winning the WWF Title from Hulk Hogan. I’d have thought they would air that match.

HHH glares at Orton and Batista after a break. Nothing is said.

Paul Heyman says he represents the man that conquered the Streak. If you think he’s going to drive that in until the end of time, it’s because he is. Heyman says it about six times in a row and shows us some photos of Undertaker walking away and of Brock destroying him last Sunday. Here’s the new next big thing: Cesaro.

Intercontinental Title #1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Cesaro vs. Mark Henry

They lock up to start and Cesaro climbs up the ropes to shove off but still gets thrown to the mat and then to the floor. Heyman says go to plan two so Cesaro fires off uppercuts in the corner. A big running one sets up rights and lefts to the ribs but Henry keeps shoving him away. There’s a clothesline for two but Henry can barely stand up. The World’s Strongest Slam doesn’t work and a middle rope uppercut puts Henry down. Cesaro acutally Neutralizes him for the pin at 3:19.

Rating: C. At the end of the day, there’s very little more awesome than a strong man lifting up someone very heavy and throwing them around with ease. That’s the kind of stuff you can put on a highlight reel for years and it’s still going to look cool. I’m wondering when the King of Swing will swing people though.

The Thank You video from last week airs.

The Authority sends Brad Maddox to put Shield in the main event but won’t say who their opponents are.

Alexander Rusev vs. Xavier Woods

Woods has been beaten up by Rusev in NXT for awhile. Kick to the chest, spinning slam, Accolade and submission in 47 seconds.

R-Truth tries to make the save post match and gets laid out.

Another Warrior Moment is the main event of Summerslam 1990 with Warrior defending the title inside a cage.

We get a clip of a special on Daniel Bryan’s journey to Wrestlemania.

Intercontinental Title #1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger

Jack takes him into the corner for some knees to the ribs but gets kicked in the face and dropped with a clothesline. A Colter distraction breaks up the ten forearms to the chest and Swagger catches Sheamus in a powerslam coming off the apron. Back in and a belly to belly suplex gets two on Sheamus but he comes back with a forearm to the head.

Some running knees and a kick to the back put Swagger down and a knee drop gets two. There are the ten forearms and a top rope shoulder for two. Sheamus misses a slingshot shoulder and gets caught in the Patriot Lock but Jack is quickly kicked away. A shoulder puts Sheamus on the floor and Jack rams the bad leg into the steps. Back in and a Brogue Kick out of nowhere is good for the pin at 6:54. It’s as sudden as it sounds.

Rating: C. Not a great match again but it did well enough. Sheamus going down into the midcard title scene is a good idea as he’s not big enough to compete for the World Title but he’s too big to beat up jokes anymore. The Intercontinental Title is a great spot in the middle there and he can bring some value to it.

Adam Rose vignette.

Clips from Warrior’s Hall of Fame speech as an advertisement for a four part special on the WWE Network this week.

Damien Sandow is talking but Big Show’s music cuts him off. He rants more anyway and says he won’t be silenced and keeps ranting about how Big Show is only popular because he shakes hands. Everyone should be trying to touch Sandow as he comes to the ring because he deserves it. Show just looks on from the corner until Sandow goes over to him. Big Show doesn’t have anything to say but Sandow says Show knows Sandow is the future of WWE. WMD and we’re done. No match even though there was a referee there.

The Wyatts pop up and Harper is whistling again. They’re next.

Here’s the Family with Bray saying the man wants one thing, but he’s different. The people see a blank canvas but he sees a beautiful painting. He’s been called the seducer, the accuser or the destroyer but know that he’s never once lied to us. John Cena has made a career out of lying to us all though and Bray won’t let that happen anymore. Right now though he wants the monster to come out and play.

Here’s John to do just that but right now he doesn’t need to do anything but have fun. Cena wants to know why so serious. Bray tried to bring the monster out at Wrestlemania but the monster doesn’t exist. Cena looks at the Wyatts and thinks there’s fun waiting inside of them. Harper is the kind of guy that would go streaking through the quad and Rowan must be full of jokes. Wyatt must be the king though because only a real man wears white pants. We need to get them to a happy hour and it’s Roll Tide.

Cena wants to know about the Family though because he’s not sure if Sister Abigail is real or not. He’s found the picture on MySpace and it’s time for pictures of the Wyatts on other bodies. Each guy gets one until Bray cuts him off and says this is typical Cena: a serious threat comes up and he makes jokes.

Cena says Bray knows what happens when he gets serious because it got Bray beaten at Wrestlemania. Wyatt must know that he’s on the defensive now so Cena wants a rematch at Extreme Rules inside a cage. Wyatt loves the idea because one of them is going to get stabbed as they throw knives. Bray sings a bit and I think accepts.

Santino Marella/Emma vs. Fandango/Layla

The guys trade wristlocks to start but the girls come in when Santino loads up the Cobra. Emma gets the Dilemma on Layla but gets slammed off the top for the pin at 1:20.

Stephanie goes off on Kane for messing things up over the last few weeks. He couldn’t stop Shield or Daniel Bryan, so what has happened to Kane? Instead of a monster he’s a screwup so what happened? Kane gets angry and looks at his mask in a case. The case is taken away and Kane holds up the mask.

Bo Dallas is coming.

We see Warrior’s speech from last week.

Adam Rose vignette involving a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos. Seriously.

Intercontinental Title #1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad News Barrett

Barrett pounds Dolph down to start and sends him into the buckle a few times. A snap suplex gets two but he misses a knee drop to give Dolph control again. Barrett tries to get Dolph in the ropes but Ziggler comes back with right hands and a nice dropkick. A Cactus Clothesline puts both guys on the floor and Dolph is posted as we take a break.

Back with Ziggler fighting out of a chinlock and sending Barrett’s shoulder into the post. A cross body sets up some right hands to the head followed by even more in the corner. Ziggler gets caught in Wasteland for two but comes back with a quick Fameasser for the same. Dolph misses a charge into the corner but is still able to run the ropes for the X-Factor. The Zig Zag is countered into Winds of Change but a quick Bull Hammer is enough to send Barrett on at 11:33.

Rating: C-. Just a match for the most part here which isn’t the most interesting thing in the world most of the time. Barrett winning is the right move as well as Ziggler doesn’t really need the wins whereas Barrett hasn’t won anything in years. He doesn’t stand a chance against Sheamus but it’s nice while it lasts.

Barrett says the Bad News is he’s winning the Intercontinental Title.

Kane puts the mask on again.

Shield vs. Alberto Del Rio/3MB/Ryback/Curtis Axel/Jack Swagger/Fandango/Bad News Barrett/Titus O’Neil/Alexander Rusev

Slater gets drawn into the ring osnce and Reigns stomps away before it’s off to Rollins for a quick enziguri. The heels start using the numbers advantage though as Rollins gets attacked by almost everyone on the team. Ryback slams Rollins down and follows him the floor, only to have Reigns nail the spear. The brig brawl breaks out and it’s a no contest at 3:15.

Rating: D+. This was barely a match at all but the idea of having everyone out there worked well enough. I’m glad they didn’t have Shield get a win here as there comes a point where it’s too far. The important thing here is the post match stuff of course so we’ll cut this short to get to that.

The beatdown ensues post match until Evolution’s old music hits. Orton, HHH and Batista hit the arena and you can see bad things coming. HHH instructs everyone else to get out of the ring and the real beatdown is on. RKOs, Batista Bombs and Pedigrees take us out as Daniel Bryan is on his honeymoon and won’t be making a save.

Overall Rating: C-. Tonight was about telling stories but the wrestling they used to tell those stories was pretty lame. The tournament is a nice idea but at the end of the day you could skip the whole thing and wait for Extreme Rules for the payoff. Evolution reforming is a good thing as they’ll be used to put others over and thankfully there’s no Flair there to mess with it this time. The show wasn’t horrible but it really didn’t do anything for me.

Results

Rob Van Dam b. Alberto Del Rio – Five Star Frog Splash

Ryback/Curtis Axel b. Cody Rhodes/Goldust – Meat Hook to Rhodes

Paige b. Alicia Fox – Scorpion Crosslock

Randy Orton/Batista b. Usos via DQ when Shield interfered

Cesaro b. Mark Henry – Neutralizer

Alexander Rusev b. Xavier Woods – Accolade

Sheamus b. Jack Swagger – Brogue Kick

Fandango/Layla b. Santino Marella/Emma – Slam off the top to Emma

Shield vs. Alberto Del Rio/3MB/Ryback/Curtis Axel/Jack Swagger/Fandango/Bad News Barrett/Titus O’Neil/Alexander Rusev went to a no contest

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6 comments

  1. ted says:

    Evolution’s whole job is to get Shield specifically Roman Reigns over. I hope they will get Ambrose and Rollins over as well.

  2. M.R. says:

    Do they wonder why Cena is so despised?

    ted Reply:

    They don’t wonder they simply don’t care. Sad really.

  3. KB as a Sting fan, what is your take on this String rumour – and more so would you want to see the old horse have a go at WWE?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I don’t need to see him there and I don’t believe any rumor until he’s on screen. I’d be ok with it though.

  4. Mike M says:

    It’s sad reading this now and knowing Paige has just been reduced to another annoying cast member of Total Divas c