Monday Night Raw – April 22, 2014: The Honeymoon Is Over

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 21, 2014
Location: Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

Things should pick up a bit before Extreme Rules tonight as the roster is back from Saudi Arabia and Daniel Bryan is back from his honeymoon. The interesting question now is what happens with the World Title situation as Evolution vs. Shield is taking over the main event scene and leaving Bryan in the dust. This rings of Chris Benoit back in 2004 but Benoit was nowhere near as over as Bryan is now. It’s going to be a great test either way though. Let’s get to it.

Here’s the champ to open the show and for once, Brie Bellaelson is in the ring for a YES chant. Well she’s certainly a better looking cheerleader than Bryan. They chant together until Stephanie and her horrible song interrupts. Stephanie congratulates Bryan on winning the title at Wrestlemania and getting married in the same week. The newlyweds talk about how amazing and simple their ceremony was but Stephanie has a present for them: a title defense against Kane at Extreme Rules.

Stephanie recommends that Brie get out of the ring because here comes the Big Fried Freak. Or at least his music as there’s no Kane. Bryan slowly backs Brie to the floor and Kane pops up to choke Daniel. Stephanie says that’s enough as Kane stalks Brie. Bryan tries to fight back and sends Kane into the steps but the monster rams him into the barricade.

We actually get a tombstone on the floor and here are EMTs to save Bryan. As usual this is a bad idea with Kane around as he breaks up the stretcher and tombstones Bryan on the steps in a SICK landing. Bryan is put on the stretcher again but Kane picks him up and gives him a third tombstone onto the table which DOESN’T BREAK. Bryan is DONE as we go to a break.

Back from a break and Daniel is being taken out of the ring on a stretcher as Stephanie offers her condolences and holds up the titles. Those replays make things look even more sick.

Intercontinental Title #1 Contenders Tournament Semi-Finals: Bad News Barrett vs. Sheamus

Barrett does his usual schtick before the match. Sheamus gets pounded into the corner to start but comes back with forearms of his own followed by the rolling fireman’s carry. Some more foreams put Barrett on the floor and Sheamus DIVES off the top with a cross body in a cool looking spot. Back in and Barrett fights out of the ten forearms before kicking
Sheamus off the apron as we take a break.

We come back with the guys still brawling and Sheamus hitting the ten forearms and top rope shoulder for two. Irish Curse gets the same but Barrett grabs the Winds of Change for two of his own. Barrett loads up the Bull Hammer but Sheamus ducks under and hits White Noise for an even closer near fall. They slug it out and a Cactus Clothesline puts both guys down on the floor. Barrett gets back in and Sheamus gives chase, only to charge into the Bull Hammer for the pin at 10:32.

Rating: C+. Take two big strong guys and let them beat the tar out of each other for ten minutes at a time. That’s a BIG win for Barrett as well, who is amazingly getting over with a strong character and a good finisher on top of that. Sheamus is going to be fine no matter what happens to him, arguably making him far more valuable than he was as World Heavyweight Champion.

Bo Dallas vignette.

Hugh Jackman is guest hosting Raw next week so we look at him helping Zack Ryder helping beat Dolph Ziggler in September 2011.

Pick Cena’s opponent tonight: Luke Harper, Luke Harper/Erick Rowan, Luke Harper/Erick Rowan/Bray Wyatt.

We’ve got Wyatts. Bray says he remembers the first time he was struck with truth. It tasted bitter but he loved the intensity of how real it was. Free will has become man’s biggest illusion. It’s promised to you just in time to take it away again. What has it given you? Nothing but a nation full of sheep led by wolves and owned by pigs. Tonight would be a wonderful night for change though because the power is in the fans’ hands. Tonight free will does exist and John Cena will learn the truth.

The truth is they stand against him, whether it be either of the brothers, in a steel cage, or inside your own mind. At Extreme Rules, two monsters will enter but on this night it will not matter which one has the sharpest teeth or the sharpest claws. One thing will remain the same: they do not love Cena anymore because Bray is taking them with him every single time they cross paths. Bray leads the fans in He’s Got The Whole Worlds In His Hands and tells the brothers to sing. Awesome moment.

Los Matadores/El Torito vs. 3MB

It’s Hornswoggle/Mahal/McIntyre here. McIntyre and Diego get things going but it’s quickly off to the little guys to continue this horribly pointless feud. They slug it out until Torito takes him down with a headscissors followed by a spinning springboard headbutt. Drew breaks up the pin and wants a piece of Torito but it’s Slater taking a gore between the legs for his efforts. Torito gets picked up but kicks Drew low, allowing the masked men to pick him up for a double belly to back suplex plus a seated senton from Torito for the pin at 2:50. For the love of all things good and holy, not at Extreme Rules.

We look back at Evolution beating up Shield last week.

Evolution arrives.

Here’s Evolution with something to say. HHH can barely talk due to what sounds like a bad sore throat so it’s quickly off to Orton to brag about how awesome Evolution is. We get a video on Evolution with a few shots of Flair thrown in for history’s sake. Batista brags about the number of titles the three of them have and says Shield has nothing to brag about. Cue the Hounds of Justice but Evolution immediately bails.

Ambrose says that they’ve lost fights before and they’re not humbled this week. He says there’s a reason HHH hired them to protect HHH and Orton. They are the meanest, nastiest, dirtiest animals in this industry. These dogs are hungry and ready to fight. Rollins says they have every right to be angry after what happened when Evolution had twelve other guys around them. In two weeks at Extreme Rules it’s Evolution vs. the Hounds of Justice in an all out war.

Then there’s nowhere for them to run and all three members of Evolution is going to be looking out for themselves. At Extreme Rules, Evolution is ripped to pieces and the reunion comes to an abrupt halt. HHH put a nail in his own coffin and the Shield is the hammer that drives it home.

Reigns says last week Evolution gave them an ultimatum. This week they have one for Evolution. In a few seconds he’s dropping this mic and coming up the stage for a fight. Evolution can try to fight like men, or they can cower away and hide. Here comes the Shield and here’s the midcard to stand in front of Evolution. HHH says it’s option three: adapt or perish.

We look at the opening segment again.

New Adam Rose vignette.

Network plug.

Usos vs. Rhodes Brothers

Non-title with Ryback/Axel on commentary. Jey and Goldust get things going with a feeling out process and the golden one getting taken down. Off to Cody tho gets taken down as well while Ryback tells a story about his dad tending bar for Curt Hennig and Razor Ramon back in the AWA days. Totally random but interesting.

Back to Goldust who takes over on the arm and rams it into the mat for some control. Ryback talks about how he’s been watching Goldust for nineteen years now which is a totally fair argument against him. In a very sudden ending, a superkick takes down Goldust and another is good for the pin on Cody at 3:10.

Rating: D+. This was much more of a story than a match and it looks like the Rhodes Brothers are wrapping up as a team now. To be fair it’s not like they’ve done anything in a few months now so they might as well be split up with the division actually having some depth now. Ryback was interesting on commentary to say the least.

Cody and Goldust shove each other post match and here comes the split. Ryback/Axel jump the Usos as well.

Emma vs. Layla

A distraction from the guys lets Layla take over quickly and she stomps Emma down in the corner. Layla cranks on both of Emma’s arms and mocks the dance a bit as Fandango leads cheers. Emma takes Layla down as Santino lays out Fandango with the Cobra. Emma pulls out a cobra of her own and layls out Layla for the pin at 2:20. Again, NO MORE OF THIS.

The cobras want each other post match.

The announcers talk about Legends House.

John Cena says it’s up to the WWE Universe tonight. We get the dueling chants and he thinks Bray might have everyone in his hands.

Intercontinental Title #1 Contender Tournament Semi-Finals: Cesaro vs. Rob Van Dam

Before the match we see Heyman talking about his clients and going on about Lesnar conquering the Streak. We take a break and come back with him still ranting about it until RVD’s music cuts him off. Feeling out process to start with Van Dam’s kicks being caught into a big slam for two as the announcers debate how great a manager Heyman really is. A middle rope kick to the face drops Cesaro but he comes back with a nice suplex for two. Rob misses a charge into the post and Cesaro kicks him even further into the post as we take another break.

Back with Van Dam’s sunset flip being countered by a jumping stomp to the chest for two. We hit the chinlock for a bit but Rob comes back and kicks Cesaro in the head to escape. A hard clothesline and kick to the face set up Rolling Thunder for two. The Five Star is broken up by a STIFF uppercut but another kick to the head sets up the split legged moonsault from Rob for another near fall. Yet another spinning kick misses and Cesaro hits a running uppercut to the back of the head and rolls Rob to the mat.

They slug it out and a rolling cradle gets two for Van Dam, only to have Cesaro nail a tiger bomb for an even closer two. Cesaro loads up the Swing but here are Swagger and Colter for a distraction. Van Dam gets in another kick to send Cesaro outside and Swagger comes for a closer look. Rob tries to dive at them but jumps into a sweet uppercut to the jaw from Cesaro. Rob is thrown back inside as Swagger posts Cesaro, allowing for the countout to send RVD to the finals at 13:19.

Rating: B-. Good stuff here with the styles working together perfectly here. The ending was somewhat predictable as you already had Barrett waiting in the finals for the winner. At least the match was good getting there and Barrett should be a lock to win next week. Good match here and far better than I was expecting.

Post match Cesaro goes to swing Colter but has to settle for Swagger instead.

We look at Bryan getting destroyed again.

Cesaro and Heyman come up to RVD in the back and say Colter and Swagger won that match for Van Dam. Rob suggests Cesaro stay as far away from Heyman as possible.

Paige vs. Aksana

Non-title again. The announcers immediately start hyping up Tamina as a tough Diva as Paige throws Aksana across the ring by the hair a few times. Aksana comes back with some choking and throws Paige down as the announcers make fun of Aksana’s very notable tan. She crawls around on the mat but Paige slams her into the mat over and over again to take over. A series of clotheslines has Aksana in trouble but she comes back with a throw, apparently supposed to be a spinebuster. Paige comes back with a guillotine choke and some knees to the head, setting up the Scorpion Cross Lock for the submission at 4:42.

Rating: D+. I’m feeling sorry for Paige as they keep putting her in there with this chick. Aksana is gorgeous and looks great with the dark hair, but at the end of the day she just can’t do it in the ring. The crawling around stuff looks stupid and the whole thing isn’t working at all. Therefore, let’s use HER to get Paige over because that’s playing to Paige’s strengths right?

Alexander Rusev vs. Sin Cara

Truth/Woods vs. Rusev at the PPV which should cement the ending here. Cara fires off his chops but gets caught in mid air, setting up the knees against the ropes and fall away slam to the masked man. Some jumping knees in the corner drop Sin Cara as Lana is very pleased. Sin Cara actually gets two off a sunset flip and staggers the Bulgarian with a Tajiri elbow. A kick to the head and missile dropkick put Rusev in the corner but Alexander just runs him over. An overhead suplex drops Sin Cara and the Accolade gets the submission at 2:59.

The 3-1 handicap match wins the poll with 53%. Harper on his own got a very surprising 39% with the 2-1 getting less than 10%.

John Cena vs. Wyatt Family

The Wyatts surround the ring to start before all three charge the ring at the same time. Cena is down so Bray calls them off as the bell rings. Harper gets us going and drives elbows into the back of Cena’s head to keep control. Off to Rowan who whips Cena into the corner but gets caught in a fallaway slam and it’s off to Bray. The leader of the Family dances with Cena for a bit before screaming loudly.

Back to Harper who gets caught by a Stinger Splash but runs John over with a hard elbow to the jaw. Cena muscles Harper over with a German suplex but Luke tags Rowan back in for more stomping. Harper quickly gets another tag but is almost caught in an STF. Rowan makes a fast save and Harper stays in to send Cena hard into the steps. Bray looks down and we take a break.

We come back to see Cena missing a cross body and falling out to the floor. John comes back in and runs over Harper but Bray easily counters a tornado DDT by PLANTING him with a release Rock Bottom. He hammers away and sends Cena shoulder first into the post. A headbutt rams Cena’s head into the steel again before Rowan comes back in to crush Cena’s skull a bit more.

John fights back but it’s back to Bray who loads up the spider walk. Thankfully Cena realizes how easy this is and runs him over with a clothesline to start his comeback. Cena starts his finishing sequence and hits the AA on Bray, only to have the Family come in for the DQ at 14:00.

Rating: C. The match was going fine ubt you knew there was no way this was having a clean finish. I’m not sure why you don’t have Cena take the loss here as it’s not like losing a handicap match here is a big deal. Bray needs to get the big win over Cena and hopefully that comes at Extreme Rules. Not bad but I don’t like the ending.

Post match the Wyatts beat Cena down and Bray hits Sister Abigail. He says in time, all things come to light before singing a bit more with his hand on Cena’s face to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. Some stuff got done tonight but the main event has more problems caused by real life. Daniel Bryan being written off TV again to deal with the sudden passing of his father (legitimate story and certainly worth missing some time) hurts things as he’s starting to lose some of the awesome heat he put together with Wrestlemania. That being said, the Shield vs. Evolution match is looking AWESOME and everything is going well there. The midcard scene was solid tonight as well so we’ll go with a good show that has some worrying issues.

Results
Bad News Barrett b. Sheamus – Bull Hammer
Los Matadores/El Torito b. 3MB – Double belly to back suplex/Top rope seated senton to McIntyre
Usos b. Cody Rhodes/Goldust – Superkick to Rhodes
Emma b. Layla – Cobra
Rob Van Dam b. Cesaro via countout
Alexander Rusev b. Sin Cara – Accolade
Paige b. Aksana – Scorpion Cross Lock
John Cena b. Wyatt Family via DQ when all three members were in the ring at the same time

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8 comments

  1. Update on Not Jay(the real one) says:

    Due to the connectivity problems, the official release of my DVD trailer: “Can’t Wait For Monday: The Spectacular Legacy of Not Jay”, has been postponed til next week after RAW.

    Gotta say I’m disappointed KB and I better not have many canceling their pre orders due to this delay. I have Make A Wish obligations to fulfill and now I wont have my DVD to autograph. I’m starting to rethink taking that position as a road agent here in the comments section. If anyone wants to pre-order my DVD, please let me know.

    As for RAW, solid stuff tonight and I’m pumped for what looks like the rebuilding of the tag team division. 49945869959945th times a charm and I think they will stick with pushing it this time

  2. Andrew says:

    I was watching WCW Hog Wild tonight on the network and saw Bull Nakano of all people use the scorpion cross lock on Medusa. It didn’t look nearly as impressive as when Paige does it but it was still neat to see. As for tonight’s RAW, the portions with Brian were understandably kept short but the rest of the show lacked any flow or sense of momentum. Everything really seems to be in a holding pattern for what it worth, though, I enjoyed the hell out of the review as always. Thanks for the free fun KB.

    Dwight Reply:

    Bull Nakano used to always use that move, and considering that Paige is on record saying that Nakano is her favorite wrestler, it’s no surprise that she uses the move.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Anytime.

  3. $Mr. 100% says:

    Kb did u c the sign at the top of the arena that said: A legend is coming? If u did what if anything did u make of the sign?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Fans messing with the audience and trying to get people to say “See? They’re TOTALLY talking about us. WE’RE AWESOME!”

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

    I don’t think Daniel Bryan is losing any heat. He got a great ovation when he came out and a huge YES Chant when he got in the Ring. You could tell though he was doing his best to hold it together with his Dad passing. That was a pretty sick beat down from Kane and its making me look forward to their Match at the PPV.

    frank Reply:

    See that’s the excitement I want. But Kane is older and slower. Also he’s not winning which sucks the fun out of it.