Reviewing the Review – Monday Night Raw: May 12, 2014

Monday was one of those nights where it seemed like things were going to be moving forward at a snail’s pace but then a big curve ball changed everything. In this case, it was one heck of an announcement. Let’s get to it.

We’ll cover the other show long story to start. Shield hunted Evolution all last night and got the better of the old guard almost all night. They jumped Evolution as they arrived, then jumped then again during Evolution’s promo, then fought them off to end the show. As they’ve done since their debut, Shield looked incredibly strong all night and looked like they were ready to run over Evolution at Payback.

Now in theory Evolution wins the second round to set up a BIG showdown at Money in the Bank or whatever the next PPV is. However, I’m not sure where Shield goes after that. They don’t need to to split given how over they are at the moment, but I’m not sure I see the superstar in Reigns that is supposed to be there. He’s not bad, but I see him as more of a Batista while Ambrose is more of the top guy type. Not that being Batista is bad, but I don’t quite see the huge potential as much as I used to.

Adam Rose screwed Jack Swagger out of a match with RVD to advance their feud. Nothing to see here but it worked well enough.

Paige beat Alicia Fox, sending Fox into a huge fit post match. This was supposed to be the start of something, but at the end of the day it’s Alicia Fox. Yeah she looks great in her outfits and the cowboy hat really worked on her, but at the end of the day it’s Alicia Fox. I’m aware I repeated that because it’s for emphasis. She would literally change from teaming with faces or heels week to week so it’s hard to take her seriously. More on this later.

Now we get to the real story of the night: Daniel Bryan has a bad neck and will have surgery, putting him out of action for an unknown amount of time (I’ve heard anywhere from 4-8 weeks). I’m not sure what this means for the title, but if it’s over two months there’s almost no way they can’t take the title off of him. If nothing else have the Authority take it from him so they can get more heel heat.

One thing they did very well was to get the heat on Kane for the attack. This came later in the show but again we’ll tie these things together instead of jumping around. Later in the night Daniel Bryan was called out by Stephanie but wound up being dragged to the stage by Kane. This makes it look like Kane just annihilated an injured man in the back instead of doing some over the top insanity. It’s very nice to see them leave it to your imagination instead of flat out showing what Kane did as it makes things all the more sinister. I miss little things like that.

I’ll spare you my predictions about what happens to Bryan and/or the title until after we’re sure what’s going to happen to the championship. If they change it however, I wouldn’t be opposed to Kane as a short term champion. Right now there really isn’t anyone else to put the thing on, so why not give it to Kane so someone can slay the dragon?

Speaking of slaying a dragon, Cena and the Usos beat the Wyatt Family in a good six man tag. Cena got the pin on Rowan, which is the point of having minions. It keeps Bray vs. Cena going and apparently we’ll be going towards a last man standing match at Payback. The match should be awesome but again, Wyatt needs to win. Cena has lost them before and it makes me feel a lot better than if this were say an I Quit match.

Nikki Bella beat Natalya in a bad match. The story here was the Total Divas on the floor holding up signs to score the moves. This offended Natalya as I think we’re looking at a heel turn. This appeared to be part of the Total Divas story, which makes sense as Natalya is treated as an outcast most of the time on there.

This brings us back to Alicia Fox earlier in the night. While these may not be the most interesting stories in the world, they’re light years ahead of the 45 second “matches” that dominated the Divas division for so long and made them a complete waste. I don’t really care what happens, but I’d much rather see them have stories than just fill in time and act like they’re important.

Sheamus beat Curtis Axel and Ryback in a row. Much like the Divas, it’s nothing all that great but it’s better than having them do nothing all night and then wonder why they didn’t get over. Sheamus beating midcarders is as fine a way as any to get the title some respect, especially when someone will eventually give him a real challenge for the title. I was pleased with this one.

Dolph Ziggler beat Fandango but the dancer didn’t mind because he’s still got Layla. This is going to need some more time before it goes anywhere, but much like Alicia, it’s hard to bring myself to care about someone like Fandango.

Jim Duggan came out to chant USA, which of course drew out Lana and Rusev. Big E. tried to make a save but Rusev easily dispatched him. Rusev beating Big E. would be a nice win, but man alive has E. fallen in a hurry. Sidenote: assuming he squashes Big E., this gives Rusev the following wins: R-Truth, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston and Big E. You do the math.

Damien Sandow talked about being silenced and then lost to a cheating Cody Rhodes. At least there’s something there, but Cody as a heel needs to happen already as they’ve been teasing it for like ever now.

Batista vs. Reigns happened and that’s about it. Shield beating up the midcard wasn’t a huge stretch as Rollins/Ambrose were fresh and they both had chairs.

Overall Raw did some changing last night and it’s giving me hope for the future. As mentioned, a lot of people are getting stories. No they’re not the most interesting stories in the world or the most intersting characters, but they’re HAPPENING. That’s something the midcard and Divas have been lacking for so long and it’s nice to see an attempt at it, even if it winds up being lip service.

Other than that the big stories are of course Bryan and Shield, but we don’t have enough information on Bryan yet. Shield on the other hand continues their rise to being one of the best units of all time, even though I’m not sure where they end up. The nice thing, and for one of the first times in years, I have confidence that they’ll make it work somehow. It’s so nice to be able to feel that again.

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  1. Mike M says:

    Where does Wyatt go if he does beat Cena at Payback? He’ll have beaten “the guy.”. Back into a prolonged fued with The Shield? Chase the title? I don’t see a lot of feud options for him after Cena.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    That’s something that isn’t clear due to Lesnar. If Bryan was around that would make sense, but without him there’s a big power vacuum. At the end of the day, Brock Lesnar’s shadow is looming over everything though. He takes priority over Wyatt by far.

  2. Si says:

    I’ve heard a couple of people say where does Wyatt go if he beats cena, but really where does he go if he doesn’t?! He beat Bryan at the rumble, they did the shield feud, the next biggest face is shemus and the US title feels like too big of a drop, maybe the last man standing is a draw, then he needs to beat Cena and go for the WWE title, as anything else seems like a waste of the investment they’ve put in him as a #2 heel behind evolution

  3. M.R. says:

    You think Dean Ambrose is more star-ready than Reigns? Have you gone mad?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Actually yeah kind of. He has that X factor to him and it’s getting better every week.

    M.R. Reply:

    Would that X factor be how badly he overacts every promo? The guy makes Shawn Michaels look subtle.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    For me it’s when he hits a kind of Thesz Press and hammers away. I love that spot.

    james gracie Reply:

    M.R sometimes I wonder if you even have a brain. Ambrose and Rollins are both better on the mic and in the ring at this time. You need to stop drinking the Reigns kool aid. I agree 100% with KB.

    M.R. Reply:

    Neither will come anywhere close to meaning as much as Reigns does.

    Oh and Ambrose sucks on the mic, he stinks of a failed thespian.

    ted Reply:

    They will all be fine. Rollins could easily make it to the world title. Ambrose can to it will just take more work.

    ted Reply:

    Ambrose sucks on the mic according to you. In reality he’s the best of the 3 in that easily.

    Jerichoholic94 Reply:

    I think Rollins and Ambrose are certainly more technically sound but I don’t see the mic skills in Rollins and Ambrose over acts a bit too much.. Reigns is the total package. I’ve always felt this way since the debut of the shield but in the past couple months Reigns has improved alot and he’s putting together his “WWE finishing formula”

  4. Vega says:

    Why not have Shield go seperate ways, but without a split? They could reunite from time to time and even help each other along their careers. It opens up new paths for them and new opponents for others. Ambrose – Bray would be awesome, Reigns can fight big guys and Rollins can have fast-paced matches for a midcard title.
    The feuds feel stale and done, and this could shake things up a bit.

  5. M.R. says:

    Interesting note on Rusev’s jobbers. I’ll be willing to give WWE benefit of the doubt and call it coincedence, though if Big E gets reduced to a jobber it might be worth raising an eyebrow.

    ted Reply:

    Big E was never going to mean anything.

    M.R. Reply: