Reviewing the Review – Monday Night Raw: May 19, 2014

The show was in England this week and believe it or not, it actually made me want to see Payback.

Bray Wyatt opened Raw with another awesome promo, talking about how he’s going to end Cena’s fairy tale at Payback. He also went on about how a teacher told him he was evil but having the whole world in his hands is his redemption. His payback if you will. Cena ran out and hit a quick AA on Wyatt after outsmarting the Family. This was fine as Cena went at Wyatt physically instead of mocking him, which works far better.

I love Bray’s promos where he talks about his past and childhood because they’re just creepy and cryptic enough to make you wonder what in the world he’s talking about. It isn’t really clear and that’s why they work as well as they do. Bray isn’t the kind of character that should have his whole story fleshed out and it wouldn’t work at all if he did.

Cesaro beat Sheamus in a match that got on my nerves too much for two guys I like. At the end of the day, it’s the same story: have a guy beat a champion to set up a title match, because Cesaro beating up everyone on the roster isn’t a good enough setup or something like that. Think about it. Cesaro: “I’ve beaten up so many people lately that I’ve run out of people to fight.” Sheamus: “I’ll fight him.” No instead let’s have another champion lose to set it up instead.

The Beat the Clock Challenge was nothing special but I like it better than having someone beat Barrett. The matches were nothing to see because of time but RVD is an acceptable choice. The fans wanted Ziggler but Dolph losing to Barrett would have made them roll their eyes even harder so Van Dam was probably the best option out of the six.

Summer Rae returned (looking GREAT) to go after Layla for stealing Fandango. Again, giving the Divas stories is a good thing and we haven’t had women fighting over a man in awhile now.

Stephanie saying the title isn’t vacated but that Bryan will have to surrender it isn’t the worst idea in the world. You knew it wasn’t going to happen on a taped show when you thought it about of course. I don’t know how they’re going to fit a title match onto Payback with Monday being the last Raw, but Shield vs. Evolution would be a better main event anyway. Stephanie is AWESOME when she’s just being an evil jerk by the way. Her face when the fans chanted NO was great.

Rusev beating up 3MB was fine. Lana continues to be the real star of the act though.

Cena and the Usos pounding their chests was apparently from Wolf of Wall Street. I haven’t seen that yet so this was totally bizarre. The explanation doesn’t really help, but I’d prefer that over everyone pointing and pounding into my head that it’s from Wolf of Wall Street.

Speaking of Evolution vs. Shield, Rollins looked awesome against Batista. I’ve said it many times before, but power vs. speed is the best combination you can have in a match. Again, the key to this whole thing is Shield looks like equals against one of the biggest and most dominant factions ever. Having HHH interfere was a good idea as you don’t want either team jobbing before the big showdown.

Making the six man an elimination match is a good idea as well as it gives Evolution a chance to show that they’re better individually while keeping Shield looking strong. At the end of the day, any member of Shield losing to any member of Evolution isn’t a knock on them as losing to a former World Champion isn’t a step down for the most part. Making it no holds barred is even more awesome as it leaves the door open for a big showdown at the third show.

The Divas Champion lost as well because we need to push Alicia Fox all of a sudden. Why I have no idea, because AJ vs. Paige is coming soon enough. That was a really bad way to have Paige lose her first match, as Fox is a former champion but not a memorable one. It’s hard to put into words but there’s a difference between someone like AJ being a former champion and Fox being a former champion if that makes sense. It’s like saying Paul Orndorff and Hulk Hogan are both in the Hall of Fame. In that sense they’re equal, but being realistic it’s not even close.

The Adam Rose segment was awesome as the fans were way into his character. Him beating Swagger is better than running through 3MB or whatever he was going to do. I don’t get why WWE allegedly looks at him as a failure, as I’ve liked him since he debuted.

Harper vs. Cena was the usual good match between these two. WWE has done something very good with Wyatt vs. Cena: they have a match where neither guy could conceivably lose. I can’t picture either guy staying down for a count of ten, meaning (as long as it’s not a draw) that we’re in for a surprise at Payback. I could have done without the cliched knockout and count to ten ending though.

Overall Raw was a good show as they focused on other stuff to make us forget that there isn’t an active World Champion at the moment. Shield vs. Evolution is a very hot feud and Bray vs. Cena can be if they play their cards right. The PPV has a chance of being awesome if they don’t screw things up, which I’m somewhat optimistic that they won’t. Good but not great show this week.

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