Reviewing the Review – Monday Night Raw: June 2, 2014

Last night’s show was a one idea show for the most part but I don’t remember many people talking about one thing this month outside of Wrestlemania or Daniel Bryan in a long time. Let’s get to it.

The opening segment was one basic idea: Batista quit Evolution. In case you don’t remember this, WWE will show you a total of four times over the rest of the show. Other than that, HHH decided that the war with Shield isn’t over because he decided it’s not over. This is where things start to get hairy for the rest of the show. Above all else, there is zero reason for this story to continue. It’s keeping things going because the script says it does. When Shield beat Evolution in three straight falls on Sunday, why should we need to see them fight even more?

After a break, Batista confirms that when he said he quit, he indeed meant that he quit.

Sheamus, Cesaro, Barrett and Van Dam continued their intertwining stories without doing much of anything else. The important thing here was that Cesaro walked out on the match, much to Barrett’s annoyance. This looks to set up Cesaro vs. Barrett, but I’d assume Van Dam gets thrown in as well. Not much to this one but it advanced stories.

Damien Sandow continued to dress up like various characters, in this case as an Indiana Pacer. Big Show beat him up and that was that. The idea can go somewhere, but there’s no indication that it’s going to anytime soon. I know there’s something about the rant that was cut off on the pre-show, but it’s never mentioned and the whole story just feels like they threw it at him without any real reason.

Bo Dallas beat Kofi Kingston in the same match Bo has had since he debuted. Kingston is however a step up so he’s going somewhere. Nothing to see here but Dallas is nailing the character.

Stephanie and Cena had a long talk about what it means to strip someone of the title. The only announcement here is Bryan will defend the title against Kane in a stretcher match if he can, but if not then the ladder match is for the title. The highlight of this one though were some great lines from Stephanie and Cena, including Cena saying that Stephanie had some surgery and putting that idea “in a chest” to think about later and Stephanie making fun of the dueling chants by saying “oh sure you all like that idea” when Cena insulted her. When Stephanie isn’t taking herself too seriously, she can be a really entertaining person to watch.

Then Cena beat Kane via DQ in a really boring match. These two just don’t work well together.

Los Matadores and 3MB did their thing. Nothing to this one but it was really fast so there wasn’t much to complain about. I’m thinking one more match for the little guys.

The Divas match of the week also tied into Bryan vs. Stephanie as Nikki is being tortured for saying she missed her sister. Aksana and Alicia Fox beat up Nikki then Fox shouted about hashtags because in the modern world, people shout HASHTAG LOSER instead of saying YOU’RE A LOSER. Wester civilization is in its decline.

Another interesting story is Bray Wyatt not being on the show after losing at Payback. This leaves the Family alone to take up Bray’s cause in his absence, which leads to some intriguing possibilities.

Rose beat Swagger to continue their feud which doesn’t mean a ton anymore.

The Wyatt Family beat the Usos in a good back and forth fight which should set up a title match down the line. I can live with this one because the Usos are injured, but at the end of the day, is there any reason this had to happen? Now I know the Family can beat the Usos, which takes away a lot of the intrigue of traditional wrestling builds.

In the match that got on my nerves, Alberto Del Rio pretty much destroyed Dolph Ziggler in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. Del Rio might as well have been beating up Xavier Woods as he won via clean submission in less than six minutes. This came off like WWE saying “we have the power so stop cheering this guy because we’re just going to have him lose and lose and lose until you stop.” I have no idea why WWE feels the need to keep putting people down, especially when the fans like them and WWE is REALLY in need of top faces. Actually not even top faces, but just big faces. I mean, would it hurt to put him in an eight man match that he won’t win?

Cody Rhodes picked Sin Cara to be Goldust’s partner against Ryback/Curtis Axel. As you can guess this went badly, but it’s an interesting story. It pretty clearly ends with Cody realizing that it was Goldust who was the weak link and turning heel as a result, but there’s nothing wrong with that as it makes sense.

Rusev got a medal from an English speaking Russian government official. This was short and so was Lana’s skirt so it wasn’t too bad.

Then for the moment that made my eyes roll: Bray Wyatt will be back on Smackdown. AFTER FOUR DAYS OFF! Yeah I know it’s so he can be at Money in the Bank, but at least build this up for a few weeks, or have him miss Payback and do the previous match at Extreme Rules. But instead, let’s just do this for FOUR DAYS with less than 24 hours of wondering because why not.

Now we get to the big deal.

The main event was supposed to be Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton, but HHH and the sledgehammer had plan B in mind. Seth Rollins wound up turning on the Shield and attacking Ambrose and Reigns before seemingly joining Evolution. HHH and Rollins stood tall to end the show. This brings up several questions, with one being bigger than the other.

1. WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY THINKING? Now before people explain why this is a great idea, let me say that I don’t hate it at all and there’s a ton of potential for Rollins to be a big deal. That being said, it doesn’t make any sense to do it now and the way they did.

Rollins and the Shield have defeated Evolution twice in a row now, including in three straight falls last night. Why would Rollins leave now? You either have Batista quit before Payback and have HHH say he has a new plan and do the switch at Payback, or have Rollins get beaten at Payback and get annoyed, or have Shield lose. Having him be on the winning team and then turn though? It doesn’t make sense.

2. It felt like a swerve for the sake of a swerve. This ties into the end of the previous point. Why in the world did we need this swerve? It felt like they didn’t have anywhere else to go with this story so they had one guy jump to the other team so it can get another match or move to the Shield splitting. In a word, this felt forced. Like, REALLY forced.

3. Why did Shield have to split like this? After beating everyone (save for the Wyatts), why not just say they have nothing left to accomplish and that they’re going their separate ways but will be there for each other if the need ever arises again? Because this is WWE, where there’s ALWAYS a heel turn to end a team because it was really good when Shawn Michaels did it. Yeah that’s an exaggeration, but the thing just didn’t fit for the most part.

Overall I definitely don’t hate it and it really could do a lot of good for Rollins. It just doesn’t make sense the way they did it, and I have a bad feeling that we’re going to get some version of “I’ll explain when I feel like it”, which is code for “we didn’t think this through but are going with it anyway”. They really like that one and it did a lot of bad things in the NWO, so let’s do it here with the hottest thing in the company.

Raw was ok with a big ending. They don’t seem to have a lot of ideas going into Money in the Bank, which is annoying as MITB is little more than a crutch for the writers to not have to think of anything. It doesn’t help that they’re lazy in the first place, but why make them work when they can just do the same stuff with different people?

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of on the History of Survivor Series at Amazon for just $3.99 at:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KIK68OO
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. Marky-Marc says:

    My biggest problem with the Rollins turn is they just ended the hottest act in the company. With Bryan injured, the Shield were booked as top faces on Raw the past month, even above Cena. So why end it now? What does this set up for MITB? Reigns/Ambrose vs. Orton/Rollins? Like you said, it feels forced because they wanted this to go on.
    If you really need the program to keep going after Batista leaves, have the Wyatts and Shield go at it again because HHH asked Bray to take them out or something.
    Just didnt seem like the right time.
    Also, one day they will look back on Ziggler and regret the way they used him.

  2. deanerandterry says:

    THANK YOU KB! You’ve articulated perfectly my issue with Rollins turning.

  3. #MrScissorsKick says:

    Good article as always KB.

    Not that I’d want this to happen but do you see another Evolution vs. Shield match? If so, do you see Shield adding another member? Reason I ask is the big “dirtsheet” news is HHH vs. Reigns at SummerSlam. How will the WWE stretch this story for another 2 months? Obviously I could see a handicap match at Money in the Bank, but then what for Battleground?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It wouldn’t be too hard. Have Reigns beat Rollins then Orton and then HHH at Summerslam.

  4. Cockadoodledoo says:

    damn KB, at first i thought Rollins turning was awesome, but after thinking about it and reading this review i realized it really does feel lie a super forced swerve that doesnt make sense.

    and im guessing they didnt turn reigns cuz he still has to fight HHH

    now i hope they dont split the Usos in the near future..

  5. Dr.King says:

    KB what do you think of the possibility of Rollins destroying Evolution from within? I don’t see it myself however it seems like an interesting concept; plus it worked for Daniel Bryan and didn’t feel forced at all.

    It feels weird that the Shield would split especially considering their recent run. I see Ambrose joining forces soon to really push the idea of Reigns as a monstrous underdog.

    Good review of a review; these things rock.

  6. Rocko says:

    Who was the last team to just split amicably (I mean actually split instead of just disappeared like Cara and Mysterio)? I want to say maybe Benajmin and Haas when they got split up in the draft?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Dang it’s been awhile. Uh……do Goldust and Cody count? If not I’ll have to think for awhile.

    Rocko Reply:

    Technically yes but their story is not done yet. Technically Haas and Benjamin don’t even count as they were split up by draft instead of choice.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Then it could be a good distance back. 3 Minute Warning maybe?

  7. Jordan says:

    It puts Seth Rollins in a make or break situation for sure. Either this is gonna elevate him to the next level or he’ll get lost in the shuffle. He’s a great talent and I have to admit it will be cool seeing him in Evolution and I hope he can pull it off. The timing of the turn though just doesn’t make sense at all with the story and we’re gonna have to get some drawn out promo on Raw to explain it all. Am I watching TNA?

  8. Phil "The Power" Taylor says:

    KB,

    The reason a peaceful split, while it would have been cool to see, is never used is because every single time Reigns gets beatdown by heels during the rest of his singles career (as faces have a habit of in WWE), fans will wonder: why didn’t his amicable friends Rollins and Ambrose didn’t come to save him.

    At least this will make sense further down the line.