Monday Night Raw – March 3, 2014: Not In Our House
Date: March 3, 2014
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler
This is one of those shows I’ve been wanting to see for what feels like months. We’re in one of the holy lands of smart fans and there’s a possibility that they’ll try to hijack the show with CM Punk chants. We’ll also get more build to Wrestlemania, including a match between Daniel Bryan and Batista. Let’s get to it.
First thing up: CM Punk’s music but Paul Heyman coming out instead. Nice little tease there. Heyman holds the mic out to the crowd as a HUGE CM Punk chant starts up. Heyman: “I believe he deserves louder than that.” He sits down in the middle of the ring and says he’s here to tell the story of a Paul Heyman guy who was never truly wanted in WWE. This was a Paul Heyman guy that was too small to main event Wrestlemania with too many tattoos who would rebel against the first family.
He’s here tonight to tell you about a guy born in, raised in and still living in Chicago. His name is Paul Heyman and this is his pipe bomb about CM Punk……who is not here this evening. After pausing for another CM Punk chant, Heyman says no one is more upset than him about CM Punk not performing in this ring tonight. So what happened? Why won’t anyone talk about why CM Punk isn’t here tonight? There’s someone to blame for why Punk doesn’t get to perform around here. That finger of blame is being pointed at every single fan here tonight.
This is why Heyman finds it easier to lie all the time. He managed Punk to a 434 day WWE Title reign and then the fans took him away with promises of love and affirmation. But all that did was take Punk away from everybody, including the fans themselves. Heyman also blames the Undertaker because Punk couldn’t stop the Streak last year and now Paul wants revenge. He wants to see Streak taken away from the Undertaker, but how do you kill someone who is already dead? There is only one man that can conquer the Streak: the beast incarnate, Brock Lesnar.
A ticked off Lesnar comes out and we see a clip from the end of last week’s show with Undertaker stabbing Brock with a pen to sign the contract for Wrestlemania XXX. Brock says Undertaker is scared to death of him and last week proved it. Many people have tried to conquer the streak but many men have failed to do so, including Chicago’s own CM Punk.
The Streak will be conquered by Brock Lesnar and Lesnar is ready to leave, but here’s Mark Henry for a staredown. Brock says bring it on and charges right into a right hand. Mark gets thrown into the steps and Lesnar looks livid. He blasts Henry in the face with the steps with one of the hardest shots I’ve seen in years. An F5 through the table knocks Henry even more out cold and the fans chant for Punk.
Tag Titles: New Age Outlaws vs. Usos
The Outlaws are defending but Road Dogg doesn’t think the fans here are worthy of hearing his catchphrases. It only took them two months to remember they’re heels. Jey hammers on Roadie to start but gets whipped hard into the corner. Uso comes out holding his knee so Dogg kicks him to the floor for a breather. Billy throws him back inside and hammers away before it’s back to Dogg. Jey’s leg seems to be holding up well enogh and Dogg even works it over a bit. Roadie throws him to the floor as we take a break.
Back with Jey fighting out of a chinlock but getting slammed down for two. Dogg comes back in and takes a spin kick to the face (the knee seems fine). The hot tag brings in Jimmy to face Billy. Dogg gets knocked off the apron and a Samoan drop puts Gunn down. There’s a Bubba Bomb to Billy and the running Umaga attack in the corner to Roadie.
A reverse Whisper in the Wind hits Gunn and there’s a superkick to knock Dogg to the floor. Gunn rolls up Jimmy for two and the tilt-a-whirl slam gets the same. The Fameasser just misses and the Usos do the plancha with the flying tag, setting up the superkick and Superfly Splash to FINALLY give the Usos the Tag Titles at 9:27.
Rating: C+. It’s about three years overdue but this was the best way to do it. I have no problem with the Outlaws keeping the title for just a few weeks as they put the young guys over 100% clean before Wrestlemania. Good little match and they made it feel like it meant something, which is rare for these titles.
The Divas watch a clip from Need For Speed and pine for Aaron Paul. Apparently Dolph Ziggler is riding here with Paul tonight. Aksana wants to ride with him too because she likes fast cars.
Big E. vs. Cesaro
Non-title again. Cesaro quickly catches Big E. in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and the fans are completely behind him. Big E. sends him into the corner and snaps off a great belly to belly suplex, only to be sent to the floor before the Warrior Splash can hit. Big E. drops Swagger with a right hand but walks back inside for the Swing. Not that it matters as Swagger runs in for the DQ at 1:24.
Cesaro takes the Big Ending post match.
Shield vs. Wyatt Family
The fans think this is awesome while Bray is still in the chair. He stands up and whips off the hat but Ambrose and Rollins dive through the ropes to take out the Family. Reigns runs over Bray and sends him to the floor as the bell ring. Harper puts Rollins on the top rope but Seth backflips off and lands on his feet, runs into the ring and flip dives onto Harper and dives back inside to flip dive onto Rowan. Rollins goes back up but Bray throws Ambrose into the ropes to knock Seth to the floor in a nasty fall.
Back from a break with Rollins in a chinlock before being run over with a shoulder block. Ambrose goes to yell at Bray and Reigns goes to get him, leaving no one for a free Rollins to tag. Seth hits a quick Downward Spiral to send Rowan into the middle buckle and makes a tag to Dean as things speed up. He runs over Erick and hammers away before going after the leg.
Dean slaps on a Figure Four but Harper breaks it up with a double stomp. Reigns comes in as Dean brawls with Wyatt. The fans are WAY into Wyatt here as he hammers on Ambrose’s head and shouts a lot. Ambrose is caught in the cultish corner as the fans think this is awesome. Another Punk chant stars up while Harper stands on Dean’s chest. Back to Rowan for the fist vice but Dean is still able to taunt the Wyatts. He pulls Erick’s beard to break it up but walks into a sidewalk slam for two. The fans chant for Reigns as Ambrose takes Harper’s head off with a clothesline.
Bray comes in and knocks Roman off the apron, leaving only Rollins to take the tag from Ambrose……but he drops to the floor. Seth walks away and Roman tries to play peacekeeper. Rollins shouts that Reigns wasn’t there for him when he needed a tag so the other two can figure it out. Wyatt runs over Ambrose but Roman makes the save. Reigns goes nuts with Superman Punches and Ambrose is back in as well.
Reigns hits a running boot from the floor to the apron as Ambrose hammers on Wyatt. Reigns spears Rowan over the announce table and Harper hits a suicide dive to send Reigns over the table. Dean goes after Luke but Bray posts him. Rollins is still on the ramp as a THIS IS AWESOME chant starts up. Sister Abigail is enough to end Ambrose at 13:55.
Rating: B+. This wasn’t the match from Elimination Chamber but it didn’t need to be. We already got the showdown and tonight was all about the story. There’s more to come from this story as Rollins looked conflicted about his decision, meaning there’s going to be something special at Wrestlemania. Again, I’m loving this time in WWE and this is going to make Wrestlemania even better.
Batista thinks the YES Movement is one of the stupidest things he’s ever seen. These fans are turning someone like Daniel Bryan into a superhero but he could never be like Batista. No one may like it, but they have to deal with it. That’s a great heel catchphrase.
The Usos will defend against the Outlaws tomorrow night on the live Main Event special.
Santino Marella/Emma vs. Fandango/Summer Rae
We open with COMEDY as Santino keeps high fiveing Emma which means they have to switch. Fandango jumps Santino to start and gets two off a spinwheel kick. Santino comes back with a jawbreaker and it’s off to the girls for some Emma dancing. The Dilemma (Tarantula) sets up the Emma Sandwich (running cross body to a seated Summer) and the Emma Lock gets the win at 3:24.
Rating: D+. Believe it or not the fans actually didn’t hate this. Emma is the kind of girl that is going to get over due to being rather cute and fun when given the chance, which she’s finally getting. It helps that she can go in the ring and some of those submission holds proved it. Nice showing here but I’m tired of this same match in various forms week after week.
Stephanie loves showing her daughters great moments in McMahon history on the WWE Network. This is treated like a sweet moment.
Sheamus vs. Christian
Christian stalls before the bell and then slaps Sheamus in the face. The chase is on and Christian is sent into the barricade. Back in and a knee drop gets two on the Canadian but he sends Sheamus into the corner for some choking. Christian slaps him in the face again and gets an Irish Curse for his efforts. Sheamus misses a charge to the floor but just steps out of the way of a plancha. Christian escapes a powerslam and hides behind the announcers as we go to a break.
Back with Christian missing something off the middle rope but still being able to shove Sheamus off the top and out to the floor in a BIG crash. Christian throws him over the barricade and talks trash before taking Sheamus back inside. Sheamus says bring it on so Christian suplexes him down but misses a top rope splash. The rolling fireman’s carry sets up the ten forearms but Christian fights out. Christian goes up top but gets caught in mid air and now the ten forearms connect.
A running knee on the apron sets up a running knee in the ring for two for Sheamus. The Irishman is holding his shoulder and arm so Christian takes him down and gets two off the frog splash. Back to the CM Punk chant as White Noise gets a VERY close two. Christian throws him to the apron but Sheamus hits a quick Brogue Kick anyway and comes back inside for the pin at 14:00.
Rating: B-. Definitely the best match in their series as they treated it more like a fight than a match. The crowd of course didn’t care and called the match awful because they’re petulant children that only care what they want and have no problem messing with three million fans at home because it’s what they want to do.
Back from a break and Christian jumps Sheamus in the back and hits the injured arm with I believe a light.
Bella Twins vs. Aksana/Alicia Fox
Brie runs over Aksana to start but it’s quickly off to Alicia to ram Brie’s head into the mat. The heels work on Brie for a bit as this is already going nowhere. Fox slams Brie out of the corner but gets slammed down for two. Nikki finally comes in off the tag and shouts COME ON a lot. Everything breaks down and the Rack is good for the pin on Alicia at 4:17.
Rating: D-. Next.
Preview for a new USA show called Sirens.
Here’s Daniel Bryan with something to say but he has to wait for the crowd to calm down. He says the fans have a voice and he’s not leaving this ring until one of two things happen. The fans chant for Punk but Bryan says he isn’t leaving until Batista comes down to fight him or HHH accepts his challenge for Wrestlemania. Here are Stephanie and HHH to answer, drawing an even louder CM Punk chant. Thankfully HHH acts like a heel this time and soaks the whole thing in.
Bryan ignores Stephanie and lays out his evidence of HHH holding him back for the last six months. Daniel is stronger than ever and wants to settle the score at Wrestlemania. HHH says that’s not going to happen and asks why Daniel’s generation can’t accept it inadequacy. He dubs this the Excuses Era because no one in this era can just admit that they’re not good enough. They blame eveyrone else and make excuses about being held down and buried.
The reality is that anyone who has ever failed in WWE is because they weren’t good enough. Bryan is nothing more than a B+ player and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it’s not enough to make HHH lace up his boots at Wrestlemania. Bryan says the fans chant because they see through HHH’s lies and there go the people again. HHH claims to be doing this for the WWE Universe but he just isn’t listening to what they want.
They want to see someone like him succeed and the only way he can do that is by beating HHH at Wrestlemania. Stephanie says they won’t listen to this sea of inadequacy because they’ll turn on you at the drop of a hat. The only people that won’t turn on him are her and HHH because they know what he means for the business. Stephanie gives the whole “my family made all this” speech, so Bryan asks to fight her at Wrestlemania while HHH wears Stephanie’s skirt.
HHH thinks she would beat Bryan up too, but Bryan vs. HHH just isn’t happening. He goes into his most condescending voice and says Wrestlemania is the showcase of the immortals. As much as Bryan hates it, he just doesn’t measure up and needs to get out of HHH’s ring. Bryan says this is the fans’ ring but HHH says Bryan and all of the fans belong to him, so get out. Daniel says make him so Stephanie calls out Kane. The FLYING GOAT lays out Kane but the referees pull Daniel off of him.
We look back at Lesnar destroying Henry.
The expert panel recaps the night.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler comes in via a Shelby Mustang driven by Aaron Paul from Need For Speed. Paul is a shorter guy but has a ton of energy which is all you can ask for from these guys. He jumps in on commentary as the fans chant for Ziggler. Del Rio takes him down and does Ziggler’s hair flip pose as the announcers talk about video games.
The tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two for Del Rio but the low superkick misses. Ziggler gets two of his own with the running DDT but Del Rio slams him down again. Paul gets up on the announce table and the Zig Zag is good for the pin at 2:43. This is par for the course on the guest star segments anymore and that’s fine.
Paul Bearer is announced for the Hall of Fame. Nothing wrong with that.
Big E. vs. Jack Swagger
Cesaro runs in for the DQ at 4 seconds and Neutralizes Big E.
The Real Americans argue post match and Cesaro loads Jack up in the Swing but Colter calls him off. The fans chant for Cesaro to do it and he lets Swagger go. Colter says help your brother up and Cesaro does so, albeit roughly. Zeb makes them hug it out and they reluctantly obey.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane is made for tomorrow night’s live Main Event.
Here’s a limping Cena (after the Wyatts’ intro started by mistake) who can’t even do his signtuare entrance. The fans chant for Punk and Cena thanks him for the usual Chicago welcome. Cena can’t wrestle tonight, drawing a HUGE YES chant. He’ll take that as their version of get well soon. John is out here to feel that energy from the crowd because he’s had some great moments in this arena, such as getting his face kicked in by Brock Lesnar and having a very special match with somebody at Money in the Bank.
Cena says he’s heard about this whole hijacking thing and it’s clear that the people want change. He can respect that, but success has to be earned and change comes through him. That brings him to Bray Wyatt, who isn’t in the driver’s seat after last week. Cena started his career in this arena and he’s still standing tall right here.
The Wyatts appear on screen and Bray asks if Cena can feel these people. Cena reminds him of a great throughbred racehorse that has been winning his entire career, but then he starts to slow down. That horse is now in the back of the barn waiting to be put down. How long does Cena think he can fend the Wyatts off? Bray is the reaper and he is going to put Cena down because he knows Cena’s greatest fear. The loneliest man on earth is the man who sits on the top of his empty castle. Follow the buzzards.
Orton wishes Batista luck out there tonight.
Alexander Rusev speaks Bulgarian on the stage.
We look back at Hogan returning last week and see him on the Today Show. Hogan has a Wrestlemania announcement for next week.
Batista vs. Daniel Bryan
Orton comes out to watch. The bell rings at 11:02 so this probably doesn’t last long. Cole incorrectly says this is a first time ever match on Raw as these two fought once back in 2010. The fans immediately chant BOO-TISTA as he runs Bryan over with a shoulder. Daniel goes after the leg though and Batista is in trouble. A dropkick to the knee puts Batista down again and Bryan follows up with a half crab. Batista kicks him off and knocks his head off with a clothesline. The fans think Batista can’t wrestle as he throws Bryan to the floor….and we take another break.
Back with Bryan backflipping over Batista and hitting the running dropkicks in the corner. Batista rolls to the floor to avoid the third so it’s the FLYING GOAT. The YES Kicks get two but here comes the Authority for a distraction. The fans chant for Punk as Batista sends Bryan into the steps. Daniel is thrown into Randy Orton and Batista looked annoyed. Daniel is thrown back inside and gets an overrated chant plus a high kick from Daniel Bryan. Not that it matters as Orton comes in to attack Bryan for the DQ at 10:10.
Rating: C. Not a bad match here but they were just waiting for the screwy ending to close things out. I was thinking they would have Bryan get the pin here to change things up even more but this keeps the triple threat hopes looking solid. At the same time it keeps the Bryan vs. HHH hopes looking solid so I’m still not sure where they’re going. That’s still an awesome feeling.
Post match Orton loads up the RKO on Batista but gets shoved into the running knee. Bryan goes after the Authority but gets speared down by Batista. HHH gets in the ring and yells at Bryan but Daniel kicks him from the mat. A Batista Bomb lays out Bryan and HHH adds in a Pedigree, leaving the Authority standing tall to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. This was the WWE fighting back against the fans and showing the product is what really matters. The fans chanted all night and at the end of the day it came off as desperate pleas for attention instead of something witty or funny. The Punk chants just got annoying by about 9:30 and I don’t think anyone was paying attention to them.
The show itself was very solid with Wrestlemania being shored up and a title change that needed to happen finally taking place. Brock looks like a killer heading into Wrestlemania and there are still doors open for major matches on the card. WWE is at it’s full power here and it’s a very exciting time. Bryan and Punk are still wild cards and there’s the announcement next week that might be something interesting. Good show this week and things are really picking up.
Usos b. New Age Outlaws – Superfly Splash to Gunn
Big E. b. Cesaro via DQ when Jack Swagger interfered
Wyatt Family b. Shield – Sister Abigail to Ambrose
Santino Marella/Emma b. Summer Rae/Fandango
Bella Twins b. Alicia Fox/Aksana – Rack to Fox
Dolph Ziggler b. Alberto Del Rio – Zig Zag
Big E. b. Jack Swagger via DQ when Cesaro interfered
Daniel Bryan b. Batista via DQ when Randy Orton interfered
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