Each week, Mary “Queen of the Busted Open Nation” Grater reviews WWE Monday Night Raw.
DANIEL BRYAN AND THE OPEN
After a tumultuous ending to the Royal Rumble, what better way to start off Raw than with The Authority making their way to the ring.
Stephanie McMahon welcomes the crowd and states how amazing the Rumble was … to loud boos and “Yes!” chants. Triple H chimes in by mocking the crowd about being upset and not getting what they wanted. Stephanie says there is one more stop before Wrestlemania 30, and it’s the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. There, Randy Orton will defend the WWE World Heavyweight title inside the Chamber against five other opponents.
Cue Daniel Bryan’s music.
Daniel Bryan comes out to another thunderous ovation. He asks the WWE Universe to stop “Yes-ing” and cheering because The Authority doesn’t like the chant. Bryan tells The Authority that his match against Bray Wyatt is being talked about more than the Rumble itself. He states the biggest disappointment of the night was not being included in the Rumble.
Steph tells Bryan they were looking out for his health because of his recent injuries, and she didn’t want to have him compete in two matches. Daniel’s counter: How many times has The Authority made him run the gauntlet against The Shield or The Wyatts in one night? Bryan defiantly tells The Authority they don’t care about his health or what’s best for business. Steph says that isn’t true, and Bryan only cares about himself. She asks Bryan if he thinks that everyone is really just there to see him, and the crowd breaks into a huge “Yes!” chant. Bryan asks the crowd if they want to see Randy Orton and they answer with a deafening “No!” He then says he’s not at Raw to complain about last night, but that he wants in the Elimination Chamber match, and he’s not leaving the ring until he gets what he wants.
Triple H says that sounds good, but he’s got company. The Shield’s music hits, and the three begin to beat Bryan down until Sheamus comes out to help, followed by John Cena.
Although it was a good opening segment, the jury is still out on whether they rewrote this coming out of Rumble, or we were being worked. I’m still leery of what’s to come.
- The Real Americans defeated Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio. Great little moment in the match, with Zeb Colter slapping Jack Swagger to fire him up. And the crowd showed Mysterio it was not personal at the Rumble when they booed him at No. 30.
- Fandango lost to R-Truth. Emma from NXT was at ringside again. Look for her to debut against Summer Rae soon …
- Randy Orton cuts a promo in the ring, stating that the champ is here after another win against Cena; and how it doesn’t matter how Orton got the win. Orton was told when he got to work that he now has to defend his title in the Elimination Chamber, and he wants to know whose decision that was: Brad Maddox or The Authority. Batista’s music cuts him off. Batista congratulates Orton on his win – trying to ignore the loud Daniel Bryan chants drowning him out – and says once again that he doesn’t care who the champ is; he’s walking out of Wrestlemania with the belt. Cue Brock Lesnar music.
- Paul Heyman and Brock make their way out, and Paul introduces himself to Brad Maddox. He informs everyone that Brock’s patience is wearing thin, and Heyman wants Maddox to inform The Authority they have two choices: Either they book a title match between Randy and Brock, or a No. 1 contender match between Batista and Brock … tonight! Paul tells Brad they want the answer tonight … or else.
- Dolph Ziggler defeated The Miz in a “Battle of Cleveland” match
- The Usos continued their hot streak by defeating Rybaxel.
- Alberto Del Rio defeated Kofi Kingston in a spectacular match – despite the crowd reaction. (And so much for a new direction for Kingston.)
- The Brotherhood got their rematch against the new tag team champs, the New Age Outlaws. (I’m still in shock over this.) Though The Brotherhood emerged victorious, it was not the way they wanted: Brock came out during the match and decimated the brothers. The NAO hightailed it out of there, and lost in a DQ.
- Team Total Divas (The Funkadactyls and The Bella Twins) defeated Team AJ (Lee, Tamina Snuka, Aksana, and Alicia Fox) for the umpteenth time. Hooray. Can we get a one-on-one feud here for the ladies, and stop with the multi-person tag matches?
The Main Event was The Shield against the team of John Cena, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan. This was also a qualifying match for the Elimination Chamber. The winning team would be in the WWE WHC title match. (I totally loved this idea.) A very solid match ended in an interesting way, with The Wyatts appearing out of nowhere and attacking John Cena. This resulted in a DQ for The Shield, and cost them the title match.
The Shield was not too pleased, and planted the seeds for the feud people have been clamoring for: The Shield vs. The Family. It also continued the set up for the rumored Cena-Bray Wyatt match at Wrestlemania.
I do find it odd, though, that they didn’t touch The Family helping out Orton, and Ambrose trying to eliminate Reigns at the Rumble. Guess time will tell.
Also, because I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention it: Where was Punk last night?
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
The highlight of the night was the second inductee into the Hall of Fame in 2014: Jake “The Snake” Roberts. It was a great moment for him as well, as the WWE Universe got to finally see one of the greatest of all-time get his due: An acknowledgement for turning his life around, and quieting the demons inside of him. It is an inductee that no one can argue about, and I’m sure everyone is happy he is around to accept it.
Job well done, Jake.