Each week, Mary “Queen of the Busted Open Nation” Grater reviews WWE Monday Night Raw.
The WWE is trying to generate momentum going forward on the Road to WrestleMania, while at the same time doing damage control because of the ongoing issues outside of the ring. So what better way to open Monday Night Raw than with special guest host Betty White!
That was sarcasm, if you didn’t get it.
Announcer Justin Roberts introduces White, who is accompanied out by Big Show. She tells the Universe she is excited to be on the program, before being interrupted by Triple H’s music. Trips and Stephanie McMahon then head out and say “Hi” to Betty. (During their trip to the ring, Trips has a hilarious stare off with Big Show. It’s the little things, people.)
Once he’s out, Trips says he wants to clear up some confusion from last week. While he did say that if Daniel Bryan beat Randy Orton he would reconsider Bryan as the face of the company, he didn’t say that was a guarantee. Trips continues by saying that everyone involved in the Elimination Chamber match is being considered.
Out comes Randy Orton.
Randy says he’s been thinking, and he owes The Authority an apology. He claims he has been childish and selfish. In order to get what he wants, he has to first make The Authority happy. Steph wonders how The Authority can trust him, and Randy says it’s from the heart; that at SummerSlam, he became the face of the company when he beat Daniel Bryan, and he wants to be the face of the company inside and outside the ring. Orton also claims he is the heart and soul of the WWE.
Cue Daniel Bryan’s music.
The crowd erupts as Daniel makes his way out. He asks Randy if he really thinks he is the heart and soul of the WWE, while making reference to the crowd reaction to Bryan. Stephanie cuts in and says she doesn’t appreciate being interrupted by Orton and Bryan. From now on, any superstar or diva that wants to talk to The Authority must make an appointment through Chief of Operations, Kane. Bryan says that’s the reason he is out there: because Kane is nowhere to be found. Kane only seems to be around when he is interrupting matches.
Daniel wants Kane one-on-one tonight.
Steph says Kane is off for the week while he gets a performance review. Bryan then questions who evaluates The Authority, because their actions seem based in stupidity. Orton tells him not to talk to them like that, when Bryan brings up Orton’s past, involving Steph and Triple H. (Continuity? Color me shocked.) Trips then states he will do what’s best for business, and gives Bryan a well-deserved night off. Bryan then leads the crowd in a thunderous “No!” chant. (Side note: I have never seen anyone control the crowd like Bryan. If Bryan isn’t at least in the WWE WHC match at WM 30, the WWE is a bunch of fools.)
From there, we head into another mediocre night. Road to WrestleMania indeed.
- The Wyatt Family defeated the team of The Brotherhood and Rey Mysterio, who was the victim of a devastating Sister Abigail from Bray. Bray cut another cryptic promo on The Shield.
- Roman Reigns’ record-breaking performance at the Royal Rumble was highlighted in a video package.
- Renee Young interviewed The Shield about facing The Wyatts at Elimination Chamber. Renee and Roman also questioned Dean Ambrose as to why he hasn’t defended his U.S. title recently. He claimed there haven’t been any challengers, and then issued an open challenge to the locker room.
- Fandango defeated Santino Marella, who was accompanied by Emma. The Miz continued his disgruntled-employee shtick by interrupting the match commentary for a second straight week.
- Christian and Sheamus teamed up to face The Real Americans. Sheamus got the pin on Jack Swagger. Zeb Colter again didn’t look too pleased with Swags.
- John Cena cut a very solid promo discussing the future of the company, and how it’s on the brink of change. In my opinion, he touched on the underlying issues that are going on in the WWE right now, executed perfectly by him in his own John Cena way. It was nice to have the real face of the company address the issues, even if some of it was with innuendos.
- The misuse of Dolph Ziggler continued, as he lost quickly to Alberto Del. Batista came out afterwards (in ring gear!) and power-bombed Del Rio through the announce table. Triple H confronted Batista back stage and told him he can’t act like that anymore – the WWE is a publicly traded company now. (Amazing how art imitates life, huh?)
- The Usos defeated Rybaxel and hinted that they would challenge for the tag team titles soon against New Age Outlaws. NAO was on commentary during the match.
- A returning Mark Henry accepted Dean Ambrose’s open challenge. His title match ended in a DQ when Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns interfered, allowing Dean to retain.
- During a commercial break in the match, Seth Rollins grabbed a mic and, in response to the continuous CM Punk chants, asked the crowd, “CM Who?” Take this how you want. The Shield had been cutting promos on Punk during house shows, and now the plot thickens with a promo on the flagship program.
- The Bella Twins and Cameron defeated AJ Lee, Alicia Fox and Aksana. Sloppy match. Just sloppy. And this after Aksana made a rookie mistake last week when she injured Naomi. Why she was allowed on Raw this week baffled me.
- Kane came out – even though he was not supposed to be at Raw – and cut a promo, saying he accepted the punishment from The Authority. Daniel Bryan then came running out and attacked Kane. Why do I feel like this is heading toward Kane vs. Daniel Bryan at WM 30?
- Once again, in a decent match that everyone has seen a billion times, John Cena defeated Randy Orton in the main event.
DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK
The disappointments of the week were the Betty White segments. Instead of three segments that could’ve been used to build to WrestleMania, we get a pooping-your-pants prank on the New Age Outlaws.
Enough already. No offense to Betty White, but you don’t belong on Raw. And that’s why WWE Creative gets the “You Stink” award this week.
The shining highlights of this week’s Raw came in two doses.
The first was the standoff between The Shield and The Wyatt Family following Dean Ambrose’s match. Nothing said short and sweet more than them just staring at each other on opposite sides of the ring. The two factions are selling Elimination Chamber alone.
And the second is my highlight of the night: Lita announced as the newest member of the 2014 Hall of Fame.
The teenage girl in me rejoiced. No offense to Trish Stratus, who is another personal favorite, but Lita was my home girl. I related to her so much, and wished I could be doing what she was doing when I was watching in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. She was unlike any Diva out there, and she was just so rad in every way. She set the bar so high in her feud with Trish Stratus that no one has come remotely close since. The Divas division is so awful right now that you forget how remarkable and game changing it was when Trish and Lita ruled – they main-evented Raw, and unfortunately, I don’t think two divas will ever do that again. Lita revolutionized what a diva could be. So she takes her place, rightfully so, next to Trish in the Hall of Fame.
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