Each week, Mary “Queen of the Busted Open Nation” Grater reviews WWE Monday Night Raw.
The WWE is heading into a huge week. And with Elimination Chamber Sunday and the WWE Network launching next Monday, and considering all the drama that has surrounded the WWE recently, they delivered a solid go-home show Monday night.
We start off Raw with something that hasn’t happened in a while: John Cena. John hypes the crowd for Elimination Chamber, and says whoever wins will go on to face Batista at WrestleMania 30. He goes on to say that Randy Orton has no momentum heading into the Chamber – Orton has already lost to Daniel Bryan, Cesaro and Cena the past few weeks.
Cesaro’s music hits, and he comes out with Zeb Colter to interrupt.
Colter tells Cena that he is looking at the next WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Cesaro states he will beat Orton again at EC and become the new face of America! Cena says he has to also beat four other guys to win, and reminds Cesaro he’s never been in an Elimination Chamber match.
Sheamus then comes out, cutting them both off.
Sheamus says that he’s been in the Chamber twice, but he doesn’t want to be the face of the company.
Christian then interrupts him, and tells Sheamus that he will hit the Killswitch on him, and go on to win the WWE WHC for the first time.
Randy Orton’s music hits.
Randy states that even though Cena and Cesaro have beaten him, they won’t be able to beat him when it counts. He says that he’s defeated Christian every time they have faced off, and that Sheamus will not come close to beating him Monday night.
Cue Daniel Bryan’s music.
D-Bry says everyone has been talking, but he lets the people talk for himself. He knows how important the Elimination Chamber is, and that it leads to WrestleMania. Bryan states he’s worked too hard and overcome too much to let this opportunity slip through his fingers; everyone will be chanting “Yes!” at the end of Elimination Chamber.
Kane then makes his way out.
Kane says The Authority is giving him a chance to redeem himself, and left him in charge for the night. He clarifies that Sheamus will face Randy Orton in the main event, and then books John Cena versus Cesaro later in the night. Kane then says Daniel Bryan will face Christian, and that match starts now.
Christian hits Daniel Bryan with a cheap shot from behind to start the match. (Christian acted pretty heelish throughout the night – don’t know if it was a heel turn, or if anyone who faces Bryan is a heel by default.) The two then went on to give us a fantastic match, which in my opinion showed how great Christian still is.
But being great isn’t enough against Daniel Bryan. Bryan countered the Killswitch into a roll up, and got the one-two-three.
Kane, who was at ringside the whole match, grabbed the mic and told Daniel he had one more match tonight. That match was against Kane, himself.
Kane begins a viscous onslaught on Bryan, dominating most of the match. D-Bry wins via DQ when Kane, using the ring post to inflict damage to Bryan’s arm, would not break a hold. Like a boss, Kane says he knows he has been disqualified, and continues the beat down on Daniel.
Does Bryan’s damaged arm heading into EC secure his fate of not winning, or add to the underdog-who-overcomes storyline? We’ll have to wait and see.
- Bray Wyatt cut another bone-chilling promo at The Shield after Roman Reigns’ match. It led to another standoff in the ring.
- Jack Swagger, the No. 1 contender for the Intercontinental Title, defeated Kofi Kingston.
- Big E defeated Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre in a handicapped match.
- Triple H was backstage with Orton when Batista showed up. Batista states that Orton isn’t the face of the WWE. Del Rio then shows up and talks a little smack to Batista, before Batista shoves him and walks away. (WWE is really keeping Batista to a minimum, huh? Wonder why?)
- Renee Young informed Titus O’Neill that he will be facing Darren Young at Elimination Chamber.
- The Wyatt Family defeated the team of Los Matadores and Sin Cara.
- Jey Uso picked up a win against Billy Gunn.
DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK
This week’s disappointment was the continuing feud of Santino Marella and Fandango. And not for the reasons you may think. Well, mostly not.
Fandango’s fall from grace is a factor here, as he went from beating Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 29 in his debut to a comedic feud with a guy who pulls a snake from his tights as his finishing move. But the real crime here is pairing new NXT diva Emma with Santino.
After hearing glowing reports about what a talent Emma is, the WWE decides after two weeks of nonsense with her to show a package video displaying those talents. I’m baffled. Yes, I want to see a match between Summer Rae and Emma, but I have to deal with another crap-tastic romance storyline with Santino to get it? It’s another display of Creative not knowing how to introduce a character based on talent instead of a crappy gimmick. Why not show that package when she was first introduced? And for that, WWE Creative is now a two-time recipient of the “You Stink” award.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
This week’s highlights come in threes.
First, we have the booking of Roman Reigns as a BEAST. Each week he gets better and better, and his outing against Mark Henry this week was no different. He put away The World’s Strongest Man in a dominant display. It’s also adding to the growing jealousy of Dean Ambrose not being able to get done what Reigns can. For all the bad WWE does sometimes, they have been flawless with their execution of The Shield.
Next we have John Cena versus Cesaro. Although SuperCena prevailed once again, the match between the two was phenomenal. It just showed that when Cena is put in the ring with the right guy, the results are amazing. And Cesaro suffering the loss did not take away from his recent push. The crowd was behind him throughout – be it on his own or the crowd’s hatred for Cena – and it added to the dark-horse persona heading into Elimination Chamber.
And the final highlight was the Sheamus versus Randy Orton main event.
The two had another great match. It continued to show that Orton’s booking as of late has outshined how amazing he has been in the ring lately. Randy’s character sometimes lacks, but make no mistake about it: Randy is a surgeon in that ring.
But it was the outcome of the match that was the highlight.
The Shield interfered, attacking Sheamus and costing him the match. The Shield reminded us that they are still hired guns for The Authority, and Randy is still their champ. This led to the rest of the participants in the Elimination Chamber match to come out and make the save.
And just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier, the lights went out and The Wyatts arrived in the ring to confront The Shield. The tension boiled over, and the two factions finally came to blows! Everyone in the ring starts going at it, and we go off the air with utter chaos.
I love how the WWE put focus on the growing feud between The Shield and The Wyatts, in addition to the main event at Elimination Chamber. It’s like they actually recognized what is selling the pay-per-view. And that my friends, is how you end a go-home show.