Each week, Mary “Queen of the Busted Open Nation” Grater reviews WWE Monday Night Raw.
WWE continued its momentum moving forward from the fiasco that happened in Chicago last week. Would they be able to finally put the CM Punk talk behind them, and march with their heads held high on the Road to WrestleMania?
Before I start my review, I’d just like to take a second and thank my boys of Busted Open and the Busted Open Nation on all the warm “Get well” wishes I’ve received the last couple of days. I’ve been truly overwhelmed and you all brightened my days. I’ll be back before you know it, annoying the guys and keeping them in check! (Sorry for the delay on this, I’m moving kind of slow.)
We opened up Monday Night Raw with “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan coming to the ring to make a big announcement. Hulk says all the nostalgia over the last two weeks made him come up with an idea. At WrestleMania 30, there will be an over-the-top 30-man battle royal – and the winner will receive the Andre the Giant Memorial trophy.
Cue John Cena’s music.
John makes his way out (to a sea of boos) and remarks that he loves crowds like this (they boo him louder). He then thanks Hogan for coming home, and announces he is throwing his name into the battle royal.
The Wyatt Family quickly interrupts Cena.
Bray Wyatt cuts an interesting promo, mocking both Cena and Hogan. He says they are liars, and give hope when hope is dead. He tells John he will end his legacy.
John fires back by making fun of Bray, and says he may not be in the battle royal because he wants Bray at WrestleMania. Wyatt says it’s always fun and games with Cena, and it won’t last forever. Luke Harper and Erik Rowan surround Cena and Hogan in the ring as the WWE goes to commercial.
We come back to John Cena facing Erik Rowan one-on-one with Hogan in Cena’s corner (which was actually pretty cool to see), and the rest of The Family in the other corner. Cena wins a quick match with a roll-up. Rowan and Harper close in on Cena and Hogan after the match, but Bray calls them off.
From there, we got a Raw that delivered on expectations heading toward the big show. Here’s what else happened:
- The Usos defeated Rybaxel with The New Age Outlaws on commentary.
- Big E faced off against Jack Swagger again. Big E picked up the win this time when Swagger was distracted by Cesaro ringside.
- The Bella Twins defeated the team of AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka. Nikki Bella held up the Divas Championship while Natalya, who was on commentary, looked on.
- Lana came out to introduce Alexander Rusev with the same shtick.
- Daniel Bryan and Big Show defeated Batista and Randy Orton in the main event.
Backstage, The Shield met with Kane. Kane told them because of their recent actions, they had to prove they are still valuable. He goes on and stated they have to beat The Rhodes Brothers Monday night. Kane said that when The Shield lost the tag team titles to The Rhodes Brothers, they began to deteriorate. Seth Rollins said this isn’t about The Shield – Kane is just trying to distract people from the fact that he lost to Daniel Bryan twice last week. Kane told them to go do their jobs. Roman Reigns said they will exorcise this demon, and any others that get in the way.
Later in the night, Reigns and Rollins squared off against The Brotherhood in another outstanding match. The Shield emerged victorious and stood tall, united in the middle of the ring.
The Deadman made his way to the ring and was about to speak when he was interrupted by Paul Heyman. Paul apologized for cutting him off, but said he was there to represent his client, Brock Lesnar.
Heyman said the streak is the greatest streak of all-time. He went on to talk about other mini-streaks at WrestleMania, mentioning Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and John Cena. Paul said that is what makes The Undertaker’s legacy the greatest. He said that Taker shouldn’t get in the ring with Lesnar because everyone worships the streak, and if he faces Lesnar, he will lose.
Undertaker told Paul that the fear of death is greater than death, but the fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all. If Brock shows up at WrestleMania, he will rest in peace.
SHEAMUS AND CHRISTIAN
Sheamus and Christian continued their feud this week with a Memphis Street Fight, which was actually a good next chapter in their ongoing brutal battle. They delivered another solid match (with weapons!), and had a great spot at the end where Sheamus Brogue-Kicked Christian through a snare drum. Sheamus picked up another win – I hope this war between the two continues.
THE WYATT FAMILY
The Family cut another promo on both John Cena and Hulk Hogan, saying the two were one in the same. Bray called John a monster – like himself – and accepted the challenge for a match at WrestleMania.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Before I get into the main highlight of the week, the minor one is that there was no disappointment of the week! No bad crowd, no stupid dance off, no Khali, and no misuse of Hulk Hogan! Solid show all around!
Earlier in the night, The Authority came out and addressed Daniel Bryan’s Smackdown attack on Triple H. Stephanie McMahon said that it was grounds for termination, but they would apologize instead. She said they know there is value in Bryan, and they won’t fire him if he also apologized. Steph also said Trips wouldn’t fight Bryan at WrestleMania, as Trips is better than Bryan in all aspects.
Later on, Daniel Bryan comes out to the ring. He says the “Yes! Movement” is there in Memphis. Bryan says he knows Stephanie’s apology earlier wasn’t sincere, and The Authority is just trying to scare him.
He goes on to say that Trips can’t have it both ways. He can’t go corporate and then attack people expecting them not to fight back. Daniel says it ends tonight, and The Authority can’t ignore him or the fans any longer:
The “Yes! Movement” is going to Occupy Raw! They are going to fill the ring and not move until Bryan gets what he wants!
The whole ring and its surrounding are filled up with fans all wearing the “Yes! Movement” shirts.
While everyone is going nuts chanting “Yes!” with D-Bry, Trips and Steph make their way out. Trips congratulates Bryan, and then tells everyone they have 30 seconds to get out of the ring. They don’t move, so Trips calls security. Bryan tells Trips they can leave, but he’s taking everyone with him to the parking lot, and they will have their own show. Security comes and goes, knowing they are outnumbered. Steph starts to lose it, and asks Bryan if this is all worth it. Trips says Occupy Raw ends now, and calls for the next match to start.
Out comes Damian Sandow.
Bryan eggs Sandow on to come in the ring and join the “Yes! Movement.” Sandow hesitates, and then retreats. Steph’s fit escalates, and she tells everyone to get out of the ring, that she owns everything. Bryan says they aren’t leaving until he gets what the fans want.
Tensions escalate, and Trips says he is going to end Bryan at WrestleMania. Hunter tells D-Bry it’s on! Everyone starts to celebrate when Bryan informs The Authority that isn’t the only thing he wants … (No. Way.)
Daniel tells Trips he still wants in on the WWE WHC title match. If he beats Triple H at Mania, the stipulation is that Bryan is entered into the title match that night, making it a triple-threat match for the WWE WHC title! (YES! YES! YES!) Trips throws a massive fit, tries to go after Bryan … and says it’s on!
I don’t know if there was a better way to make what the majority of wrestling fans have been asking for since Batista won the Rumble come to fruition. And I don’t care. I think it came off great … even if it was a bit cheesy. They went with the momentum coming off the whole hijacking-the-hijack last week, included the fans – who are the whole reason this is even happening – and finally, finally, pulled the trigger on something everyone wants. (And even more props for not waiting until the last minute, with the possibility of fans turning away from WrestleMania if they had to question whether Bryan would be in the main event.)
Congrats to the fans. You made this happen, and the WWE actually listened. It was very obvious the original plan wasn’t for Daniel Bryan to be in the title match at WrestleMania.
How this all plays out is still up for question, but nonetheless, Daniel Bryan just saved WrestleMania.