Each week, Mary “Queen of the Busted Open Nation” Grater reviews WWE Monday Night Raw.

THE OPEN

We kick off this week’s Raw with another cryptic Wyatt Family vignette, as the Family claims newest member Daniel Bryan finally has a home. (Looking back, this was a brilliant way to setup the night.)

Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan then take on The Usos in a tremendous tag match. The Usos win via disqualification due to interference by Harper and Rowan. The Family continues to beat down The Usos after the match. Bryan eventually “sacrifices” himself again to the Family (or does he?), and Bray hits Bryan with the Sister Abigail.

THE RUNDOWN

  • John Cena takes on Damien Sandow in a belated rematch. Each wrestler expands their arsenal, using moves we don’t usually see from the two. In the end, a new submission from Sandow isn’t enough to get the job done, and Cena wins a great showdown.
  • Brad Maddox announces The Wyatts will face The Usos again, later in the night, in a steel cage match. Kane adds that the door to the cage will be locked shut.
  • Big Show defeats Jack Swagger, and knocks out Zeb Colter with a punch.
  • AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka easily beat The Funkadactyls; AJ hits Cameron with the shining wizard, and gets the three-count. (Side note: AJ is only four days away from being the longest reigning Divas champ.)
  • Kane books Randy Orton in a match against Kofi Kingston as Orton pleads for more protection. Orton tells Kane he is concerned that Brock Lesnar, Batista and John Cena are all gunning for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
  • We got our first inductee to the 2014 Hall of Fame – and it’s The Ultimate Warrior!
  • Paul Heyman cut a promo on how Big Show doesn’t intimidate himself or Lesnar.
  • The Brotherhood again defeats Rybaxel.
  • Alberto Del Rio beats Rey Mysterio, then cuts another promo on Batista. (This is Batista’s returning feud?)
  • CM Punk confronts Kane backstage, looking for Triple H. Kane tells Punk Triple H isn’t around, and informs Punk that he has been entered into the Royal Rumble.

CM PUNK AND DX

CM Punk teams up with the New Age Outlaws again in a rematch against The Shield. Things start out well for Team Punk, but The Shield quickly gains control of the match, with Punk on the receiving end of a beating. When Punk finally makes his way to his corner to make a tag, Billy Gunn and Road Dogg jump down from the apron, leaving Punk to the hounds of justice – and turning the New Age Outlaws heel in the process. Punk fights back, but Roman Reigns hits the spear and gets the pin on Punk for the second week in a row.

I guess the rumors of Triple H vs. CM Punk at Wrestlemania 30 might have some truth to them after all …

ORTON AND KINGSTON

Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston square off in what seems like a brutal, drawn out beat down of Kingston.

Kofi, who is probably one of the most talented and under-utilized guys in the WWE, has been relegated to the land of the mid-cards, overlooked in any compelling story line. So much so that everyone assumes in a match against the WWE World Heavyweight champion, there’s no way he’ll get the win.

And then the unthinkable happens; he wins. Clean.

Kingston hits the SOS on Orton, and gets the pin.

I don’t know how to take this; in one way it makes the champion, Orton, look laughable, but on the other hand it’s great for Kofi. Hopefully this is the turn Kingston needs, and he can run with it.

(Orton attacks John Cena’s dad after the match – I swear I’ve seen this before.)

HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT

The main event is a cage match: Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan vs. The Usos. After an amazing effort put forth by both teams; The Usos manage to scale the cage together, and get over the top for the win. That alone is noteworthy; the Usos headline Raw in a steel cage match and win. Congrats to them.

But it’s what happens after that makes the night.

Bray, growing increasingly frustrated with Bryan, tells Bryan to sacrifice himself again to the Sister Abigail. But as Bray sets him up, Bryan slips out. (Could it be?) Bray quickly realizes he is locked in a cage with Bryan, and there is no escape. (Kane is the only one with the key … payoff, perhaps?) Bray goes after Bryan, but Bryan fights back, kicking Bray into oblivion, and setting the crowd into a thunderous “Yes!” chant.

Bryan then sheds his Wyatt gear to expose his old maroon and white trunks, leads the crowd in a slow, budilding “Yes!” chant, and hits the bearded wizard on Bray.

Ladies and gentleman: Daniel Bryan is back!

Bryan then climbs to the top of the cage and leads the crowd in arguably the most thunderous “Yes!” chant yet.

I don’t know if this was the plan from the beginning, or if Vince realized it was a bad move to put Daniel Bryan in The Wyatt Family. But either way I don’t care. The arc managed to accomplish the impossible: Bryan is more over than ever.

All is now right in the world: Daniel Bryan is the hottest thing since “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and I am one happy wrestling fan. These are the moments that keep me watching.

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