michael dworkis gets raw…
The hype for tonight is beyond words. We get a video package hyping the debut of The Wyatt Family. Rob Van Dam is coming, and we start with … Vickie Guerrero? She whines and cries about The McMahons not getting along, thus making her life difficult. However she continues to give the WWE Fans what they want. She climbs the ladder, as two referees rush in to be sure no accidents happen, while Brad Maddox stands there like the mute doofus he is. Lawler interrupts to inform her the WWE Universe can download the app (if no one has already), to give their own rating of her recent performance. Oh boy.
Onward to awesome!
Daniel Bryan defeats Sheamus
The match did not end in 18 seconds this time. Great start, wear down holds, and then we get crazy when the action spills to the floor. Bryan goes for his rushing knee off the apron, Sheamus catches him, but something goes wrong and Sheamus falls backwards, dropping Bryan forehead first into the crowd barrier. Can Daniel Bryan take a beating or what? Sheamus convincingly maintains control of the match, Bryan can sell anything and everything. Sheamus is the perfect opponent to administer a believable beatdown. He hits Bryan with the Irish Curse, White Noise, but Sheamus could not win with the Brouge Kick. Byran comes back with his big moves, missile dropkick, but then Sheamus returns fire with his trademark forearm shots. They are going at it like two World Champions. Just when you think one man is down, he comes back with a big move. Sheamus took a buzzsaw kick without putting his guard up. Wow. Sheamus locks Bryan in the Irish (Texas) Cloverleaf, but Bryan counters with a roll-up to get the three count!
This was main event material. THIS should have been their WrestleMania 28 match. Nice touch, they shake hands after the match.
We get an interesting video… looks like reporters are looking for the Wyatts…
AJ backstage freaking out with Big E. over Kaitlyn. Ziggler arrives, and seems to be unhappy with her recent antics, but they kiss and make up.
Mark Henry promo. This guy is a beast. He DESERVES to be WWE Champion!
I talk about how Bryan is the most over wrestler right now, and my wife decides to comment:
“You know, if I never got into wrestling, and I heard you say Daniel Bryan is over, I would think his career just ended. Thankfully, I know better and Bryan will have a long career ahead. Maybe longer than our marriage.”
Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns defeated A-Train and Brodus Clay
Should have been a much shorter match. The Ton of Flunk couldn’t seem to keep pace, only when they dominated the bout. It is a shame, I thought Clay and a rejuvenated A-Train would have been better, but the chemistry just is not working for these two.
Let Clay go back to being a monster.
WWE.com sent a reporter in search of the Wyatts, earlier today. Way before Raw. Thanks Cole. We see some decrepit old house. A dude with a goat mask chopping wood. Suddenly, Luke Harper instructs the “reporter” to “follow me.” Creeeeeeeepy!
John Cena and Mark Henry go face-to-face
Henry tells Cena he is hungry and after 17 years only the WWE Title will satisfy him. Cena jokes all he needed was a Snickers bar. Wow. Henry is cutting an awesome promo and Cena brings it down with bad humor. Then Henry forgets proper English … Saying “I knew who you was before you knew who you was.” Yeah, I don’t get it either. Henry talks about how he sacrificed everything for this company, and he will do anything to get one, just ONE reign as WWE Champion. John Cena, amongst boos, then taunts Henry for being selfish. Uhm, well Cena, I thought the whole script was always about doing anything to be champ? So, yeah. This little banter is getting confusing. Cena awkwardly panders to the crowd while Henry is talking. So, Cena just wants to fight. Henry flattens Cena with the World’s Strongest Slam. Crowd likes it, so do I.
Backstage: Josh Matthews talking to Randy Orton, and I went to the bathroom.
Chris Jericho defeats Curtis Axel
Heyman comes out with sunglasses, concealing the black eye earned from Alberto del Rio on SmackDown. The Miz at ringside on commentary. For some reason, the commentating team goes silent, then JBL and Miz begin talking Cole interrupts and sends it off to commercial. Odd. We get some good wrestling, a Northern Lights Suplex from Jericho, a neckbreaker from Axel, not bad, but something feels off here. Not sure if their communication is what is lacking, but something seems sluggish here. Axel is launched to the floor, and trades verbal attacks with The Miz. Heyman get Axel back in the ring, only for Jericho to spike him with the Codebreaker for the pinfall win.
Backstage, Josh Matthews talks to Sandow and Rhodes about Money in the Bank. They are interrupted by Zeb Colter with Swagger and Cesaro. Barrett then interrupts and Colter questions his nationality and language. Fandango interrupts, and begins to say his name, only to be interrupted first by Swagger, then by Barrett, again by Colter, and finally, when Fandango tries a fourth time to say his name, Barrett punches him in the face, and everyone laughs.
I guess Barrett will not be the next member of Colter’s stable.
The reporter walks through the home, finds someone in a room chanting “obey” over and over, while Harper reminds the reporter “not to stray.” They meet up with Wyatt who leads on.
Alberto del Rio vs. Sin Cara
This match was a waste, until Ziggler came out to taunt Del Rio. Sin Cara sucks.
Vickie Gets Evaluated
All three McMahons sit at a table like American Idol, allowing Guerrero to have the floor. Crowd chants “boring” while Brad Maddox stands there like an idiot. She takes credit for The Rock and Undertaker being at WrestleMania, and the return of RVD. Steph brings up Brock Lesnar. Vince then tells Vickie she is entertaining, while she does make the occasional “bonehead” move. Triple H then makes fun of her. He says the WWE Universe does not want her, some reference to the Golden Girls. Vince then goes pro-Vickie again. Stephanie leaves it up to the WWE Universe, and Vickie gets a big FAIL. Against Vince’s wishes, Stephanie fires Vickie. After Triple H and Stephanie leave, Vince then announces the new RAW General Manager… Brad Maddox. Vince says, the people deserve this. Backstage Vickie snaps while Vince consoles her.
So, I have no idea where this angle is going. Likely just to further the Vince vs. Triple H storyline. Brad Maddox? So Vince puts him in charge because he is mad at the fans?
Kane defeats Christian
Standard match. Nothing really exciting during the match, but is what happens when the match is over… The lights go dark… Not the Undertaker, but The Wyatt Family on the Titantron! Bray Wyatt does not have followers, he has brothers and sisters. Wyatt rocks back and forth, preaching his gospel. Time to WAKE UP! It is time for the masses to wake up and understand what Bray Wyatt understands. He lights a torch… “We’re here.” The lights go out, the chills go up my spine, the creepy music plays while Bray leads his family to the ring. The lights go on, as Bray rocks in his chair while his “sons” beat up Kane.
Hmmm… Thinking about this.
I call it a segment because I have no idea what happened. There was a tag match with Kaitlyn, Layla, AJ and Alicia Fox, the Bellas were on commentary promoting Total Divas and squeaking louder than an un-oiled door hinge. Kaitlyn speared AJ into next week. Yawn.
Backstage, Vickie carrying her stuff out in a box is stopped by Ryback. He hugs her, and tells her everything will be alright. If the Ryback gimmick has not been buried enough, someone just threw him a new shovel.
Backstage, Josh Matthews talks to CM Punk, although he does not deserve it. Punk promises anything he does only adds to the title of Best in the World. Well, it is true.
Great Rob Van Dam promo, showing his win at ECW One Night Stand 2006, capturing the WWE Championship from John Cena. I was there.
CM Punk defeated Randy Orton
The crowd solid behind Punk. No Orton chants here. Orton does a heel move, shoving Punk. Part-way through the match, Orton starts earning some chants, which I can accept since he is able to keep pace and actually do some wrestling moves. Punk is killing it, Orton will have to thank him later for making him look good. My wife has better ears than I do…
“Listen to the pitch. It sounds like teenage girls and children under seven cheering for Randy Orton. You know, the people who think hideous is attractive.”
Thank you, Evi.
Punk and Orton put on a good match, but not a great match. Punk/Christian would have been better. Orton just cannot perform at the same level Punk can. Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk would have been epic, but we all know a match between the former ROH Champions would be pay-per-view quality. Punk executes his signature moves with grace and perfection. His top rope elbow makes Randy Savage smile from heaven each time he does it. Punk is versatile, while all Orton can do in the later stages of the match, only moves in his routine move-set. Second rope DDT, powerslam, you know, predictably boring stuff. For a RAW main event, Punk and Orton did their job. Orton is able to dish out a beating, and Punk is the best at selling it. The end of the match looked like Orton was sleepwalking through. A bad RKO attempt leads to Punk kicking him in the face. Orton staggers around and Punk blasts him with the Go To Sleep for the pinfall victory.
Punk does not get to celebrate as Daniel Bryan rushes in and takes out both Punk and Orton, climbing a ladder, grabbing the briefcase, and celebrates with the crowd YES YES YES!
This was an awkward RAW. The Wyatt Family debut, while good to finally see them on RAW, was a bit lacking in the impact department. They took out Kane on the floor, hitting him with the ring stairs. I would have liked to see something big in the ring, but my guess is with the focus on Money in the Bank, we will get more of the Wyatts after the pay-per-view.
We get one big backstage segment with the challengers for the World Championship MITB match, ending in a semi-comedy/semi-serious bit involving Fandango. None of them wrestled on Raw. Too much air time given to the McMahons/Vickie segment. I get we are seeing a McMahon family feud, but it went way too long. Vince is punishing the fans by naming Brad Maddox as the new RAW General Manager. I do not get it? Do you?
Over to the WWE Championship MITB, Christian loses to Kane in a routine match. Christian is running out of steam or maybe his head was not in it tonight. Something was off with him. Alberto del Rio and Sin Cara was another waste. They could have Ziggler fight Del Rio backstage, it would have been better, faster, and to the point. Ziggler/AJ segment teases the inevitable break-up, but at this point, I do not think anyone cares. Ryback? Why? He had no purpose.
I really apologize. I had my hopes up WWE was going to knock this one for a home run, but we got a ground-rule double. Looking ahead to SmackDown, WWE creative has another chance to give us something better heading towards Money in the Bank. Until then… More Rob Van Dam promos!!!