TV Recap: Monday Night RAW – February 3, 2014

Randy Orton Opening Promo: Can we make Randy Orton any more of a bitch? Seriously, he’s the “Apex Predator,” “The Viper” and yet all he does is whine about having opponents? You know what else…NO ONE CARES. Seriously, no one cares about this version of Randy Orton. Also, no one cares about his feud with Batista. And frankly, this promo sucked.

CM Punk Chants: Are we surprised? Nooooooooope. People love this guy. I love this guy. With that being said, I’m ambivalent towards his leaving the WWE. I think Tazz put it best in this interview. I think he should’ve stayed, but the dude is legit and passionate about wrestling, so for him to leave…must’ve been a good reason. Hopefully, things get smoothed out and Punk can return to WWE TV.

Triple-H is a Douche: Leading the Yes! Chant. Really? Douche.

Six-Man Tag: The Shield vs. Rey Mysterio, Big E. Langston & Kofi Kingston was what you would expect…fun, but ultimately a showcase for The Shield’s dominance. Just saying, Dean Ambrose’s U.S. Title reminds me of Joel Gertner’s neck brace or Jack Victory’s wheelchair, it’s a prop at this point. Does Kofi really have “SKILLZ” on the side of his tights. Woof. The Big E/Rey/Kofi team reminds me of the old NWA days when guys like Tommy Rich, Eddie Gilbert, The Dynamic Dudes or Z-Man would be team up or be in singles action and job to the hot heels in order to make them look strong for their big PPV match. People get behind them, they provide some excitement, but ultimately no shot of winning the match. By the way Big E. looked beast tonight and boy did Reigns eat it HARD WAY.

Post Match Promo: Oh The Wyatts…YES! YES! YES! Allowing Harper and Rowan little parts in Bray’s promo was great. You gotta evolve these dudes, they aren’t just two enforcers, they have personalities.

Bad News Barrett: I know Mike loves this guy, but he’s hit or miss for me. But the whole deal with Jerry Lawler tonight was meh at best. Lawler’s “comeback” was terrible. Will this lead to a feud between the two? Ugh, maybe. Can King even go in the ring anymore? I mean, I’m sure he can, but do we need to see him against Barret? No. What I’d like to see is Barrett jump Lawler and some young talent come out to save Lawler igniting a new feud.

Hey, It’s Christian: And there was much rejoicing. Sadly, Christian is still a good worker, but he’s been on TV so infrequently it’s hard to get behind him. That’s why having him in the E-Chamber just as is a whole bunch of whatever. The whole “one more match” gimmick reminds me of the angle Tommy Dreamer did a few years back and it worked well, maybe if he stays healthy it’ll work for him too. Christian’s match with Swagger was more about the tension between Swagger and Zeb than Christian. Also, if Zeb and Swag split, does that make Swag a face? Eesh.

Cage Match: Despite being ol’ as hells, I sill love the New Age Outlaw entrance. Road Dogg kills it on the microphone. While the Outlaws still are great on the microphone, the Rhodes Boys are just poetry in the ring. The brothers really are just so good in the ring. Goldust is just remarkable. He’s better than he was as “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes back in early ’90s WCW. He’s so cat-like in the ring and hits moves he shouldn’t even be attempting. Cody, meanwhile, is probably the most underrated worker in the WWE right now. He just has so many moves in his arsenal and he could sell, sell, sell. I think he could really be a top champion soon. Also, the MOONSAULT OFF THE CAGE. HOLY SMOKES. I thought the ending where Billy capitalizes on a fallen Cody with a Fame-Asser, while it might not be popular to the smarter fans, was actually a perfectly logical victory.

HOLY CRAP IT’S ZACH RYDER…HE’S DOING THE JOB…BUT HE’S ON TV FINALLY!!!

HOLY CRAP IT’S ZACH RYDER…HE’S DOING THE JOB…BUT HE’S ON TV FINALLY!!!

HOLY CRAP IT’S ZACH RYDER…HE’S DOING THE JOB…BUT HE’S ON TV FINALLY!!!

HOLY CRAP IT’S ZACH RYDER…HE’S DOING THE JOB…BUT HE’S ON TV FINALLY!!!

HOLY CRAP IT’S ZACH RYDER…HE’S DOING THE JOB…BUT HE’S ON TV FINALLY!!!

HOLY CRAP IT’S ZACH RYDER…HE’S DOING THE JOB…BUT HE’S ON TV FINALLY!!!

HOLY CRAP IT’S ZACH RYDER…HE’S DOING THE JOB…BUT HE’S ON TV FINALLY!!!

HOLY CRAP IT’S ZACH RYDER…HE’S DOING THE JOB…BUT HE’S ON TV FINALLY!!!

Titus O’Neal: Sadly, Titus got zero heat. I hope they come up with a gimmick or angle for Titus because the crowd did not care at all about him. Meanwhile people still WOO WOO WOO. Meanwhile, Titus’ finisher BEAST. You know what, put PAUL HEYMAN with Titus and you’ll see this guy get over.

The Miz: Hey, it’s “shoot” mode, brother. You’re no CM Punk…no one cares about your gripe.

Santino vs. Fandango: Basically, this was a vehicle for Summer Rae vs. Emma from NXT. I think Emma and Santino as a duo could possibly be comic gold, but holy shit this segment was absolutely painful to watch.

Sheamus beat Curtis Axel: If you’ve seen one Sheamus match, you’ve seen them all.

ADR/Batista: I thought this was probably one of Alberto’s best promos in a long, long time. He really had some fire in this promo. Batista, as usual, bores me to tears. I liked how ADR slugged Batista right in the mouth, and it looked stiff, when Batista kept saying he had no problem with him. Hey, Batista seemed to add so new really feminine tattoos to his arsenal. Ugh, I can’t stand this guy.

Six-Man Tag: This was a great set-up for the Wyatts E-Chamber match. This was old school. First, it made The Wyatts just look like beasts, serious rugged warriors of the ring. God, I love watching them evolve. I remember 365 days ago watching them in NXT and thinking they had the potential, but now I’m seeing them execute on it. Luke Harper one day will be a singles champion. What this match also did was allow Xavier Woods, R-Truth and Dolph Ziggler to get their moves in and look strong, even in defeat. As goes with the past few weeks, the crowd hijacks the match a bit, really getting behind the de-pushed Dolph Ziggler.

Post-Match Promo: That’s the first post-match video screen promo I’ve enjoyed in decades. Oh, Dean Ambrose, you’re such a weirdo, it’s wonderful. I like the fact The Shield is not scared of the The Wyatts and I love the fact both teams are chomping at the bit to fight each other. It makes you want to see this match.

Women’s Match – Aksana vs. Naomi: Hey, a women’s match that didn’t suck! I’ve been saying this since last year watching NXT (seeing a theme here?) that Naomi was LEGIT. I’m not a huge fan of the incorporation of the booty quake with every offensive move, but hey at least she’s got a personality. She’s pretty nimble and I love her split-legged moonsault. Aksana, on the other hand, finally looked good in the ring. She has been so sloppy guts in the ring that I kept my eyes on her face and not her performance, as it was the only redeeming quality about her. Yeah, that’s a lousy thing to say, but man she’s been awful. Then again being kept off TV probably made her rusty. Now with her push in play, she’ll improve.

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan: First, I don’t like the premise of this match — Orton has to face his opponents from the E-Chamber in order to prove he’s the face of the company. No! No! No! Any time Dandy Randy and D-Bryan face off it should be treated as something special, not just a match. The match itself was solid, but I’ve seen a lot better from these two. I loved the surfboard spot where Orton is fighting to avoid the move, that’s such a nice little moment. The spot with Kane was creative and I dug it. And call it sour grapes, but you know what that victory meant…NOTHING! No title on the line, no significance at all. Bryan wins what? Momentum into the PPV? This reeked of WWE creative giving the “people” what they want by having him win. Oh, and just to make sure Bryan wasn’t given a chance to bask in victory he gets taken out by Orton and Kane. Blah.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites

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