TV Recap: (Monday Night) RAW is The Shield

The Dean Ambrose United States Title Invitational Battle Royal: Ambrose doesn’t need the prop anymore, so it was time for him to drop it. But, the way we dropped it was perfect. He got screwed because he has to defend the title against 19 WWE superstars in an over-the-top battle royal. So when he lost the belt you had even more sympathy for him. And that was the point, garner more sympathy for The Shield and sadly, the winner of the match wasn’t that important. So Sheamus wins the match and do we care? I like Sheamus, the dude can go, but this seems like a consolation prize for not being on Extreme Rules. The match itself was your typical Battle Royal. It was nice to see Zack Ryder on TV … even if for a moment. Nice spot between Big Show and Mark Henry. Dolph getting eliminated by Santino was pretty ridiculous. Winner: Sheamus

Thought on Sheamus: Rumors are Batista is leaving in early June to hit the promotional road for Guardians of The Galaxy. Would it be possible to see The Celtic Warrior take his spot in Evolution? It’ll never happen, but man it would really elevate Sheamus and help build him as a main event dude again.

Cesaro vs. RVD in a ‘Battle of the Heyman Guys II Match’: Cesaro’s theme music is absolutely bad ass, but man that sequin jacket has got to go. Some people have pointed out that Cesaro has lost a lot of momentum since ‘Mania as he didn’t turn face like the crowd wanted. Either way, I love watching this guy work. Some may crap on RVD’s current state of wrestling talent, but the guy can still go. He’s not the guy who carry a wet paper bag to a 5-star match, but he certainly knows how to pop the crowd and he makes Cesaro look like a million bucks. Yet, let’s call a spade a spade – Cesaro makes Van Damm looks great too. The uppercuts Cesaro delivers are brutal as hell. And now we’ve got rolling DEAD WEIGHT gut wrench suplexes. AMAZING. The finish was a bit whatever with the DQ finish because of Cesaro’s brutality. But, if we get more matches, between these two, that’s a good thing. Winner: RVD by DQ

Bray Wyatt promos are absolutely, unequivocally, the best in pro wrestling.

Ryback vs. Cody Rhodes in a ‘Step #504 in the Path to Goldust vs. Cody Rhodes Feud:’ Ryback never seems to lose, except when a title is on the line. For a guy who supposedly seems to have all this heat backstage he, he’s always winning and featured in title matches. Remember how we thought Sheamus would be good for Evolution…Cody Rhodes would actually be better. Cody’s got all the moves and talent, but there’s something about him that’s missing, maybe a run in Evolution would change his luck. Oh yeah, there was a match here…and it meant nothing. Winner: Ryback

3MB and Los Matadores did some stupid stuff in the ring. I cried a little.

Rusev vs. Kofin Kingston in a ‘Squash City, Squash, Squash, Squash City Match:’ Lana gets some old school Ruskie heat. This is your typical Rusev match. He kicks the crap out of his opponent. Hey, remember when Kofi Kingston mattered? Yup, now it’s Jobberville, population Kofi. Also, why are we portraying Rusev as a Russian…we’ve gone over the fact he’s Bulgarian for weeks on end. Logic doesn’t exist here. Winner: Rusev

Daniel Bryan vs. ADR in a ‘Batista Didn’t Want to Do the Job, So ADR Will Match:” Yup, Batista vs. Bryan was floated for Payback and no dice. Then tonight, same deal. The PPV match was scrapped because Big Dave thought losing would hurt promo on Guardians of the Galaxy. Yeah, right. This movie is going to print money. Boo-tista losing a PPV match isn’t going to hurt its box office. Anyway, this match was decent. ADR is a glorified jabroni at this point, being buried because of his retirement comments this and last year. Winner: Daniel Bryan.

Bryan/Kane/Brie Segment: Awful. Just the drizzling shits awful.

Big E vs. Bad News Barrett in a “This Match Is Brought To You by the Letter B:” I have to admit when Wade Barrett first rolled out his “Bad News Barrett” character I thought it was stupid as all hell. But, for months, Michael Dworkis kept telling me how great it was going to be. And you know what? He was right. Barrett is super over, he’s entertaining for the first time in his career and his finisher, The Bull Hammer is now a feared, legit finisher. As for Big E…he reminds me of where Barrett was a few years ago…pushed hard real quick, a belt put on him and now he’s wading in a sea of anonymity. For the match…Big E hit a great spear into the steel steps that was completely undersold by Barrett and the announcers. Outside of that, I liked how physical the two of them were with each other. Nice nod to Cactus Jack by Barrett when he screamed “Bang! Bang!” when he delivered a flying elbow off the apron to the floor. Big E hit a great flying spear sending Barrett to the outside. Big E had zero fan support because the people loved BNB. I mean Big E was throwing some great suplexes and tackles and nothing from the people. Barrett levels Big E with a massive Bull Hammer for the win. Not a bad match, but Big E’s stock is plummeting quick. Next stop for Big E…Kofi Kingston-land. Winner: Bad News Barrett

The Mr. T Mother’s Day Segment…the most post-modern thing WWE has ever produced. It was weirdly amazing.

Zeb Colter’s Deportation List: An interesting little segment that lead to…


The crowd liked his theme music, they even sang it at one point. But as a segment and most importantly a debut this was kinda ‘meh.’ I think Rose versus Swagger will be a decent feud.

The Main Event: The Wyatt Family vs. The Shield in a ‘Let’s Run This Match Out Every Week and It’ll Rule Every Time Match’ We’ve seen this match before, but I can’t get enough of this feud. Right now these two teams are in the same role Daniel Bryan was in for the majority of 2013, post-Summerslam — main eventing RAW, providing high-quality, highly entertaining matches. The loss of the US Title really seemed to “inspire” Ambrose’s work as he was such a live wire. He was pure chaotic, kinetic energy, something Rollins is known for. Speaking of Rollins, remember when he was the “least marketable of the group?” The dude has become this generation’s human highlight reel. How did the announcers not mark out for a standing Shooting Star? Luke Harper, by the way, is amazing. The suicide dive, the super kick…this guy will one day be a headliner. Speaking of headliners, Roman Reigns was inspired tonight landing all sorts of great moves like his flying boot to Bray. This is such a great match.

Then we have the ending. Can you have a problem with it? Yes you can. But, think about it. The Shield “loses” but they look crazy strong. They laid out Evolution with no resistance (until post-match)from the three biggest heels in the business. Then it took Bray literally launching his 300lb. frame into Reigns then hitting the fastest Sister Abigail ever.

Post-match, Evolution needed to get their heat back and for the most part they did. This feud isn’t over, especially since people are in love with their match from Extreme Rules the night before. Of course, Batista screws up the spine buster on the stairs and gingerly plops Ambrose on them. God, Batistsa SUCKS. HHH is really building Roman Reigns, allowing him to knock him down with The Superman Punch and then counter the Pedigree.

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.┬áHe is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites