TV Recap: (Monday Night) RAW is a Bummer

We learned a few things tonight. Shield vs. Evolution is awesome. Paige might be champ, but she’s booked no better than John Cena. Pulverized through 90% of the match only to hulk up with a big move for the win. Brie Bella is a terrible actress. We also learn Damien Sandow interrupted the pre-show to rant about how for the past few months, he has been the victim of poor booking by WWE.

Starting off the show, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns all deliver some personal threats to each member of Evolution. These guys, great in the ring, great on the mic. They see Evolution arrive and go apenutcrazy and make a mad dash to attack in retribution for their assault last week. Wonderful segment.

Zeb Colter continues the great mic trend with a great promo on NXT to main roster newcomer Adam Rose. So good, it brings him right out to distract Jack Swagger, allowing Rob Van Dam to easily win the match in just moments. At least the crowd is still behind the whole “We the People” gimmick, even if Swagger is not.

Steamrolling right along, Alicia Fox takes on Divas Champion Paige. As I said earlier, Fox pretty much owns the whole match, then somewhere Paige counters a headlock into a sideslam of sorts for the win. What is more interesting that Paige’s one single move, is Fox appearing to go crazy post-match, flipping chairs, stealing JBL’s hat and yelling at everyone. According to the WWE App, she then has a shout-off towards Stephanie and quits. Twitter lit up with it, but this is yet proof again of WWE using the Reality Era to its advantage. Obviously a work, but it successfully got people talking.

The moment we all feared, Daniel Bryan announcing he is taking time off due to an injury which needs surgery this week. He did not say anything about dropping the title, but perhaps WWE is waiting to see what happens post-surgery and how soon he can return to action. Bit sad, but honest and hopefully all things turn out for the best.

Finally a match longer than a commercial. John Cena and The Usos defeat the Wyatt Family. What is scary is not Bray, but when Cena tries to hype the crowd from the ring apron, he reminds me of Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Great paced match, with the Usos getting some really good shots in on Bray himself, with Cena taking a good beating from Harper and Rowan. Usos worked very well against the Wyatts, and Rowan broke out some bigtime moves in this one. I felt as if one of the Usos should have been honored with the pinfall victory rather than Cena, but anyone who watched the match knows the Usos were the MVPs.

Evolution come out to do their promo, thankfully Triple H did most of the talking when Randy Orton and Batista could not say anything sane. It comes down to Triple H saying he can destroy what he created. Well, Shield did not like it one bit and rushed the ring. Batista challenges Roman Reigns to a match tonight. Good stuff.

Nikki Bella defeats Natalya in a bizarre match. Bizarre because nothing made sense, the rest of the “Total Divas” cast were ringside holding numbered cards, and no one could be consistent. Even the commentary team were unable to figure out what the purpose of it was since no two Divas were able to be on the same page. Match ended with some confusion, it genuinely seems Natalya may have gotten hurt, or simply pissed off at the direction of whatever gimmick she is saddled with now.

So, Ryback and Curtis Axel getting more attention and personality. Maybe I was wrong to think these two are set for failure. They do some weird thing with their hats and coin flips now. Ryback is some snarky moron, while Axel pretends to be tough. In a neat twist, Sheamus defeats Axel using the Cloverleaf submission, however post-match Ryback blindsides the Celtic Champion, and next thing you know, Sheamus and Ryback are having a match! Call me crazy, but Sheamus and Ryback had a great back-and-forth match. This was right up the alley for Ryback, big guy vs. big guy and they just hit each other with move after move. For a moment it seemed Ryback was set to win, but Sheamus countered out of the Shell Shock and blasted ‘Back into next week with the Brough Kick. Props to Sheamus for going two-in-a-row.

Stephanie hits the ring, and puts down Daniel Bryan for thinking he could ever be an A-Plus star. She wants him to come to the ring to tell him something… But instead Kane brings an unconscious WWE Champion to the stage. I suppose Steph was going to strip him of the title. Steph pleads her innocence, but Brie shoves her away and Steph is mad. They keep running with this whole Steph having nothing to do with Kane…

If that isn’t absurd, then check out the next match. Dolph Ziggler is already in the ring as Fandango comes out, and they show clips of how he gets action from Summer Rae and now gets some ass from Layla. I like Layla better than Summer Rae, because Layla does not look like a stick figure. She’s got some good curves going on there, and it works for whatever dancing she does to dazzle the drooling fans. We start off with each man gyrating, hopefully not at each other. Would be awkward. Layla distracts Ziggler, allowing Fandango to hit a leg lariat, but not enough. She then “gets stuck” in the ring apron, which distracts Fandango, and Ziggler capitalizes with the Zig Zag for the win. Layla, afraid of repercussions, is surprised as Fandango, is not mad, but gets on the mic and professes his undying love for her, and then we get a smooch-fest. JBL begs the television crew to cut to commercial. I agree, or perhaps it would make our boss Bill happy if someone would punch JBL in the dick repeatedly till he passes out. Wonder if Vince appreciates his commentary team begging for commercial or a channel change?

So, Hacksaw Jim Duggan comes out, likely as my punishment for mentioning him earlier. Who cares what he says. He is interrupted by the jaw-dropping hot Lana who cuts a great anti-American promo, and puts over Vladimir Putin. Maybe WWE is trying to get on Russia’s good side? Alexander Rusev is a beast, breaks the good ol’ 2×4, but before he can crush Hacksaw, Big E. Langston comes rushing down, only to get railroaded and mauled by Rusev. So, Big E. is done getting pushed up, and now getting pushed out. Shame, I really had hopes for him in 2014, he was Intercontinental Champion and plowing through everyone. Now, he jobs as much as Kofi Kingston. On the other side, Rusev is a beast, but is going to be generic “big guy” like Ryback or will Rusev actually go somewhere?

On the plus side, we are seeing a great trend in WWE, the trend of great managers and great talkers. Zeb Colter, Paul Heyman, The Shield, Damien Sandow, Titus O’Neal, and Lana, all who have great ringside presence, and can easily work the mic.

Speaking of Damien Sandow, he heads to the ring and seems to ready up a pipe-bomb of his own, regarding his dissatisfaction of his place in the company, but seems to fake taunt, but then is interrupted by the entrance of the Rhodes Brothers, and Cody heads to the ring with Goldust in tow for his match. For a moment, I thought we would get a great Sandow promo, or perhaps a tease at a Team Rhodes Scholars reunion, but Cody wins thanks to Goldust occupying the ref, allowing the younger brother to eye-rake Sandow and hit the Disaster Kick for the win. Very interesting indeed.

Creepy challenge promo from Bray Wyatt to John Cena. This feud may not end anytime soon…

Batista vs. Reigns did not last long at all. Inevitably broke down into an all out brawl, then the heel section of the locker room emptied and turned the favor to Evolution, until somehow Reigns broke out and speared Triple H. Ambrose and Rollins grab chairs, waffling everyone in the ring, then hit finishers on Fandango, Axel, Heath Slater, and Ryback. Shield is standing very strong right now, and it seems they have Evolution and the Authority up against a wall.

Strong way to end RAW this week.