Wrestling’s 4Rs 4.26.14: WWE Monday Night Raw Reviewed
Posted by Jack Stevenson on 04.26.2014
John Cena faced off against the entire Wyatt Family in the main event, The Shield and Evolution had a stand off, and more! Wrestling's 4Rs breaks down the Right, the wRong & the Ridiculous of WWE Raw!
How the 4Rs of wRestling Work! Here is a quick explanation of the 4R's. The column will run TWO times a week. We will group our feelings on the shows in various categories: The Right, the wRong and the Ridiculous. The Right is stuff that worked very well: a great promo, a great match and so on. PuRgatoRy is a section between the right and wrong. It shows equal traits from both sides that cannot be ignored and need discussed. It is not a bad place per say, as things can get remedied or go the wrong way the very next week. The wRong is what it sounds like: bad matches, bad or boring promos and so on. The Ridiculous is stuff that had no right on TV: Stupid angles and so on. And there is always a possibility of a 5th R, which is as bad as they come. This column is supposed to be analytical, and at the right time very critical of the shows, it was the whole reason it was created. This is not a "mark" column, nor a "smark" column, our goal is to analyze the show from many different fronts, reward the good and call out the bad. We will not apologize for our opinions, they are as they are, whether positive or negative.
By: Jack Stevenson
Raw 4.21.14: QUICK MATCH RESULTS:
Bad News Barrett d. Sheamus
Los Matadores & El Torito d. 3MB & Hornswoggle
The Usos d. The Brotherhood
Emma d. Layla
Rob Van Dam d. Cesaro
Paige d. Aksana
Alexander Rusev d. Sin Cara
John Cena d. The Wyatt Family
THE RIGHT: Kane writes out Daniel Bryan: Daniel Bryan galloped to ringside and it was utterly heartbreaking to see his eyes swollen with tears, I kind of just wanted he and Brie to have a big hug in the ring while the fans showered him with love and affection as the opening segment. Instead, he took a nasty beating from Kane, getting Tombstoned all over ringside. This is pretty much the exact opposite of what I wanted, but it worked anyway, Bryan's a naturally sympathetic man and if there's one thing Kane still definitely can contribute, it's a violent beat down. I could have done without Stephanie McMahon's barked pleas for mercy, I have no idea why she'd even pretend to have any sympathy for Bryan having watched with a gleeful smirk as Triple H tried to drown him a few weeks ago. Still, she redeemed herself a lot with her hilariously insincere call for applause for Bryan as he was stretchered from the arena. Bryan-Kane could be properly good at Extreme Rules as well, it's a decent choice for D-Bry's first title defense. A good start to the show.
Sheamus vs. Bad News Barrett: Bad News Barrett matches are my new jam. This was excellent, two bad-asses (well, Sheamus has this forced chirpiness that detracts from his bad-ass-ness but he's close enough) beating the tar out of each other. It didn't look likely when the character debuted, but Bad News Barrett is working really well, confidence and charisma radiates from him and makes him so easy to get behind. The bull hammer from outside the ring was a great finish as well. I'm surprised Sheamus has lost so much momentum recently, but if his poor run turns his default emotion from "unconvincing cheer" to "grumpy and mean to Kofi Kingston" I'll be in favor. Lots to enjoy here.
Los Matadores & El Torito vs. 3MB & Hornswoggle: This was good! It really was! There's nothing not to like about this. Hornswoggle looks like he belongs as a small, sleazy, delusional rock star, but even if he didn't, if his mere presence allowed El Torito to wrestle matches it would be worth it. He's incredibly crisp and graceful, and it's a shame he'll never ever be able to have a serious match in WWE. The Matadores, Mahal and McIntyre all played their parts well enough, they didn't detract from the El Torito frenzy of fun in any way. Maybe this is the start of something. Maybe next year everyone will turn on Kurt Angle as he returns at the Rumble and cheer for El Torito. A man can dream.
It's a stand-off!: I dig the Evolution reunion, I think three despicable veterans who are all convinced they've been the victims of grave injustices makes for a intriguing dynamic, and they're convincing, legitimately quite intimidating and dangerous. Whether together or apart, they've been among the best things in WWE for the last few weeks. But I want the Shield to eviscerate them. I'll be utterly dismayed if Evolution win at Extreme Rules. This isn't because I come to you from 2003 and thus want Triple H's children to die, I just love the Shield so much, I want them to win every time they get in the ring, I want all of them to be insanely successful and rule the entire wrestling industry. Their promo on Evolution this was so great. Yes, Seth Rollins rambled on a little too long, and Roman Reigns barely said anything, and Dean Ambrose was fantastic and the most charismatic man in wrestling (CREAMPUFF!), Bray Wyatt included, but they just work so well together, they could enter in a clown car and then forget all their lines and then literally shit themselves and I'd still consider them the coolest humans on the planet. More Dean Ambrose praise! He's become a complete fan favorite despite not noticeably changing his character from the insecure, manic, unsettlingly strange fellow he was a couple of months ago. He's a cross between Patrick Bateman and that boy from Toy Story who creates all those creepy mutant toys. I've rambled enough and I don't think I've really mentioned the segment behind the Shield promo. It was good! The standoff was exciting and Evolution was suitably smarmy and did I mention the Shield were good? I think I did.
puRgatoRy: The Usos vs. The Brotherhood: It would appear that the Brotherhood are breaking up, which is good in the sense that both are too talented to be in a directionless tag team, but bad in the sense that both are too good at tag team wrestling to not be tag team champions and on their way to being one of the all time great duos. The match was OK, a reasonable face-face match with some nice sequences. The Usos vs. Rybaxel should be fine but the champs need to find a better standard of opposition.
Cesaro vs. Rob Van Dam: Ummmmm there must have been a mistake, this was a not entirely successful Cesaro segment. I mean, it was OK. They felt like they were just kind of doing their own things in the ring, but their own things are all entertaining enough to be worthwhile. Then Swagger came out and Van Dam sneaked a lucky victory and cut a truly horrendous promo about it afterwards in the back. I don't really like Swagger getting any form of vengeance at all, Cesaro is clearly earmarked for stardom and I think he should just obliterate Swagger, really underline that he was the star of the team. Having him get distracted by music and lose matches to midcarders as a consequence makes him seem like just another guy. And on the subject of music, Cesaro's is awful. It sounds like it could have been Matt Morgan's in 2003.
Paige vs. Aksana: This was another step in the right direction, with two serious women having a serious wrestling match and doing so perfectly competently. It wasn't as good as last week's match between Paige and Alicia Fox though, it had 100% less tilt-a-whirl backbreakers and 100% more long, time-filling rest holds. The crowd came dangerously close to turning on it towards the end as it started to drag. I really hope both the WWE universe and officials are patient, because Paige can lead a divas revival, and it's desperately needed. Alexander Rusev vs. Sin Cara: I'm cautiously enjoying Alexander Rusev. I still think his character is dated and boring. Last week he was pulling off some really cool stuff, interesting kicks and throws. This week he was dull as anything as offense. But, I loved his zombie like selling of Sin Cara's offense, getting taken down repeatedly but just dragging himself right back up and onto the warpath again. That's a scary bad-guy, His Camel Clutch remains rad. He could go either way, but he's at least better than Vladimir Kozlov.
THE WRONG: Layla vs. Emma: This happened. I think Emma won but I honestly can't remember.
John Cena vs. The Wyatt Family: I'm starting to turn on this feud. There's no consistency to it. One week Cena has got over the Wyatts and he's happy go lucky and confident to the point of being obnoxious, the next he's terrified of them again, with no real reason for the shift in attitude. Bray himself is like a shark, he has to keep moving forward else all his cryptic, complex promos become indistinct and lose their impact. The ending of Raw, with Bray cradling Cena in his arms and singing from the bottom of his lungs would have been cool as fuck a few weeks ago, but it's kind of become what I expect from Bray now. Either Wyatt needs to win at Extreme Rules and send Cena spiraling into extreme emotional turmoil, or, more likely, both guys should move on to new targets.
THE RIDICULOUS: NOTHING
THE RAW MATCH OF THE YEAR LIST:
B-B-B-B-B-BOOOM! That's the noise of Wade Barrett barraging his way onto the list in sixth place!
2.17.14- John Cena vs. Cesaro
3.03.14- The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family
2.03.14- Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton
2.10.14- Sheamus & Christian vs. The Real Americans
1.27.14- John Cena, Sheamus & Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield
4.21.14- Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett
1.13.14- CM Punk & The New Age Outlaws vs. The Shield
4.7.14- John Cena, Sheamus & Big E. Langston vs. The Wyatt Family
3.24.14- The Shield vs. The Real Americans
1.20.14- Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio
This was an improvement from last week, with a really strong first hour. Things tail off from there, but not into disastrous territory. I'm concerned that some of the momentum from WrestleMania is already being seriously squandered- Cesaro's match with Rob Van Dam got a decidedly muted reaction and feuding with Jack Swagger while his manager ruins his popularity by crowing about the streak isn't going to help. This is no-one's fault, but Daniel Bryan's going to have been on Raw twice in four weeks since winning the title, and he's been beaten up both times. The Cena-Wyatt feud is dragging, and the tag division's going nowhere. Still, this was all watchable enough.
Show Rating: 6.5
As a reminder, I will be going by the 411 scale…
0 - 0.9: Torture 1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous 2 - 2.9: Very Bad 3 - 3.9: Bad 4 - 4.9: Poor 5 - 5.9: Not So Good 6 - 6.9: Average 7 - 7.9: Good 8 - 8.9:Very Good 9 - 9.9: Amazing 10: Virtually Perfect
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