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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Looking at The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly of WWE Raw (6.02.14)
Posted by Justin Watry on 06.02.2014

WWE Payback is officially in the record books. After a solid pay-per-view, all roads lead to Money in the Bank on June 29th, 2014. Until we arrive that destination, there are a couple of Raw (and Smackdown) episodes to get us through the month. With summer about to be a in full swing and the post-WrestleMania downturn definitely showing up, what can WWE do to flip the switch? Well, here is my review from the post-Payback episode of Raw using my classic Good, Bad, and Ugly format...

The Good

"I understand...and I quit!" - Batista continues his hot streak of great performances. He worked the full schedule. He lost at three consecutive pay-per-views and has been entertaining every step of the way. No sure where all the negativity came from, but par the course, I suppose. I applaud his last few months. With just one line, Batista has (again) quit WWE and heads off to a hiatus we all knew was coming. Once his big return was announced, there was no mystery: Batista was going to be taking time off in the summer time. Now that it has arrived, it will be interesting to see what Randy Orton does to get back to relevancy. It will definitely be interesting to see how much longer Triple H remains on television, much less wrestles monthly. Make no mistake, The Animal will be back. Until then, Evolution continues to crumble in front of our eyes.

Sheamus/Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro/Bad News Barrett - Raise your hand if you have recently said that nobody cares about Sheamus. Okay, now raise your hand if you recently said nobody cares about Rob Van Dam. Got it, you are all wrong. The live crowds more than love these two. Did you hear the audience when they defeated Barrett on Raw? Yeah, RVD is just kind of hanging around...and yeah, The Celtic Warrior is due for some kind of heel turn or character refresher. However, do not let those feelings mess up reality. On Main Event, RVD faces Barrett in an IC Title rematch from Payback. Good luck!

He Got GAME? - If you do not follow sports, then you probably hated the Big Show/Damien Sandow segment. Since I do follow sports (and am a Miami Heat fan), this was funny. Cheap hometown heel heat at its finest. For those curious, *rumor* has it that Vince McMahon loved Sandow as Magneto a few weeks back and was very impressed. Thus, the boss keeps wanting to put Sandow in all of these different "roles" each week. That is what you get for making the best of a bad situation, huh? Ask Charlie Haas about that. Regardless, that is the *rumor* about why this is happening. Whatever, Big Show knocked him out and dunked a basketball. Harmless segment.

Stephanie McMahon and John Cena talk - This was fine. If nothing else, it came off as "fresh" considering John Cena has been feuding with Bray Wyatt since the beginning of the year. Anything would have seemed fresh with Cena! He could have been out there with Zack Ryder for all I care. Nonetheless, Stephanie McMahon worked that crowd just as much as Cena does on a weekly basis. I assume WWE is planting seeds for a Cena rematch with Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Title, but that is just a guess. After awhile, Kane vs. John Cena was set for tonight...

Kane vs. John Cena - Barely makes The Good section. Just barely. Neither man was going to lose, so it was inevitable a funky finish happening. Cena left Kane laying but not for long. Whatever, served its purpose.

My It Girls! - Aksana and Alicia Fox beat Nikki Bella in a handicap match. Decent way to get across the firing of Brie Bella. Credit for that small touch. Really though, anything that gives more television time to two of my "it girls" is okay in my book. All I need now is Rosa Mendes to join forces with them, and the trio is complete.

Adam Rose defeats Jack Swagger - I think Adam Rose needs to find a new opponent. Same with Jack Swagger, assuming WWE has plans for him worth while. The Rose theme music and entrance is cool. As is all the antics inside the ring. It remains to be seen how far his character goes into this whole "party" mode. I mean there has to be more, right? It is not just what we have already seen. My suggestion is to have him arrive the bus (like NXT Takeover) and experiment with other segments. Break away (pun intended) from the formula just a bit. Do not keep him stagnant otherwise people will stop caring. You can ask Fandango about that...or Emma. How is that working out?

Alberto Del Rio qualifies for Money in the Bank - Dolph Ziggler does not. Before the whining and crying begins, be honest with yourself. Ziggler was not going to win anyways. ADR is not going to win either, so get a grip. The two had a quick solid match on Raw with a clean finish. Simple yet effective. It was at this point the live crowd decided to take a nap for the rest of the show. Can not really blame them.

Lana - The segment with Rusev stunk. I understand it was supposed to be cheesy and over the top, but the whole "ceremony" accomplished absolutely nothing. Big E should have come out there and cleaned house. Just because was Lana out there though, I watched very intently. That is a positive.

SWERVE!!! - The main event was set to feature Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns. Before that began, The Shield delivered a promo about Evolution imploding. Once again, Seth Rollins stumbled a bit, while Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns were perfectly acceptable. While the match was to begin, Triple H mentioned a Plan B to take out The Shield. Had to be Dean Ambrose turning heel, right? Nope. It was Seth Rollins! After all the discussion, all the speculation, all the rumors - it turned out to be Rollins who broke apart from The Shield first. Amazing. Not sure if he "officially" joins Evolution or what (hope not)...but wow. He, HHH, and Randy Orton left Reigns and Ambrose laying. The Shield is no more. What a ride it was.

The Bad

Boliever - Two segments in a row using hometown sports for heel heat? Come on WWE. I would love to be a boliever. I WANT to be a boliever. However, it will take time. It is up to Bo Dallas in getting me to truly bolieve in him. Sorry but defeating Kofi Kingston does not go very far. Ultimately, I still have nightmares about Bo Dallas being on the main roster in early 2013, so excuse my hesitation. Also not sure if the fans chanting "BOring" is a clever play on words that will catch on or just them not caring about the character at all...

Hornswoggle/El Torito - Um, what? Somebody must really find the 3MB/Los Matadores nonsense funny. Somebody out there! I am fine with this stuff once in awhile. Just not every single show, every single week. Move on already.

The Usos vs. Luke Harper/Erick Rowan - This was actually a pretty good match. Repeat: pretty good match...I want that to be clear. Sadly, this is when the weekly three hour fatigue started to set in during these marathon editions of Raw. I kept waiting for a Bray Wyatt appearance or his chair to start rocking on its own or some kind of tease for his future but got nothing. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan defeated The Usos and are likely getting a tag team title shot soon. Good for them. Announced later, Bray Wyatt will be on Smackdown this Friday night. Nice hook to get the Blue Brand's viewership back up.

The Ugly

Curtis Axel wins a match - Why?

Daniel Bryan at Money in the Bank - First off, let me state that I know WWE is in a tough spot. They have to be careful working around Daniel Bryan's injury and can not really plan much right now. They deserve some slack and are not totally at fault here. That being said, it is a lose-lose situation for Bryan at Money in the Bank. If he is healthy, we get a Kane title showdown in a stretcher match. No thanks, their Extreme Rules battle was more than enough. If not healthy, WWE will build up a MITB ladder match for the WWE World Title. That does not even make sense! How can a MITB ladder match be for the title? A ladder match can be for the title AT Money in the Bank. How does a MITB-WWE World Title ladder match make sense? Just call it a ladder match. Either way, I am predicting we get Bryan vs. Kane...which hopefully ends that feud.

Overall Thoughts: I enjoyed it for the most part. Like all wrestling shows, there are some filler but not a ton. Money in the Bank is always a great event, so WWE will be ready in four weeks. It will just be intriguing to see how they get there.

Thanks for reading. What did all of YOU think of WWE Raw? Leave a comment below!


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