Looking at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of WWE Monday Night Raw (7.14.14)
Posted by Justin Watry on 07.14.2014
411's Justin Watry looks at the latest edition of WWE Monday Night Raw…
Devin, Devin, Devin. That guy is going to fall and fall FAST! His time on Big Brother was always going to be short lived, but every reality television show needs a villain. Oh well. Moving to the wrestling scene, the WWE Battleground pay-per-view is in six days. TNA Impact Wrestling is reliving yet another ECW reunion (a brand they do not own), while still name dropping WWE for the 456,357th time (something they should never do), all the while Ring of Honor is...Ring of Honor. Okay, no more blabbering about nothing. I think I wasted enough space. When finished with this, go read my new column already posted. For now, bring on WWE RAW using my classic Good/Bad/Ugly format to recap!
The Good Sheamus VS. The Miz - Fairly decent match here. I do not agree with the United States Champion lose, BUT The Miz really could not lose here. Almost a lose-lose situation for WWE. Could have just not had this match to avoid the problem. Whatever, I think Miz is a solid choice to win the IC Championship this Sunday. Not the best choice but a solid choice. Sheamus rarely loses cleanly, so maybe that has some meaning behind it? Two other quick notes: Funny touch of having the 'money maker' on the big screen during the bout. Also WWE, please do not interrupt a match again by placing a graphic over the television screen. Do not do that again.
Sonic Product Placement - Rosita on RAW? Yes, I welcome that any week. Adam Rose and Damien Sandow were funny too.
Erick Rowan/Luke Harper Attack The Usos - Fine segment. Saves on the pyro budget as well. If their two out of three falls tag team title match gets some time this Sunday, watch out! These teams have wrestled about a dozen times in the past few months, but the bell to bell action is always worth watching. Figured a title change was coming last month but did not happen. Does it finally happen this Sunday or do The Usos retain and move on? Difficult prediction.
WE THE PEOPLE! - Very entertaining segment. Lana and Zeb Colter were able to rile up the live crowd perfectly during their little debate, as Jack Swagger and Rusev stood there ready to fight. Another difficult prediction. Smart money says Rusev wins, but Swagger needs to garner fan support right now. Him coming up short already will be disappointing. Sadly, a non-finish brawl may be the right way to do at Battleground. Let them have a street fight or something at Summerslam to settle it once and for all.
Reigns/Cena Backstage - These two need to be separated after Sunday night. For this though, it was a short tease that Dean Ambrose may or may not be available for the RAW main event.
Alberto Del Rio VS. Rob Van Dam - Not too shabby. Acceptable filler on Raw to hype up the IC Championship battle royal.
Alicia Fox/Cameron Defeat Nikki Bella - One step closer to Brie Bella coming back to wrestle Stephanie McMahon...
Sting-WWE2K15 - I am not a gamer at all, but THAT was cool! Now we all know what that casting call/commercial shoot was all about a few weeks ago. Again, I am not a gamer at all, so this means MORE than anything concerning WWE 2K15. This is about Sting finally coming to WWE. Whether that even involves a match or not is almost irrelevant. Put him in video games. Get his DVD/documentary out there. Release classic t-shirts. Do the expensive VIP meet and greets with him at WrestleMania. Have TV specials on his career. Create new action figures. Induct him into their Hall of Fame. There are TONS of ways to utilize his name/likeness that have nothing to do with an actual match. If the day comes where we DO get a match, even better.
Chris Jericho/Wyatts - Barely makes this section. I understand why the fans were chanting "Boring!" during Bray Wyatt's promo. It is the same thing week in and week out. Even if it is great and wonderful, he still just rambles on about, well, I have no idea. He has been on the roster for a year, and I still wonder what the heck he is yapping about when nothing ever comes to fruition. Sister Abigail and all the creepy metaphors - just ends up being meaningless. Empty promises. Where this gets my intrigue is that I know he and Chris Jericho are capable of much more. With a long-term feud hopefully happening, I trust them.
AJ Lee VS. Eva Marie - AJ Lee wins. Paige was on commentary. Simply yet effective. Like a lot of the Battleground card, if the Divas Championship match gets time, it can be memorable. Here is to hoping, right?
Main Event Match - I predicted last week that Roman Reigns would spear John Cena on the go-home episode of RAW. Just felt like the perfect cliffhanger before Battleground. Either way, this six man (handicap?) tag team match was pretty paint by the numbers with the predictable DQ ending. No complaints. You just have to expect that six days away from a pay-per-view. I highly doubt Kane leaves as champ. I highly doubt Mr. RKO leaves as champ. Have to assume Cena walks out with the title belt(s), with Reigns as the second best choice. Let Seth Rollins steal the show (be healthy!) with Dean Ambrose and stay far away from the championship scene for now.
The Bad Opening Segment - Good promo by John Cena. Good promo with Roman Reigns (better than last week). Then it all went down after those two had yet another staredown that should not be happening (read last week's column). Dean Ambrose appears on the big screen, talks about the Raw main event before getting attacked by Kane, Randy Orton, and Seth Rollins. Fine idea I suppose, but then it continued, continued, and continued some more. It came off flat, and worse yet - what were Cena and Reigns doing during all this?!?! I figured they would rush to help. Instead, nothing. Um, okay.
Triple H/Stephanie McMahon Return! - The Authority are back...and they are kissing. Move along Seth Rollins. Move along Randy Orton. Move along Kane. More important things need TV time: Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have to kiss.
Dolph Ziggler VS. Fandango - *sigh* Summer Rae and Layla looked excellent as usual. However, I am ready for this entire love triangle/square/whatever to be over with.
Randy Orton Is The Plan - I hope this 'plan' junk has a payoff. Lots of talk and speculation. Needs to deliver.
Big E VS. Cesaro - Another loss for Cesaro. This match is when the weekly Raw-three hour fatigue started to set in. Kofi Kingston stood at ringside but was a non-factor. Just as I expect him to be this Sunday at Battleground. The three commentators just kept bringing up Paul Heyman.
Kane Is The Plan - More tension within The Authority. Again, all I ask for is some kind of payoff to this.
Bo-Lieve - Truth be told, Bo Dallas has a nice chance at becoming the new IC Champion. My only real concern is that Bad News Barrett will be there to hand over the title. That hints at a face winning, not a heel. If WWE can get around this, Bo may win some gold at Battleground.
Seth Rollins Is The Plan - I wonder if Plan B is a certain Paul Heyman client. A certain beast incarnate? Sure seemed to be hinted at Monday night. Sorry Mr. Rollins, your Money in the Bank cash-in may have to wait.
The Ugly Ric Flair Advertised? - Read what I said last week about Bret Hart. No issues with his segment, more so on the lack of hype. If you are having Ric FREAKIN' Flair appear on Raw, you let the world know about it for days/weeks in advance. Videos. Promos. Website ads. Twitter mentions. Discussion on Main Event, Smackdown, etc. Instead, fifty minutes into RAW, it was quickly mentioned before a commercial break. Come on!
Flo Rida Next WEEK! - He has appeared on WWE TV before and been a fun guest host. However, live musical performances usually end up being a waste of time. I want no part of having to sit through that. Nothing against Flo Rida. Just have the man talk about how great the WWE Network is (cheap plug from a popular mainstream star) before Damien Sandow comes out dressed as Lebron James. Then Flo punches him in the face to end the segment. Easy.
Stardust/Goldust Video - Nope.
Summary: Eh, felt like three hours. I will say that. WWE Battleground is this Sunday night. Fairly decent card put together. Not sure it really boosts the network subscriber count very much, but time will tell on that. All eyes seem to be on August's Summerslam, but that should not stop the wrestlers from delivering a great show this weekend.
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Thanks for reading. What did YOU think of WWE RAW tonight?