Marsico Reviews: WWE Monday Night RAW 2.24.2014
Posted by Nick Marsico on 02.24.2014
Marsico returns one night only (for now!) with thoughts on Hogan, Triple H, Daniel Bryan, The Undertaker's beard and more, all on Monday Night RAW!
Hi pals! Remember me? Don't get used to this. Not yet, at least.
My wife, being the best female companion of all time, surprised me today as I arrived home from work. She handed me my wonderful little tablet and asked me to open up the cover. Well would you look at that? The WWE Network right at my fingertips! What's the protocol for things like this? Do I surprise her with flowers? Should I wait a week and act like I'm giving them to her "just because"?
WWE Monday Night RAW Review
February 24, 2014 - Live from Green Bay, Wisconsin
Whatcha Gonna Do When A Really Large Check Gets Mailed To You?
Hey, it's Hogan! Cole says that it's a much deserved ovation. Look, when I saw Hulk at Madison Square Garden in 2005 I squealed like a girl and chanted my ass off, even though back then I still thought he was an ass. That was 10 years ago, and he's only become more grating and awful. He was deserving of the ovations he was getting then, because he was still fairly fresh. My wife was shocked by how little Hogan actually milked the crowd during his entrance. I expected the first 15 minutes to be Hogan begging the crowd for more by going to every side of the ring 50 times, but it didn't happen. I guess nobody told him it was a three hour show.
ELIMINATION CHAMBER REMATCH~! Batista v. Alberto Del Rio
I enjoyed the match on the PPV, honestly, but mostly due to the crowd. "BOO-tista" chants were fantastic. It was essentially Del Rio moving around the ring doing a bunch of moves that didn't require Batista to do more than fall down (which he still screwed up a couple times).
"If they cheer me, I cheer them back. If they boo me, I boo them back." - Batista
I was hoping he would just start screaming "boooooooo" and going insane in the ring. Oh well. I really hope (and assume, honestly) that Bryan gets added to the match at WrestleMania. Batista could barely stumble his way through a five-minute match in the first hour of RAW. They joke about Billy Gunn getting blown up, but I would bet that Ultimate Warrior could do his insane entrance, wrestle a 10-minute match and then run backstage without getting as blown up as Big Dave did tonight. Oh, and good lord what a horrendous attempt at a promo that was. Del Rio def. Batista, schoolboy - *(because Batista forgetting to sell the superkick was awesome).
Cesaro v. Big E
It's the battle of the men with missing names! Big E's logo looks weird and incomplete without the "Langston". They didn't even try to make it look like it wasn't haphazardly removed during somebody's lunch break. I really believe these two guys are going to be two of the biggest stars of the next few years if they don't cut them off at the knees for no discernible reason.
"The E stands for Etor" - Michael Cole
"Like in Winnie the Pooh?" - JBL
"No, that's IGOR!" - Cole
Meanwhile, in the ring, these guys are power-moving the hell out of each other and it's spectacular. Cesaro has been using the most impressive tilt-a-whirl backbreaker I've ever seen and Big E is matching him at every turn. They need to find two more big bruisers and spend the entire summer having all four of them wrestle in all sorts of combinations. Singles, triple threats, fatal four ways, tag matches, handicap matches... anything you can think of. Have them team up against other tag teams as well and let them trade the tag titles around between them in different versions of the teams. It would be like the SmackDown six but without Chavo Jr. to drag everybody down. Chavo Classic would be welcome. Cesaro, Big E, Sheamus and Luke Harper would be my choice. Big E def. Cesaro, DQ - *** I hope they blow off Swagger v. Cesaro and break Cesaro away from Zeb before WrestleMania so he can be involved in something worth a damn.
Cena Calls Out The Wyatts!
Cena says the usual and Bray accepts the offer for a tea party. Bray says his usual as well, but all together the words from both men were perfectly effective to properly start the feud. Cena challenges them to come under the bottom rope if they dare, but Harper is the only one who went under the bottom! Luke Harper is the only REAL MAN in the Wyatt Family! Cena, ever prepared for a fight and never prone to injury, hurts his knee just by taking a single-leg tackle. He's got six weeks to recover if it's not a bad injury and truthfully the feud would probably be better if it was more talking and mind games and less Cena beating up on Harper and Rowan for a month.
Sheamus v. Christian
Christian's huge splash from the top of the chamber pod last night was fantastic, so of course he had to be eliminated mere moments later. Eh, it's not like he was going to win. I have no idea where he goes from here -- Christian is a guy that fits in at every level. He can work in the main events, he can wrestle with the lower card guys -- he can believably defeat or lose to pretty much anybody on the roster. Chances are that's how he's going to finish out his career. No direction, nothing solid, but being used to fit in any spot that needs filling. Lots of rest holds in the match. Not sure what purpose is served by Christian putting Sheamus in a bearhug. Yeah, I get that his midsection got crushed by the splash, but it was 24 hours ago and 3/4 of the people watching have no clue that the bearhug has anything to do with it. It's just boring, and the crowd got on them for it. The match picked up here and there and by no means was it bad, but it just filled up time and didn't do a whole lot else. Good finish, though. Sheamus def. Christian, Brogue Kick - **.
Daniel Bryan v. Kane
Kane in a wifebeater and black slacks is awesome. Triple H versus Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania is far less awesome than a triple threat for the WWE WHC that has Bryan beating Orton and Batista. Chances are that Bryan could end up going on last at WrestleMania 30 and maybe even beating Triple H, but the only message that sends out is that Triple H is more imortant than the supposed most prized championship in professional wrestling. And I'm sure Triple H certainly does feel that way. As it pertains to the match, this crowd in Green Bay stinks. Kane and Bryan, like everybody thus far tonight (except for Batista, and for good reason), got a bunch of time to put together a match and it worked out pretty well. Bryan def. Kane, running knee - ***1/2. My initial hope for tonight, far-fetched as it was, would have seen Bryan getting a one-on-one match with Orton with the title on the line and beating him for the belt, for real, with what I assume to be more eyes than usual on the show thanks to Hogan, Brock, The Undertaker and the WWE Network. Can't always get what we want, I guess.
Summer Rae v. Emma
They essentially put these two women out there to die, but they have chemistry thanks to their time in NXT so they were able to overcome. Both women looked good in the match and even won the crowd over by the end. I really don't understand their view on women's wrestling. Do they only actually have the Divas because WWE is covering their asses to avoid some sort of discrimination lawsuit? It really makes me wonder. Emma def. Summer Rae, Emmalock - *1/2.
Roman Reigns v. Bray Wyatt
The crowd sounded excited for the prospect of this match during the backstage segment in which it was made official, but they didn't appear to have any interest in caring once both men actually came out to the ring. But again, they've been quiet and odd all night. Granted the match wasn't much to talk about until the other four guys got involved (that dive from Rollins from out of nowhere was sweet) but they were still embarassingly quiet. Wyatt def. Reigns, DQ - *3/4 So where do these guys end up? The feud clearly isn't over. Maybe in a few weeks they'll do the rematch, the Wyatts will win again and Reigns v. Ambrose will be set up for WrestleMania. Poor Seth Rollins.
Heyman and Lesnar Don't Call Out The Undertaker! (But Actually Do In a Roundabout Yet Obvious Way!)
Heyman's pissed that Brock's not getting a title shot and instead can wrestle in any other match he wants. That's a bullshit consolation, he says. He bitches about it while using the phrase "making history" about a million times and says they won't challenge anybody, because fuck that shit. At least somebody is acting like the WWE World Heavyweight Title is worth being sought after.
Oh, and here comes Undertaker with the Ministry-era beard, except this time the dye is covering a white beard, not a red one. Damn good segment to close the show, and it was far more entertaining than I expected it to be. Plus it woke up the crowd. I guess the dark match will get a good reaction.
Overall RAW Thoughts: I enjoyed myself. The wrestling was plentiful (if not incredibly inspiring) and they kept the bullshit to a minimum, which I hope continues all the way up to WrestleMania. They got Hogan out of the way immediately and he wasn't heard from again, Batista officially turned heel (kinda-sorta) and all of the big feuds leading into WrestleMania have now kicked into another gear. Wait... Batista is going to be full heel shortly. Are they going to turn Orton face? Quite ass backwards, I'd say.
Are they going to do Orton v. Batista v. Triple H v. Bryan in an elimination match at WrestleMania?
They wouldn't, right?
They wouldn't let it get down to Bryan v. Triple H only to have Bryan come up short again, right?
And with Bryan taking a clean loss for the first time in this entire angle?
To once and for all tell us to shove it up our asses?