WWE Monday Night Raw Review (1-27-14)
by Ethan Lewis
The show opened up with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. One thing I found funny was that they clearly acknowledged the chants and whatnot last night. Looks like they have decided to work that into the storyline. Bryan came out and cut a fantastic promo. The crowd was on fire for him as usual. Triple H and Bryan go face to face then Triple H calls The Shield to beat him down. Flashback to last fall here as Shield beat down Bryan, but Sheamus hits the ring followed by John Cena. Flashback to early 2013 with these guys duking it out with The Shield. They fight off The Shield and a six man tag is announced for later in the night between Cena, Bryan, and Sheamus vs. The Shield. The winning team will be entered into the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship! Good opening segment. Not perfect, but far more entertaining than anything we've gotten the past few weeks as far as opening segments go.
1) Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro
Very good tag team match. I'm a fan of Hunico as Sin Cara. He's much better than the original. He and Rey mesh well together as a team. Swagger and Cesaro delivered as always. Zeb slapped Swagger which fired him up. Liked seeing his aggressive side. Hope to see it more often. Cesaro delivers one hell of an uppercut followed by the equalizer for the victory!
Match rating - 7/10
2) R-Truth vs. Fandango
Just a basic TV match. Short match, only lasted around five minutes, maybe a bit more. What was more interesting than the match itself was Xavier Woods saying he'd like a shot at Ambrose's US Championship. Now that's something I'd like to see.
Match rating - 5/10
Randy Orton came out after we got back from commercial and began cutting a promo. He was soon interrupted by Batista. Batista starts talking, but is interrupted by Brock Lesnar! Seeing these two in the same ring was epic! Heyman says Lesnar wants his title shot against Orton tonight and if he doesn't get it, he wants to face the so called #1 contender, Batista! Heyman says they want their answer tonight or else! Awesome segment!
3) The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler - The Battle of Cleveland
The crowd was hot for this one and that's always good. It was a rather short match, but still enjoyable. Ziggler gets the win with the Zig Zag.
Match rating - 6/10
4) The Usos vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel
Another very enjoyable tag team match. If WWE doesn't have anything else - they have an outstanding tag team division. The Usos continue to impress me with their great team work and high flying moves. Jey dove out of the ring onto Axel, while Jimmy delivered a frog splash to Ryback in the ring to get the pin! Fun match.
Match rating - 7/10
5) Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio
These two have faced numerous times, but they still delivered a solid match here. People bash it as usual because they have pre-conceived opinions on both men that block them from enjoying anything they do. I actually enjoyed it. It's not a classic or oustanding by any means, but its a very good, enjoyable match none the less.
Match rating - 7.5/10
6) The New Age Outlaws vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust - WWE Tag Team Championship Match
The Outlaws and The Rhodes Bros kept a slower pace in this match. Their bout at the Royal Rumble was much more fast paced and exciting. That's not to say this one sucked, because it didn't. It was a very solid encounter. The only downfall was that it ended in a no contest after Brock Lesnar interfered. Lesnar demolishes Cody and Goldust with F5's and steel chair shots because he didn't get an answer from HHH & Stephanie.
Match rating - N/R - Good match, but ending warrants me not rating it.
7) AJ Lee, Tamina, Aksana, and Alicia Fox vs. The Bellas, Cameron, and Naomi
Surprisingly this wasn't that bad of a Divas match. There was some decent action and there weren't any botches. Plus they hit an epic triple suplex! Naomi continues to impress me and proves she could be a big star in the Divas division if she keeps working. Very athletic. Good match.
Match rating - 6/10
8) Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and John Cena vs. The Shield
As expected with a six man tag involving The Shield, this match stole the show. It kept a slow, but good pace for the first half of the match, but broke down into complete chaos near the end. I am constantly amazed at how the crowd hangs on every move Bryan does. The best exchange during this match was easily Rollins & Bryan's near the end. Bryan gets the hot tag, ducks clotheslines, dives out of the ring, comes back in for a flying dropkick. Then Bryan kicked it old school with a Dragon Suplex that turned Rollins inside out. Reings breaks up the count, but Sheamus runs in with a brogue kick! So much more action that I missed, but awesome match! Just when you though it was over - Wyatt Family hits the ring and goes after Cena. Match ends in a DQ. You might think - why end a great match in a DQ, but this was great booking. It accomplishes two things at once. You put Cena, Bryan, and Sheamus in the Chamber, but also set up The Wyatt Family and The Shield for a clash since they cost them the match! Chaotic awesome ending to RAW!
Match rating - 8.5/10
Overall thoughts: This was easily the best episode of Raw so far in 2014. Solid matches throughout, good segments, and perfect booking with an awesome match to end the show. Not saying this was a perfect show, but it was really good and I enjoyed it.
Overall rating: 7.5/10