WWE Raw Review - February 17th, 2014
by Ethan Lewis
The show started off with an entertaining in-ring segment involving all of the participants in the Elimination Chamber.
1) Daniel Bryan vs. Christian
Really good match to start the show. Christian seemingly turned heel by attacking Bryan before the match started and slamming him into the steel steps. Christian targeted Bryan's shoulder throughout the match by applying various submission holds targeting it. The most impressive manuever in this match was Christian's manuever off the second rope that looked similar to Jeff Jarrett's move, the stroke. Solid contest to open the show.
Match rating - 7/10
2) Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Two Bryan matches in one night is normally a good thing, but in this case it wasn't. This was nothing more than Kane beating down Bryan until he got DQ'd.
3) Fandango vs. Santino Marella
I feel like we've seen this match way too many times. The only thing I really enjoyed here was Emma and Summer Rae. They had a confrontation on the outside of the ring where Emma swung Summer around on her shoulders. Can't wait for a feud between the two. Didn't like what seems to be the start of a romance between Emma and Santino though. Give Emma her own music that she uses in NXT and put her in a feud with Summer Rae with the winner getting a Divas Title shot. That's how I'd book it.
4) Roman Reigns vs. Mark Henry
Another quick match here with Reigns showing his strength by defeating Henry. It was mainly about furthering storylines though as this once again established Roman as the leader of the Shield. The Wyatt Family came on the screen afterwards and Bray cut an epic promo. The Family then came down to the ring for an epic faceoff with The Shield before leaving.
5) Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston
These two had really good chemistry in the fatal fourway on Smackdown last week, so I expected this to be quite enjoyable. It was a solid match even though I didn't last too long. It was still a good contest.
Match rating - 6/10
6) Big E Langston vs. Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal
Surprisingly this wasn't a complete squash match and I actually enjoyed it. It was quite physical as Langston got his mouth busted open. There were several dangerous bumps in this match as well. Not only did Mahal & McIntyre get in some good offense, Zeb Colter talked through the whole thing taunting Big E, which was hilarious. So this segment/match was an enjoyable one that continued a solid build towards Langston vs. Swagger at Elimination Chamber.
Match rating - 6/10
7) John Cena vs. Cesaro
I've been wanting to see this match for quite some time. It certainly lived up to and even exceeded my expectations for it. Cena and Cesaro tore the house down in a match that went atleast 20 minutes. If you missed this match, it's something you need to see because it is incredible. Uppercuts galore, some awesome counters and Cesaro finally got to swing Cena! Best match of the year in WWE so far for me. Simply awesome.
Match rating - 9/10
8) The Wyatt Family vs. Los Matadores & Sin Cara
This was a pleasantly surprising match. It kept a good pace and had some cool spots. I actually somewhat enjoyed this one, even though I didn't expect to. The new Sin Cara (Hunico) is very talented and he had a good exchange with Harper here. Fun match.
Match rating - 7/10
9) Billy Gunn vs. Jimmy Uso
Quick match that was mainly made to advance storylines. Good stuff with Jey and Road Dogg on commentary. Usos go flying after the match.
10) Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
Sheamus and Orton had alot to live up to with this match as Cesaro and Cena put on a classic earlier in the night. I must say, Sheamus and Orton put on a solid match up. It wasn't as good as Cena vs. Cesaro, but it was still one hell of a match. The best spot was seeing Orton suplex Sheamus through the announce table. You could tell these guys were working hard to put on a match just as good or better than Cena and Cesaro's bout. They weren't able to do so, but they still put on a solid contest.
Match rating - 7.5/10
The Sheamus/Orton match never ended as The Shield attacked them. Then all hell broke loose as Cena, Bryan, Cesaro, and Christian ran down. Then The Wyatt Family hit the ring and we had a huge brawl to close the show.
Overall thoughts: Tonight's episode of Raw had some awesome moments, but it also had some very dull ones. Cesaro vs Cena was an amazing match, Sheamus vs. Orton was really good and so was Bryan vs. Christian. The rest of the matches range from bland and boring to just regular TV matches. As far as storyline development goes, WWE is doing a phenomenal job at the moment. I'm actually excited for the Elimination Chamber PPV! Solid go-home show that did it's job of making people want to buy Elimination Chamber. The Cesaro/Cena match was a HUGE plus. Check it out if you missed it, along with the main event and ending.