WWE Monday Night Raw Review - March 10th, 2014
The show starts with Hulk Hogan and his special announcement. He announces the first ever Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal for WrestleMania 30. I like the idea as it will be a good way to get some talent on the show that would otherwise miss it, but it will still seem special as there is trophy for the winner. Cool idea. Before Hogan leaves, Cena comes to the ring. This wasn't a surprise as they always put Cena in the position to kiss up to legends and guests on the show. Cena and Hogan are interrupted by the Wyatt Family. Bray cuts a FANTASTIC promo on Cena and Hogan. I like the guy more and more each week. So talented.
1) John Cena vs. Erick Rowan
This match lasted every bit of five minutes. Cena got the abrupt pin with a roll up, if I remember correctly. Didn't like the abrupt finish nor the fact that Harper didn't face Cena like originally planned.
Match rating - **1/4
2) The Usos vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel
Some may accuse me of overrating this match, but The Usos are so fun to watch. They meshed very well with Ryback & Axel although this match only went around 10 minutes, if that. Good stuff none the less.
Match rating - ***
3) Big E vs. Jack Swagger
These two had a great match at Elimination Chamber, but WWE has since ruined it by placing them in matches ever since just to further the tension between Swagger and Cesaro. Same thing happened here as Cesaro didn't interfere to help Swagger when Big E rolled him up for the win. After the match was quite funny though.
Zeb blew up at both of them and said he's tired of their disagreements and forced them to shake hands. The hand shake turned into a test of strength between the two. Funny stuff, good way to continue building this feud.
4) Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns
These two teams had some great matches late last year and this was no different. Really good match between four awesome wrestlers. The best spot to me was when Rhodes jumped off the top rope onto Rollins while Goldust cut a back flip off the apron onto Reigns AT THE SAME TIME. The ending sequence was awesome as well. Great match up.
Match rating - ***1/4
5) AJ Lee & Tamina vs. The Bellas
Decent divas tag. As I said last week, the Divas division as a whole has really been improving as of late. The Bellas have improved tremendously and once again showed it here by doing several moves you don't normally see Divas do such as Brie Bella jump off the steel steps onto Tamina. Natalya was on commentary for this match because she will be facing AJ for the title on Main Event later this week. Nikki Bella pins AJ Lee and holds the Divas Title up which leads to a staredown between her and Natalya. I like how the Divas Division seemignly has three top divas right now.
Daniel Bryan comes to the ring after the commercial break and says he is starting a true movement. He says he will refuse to leave the ring until Triple H gives him and the fans what he wants. Bryan says he didn't come alone and proceeds to invite fans into the ring. We go to commercial as fans fill the ring. I was skeptical about this segment at first, but decided to wait it out before jumping to conclusions. I'm glad I did because we came back to see the whole ring and ringside area filled with fans chanting "Yes!". Amazing sight. The crowd in the stands seemed to get even more pumped up by this. Triple H ends up coming out and Bryan persuades him to agree to a match at WrestleMania. I liked the idea of the "riot" of sorts, but I wasn't really a fan of Bryan only wrestling Triple H at Mania as I wanted to see him in the WWE Title match. THEN Bryan says something that really drew me out of my seat, he calls Hunter back and tells him that isn't all he wants. Bryan says he and the WWE Universe also wants him to compete for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania so he makes Triple H agree to the stipulation that if Bryan wins, he gets a spot in the WWE Title match later in the night! Wow! Awesome segment, executed perfectly! So stoked that they are finally going to give Bryan his pay off! And on the biggest stage of them all!
6) Sheamus vs. Christian - Memphis Street Fight
Sheamus and Christian really went all out here. Super physical match. I've never seen someone get take more stiff shots and bumps in the PG Era than Sheamus. He left during the summer last year due to injury after being involved in multiple brutal matches and came back to the same thing. Last week he got his arm cut open by glass and this week his back got welted by a kendo stick courtesy of Christian. This was a phenomenal match with several great spots such as Christian hitting a Tornado DDT off the stage onto Sheamus, Sheamus hitting a backbreaker on Christian off the steel steps, and Christian placing two chairs on Sheamus before hitting a frog splash on him. Crazy to think that Christian still does stuff like that at his age. Such a great performer. The ending was clever as Sheamus brogue kicked Christian through a drum! Good stuff.
Match rating - ****
7) Daniel Bryan & The Big Show vs. Batista & Randy Orton
To cap off an awesome night, we witnessed a surprisngly great tag team match here. It was probably so good because Orton and Bryan did most of the work. Big Show & Batista only came in and did their spots when needed which was timed perfectly. These being Show's superkick to Orton saving Bryan and Batista missing a spear on Bryan thus nailing Orton. Fantastic tag team match. Great way to end a night that was seemingly owned by Daniel Bryan as he PINNED the WWE Champion Randy Orton CLEAN!
Match rating - ***1/2
Overall thoughts: Excellent episode of Monday Night Raw this week. Much better than last week's and way better than the week before. WWE finally listened and gave us what we wanted which is Daniel Bryan facing Triple H at WrestleMania and if he wins he will also get added to the WWE Championship Match at WrestleMania. Last week, I left Raw completely bummed about the way WrestleMania was looking. This week, it's the complete opposite. I'm beyond excited about WrestleMania. The Battle Royal concept is neat, Bray vs. Cena will be great, Bryan might be wrestling TWO matches - it's just awesome. That's not even mentioning Lesnar vs. Taker which will likely be amazing. As for the actual show tonight, it was solid top to bottom. From the story telling to the match quality - it had the perfect combination in my opinion. You had three outstanding matches (Sheamus/Christian, Shield/Rhodes Bros, & Main Event), you had some fun stuff (Usos match), and you had great storyline progression (Divas bout, Bryan takerover, Taker/Heyman segment). What more can you ask for? Awesome show tonight.