WWE Monday Night Raw Review - May 26th, 2014
The show starts with Triple H & Stephanie McMahon. They deliver one of their typical promos about Bryan having to surrender the title later in the night. Then they tell Brad Maddox to come out and they fire him after Kane delivers a chokeslam and tombstone piledriver. Pointless segment in my opinion. Maddox hasn't been a key part of Raw in months - why bring him into it now and expect everyone to care that he got fired?
1) Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro
This is the 3rd time these two have faced off on Raw and they continue to develop better chemistry together. Their first match was sloppy (mainly because of some RVD botches), their second match was good, and this match was even better. Despite Van Dam having some interaction with Barrett at ringside - this was still a good match. Very enjoyable and accomplished alot storyline wise as both the US and IC Title matches were promoted here.
2) Eva Marie vs. Summer Rae
The show went back to being boring here as Eva Marie beat Summer after Fandango came out and kissed Layla on the entrance ramp. I'm ready to see Layla and Summer Rae have a match. It should be good, but this segment was just boring.
3) Drew McIntyre vs. El Torito
The garbage continues here. I'm not Mr. Serious - I enjoy 3MB, but having a midget dressed as a bull defeat Drew McIntyre is a bit much. McIntyre is far too talented to be treated like this. Some post-match shenanigans saw Torito get his tail ripped off. More dumb stuff.
Just when I thought this show was doomed like the past few weeks, Bray Wyatt and the family hit the ring and delivered the best segment on Raw in weeks. Bray cut a wonderful promo then proceeded to tell Lawler to come into the ring. He wouldn't go so Rowan and Harper went after him. JBL tried to help, but Harper beat him down. They took Lawler into the ring and told him to sit in a chair. Bray then cut another great promo saying Lawler is the reason so many people love Cena. Wyatt then goes for the Sister Abigail on Lawler, but Cena hits the ring only to be caught by Harper and Rowan. They hold Cena while Bray tells him that he is going to have to watch him destroy Jerry Lawler. The Usos hit the ring to even the odds and make the save. Cena delivers a pretty good promo while Wyatt yells "I am a god!" Cena tells Wyatt that payback will be a bitch. Phenomenal segment. The Wyatt Family continues to produce quality TV.
4) Alexander Rusev vs. Zack Ryder
This was another squash match for Rusev, but what happened afterwards is what made this segment memorable. Rusev held Ryder in the camel clutch even after he submitted so Big E hit the ring to make the save once again. Big E knocked Rusev to the ground being the first person to ever do so! Rusev hasn't impressed me yet, but if he's put into a feud with Big E - he has a big chance to impress alot of people including myself. I hope that match is scheduled for Payback.
5) Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Randy Orton & Batista
This match was pretty entertaining. The segment that set this match up was gold as Cody referred to Batista as a "skinny jean sellout" and Orton as "RKBlows". I was hoping this match would lead to Cody turning on Goldust and joining Evolution, but it ended up just being Evolution showing their dominance by defeating the team of Cody & Goldust then defeating Goldust in a handicap match. Despite that, it was still enjoyable - well, the tag match was.
6) Bo Dallas vs. Sin Cara
Dallas debuted on Smackdown last Friday so this was his RAW debut. Well, his 2014 debut atleast. It was my first time seeing his new gimmick and I wasn't that impressed. The match was decent though. Dallas is good in the ring and Cara delivered some exciting moves as well. Fun match/segment.
Stephanie hit the ring at this time and called Daniel Bryan out. He came out and refused to surrender the titles that he fought so hard to attain. Stephanie says that he'll give him one more chance at Payback to do what is right and if he doesn't Brie is fired. That's very interesting. I think it's a way to get people to order the PPV. But it does start speculation that AJ Lee and/or CM Punk will return since it's in Chicago. Imagine AJ returning to stand up to Stephanie then she threatens to fire AJ along with Brie if Bryan doesn't surrender the belts which leads to CM Punk returning. Now THAT would be awesome. Highly doubt that will happen, but we can dream. The AJ Lee part of that is possible though. Would love to see her return and stand up to Stephanie.
7) Alicia Fox vs. Emma
While WWE has done alot of things wrong over the past few weeks, one thing they've done right is how they have been booking Alicia Fox. Adding this sort of character to one of the Divas is great for the division. Emma somehow manages to knock off Alicia here which I hope will lead to her possibly being added to the match at Payback. After the match, Alicia goes crazy once again. She goes after everyone at ringside and even a few fans. She ends the segment by pouring soft drinks on herself. I'm loving the chaotic character of Alicia and despite being a big fan of Paige, I hope Alicia wins the title at Payback.
8) Damien Sandow vs. Adam Rose
Don't even get me started on the fact that they made Sandow dress up as Davey Crockett for this match. They are really wasting an amazing talent in Sandow. To think it all started when he lost to Cena when attempting to cash in his MITB contract last October. This was enjoyable however as it was kept short and sweet. Jack Swagger hit the ring and beat down Adam Rose afterwards, only for Rose to fight back. If these two face off at Payback, it could be a very good match. Hope it gets booked.
9) Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
This was a decent match. Del Rio put in a damn good performance and assaulted Sheamus with kicks to the head. I was hoping for Del Rio to pick up the victory, but Sheamus hit a brogue kick for the win. After the match, Paul Heyman appeared at ringside and cut a great promo hyping the match at Payback and insulting Sheamus. Then Cesaro appeared out of nowhere and kicked Sheamus in the head in the corner. Cesaro beats down Sheamus with strikes and knees to the head followed up by a neutralizer. That was awesome! Cesaro continues to impress. His match with Sheamus at Payback should be great. It has the potential to be a classic and will definitely build the prestige of the US Title.
The contract signing between The Shield and Evolution closed the show. It was a chaotic segment that started with a brilliant promo from Ambrose and Rollins while Reigns threw the chairs and table out of the ring. Evolution came out and Triple H delivered a great promo as well. Both teams signed the contract and a huge brawl broke out. In the end, Evolution comes out on top after Triple H brings out the sledgehammer and they put Reigns through the announce table. Great closing segment!
Overall thoughts: I actually enjoyed tonight's show for the most part. The past few weeks haven't been good at all, but WWE turned up it a notch for the go-home show for Payback tonight. The first hour was terrible aside from RVD/Cesaro and it had me thinking that this show might be a flop like the ones from past weeks, but The Wyatt Family turned the show around with an awesome segment. I wasn't sold at all on Payback going into the show tonight and despite me not being able to order it (don't have the Network), they sold me on it. Barrett/RVD, Cesaro/Sheamus, and Shield/Evolution were all built towards very well. Alicia Fox continued to be on top of her game by bringing character and life to the Divas Title picture. Her match with Paige should be great. The Rose/Swagger feud has been simple, but good. The Wyatt Family provided the segment that turned the show around and got me excited for Bray's match with Cena. I'm hopeful that he will win. Tonight's Raw wasn't as awesome as the night after WrestleMania episode, but it was definitely the best episode this month. I'd say watch the final two hours. Skip the first hour as there's nothing really worth seeing aside from a fun match between RVD and Cesaro. So, with that being said - tonight's Raw was a success. Much better than the past few weeks. Very good show.