WWE Monday Night Raw Review - October 13th, 2014
Dean Ambrose/John Cena confrontation
These two have opened the show for the past few weeks and it's yet to get old. Ambrose is fantastic on the mic and Cena is the perfect opponent for him. They had another great exchange on the mic here which led to a triple threat tag team match being made. The only negative to these two opening the show every week is that the outcome is uber predictable - The Authority comes out and makes a tag match. None the less, that's a minor complaint. Fun opening segment.
1) John Cena & Dean Ambrose vs. The Usos vs. Stardust & Goldust
I liked the concept of this match simply because the action here was great, but I didn't like the idea of Cena & Ambrose going over the tag champions. When you have two main event guys beating the tag champs just for the hell of it, it makes the titles look bad. Questionable booking here, but still a very good match to start the show.
Match rating - ***
2) Paige & Alicia Fox vs. AJ Lee & Layla
This was your basic short Divas match that has sadly become the norm in WWE. These four women have so much more to offer, particularly AJ & Paige, yet WWE continues to give them little TV time and weak stories to work with. Not much going on here. Same old stuff from the Divas divison.
Match rating - *1/2
3) Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler
I was very excited for this match and thankfully it delivered. These two got nearly 20 minutes and delivered a solid match that told a great story. It was pretty back and forth early on, but soon Orton began playing the perfect heel by totally dominating Ziggler and stopping every attempt he made to turn the bout around. I was expecting this bout to end with Ziggler on top because of the story they were telling, but Orton ended up picking up the victory by lifting Ziggler up in a powerbomb position then dropping him down for an RKO. EPIC RKO! Good match! While the action here was solid, the storytelling was the highlight. Not only in the match though. Seth Rollins was at ringside to tease tension between himself and Orton which was a nice touch. All around enjoyable match.
Match rating - ***1/4
4) Seth Rollins vs. Jack Swagger
These two got almost as much time as Orton & Ziggler and they certainly made the most out of it. Both guys tried to outquick the other in the early going before Rollins began working over the arm. There were some outstanding exchanges in this match and it really picked up at the end. Rollins won with a roll up just as it was heating up. Great match that left me wanting to see these two go at it again. Match of the night.
Match rating - ***1/2
After the match, Orton RKO'd Swagger and crawled right over to Rollins who was lying in the corner. The two have an epic staredown before Rollins leaves the ring. FANTASTIC booking. Love how they are continuing to tease Rollins & Orton squaring off.
5) Big Show vs. Rusev
I enjoyed this one much more than I thought I would. The crowd was way hotter than I expected as well so this was a surprisingly entertaining match. Rusev's big dropkick on Show was the highlight for me. He is slowly starting grow on me. He needs more longer matches like this to truly show what he can do. The finish was a little odd, but I'm guessing it was just to save the final match between Show & Rusev for the PPV. Solid encounter.
Match rating - **3/4
6) The Miz vs. Sheamus
This was basically just to further the storyline of Miz getting cheap victories over Sheamus. The highlight here was Sandow as he continued to entertain everyone with his antics which even earned him a chant from the Atlanta crowd. I'm expecting this to lead to a match between Miz and Sheamus at HIAC for the US Title which I'm not really a fan of because I don't like how WWE has been throwing Miz & Cesaro from one mid-card title picture to another. I would have preferred a triple threat for the IC Title between Ziggler, Cesaro, and Miz at HIAC and a match between Sheamus & Big E for the US Title. None the less, this is what we're getting so may as well make the most out of it, I guess.
Match rating - **
7) Total Divas Tag Team Match
Honestly didn't pay much attention at all to this match. I just had no reason to be interested in it. The Atlanta crowd that had been very vocal throughout the night even quietend down here which just goes to show how pointless this was. Definitely the low point of the show. They got more time than the previous Divas match earlier in the evening though so I'll give them a bit higher rating.
Match rating - *3/4
8) Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena - No Holds Barred Contract on a Pole Match
Talk about underwhelming! I expected this to be a MOTY quality encounter especially since the whole night had been based around wrestling, but these guys ended up only getting a little over five minutes to work with. On top of that, the finish was clouded with controversy as the entire Authority interfered. Very anti-climatic way for Ambrose to win the contract although it's to be expected because WWE wouldn't dare let Cena lose clean if this is a match that doesn't require a pin or submission to earn the victory. None the less, I was super pumped at the outcome because we are going to get a huge blowoff to the Ambrose/Rollins feud as they collide in the Hell In A Cell. Let's hope they main event for Cena & Orton though, that's my only worry at this point. Disappointing match, awesome outcome.
Match rating - **3/4
Overall thoughts: Tonight's show was a vast improvement from the last month or so. The focus was on the wrestling and it was definitely more enjoyable. The Rollins/Swagger and Ziggler/Orton matches were my favorites of the night because of how great the booking was in both encounters. Goes to show that WWE can produce some fantastic stuff when they want to. The main event itself was a bit underwhelming, but the outcome sent everyone home happy. Not WWE's best, but a definite improvement and a solid show overall! Really hope we see more wrestling based episodes of Raw like this.
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