Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Monday Night Raw - 3/31/14

It's the final Raw before WrestleMania, really the final show since Smackdown barely counts anymore, so this is the last chance to sell us on the show... but now that we have the WWE Network, I guess they don't really have to sell it.

Although what was up with Cole telling us to call our cable provider all night? I know Dish has agreed to show WrestleMania after throwing a fit in February, so I'm pretty sure everyone is showing it, right? And no one has called their cable provider to order a PPV since 1993, so.........

Anyhoo. I think the "I Need 5" format from last week was pretty well received, so let's stick with that theme for this week's Raw.

5. Piper's Pit
I know WWE loves Piper's Pit and will take any chance they can to bring Piper in for it, but honestly, does anyone remember the last time there was a truly great, memorable Piper's Pit? I love Roddy, don't get me wrong, but interview segments in general have really tended to fall flat for the last decade, minus a few Highlight Reels here and there. Maybe I'm just cynical because nothing will ever top Morton Downey getting a fire extinguisher to the face?

But all that said, I did like using Piper's Pit as a wraparound for the traditional, "What? There's a battle royal coming up? Have everyone brawl for a bit!" The segment got off to a rocky start, but once Big Show came out (to one of his biggest pops ever, BTW), it went well. Rey Mysterio 619-ing him in the dick was pretty funny too, payback for that time Big Show swung him like a baseball bat on that stretcher.

4. We're sorry we tried to make this the WrestleMania main event
As is tradition when there's a multi-man main event, the final Raw before the PPV must feature at least two of the involved participants, so we got Randy Orton vs. Batista, the match WWE thought was going to headline WrestleMania before the audience dropped an Orton on the Royal Rumble main event. Yes, I just made Randy Orton analogous to defecating, I get one poop joke per year.

So how was the match that WWE will tell us years from now was never really going to be the WM30 main event, we swear guys? Well, it went a little something like this:

Triple H: C'mon Dave, show us The Animal!
Batista: YOU WANT THE ANIMAL?!
*gingerly shoves Randy Orton into the apron*
Triple H & Stephanie: OHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Say what you will about the crowd "hijacking" Raw, but it spared us from this closing the biggest show of all-time.

Daniel Bryan's run-in was a lot of fun, I was worried some of the hype had died down, but clearly that was not the case, the place EXPLODED when he attacked HHH in the commentary booth. He's gotta win on Sunday, right? RIGHT?!

3. That Eight-Man Tag
A great match, despite the fact that Rybaxel were in it. There's not a lot to say about the match except that it was really exciting and a lot of fun. Although did you hear those boos when they didn't get to see the Cesaro Swing? That's the danger of getting a move that over, people will turn on the good guys. Although maybe they should have since Los Matadores totally cheated. That used to be how the Killer Bees would win, how The Bellas and Los Matadores made it socially acceptable though, I do not know.

2. Triple H's Hall of Shame
Oh man, Triple H's video package of his most infamous burials was Triple H at his Triple H-iest. Hey guys, remember when WWE brought in Booker T?

BURIED!

Hey guys, remember when WWE brought in Scott Steiner?

BURIED! (although that one was warranted)

Hey guys, remember when WWE brought in Goldberg?

BURIED!

Hey guys, remember when WWE brought in RVD?

BURIED! (although I don't really remember RVD and Triple H having a big rivalry)

Come to think of it, I don't really remember Triple H burying Jeff Hardy and Kurt Angle either, but they were both in the video package, perhaps that's just because they needed some guys who weren't there anymore to pad out the video? At least they remembered Jericho though, who never got a goddamn win over the guy.

It was perfect though, this whole story centers on Triple H being exactly what "the internet" has insisted he's been for the last decade, so just go for it. If Triple H would've embraced this during his initial reign of terror, rather than insisting he was the new Ric Flair, only with more leather jackets and denim vests, I would've enjoyed 2002-2004 a whole lot more.

1. John Cena is standing right behind you!
Okay, this is the greatest thing John Cena's ever done, period. Bray Wyatt made easy work of R-Truth in a totally forgettable match and while the Family was posing, a masked fourth man emerged behind them, and it was John Cena being super creepy. I loved this segment and Cena's following interview with Rene Young because it was Cena doing something different and being Cena at his best.

The visual alone of the sneak attack was so cool, right up there with Jericho disguising himself as a Mysterio fan to attack him during his entrance and the crowd actually forgot they hated Cena for a second. The following interview, with "oh you want change? I'm gonna change the way you walk when I put my foot in your ass" was just marvelous. More like that, John.

And now, one sentence thoughts on the rest of Raw:

  • These Lesnar/Taker segments take so long, they might as well make it an Iron Man Match.
  • Del Rio won a match???
  • How much of Total Divas is real - 25%, 10%, 1%?
  • The Rhodes Bros. feuding with Fandango makes me sad.
  • The Divas Match at WrestleMania is going to be a colossal clusterfuck.
  • Kane vs. Roman Reigns falls mainly on the plains... emphasis on plain.
Follow me @kickoutblog and share your thoughts on Raw. 


2 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this Raw & I completely agree with you about the Undertaker/Lesnar segments taking too long, Although it seems it's mostly lesnar taking up most of the time (and that's saying something considereng the length of Taker's entrance) what with im taking up 10 minutes kicking the casket before finally opening it last week, & taking almost 5 minutes to attack Undertaker.

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    1. Lesnar doesn't exactly strike me as a cautious individual who carefully plots his next move either.

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