We have arrived at the second Raw of 2014, first show since the WWE Network announcement, one week away from the return of Batista, and two weeks from the Royal Rumble, so this show should be crowded.
Wyatt promo/Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan vs. The Usos
The show opens with a pre-taped promo from Bray Wyatt. Wyatt talks about how Bryan was lost but now he has come home and they will save him.
Jey Uso gets worked over by the Wyatt team for a while. Jimmy gets in some offense on Bryan. Jimmy goes for the pin, Wyatt breaks it up. Classic tag team match break down leads to the Usos’ stereo dives. They go for double top rope splashes and Harper and Rowan attack for the disqualification. The Usos begin to get taken down but strike back, with one hitting a superkick on Bryan before getting out of dodge. Bryan looks mad afterwards, but bows down to Wyatt before allowing him to hit the Sister Abigail.
My Take: I think sometimes we get too much of Wyatt talking, he has a very interesting style of speaking and it would be best if it was preserved and kept for special occasions.
The match was good. The Usos consistently get better and better, their matches are a lot of fun. DQ finish was predictable as we are going to continue to see dissension in The Wyatt Family. I do like when Bryan lets Wyatt hit the Sister Abigail, it’s weird, but that’s why it works.
Damien Sandow vs. John Cena
Sandow goes up against Cena here. We finally get to see the return match from Sandow’s cash-in back in October. This was a very good match, Sandow got a lot of offense in. Cena wins with the greatest Attitude Adjustment he has ever done.
My Take: I don’t like this, Cena was never going to lose to Sandow two weeks before a title match. I have to say though, it was a good match, and a match like this with Cena is as good as a win against other guys. Hopefully, Sandow propels into a good feud.
Brad Maddox and Kane backstage
The animosity between these two is great because they are such brilliant performers. Maddox makes a rematch between Bryan, Wyatt and The Usos, but in a steel cage. Kane announces the door will be locked with a chain and padlock, and he will hold the key.
My Take: Kane was the first guy to get involved with The Wyatts, ending in a match at SummerSlam. His history with Bryan can’t be ignored. It seems like he is preparing to join them, remember Wyatt’s promos ending in “the Devil made me do it”.
Big Show vs. Jack Swagger
Big Show dominates Swagger in this one and wins with a chokeslam. Post-match, Antonio Cesaro goes to attack Show, but runs away when Show sees him. Show knocks out Zeb Colter. The problem with Big Show is that, because of his size, when he is supposed to be a top star, he has to be dominant, otherwise it’s less believable.
My Take: I hate this. I don’t like Zeb, but it doesn’t matter. Big Show looks like a bully, he knocked out an old man, that’s a bad look and it’s all I can focus on.
CM Punk and The New Age Outlaws vs. The Shield
There’s no better way to pump up a crowd than having Road Dogg do his thing, then introduce Punk. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins tag in and out, but they build to Roman Reigns tagging in, and it gets a nice pop from the crowd. Reigns is getting so much better in the ring, he’s so athletic. At the end, Punk went for a tag and The New Age Outlaws dropped off the apron, walked to the back, and left him on his own. Reigns speared Punk for the win. Post-match, The Shield began to leave but Reigns called them back and they hit the triple powerbomb.
My Take: That was brilliant. The crowd was loving the Outlaws, and there was a noticeable gasp when they dropped off the apron. I would have to guess that they are with Triple H and The Authority. Very intriguing, I can’t wait to see where this goes.
Bray Wyatt promo
Wyatt is screaming at Daniel Bryan, with Erick Rowan and Luke Harper standing in the background. He tells Bryan that The Usos didn’t want any part of them, and they certainly won’t want to be locked in a cage with them.
My Take: The addition of Bryan has made these promos very interesting. The build to this match has been very interesting, even though it is really only taking place over one night, something big has to happen.
The Funkadactyls vs. AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka
AJ enters the match only 5 days away from being the longest-reigning Divas Champion of all-time.
AJ is so awesome, she’s the only Diva who is over. She wins here with a Shining Wizard.
My Take: AJ needs to keep winning and be a dominant champion, that’s when she loses and makes somebody else look just as important. That’s how you get Divas over, not with reality stars pinning AJ’s tag team partner.
Randy Orton and Kane backstage
Orton yells at Kane that he should be protected better because everybody is gunning for him. Kane loses his cool with Orton and makes Orton vs. Kofi Kingston for later.
My Take: Kane’s not going to last long in this role, it doesn’t fit his character. He does a good job with it though, and Orton plays a good heel.
You can find Part 2 of my review here.