Many complained it was a flat episode of Monday Night Raw this week, but nobody can say it was uneventful. A few matches were made for Extreme Rules, and we came another step closer to naming a #1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest moments from this week’s show, broken down by Andrew Ravens, Stephen Ajamie, and myself, Mike Smith.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane Announced for Extreme Rules
Andrew’s Take: This match up makes sense story line wise, especially with all the bad blood they have. On the other side of that coin, we have seen them wrestling a few times this year. Every time Daniel Bryan has won the match, if Bryan is known as the more dominate Superstar in their past meetings, then why should we care? I get that this is just filler main event, but I have no interest in this match whatsoever. By the way, RIP to Bryan’s dad.
Stephen’s Take: I don’t know how I ultimately feel about this because I don’t think there’s any doubt who’s going to win. I mean really, after all that time that Bryan has climbed to the top, he’s going to lose it one pay per view in? Not going to happen. I hope it’s a good match, and maybe the “Extreme Rules” stipulation helps it out. But I would have rather seen these guys go at it after they broke up as Team Hell No. Also, I think the better idea was Kane and Evolution against Daniel Bryan and The Shield, and I would thrown in some title shot with the winner if anyone but Bryan won.
Mike’s Take: It was pretty obvious that this was coming after Stephanie McMahon fired Kane up last week and they’re main focus was on Daniel Bryan, but that doesn’t make this good. It is an Extreme Rules Match and that may be the best chance that the match has. Both men, especially Kane, will be able to get the most out of that stipulation, plus the chance of outside interference can certainly help. However, Kane is just not a legit contender for the title, and this is only going to hurt Bryan.
The Wyatt Family Stands Tall Over John Cena
Andrew’s Take: Once again, the Wyatts get the better of John Cena, we saw this leading up to WrestleMania, however with Cena telling not funny jokes, it makes him seem like he does not take them as a threat. Bray and the Family can beat him down twice a week, but until Cena stops his corny jokes, he does not show them off as someone to mess with and makes them look like a joke.
Stephen’s Take: Once again, this just fell flat to me. I thought this would have been the best time to introduce a fourth member of The Wyatt Family. Give it that surprise factor. Also, I thought it just ran long to try to get the crowd singing along, but not much of that was happening. I think this feud lost it’s steam last week with Cena making fun of the Family, and it’s not really captured the momentum yet.
Mike’s Take: After an App vote left Cena in a 3-on-1 handicap match against all three members of The Wyatt Family, the trio beat Cena down and took a DQ loss, while leaving him practically unconscious. Bray then sat on the mat and eerily sang “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” while holding Cena’s head in his lap. Even though Cena hit the AA on Bray, this was a good storyline development. WWE portrayed this scene as though the Universe was beginning to turn on Cena and side with The Wyatt Family as they buy into Bray’s propaganda. Things are getting interesting as Bray and Cena’s Steel Cage clash draws near.
Rob Van Dam vs. Bad News Barrett for the #1 Contendership
Andrew’s Take: Out of both qualifying matches that we saw on Monday’s Raw, Sheamus and Wade Barrett stood out the most to me of match of the night. This should be an alright match, of course I am glad that Cesaro is not anywhere near the IC Belt, then I am fine. That belt is bad luck. I see Barrett actually winning the title and beating Big E. Langston has been as stale as it gets and needs to be freshened up.
Stephen’s Take: I was all in for Cesaro, and still believe he’ll end up with the IC title at some point. Probably sooner rather than later. But Barrett has stepped up and that match with Sheamus was quite good. Sheamus looked just as good as I’ve seen, too. I like that Barrett is given some direction, and if he gets the IC title, then Cesaro could be a front runner for Money in the Bank if Barrett is given a long run.
Mike’s Take: Barrett has to be considered the favorite to win this match and face Big E for the Intercontinental Championship at Extreme Rules. Barrett’s got a lot of momentum since he returned to the ring on Raw the night after WrestleMania, and he’s got much more he can do with the IC Title than RVD. Barrett isn’t just the favorite to beat RVD, he’s the favorite to walk out of Extreme Rules as champion.
Evolution Outsmarts The Shield
Andrew’s Take: Of course they out did The Shield, they are multiple time champions. The Shield got promo time and that is all I take from this segment.
Stephen’s Take: I am curious what the stipulation will be for this 3-on-3 match. I, of course, want The Shield to dominate, and I think they get their hands on Evolution next week. But for now, this is building up and I think it should be one of the better matches at Extreme Rules.
Mike’s Take: The Shield seemed to be ready to enact revenge on Evolution, but backup came running and The Shield failed to get their hands on Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista. The reformation of Evolution last week was well executed, and the same can be said for this segment. The Shield might have looked a little stronger than their older counterparts, but the group led by The Cerebral Assassin outsmarted them. This was a good way for Evolution to get one over on The Shield, it makes it all the better when The Shield finally get their hands on them.