Raw Review: 2/17/2014



John Cena, Cesaro, Zeb Colter, Sheamus, Christian, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan and Kane promo

Cena out to hype the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber match, talking about how brutal the Chamber can be. He then talks about the match deciding who faces Batista at WrestleMania. He then turns his attention to Randy Orton, and his failures so far in his series of matches with his Chamber opponents. He then says the odds are there will be a new champion when Sunday is over. Cesaro and Zeb come out next and talk about Cesaro being the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Cesaro says his win will make him “face of the WWE” and “face of America”. Cena tells Cesaro that he’s never been in the Chamber and he shouldn’t start talking before he knows what he’s in for. Sheamus comes out and says that he can’t wait to get in the Chamber, he’s been there twice and he will Brogue Kick their faces in on Sunday, but he’s saving one for Orton later tonight. Christian comes out next, he says if anybody’s face will look funny, it will be Sheamus’, after he takes the Killswitch. Orton is out next, he says he underestimated Cesaro on SmackDown, but it won’t happen again. He says Cena can’t beat him in a big match, and while Sheamus and Christian have given him good matches in this past, he says he’s better than them. Bryan is out next, he says that the crowd is behind him, and that will give him the extra power to pick up the win. Kane is out next, he says that The Authority put him in charge tonight. He puts Cena in a match vs. Cesaro, and Bryan in a match with Christian. He then distracts Bryan, so Christian can attack him prior to their match starting.

My Take: Cliche segment here. Typical to see all the guys in the Elimination Chamber match open the go-home show, it’s never a spectacular segment, but these six guys made it pretty entertaining. Not to mention the fact that it truly feels like anybody can win this match.

Daniel Bryan vs. Christian/Daniel Bryan vs. Kane/The Shield w/ Renee Young

They’re really selling a shoulder injury that Bryan suffered in Christian’s pre-match attack. Bryan gets the win with a slick roll-up. Between that pre-match attack, his actions during the match and the commentary during the match, it seems like Christian turned heel here. After the match, Kane announces that he will fight Bryan next.

Kane worked over Bryan’s shoulder and got disqualified. After the bell, he finished his attack and seemed very proud of his disqualification.

Renee asks Roman Reigns about his one-on-one match with Mark Henry later tonight. Ambrose then steps in and says that Reigns’ job was made easy because he softened Henry up for him. Reigns tells Ambrose he would’ve lost last Monday if he and Seth Rollins hadn’t stepped in. Renee asks if they should get on the same page, and Rollins says that they are on the same page, they have their issues, but they’re all focused on beating The Wyatt Family.

My Take: Good match here. Christian’s heel turn makes sense, Orton was the only heel in this match, it feels like they’re trying to balance things out.

This was horrible, just really bad. It’s really time for Bryan to win the title.

Good interview with Renee, not to mention the fact that The Shield’s promos together are incredible, they have even been pretty funny recently.

Fandango vs. Santino Marella

Emma and Summer Rae were at ringside. At the end, Summer Rae and Emma brawled on he outside. Emma put Summer Rae on her shoulders for a whirlybird, but when she dropped Summer Rae, Emma looked dizzy. Santino went to help her, then they looked like they were going to kiss, but Fandango attacked Santino and picked up the victory.

Renee asked Henry about his almost-win vs. Dean Ambrose last week, and how he feels he will do tonight. Henry says he’s going to induct somebody in the Hall of Pain. Also, we saw the return of “That’s what I do!”.

My Take: I love Emma, I think she’s really good, but if this is what she’s doing, I clearly shouldn’t expect her to be taken seriously.

Henry may have cut the greatest promo ever last summer, the infamous “retirement” angle. That’s why generic promos like this one are so disappointing.

Roman Reigns vs. Mark Henry/The Wyatt Family and Roman Reigns promo/The Wyatt Family and The Shield

Reigns on with the spear. Dean Ambrose looked upset that Reigns got the win, then attacked Henry after the match. Reigns questioned what Ambrose was doing, when the Wyatts showed up on screen. Bray talked about the “childlike excitement” building in him as their match draws near. Bray asks if all this has been worth it, Luke Harper adds the punctuation, asking if The Shield is ready to die for this. Reigns gets on the mic and tells the Wyatts to come out here if they’re going to talk like this. Bray says they were thinking the exact same thing. Erick Rowan tells The Shield to run, then the screen goes black and The Wyatt Family’s music hits.

The Shield were standing in the ring as the Wyatts made their way down and climbed on the apron. Bray entered first as Reigns was the first to step up to him. They shortly stared each other down before the Wyatts left.

My Take: The match was interesting. It really seemed like all the Ambrose-Reigns animosity was going to come to a head, before the pay-per-view, which obviously makes no sense.

These two teams are so good. For all them being so young, and not having much experience on national TV, they sure do know what they’re doing, and how to work a crowd.

Cody Rhodes, Goldust and Bad News Barrett backstage/Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston

Cody is backstage playing with one of WWE’s new toys. Goldust comes to join him, but Barrett comes in, says his line and knocks the toy set over.

Swagger gets the win with the Patriot Lock.

My Take: Bad News Barret just got worse, I didn’t think it could be done.

This match was never in doubt. Clearly a tune-up for Swagger before his Intercontinental Championship match at the pay-per-view.

Big E vs. Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal/Alexander Rusev vignette

McIntyre and Mahal didn’t have to tag in and out. Zeb gets on the mic and talks for most of the match. He distracts him and lets McIntyre and Mahal get control. Zeb had many questions for Big E. He asked him what the “E” stands for. Then he gave him a history quiz about Presidents. Big E wins after giving a Big Ending to each guy.

Another vignette for the Bulgarian, no date set though.

My Take: Zeb was entertaining throughout. The match was bad though, the three guys tried to do way too much. It was way too clunky.

Rusev is so bland and generic. His gimmick would have been great in the 80s and 90s, not so sure about today.

John Cena w/ Renee Young/John Cena vs. Cesaro

Cena says that he made a bold statement last week, when he talked about all the young Superstars who are on the rise. Anybody who wants to carry the company in the future has to go through Cena, and that includes Cesaro.

After a lot of back and forth, Cena won with an AA.

My Take: Cena is really putting over the young talent in the locker room, plus it’s an easy way to set up anybody for a feud with him.

This was an absolute clinic. Absolutely incredible match. Understand that WWE needs to protect Cena in their booking, but anybody who saw this match knows that Cena put Cesaro over in this match. This is probably a stronger statement for Cesaro than beating 90% of the roster.

Randy Orton, Triple H, Batista and Alberto Del Rio backstage

Orton apologizes for his behavior the past few months. Triple H tells him not to worry about  it, but to step up his game. Orton then brings up Batista, before he mocks Batista’s ability to be “face of the WWE”, while Batista was standing right behind him. When he noticed Batista was there, Orton then quickly left. Del Rio then enters the picture, wearing a neck brace. He tells Batista that he plans on breaking both his arms on Sunday. Batista then shoves Del Rio, Triple H checks on Del Rio before he looks at Batista with a “what are you doing?” face. Batista stares at Del Rio and walks away.

Renee announces that Titus will take on Darren Young at the pay-per-view this Sunday. He says that Darren has been his biggest roadblock to being champion, and he will finally breakthrough that roadblock on Sunday. Titus apparently spells champion “T-i-t-u-s”. His voice cracked big time in this segment.

My Take: The backstage segment was good, but Orton should have mentioned Sheamus at least once. The exchange of looks between Triple H and Batista after he shoved Del Rio was funny.

Los Matadores and Sin Cara vs. The Wyatt Family

This is in case you missed this match on Main Event last week. Harper hit the clothesline before tagging Bray in to hit the Sister Abigail for the win.

My Take: This match never got off the ground. Los Matadores and Sin Cara never had a chance and the crowd knew it.

Jey Uso vs. Billy Gunn/Sheamus w/ Byron Saxton

Jey got the win with a roll-up after countering the Fameasser.

Sheamus says that you need to be aggressive to win in the Chamber. He brings up the aggression Christian showed, and says he can do the same, and he will.

My Take: Pretty good match, Jimmy Uso and Road Dogg on commentary was more important in furthering their feud.

Sheamus did a better job here of showing his serious side, he actually even explicitly pointed that fact out.

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus/Closing Brawl

Sheamus seemed prime to hit the Brogue Kick, but The Shield ran in to attack Sheamus and cause the disqualification. Cena and Bryan came to make the save, followed by Cesaro, and finally The Wyatt Family, causing a massive brawl as the show closed.

My Take: Good segment here. This show has done a good job of wrapping the Elimination Chamber buildup strong.

Overall Impression

This was a pretty good show. It stalled early, right after the Daniel Bryan and Christian match, but it picked up again with Roman Reigns and Mark Henry, and of course John Cena and Cesaro. I haven’t been this excited for a pay-per-view in a few months, this show firmly wrapped up the build for Elimination Chamber, and it is shaping up to be a really good show.

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