Let’s hope tonight is much better than last week. I really, really hope they fix the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture and do not go in the route of Batista/Orton – again, I am fine with Batista as the #1 Contender, but a fresh face (Daniel Bryan, Christian, even Cena again [since they didn’t put Lesnar in a qualifying match) must be the champion going into WrestleMania XXX to at least make a new main event interesting.
Meanwhile, the Tag-Team Title scenario is great – loving the Steel Cage rematch that is on the card and again, really hope they give this match either the deserved main-event or a long time on Raw. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that will happen, but wishful thinking. Plus a continuing feud between The Brotherhood and The New Age Outlaws.
The Shield are set to face The Wyatt Family at Elimination Chamber. While I think this is rushed/out-of-nowhere, it is very intriguing for three reasons: the great in-ring skills with all of them, their microphone work, and the fact they both teams are supposed to be heels, so who will the fans cheer for? (At recent times, they love both but have leaned towards “The Hounds of Justice”!). Also, will Triple H get involved? As seen on Smackdown he got in the face of Roman Reigns and Reigns did not back down. Is this a new rivalry leading to a match at ‘Mania 30? If it is, Roman needs to come out on top to be the potential big star he can be.
Lastly, will they announce another Hall Of Fame Inductee, and who will it be for the Class Of 2014?
All this and much more, so read on!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for February 3rd, 2014 – “Saving ‘Face?'”
Introduction Segment: Arena Promo
Michael Cole welcomes us to Monday Night Raw right off the bat, and the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton, proceeds out. Orton speculates that The Authority wants to strip him of the title, since they put him in the Elimination Chamber predicament. He wonders how many times he has to defeat Cena, or Christian, or Bryan, or Sheamus, or Cesaro. He also berates Batista and says he will be him handily too at Wrestlemania. (Again, I hope not, as in I hope their is a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion by that time to take on “The Animal!”) Randy puts himself over as the “greatest superstar of this generation and the main attraction of Monday Night Raw.”
The Authority themselves appear on stage to respond. Amid loud “C.M. Punk” chants, Stephanie tries to build up Orton’s confidence and remind him of all they have done for him. Triple H considers realigning their faith in a new “face of the WWE,” since all the words that “The Viper” has been ranting about, which to them is not becoming of the “face of the WWE.” McMahon then announces that the WWE World Heavyweight Champion will take on all five of his competitors in singles matches over the next few weeks. And, if tonight’s opponent wins, she may consider him the “new face of the WWE.” The man Orton is going to “face?” (yes, stupid pun intended!) Yes, yes, yes, Daniel Bryan! Triple H even leads the fans in a “yes, yes, yes chant.”
A video is shown of The New Age Outlaws winning the Tag-Team Championships from The Brotherhood at the Royal Rumble. Later tonight, the two teams will square off inside a Steel Cage, and can only win by pin or submission!
The Shield make their way through the crowd for their 6-Man Tag-Team bout, as clips of their struggles with The Wyatt Family and Triple H air.
Match #1: Six-Man Tag-Team – The Shield (United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns) VS. Kofi Kingston, Intercontinental Champion Big E. Langston, and Rey Mysterio
The U.S. Champ and the I.C. Champ begin, with Langston pounding away on Ambrose. Kofi is tagged in and leaps up then armdrags Ambrose. Rollins now in and eats a jumping elbow by Kofi. Ambrose back in and viciously mudhole stomps Kofi in The Shield’s corner. Kingston is dominated by the trio. Scoop slam by Rollins, but he misses a splash, which allows Kofi to tag in Rey-Rey. He soars in with a seated senton then flies around Rollins, nailing him with a stiff kick. Rollins catches Rey on his shoulders and Reigns comes in to hit him with a leaping forearm.
Reigns is still in control over Mysterio, clasping on a grounding rear chinlock. Rey elbows and kicks his way out, but is elbowed back down to the canvas. Dean is back in and rips away at Mysterio’s neck. Ambrose hang shim upside down in the corner and stomps away, then goes for a running shoulder but finds the ring post instead! Rey gets the hot-tag to Langston, who cleans house on The Shield. Big E. runs over Roman with a couple clotheslines, one that busted Reigns wide open near his right eye. He rams Reigns in the corner, then impressively overhead belly-to-belly suplexes him! Langston follows with a splash, but the rest of The Shield break up the count. Reigns collects himself and nails the Superman Punch on Langston. He is setting up for the spear when Ambrose tags himself in and drives Langston down face-first with the front DDT! He follows with the cover to get the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: The Shield (United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns)
Post-match, Roman gets in Ambrose’s face about the finish until Seth gets in between to calm them down. Just then, The Wyatt Family appear on the Titantron. Bray proclaims their moment is soon, and Luke tells them “he has always been your king.” Rowan warns them to “run.”
Segment #2: Arena Promo
“Bad News” Barrett cuts another pointless promo about football (American) fans over-feeding themselves and risking their health. Jerry “The King” Lawler interrupts Barrett, but unfortunately subtly warns him that he “won’t be here next week.” That went virtually nowhere.
Christian makes his return to Raw and will have a match next!
Match #2: Single – Christian VS. Jack Swagger (with Real Americans partners Antonio Cesaro and Zeb Colter)
Swagger waistlock slams Christian then rolls around with him. Christian moves out of the corner and kicks him away. He tosses Jack over the ropes, then follows up with a baseball slide. Swagger yanks Christian face-first onto the apron! He throws him in to the steel steps. Swagger takes control in the ring, hurling Christian across the canvas. He clamps on a butterfly lock, which Christian rises out of, but is quickly slammed back into the corner. Swagger climbs the turnbuckle, signals “We The People,” but takes a double-boot to the face! Christian fires himself up, but is quickly turned over with a knee-to-the-gut by Jack. Christian spins out of a gutwrench suplex attempt and drops Swagger with a reverse DDT. 1 – 2 – Swagger kicks out!
Swagger catches Christian in an ankle lock position, but Christian rolls through. He uses the middle rope to springboard into a sunset flip and take this one!
Winner via Pinfall: Christian
It’s not the main-event after all, but let’s hope this next contest gets some lengthy time. Up next is the Steel Cage Match for the Tag-Team Championship!
The steel structure lowers and The New Age Outlaws make their entrance and usual promo, followed by Goldust and Cody Rhodes.
Match #3: Steel Cage Tag-Team for the Tag-Team Championship – The New Age Outlaws (“Road Dogg” Jesse James and “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn) (Champions) VS. The Brotherhood (Goldust and Cody Rhodes) (Challengers)
After formal introductions (nice touch!) Goldust and Road Dogg begin. Goldust taunts Dogg who tries to escape, but Goldust rolls him up from behind for two. Dogg wants out, so he tags in Gunn. Again, Goldust taunts Billy, but “Bad Ass” taunts right back with the DX signal. Rhodes is tagged in, and swings over in a sunset flip for two! He counters a suplex attempt with an inside cradle for two. Billy backs into his own corner for a chat with Dogg. Rhodes wants to continue, and odes, but is taken over by Road Dogg.
Once again, loud “C.M. Punk” ring out. James holds Rhodes in an armlock and switches with Gunn. He too clamps on an armbar and hammers away on Rhodes’ taped-up left arm. Cody comes back with a shoulder block, then stomps away. He now locks James in an armlock, then tags in his half-brother. He too works over James’ left arm. Goldust slugs away with a 10-punch, but is chucked into the steel cage as a more boisterous “we want Punk” call blares out.
Road Dogg is still in control, again hurling Goldust face-first into the steel mesh. Gunn back in and whips Goldust into the corner, but is taken down with a springboard back elbow by “The Bizarre One.” He leaps for a tag to Cody, but is caught then given a big boot! Goldust counters with a spinebuster, then tags in Cody!
Rhodes is all over the Outlaws, taking both out. Gunn tries a Fameasser, but Cody gets out of it. He sets up for the CrossRhodes, but James interrupts, however gets spun around with a powerslam by Goldust! Cody hits the Disaster Kick on Gunn and covers. 1 – 2 – kick out at the last half-second by Billy! Cody argues with Mike Chioda, the referee, then eyes the steel cage. He ascends the walls, looks at the crowd, and moonsaults back! Unfortunately, he basically misses “Road Dogg”, only hitting him with an arm. “Bad Ass” capitalizes with a Fameasser on Rhodes for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall and STILL Tag-Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws (“Road Dogg” Jesse James and “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn)
Match #4: Single – Zack Ryder VS. Titus O’Neil
A recap of Titus’ heel turn and beat down of former Prime Time Players partner Darren Young is shown. O’Neil is aggressive right away and pushes Ryder off the ropes and into the barricade. The Miz also walks out and joins on commentary, ripping on both competitors then walks away. O’Neil has Ryder wrapped in a standing side submission, then clotheslines him. Ryder comes back with a double-knee hit and the Broski Boot. Titus counters again, runs at Ryder in the corner with a splash, then puts Zack down with a high-dropping spinebuster!
Winner via Pinfall” Titus O’Neil
Summer Rae and Fandango make their way to the ring, then a video package commemorating the late-great Ernie “Big Cat” Ladd and Black History Month airs.
Segment #3: Dance-Off
Justin Roberts introduces Santino as a challenger, but he converts it to a dance-off between Summer Rae and NXT Superstar Emma. (She can wrestle really well, and yet they make her debut like this?) Summer goes first, followed by Emma. Santino asks for the vote of the fans, and naturally they pick Emma. (Pointless, and waste of talent for both Summer and Emma.)
Sheamus come to the ring for his contest, next!
Match #5: Single- Sheamus VS. Curtis Axel (with Ryback)
Sheamus controls with a hip toss and side headlock. He counters an Irish whip, ramming his shoulder into Axel’s gut then nails a high running knee. He catches Curtis on the apron and pounds away with fists ten times! Sheamus slams Curtis’ head off the announce table, then delivers an elbow to the back of the head in the ring. Axel comes back and throws Sheamus shoulder-first into the ring post. He wears over the left shoulder/arm area for a while. Once again, the fans chant for C.M. Punk.
Axel has Sheamus pressed against the mat with an armbar, but Sheamus begins to “Hulk Up.” Sheamus catches Curtis off the ropes with a rolling fireman’s carry, then gets geared up. He signals for it and Brogue Kicks Axel to earn this contest!
Winner via Pinfall: Sheamus
Up next, Batista will be out!
Segment #4: Arena Promo
Batista makes his entrance amid both cheers and boos. Before he can say a word, a man who has had a beef with him interjects. Alberto Del Rio comes out and wants to talk about “our unfinished business.” Batista denies having a problem with Del Rio, but is put down for being at home for almost four years. Del Rio informs Batista during that time he won major titles and threatens to “break your arm.” Batista again says he’s not sure what the problem is, but gets quickly beaten down. Del Rio hammers away. Batista comes back with a kick, but Alberto wiggles out of a Batista Bomb attempt. They stare each other down as Del Rio backed away to the stage.
Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, and Xavier Woods are out for their 6-Man bout, next!
Match #6: Six-Man Tag-Team – “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, and Xavier Woods VS. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erik Rowan)
The Wyatts dominate for most of the bout until Truth comes back with a jumping calf-kick. He tags in Ziggler, who is all over Harper! Rowan breaks up a pin attempt, and Ziggler is thrown off a sleeper. Luke hits him with a wicked clothesline, then Bray finishes this off with Sister Abigail.
Winners via Pinfall: The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erik Rowan)
Post-match, The Shield appear on the Titantron. They say The Wyatts are “delusional,” and The Shield doesn’t live in their world of “monsters.” Reigns tells them that “play times over. Believe that, and believe in The Shield.” Bray laughs eerily and screams, “I welcome this war! Bring it to me!”
Segment #5: Video Promo
NXT Wrestler Alexander Rusev claims “The Rusev legacy begins.”
Match #7: Single – Aksana (with Alicia Fox) VS. Naomi (with Funkadactyls partner Cameron)
(Note: Divas Champion A.J. Lee and her partner Tamina are out on commentary/at ringside) Naomi leap-frogs Aksana, but is slammed down and stomped on. She gets a two following a suplex, then clamps on an armlock. She then turns into a scissors lock around the neck, but Naomi gets out of it. Naomi come back with a couple of dropkicks. Naomi flips off the ropes with the split-legged moonsault and 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Naomi (with Funkadactyls partner Cameron)
Up next, the main-event!
Both Bryan and Orton make their respective entrances.
Match #8: Single – Daniel Bryan VS. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton (Non-Title)
Even start for both competitors, then Bryan takes control with an armlock. Orton counters by ripping at his ear. He suplexes Daniel for two, then grapples him with a standing side headlock. Bryan fires back with quick kicks in the corner and a dragon screw. He slams Orton’s leg into the ring post, then runs at it with a front dropkick! He puts Orton in an Indian Deathlock, then turns Orton around and rams Randy’s knee backwards. Bryan turns him over into a surfboard pin combo for two, and continue to work over Orton. “The Viper” counters by biting Bryan, then hits an uppercut. Bryan counters another uppercut into a backslide for two! They brawl on the outside, with Daniel aggressively chucking Orton over the announce table onto Michael Cole!
In the ring, Bryan turn Randy head-over-heels with a hurricanrana out of the corner for a near fall! Bryan continues to be fierce with kicks, then locks on a half-crab submission. Orton is struggling, but eventually makes it to the ropes. He comes back by backdropping Bryan onto the barricade, then follows up with a cover for two! Orton stomps on Bryan’s stomach. Daniel starts another comeback but is caught with a quick powerslam by Randy!
Orton spins Bryan around and tosses him over with a t-bone like suplex. He runs Bryan shoulder-first into the steel post, twice, then the steel steps. He continues to be aggressive, smartly working over the potentially-injured shoulder. He sits Bryan atop the turnbuckle and punches him a couple times. Orton goes for a superplex, but Daniel blocks it. He punches him down, then flies off with a front dropkick! It takes a bit for both to get up and then they slug it out. Bryan starts his patented kicks, but Randy counters with an arm wringer.
Bryan suddenly catches Orton and locks him in the Yes Lock Crossface! Orton puts his leg on the ropes to break, but Bryan is fired up and hits a couple runs at Randy in the corner. Orton counters the last run with a big dropkick of his own! He drives Bryan down with the slingshot DDT. “The Viper” gets in his zone, but Bryan hits a kick and the headbutt! 1 – 2 – Orton kicks out! Bryan kicks away, but Director Of Operations Kane walks out. He hops the apron, but Daniel puts him down. Orton is shot over the ropes too and Bryan follows up with a double suicide dive. He rolls Randy in the ring and takes Kane into the steel steps! Orton tries an RKO back in the ring but is shoved off and Bryan nails the running knee for the hard-fought victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Daniel Bryan
Post-match, as Daniel celebrates, both Kane and Orton double-team him. Kane Chokeslams Bryan, then blows his pyro out of the corner. They both stand over a downed Bryan to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Well, they seemed to have redeemed themselves, just a little. This was a great Raw and I loved the ending of Bryan winning – it at least points to a better direction. Let’s hope they continue that way, but the real telling of the tale will be known after Elimination Chamber. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: As already mentioned, the quick turn-around with The Authority seemingly getting behind Daniel Bryan. While I’m sceptical for sure, and believe this is a response to Punk leaving and the extremely negative reaction they received over the Royal Rumble, it was something a little different than the last little while, which was nice. The match Orton/Bryan had was fantastic; however still wouldn’t be enough to win me over on Orton’s side for the WrestleMania main-event.
Great match between The Shield and Mysterio/Kingston/Langston. I’d like to also see Reigns and Langston go at it – two big brutes who can willingly deliver in both power and speed. Both Wyatts and Shield’s promos were awesome and creepy, fitting their respective characters perfectly. Right now, I do think The Shield need to win this one, as I see a bigger position(s) for all three on the WrestleMania card.
It would be great (and looks to be that way) for Christian to win all the way up to Elimination Chamber. This would give him a believability that he can/would win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Definitely got one of my wishes with the Steel Cage match being given plenty of time. It was crafted very well too, and the ending was very back-and-forth/suspenseful! The Outlaws really do “still got it,” and The Brotherhood keep rolling with their in-ring ability!
Was really surprised by Titus’ heel turn on Smackdown, but I really like it. Interested to see how far up the proverbial ladder he will go.
Bogus: “Bad News” Barrett – as always, don’t care! As I wrote above, really disappointed in Emma’s “official” debut. She should’ve been in a wrestling match; the girl can wrestle very well! That segment was definitely wasting hers and Summer’s talent. Really hate how far Dolph Ziggler has fallen star-wise. I can’t even see him on the WrestleMania card this year, which is a true shame.
Sheamus/Axel was a great physical battle, but a one-off, so not very interested. Same with this Batista/Del Rio feud. Liked the fire in Alberto with his promo, but really, it’s just a hold-over for “The Animal” until WrestleMania; so knowing the very predicted outcome hurts what could’ve been a decent rivalry any other time of the year. Not Naomi’s biggest fan, and I don’t usually like (save for Dean Ambrose of The Shield) one partner of a tag-team getting a singles championship match. A.J. should be feuding with Natalya, Tamina, or an NXT woman.
Where were The Usos and Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman? I know John Cena has a severe eye injury, so that explains his unfortunate absence.
All in all, a much, much better Raw this week. Here’s wishing they go back to a streak of great ones leading to WrestleMania 30; and again, change the main-event Batista VS. any of the other 4 (sorry, Cesaro, just not believable yet) in the Chamber other than Orton at WrestleMania.
Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!