Raw redeemed themselves last week with the main-event scenario a little, but unfortunately, Smackdown took a step backwards. As I wrote last week, I believe that Christian should ride this “one more match/one last chance” and win all his matches right up to Elimination Chamber. Then it would make it interesting (even though he would not win, because he’s not pegged for WrestleMania main-event) and a little suspenseful. Alas, they kyboshed that with his loss to World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. But, that was last week. Tonight, “The Viper” moves on and faces his nemesis, John Cena. Will the champion prevail, or does a returning Cena gain momentum (most likely!) heading into the Chamber?
My favorite feud right now is The Wyatts and The Shield. As has been said before, they should not touch each other and continue to play these brilliant psychological games instead. Loving their promos and can’t wait to see them interact again!
The undercard for the pay-per-view needs to start to build, so hopefully we get that tonight, with I.C. Champ Big E. and The Usos perhaps stepping up to now challenge the Tag-Team Champions The New Age Outlaws. As well, here’s hoping another Hall-Of-Fame announcement – missed that last week!
Lastly, Betty White, legendary actress, will have a part in tonight’s show. I am very interested to see how WWE is going to use her. Please let it be respectful, and just plain good!
Read on to find out what goes down in the “City Of Angels!”
Monday Night Raw Report for February 10th, 2014 – “Momentum – Who’s Got It?”
Introduction: In Memoriam
A picture of Frank Bullock, 1957 – 2014, is shown. He was a ringside assistant with WWE, who recently passed away. May God rest his soul.
Segment #1: Arena Promo
WWE wastes no time in bringing out tonight’s special guest. Justin Roberts welcomes Betty White, who is accompanied by The Big Show. The 7-Footer asks her what’s going happen, and she responds with a resounding “I’m going to kick some ass!” The Authority interjects, much to Show’s chagrin as he escorts Betty to the back.
Triple H clears up what they said about reconsidering Daniel Bryan as “the face of the WWE.” He says the “key word being ‘reconsider.’” Triple H lists all the other competitors in the Elimination Chamber as ones they are “reconsidering” too. The man they haven’t mentioned yet, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton now walks out. Stephanie tears him up for interrupting them, but Orton retorts and wants to make amends to Triple H for all that has gone down in recent times. “If I want to get what I want, I have to give you what you want. And for both of those things to happen, I have to bring ‘The Viper’ to the ring.” Stephanie likes what she is hearing, but wonders how she can trust him.
Orton says “it’s coming from the heart,” and wants to make everything right again, like the last time they were in Los Angeles at SummerSlam 2013, when he became WWE Champion. Much like (cough), C.M. Punk, (cough), Orton wants to be the entire star of the WWE and to have his face plastered on every media outlet possible. He claims he is the “heart and soul of WWE.”
Arguably, the real “heart and soul of the WWE,” Daniel Bryan, makes his fan-favorite presence known. Bryan questions Orton on being the “heart and soul,” and then focuses his attention on The Authority. He wants a match with Kane after the Director Of Operations “did your bidding” by assaulting him last week. Stephanie denies that request, revealing that Kane has been given a one-week administration leave and has a “strongly-worded letter of reprimand.” Daniel mocks this, and Triple H declares that in his state of mind, Bryan will face …. no one! He thinks that it is in Bryan’s best interests to have the night off. Daniel refutes this (as do the fans) with rambunctious “no, no, no” signals and chants in “The Game’s” face.
Later tonight, of course as advertised, it will be WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton taking on John Cena. Up next in six-man action, The Wyatt Family faces Rey Mysterio and The Brotherhood!
Match #1: Six-Man Tag-Team – Rey Mysterio and The Brotherhood (Cody Rhodes and Goldust) VS. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erik Rowan, and Luke Harper)
Rowan and Rhodes begin, with Rowan kicking and pounding away. Cody flips out of a backdrop attempt, hitting a dropkick and tagging in his half-brother. Goldust runs into a brick wall of Rowan’s shoulder block, but switches around in the corner with a slap. Harper now in and gets uppercut by Goldust, then flipped around with a second-rope hurricanrana! Cody is in and baseball slides Luke to the floor, then rockets Mysterio towards him!
Goldust and Rowan back at it, with Erik running Goldust into the corner. Harper gets aggressive with Rowan, and whips him hard into the corner with a splash on Goldust! Bray is now in and sits atop Goldust while punching away. The two now slug it out back-and-forth, but Bray and Rowan double-team Rowan to put him down. Erik crunches Goldust’s face with his boot, but gets taken down with a springboard back elbow. Goldust yanks the ropes down, which sends Rowan tumbling to the floor. Harper is in and cuts of the potential tag. However, he turns around into a powerslam, allowing Goldust to tag in Rey-Rey.
The “biggest little man” flies all over The Wyatts, hitting a flying heasdscissors and seated senton on Harper. He counters Luke with a tilt-a-whirl DDT, then trips up both Harper and Bray; but he misses the 619 on Bray. Bray pulls him off the apron, but Cody soars off the top with a crossbody, while Goldust somersaults over Rowan! Mysterio retries the 619 on Harper, but Bray tags in and catches him with the Sister Abigail and cover to get the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erik Rowan)
Post-match, Bray sits in his rocking chair and prophesizes to The Shield. “You will fall, providing time for my next game to begin. Follow the buzzards.”
Segment #2: Video Recap
A montage of The Shield’s Roman Reigns’ Royal Rumble record eliminations (12) airs.
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with The Shield and asks their response to Bray Wyatt’s words. “Baby girl, actions always speak louder than words. Remember that,” Reigns replies. Rollins chimes in with “The Wyatts love to speak in riddles. Rene, we don’t. We speak in ‘absolutes.’” “As in, we will absolutely destroy The Wyatt Family.” Young then inquires about Dean Ambrose not defending his United States Championship for a long while, and Dean makes a lame excuse about “paperwork.” Reigns calls him on it, so Ambrose decides that he will offer an open challenge for anyone to wrestle for the title tonight. He walks off, while Reigns looks at him pleased.
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
Betty White is chatting with The Bella Twins, Natalya, Eva Marie, Cameron, and Vickie Guerrero when Tag-Team Champions The New Age Outlaws walk in. Billy and Road Dogg escort her away for “protection.”
Santino Marella and new Diva Emma make their entrance for his match with Fandango, next.
Match #2: Single – Santino Marella (with Emma) VS. Fandango (with Summer Rae)
Santino takes Fandango down with a fireman’s carry, but is clubbed in the kidneys in the corner. As the bout gets under way, The Miz walks out and grabs the headset. He vents his frustration (rightfully so!) on being left off tonight’s card for “twinkle toes and some guy who’s act is older than Betty White.
In the ring, Fandango punches Marella off the turnbuckle and follows up with the legdrop for the quick 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Fandango (with Summer Rae)
Segment #5: Locker Room Promo
Byron Saxton, NXT announcer/commentator, interviews Sheamus about his tag-team match with Christian against The Real Americans. Sheamus is fine with it tonight, despite their history. However, he will put aside all feelings when it comes to the Elimination Chamber, as he will “kick their teeth in and become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.”
Match #3: Tag-Team – Christian and Sheamus VS. The Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger) (with Zeb Colter)
Prior to this contest, Colter cuts a promo ripping Sheamus and Christian for missing in action and “sneaking across our borders” and “sneaking back into the WWE.”
Cesaro and Christian begin, trading wasitlocks. Cesaro slams Christian down and then gut-wrench suplexes him. Swagger now in, and gets dominated by Christian with a kick and missile dropkick. Christian tags in Sheamus who slugs away in the corner on Jack then suplexes him for a two-count. Swagger knees Sheamus in the gut to put him down, then switches with Cesaro. Sheamus blocks a hip-toss attempt and clotheslines Antonio down.
Christian is tagged and double-axe-handles Cesaro’s arm, then switches again with Sheamus. Cesaro and Sheamus, and Cesaro takes control with a furry of uppercuts to the pleasure of the crowd. Sheamus counters with a couple more hard uppercuts, hen dives off the top rope with the Battering Ram shoulder tackle. Swagger holds Sheamus on the apron, allowing Cesaro to boot him to the floor.
Sheamus and Cesaro are still wrestling, trading Irish Whips (no pun intended, considering Sheamus!), and Sheamus putting him down with the Irish Curse backbreaker. Christian back in and puts Cesaro to the canvas with a second-rope tornado back elbow. Cesaro counters a Killswitch attempt with a flapjack into an uppercut! 1 – 2 – Christian kicks out! Swagger now stomps on Christian and slingshots him against the bottom rope. 1 – 2 – Christian gets the shoulder up.
Jack clamps on a rolling grounding front facelock. Christian rights back but is pulled into the corner, where Swagger drops the Swaggerbomb splash on him and Cesaro follows up with a jumping double-stomp! Cesaro mudhole stomps Christian in the corner, then catches Christian in the Big Swing. Christian takes ten rotations and is swung out of the ring! The referee begins the 10-count but slides in the ring at 9! 1 – 2 – Christian kicks out! Cesaro sling-shots Christian into Swagger who slams him over for another near-fall! Jack tosses Cesaro into the corner, but Christian moves! Christian sends Swagger over the ropes, then both Christian and Cesaro make respective tags.
Sheamus back in and is all over Swagger until he gets knocked down by Cesaro and locked in the Patriot Ankle Lock by Swagger. Christian soars off the top rope to break the submission, and Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick to finally take this one!
Winners via Pinfall: Christian and Sheamus
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with John Cena and wants to know his thoughts on his match with Randy Orton tonight. He puts over the change in WWE coming through, including Daniel Bryan and many other new WWE Superstars. “The match tonight is about our future. Because tonight, I close my rivalry with Randy Orton.” (I hope so!) “That statement goes to The Wyatts, to The Shield, Antonio Cesaro, and Daniel Bryan. If any of you think you have what it takes to carry the future of the WWE, know you have to go through me to get it!”
Match #4: Single – “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler VS. Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio kicks and hammers Ziggler right away. Ziggler clutches the ropes to block a whip, then comes back with a dropkick and series of elbow drops! Dolph puts Alberto down with a Fameasser, but is quickly and suddenly put away with the stiff-kick!
Winner via Pinfall: Alberto Del Rio
Post-match, Del Rio contemplates then locks on the Cross Armbreaker Submission until Batista runs out, spearing him! Batista chucks him into the steel steps and hurls Alberto into the barricade after tearing apart the announce table. Batista sets up for the Batista Bomb and drives Del Rio through the commentator’s table, then walks away after making a physical statement.
Up next, a new Inductee for the Hall-Of-Fame Class will be announced! (Woo-hoo!)
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
“The Animal” is walking through the hallways went Triple H comes up and confronts him. HHH wants Batista to “keep it in the ring,” and warns Batista that it is his own “neck on the line” if something goes bad. “The Game” books Batista VS. Alberto Del Rio for Elimination Chamber, and tells him “I’m just looking out for ya man.” Batista quirks, “I guess things really have changed around here.”
Segment #8: Hall-Of-Fame Announcement
The third member of this year’s class is … my favorite women’s wrestler, Lita! Highlights and comments from past and present Divas/Wrestlers/Personalities about her groundbreaking career are shown. Well, well deserved!
Segment #9: Locker Room Promo
Tag-Team Champions The New Age Outlaws are having tea (yes, I actually typed that!) with Betty White. She is enjoying herself, admiring Billy Gunn’s Tag-Team Title while Road Dogg puts a liquid into her tea. She wants some lemon, and they both go to get it, leaving her to switch the teas around. All three cheer each other while Ms. White smiles.
Later tonight, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry makes his return.
Match #5: Tag-Team – Rybaxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel) VS. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
(Note: Tag-Team Champions The New Age Outlaws are on commentary, with Billy Gunn apparently having an upset stomach.) Axel and Jey start out. Jey nails Curtis with an uppercut, then trades with his twin, who delivers a jumping forearm in the corner. Ryback comes in and stomps away on Jimmy. He gives him shoulder-rams in the corner, then whips him hard into the opposite corner. Jimmy chops away but is hit with a resounding smacking kick. Ryback is in a again, but is elbowed off the corner rope and taken down with a spiral back splash!
Jimmy tags in Jey and flies all over Curtis. He kicks him so hard that Axel spins upside down, then is planted with a hard Samoan drop. Ryback is sent into the ring post, allowing The Usos to double-team Axel. Jey tags in Jimmy while he soars over the ropes on to Ryback on the outside! Jimmy follows up with a Superfly Splash for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
Post-match, The Usos stare down The New Age Outlaws, but Billy Gunn has to run off, holding his rear end.
Up next, Dean Ambrose’s open challenge for his United States Championship will happen!
Match #6: Single for the United States Championship – Dean Ambrose (Champion) (with The Shield partners Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) VS. ???
The open challenger is …
Mark Henry! “The World’s Strongest Man” walks out with a big (pun-intended) smile on his face as Ambrose looks extremely nervous. Reigns whispers something in his ear, which appears to give Dean a little more confidence.
After formal introductions by Justin Roberts, the bell rings and they lock up. Henry shoves Ambrose across the ring, twice! Dean collects himself with his Shield partners. Henry misses an arm club, but nails a big boot and hard tosses into the corners and ring post. Ambrose comes back and sets his sight on Henry’s hurt left arm. He locks it against the ropes, but is quickly hip-tossed over to the outside!
Back in the ring, Dean locks Henry in a grounding armbar, which “The World’s Strongest Man” struggles out of. He tosses Ambrose off the top rope and puts him to the canvas with a shoulder powerslam. He plants him with The World’s Strongest Slam and covers, but Seth Rollins breaks it up, causing the dq.
Winner via Disqualification: “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry (Dean Ambrose retains his United States Championship)
Post-match, The Shield beat down Henry, with Reigns spearing him to the floor!
The lights go out and The Wyatts appear! They stroll out to the ring while The Shield await. Both trios glare at each other, Wyatts from the ramp and Shield near the barricade. The Shield hop the railing and approach the ring. The Wyatts stand on the other side, still staring. The crowd wants it to happen, as they call “yes, yes, yes!” The Shield stand on the ring apron, as do The Family. It’s a game of “one-ups-manship, until Bray toys with The Shield and The Wyatt Family back away. Bray calls “make your move, make your move!”
Recap of WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton attacking John Cena Sr. from Raw last month is quickly aired.
Segment #10: Video Promo
A highlight package of the late Bobo Brazil is aired, celebrating Black History Month and recognizing African-American wrestlers in WWE history.
Match #7: Six-Women Tag-Team Match: The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie) and Cameron (with Eva Marie) VS. Aksana, Alicia Fox, and Divas Champion A.J. Lee (with Tamina Snuka) (Non-Title)
Nikki and A.J. begin, with Nikki dominating the Divas Champion. Aksana is brought in, and Brie tries a double-team with her sister but badly botches it, landing face-first into Aksana in the corner! Brie is controlled by both Aksana and Alicia. Cameron is tagged in and all over Alicia, taking her down with a flying headscissors! She hits Alicia in the face with a front dropkick, but is pounded down viciously with a forearm. She gets right back up and plants Aksana with a fierce DDT to finish this one!
Winners via Pinfall: The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie) and Cameron
Recap of WWE’s “Be A Star” campaign airs, featuring The Bella Twins, Mark Henry, and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley.
Segment #11: Video Promo
Lana appears on screen, calling Alexander Rusev (the name screen reads “Aljiekcah??p Pyceb” – forgive the spelling, a couple of keys do not translate) “intelligence, brute force.” He says something in another language to put himself over.
As Michael Cole is putting over tonight’s main-event, pyro from the stage suddenly blows and Director Of Operations Kane surprisingly walks out! He accepts “the punishment placed by The Authority.” Kane calls his attack on Bryan “ill-advised” and claims The Authority had nothing to do with it. Daniel Bryan charges to the ring and brawls with the former “Big Red Machine.” Kane puts him down with an uppercut and goes for a Chokeslam, but Bryan hops out of it and pulls the ropes down to send Kane to the outside. Bryan follows up with a suicide dive and front-dropkicks Kane over the barricade!
Up next, the main-event.
It is announced that The Usos will team with The Brotherhood to take on Rybaxel and Tag-Team Champions The New Age Outlaws, plus WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton will face Antonio Cesaro this week on Smackdown!
Match #8: Single – John Cena VS. WWE World Heavyweight Champion “The Viper” Randy Orton (Non-Title)
Randy begins with a standing side headlock, but Cena comes back with a leapfrog and hip-toss. Orton slides out for a quick break, then the two lock up again. Cena grounds Orton with a rear chinlock, then reverses a hip-toss try into one of his own. Randy backs to the aisle way for another break, then suckers in Cena and kicks him down. Orton mount-punches Cena then stomps on him. He catches John off the ropes with an elbow, then taunts him and the fans. Cena counters a suplexes into one of his own, but Orton comes back. Randy turns the match slow and methodical, slamming Cena’s head on the announce table and backdropping him against the corner of the barricade. Orton stomps again in the ring, then poses for a break.
Randy still in control, continues to kick away. Cena comes back with a scoop slam, punches, and a shoulder tackle, but Orton fends him off to the floor again. “The Viper” suplexes Cena from the apron to the ring and gets a two-count! Orton grasps Cena with a grounding rear chinlock, which Cena fights out of and goes for the Attitude Adjustment. Orton wiggles out of it and drives John down with a hard DDT! 1 – 2 – Cena kicks out! Orton goes back to slowing this match down with stomps around Cena’s body. John builds momentum again with shoulder tackles, a spin-out backdrop and the 5-Knuckle Shuffle fistdrop. He goes for the A.A. again, but Orton slides out and brings him down with a backbreaker.
Randy tries for the slingshot-DDT, but Cena counters by throwing Orton over the ropes! Cena catches Orton off the ropes in another A.A. position, but Orton gets out of it again and spins Cena around with a powerslam for a near fall! Orton tries a top-rope suplex, but Cena fends it off. Orton crotches Cena to counter, then plants him with a DDT from the turnbuckle! Orton fires himself up for the R.K.O, but Cena trips him up into an STF Submission! Orton crawls and clutches the bottom rope for a break!
“The Viper” comes back with a dropkick and both men are down! Orton stares at the WrestleMania XXX sign and then back at Cena. He misses the punt kick, but slides out of another A.A. attempt, then the R.K.O.! 1 – 2 – Cena still kicks out! Cena suddenly drops him with the Attitude Adjustment, but the WWE World Heavyweight Champion also kicks out! Cena positions Orton in the corner, and off the top rope, wants to go for an A.A. Orton pounds out of it, but Cena follows up with the legdrop on Orton’s neck and a second Attitude Adjustment for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: John Cena
John Cena celebrates his hard-fought win to close the show!
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Another pretty good Raw, making it back-to-back again. I felt it was still a little down from last week and do have more grievances, but there was plenty of action, so that is definitely a plus! Onto the usual analysis:
Excellence: the matches of Rey/Brotherhood & The Wyatts, Christian/Sheamus & The Real Americans, Rybaxel and The Usos, and Henry/Ambrose. All very well put together with neat spots (especially the leaping tag at the end between Jimmy and Jey of their bout, and Bray’s Sister Abigail move on a running Mysterio!) and told some great stories in the ring.
The arena face-off between The Shield and The Wyatt. That was awesome, and again, proves why they don’t need to touch each other until Elimination Chamber. Builds great suspense and elicits excellent crowd reactions. This is the feud I love the most right now!
The New Age Outlaws. Really are just being themselves from the 2000s and are still awesome at it! Loved the comic interaction with Betty White, and it was them who made that segment.
Roman Reigns – not only his physicality in the ring, but his reactions, promo skills, and charisma have really amped up over the last few months. I wrote before how he’s also starting to get that Kevin Nash/Diesel “cool-guy cockiness” to him with his some of his facial expressions (i.e. his words to Rene Young and reply to Ambrose’s “paperwork” line with the United States Championship), and it actually suits him pretty good.
Sitting on the fence with Alexander Rusev – I usually fast-forward his NXT matches, because they book him to pretty much squash his opponents. Will make a judgment call when he faces main-roster competition. I.C. Title feud with Langston would be a good start!
As always right now, Daniel Bryan can do no wrong with both promos and in-ring skills.
Lita as a Hall-Of-Famer! Absolutely a shoe-in with how she redefined the WOMEN’S Division back in the day, along with Trish Stratus. Man, I miss those times and matches! That’s when women’s WRESTLING really mattered! As mentioned above, she was always my favorite for both her look and invigorating in-ring moves/style! I really hope it is Trish inducting her, since Lita inducted Trish last year!
Bogus: The use of Betty White and The Big Show. While at least it didn’t go really weird/crude/disrespectful, it just seemed pointless to have her there. Same with Big Show bringing her out and back. It came off as a one-off cameo for him, and should not have been.
Where was Paul Heyman? I know Brock Lesnar only has a certain amount of dates, but they were building to something before and I think at least Heyman should be on T.V. every week to continue the storyline, whatever it will be. Right now, they have lost steam.
Where was Intercontinental Champion Big E. Langston? Also needs to be on T.V. every week to build himself and the I.C. Title up.
Fandango/Marella and the Six-Women Tag-Team match were both pointless. Unfortunately, Divas Champ A.J. has also lost momentum recently and the entire Divas Division needs new blood in them (hello Women’s Champion Paige and Bailey from NXT!) to reignite their spark. This is where Emma could’ve easily been inserted! She is a great WRESTLER on NXT. Should NOT have debuted “dancing” with Marella. Killed her potential right off the bat. There, got that off my chest!
Really hate how far Dolph and The Miz have fallen. Both are great personalities and in-ring performers, yet they are passed up by the old-time feuds of Batista/Orton and Orton/Cena. Absolutely thought Del Rio’s match with Ziggler could’ve and should’ve gone longer (cutting out Marella/Fandango or the Divas tag-team to save that time) and it would’ve been a potential “match of the night” for sure!
I must admit too, sitting on the fence about Batista being the Royal Rumble winner right now. On one hand, sure, it doesn’t matter who he feuds with until after Elimination Chamber because he’s guaranteed the spot at WrestleMania XXX. But, I think he needs to have some interaction with his potential opponent(s) in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture, to keep him interesting and remind fans that he is supposed to be in that scenario come WrestleMania time. (I know he is, but some may not with him having a mid-card feud right now.) Wait until after E.C. to make a judgment.
While it was very physical, John Cena VS. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton, part something-or-other, was very monotonous tonight. I was really bored by it, as it just seemed very routine and nothing special. At least Cena came out on top, to build up the challenger and put Orton vulnerable for the Chamber; but I really didn’t care about this match and hopefully it really is the last one-on-one feud between the two for a long, long time. Also, the ending was bland too. Should’ve been more “cliffhanger-ish” with another E.C. opponent running out and either squaring off or engaging in a fight with Cena. The ending they had seemed more like a “happy-go-lucky” finish to a pay-per-view, than one that should entice viewers to tune in next week.
Yes, it seems I wrote more “hate” than “love” about Raw tonight, but I really did like the show in general. It just the parts I didn’t enjoy that I wrote more on why, and had to vent a couple issues! Otherwise, a decent show and next week will be the “go-home” for Elimination Chamber, which will also provide my picks for that Pay-Per-View. Let’s hope they have more than two matches by then!
Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!