Once again, Raw is in my favourite American city tonight: Chicago! The biggest question is, will a certain Chi-town wrestler be there, or is he truly off the roster? It would be a decent work of all of this leading to C.M. Punk was just a ruse. However, I must admit I would be pretty surprised, since the main events of WrestleMania XXX are looking decently set, and I don’t see where “The Second City Saint” would fit in.
Speaking of WrestleMania, last week we got a good glimpse of two matches for sure, and a potential two more for the card. I still am not a big fan of Batista VS. Orton, but after the promos and seemingly turns by both, I think they could make it work. Definitely should NOT be the main-event though. Undertaker/Brock Lesnar should be both an excellent match and feud, considering who Lesnar’s mouthpiece is (Paul Heyman) and what he did with C.M. Punk last year when they went up against “The Deadman.” And, “yes!” (pun intended) we could also see Daniel Bryan VS. Triple H (which, in reality is the replacement from the previously planned C.M. Punk VS. Triple H). I can see this being the main event easily, with hopefully Daniel Bryan going over and closing this feud, and sending the fans home happy. Cena/Wyatt could be a very interesting feud, but it will have to be Bray carrying it microphone wise for sure, since Cena’s stick (while good) is always the same-old-same-old.
On to Raw, the big match for tonight is a rematch between The Wyatt Family and The Shield! Who will prevail and will this be as good as their Elimination Chamber bout? Let’s hope so! Elsewhere, will anymore mid-card matches for “The Grand Daddy Of Them All” be announced, along with more inductees for the Hall-Of-Fame?
All this and much more, so read on!
Monday Night Raw Report for March 3rd, 2014 – “Breakups, Makeups, and Put-up Or Shut-Up!”
Introduction Segment: Welcoming & Arena Promo
Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcome us to Raw, and announce the known Six-Man Tag-Team bout, as well as Batista taking on Daniel Bryan!
“Cult Of Personality” surprisingly (truly for me) blares the speakers to kick off the show and the hometown crowd of the missing in action man voices their pleasure, until ….
out walks Paul Heyman! The cheers turn to boos, then boisterous “C.M. Punk” chants, which Heyman himself eggs on. “I believe he deserves louder than that. (My Dad says this is actually pretty smart, get the Punk out of the fans’ system right away) Paul E. mocks Punk more, by sitting in the middle of the ring cross-legged. “I came here tonight to tell the story of a ‘Paul Heyman Guy.’ A ‘Paul Heyman Guy’ that is never truly wanted in WWE. A ‘Paul Heyman Guy’ that ‘they’ thought was too small to main event WrestleMania. A ‘Paul Heyman’ guy that didn’t have the right corporate look. A ‘Paul Heyman Guy’ that had too many tattoos. A ‘Paul Heyman Guy’ that would rebel against the system, against The Authority, against The First Family, to such a degree that they didn’t want him in WWE from day one, and they don’t want him in WWE right now. I came here tonight to tell you the story of a ‘Paul Heyman Guy’ that had the balls to say what nobody else had the balls to say. I came here tonight to tell you about a ‘Paul Heyman Guy’ that was born in, raised in, and still lives in, Chicago. My name is Paul Heyman, and ladies and gentlemen, this is my ‘pipe bomb’ about C.M. Punk.”
Heyman confirms that Punk is not in the building (to massive boos), then goes on to accuse the fans of the reason why C.M. is not here. “The truth hurts, doesn’t it?” Paul puts himself over as the reason that Punk got over so big, complete with the 434-day reign. He blames the fans for making C.M. turn on Heyman, which in turn eventually led to him turning on them. Heyman also blames The Undertaker, since “we couldn’t beat The Streak at last year’s WrestleMania.” “Paul Heyman wants revenge.” Heyman has all his faith in Brock Lesnar to have “the streak conquered.”
Lesnar now walks out and joins his manager. A quick video retells The Undertaker’s return from last week, then more “C.M. Punk” chants come from the crowd. Lesnar now takes the microphone and recalls Triple H and C.M. Punk as two of the many prominent names that have tried to take out The Undertaker at WrestleManias. “At WrestleMania, the streak is going to be conquered by me, Brock Lesnar!”
As Brock and Heyman exit the ring, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry meets them in the aisle and engages in a brawl with “The Beast Incarnate.” Henry begins the slugging, but Lesnar puts him into the steel steps and uses them to bash Mark in the head. Lesnar tears apart the announce table, then impressively and angrily F-5’s him through it! Lesnar and Heyman smirk at their work, then walk to the back.
Up next is a rematch for the WWE Tag-Team Championship, with The Usos challenging The New Age Outlaws!
Match #1: Tag-Team for the Tag-Team Championship – The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg Jesse James and “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn) (Champions) VS. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) (Challengers)
(Note: For once, Road Dogg deems Chicago unworthy of hearing their usual introduction of themselves. The Usos, however, do make their usual entrance, pleasing the crowd.) Jey and Road Dogg begin, with James kicking Jey and slamming his head into the turnbuckle. He whips him hard into the corner, then switches with Gunn. He takes control, pounding away with punches on Jey, then tags Jesse back in. James slaps Jey in the corner, but Jey turns it around and slaps back. He gets clotheslined, and Dogg continues to dominate, sending Jey to the outside.
Billy breaks up a roll-up by Jey on James, then The Outlaws continue to control. Jey eventually counters with a high spin-kick, and makes the hot-tag. Jimmy takes Road Dogg off the apron with a leaping forearm, then is all over Billy. He hits a Samoan Drop on Gunn, then a Full-Nelson Bomb on Dogg. Jimmy runs at Dogg in the corner with a rear-end splash, then flies off the top with a somersault. Dogg distracts Jimmy, allowing Billy to roll him up, but Jimmy still kicks out! Gunn catches Jimmy off the ropes with a tilt-a-whirl slam for another near fall, then tries the Fameasser. Jimmy ducks, hits a superkick, then soars over the ropes onto Road Dogg, tagging in his brother in the process. Jey rockets off the top rope with a Superfly Splash, the cover, and the victory!
Winners and NEW Tag-Team Champions: The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
Post-match, Jimmy and Jey celebrate their long-awaited
Segment #2: Video Promo and Backstage Promo
A “Need For Speed” clip airs, then The Bella Twins, Natalya, Alicia Fox, and Aksana put over the movie. (Pointless at its finest).
Match #2: Single – Cesaro (with Real Americans partners Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter) VS. Intercontinental Champion Big E. (Non-Title)
Cesaro dominates most of this bout, uppercutting Big E. and swinging him around ten times. Swagger suddenly gets involved, Swaggerbombing the I.C. Champ and causing a dq.
Winner via Disqualification: Intercontinental Champion Big E.
Post-match, Big E. drops Cesaro with The Big Ending as Colter looks puzzled at Jack’s actions.
The Shield make their way through the crowd and prepare for their match with The Wyatt Family, next!
Match #3: Six-Man Tag-Team – The Shield (United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns) VS. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erik Rowan, and Luke Harper) (Non-Title)
It begins fast and furious, with Ambrose diving to the outside and Reigns planting Bray with a Samoan Drop. The bell then rings, and Harper has Rollins atop the turnbuckle. Luke German-Suplexes Seth off the top rope, but Rollins lands on his feet! He tilt-a-whirl dives over the ropes, onto the floor onto Harper, then does the same across the ring to Rowan. Luke runs back in the ring, and Seth catches him with a jumping kick! He is fired up, but Bray puts him down quickly. Harper regains control.
Harper still in control, as is Rowan. Seth counters and drives Erik face-first into the middle turnbuckle with a flatliner. Ambrose is tagged in and is all over Rowan with wild punches and a low front-dropkick. He locks on the Figure-4, to the enjoyment of the fans who call out “Wooo!” in honor of Ric Flair. The Wyatts regain domination with Bray and Luke cornering the U.S. Champion.
Rowan Pump-Handle-Slams Ambrose for a two-count, then presses against his head with his fists. Ambrose grapples Rowan’s beard to counter, but gets sidewalk-slammed coming off the ropes. Harper slugs away a big uppercut, but Dean comes back with a harsh clothesline! Bray s tagged in and runs to knock off Roman off the apron. He turns around into a DDT by Ambrose, but as Dean goes for the tag, Rollins jumps off the apron and backs away. Roman walks after him and questions. “I can’t be the glue that keeps this together. You two figure it out! You two figure it out!” Seth yells back.
Reigns then dives back in the ring to break up a cover, then hits the Superman Punch on Bray. He clotheslines Rowan over the ropes and runs at Luke with a jumping front-dropkick on the outside! This turns into mayhem, with Roman spearing Erik over the announce table, then Harper follows with an impressive suicide dive! Ambrose leaps onto Bray from the apron, but is ran face-first into the post. Bray finishes this with the Sister Abigail!
Winners via Pinfall: The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erik Rowan)
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with the #1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Batista. She wants his thoughts on facing Daniel Bryan later tonight, and he basically puts him down, calling him just an “average guy” and is amazed at what a “WWE Superstar” is these days.
It is announced that they will already have a Tag-Team Championship rematch from earlier tonight, taking place on the WWE Network show, Main Event Tuesday night.
Match #4: Mixed Tag-Team – Fandango and Summer Rae VS. Santino Marella and Emma
After a few switches between Marella and Emma, the bout gets going with Fandango hitting Santino from behind. Santino counters with a modified jawbreaker, then tags in Emma. She is all over Summer with clotheslines, then clamps a Tarantula submission against the ropes. Fandango tries to come in, but Santino chases him off while Emma gets the tap-out win with her Emmalock!
Winners via Submission: Santino Marella and Emma
Up next, Sheamus will face Christian!
Match #5: Single – Christian VS. Sheamus
The two begin with a verbal joust, then Christian slaps Sheamus twice. The big Irishman takes Christian to the outside and runs him into the barricade, then slams him onto the canvas. He drops a knee and gets a near fall! Christian counters and kicks Sheamus in the corner, then stands on him. Sheamus comes back with a clothesline and just about takes this with the Irish Curse backbreaker. He runs at Christian, but is tossed over the ropes, then followed up with a baseball slide. Christian attempts a slingshot plancha, but Sheamus moves. He goes to carry Christian into the ring post, but Christian slides out and hides behind Lawler, Layfield, and Cole.
Sheamus ascends to top rope, but is pushed to the floor! In the ring, Christian gets vicious with a headbutt and few stomps. He clotheslines Sheamus on the apron, then backdrops him back in the ring. He tries a top-rope Frog Splash, but Sheamus rolls as Christian eats mat. Christian is caught out of the corner and driven down with a rolling fireman’s carry. Sheamus clobbers away at Christian, then chucks him to the apron. He wants to slug away, but Christian elbows out of it. He jumps off the top, but is caught and dropped across the ropes. Sheamus holds him and pounds away with forearms, then nails him in the head with a knee! 1 – 2 – Christian kicks out!
Sheamus goes for another punch, but Christian reverses into his reverse DDT, then leaps off the top rope with a Frog Splash. 1 – 2 – Sheamus kicks out! He is caught off the apron and planted with White Noise, and a close call! Sheamus ends up on the apron and manages to hit him with The Brogue Kick and the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Sheamus
Later tonight, John Cena will talk to The Wyatt Family.
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
Rene interviews the latest victor, Sheamus. Just as he is going to tell us about it, Christian assaults him with a beatdown, including the lighting! Referees pull Christian off as he challenges Sheamus to “come get it.”
Match #6: Tag-Team – Alicia and Aksana VS. The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie)
Nikki and Aksana begin, with The Bellas taking control and frequently tagging. Aksana switches with Alicia, who gets a two-count on Brie. She wristlocks Brie and yanks her down, then Aksana stomps away in the corner. He pulls Brie out of the corner, landing hard on the mat. Fox back in, tearing at Brie with a chinlock. Brie battles out of it and snapmares Alicia over. She sunset flips over, crawls under and tags in Nikki. She hits a dropkick and knee-facesbuster. Aksana interrupts a cover, then Brie flies off the top with a front dropkick. Nikki takes this with a Torture Rack Backbreaker on Fox!
Winners via Pinfall: The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie)
Up next, it’s the main event already as Bryan will face Batista!
Segment #5: Arena Promo
Daniel Bryan comes to the ring for his match with Batista. Prior to the contest, Bryan has the microphone. “You see, that is what I like to hear. Because the people here in Chicago understand one thing. YOU have a voice! WE have a VOICE! And tonight, WE ARE GOING TO HIJACK RAW!” (Loud “yes, yes, yes!” chants!) Bryan warns that he is not going to exit the ring until either Batista battles him or Triple H answers his request for WrestleMania.
The Authority answer Daniel’s call and enter the ring with him. Stephanie answers first, telling him that she would be “flat-out embarrassed” with all of the losses he has accumulated. Bryan recaps how many times he has been “screwed over” out of the WWE Championship. “But here I stand, unbroken, with these people (pointing to the crowd) behind me! And I am stronger than ever.” He lays down the challenge for WrestleMania XXX again. Triple H tells him flat-out, “well, that’s not going to happen.” HHH wonders why Bryan makes excuses for his own failings, saying that “everybody that has failed here, is because they were not good enough.” (During that, more loud “C.M. Punk” chants ring out.) “See, these people understand. Because you can deny holding me down, you can deny holding anybody down. But they can see through your lies. That is why they chant, THAT IS WHY THEY CHANT!” Bryan retorts. “Because you come out here, and you say you do ‘what’s best for business.’ You say you do it for the WWE Universe. But you don’t listen to these people. You don’t listen to the ‘yes movement.’ You don’t listen for their obvious desire to see somebody like me, or everybody else back there that’s like me, see people like me succeed. And the only way, THE ONLY WAY, we will ever get you to see that is that if I beat the crap out of you, and if I do it at WrestleMania.”
Stephanie says they do not listen to the fans, because they will turn on him. She says that it is really “us,” her family that have made him, and made a place for him. Triple H informs him again that “your little match at WrestleMania, it’s not going to happen.” He then orders Bryan to “get out of my ring.” Bryan defies them again, claiming “this isn’t your ring … this is THEIR ring!” Triple H demands again for Bryan to leave, but Bryan stands up to his face, “why don’t you make me.”
McMahon calls out Kane, but Bryan cuts him off with a suicide dive. He keeps whaling on the Director Of Operations with Stephanie calling for security to take him away. They manage to separate Kane and Bryan, then Daniel has to back away to loud chants of “Daniel Bryan.”
The main event is apparently still on, as well, Cena will be out to talk about The Wyatt Family.
Recap of Lesnar’s attack on Henry is replayed. Another pointless Raw Backstage Pass panel to talk about Raw so far is shown. The participants were Josh Matthews, Booker T. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, and Alex Riley.
Match #7: Single – Alberto Del Rio VS. “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler (with Aaron Paul)
Raw Guest Star Aaron Paul (actor, in the “Need For Speed” movie and critically acclaimed “Breaking Bad” television show) drives Ziggler into the arena and makes a grand entrance with him. He then joins on commentary. In the ring, Del Rio is all over Dolph early, but Ziggler makes a comeback with a leap in the corner and ten punch! He goes for a Fameasser, but Alberto moves and slams him tilt-a-whirl style. Dolph counters with a high-spinning DDT and almost gets this! Del Rio comes back with a kick-to-the-head and gets a two count! Aaron distracts Alberto, allowing Dolph to turn Del Rio around and bring him down with the Zig-Zag for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler
Up next, a new Inductee will be revealed! (Finally!)
Segment #6: Hall Of Fame Video Promo
Close to a year after his death, William Moody, a.k.a. Paul Bearer, is the newest member of the WWE Hall Of Fame. Well-deserved!
Match #8: Single – Jack Swagger (with Real Americans partners Zeb Colter and Cesaro) VS. Intercontinental Champion Big E. (Non-Title)
Immediately, Cesaro gets revenge on Swagger by face-planting Big E. with The Neutralizer, causing Jack to be dq’ed!
Post-match, Cesaro and Swagger have a heated discussion, then Cesaro sweeps him up! He goes for the Big Swing, but Colter convinces him to stop. He also convinces them to shake hands and “hug it out” like Real Americans! He demands them to call out “we the people,” and calms the two down.
Up next, John Cena will be out.
Segment #7: Arena Promo
John Cena walks out, and yes, really walks out, as he is selling the “injury” he suffered last week at the hands of The Wyatt Family. His left knee is bandaged. John stands and soaks in the “C.M. Punk” chants, as well the cheers that he was “injured” by The Wyatts and he will not compete tonight. Cena still wanted to “hear the energy and passion of an entire city.” He recaps his history in Chi-town, and respects “the hell out of this city,” despite their differences. Cena says that he “always hear ya, I always know that your honest, and I damn sure know that you’re loud.” He reminds the fans that while they want change, it will still “go through me.”
The lights go out and The Family appear on the Titan Tron. “Look at you John, sitting out there all alone. You built this, this empire all around you. And can you feel the energy? Can you feel these people, John? You know, you remind me of these championship thoroughbred horses. One that’s been running for a long, long time. And he races and he wins. And he wins, and the people they just CHEER for him. One day, this championship horse, he starts to slow down. And that is when reality sets in. And now he finds himself not just looking for the next finish line; but he is now sitting somewhere in the back of a barn, laid out on slab. And when, oh when, will your reality set in John? How long do you think you can just fend us off? Mercy is calling you by name. I am ‘The Reaper,’ and I am going to put you down. Let me let you in on a little secret, John. I know what you are really afraid of. For the loneliest man on earth is the man who sits alone atop his empty castle. Who, will be left for you John, when I take it all away? Follow the buzzards.”
Batista is walking the hallway and walks into WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton, who wishes “The Animal” luck against Daniel Bryan.
Segment #8: Arena Promo
Lana is on stage with her man, Alexander Rusev. She declares him the “Bulgarian Brute” and “The Super Athlete.” He says something in another language while the crowd questions “what?”
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton makes his way to the ring to have a look at the next bout closely.
Match #8: Single – Batista VS. Daniel Bryan
Batista shoves Bryan off twice to begin, then is run off the ropes by Bryan. He is tripped with a dropkick at his knee by Bryan who begins to kick away. Bryan works over Batista’s leg with a running front dropkick, then locks on a half-crab submission. Batista kicks of then clotheslines Daniel off the ropes. He drops Bryan across the top rope, then tosses him to the floor.
Bryan runs at the corner and somersaults over Batista, then hits a couple running dropkicks in the corner. Batista goes to the outside before the third one, but Daniel follows him with a suicide dive. Bryan climbs the turnbuckle and flies off with a front dropkick! He kicks away to many “yes” chants and nearly gets this after a kick-to-the-head. He ascends the turnbuckle and notices that The Authority walk down to the ring. Batista takes advantage and purposely hurls Bryan into a sitting Orton at ringside.
Bryan comes back with high-kick, but Orton slides in and attacks him!
Winner via Disqualification: Daniel Bryan
Post-match, Bryan nails a running knee on Orton and knocks Kane off the apron, but collides into a spear by Batista as he went to dive on The Authority! They enter the ring and Triple H kneels over Bryan. “I getting tired of your little fantasy crap!” Bryan kicks him in the head, but Batista Batista-bombs him. “The Game” quickly gets back up and Pedigrees Bryan. The Authority stand over a downed Daniel, with Stephanie making fun of his “yes” chant to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Excellence: Opening promo – not only did that intrigue me greatly when C.M. Punk’s music played, it really got the energy in the arena going. Like I wrote above as my Dad said, it was very smart of WWE to do this, as they didn’t deny where they were and who the fans wanted to see the most. Plus, it got Heyman major heel-heat leading into the huge program with The Undertaker. He was the perfect person to do this, both because of his beautiful skills on the microphone and his history with Punk.
Liked the way they are playing up the dissension between the men of both The Real Americans and The Shield groups. The match featuring The Shield and The Wyatts was fantastic, and the all-out brawl for the finish of the match reminded my dad of an Attitude-Era bout! I was very impressed with Luke Harper’s suicide dive and Roman Reigns’ spear on Erik Rowan over the announce table! Rollins was awesome to, flying all around, and his reluctance of helping his teammates until they work out their issues.
Sheamus/Christian was a physical contest and great match. Was a little surprised at the clean finish, but loved the follow up with Christian attacking Sheamus backstage. Glad this feud llooks like it will continue.
Bray Wyatt – the man will continue to do no wrong on the microphone and carry this new feud with John Cena, merely based on his oratory talent!
Bryan’s promo proved again why is a major star and can go toe-to-toe with anybody on the roster, both in the ring and on the microphone. The ending of Raw was great, as it really set up the now-inevitable showdown between HHH and Daniel for WrestleMania. Again, this should/could be the main event, and send the fans home happy with a win for Bryan!
Paul Bearer (real name, the late-great William Moody) going into the Hall Of Fame! He was a true character, in every sense of the word, throughout his career in wrestling, and I believe he made The Undertaker who he is today! It will be very interesting to see if “The Phenom” will induct his long-time friend and manager, since he usually does not show up on camera during the ceremony. If not, the next best choice would be Kane. Either way, Bearer was an awesome addition to wrestling and will greatly be missed. God Bless you, William Moody!
Bogus: As much as I like/want The Usos to be WWE Tag-Team Champions, I feel that the result tonight was a little rushed and a remedy for the Chicago fans since Punk would not be making an appearance. This should’ve been one of those special moments that happen at WrestleMania, especially since both Billy and Jesse can still go well, so all four could’ve put on a much better match and had it mean just that much more.
Didn’t care at all about the Divas match or the Mixed Tag-Team Match. Where was A.J. Lee and a Divas Championship storyline?
I like the way they’re doing The Real Americans split, but I feel that two quick disqualification wins really hurt Big E. and the I.C. Championship. Since he gave them their comeuppance, it looks like they’re gearing towards just Cesaro VS. Swagger, leaving the I.C. Title and Big E. without a program. Same with Dolph Ziggler – glad he got it, but the win was really just a crowd-pleaser. Should’ve been in a highly-featured match for WrestleMania.
The Chi-Town fans – it’s very fine to chant who you want to see, but when you call “this match is awful” between two veterans like Christian and Sheamus, then you’ve lost my respect. (It was actually a pretty good match!) As well, Punk wasn’t going to show up, so get over it! Yes, it’s fine for the first little bit, but after a while, it was annoying and definitely rude to the rest of the people on the show. Let them do their job and give you the best entertainment they can.
Overall, Raw was very well-executed tonight, considering where they were and the continuous chants of a certain superstar, with both a hot opener and closer, leaving suspense for next week! Until then, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!