We are only three weeks away from WrestleMania, and tonight Raw is in the land of “Mr. WrestleMania,” Shawn Michaels! Will “The Heartbreak Kid” be in town and make an appearance?
The card getting stacked, now with Triple H facing Daniel Bryan, and the stipulation of Bryan moving on to the World Heavyweight Championship bout between Batista and Randy Orton if he wins. What will happen between the four tonight, as I’m sure both the competitors for the Championship Match will have some thoughts of their own?
Many superstars have been announced for the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, so who else will be added to the illustrious contest?
Also, will we get another Hall-Of-Famer revealed for the Class Of 2014?
Tag-Team Champions Jimmy and Jey Uso got into the business of the Real Americans on Smackdown – will this lead to a match before or at WrestleMania? How will The Brotherhood and The New Age Outlaws factor in, respectively?
Does John Cena have a PROPER response for Bray Wyatt tonight, or is “The Monster” going to continue to own Cena on the microphone with his prophecies? (I hope so!)
All this, and much more as the Road To WrestleMania continues! Read on!
Lastly, for all those who celebrate, Happy Saint Patrick`s Day!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for March 17th, 2014 – “Don’t Cross The Line”
Introduction Segment: Arena Promo
Ring Announcer Justin Roberts welcomes C.O.O. Triple H, who informs us that finishing off Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania XXX will be our fault. He tells us that he will have a “man-to-man” conversation with Daniel Bryan later tonight, then wants to plug the rest of Raw. Just as I predicted, Batista interrupts him and probably has something to say about the impending addition to his WrestleMania match.
“The Animal” threatens “The Game” that he has “bigger problems with me.” As expected, he has issues with Bryan maybe being in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match. Now, the other part to this equation, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton interjects.
Randy sides with his opponent and is also displeased with Triple H’s judgment. Orton wants to face Bryan, to prove he can beat him unlike Batista. HHH agrees, and gives him Daniel in a No Disqualification Rules contest. Orton goes on to rip Batista on his return and the lack of fan support. Batista retorts and calls Orton a “paper champion,” accusing him of winning the championship only because of The Authority.
They get into a little scuffle, with HHH caught in the middle, until he retreats. Batista demands him to sort it out, but “The Game” explodes, putting down everyone and is “sick” of everything. So, now he changes the WrestleMania main-event again – there will for-sure be a Triple Threat match, as now it will be either Triple H or Daniel Bryan taking on Batista and Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship!
Later tonight, John Cena will respond to The Wyatt Family, and up next, Tag-Team Champions The Usos will face The Real Americans.
Segment #2: Backstage Promo
Rene Young wants to have word with Batista, but he appears to just walk out of the building, saying “coming back here was a big mistake.”
Match #1: Tag-Team – The Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Cesaro) (with Zeb Colter) VS. Tag-Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) (Non-Title)
Jimmy and Jack start out, with Swagger waist-lock-slamming Jimmy. The Uso twin comes back, catching Swagger with a sweep and legdrop. He slaps him with a resounding chop, then tags in Jey, who leaps up with a forearm. Swagger counters a wristlock with a forearm smash and tags in Cesaro.
Jey reverses with a flying forearm, then switches again with Jimmy. Cesaro is planted with a scoop slam and jumping headbutt. Cesaro shoots off the ropes and gets Jimmy with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. 1 – 2 – Jimmy kicks out! Both Americans stomp Jimmy in the corner, then Swagger continues the kicks. He locks on a reverse chinlock, but Jimmy boots him out of the corner. Jey is tagged back in and he flies all over Swagger!
He knocks Cesaro off the apron, but turns into a big boot that sends him tumbling over the ropes!
Cesaro has Jimmy in a sleeper hold, but he fights back against both Americans. Jack holds him high and drives him to the canvas with a flapjack, then tags in Cesaro again, who leaps over and onto Jimmy with a double-stomp! Jimmy slaps back, but is knocked down with an uppercut.
Jimmy kicks Jack back and tosses Cesaro over the ropes. He crawls to his brother, but Jack holds onto his ankle. Jimmy counters with an Enziguri, then gets the hot-tag. Cesaro and Jey in, with Jey leaping all over Cesaro. He runs and hits the butt-bump in the corner, then nearly gets this one! Cesaro sweeps him up, but Jimmy comes in and cuts him off before he can execute the swing. Both Usos flapjack Cesaro and receive a close call!
Jack pulls Cesaro out, but gets a double-superkick! Jimmy soars over the ropes onto Swagger, and Jey goes for the same, but Cesaro counters with an uppercut! He capitalizes with The Neutralizer and the hard-fought victory!
Winners via Pinfall: The Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter) (with Zeb Colter)
Cole, Lawler, and J.B.L. plug a really, really horrible looking animated show called “Slam City.” They then remind us about the real show, the main event of Daniel Bryan going against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton.
Again, Cole, Lawler, and J.B.L. recap The Big Show defeating Kane on Smackdown, since The Shield did nothing to help Kane like The Big Red Machine wanted.
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
The Shield are discussing with each other, when Corporate Kane walks in. He wonders if he can trust The Shield, since he and The Authority need them. “Can, I count on you,” he inquires of the trio. Seth Rollins replies, “yeah, we’re united.” “Believe that,” Roman Reigns adds.
Segment #4: Arena Promo
A new-look Hornswoggle (with long hair) is handing out cloverleafs when “Bad News” Barrett rises on his podium, to deliver, well, bad news. He puts down the fans, stereotyping them for binge-drinking until they puke their guts out and can’t remember it the next day.
Another Irishman, Sheamus, makes his entrance.
Match #2: Single – Sheamus (with Hornswoggle) VS. Titus O’Neil
(Note: Christian is on commentary and O’Neil was mocking Irishman with a top hat, fake orange beard, and tie.) These two slug away to begin, then Sheamus clotheslines Titus to the floor. Sheamus follows up with a jumping shoulder block from the apron. O’Neil comes back and rams Sheamus into the ring post, then gives him a backbreaker and tosses him to the floor.
Titus continues to pound away in the ring, then hurls him with a fall-away slam. Titus goes to the outside and picks up Hornswoggle. He toys with him, until Sheamus catches Hornswoggle and rockets him head-first into the lower section of O’Neil. Sheamus ties up Titus in the ropes and delivers “10 Beats Of The Bowdon,” then gets the 1 – 2 – 3 after a Brogue Kick!
Winner via Pinfall: Sheamus (with Hornswoggle)
Post-match, Rene Young interviews Sheamus. He announces that he, along with Christian, will be in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Christian assaults Sheamus from behind, knocking him off the apron and throwing him into the steel steps. He drives him onto the floor with the Killswitch.
Up next, John Cena will address The Wyatt Family.
It is announced that Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joe Manganiello, and The Scooby-Doo crew will be special guest stars on Raw next week.
Segment #5: Arena Promo
John Cena is out and puts over the crowd to start off his oratory. He relates his relationship with the fans to “an old married couple, sometimes we get along, sometimes, not so much.” Cena says that he realizes something, “I’m afraid of Bray Wyatt.” He is afraid of everything about Bray, but moreover, Cena is scared that the fans are actually listening to him. “Bray Wyatt is trying to convince you that for twelve years I’ve been living a lie. Bray is trying to convince that when the lights go out that all this (shakes his shirt) is phony. That I am not who I say I am. Most importantly, Bray Wyatt is trying to convince you that John Cena is filled with evil.” “I am afraid of Bray Wyatt, but I believe. I believe in everything I’ve done, everything I stand for, and everything I do.” Cena concludes “at WrestleMania XXX I will fight for everything. At WrestleMania, I will fight for my legacy.”
The lights go out and The Wyatt Family appears on the Titan Tron. “Children believe in superheroes, John,” Bray begins. “They wear masks and costumes because they want to believe the world is good. They haven’t lived long enough to understand that everything, everything is a lie.” // “My childhood, it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies.” “I’ve got a few scars too. The world gave them to me. They gave them to me because it was my birthright to have them.” // “They taught me that everything I love in life, sooner or later, is going to wither away and die. I could just be like you. I could sign autographs, kiss babies, and make sure that everyone buys my merchandise. I could go home to my plastic girlfriend in my castle. I could take everything I fear and hide behind laughter, and tell jokes, and make sure I feel better about myself. Yeah, John, that’s you, man.” // “At WrestleMania, I don’t care if I never leave. I don’t care if I die. As long as the world sees you the way that I do. Follow the buzzards.”
Match #3: Single (No Disqualification Rules) – WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton VS. Daniel Bryan (Non-Title)
Orton kicks and punches Bryan hard to begin, then the two trade head-smashes into the turnbuckle. Bryan has Orton’s leg and slams it against the ring post. Daniel slides back in the ring and dropkicks Randy, but gets turned around with an uppercut by Orton. The WWE World Heavyweight Champion methodically works over Daniel, but Bryan comes back and dropkicks Orton over the ropes. He follows up with the suicide dive and has the momentum! He clutches Orton, but Randy spins around and smacks him with a kendo stick he collected from under the ring, then backdrops him over the commentator’s table.
Orton is strangling Daniel with the stick, then runs him crotch-first into the ring post. He uses Bryan’s position to drive him down with a backbreaker (much like the ring post Figure-4, unique!) Orton continues the punishment, but Bryan comes back, flipping off the turnbuckle and running with a clothesline. He hits a front-dropkick in the corner, then flips Randy over with a hurricanrana out of the corner! 1 – 2 – Orton kicks out.
Bryan has the kendo stick in his hand, and begins to whack and kick away! 1 – 2 – Orton still gets the shoulder up! Randy cuts off Daniel on the top, then brings him over with a superplex! 1 – 2 – Bryan kicks out! “The Viper” plants Daniel with the slingshot-DDT, but Daniel rolls out of the ring before Orton can try the R.K.O.
Bryan has the kendo stick again and hits him harder! He then puts Orton into the timekeeper’s section with another running front-dropkick, but is slammed face-first on the barricade. Orton collects a steel chair and hits Bryan a couple of times. He goes back in the ring, but is put down with a spear from Batista, who suddenly ran in! Bryan dropkicks “The Animal” out and covers Orton for the win!
Winner via Pinfall: Daniel Bryan
Post-match, Bryan celebrates as Batista Batista-bombs Orton to the canvas! The fans chant “one more time, one more time!”
Up next, Paul Heyman will be in the building!
Segment #6: Arena Promo
Paul Heyman comes to the stage and introduces himself as “the advocate for ‘The Beast Incarnate’ Brock Lesnar.” He displays the recent struggles The Undertaker has had in continuing his WrestleMania winning-streak, while Lesnar has easily taken care of those same opponents. Heyman airs a video package to prove his point.
“The Undertaker’s vaunted streak will be conquered by Brock Lesnar. On April 6th, 2014, at WrestleMania, The Undertaker and The Undertaker’s streak shall rest … in … peace.”
Segment #7: Office Promo
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are discussing “The Game’s” motives and upcoming conversation with Daniel Bryan later tonight. Stephanie not pleased with this, or Daniel Bryan. She questions if he’s thought all this through, especially for their family. “Maybe for the first time in a long while I’m thinking real clearly tonight. Just leave it alone, let me take care of it,” Triple H hisses. “You better,” McMahon fires back.
Fandango and Summer Rae dance their way to the ring for his match next.
Match #4: Fandango (with Summer Rae) VS. Goldust (with Cody Rhodes)
Fandango starts off with a dance, but Goldust intimidates him the only way “The Bizarre One” can. Goldust takes control with a couple of atomic drops and an uppercut. Rae hops the apron, so Goldust pulls out the disco dance. She falls back into Cody’s arms, and is fascinated with the “Dashing One.” Fandango takes advantage and dominates Goldust. He whips him harshly into the corner, then clamps on a grounding rear chinlock to wear Goldust down.
Goldust counters with a boot, then a hurricanrana out of the corner! Fandango botches a suplex attempt, but hits the second one; however he misses the top-rope legdrop. Goldust finishes Fandango.
Winner via Pinfall: Goldust (with Cody Rhodes)
Post-match, Goldust looks mad as Cody talks to him and raises his hand.
Kane is walking backstage and will be out after the break.
Segment #8: Arena Promo
Corporate Kane walks out and describes what is job is, which is to execute directives of what actions are and are not appropriate in the ring. He claims that the “Yes Movement” from last week was not an appropriate one, and that Daniel Bryan did not act alone. He accuses Jerry “The King” Lawler of helping out the most popular superstar, since it took place in Memphis, Lawler’s hometown.
Before this goes any further, The Shield proceed through the crowd. They surround the commentator’s booth, ordering Jerry to get in the ring. Kane is smiling at the assistance. Kane removes his jacket and tie, then gives Lawler a chance to speak up before he beats him down. Rollins has a microphone and as a “good feeling Daniel Bryan is not coming to save you, because The Shield always does what’s best for business.” The trio then turn around slowly and stare down Kane. Lawler jumps out of the square circle, as Kane looks worried.
Kane tries to convince them otherwise, but Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns, triple-team The Big Red Monster. Rollins nails him with an enziguri and Reigns follows with the spear. All three psych up and triple-powerbomb Kane! They stand over Kane united as one again.
The Bella Twins, Nikki and Brie, are on commentary for the next match.
Match #5: Tag-Team – The Funkadactyls (Cameron and Naomi) VS. Tamina Snuka and Divas Champion A.J. Lee (Non-Title)
Tamina and Cameron start out, with Snuka shoving Cameron into the ropes. Cameron runs back with a snapmare, but gets clotheslined down. Tamina begins to roughhouse with Cameron, dropping a knee for one. She tears off her own leather vest and whips it at Cameron. A.J. is now in, gripping Cameron with a rear chinlock. Snuka slams Cameron down, but Cameron slides out of a powerbomb attempt. She tags in Naomi, who slides through and dropkicks Lee a couple times. She plants A.J. with a full-nelson bomb, then dropkicks Tamina out of the ring.
Naomi spins A.J. around, but A.J. counters and almost locks in the Black Widow submission. Naomi counters and lands on her with a split-legged moonsault for the W!
Winners via Pinfall: The Funkadactyls (Cameron and Naomi)
Post-match, Tamina goes to help A.J. up, but the champion shrugs her off. A.J. scorns Snuka for another loss, but Tamina shoves her to the mat. A.J. glares at her.
Up next, another Hall Of Fame Inductee will be announced!
Segment #9: Video Promo
The newest inductee to the Class Of 2014 is … Mr. T. One of the first celebrities to appear in a WrestleMania (WrestleManias I and II, to be exact.) is going to be the celebrity person for this year.
Match #6: 8-Man Tag-Team – “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry, “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler, The Big Show, and Intercontinental Champion Big E. VS. Rybaxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel), Damien Sandow, and Alberto Del Rio (Non-Title)
Ryback and Big E. begin, with Ryback dominating for a bit before Big E. runs at him with a couple shoulder-rams. Henry now in and helps whip Big E. into Ryback. Henry headbutts Ryback down, then runs over Axel. Ziggler is tagged in, punching Curtis and dropping him with a neckbreaker. Curtis switches with Ryback, who scoop slams Dolph down. Ziggler leaps over Ryback and dropkicks him from behind in the corner, then hits Del Rio and Ryback with dropkicks again.
Del Rio now in control, slamming Ziggler on the announce table. He viciously stomps on Ziggler, then Sandow does the same. Ryback gives Ziggler a stalling-suplex, but Dolph wiggles out of it into an inside cradle for two! Axel back in and punishes Ziggler with a dropkick off the ropes, then slaps him around the back of the head. Show stomps on the apron to build momentum. This worked, as Dolph leaps on Axel and drives him down with a DDT. Sandow is quick in though and hammers away on the back of Ziggler.
Dolph tries a dropkick, but Damien catches him and slingshots him into the turnbuckle. Dolph ducks and leaps for the hot-tag to Big Show. The Giant comes in and demolishes Sandow and Axel. Ryback clotheslines Show down but Big E. follows up on Ryback. Del Rio tosses Big E. out, and Ziggler hits the Fameasser on Alberto and chucks him out! Axel rockets Ziggler across the ring post (which looked very painful), but is taken out by Show. Damien tries to sneak up on the 7-Footer, but he gets chokeslammed for his efforts! 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry, “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler, The Big Show, and Intercontinental Champion Big E.
Segment #10: Backstage Promo
Rene Young gets another interview with Batista, and gets a much better answer from “The Animal.” All he wants is the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, no matter who’s in the match.
Up next, Bray Wyatt will be wrestling!
Match #7: Single – Kofi Kingston VS. Bray Wyatt (with Wyatt Family members Luke Harper and Erik Rowan)
Prior to the bout, a video airs of the quick history and promos of Bray Wyatt and John Cena. It is accompanied by the music of Eminem and Dido.
Bray completely dominates this match, both physically and psychologically, completing Kofi with the Sister Abigail!
Winner via Pinfall: Bray Wyatt (with Wyatt Family members Luke Harper and Erik Rowan)
Up next, Daniel Bryan and Triple H face off!
Segment #11: Arena Promo
Triple H is out first, and the C.O.O. calls for Daniel Bryan. The fan-favorite obliges, and HHH thanks him for that. “I want to say this to you and look you in the eye like a man.” Triple H replays his “best for business” tagline for why he has dealt with Bryan over the last 7 months.
“The Game” thinks that everything that has led up to now was actually supposed to happen. Nothing that has gone on before matters now. “I’m not going to apologize one bit to what I’m going to do to you in that ring. Nor should you apologize to me.” He gets hotter under the collar, warning Daniel that he has to do away with him and “shut this down.”
Triple H offers his hand after he repeats the cliche’ of “let the best man win.” Bryan shakes his head no, and HHH is fine with that. The C.O.O. finishes giving him kudos for handling all that has been dumped on him and has “earned my respect.”
Stephanie McMahon interrupts and is furious at HHH’s “respect” line. She accuses Bryan of endangering everyone with last week’s “Yes Movement,” then formerly presses charges. Uniformed Police officers walk out and surround Bryan in the ring, as The Authority argue with each other in the aisle way. The police beat him with their batons and handcuff Bryan.
Triple H gets back in the ring and tells the police to back away. He reveals they are not official officers, then proceeds to beat up Bryan. It was all a ruse, as my Dad rightfully saw coming.
HHH hurls him into the steps then the announce table. Bryan tries to battle back with headbutts, but “The Game” picks him up and slams him on top of the table, as McMahon screams. She taunts a downed Bryan with his “yes” chant, as Triple H slaps and pounds away. The two continue to brawl around ringside. Triple H holds him as slaps him a few times, then the C.O.O. places him against the ring post and gives him a chair shot! Stephanie whispers something to Bryan and Triple H drags him into the middle of the ring. He drops him with The Pedigree, then he and Stephanie smooch over an out-cold Bryan. “My ring, our ring, our house, our show. This belongs to us, there is no ‘yes movement,’” Triple H declares. His theme music plays and they dangle the handcuff key over an unconscious Daniel to close the show.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
I thought this show took it down a couple of notches from last week’s hot one (more “going through the motions with some segments/contests); but on the plus side, it did set up for more potential WrestleMania feuds/matches. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: Opening Promo and Ending – love to see that Triple H back, the Cerebral Assassin, and this has really sparked interest for both my Dad and I (we usually watch together) for Bryan/Triple H feud. It has put even more interest in their WrestleMania bout, and a little bit more back in the Batista/Orton Championship. I also thought Orton was pretty on-par tonight as his vicious self in his match, and even Batista got injected with a small dose of meaning by spearing the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and getting after “The Game” for his decisions.
Loving the Tag-Team Championship situation. While we didn’t see The New Age Outlaws on Raw, I have a feeling they will make themselves known to The Usos again. Glad to have The Real Americans on the same page, and if they get the Title Match at Mania, that could be a fantastic contest! I’d be happy with either team winning! Also love that The Shield is a cohesive unit again. It will be interesting to see who Kane will face at the pay-per-view; will it be a three-on-one, or a six-man with Kane finding some partners?
Intrigued again for the Divas Division, with the (maybe?) splitting up of A.J. and Tamina. Hopefully this does lead to a bout at ‘Mania too, as that can showcase their skills in the ring, one-on-one.
Both Bray Wyatt and Paul Heyman were gold on the microphone. Even Cena had his serious fire back in him, which is what he needs to make this feud more believable on his side. Wyatt, on the other hand, is just awesome at being so creepy and eerie with his talks, ranging from a loud voice to a whispers in mid-sentences.
Bogus: Didn’t really care for the eight-man tag. I think that should’ve been saved for the go-home show in a couple of weeks. Also, Dolph should’ve got the pin to put more emphasis on his momentum from Smackdown. (That was passion, by the way!)
Disappointed that Goldust was in a meaningless match with Fandango; wonder why he was really angry too at the end? Hopefully The Brotherhood will be in the Tag-Team Title mix for WrestleMania. As always, “Bad News” Barrett does nothing for me right now.
Too bad that Titus and Kofi have been relegated to jobbing again. They were starting to get a minor push and now it seems to have been taken away. Both are very talented, and deserve better programs.
I’ll admit, I am scared that Triple H will go over in both matches at ‘Mania. I really, really hope this doesn’t happen, as “The Granddaddy Of Them All,” should end on a happy high-note, especially since it’s the thirtieth anniversary. And the only way to accomplish this is for Bryan to win both bouts.
Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!