4CReaction: Monday Night RAW (3/10/2014)

by Billy Carpenter (@4CR_Billy)

After going back & forth and mixing some of the elements together, this edition of 4CReaction will see me finally separate the style of this from the more traditional review-style of 4CReview. For those that are new to this, 4CReaction is a collection of my thoughts as the show is unfolding. Not so much a review, just my thought and to be quite honest doing a straight up review of 3+ hours of RAW each week doesn’t sound enjoyable. Without any further ado, straight from my iPhone notes to WordPress, here’s 4CReaction!

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So, Hulk Hogan’s much speculated announcement for WrestleMania 30 was the unveiling of the ‘Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy’ which will be decided via 30 man battle royal at WrestleMania. The concept is cool and it (potentially) gets a ton of guys on the card. Of course, about 15 seconds after I called it, John Cena is here to throw his name in the hat. He & Hogan banter about before The Wyatt Family interrupt. Bray cuts a fantastic promo and then Cena goes on to cut the legs out of it completely. This is the kind of Cena promo that I loathe…he found himself in a serious feud with a supremely dark character and yet he just has to bring the comedic elements. Sometimes it’s just not needed. This of course rolled right into Cena vs  Rowan, announced before the show. The match was blah, the segment was blah-er and I felt let down with all of it.

The Authority runs down Daniel Bryan, as per usual.

Rybaxel is here to take on The Usos in a non-title contest. Match was a showcase for the new champs as they look towards another match with the New Age Outlawa again. On a side note, with a few weeks left until ‘Mania–where I assume the Outlaws will cash in their rematch–what not have a team like Rybaxel get a surprise win here? Gives the champs something to do until then and gives a team like Ryback & Axel some traction.

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The Shield get all face-like backstage with Kane. He makes Rollins & Reigns vs the brothers Rhodes for later tonight. I’m not so sure the break up that I was so sure about is coming still. What’s next for The Shield?

Big E continues his mini-feud with the Real Americans, which is playing in the background to the tension between Swagger & Cesaro.  It once again is the main story here, as Cesaro refuses to interfere on the behalf of Swagger and E gets the rollup for the win. It’s time for them to break up and when they do, I imagine Cesaro has to be the face. I can’t buy anyone cheering Swagger. Maybe a 3-way IC title match at ‘Mania?

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The Undertaker is here but Paul Heyman is out on the ramp before he can say a word. Heyman tries to convince the Deadman to not step in the ring with Brock at ‘Mania but it of course didn’t work. People who complain about Batista/Orton “main eventing”–that’s NOT the main event. It’ll be at least 2 matches down from the true main event slot, where I have a feeling ‘Taker/Brock will do battle. ‘The Streak’ is far and away the most important thing that is defended each year at WrestleMania and this promo–especially on Heyman’s end–put the fact over big time.

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The Brotherhood and Reigns & Rollins brought the goods in a nice tag outing. Feels like Cody & Goldust are stuck on the proverbial “hamster wheel” though, doing the same stuff week in & week out. Time for Goldust to ride off and let Cody head back to be singles ranks. Rollins continues to impress and has really become my favorite member of the Shield trio. I’m glad they’re letting him shine more & more every week.

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AJ lost the fall in a tag match against the Bellas to Nikki. Interesting move that puts her into title contention (presumably) alongside of Natalya, who both hold victories over her now. At least they’re doing something with the division other than the norm.

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Daniel Bryan says it’s time to ‘Occupy RAW’. A pretty neat visual unfolds with a ring & ringside full of fans in Daniel Bryan shirts taking over. Bryan says the show stops until Triple H agrees to face him at WM. Of course, Hunter comes out and tries to stop all of this but to no avail. He finally snaps and says Bryan gets his wish at ‘Mania and the match is finally made. Daniel says that’s not all though–he wants to be added to the title match between Randy Orton & Batista if he beats HHH! The point of this segment was that:
A) Bryan gets his hands on H finally.
B) On the very same night, he’ll most likely get that elusive title run.
I had my doubts during the Wyatt sojourn, but have seen this coming for a few months. Will people lighten up on the ‘Mania card now? Everything will be ok, I promise.

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Christian & Sheamus continued their fun feud (in my opinion) with a solid Memphis Street Fight. Although I’m not sure why we keep getting musical instruments in our street fights, WWE. As usual, most on Twitter wrote the match off before it went down and that’s fine–they’re missing out on a pretty quality feud that is not only solidifying Christian in his much more comfortable heel role again but also building Sheamus back up after his absence. Good stuff from these two yet again, but are we at a point that it’s time to move on? Maybe one more match to put a bow on everything?

Bray Wyatt talks and helps me forget about Cena’s comedic hijinx.

The main event saw Big Show & Daniel Bryan take on the WWE champ Randy Orton & Batista. This wasn’t bad at all and for some reason I dug Orton’s work in this. He seems to have a little extra spark when he’s in there with Bryan. The most telling thing was the reaction Show got: ZERO. The people couldn’t have cared less. Show’s a good talker and he did really well on the RAW (SD! ?) panel a few weeks back. That’s probably the best role for him. He’s so uninteresting as a wrestler these days and if a crowd like Memphis isn’t reacting to you, it may be time to call it a day. Bryan gets the predictable win to cap off his great night on RAW. This might be of a less popular stance, but I would like to see Orton stand tall to close out some of these shows on the road to ‘Mania. It’ll make the moment bigger for Bryan if the champ (as well as Batista) look good & strong heading to the big event.

All in all, a definite step down in quality compared to last week.  Things didn’t pick up until #occupyRAW but even that couldn’t save most of this. Christian/Sheamus is good, but not must-see. Watch the Hulu version if you missed it, you’ll get the important parts.

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