WWE Raw: A Casual Review of Monday Night Raw 1/13/2014

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WWE Raw: A Casual Review of Monday Night Raw 1/13/2014
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WWE creative is on fire right now and I'm not sure how to feel about it. I can openly acknowledge that last evening's Raw was one of the more entertaining episodes we've witnessed for over a month.

There are a lot of angles flying around right now, and I honestly do not feel as if I know what direction this train is headed.

Just for your information, I won't be covering everything here. There are plenty of awesome reviews on this site if you missed the show.

I do like beginning Raw with a solid match. The Usos and The Wyatt Family entertained as everyone can appreciate the high-flying Samoans and the weird, uncomfortable feeling created by the presence of Bray and his new soldier, Daniel Bryan.

We'll talk about that later.

The eventual disqualification was whatever. It would have been a lot more disappointing had there not been a rematch. But it did lead to the evening's greatest moment, which is more a credit to a creative team that has been the recipient of some harsh criticism, including my own.

One thing though about starting Raw with the matchplease, never, ever skip the Wyatts' entrance. That is easily one of the more enjoyable entrances and it sets an eerie tone that the Wyatts will routinely play on throughout their performance. If an entrance must be skipped, please skip The Usos, and only The Usos.

John Cena and Damien Sandow's match was entertaining; I can appreciate the chemistry these two have. While it's a little odd to have one of your biggest stars wrestling in the night's second match, it may have been appropriate considering a Sandow win was about as likely as a Washington Generals victory.

I don't want to take anything away from the match these two put on. Picking Sandow up from a ground submission and converting that into an AA was a feat worth cheering, regardless of how you feel about Cena. 

One minor thing that may have agitated only me: I hate how Cena bailed from another high spot. Sandow was about to deliver a suplex from the top turnbuckle, which of course, Cena turned into a swinging DDT. 

C'mon, Cena. A much smaller megastar was both unafraid and unapologetic about taking two huge bumps far worse than that later on in a steel cage.

Big Show beat Swagger. Not much to see here, but Show did awkwardly ram his hand up the crack of Zeb.

Bringing Punk back with the Outlaws was a fan-friendly move. We love the Outlaws. Arenas are reacting vividly whenever Billy Gunn gets his six words in. He also seems to be breathing a little better, which Punk was again sure to note.

The match delivered. The most notable move had to have been this insane jump dropkick along the apron of the ring landed by Roman Reigns on CM Punk.

But the most notable moment came when a stumbling CM Punk went to tag one of the Outlaws, only to witness both hop down from the ring and leave. I'd make an "Oh, you didn't know" joke, but I fear you've read that too many times this morning.

This struck me as odd but necessary. No one saw these guys turning heel. Because that's seldom expected from returning legends who everyone was eager to see wrestle again. Recall the "One more match!" chant during their presentation at the Slammys.

I don't think we'll see the Outlaws return to finish this story. Instead, this kind of sounds like a tool used to push CM Punk against The Authority. In my opinion, this angle is taking Punk further and further away from the title.

Did you make it to the end of Raw, or did you fall asleep during the Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston match? Has the crowd ever been this bored while the WWE champion was ripping someone's head off?

The easy guy to criticize here is Kingston, who was playing "Jobber 101" before actually stealing a win and restoring a shred of credibility.

They need to figure out something to do with Kingston. I personally enjoy a high flyer who isn't afraid to take risks; we don't see enough of it. But this guy is a cartoon. This guy cannot be taken seriously. Not even the 8-year-olds they're packaging him to are buying in.

Why couldn't Kingston go a more D'Lo Brown route? Why make him this Jamaican cartoon? I think he's too gifted for such lazy relegation. I literally can muster no excitement when he's coming to the ring.

Having trouble mustering much excitement for Randy Orton, too, if that means anything. He ultimately attacked Cena's father out of anger for the loss. Sorry, Stephanie. But I already slept through watched Cena and Orton battle it out in a pedestrian historic TLC match just last month.

Beating up Cena's dad does little for this rivalry, even if it nearly induced an f-bomb from Cena.

The tag team champions defended their titles against Curtis Axel and Ryback. I can't say it enough: I love what the Rhodes Brothers are doing. I love how Goldust defies age and the two make for a watchable team.

But they need a rivalry. And The Usos need a shot at gold. It's worked forever in the tag team ranksmake the babyfaces embark on a long, enduring rivalry. Recall the days of the Hardys, Edge and Christian.

Tag team storylines do not need good vs. evil because the actual wrestling sells these matches more than anything else. 

Stop forcing the heels versus faces and make a good tag team match.

Rey Mysterio has been relegated to memorabilia distribution and propelling other feuds. He was rather easily defeated by Del Rio, who cut another unimpressive promo aimed at Batista.

This is nothing more than a tool used to make Batista a face upon his return. And I think they'll need to paint him as a face in order to counter the massive heel looking for his shot at the title, too.

Does Batista vs. Brock Lesnar do anything for you?

Ok, let's talk about the match that nearly blew the roof off. First, I think this new cage is weak. The point of a steel cage to trap opponents in, not entice them to climb and leave. Also, why are pinfalls and submissions valid options?

Two major bumps that I enjoyed: Daniel Bryan took a leg sweep from the top rope, and also took a double suplex from the top turnbuckle compliments of The Usos. John Cena was afraid to take even one, which is more reason to absolutely love what Daniel Bryan is doing.

But alright, match is over, we learn that Bryan has finally gotten his wish. He's finally got Bray alone in a steel cage where the Wyatt minions cannot reach him.

I’m not sure of why this needed to happen now. This seemed like a moment destined to end a pay-per-view, and it's instead used for a Raw.

They needed to wait this out because bloggers and fans everywhere were onboard with the uncomfortable turn.

This was booking gold, and it’s just a shame they didn’t have the patience to let it run its course. If the reaction was that enormous following two weeks of Daniel Wyatt, what about after two months?

A necessary beatdown of Bray ensues, followed by a reaction unseen since the days of Rock and Austin. This was crowd command that can only be channeled by the best in this business.

What did last night prove? Daniel Bryan is on the top of this industry. They can pin a belt on anyone. It's just an ornament, and it's controlled. But what cannot be controlled is the crowd. It does as it pleases; it has a life of its own. 

And crowds everywhere are affirming what Triple H and Stephanie have known for over year: Daniel Bryan is the best thing this company has. And anything short of a main event at WrestleMania, at this juncture, would be criminal.

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