WWE Raw: 5 Talking Points from Monday Night's Show
Patience was a virtue on Monday Night Raw this week.
The show trundled along somewhat, lacking the kind of zest that you might expect from the penultimate episode before WrestleMania XXX.
However, business really picked up towards the end of the evening. We were treated to a vintage Undertaker segment on his 49th birthday as well as a fantastic tag team match that would not have looked out of place had it been saved for the Showcase of the Immortals.
But what exactly can we take from this week's Monday Night Raw? This article runs through five of the biggest talking points from the show.
WrestleMania Main Event
With Daniel Bryan absent in order to sell his injury angle, it was up to Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton to hype the upcoming title match at WrestleMania XXX.
And personally, I think they did a pretty good job.
So much so that I find myself wondering if we might be being robbed of a potential classic Triple Threat match between the former Evolution allies.
Batista and Orton’s opening segment appeared to be going nowhere until Stephanie McMahon found herself dragged into the equation. Batista managed to insult both her and Orton and got a slap for his troubles, much to the amusement of the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
It may only have been a minor detail, but it’s little things like this that suggest that between the lot of them these guys could have put on a pretty entertaining program if they’d been given more time.
Triple H later came out and made another subtle dig at both Batista and Orton living off of their "past glories” and “untapped potential,” which only further convinced me that there’s a great story to be told behind this one.
All three men have crossed paths at some point in time—but never simultaneously.
I’m all for Daniel Bryan being added to the main event at WrestleMania XXX, but after what we saw on Monday Night Raw, don’t you think that Triple H vs. Batista vs. Randy Orton could have been one of the greatest WrestleMania feuds of all time if given a chance?
Let me start by saying that babyface Shield is an awesome arrangement.
And furthermore, babyface Seth Rollins is better than ever. He stole the show with his high-flying offense before collaborating with his partners to put Cesaro through a table for a huge reaction from the Brooklyn crowd.
It was fantastic to watch and will make their potential breakup all the more bittersweet should it ultimately come to fruition.
But regarding their more immediate futures, The Shield were confirmed to face the team of Kane and the New Age Outlaws at WrestleMania XXX. This match will be good, but will it be great? I’m a big fan of the NAO, and Kane for that matter, but I’m not sure that this particular trio is going to be able to keep up with the frenetic pace that The Shield bring to the table.
After weeks of build which made The Shield arguably the hottest commodity in the WWE, it all seems a little anticlimactic to me.
A showdown with the Wyatts may have been a better option, or even the inevitable implosion and Triple Threat match that was hinted at for so long.
But hey, at least we’ll get to see babyface Shield doing what they do best one more time. That’s a silver lining if ever I heard of one.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt has developed into one of the most eagerly anticipated matches on the WrestleMania card.
Typically stellar mic work from either man has been the largest contributor to this buzz and excitement, but this week on Raw we saw the plot thicken even more during Cena’s match with Luke Harper.
Bray was already at ringside, so it came as something of a surprise when the lights went off in typical Wyatt Family fashion. When the arena was finally illuminated once more, the screen was filled with the striking image of Cena entwined in the ropes wearing Erick Rowan's creepy mask.
It made for an awesome picture, and the humiliation suffered by Cena will only serve to heighten the intensity of this gripping feud.
My one worry here though is that in having the Wyatts come out on top, WWE could be hinting at a Cena win. Bad guys look like they’re going to win only for Cena to upset the odds and save the day; it’s a formula that they’ve often gone with on numerous occasions, but one that I really hope they avoid this time around.
Not just for our sake but for that of the Wyatt Family as a whole.
Having Cena wear the Wyatt Family mask was a nice new twist for the feud to take.
And later in the night, we saw more originality when The Undertaker rose from a seemingly empty casket—a cool piece of trickery that led to a short but sweet beatdown of his WrestleMania opponent, Brock Lesnar.
Using more innovative ways to build these feuds was a great move from the WWE, as it keeps things fresh and thoroughly entertaining. In recent years we’ve been subjected to promo after promo (after promo) hyping WrestleMania main events—with the Rock and John Cena being the guiltiest culprits.
But this year we’re seeing more confrontation, more excitement and more drama.
There’s been criticism thrown at the WWE this year for focusing too heavily on the main event matches and neglecting the rest of the card. Regardless of our stances on that particular debate, we can at least be thankful for the innovation they’ve tried to inject into the likes of Undertaker vs. Lesnar, Cena vs. Wyatt and of course the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match.
Razor Ramon Hall of Fame Induction
Perhaps the biggest revelation of the night came in the form of another Hall of Fame announcement: Scott Hall, known during his time in the WWE as Razor Ramon, will be the seventh inductee into the Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
It’s a fitting reward for a man who has completely turned his life around in the past 12 months. Alongside fellow Class of ’14 inductee Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Hall has been rescued by Diamond Dallas Page and his Accountability Crib, where’s he ditched the booze, ditched the drugs and started to get himself back on track.
From a wrestling point of view, it would have been nice to see Hall inducted alongside Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash as a part of the nWo. But from a more human perspective, I think it’ll be even greater to see Hall inducted alongside the similarly recovered Roberts.
That being said, Hall needs someone to induct him—and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see an Outsiders reunion with Kevin Nash doing the honours.
Whoever inducts The Bad Guy, it’ll be a thoroughly satisfying moment to see him on stage being forever immortalised in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Once again there was a heavy focus on the main event feuds of WrestleMania XXX, but for me that wasn’t an issue. The eventual quality of the show made for an exciting instalment of Monday Night Raw, and the stage is now set for next week’s go-home episode.
Will we see an appearance from the wounded Daniel Bryan?
Who will The Shield wreak havoc on next?
And how will Brock Lesnar exact revenge on The Undertaker?
It’s well worth tuning in to find out, but until then please feel free to comment below with your thoughts on Raw and the matters that were discussed in the article itself.