Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Raw Notebook: April 28th, 2014 from St Louis

I should start by saying that I like to do these things the next day because it allows everything to settle in. It is far less reactionary when you do it this way. I do love recap shows right after Raw as well and they have a place as well, but often are based on instant reaction like social media as we watch. Not to say we may not do similar shows in the future, but for now we have the notebook.

Show Opening/ Cena vs. Wyatt

I struggle to think of a better start to Raw in quite sometime. This opening segment was validation of why we are wrestling fans for me. You had John Cena out in the ring for the first time admitting that maybe the WWE Universe is not on his side. He questions why this is which in many ways is comical I could list about 100 but will save that for another day. He is interrupted by a child’s voice in the darkness as only the ring was lighted. Singing that familiar tune of “He’s got the whole world in his hands,” and than the lights come up and a whole choir of children join him singing. They are joined by Bray Wyatt and his family, with Bray joining in singing and the children follow him and surround the caged ring. The lights go out again and all of the children have on sheep masks and continue to sing. They cut to Bray in his rocking chair with a small child on his lap in the sheep mask. Just a brilliant visual and the symbolism of this was off the charts.

Cena later in the night is approached in the back by Renee Young and asked to comment and he is speechless. At this point GOLD go ahead and take my money I want to see these two go at in a cage on Sunday. You need Cena entering a match doubting if his supporters will actually support him any longer as he faces a dangerous and demented man in a cage.

But as always with John Cena they take it one step to far for what purpose I have no idea. Later in the night he talks to Young and apologizes for earlier and not addressing her question. He goes into John Cena comedy and talks about buying Bray a donkey and he realizes his fans are still behind him and he is going but a fist in Bray’s face and a foot in his ass.

Why can’t we have Superman be vulnerable every once in awhile heading into a match? Isn’t that best for business to not know who is going to win?  Even the actual Superman is paralyzed by Kryptonite. What is John Cena’s Kryptonite commitment? Ok I am being like Cena making bad jokes I will stop now.

Kane/Bryan & Steph and Brie

Plugged throughout the show was Stephanie was going to apologize to Daniel Bryan for Kane’s actions last week. While some may have groaned at the thought of this, not me I love what she does in roles like this.  If there is anyone better at insincerity on this planet I don’t know who that is. I think Stephanie will one day run for political office and win avenging Linda’s losses. She has about the same level of sincerity as most politicians. Anyway the short answer is I love Stephanie in roles like this. 

So when we roll around to that Steph true to form was almost in tears addressing her regret to Bryan and Brie who are on the entrance way. Bryan continues to say that Stephanie is full of crap and talks about the trauma his wife was put through. To which Stephanie says she can totally relate to as she has spent many a night in a hospital beside her husband Triple H falling asleep in his room worrying about him being ok.

Stephanie invites Bryan to come to the ring which he refuses because his mamma didn’t raise no fool. I say this, he didn’t say that, I did and it sounded more like something Mr.T would say as opposed to Daniel Bryan. If not for Kane I believe he still would be thanking his mamma. Anyway back to this and Stephanie informs Bri that she is going to have a shot at the diva’s title and she could be champion along side Bryan defending that title at Extreme Rules and the match it starts now.

Bryan protests and says there is no way he is going to allow this unless he is accompanying Bri to the ring. Stephanie is fine with this and we have a Diva’s Title match.

All through the night they had shown Kane’s mask in a case which Stephanie had mentioned in trying to prove her sincerity was locked in her office as proof Kane was not going to attack Bryan. Right before they cut to break the mask is gone and we return for the Diva’s title match. You know what happens next Kane’s music interrupts the match and he comes from under the ring and tries to drag Bri Bella under the ring with him. Bryan fights him off while wearing a neck brace from the attack on Raw last week. He manages to get Bri out of the ring and than Kane Chockslams him and Bri comes back in the ring distracts Kane and Bryan is able to be taken out to the ring and Bri is able to escape from Kane.

Later in the night a concerned Stephanie goes to the medical room and is almost tearful that this has happened again and asked if Bryan will be ok for Sunday. Bryan says he will be there Sunday to defend his title. She than apologizes again to Bri who is trying to be very concerned and emotional as best as Bella can act. She screams at Stephanie “You Bitch” and tells her to get out.

All and all some pretty good stuff, but despite it all I don’t consider Kane a real threat no matter what they do and the fact this match will likely not be last on the PPV that is a sign that the  WWE doesn’t either to some degree.

Shield/Evolution- Ric Flair WOOOO!!!

Well Evolution hit’s the ring for the final segment that is supposed to be a match with Roman Reigns and Randy Orton. They cut a promo showing that they were impressed as The Shield systematically took out the 11 guys they had faced on Raw a few weeks ago on last week’s Smackdown. Triple H even going as far as saying it reminds him of them. Shield hit the ring and before they can say much Ric Flair’s music hit he cuts a very odd promo that lacked logic and he basically endorses the Shield after reminiscing about his times in St Louis and his time as part of Evolution. Flair was just not himself and he is a legend and all of that can never be taken away but I can’t help but feel sorry for him as he seems a shadow of his former self.

Anyway we do have a bit of match which ends with a flat out brawl and another no-contest on the night as the Diva’s Title Match earlier. Dean Ambrose was going after Triple H like he owed him money. It was a long brawl that saw the Shield get the better early than Evolution did before the Shield made a final rally and controlled the ring. That was how Raw left you to head into Extreme Rules on Sunday.

Other Notes:

  • As expected Bad New Barrett became the number one contender for the I-C belt. Cesaro and Swagger who has a match earlier would get involved. After losing RVD would take care of both Swagger and Cesaro setting up a three way at the PPV for those three as Chris Walder predicted on our Podcast.
  • A forgettable segment with Hugh Jackman, Dolph Ziggler and Damien Sandow took place.  Some X-Men movie Promo non-sense that makes me so sad for both Sandow and Ziggler who were a year ago in much higher profile places. They are now reduced to doing bad comedy bits.
  • The Uso’s defended there titles against Ryback and Axel. This was nothing spectacular but nice to see titles being defended on Raw and T.V in general.
  • Speaking of titles not being defended Dean Ambrose on Smackdown will have a three on one match against Del Rio, Ryback and Axel for his seldom defended U.S Title.
  • Storyline of a Cody and Goldust break-up coming was advanced a little tonight.
  • Speaking of little we had the El Torito and Hornswaggle epic feud continue…..They are set to go one on one at the PPV in a mini TLC match.
  • Paul Heyman proved he can get over anything as he told a knock knock joke and got it over with the punch line we all saw coming MY CLIENT BROCK LESNAR CONQUERED THE STREAK.
  • All in all I liked this show my fellow podcasting partner Chris Walder was not as big a fan. Will find out why and sort it all out on Friday on the IWCP. To this point we do not have a guest booked so we may have more time to talk this week will see. 
  • Oh and ADAM ROSE debuts next week....Can't wait. 

After having a drop off of 600 thousand viewers in the final hour last week on Raw will see if this show was able to rebound. It was clear a lot of effort was put in to make sure that is does.

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