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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier - Live Raw Blog (Apr 7) + A Quick WMXXX Review with Thoughts
By PEN15
Apr 7, 2014 - 11:29:30 PM


Table of Contents

Monday Morning Thoughts

Previews

Live Raw Blog

Post Raw Thoughts


Monday Morning Thoughts

WrestleMania XXX

Giggle.

Now, THAT is is ****ing wrestling event to remember. And in a good way.

The internet is riddled with reviews and thoughts, so I won’t flood the market with more and oversaturate it too much, but I’ll quickly go over some thoughts from last night.

Great tag title bout, as expected. It honestly could have been match of the night on most PPVs or Raws, but we had a stellar card from top to bottom that mostly delivered, so it ended up being overshadowed by the end of the night by at least a couple of matches. The big moment from the pre-show was the possible break-up of the Real Americans, which had effects on the rest of the card

Renée Young is too cute, and sweet for WWE. I wonder if she’ll ever end up in the ring like The Coach and JR have from time to time as broadcasters. She’s really becoming a beauty in the wrestling world.

The opening segment of the actual PPV was pretty damn good. All 3 performers had their moments to shine, with great ad-libbing to work out Hogan’s flub of calling the stadium the Silverdome.

A quick note on flubs from guys like Hogan, and when Piper seems out of place. I’m not saying these guys could hang with today’s stars with the mic in general, but the business has changed a lot. When Hogan and Piper were the kings of promos, they did it all themselves. Now, they are given talking points to remember, and it’s something they are obviously still getting used to. I’m not making excuses for their inadequacies, just pointing out that that not only are they under the normal pressure of always, but also the added stress of remembering lines. Hogan’s flubs over the last month have all been rather close to what was meant, and every time you still knew what he was trying to say. I’ve never been confused by his messed up line. When he said “three men” I knew he meant 30, and I think we all knew why he said Silverdome last night, because it is the location that’s mean brought up more than any other in his career. And once Hogan corrected himself, he handled it all rather well. Yes, he was outshined by Austin and the Rock, but not because he messed up, just because they’ve had more experience in this scenario than he has. Their characters were also much wider in range and scope. Austin and Rock added comedy to their work a lot more than Hulk ever has, so they can roll with these punches a bit more. I think credit is due to Hulk not getting too flustered, especially after the appearances of the other legends who were obviously more comfortable, and taking some classy shots at Hogan’s expense.

The opening match caught me by surprise, as I didn’t think we’d see that bout until the middle of the card. I’m also surprised at the outcome. I don’t make bold predictions often, but it felt so right for HHH to get some sort of shitheaded heel victory, only to have the 3 men who opened the show stand up for Bryan and get him in the match somehow. Of course, without the Bryan victory, HHH wouldn’t have given the post-match beatdown, so they traded one “overcoming the odds” story over another. I may have been wrong in my prediction for the night, but I’m still questioning the long term stories that can work with Bryan as the champion after winning over 3 men in 2 matches last night. I’m not saying there can’t be Bryan vs HHH again, or vs Orton, or vs Batista, just that those stories aren’t as compelling when we know Daniel Bryan has already defeated all of them in one night. It’ll be more “stacking the deck” scenarios, which will wear thin a lot quicker than many seem to realize.

The match was solid, and a match of the night contender, with Stephanie looking better than she has in a long time. I also liked her contributions as the manager on the outside. Great start.

The 6-man tag was a squash, and a waste of The Shield’s talents, but understandable. I’m guessing someone went longer than expected, so this match was cut shorter than planned. All three Hounds of Justice had their chance to shine, and was a needed breather after the hot opener.

The Battle Royale was tremendous. It was honestly as perfect a battle royale as you could expect in the middle of the card, and it gave a great showcase to a new star. WWE is and should be desperate to find talent that can be depended upon for the next few years, and the entire night seemed to be geared towards giving a spotlight to the top choices, such as Cesaro. His bodyslam of the Big Show was the perfect ending to a match named after Andre the Giant, a man who had his first WrestleMania be in a Body Slam challenge, and his biggest WrestleMania moment was being slammed by Hulk Hogan. The handshake was also a great gesture, though I think Cesaro vs Big Show in a feud could have been an exciting angle, with comparisons to how Big Show helped establish John Cena back in 2003-2004 in their rivalry.

John Cena vs Bray Wyatt was a bit of a departure. It was boring, but I understood what was going on. This wasn’t the normal storytelling we see, obviously. It was a tough match to sit through at a place like WrestleMania in front of over 70,000 fans, but I was watching at home and was comprehending the goal. Was it achieved? I don’t know, I was too distracted by the ending. I’m not one to normally complain about “Super Cena,” but last night left a bad taste in my mouth. In my daily blog last week, I suggested the feud won’t end after just this one match, and I hope I am right more than ever. Bray losing, and just moving on would kill his momentum. I’m alright with this loss if he avenges it going forward. I still think a cheap win for the Wyatts would have told a better story, but it doesn’t mean the current one can’t work itself out. We’ll see.

The next match was…What? Brock ended the Streak?


I can’t help but wonder if another reason CM Punk left was because he found out about the booking of this match. If he knew Brock was going to be the man to end it, after spending last year losing to Undertaker and Brock, with his standard revolt against part-timers, I think I could see that being a reason he’d choose to walk out.

I was shocked, but I’m also satisfied with how it ended. Well, not exactly. I still feel the Streak should end for someone who can use it to build their future. Brock is certainly deserving of being the one to end it, but it still feels wrong to see how many people didn’t, especially Punk. It feels like a pretty big slap to the face of the Best in the World to be a full time wrestler putting over part timer wrestlers who put over each other.

The match itself was tough to get through. None of it felt like they had the chemistry of 2002-2003 anymore, and Undertaker just doesn’t belong in the ring anymore. I’m surprised at how drastic a change it was, between his dominance over the last couple of years, to looking like an amateur this year against Brock.

I loved how shocked everyone was. Not just in my home with guests, but seeing the audience. No wonder they saved the Divas for after this bout.

The Divas went better than expected. I didn’t expect anything, but it ended up being better than the Cruiserweight Open from WrestleMania XX, with the women understanding their roles and making the most of it. AJ’s victory was awesome too, as it looked like she was the one moving Naomi’s hand for the tap. I don’t know if that was just the camera angle’s perception, or if there’s a story building here with the Funkadactyl refusing to quit, but I loved it.

And the WWE World Title Match went pretty much exactly as I expected. I do think they cut to the shenanigans pretty quickly, as they tend to wait for a 15 minute mark to do those spots, but only waited maybe 5. I think the rest of the card went long and into their time, plus I think something needed to be changed on the fly to pick up the crowd after Undertaker’s loss. Daniel Bryan’s win was pretty much the only thing that could have followed the Streak ending. Holy shit, how bad would a Batista vs Orton match have been in this place?

Overall, a great show. Really, one I would have felt I got my money’s worth had I ordered it at full price, yet the Network’s price tag made it feel like I was stealing it. Amazing stuff, and I couldn’t be happier to be a wrestling fan.

Well, unless I hear Cult of Personality again soon…

The Shield

Like when the Hart Foundation demolished the Bolsheviks at Mania VI, The Shield blasted through Kane and the Outlaws.

Where do they go from here? (I intended to discuss this before I grabbed the WWE.com 5 Point Preview).

I’ve heard some decent suggestions of them coming to the aid of Daniel Bryan. It makes sense to see HHH, Orton, and Batista to continue to chase the new champion, and he’ll obviously need some backup in some way. It would be a recreation of the WCW Millionaires Club vs The New Blood, but done properly with the rookies being the babyfaces looking to earn their keep. It could even become a 4 on 4 match on PPV, though I think you risk leaving the rest of the card too vacant, and without a Title Match. And before anyone suggests it, I hope we don’t see a tag match with a singles title on the line. Those are so stupid.

They could also join forces with John Cena, in his battle against the Wyatts.

Or they could split up completely, though I’m going to bet against that now that The Real Americans have moved forward in the same direction.

No matter what, with their victory last night, The Shield are still major players in WWE, and I can’t wait to see what they do next. Barring a feud with 3MB, it can’t go wrong.

Tag Team

With The Real Americans breaking up, who becomes the top challengers to the Tag Titles?

My guess is the Wyatts, which would make sense after Bray’s loss last night. They need to pick up some momentum, and a tag title run could be perfect.

I hope we see more of Rybaxel. This team impresses me more and more everytime I see them. I wouldn’t mind seeing them go after the Usos, or have an actual non-title rivalry with Los Matadores or Cody Rhodes and Goldust.

Mix the division up a bit, and lets see these teams do something without the titles. If we can get Sheamus vs Christian for 7 Raws straight without a real story, do that with some tag teams. Tag teams feuds are much easier to book in this manner because of the combinations possible.

Week 1: Rybaxel vs Los Matadores
Week 2: Curtis Axel vs Matadore #1
Week 3: Ryback vs Matadore #2
Week 4: Rybaxel vs Los Matadores in a street fight
Week 5: Ryback vs Matatore #1
Week 6: Curtis Axel vs Matadore #2
Week 7: Tables Match pay off on PPV

Do it, guys.

Cesaro

I was hoping for Cesaro to have a feud to show off his feats of strength on The Big Show, but I’m guessing we’ll see Jack Swagger vs Antonio Cesaro at Extreme Rules. Maybe have Zeb Colter stay out of it, saying he’ll stay with the winner of that match, only to cheat and help Jack win. Cesaro losing cheaply to start, but avenging the loss down the line to give both guys a rub is the best booking procedure possible. I still think Swagger has a tremendous upside, so let him get some benefit from this. In the end, Cesaro walks out the star.

Brock Lesnar

How long until he’s the man challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Many guess SummerSlam, which seems likely to me. I wouldn’t expect much from him until then.

CM Punk

Please come back tonight?

Previews

From WWE.com
We have good news and we have bad news.
The bad news? WrestleMania 30 and history’s seemingly unconquerable record are over and done with. The good news? The RawafterWrestleMania is upon us. Daniel Bryan did the impossible and defeated WWE’s COO Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton in the same night to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Brock Lesnar made WWE history and ended The Undertaker’s vaunted undefeated Streak. John Cena defended his legacy and topped Bray Wyatt, while Cesaro captured the first Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy.
What lies ahead on Raw?
1. “Yes! Yes! Yes!-tleMania”
The long, arduous journey of Daniel Bryan and the “Yes!” Movement culminated at WrestleMania 30. The new face of WWE first defeated Triple H to earn a spot in the main event Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Then, while a badly injured shoulder suffered at the hands of WWE’s COO, Bryan overcame the odds and made Batista tap out to the “Yes!” Lock to capture the championship in front of a sold-out crowd of 75,167 fans inside New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome. How will Daniel Bryan address the WWE Universe on Raw tonight? And will Triple H or The Authority have anything to say to a so-called “B+ player” becoming the face of WWE?
2. 21-1
Do not adjust your eyes. You read that right. The Streak is dead. In arguably the most shocking WrestleMania moment ever, The Undertaker’s undefeated WrestleMania record came to an abrupt end as Brock Lesnar pinned The Deadman in the middle of the ring following the last of three F-5s. Do The Beast Incarnate or Paul Heyman intend to address his stunning victory to the WWE Universe? And is that “1” the one that marks the end of The Deadman?
3. Cenation Legacy Lives On
For weeks Bray Wyatt and his Family tormented John Cena, threatening to end his legacy at The Show of Shows. The Family patriarch dared the leader of the Cenation numerous times to take him out, even handing Cena a steel chair. Ultimately, Hustle, Loyalty and Respect rose above The Buzzard-beaters, and Cena took Bray Wyatt down with an Attitude Adjustment. But is one victory enough for John Cena to finally rid himself of the terrifying trio?
4. Wow The People!
Just about two hours after losing the Fatal 4-Way Elimination Tag Team Championship Match to The Usos and coming to blows with his Real American cohort Jack Swagger, Cesaro won the first-ever Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in the most emphatic way possible. The Real American stunned the sold-out Mercedez-Benz Superdome and coveted the five-foot tall trophy after scooping the heavily-favored Big Show and slamming him over the top rope for the victory. So, let’s review – he swung a Swagger and tossed a giant. What’s next for Cesaro?
5. Believe in The Shield yet?
After costing The Hounds of Justice an opportunity at the WWE Tag Team Titles a few weeks ago, WWE Director of Operations Kane and The New Age Outlaws had been a thorn in the side of The Shield. When the two sides met at the Mercedez-Benz Superdome for the Showcase of the Immortals, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose showed The Shield’s united front in a big way, ousting the six-time WWE Tag Team Champions and the Big Red Monster with an unbelievable double-Triple Powerbomb. What lies ahead for one of the strongest trios in WWE history?

From LOPforums poster StormDragonz

The Monday Night RAW Episode for the 7th of April, 2014: Yesterday Is Gone



- Happy Birthday Today to current WWE wrestler David Otunga, turning 34.
- Happy Very Early Birthday to ECW original Balls Mahoney, who turns 42 on Friday.
- Also celebrating on Friday is Goldust, who will turn 45.
- You know who else celebrates on Friday? Harley Race, who turns 71 that day.

Also, let me know if I miss any birthdays between now and next Saturday.

--- The Reality Era Begins ---


- In case you decided to watch Total Divas for some reason, or find Women's College Basketball to be the greatest form of entertainment, you probably were in a coma. Any conscience person who likes professional wrestling/entertainment knew Wrestlemania XXX was last night. Now, if you didn't have the WWE Network, that's an excuse too, but if you'd like to know what happened, here's the rundown:

- The Pre-Show Match was for the Tag Team Championship, pitting The Real Americans, Los Matadores, The Usos and Ryback/Curtis Axel in an elimination style match. Matadores were taken out first, Rxbaxel went second, but after some team dysfunction, the Usos managed to retain the Tag Team Championship. Having enough of it all, Cesaro took Swagger on the Cesaro Swing and walked out.

- The opening match was the match everyone wanted to see. Daniel Bryan vs. HHH. As considered one of the best opening matches in the last decade, both men beat the everloving snot out of each other that seemed to go on and on, neither competitor willing to have their night ruined. However, something had to give, and after one swift kick from Bryan, HHH was vanquished and Daniel Bryan would now be in the main event.

- Speaking of team dysfunction, The Shield had zero problem with each other and slaughtered Kane and The New Age Outlaws in the shortest match of the night. I mean, hey, every Wrestlemania has to have a >5 minute match, right?

- Bray Wyatt was getting into John Cena's head. However, Cena showed no fear when it came time to go against the Wyatt Leader. All throughout the match, Bray Wyatt didn't have a victory in mind, but to bring out the true monster inside Cena. Giving him a steel chair to use, Bray openly desired for Cena to show a dark side, but Cena fought through the mind games and defeated Bray Wyatt. Still, Bray didn't look at all bothered by this...

- The final four in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal were Sheamus, Big Show, Alberto Del Rio, and the surprise entrant of Antonio Cesaro. In the end, it would be Show and Cesaro. In yet another indescribable feat of strength, Cesaro would lift Big Show over the ropes and bodyslammed him to the outside. After the match, both Cesaro and Show shook hands.

- The Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational ended as it started, AJ Lee walked in the Divas Champion and out as Champion, making Naomi submit. Truly nothing much more needs to be said.

- No one saw it coming. A match with an ending everyone expected to happen... didn't. Brock Lesnar successfully ended the long winning streak held by The Undertaker at Wrestlemania, turning 22-0 into 21-1. So much emotion in one crowd, but not the emotion they expected to give. The Streak is over... and they're no going back.

- The main event between Batista, Randy Orton and winner of the opening match, Daniel Bryan, hit the crowd like a sack of potatoes to the nutsack. An already battered Bryan now had to endure two fresh men who would rather rip apart the weaker one than settle for a fair fight with each other. Even with the assistance of HHH and Stephanie, Bryan clawed his way through every damn obstacle in his sight and would do the absolute impossible, as if one tonight wasn't enough. Yes, yes, Daniel Bryan made Batista tap out, and is your new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Yes, yes.

If you're not familiar with Chikara, don't worry, but enjoy the Cesaro Swing TO THE MAX!



--- Enjoy the start of a new era, everyone. ---

StormDragonz Questions to Ponder



- What's next for The Shield after their impressive victory at Wrestlemania?

Either siding with Bryan, Cena, or breaking up. I know, it really narrows it down. They could even add a new member.


- What's next for Antonio Cesaro, the winner of the Andre the Giant Battle Royal?

Battling Jack Swagger.


- What's next for AJ Lee, who practically beat every Diva in one single night?

Paige.


- What's next for Batista, who was on the losing end of the main event?

Probably Sheamus, if not continuing to hunt for the title or being a part of the Authority.

Live Raw Discussion



Intro - Daniel Bryan Video and Segment

9:00
Does this remind anyone of Raw after Mania 18 for Hogan?

“You deserve it” chants. That’s a new one.

9:16
I’m not sure what to think of this announcement. I have a hard time imagining HHH doing the job again, yet I can’t help but feel this might be a repeat of Christian winning the title after Edge retired, but being champion for only 2 days. I would find it highly unlikely, after how Daniel Bryan lost the titles in very similar fashion last fall.

Something tells me that we’re going to see someone coming to Bryan’s aid tonight. It could be the Shield, it could be Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, or the Rock.

But I hope it’s CM Punk.

Backstage Evolution segment

9:25
That confirms it, we’ll be seeing someone come to help Daniel Bryan. Maybe even Sting.

Wyatts vs Big E, Sheamus & Cena

9:28
Are they just repeating the storylines with The Shield from last year? Just random 6 man tags without any real reason? Dang.

This crowd is going to eat Cena alive for winning last night.

9:34
I wonder if this will derail Big E’s momentum?

9:40
The sad thing is that there’s bound to be a poster on LOP right now saying the crowd is ruining this match and the storyline. Bullshit. WWE ruined it by ruining their match yesterday. The fans wouldn’t have anything to complain about if we didn’t get the typical Cena match last night.

9:48
“Big E. getting booed now? I'm starting to think people cheering the Wyatt family is a sad commentary on our society, not just wrestling fans. That's a discussion for another time.”

See what I mean.

Sorry WWE, but the fans want interesting people. Big E, Sheamus, and Cena are all much more talented than fans like this give them credit for, but the reason they boo isn’t talent, it’s because those 3 are ****ing boring. Cena is stale, while Sheamus is on his way if a new storyline doesn’t come his way, and Big E. needs the first one of his career. Throwing these people on TV after doing something to be a fan favorite isn’t enough. You need to follow through, something WWE fails to do all too often when something catches on.

So, it’s quite possible the interesting Wyatts end up on the backburner very very soon.

Santino & Emma vs Fandango & Summer Rae

9:51
I hope Fandango gets some attention.

OK, maybe not.

Brock Lesnar segment

9:59
I’m very interested in where this goes.

10:05
Heyman has no peers on the microphone.

10:12
As golden as Heyman is on the mic, there was no real purpose of that promo. No one made a stand against hem, and now they are gone. They probably won’t be back for a few months now. Weird.

NXT Invades WWE

10:16
First we get Bo Dallas, and now Adam Rose. I think Rose has more potential due to his gimmick. I wonder if Bo can pull off his over the top character in WWE. I still don’t care for his wrestling, but he’s been getting heat on NXT, no doubt.

Oh, and Adam Rose must has rebuilt the old Lex Express.

Orton & Batista vs Usos

10:18
I hope we see the current champions retain in some form. It’s unlikely, but we’ll see.

10:27
A beatdown was probably the best way out of this. The former members of Evolution should have probably taken on another team, instead of the champs, but at least Usos still have the titles, and the opportunity to defend the titles at a later date to get back their heat.

RVD vs Sandow

10:28
Meh.

Rey Mysterio vs Bad News Barrett

10:38
To everyone who said this gimmick was stupid and pointless, listen to the crowd. Yes, it might be the wildest crowd of the year, but it still shows that this gimmick caught on somewhere with someone.

WWE needs to learn more than anything that the WWE Universe craves interesting characters and stories. They aren’t interrupting Daniel Bryan, Bray Wyatt or Wade Barrett with chants for JBL, just the guys who they are tired of seeing do the same **** thing over and over again.

10:43
I missed the BullHammer, and now without Kassius Ohno in NXT, I think this maneuver can really connect with the Universe. Just like Bad News.

Alexander Rusev

10:49
Will Rusev get over? I’m betting not. My feeling is that even though Rusev is more talented than his gimmick will allow him to portray, he’ll be limited to a Vladimir Kozlov type gimmick that refuses to expand enough. A gimmick like this could either become a failure like Kozlov, or a success like Umaga, it all depends on the angles and push.

Ultimate Warrior

11:00
Not sure what Warrior can add in 2014, but I’m excited to find out. Again, WWE needs interesting personalities, and he certainly is.

11:06
Interesting doesn’t mean logical I think I understood what he said, but it was pointless.

I want Cesaro and Hogan!




Oh and CM Punk.

AJ

11:12
I am not sure why, but I am expecting Paige.

11:14
Simple, but great promo for Miss Lee. And the perfect setup for Paige.

11:20
And now we have a new Divas champion. Too bad they botched the finish, as the Paige Turner usually looks decent, but I couldn’t tell who dropped the ball here, if it was Paige or AJ, but it just didn’t connect.

Either way, the crowd didn’t care, because it was interesting, something the Total Divas haven’t been while on WWE TV.

The message of the night is that WWE needs to find something that is interesting, because that’s all that’s been lacking.

Hogan presenting Andre Trophy to Cesaro

11:30
Completely aside, I just noticed we haven’t seen The Shield at all. And they debuted a new look with masks last night. It could make it easy for another member to join as a mysterious 4th member.

11:33
New Paul Heyman guy is Cesaro? I like it. But does that mean we are getting a Paul Heyman face turn??

Swagger and Cesaro switching roles with Bad News and Bret Hart, with heel Swagger smashing face Cesaro’s battle royal trophy.

11:51
I hope we get a few more matches between these two, because they click REALLY well.

The Shield, Stephanie, and Kane segment

11:53
This should be good. We are going to get something monumental in this main event. So many possibilities. The Shield could split up trying to choose sides, or all three could stay heel, or all three could go face and support Daniel Bryan.

OR, we could get some surprises, like the Best surprise in the World?


No, I won’t drop it.

12:01
Blame Cult Icon, he instigates my Punk hope.

Daniel Bryan vs HHH

12:02
Beatdown from Orton and Batista? This could have been HHH ordered, but it might not as it conflicts with their segment in the first hour.
12:05
I’m surprised we don’t get Scott Armstrong.

Overall Thoughts



It looks like we’re seeing the New Blood taking on the Establishment, which I think is a great storyline. And while there’s a lot that can be said about this, the one thing I keep thinking about is John Cena’s most recent promos with the warning to the new guard that they need to go through him. Could this lead to Cena joining the Authority down the line? I’ve said it many times before, but Cena doesn’t need a heel turn to be interesting or relevant, he just needs something new and fresh.

Great Raw to cap off a great WWE weekend. Looking forward to The Shield, Cesaro, Wyatts, Paige, Adam Rose, Wade Barrett, and any other fresh face to the wrestling world. Especially the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

And on that note, Peace out

Feel free to email me a comment (Email PEN15). One of the best parts of writing is the discussions that come out of it. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
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