Table of ContentsMonday Morning Thoughts
Live Raw Blog
Monday Afternoon Thoughts
Live from Toronto!
No, Raw is not from Toronto, but this live blog is. Yes, instead of enjoying the city during my business trip, I am here watching Raw with the rest of you.
But, I’ve made it as appropriate as possible. Watching Raw through a USA feed in Canada means I get to see all your ads and commercials for places I have never seen in Atlantic Canada (or Quebec, where there’s never anything good). So I was contemplating going to Dave and Busters, but figured it wouldn’t be nearly as fun going alone. Instead, I got another frequent Raw sponsor that is nowhere to be seen in Halifax: Popeye’s Chicken.
Not bad! Better than KFC, but not as good as Mary Brown’s, which I believe is a Newfoundland based chain.
On with Raw, USA/Toronto style!
The Heel Turn
One downfall of this live Raw blog format is that any major turn of events on Raw last week is now a week old, so there’s not much I can add here that hasn’t been mentioned to death over the last 6 days.
Well, except that anything I say will be 100% better than anything else you’ve heard, because it’s from a better source. Me.
I’m disappointed with the “explanation” on Smackdown, which was of course no explanation at all. The other members of The Shield stayed away which was also disappointing, but it made sense as there should definitely be some time for Rollins be have some exposure without being attacked immediately. It would castrate him to be ambushed the second he walks out every time.
So, tonight I expect to hear a bit more from Seth, but we’ll also see Ambrose and Reigns make an appearance to shake things up.
Where does Randy Orton fit in this now? Also an interesting factor, especially considering my next topic.
Vacant WWE World Title / Daniel Bryan’s Injury
While I’ll never be the biggest proponent of the validity of dirtsheets, it seems reasonably believable that the recent news of Bryan’s injury is in fact quite true. Sure, this could all be a major swerve, but after all the torture Bryan went through to get the titles, with being stripped of them and having Orton cash in Money in the Bank last year, it’s highly unlikely they’d use the same storyline of stripping him of the championships. I understand that the sympathy will be greater now than any time before, but it’s still just preposterous for WWE to go to that well once again after it seemed to backfire on them with the return of Batista and departure of CM Punk.
All that being said, it looks like Money in the Bank will now be with a ladder match not for a guaranteed title shot, but for the actual title (or titles). There’s no doubt going to be a need to book this match with some genuine contenders, such as the previously mentioned Randy Orton, and perennial threat John Cena. We’ll likely also have some new blood injected into the battle with the likes of Cesaro, Seth Rollins, and many other possible names. And don’t forget Alberto Del Rio, who has already qualified.
It seems odd for the card to be named Money in the Bank, and there is not a Money in the Bank match.
Now would be a time to introduce a new method of winning said title shot. I have often mentioned the need to switch it up, as the ladder match is just a single possible way of gaining that briefcase. This could be a great time to bring back the 5 man Scramble Match that was used at Unforgiven 2008. Other options, though not as innovative, would be a fatal four way or battle royale.
My point is that the Money in the Bank title shot doesn’t necessarily have to be won in a ladder match, and with the WWE World Title defended in a ladder match, why not break up the routine by introducing a new match for this plot device?
Tuesday Night Titans
Once again, XanMan and myself put together another show on Saturday afternoon. This time we tackled our favorite moments from The Shield’s stay as a unit in WWE. This was a lengthy discussion that branched into several side topics that I found to be riveting, but I am slightly biased. We also reviewed the next major ECW show in our chronological recaps with When World’s Collide.
The WWE Universe is still reeling from last week’s massive shake-ups that saw Batista quit WWE, Seth Rollins turn on his Shield compatriots and Daniel Bryan’s WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign come under fire once again. The questions continue to multiply as we approach this week’s Raw, live in Minneapolis.
Fueling further speculation about what will transpire on Raw, Triple H tweeted the following earlier this afternoon:
Breaking: The Authority will make a blockbuster announcement tonight to start #RAW. You won't want to miss it. @StephMcMahon #WWE
As the WWE Universe anxiously awaits this “blockbuster” revelation, WWE.com presents five thoughts going into what’s sure to be an action-packed edition of Monday night's hottest show.
1. Will Ambrose & Reigns attain retribution?
Less than 24 hours after putting his body and career on the line in a hellacious six-man battle against Evolution at WWE Payback — a clash The Shield won decisively, by the way — Seth Rollins and a few well-timed steel chair strikes obliterated one of the most dominant factions in all of sports-entertainment history.
Those hoping for some sort of explanation from The Architect himself were left disappointed on SmackDown, when Rollins told the WWE Universe that the only person who needs to know why he turned his back on his brothers is himself.
As Triple H said in his exclusive WWE.com interview on Wednesday, the calculating Rollins was long considered the “brains” of The Shield, so how will Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns fare without him? We’ll hopefully get an answer to that question from the remaining Hounds of Justice when they appear on this week’s Raw.
2. How healthy is Daniel Bryan?
Stephanie McMahon continues to force our injured WWE World Heavyweight Champion into difficult situations. Now, if the leader of the “Yes!” Movement is medically cleared to compete June 29 at WWE Money in the Bank, he must defend his illustrious title against Kane in a perilous Stretcher Match. If Bryan is not yet recovered from neck surgery at that time, the title will be vacated and, for the first time ever, will be put up for grabs in a monumental Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
One week after Stephanie announced the two potential fates of the WWE World Heavyweight Title, she will officially address the health of its current bearer. What new information about Bryan’s condition will The Authority unearth?
3. Who will enter the Money in the Bank Ladder Match?
Last Monday night, this year’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match began to take shape when Alberto Del Rio defeated Dolph Ziggler to become the first Superstar to qualify for the high-stakes bout. No stranger to Money in the Bank glory, having used a Money in the Bank victory to catapult himself to a WWE Championship victory in 2011, Del Rio faces an as-yet-unknown field of competition.
Who will join Del Rio in this career-changing Ladder Match? Moreover, what will its participants be vying for, a WWE World Heavyweight Championship contract or the coveted title itself?
4. Who will Damien Sandow be this week?
It’s no wonder why Damien Sandow was once confused for one of Adam Rose’s costumed “Rosebuds.” We’ve seen Sandow make a spectacle of himself as Magneto, Sherlock Holmes, Davy Crockett, Indiana Pacer Lance Stephenson and a rapper named D-Sizzle in recent weeks, making us wonder if the so-called “Intellectual Savior of the Masses” might need some “saving” himself.
Then again, Sandow’s eccentric brand of live-action role-playing — LARPing for the uninitiated —is undeniably entertaining, even if it hasn’t necessarily translated to in-ring success. Maybe there’s an end-game to this bizarre fashion show that hasn’t been brought to light just yet. Regardless, we can’t wait to see who this verbose Superstar will channel next.
5. How is Bray Wyatt ‘reborn’?
After Bray Wyatt’s disciples, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan, defeated WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos in a non-title encounter on Raw — putting the swamp monsters in strong contention for the championships— The Eater of Worlds returned on SmackDown to deliver an unsettling message to the WWE Universe.
“There’s nothing left to fear,” Wyatt said, speaking out for the first time since his Last Man Standing Match defeat to John Cena at WWE Payback. “Brothers and sisters, I am reborn. Join me.”
Despite Cena’s hard-fought victory over “The Man of 1,000 Truths,” it appears as though The Wyatt Family is just as treacherous as ever. Perhaps the group’s most heinous horrors have yet to be unleashed.
Live Raw Discussion
Intro - Authority
I am really enjoying this promo from both of them. Their smugness is more jovial, and therefore even more despisable.
Sheamus vs Bad News Barrett
This arena looks really small.
I love this match. The loser will most likely defend their title on the PPV.
Strong start to Raw. I’m seeing a trend of letting a similar array of performers opening up the cards, be it TV or PPV. You’ll notice how often Sheamus, Barrett, and Cesaro have been placed in the first match recently. And this match is a great example as to why.
I like how they are letting Luke Harper talk more and more. He’s nowhere near as comfortable as Bray, but he’s still making a slow burn impact for when he’ll eventually be a singles performer.
I’m also really enjoying the old school push approach for Rusev. I don’t care if it’s dated, it works. It hits the right modern notes with a flair from the past. He’s getting great heat, and his in ring work is impressive. It’s likely that the short squash matches are protecting him from showing his flaws, but his offense works really well. I loved that giant kick to Ryder, and the Accolade is still a great finishing submission move. It one a Hall of Famer a WWF Championship once in one of WWE’s most replayed highlights. It can still work in 2014.
Goldust Tag Teams
I’m not as enthusiastic for the apparent split between the Rhodes brothers. Rarely do tag team splits work anymore, because we see them 3-4 times a year now.
The Shield Promo
Dean Ambrose is a bit too over the top, but it’s so strikingly innovative, especially compared to today’s talking style. Reigns might need a teleprompter, but Ambrose is so obviously ready to let loose.
As for a third man to join them tonight, I would prefer it’s someone who could join them full time in some way. I don’t know if it should be someone new, or someone on the current roster, but I think it’s a great idea with lots of potential.
It should be CM Punk.
Fandango in a tag team vs Usos
Layla’s backstage upstaging by Summer Rae was silly, but the payoff of her dancing onstage in anger made it worthwhile. Great gag.
Sandow as the partner is very interesting.
Complaining about Sandow’s push? He’s more over now than ever before. And he’s nowhere near buried with comedy the way it can be argued that Santino is. He can get serious any day and be back on track. I doubt WWE planned it this way, but it’s working and they should and are running with it.
No More Bo
Mike Rotunda has ugly ****ing kids.
RVD vs Cesaro
Cesaro brings out the best in all his opponents.
But not RVD. They just don’t click.
Seth Rollins promo
That was honestly the best Tyler Black/Seth Rollins has ever been on a microphone. Very well done.
Too bad Cena is the mystery partner. Ah well.
Cena/Shield vs Wyatts
I just realized I didn’t write anything for most of the last hour. It’s been rather lackluster, with Paige defeating Alicia with a match that entertained for what it was, but didn’t move anything for other Diva. Alicia continued her insane act, but it was forced and lame. Swagger took on Santino and won in a match obviously booked to give Jack a win, no matter how unimpressive it was.
Then the intros for this match took place, and it’s been going on for about 20 minutes. It’s had a solid dynamic with the odd chemistry on the side of The Shield and Cena, but …
Has Reigns been in the match at all? If he has, I missed it. Is he turning tonight?
I guess not.
Solid show, except for the lull at the start of the last hour. Maybe jet lag, and too much fried chicken distracted me too much as well.
I was very impressed by the Rollins segment to start the 3rd hour. He’s obviously become much more comfortable in the spotlight since coming to WWE, much like Daniel Bryan has.
And on that note, Peace out
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