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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier - Live Raw Blog (May 19) SPOILER FREE
By PEN15
May 19, 2014 - 11:21:05 PM

Table of Contents

Monday Morning Thoughts


Live Raw Blog

Monday Morning Thoughts

Daniel Bryan

A few ideas have popped up recently over what can be done with the WWE World Heavyweight Title while the current champion is out recovering from apparent successful neck surgery. Most of the ideas posed have been concerning keeping the title on Daniel Bryan while he’s away with the assumption that he’s only going to be out of action for 6-8 weeks.

LOP Poster Allystair had a great point, stating that no one would be looking at ways to keep the title on any other champion who would be inactive for 30 days or more, but Daniel Bryan is for some reason an exception to our usually strict standards.

I agree with his point that we are choosing to go the route of a double standard due to our preferences, but I think there’s a decently strong reason for this. Daniel Bryan’s entire rise to the title was a journey of overcoming the odds, much more than most fan favourites. It involved many screwy ways that The Authority both kept him away from the title, and also stripping him of the championship after deservedly earning it. It was an angle that had lost its lustre by the time of the crowning moment at WrestleMania.

Two months later, stripping him of the title once again would be overkill.

So, we need to find another way around it, if they choose to not just leave the title on Bryan. I think the happy medium was something suggested by fellow Tuesday Night Titan, Xanman. As we recorded our next installment for LOP Radio (more on that later) he asked for my perspective as a major UFC fan with how they have interim championships when injuries take the title holders out of action. For those who don’t follow other combat sports, rarely are champions stripped due to injury. If the injury happens in the middle of a title bout, that’s one thing. But all legitimate sports (not golf or bowling) requires training to keep up the physical aspects needed to compete. In combat sports, that involves sparring and other real facets of actual fighting. If that doesn’t leave the door open to injuries, nothing will. I don’t think it’s a far fetched notion to claim that most MMA injuries happen outside of the ring or cage, and either in real life or training. Would it be fair to strip a champion who earned their title because a training partner made an error and stepped in an awkward way, leading to a torn ACL? No, it would not.

In the UFC, they therefore determine a Interim Champion. This happens more often than you’d imagine. One WWE related situation involved Brock Lesnar when he was UFC Heavyweight Champion. While Paul Heyman’s conqueror was out due to diverticulitis (intestinal illness), UFC needed to determine an Interim Champion while Brock was out, and Shane Carwin defeated former champ Frank Mir for that distinction. This led to Carwin vs Lesnar once Brock was ready to once again compete. It was very similar to what WWE did when CM Punk left after Money in the Bank 2011, leading to Champion vs Champion at SummerSlam.

I would suspect this would be the best way to go. Determine an Interim WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and once Bryan is ready to defend his crown, it’ll be a huge title for title bout.

How they go about this might be tricky. They just had a tournament on Raw to determine the newest #1 Contender to the Intercontinental Champion, so it seems unlikely they’ll follow the same methods, but there is a way around it. The IC title shot as determined via a tournament that took place with a round per night, and no wrestler competed more than once a night. I think it’s possible we’ll either see and 4 or 8 man tournament that will take place with at least 2 rounds taking place the same night. I think it’s likely we’ll see the first round on a single episode of Raw, and then the semi and finals to take place either on a PPV, on Raw, or on a WWE Network Special.

Or, Daniel Bryan will be back by Payback. Who the **** knows?

Damien Sandow

I am extremely curious as to what direction Sandow is on. We’ve heard rumors of a stable of disgruntled employees, and I’ve mentioned it here on The PEN15 Mightier before as well. Looks like the rumors are true, and Damien is the first member to go this route.

Tuesday Night Titans

As I mentioned, I am now apart of the LOP Radio community with our Tuesday night program, the Tuesday Night Titans. Xanman and I will be discussing our views on some of the NXT talents, we make some picks from the Network, and we review our first ECW show, Summer Slizzler 1993.
I also invite people to guess where I get my music cues from for our intros and outros.


From WWE.com
Guess who’s back? That would be The Shield, who rebounded from a rough week to more or less tear Evolution a new one, scattering Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista to the windandtaking out a slew of Authority-commanded Superstars to boot. As good as The Hounds of Justice look right now, though, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan’s fortunes are far more difficult to determine. With the leader of the “Yes!” Movement recovering from neck surgery, The Authority has promised to determine the fate of Bryan’s title this Monday. What will go down on a sure-to-be epic Raw, emanating from London’s O2 Arena?

1. Off the leash
In WWE, everything evolves, including and especially the conflicts that mold Superstars into legends. The Shield has – perhaps ill-advisedly – pushed for a rematch against Evolution at Payback, and the troika of multi-time former World Champions has been all too happy to accept. The Hounds of Justice have run roughshod over Triple H & Co. ever since, though it’s hard to imagine a group spearheaded by The Cerebral Assassin would be in this much of a funk unless it was all subterfuge. Is the other shoe about to drop on The Shield?

2. I must break you
Can anyone stop Rusev? Mother Russia’s favorite son has flattened anyone and everyone who wandered into his path over the last month or so. But that was before Big E, the first Superstar who matches Rusev in pure power. The Super Athlete got the better of the former Intercontinental Champion last week, but don’t expect the powerlifting champion to be so easily caught off-guard a second time.
3. Bray of light
So it’s settled: The great battle between John Cena and Bray Wyatt will conclude at Payback in arguably the most decisive manner available: a Last Man Standing Match. Despite Cena’s undeniable comfort in this kind of contest, all of his momentum hasn’t slowed down Wyatt at all; each victory Cena scores seems to reinforce The Eater of Worlds’ own twisted belief in his crusade. The Cenation leader will have to resort to something near-inhuman to defeat his foe, which is more or less what Wyatt wanted all along. Can Cena escape with his soul intact?

4. A rose in full bloom
The Exotic Express has been hot out of the blocks, steamrolling all over Zeb Colter & Jack Swagger’s “Real American” cause and immediately making a name for its wacky conductor, Adam Rose. Thus far, Rose has yet to throw hands with former World Champion Swagger in any official capacity, but there’s only so long the NXT veteran can push before Swagger retaliates and Rose is forced to bare his thorns. Will this be the week Rose turns the so-called “lemon” Swagger into pulp?

5. The Champ is …
Here? At least for now, as Daniel Bryan was WWE World Heavyweight Champion when he went in for neck surgery this past Thursday. Whether he remains so has yet to be seen, as The Authority has decreed that – absent an official timetable for the “Yes!” Man’s return – they will decide the fate of Bryan’s hard-won championship themselves. Given Bryan’s contentious history with the front office, it’s safe to say that the whim of the suits might present a bigger threat to Bryan’s championship status than the demon Kane ever did.
Will The Champion of Champions’ reign carry on?

StormDragonz Questions to Ponder

1 - With Daniel Bryan's recent neck surgery, will Daniel Bryan be forced to vacate and/or stripped of the WWE Championship?

I hope not, I like my Interim Championship idea, but it seems like a step WWE would never take, so I would bet on yes.

2 - John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt has been officially announced for Payback in a Last Man Standing Match. Regardless of who wins, will these two men continue to feud after their match?

Unlikely, as Cena should be moved onto something else with Bryan out.

3 - What's your current opinion of Rusev and Lana so far?

I enjoy it, and hope we see more of them.

4 - Who is most likely going to be challenging Paige for the Divas Championship next?


Live Raw Discussion

Spoiler Free

I will be watching the show as it airs, not Live from the UK, nor while reading spoilers. I hope you all respect that to other readers who aren’t following online and just watching Raw like normal.

Intro - Bray Wyatt Promo

I was thinking today of how uncomfortable Husky Harris was on the microphone a few years back, and it’s so impressive how this change in character turned everything upside down for him. He’s not playing a character as much as becoming one. It’s truly awe inspiring to watch him perform.

I think I might wear white pants to work tomorrow.

Idea for Daniel Bryan/WWE Title

Before Michael Cole ruins all my theories, I wanted to share one sent to me by soon to debut LOP main page columnist Leaf.

If they announce that Bryan must be stripped of the title, it could be announced that the winners of Evolution vs. Shield, Wyatt vs Cena, Barrett vs. his opponent and Sheamus vs. his opponent at Payback will all be entered into a Seven Man Ladder Match for the title. Seven because Kane gets a bye (making the Authority look devious too and the commentators can announce that he's been rewarded for having took out Bryan).

With there only being one World title again, there will still be a traditional MITB match as well.
Granted, this eliminates the defence of some midcard titles but the tag titles, divas and some other matches (including a Rusev squash) would compliment the two ladder matches nicely.

They could still tease stories being continued, for example, Wyatt goes over Cena and a depressed John announces that he's going to look to win MITB for a second time and he hopes Wyatt becomes champion because he wants to redeem himself and his legacy by winning the title off him.

Not a bad idea, though I do prefer a flat out Interim Title in Daniel’s absence. The less complicated, the better.

Sheamus vs Cesaro

I am surprised they are going with such a huge match to start off; this seems like a top of the hour bout. This might be a good sign of major matches coming tonight.

Solid match, as expected. The nice surprise is that this storyline looks to be continuing. Is Sheamus a transitional champion? I wouldn’t expect it, because Cesaro could have taken the title in the battle royal if that was the goal. I just hope this feud isn’t another TV angle like we saw between Sheamus and Christian before WrestleMania.

Big E. vs Ryback - Beat The Clock

When I saw a Beat the Clock headline on the LOP main page, I thought we’d be seeing something building towards the WWE World Title. I’m so much happier to hear it’s for a title shot at Payback against the Intercontinental Champion. It gives a tremendous rub for the champion, and therefore the title, and I always felt the Beat the Clock setup seemed too cheap for a main event title.

And we get a solid opening match for this contest. This won’t outshine Sheamus vs Cesaro, but both these guys are much better than many of the critics give them credit for. Though, after watching some 1992 WCW and watching Steiners vs Dr. Death Steve Williams and Terry Bam Bam Gordy, Big E and Ryback are also nowhere near as amazing as the big men of yesteryear.

Nice time for the man who loves to count to 5, at 5:02 as the time to beat.

R-Truth vs Fandango

I guess the match isn’t something I should comment on, because Summer is here to take the heat. She is such a terrible actress. Way too over the top, and she’s not on my list.

At least we now have a Divas feud with some actual background.

Stephanie McMahon Promo

Simple, well done, though it didn’t feel like a top of the hour segment.


I won’t complain too much, because I’m enjoying it, but I am starting to hope for something new for Rusev. A feud, a goal, something.

RVD vs ADR - Beat the Clock

I’m guessing neither of these men move ahead. It’s hard to imagine either of these guys losing within 5 minutes.

As much as I have never really cared for Del Rio, I find his fall from grace to be so strange.

Does Van Dam keep the Time to Beat? Depends on what the other matches are. I could see Ziggler getting the final nod after the Raw performance Wade and Dolph put on in the first round of the contendership tournament.

Cena promo

Was there another place that chest pumping thing came from? I know it from Wolf of Wall Street, but it seems an unlikely reference on a very PG program from the face of the company.

And I like the pairing of Cena with the Usos. It reminds me of what should have taken place with Cryme Tyme back in 2008.

Rollins vs Batista

I like how Evolution thought to have the tables turned with their very McMahon and the Stooges scenario against Seth Rollins, and The Shield brought everything back together with the guest commentator spots for Ambrose and Reigns. I just wished they explained more how they took out Maddox enough to make this happen.

I hope Payback is the end of this feud. While the matches are great for the most part, it’s starting to be very repetitive as a story. Beatdowns, sneak attacks, same moves and spots...etc.

Paige vs Alicia

Meh. Alicia is interesting, but not enough to make me care.

Mark Henry vs Dolph Ziggler - Beat the Clock

Dolph or RVD is taking this. With Ziggler taking on Mark Henry, I’m hard pressed to see how he’ll win in short time.

Did any WWE officials notice how loud the Universe continues to pop for Ziggler? Despite the rather unfavourable booking for such a long period of time, he still gets a strong reaction.

Adam Rose Segment

Let’s hope they work this gimmick right in front of this crowd. Renee Young should help.

That was much better. They seem to be doing the exact proper thing to have made Fandango a fun face last year when he was catching on. Like the Daniel Bryan push is fixing what was wrong with the Punk push, Adam Rose is an improved version of what went wrong with Fandango.

Main Event - Cena vs Harper

These guys never fail to deliver, and this might have been their best match yet.

Final Thoughts

I will admit to being slightly pre-occupied. Cleaning up my office while Raw was on, doing the live blog, doing production on tomorrows LOP Radio show...etc. But Raw seemed damn decent. A few solid TV matches, good midcard build up, better Adam Rose segment than the last couple of weeks, and an impressive main event and final segment. Quite the improvement on last week.

Time will tell what they’ll do with the titles, but outright stripping Bryan of the gold seems unlikely with almost every possible name in contention already involved in another storyline. Barring the surprise return of a Second City Saint at Payback, we’re going to see Bryan stay as champ, or new storylines for Evolution, The Shield, the Wyatts, and John Cena.

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.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.

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