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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier - Live Raw Blog (May 5) + Extreme Rules Thoughts, NXT, Sheamus, KENTA
By PEN15
May 5, 2014 - 11:26:08 PM


Table of Contents

Monday Morning Thoughts

Previews

Live Raw Blog


Monday Morning Thoughts


Extreme Rules Thoughts

How rare is it for a show to be as solid as last night’s PPV was? From top to bottom, the entire card delivered. If you haven’t watched it,I urge you to give it a watch. The results aren’t shocking, but the ways the winners came out victorious certainly were. Well done storytelling with all 3 top main event angles, great matches, and genuine interest into the next steps for each of those performers.

It looks like Kane will still have his eyes set on Daniel Bryan, despite losing clean last night. I’m thinking we’ll see a multi-challenger title match, where the Authority stacks the deck, perhaps including all 3 members of Evolution along with Kane. I just doubt that we’ll be seeing Orton and Batista away from the title hunt for much longer, especially after losing against The Shield last night, and I highly doubt WWE has a lot of faith in Kane vs Daniel Bryan for a 2nd PPV in a row.

Cena will still be chasing after the Wyatts. Where they go is up in the air, as John could finally be cracking, and be influenced by the powerful speaking of Bray. The mystery kid who appeared using a voicebox to sounds possessed will most likely have an involvement. I would bet good money on that child being an actual (in kayfabe) relative. Or, they could go the Rick Rude vs Jake Roberts route, and have that kid be related to John Cena.

The Shield were victorious, but it honestly leaves more questions out there than answered. Without Evolution to aim their Justice towards, what can these 3 men do? I’m sure we’ll get a hint tonight.

Surprise match of the night contender was the extremely fun Kick Off WeeLC match between Hornswaggle and El Torito. Trust me, well worth the viewing if you can get your hands on it.

And Wade Barrett is your new Intercontinental Champion. The right move considering how over Bad News has been recently. Will Big E look to chase the title? I think he’ll be moved aside into a tag team with the World’s Strongest Man, leaving Barrett to fend off against new challengers. ots of options too: Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, Rob Van Dam, Cesaro, Jack Swagger, and Alexander Rusev are all logical challengers.

Or maybe the debuting Adam Rose? Are you a Rosebud?

NXT = 80s Superstars

I’ve been using the WWE Network to catch up on the last couple of months worth of NXT. As I was watching 2-3 episodes in a sitting, I was able to notice how NXT is a “throwback” to what WWF was doing over 20 years ago.


With the advent of the WWE Network, WWE has brought back the same sort of programming I was watching on Saturday afternoons while eating Chunky Beef stew/soup for lunch. In an era where stars have a harder time getting their moveset over without the squash matches against enhancement talent like in 1987, NXT is the solution.


The Ascension are the perfect examples. Yes, they’ve defeated some true teams on their way to tag team dominance on the yellow and black brand, but week after week they display their brutality in glorified squash matches meant to showcase how vicious this duo can be. This has become all the more prevalent now that it’s on the WWE Network, where WWE is hoping most if not all fans congregate. It's certainly the developmental system for a modern age, with a major influence from the 80s and pre-Nitro WWF.

Moving forward, I think it's safe to assume we won't always see NXT in the same mold, but it will most likely evolve from the current structure. We will have our exposition matches for talent yet to be featured in storylines that are obviously on WWE's hot list, like Mojo Rawley, or talents that have had storylines but still need seasoning like The Ascension. We'll see midcard feuds involving established talent that are still unsure of their place on the WWE roster, be it future major star like a Roman Reigns, or filler talent like Xavier Woods. These feuds are best represented by the likes of Tyler Breeze, and the NXT Women's division. Of course, every NXT has a decently hot main event, usually with the talent that have gone through the squashes, the midcard storylines, and found their abilities to be best represented at the top of the card, like with Sami Zayn, Bo Dallas, Corey Graves, and current NXT Champion Adrian Neville.

Now, this isn't to say that all NXT main eventers are surefire WWE superstars. I still think of the previously 4 mentioned names, only Corey Graves will find any long term success on Monday or Friday nights. In no way am I bashing the smaller wrestlers, but I just feel WWE is generally ill-equipped to use these types of talents to the best of their abilities. Something tells me Zayn and Neville might only make an impact in a high flying tag team that will be released within 3 years, while Bo will flounder unless somehow brought in to be involved with his real-life brother's cult family.

Another aspect of NXT that has been impressing me is how lower card main roster talents have been working the NXT programs. It can certainly be seen as a demotion in a way, but consider what a talent might prefer. Would you like to be off TV, but working full time on house shows and now getting any advancement, or getting some time in the developmental territory working with the next generation. I'm currently mid-match of NXT Champion Adrian Neville being challenged by Brodus Clay. When the Funkasaurus debuted on Raw, many questioned the idea of a fun loving dance master after seeing Clay as such a brute on NXT and as Del Rio's henchman. We all knew he had this mean streak hidden while he was followed by the Funkadactyls, and it was a matter of time until it was unleashed. The problem is that the WWE main roster is extremely heel heavy right now. When talented performers with tremendous upsides like Titus O'Neil or Damien Sandow are having trouble finding TV time, it's increasingly difficult for Brodus to be included as well. Does it mean Clay should be released? Of course not, because there is still some promise there that was obviously not seen in the 5 recently released rookies. If Brodus is to turn things around, he'll have to do it first on NXT. If that works, then he'll find his spot on Raw. It's a simple ranking set up that has a lot to offer the talents.

You'll see this continue from time to time in other venues as well. I think that going forward, lots of experiments from the main roster talents will take place on the WWE Network and NXT. If Evan Bourne is to come back and start a team with Tyson Kidd, you'll likely see them iron out their performance at Full Sail University. I would even expect R-Truth and Xavier Woods to spend some time as a team on NXT if they are to be pushed in the long run as a tandem. It'll be a good place for main roster guys to retool their careers. Nothing wrong with that.

Sheamus Should Stay Face

With rumors of Evolution looking for a new member in the near future, and the rampant complaints of how stale Sheamus has been since returning, the common consensus is that Sheamus should turn heel and join Evolution.

Ugh.

Now, I’m not saying Sheamus wouldn’t fit or be tremendous in that position. He’d be amazing, no doubt. The problem I have with the idea is ignoring his natural talent to be a super face. Sheamus has all the potential in the world to be the next ass-kicking superstar we cheer for, and the reason people forget this is because they’ve been taught by modern WWE that it could never happen.

Bullshit.

Sheamus has been used very poorly since the Rumble. Other than a TV program with Christian, which while very entertaining, was completely uneventful for either character or performer, there’s been no storyline advancement for the Celtic Warrior. And that’s the only thing that needs to change.

Give Sheamus direction, and the talks of turning heel will die down. The entire roster is extremely heel heavy right now, so there is no need for another to jump ship from fan favorite to villain. Consider the roster of faces:
Daniel Bryan
John Cena
The Shield

Now the top heels:
Kane
Evolution
Bray Wyatt
Cesaro
Bad News Barrett

Pretty solid on the side to boo. Now, consider the heel talents that are going to be getting the midcard pushes over the next few months:
Bo Dallas
Alexander Rusev
The Wyatt Family

There’s a lot more for the creative team to concentrate on with the heels. Adding another one makes little to no sense.

What storyline could Sheamus get involved in? I think he could easily be a solid partner with Cena against the Wyatts for now. It wouldn’t be monumental, but it would keep him involved at the top of the card. He could be the top contender to Barrett’s new Intercontinental Championship. He could get involved in a brute angle with Ryback, or get a tag partner to take on RybAxel.

If your argument is for Sheamus to flip to the villainous character again so that Daniel Bryan can have a fresh challenger, then I ask you how that worked out when Ryback turned to take on Cena last year?

Sheamus doesn’t need a heel turn, but he does need a character rejuvenation. That can be something as simple as a new rivalry.

KENTA

I can’t help but wonder if the possible signing of Japan’s KENTA is something that could bring back The Best In The World?

Previews

From WWE.com
WWE’s Extreme holiday has come and gone, but the WWE Universe will feel the reverberations of Extreme Rules 2014 for some time, as Daniel Bryan retained his illustrious WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a brutal battle against Kane, The Shield put a halt to Evolution, The New Face of Fear wore a wide, wicked smile, and a new Intercontinental Champion was crowned.
1. Halting Evolution
To say they put their bodies on the line at Extreme Rules is an understatement, as The Hounds of Justice pulled out all the stops in a stunning battle against the combined might of Evolution. United as ever, The Shield emerged from the IZOD Center victorious, vanquishing a legendary trio of opponents in a match that saw Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns showcase their wealth of talent — and their willingness to take risks when their reputation is on the line or their toughness is called into question.

But with WWE COO Triple H as the figurehead of Evolution, where do these two teams go from here? Surely The Game isn’t yet done with the black-clad trio. Might pay-per-view tensions spill onto Raw?
2. Spreading The New Face of Fear
After one of the most haunting victories in WWE history, Bray Wyatt comes to Raw with sights set on … well, the whole world.
His victory over John Cena in a truly unsettling Steel Cage Match at Extreme Rules may have served only to further spread The Eater of Worlds’ message of fear and loathing, as the disturbing appearance of “Little Johnny” at ringside literally stopped the Cenation leader in his tracks and spun him into the arms of Bray Wyatt — and Sister Abigail.

With his sway threatening to encompass more members of the WWE Universe on a weekly basis, what new message might Bray Wyatt have on Raw?

3. Bryan extinguishes Kane
He may have gone through hellfire and brimstone to do it, but Daniel Bryan walked out of Extreme Rules with his WWE World Heavyweight Championship in tow.

Though he may have extended it last night, when it comes to The Beard, it seems like his is the most vulnerable of title reigns in recent memory. The Authority’s mad-on for the submission specialist is well-known, as Stephanie McMahon herself made an overt attempt to have Bryan sit out his scheduled title match against the Demon Kane at the pay-per-view.
Now that Extreme Rules has come and gone and Bryan has survived The Devil’s Favorite Demon, what new, hellish roadblocks does The Authority have in store for the fan-favorite WWE World Heavyweight Champion?
4. Title-bearer of Bad News
We’ve got some bad news for you, WWE Universe — there’s a new Intercontinental Champion in town. Sunday at Extreme Rules, Bad News Barrett delivered the goods in an all-out brawl against entering champion Big E, as the British grappler reclaimed the illustrious title in a hard-fought championship bout.

Now that Bad News is the new gold standard, what does it mean for the rest of the WWE locker room? And who might step up to knock Barrett off his podium?
5. Paige ushers in new Divas era
In her first Divas Title defense, Paige defeated the always-intimidating Tamina in a hard-fought match at Extreme Rules. Though her victory over former Divas Champion AJ Lee may have come as a shock to the WWE Universe, the former WWE NXT standout has developed a quick track record inside the WWE ring.

Now that she’s proven capable of answering the call under the pressure-packed environment of a pay-per-view, what’s next for the Divas Champion? And, for that matter, what’s next for an embattled Divas division that boasts serious threats from all corners? From AJ to “Total Divas” stars The Bella Twins, Cameron, Naomi and Natalya, Paige has a target painted squarely on her back. Who will step up next to challenge for the butterfly-emblazoned title?

From LOPforums poster StormDragonz

The Monday Night RAW Episode for the 5th of May, 2014: Smoking Ain't Allowed In School



No, Judgment Day isn't the next PPV coming up, it's Payback... but there's been only one so far, so deal with it.


- Happy Early Birthday to that guy CM Punk knows, Colt Cabana, who turns 34 tomorrow.
- Happy Early Birthday as well to NXT regular Camacho, who turns 31 on Wednesday.
- Happy Very Early Birthday to William Regal, who turns 46 on Saturday.

--- Carnage Without The Venom ---


- In case you still remembered The Amazing Race actually does exist and is in its 48th season, or you remembered there were more Game 7's in the NBA than you can count on one hand, you probably forgot that WWE's Extreme Rules PPV was on last night. Fear not, ignorant masses! Here's a quick overview of what happened:

- El Torito defeated Hornswaggle in a WeeLC Match. I didn't watch it, but a fair number of people claim it was infinitely better than anyone truly believed it could be, so I say check it out if you can spare eight minutes.
- In an Elimination Triple Threat Match with nothing on the line, Cesaro defeated RVD, who defeated Jack Swagger. Highlight of the night was Cesaro landing the Neutrilizer with RVD on a trash can.
- Paige defeated Tamina Snuka by submission, which I'm not completely sure if that was the first time Tamina has ever lost via submission.
- John Cena and Bray Wyatt ended in what is classified as "so cheesy, it makes Packers jokes seem outdated", which involved "Little Johnny" singing to help Bray Wyatt escape the cage.
- Alexander Rusev defeated R-Truth and Xavier Woods in a Handicap Match. Not much else to say there, unfortunately.
- Big E. Langston, the Intercontinental Champion, promised he would win and retain the title from Bad News Barrett. Listen, Big E., only John Cena is allowed to make promises and keep them before a PPV. With that said, Bad News is now the new Intercontinental Champion.
- In what could easily be Match of the Night, if not contender for Match for the first half of the year, The Shield went to war with Evolution, using unconventional tactics to secure their reign as the new dominant force in the WWE. Batista was the one who got pinned too.
- In a slight second place nod for Match of the Night, Daniel Bryan took on his former Tag Team partner Kane in an Extreme Rules Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Kane got burned, there was a shovel sighting and mayhem was everywhere, but D.Bryan remains champion.

--- Enjoy the show, everyone. He rose to greatness, fell into obscurity and now runs the whole damn world... ---






StormDragonz Questions to Ponder


- 1 - Wade Barrett begins his 4th IC Title reign. His longest reign, his 2nd, lasted 99 days. Will Wade exceed that in this new title reign?

Title reign length does not define a champion or the championship. Take a look at Dean Ambrose and his US title. The Rey Mysterio vs Chris Jericho title switches of 2009 meant more to the title with their short trading reigns. So what’s important isn’t how long will he be champion, but will his reign be worthy. To that I say yes, because he’s got the skills on the microphone to do more as champion, and the exposure to do so with the great gimmick.


- 2 - Randy Orton, former WWE World Title holder, has yet to have a rematch for said title since Wrestlemania. When do you expect Randy Orton to get his title rematch?

Payback


- 3 - Speaking of title rematches, when will AJ Lee get her Divas Championship rematch against Paige?

Payback


- 4 - What's next for Cesaro after his victory over Swagger & RVD last night?

RVD in a singles angle, or Sheamus.

Live Raw Discussion



Intro - Battle Royal for US Title

9:00
I am all for a new champion if something will be done with whoever wins this. I think this match should instead be used to find a new opponent for Ambrose. A runner up to Dean winning, but continues to work in alliance with HHH and The Authority in a push, while chasing the title from The Shield.

My hope? Titus O’Neil’s recent push seems perfect.

9:07
And, he’s eliminated.

Ryback is my next pick.

9:16
RybAxel teaming together is a nice touch. Even if they lose, their camaraderie could stand out enough to warrant another push towards the titles.

9:17
Jack Swagger is in there? There’s your winner. Damn, I wish I had noticed him earlier.

9:18
And there’s the opening for a Sheamus heel turn. Dang. Well, like I said, I wouldn’t say he’ll suck as an Authority henchman, just that it’s not the most interest route for such a superior talent.

Rob Van Dam vs Cesaro

9:36
This should be a solid singles match.

And that’s a solid black eye RVD is sporting. Serves him right with his silly ass bumps.

9:49
An interesting question from LOPforums poster T.O.:
“what does RVD bring to current-day WWE anyways?”

A credible veteran gatekeeper.

In an era where almost all the impressive talent are either existing top tier talent or other on the rise talents, WWE needs to stock up on names like RVD to put over guys like Cesaro. Who else on the current roster would give that sort of rub? Dolph Ziggler definitely could, but is it worth putting another notch in Ziggler’s loss column? Not when you can have RVD do it instead.

Wyatts

9:53
Here comes a show stealing moment.

Interesting set up WWE has delivered: Wyatts vs The Shield in the main event, while Bray is still at war with Cena and The Shield obviously still being targeted by The Authority.

Cody vs Ryback

10:08
Here’s another great example of what an established tag division can do for a card. A singles match between Cody and Ryback wouldn’t have had much interest before, but with the tag team division working in both their favor, there’s a certain chemistry and drama to this match. No, it’s not monumental, but it’s still enough of a story to make up for a generally cold match.

Kofi vs Rusev

10:30
Are the Brutarian/Russian combo only attacking black men for a reason?

10:32
I guess they are eliminating his first name as well?

Daniel Bryan vs Alberto Del Rio

10:45
I am guessing Del Rio is going to leave after his contract expires. WWE just has not been doing much with him. I understand and agree, but after a few years of pushing him, there are definitely some angles he’d be useful in getting over other talents. The roster is very heel centric, but he’d be useful in putting over talents like Big E… wow, WWE is really lacking rookie or midcard faces to get behind.

11:07
The match was the expected from a Del Rio bout: good, but boring.

What I really needed to comment on was the terrible screaming and acting from Brie Bella in that segment with Kane. That was painful.

And now I’m getting a replay of it all. Seriously, WWE, don’t ever show us that again.

Big E. vs Bad News Barrett

11:09
Oh, here we go!

11:21
Is there any doubt that Barrett has all the tools now? He’s going to be the next top face star in the very near future if this character is treated properly. I understand he’ll be behind The Shield and/or Cesaro, but that’s still tremendous company to keep.

Zeb Colter Interrupted by Adam Rose

11:34
Zeb is a genuinely entertaining talker, so interrupting him is not a good way to debut.

The Shield vs Wyatt Family

11:44
This will undoubtedly be a great match, especially considering the amount of time it’s getting, but the real interest is how this will involve the storylines of Cena and The Authority.

Final Thoughts

12:10
Well, I guess it was to be expected. Extreme Rules had The Shield and Daniel Bryan defeat their long time rivals, but not in a feud ending manner. That means the rivalries continue on, and something needed to revitalize them - so we got the post match beatdown from Evolution, and Kane chasing out the helpless Brie Bella and her husband Daniel Bryan.

A bit of a ho-hum episode, but it’s honestly somewhat understandable after such a solid PPV. The action was certainly going to take a backseat no matter what. The problem I had with the show, as well as many others over the last few weeks, is the exhaustion overall. Nobody was overexposed - in fact, I found that we were lacking more from Evolution and John Cena. But it felt weak in a way. The storylines didn’t really have any twists at all. Bray didn’t elaborate on how the child was used last night, or if he did, I missed it. The US Title change didn’t really have much going for it, though it’s possible that there’s more to it that has yet to be revealed. The tag team division didn’t get much of a showcase, with the champions nowhere to be seen, and a singles match being the only combat between anyone involved in a regular tag team.

The Adam Rose debut was stunted as well. It was possibly the time constraints, but it felt underwhelming. I am not a huge supporter of the gimmick from NXT, but I did feel there was potential. Tonight did not do anything resembling a positive move forward.

On top of that, not a single hint was given towards Payback. Sure, these angles are continuing, but I’ve been hoping that WWE would be evolving away from too many PPV rematches, and to repeat at least 2 out of the 3 from last Sunday shows extreme laziness on their part.

It looks like we’ll be getting rematches galore next month. Thankfully they have 4 weeks to spice things up.

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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