Raw is live out of Indianapolis, tonight. Mitch Nickelson watches the Hulu Plus version version of Monday’s show, which is edited down to 90 minutes. So not every segment will be commented on. Followed by Mitch is Al N. Jaxson, who offers up his own insight on this edition of WWE’s flagship program.
by: Mitch Nickelson
Evolution Opening Segment
Mitch: So the big news out of this is that Batista quit. Seems like they might be borrowing from the real-life CM Punk drama, but it works. Batista has a movie to promote, so this is a great way to write him off screen. Rumor is he’ll be back by Summerslam. I don’t remember Orton talking any during this segment. He’s a poor talker, so that’s for the good.
Sheamus/RVD vs. BNB/Cesaro
Mitch: We got lots of Heyman on commentary, so that’s a plus. The match was solid, too. All four of these guys are great performers. RVD might be the weakest because his best years are behind him, but he’s got some great workers to help him still look like a real competitor. Cesaro walking out on BNB as he took the loss adds a lot of good drama into the mix. If they just want to keep pairing these guys in random bouts for a couple of months, then I’ll be happy. The US and Intercontinental titles are looking competitive at the moment.
Big Show/Sandow B-Ball Segment
Mitch: This wasn’t on the Hulu broadcast. Dang, I miss Sandow. At least he’s a regular on Main Event. It would be nice if he was a little closer to the actual main event. I might look this up on youtube.
Bo Dallas vs. Kofi Kingston
Mitch: Another cut segment from the Hulu broadcast. I really like the Bo Dallas character, but I really don’t see me looking this one up on youtube.
Stephanie McMahon/John Cena Segment
Mitch: I liked this segment a lot. John Cena is fire when he’s not doing comedy segments and this was a great one. His one attempt at humor with the shot at Stephanie’s ‘surgeries’ came across as hilarious. Daniel Bryan cannot help that he needed neck surgery, but Mrs. Bryan and Stephanie McMahon weren’t doing a great job at keeping the crowd interested in him during his absence. Cena did exactly that in this moment. He reminded the crowd of Bryan’s struggles against the Authority and Bryan is better for it. Way to go, John. This segment set up the following match…
Kane vs. John Cena
Mitch: Even though this match ended in DQ, I thought it was solid. I felt like Kane could be a legit monster in the ring and John Cena walked away strong as well. He also threw those steel steps again, which is one of the few ways to look like you’re being brutal in this PG era. The spot could easily get old considering he just did it the night before, but it hasn’t worn on me yet.
Los Matadores vs. Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre
Mitch: This was also cut from the Hulu broadcast. I don’t care enough to look up what I missed. Sometimes this 90-minute version is for the better.
Alicia Fox & Aksana vs. Nikki Bella
Mitch: Another segment not seen by us Hulu-ers. I feel bad for the suckers that have to watch this stuff.
Adam Rose vs. Jack Swagger
Mitch: Cut from Hulu! I actually would have wanted to see this. But I checked online and apparently it was a short win by Rose. I hope Swagger becomes more than just a jobber to the new guys like he’s Kofi Kingston or something. He’s better than that.
The Usos vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper
Mitch: The Usos bore me. I don’t know why people love them so much. Rowan cut a good promo before this match, while Harper only got one line. He must not be a good talker. I didn’t pay attention to most of this match, but watched the last few minutes pretty close. One of the Usos gave a fantastic superkick on Harper that impressed me, but otherwise I’m unimpressed. Hopefully this rivalry ends with the Wyatt family grabbing the tag titles.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio (MITB Qualifier)
Mitch: I loved seeing these two getting a chance to go. These are two guys who should be in meaningful feuds but rarely get a chance to shine anymore. I’m happy that Del Rio will be getting to fight in the Money in the Bank ladder match, but I’m bummed that they both aren’t going.
Goldust & Sin Cara vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel
Mitch: This was cut from the Hulu broadcast. I look forward to the eventual Goldust/Cody Rhodes match. Ryback and Axel get a win, so good for them. Hopefully I find myself liking them one day.
Rusev Awards Ceremony or Something
Mitch: I was really shocked that this didn’t end with someone coming out and disrupting the event. How often does something like this happen without it being a brawl by the end? It was a little long, but decent filler. Lana talking about how great Putin is really makes the Rusev character entertaining. I’m really hoping he challenges for the U.S. title. It just seems like a good story for him.
Orton vs. Reigns (…that never happened.)
Mitch: Great segment. I would have never guessed that Rollins would be the one to defect from the Shield but it makes a lot of sense in hindsight. Being aligned with Triple H and Orton (which is what I assume is happening) will lead to a lot of intrigue. I assume he’ll fight his former Shield brothers in the near future. Maybe he and Orton will battle Reigns and Ambrose at Money in the Bank. Regardless, this was very interesting and it has me wanting to keep tuning in to see how it unfolds. Good job, WWE.
Mitch: I liked the show. Being the first Raw after a Pay-Per-View, I feel like there’s a clear build to the next big show. The ladder match is taking shape and the fact that it might be for the World Title is intriguing. The Rhodes feud is furthered, although I don’t feel bad about missing the match. Cena worked like a beast to keep Bryan over and played off of the heelish Stephanie very well. And of course the developments of the The Shield and Evolution opens the door to some really fresh matchups for the summer.
Match of the Night: Not a ton of great matches, but a few decent ones to pick from. I’ll go with Ziggler vs. Del Rio. It was great to see this pairing. They are both personal favorites of mine.
Superstar of the Night: John Cena takes this award. A solid promo with Stephanie and a short, but still hard-hitting, match with Kane helped further the WWE World Heavyweight feud. Daniel Bryan needs to send a thank you card to Cena.
Spot of the Night: Whichever Uso it was that superkicked Harper. It was great delivery and lead to one of the best near-falls of the night.
Mitch’s grade: B- Storylines were furthered and we were treated to some new developments, but I need more quality in-ring action. It’s a 3-hour show, let more 15+ minute matches happen.
Al’s Raw Review 06/02/2014
by: Al N. Jaxson
Well Like Mitch said, the big news was Batista is out ! Should he come back? NOOOOO!!!! Why do I say no? Well, it really didn’t work this time around for Batista. The fans could’ve cared less that the animal was back. Now granted, over the past month or so Batista has been getting better and I’ll give him credit for hanging in there ahem ( CM Punk) but stay gone this time Batista. Your old news like Gene Snitsky.
There were several good things I liked about Raw. I agree with Mitch about Cena. I, unlike a lot of WWE Fans, think John Cena is extremely talented. Love him or hate him, he hasn’t been around this long without having some skills. And the feud with Bray Wyatt has done nothing but help him right now. Good segment last night with Stephanie.
Also, big complaint with WWE I have to get off of my chest. Why are you misusing Damien Sandow. Seriously, the guy had the coolest character since Triple H was Hunter Hearst Helmsley and now you have him coming out playing basketball with the Big Show, pretending to be Magneto with Hugh Jackman weeks earlier.??? I mean , come on. Really? Really WWE? I sound like The Miz. And yes I miss him too!!!
Anywho, those are my two measly cents for the week. My colleague Mitch covered everything nicely. Til next time, this is Al N Jaxson saying….BRING BACK D’LO BROWN!!! Just kidding…or am I???