Al: Its Monday Night Raw babyyy!!!! Come on, you know it’s your favorite part of Monday too.
Mitch: Al watches the full version of Raw, live and in color. I watch the Hulu Plus version online on Tuesday morning. Several of the segments will have Al’s thoughts only simply because of this. Lets get to it.
Triple H/Stephanie Opening Promo
Al: Good start to the show with the Authority stripping the title from Daniel Bryan making the Heavyweight Championship vacant. Money in the Bank should be a great PPV this year and I’m pumped for it.
Mitch: Great opening segment. It’s unfortunate that Daniel Byran got injured but I’m glad they’re giving him the time he needs to recover properly. Triple H and Stephanie did a wonderful job acting giddy about having to strip Bryan of his title. They’re doing a great job at being the evil bosses.
Stephanie rightfully pointed out that since Bryan was stripped of the title because he failed to be medically cleared, then Brie Bella quit for nothing. Poor girl. Her sister’s man would’ve been back in action by now.
Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus
(Money In The Bank Qualifying Match)
Al: First match of the night was Shaemus against my boy Bad News Barrett. I had high hopes for this match and I wasn’t disappointed. Fantastic match. These two guys work well together. Shaemus wins.
Mitch: I LOVE both of these guys and this was a great matchup. Sheamus almost always has great, smash-mouth battles. The crowd was really into this. There was a great near-fall when Sheamus countered the Bull Hammer and hit his White Noise maneuver. The crowd exploded for that. When he finally delivered his Brogue Kick, there was a huge reaction as well. Raw is a three hour show, there’s no excuse to not have a match this good every week.
Rusev w/Lana vs. Zack Ryder
Al: Rusev makes quick work of Zach Ryder. Remember him? Yeah me neither! Anywho, I’m loving Rusev right now. His character can’t help but remind me of good ol Ivan Drago in Rocky VI. His matches are super fast but he’s fun to watch. I hope they keep pushing this guy cuz I’m a fan!
Ryback & Curtis Axel vs. Goldust & R-Truth
Al: Goldust and his tag team partner this week, R-Truth lose to Rybaxel . Yawn. I’m still waiting for a Goldust/ Booker T reunion . That’s the only way I’ll peek any interest in this angle folks.
Wyatt Family Promo
Mitch: Bray and his pals hype up the upcoming match later in the show, talking about urges and whatnot. I love these guys. My only beef is that they don’t get booked strongly enough. Yet someone, they still find a way to connect with the fans and elevate themselves.
3MB Call Out The Shield For No Reason At All
Al: Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns kick 3MB’s butt. Then Ambrose gets on the mic. This guy is second to Bray Wyatt right now as far as being incredibly entertaining on the microphone. I still remember the Pipers Pit Hot Rod had with The Shield and I really was wishing so bad that night that Piper would’ve been in his prime so him and Ambrose could’ve really went toe to toe cuz that night Dean owned him. I am a die hard Dean Ambrose fan and so hope he is in the WWE for years to come. Ambrose and Reigns go OFF on Seth Rollins as he watches on tv backstage with a smirk on his face. Great segment.
Mitch: I feel bad for 3MB. Heath Slater is from West Virginia and seems like he could be entertaining if he wasn’t stuck with such a loser gimmick. Dean Ambrose is emerging as one of the best promo guys in the business. I love how the crowd reacted when he mentioned Seth Rollins’ name; such loud boos. Rollins just might find himself to be the top heel in WWE as this fleshes out.
Layla/Summer Rae Segment
Mitch: I hope Layla isn’t lactose intolerant. Zing!
Usos vs. Fandando (w/Layla) and Damien Sandow
Al: The Usos take on Fandaaaaannngggoooooo and Damien Sandow? Yes Damien Sandow. Wearing some stupid leotard and twirling a yellow streamer. I didn’t laugh but I’m sure a lot of people did. He’s definitely selling it. I’m sure my buddy Mitch will think it’s hillarious. It’s a matter of taste I guess. JBL’s commentating is superb as always. If JBL stays in the announcing booth I’ll be a happy guy! He’s the best since Bobby the Brain Heenan. I’m serious.
Mitch: I didn’t really laugh, Al. This depresses me. DAMIEN SANDOW WON MONEY IN THE BANK LAST YEAR. Not only did he not get elevated to anywhere near the main event because of it, he’s now reduced to a comedy character for Fandango to use whenever Santino isn’t available. At least the crowd liked him and appreciated his efforts, but he’s WAY better than this.
Cesaro vs. RVD
(Money In The Bank Qualifier)
Al: These guys are always wrestling each other!!! Decent match. Of course Cesaro wins .
Mitch: Awesome promo by Heyman before this match, but that’s expected of him. Man, that uppercut that Cesaro did to RVD off the forward roll was great. The match really started picking up at that point. It wasn’t as good as the Sheamus/BNB one from earlier, but still good. I’m very happy that Cesaro gets a spot in the championship ladder match at Money In The Bank. I’ll be rooting for him.
Bo Dallas vs. Xavier Woods
Al: Next was Bo Dallas vs Xavier Woods. I’m still on the fence on Bo Dallas . I like his finisher the Bo-Dog. But I’m still not a Bo-Liever just yet. Dallas gets the win over Woods.
Seth Rollins Explains Himself
Al: Seth Rollins gives a good interview with Michael Cole on why he left the Shield. Rollins is doing a great job right now. I see nothing but potential from this guy. He’s no Ambrose though haha. Come on, you know you agree.
Mitch: Seth didn’t sell out, he bought in…to the evolution of Seth Rollins. This lead to the inevitable brawl that that brought in the Wyatt’s and John Cena. Cena will be joining the 2 Shield members later in the night against the Wyatts. Cena had a eye injury over the weekend that was swollen shut, but I couldn’t notice any swelling in this segment. There was also a sign in the crow that said “Push Cena,” which might be the funniest sign I’ve seen in a while.
Alicia Fox vs. Paige
Al: I’ll be honest guys. I missed most of this one and I know …I’m supposed to give a review of everything! But hey a guys gotta get a bathroom break every once in a while right? Although I have been enjoying the Women’s matches as of recent. I miss AJ.
Cody Rhodes Finds His Brother A New Tag Partner
Mitch: Next week we find out who’s the next fill-in partner to team with Goldust. Make it Goldberg, simply because they both have gold in their name. No other reason. I don’t care too much about this story, they just need to fight already.
Santino vs. Jack Swagger
Al: Swagger wins . Is there anything else to say here?!
Mitch: This was cut from Hulu, but I’ll comment on it anyway. Jack Swagger is a good wrestler. Zeb Colter is a fantastic mouthpiece for him. Can’t he be in the mix for the U.S./Intercontinental title? Or recruit a new Real American and put him in the tag division. There’s too much talent with these guys that is currently being wasted.
Triple H and Stephanie Hate on Vickie Guerrero
Mitch: I get the usefulness of hyping up who’s in the ladder match at Money In The Bank, but what’s up with slapping at Vickie simply because she sneezed?
John Cena, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns vs. The Wyatts
Al: Finally the Main Event! The Wyatt Family vs The Shield and…..John Cena!!!! Cena would fit perfectly with the Shield. But this is just a fill in. I’m not gonna go into full detail of the match but this was a great match. I still give the best match of the night to Bad News Barrett and Sheamus. The Shield and John Cena take the win. Triple H and Seth Rollins look on as The Shield gloat in their victory. You’ve gotta be thinking if you’re Seth Rollins, I’m standing next to Triple H. I need to learn from this guy. The knowledge that Triple H has about the wrestling business is astounding and If I were Seth Rollins, I’d feel pretty happy with my career at this point.
Mitch: This was a solid main event that had plenty of time. It seems like everyone had plenty of time to show that they could go. There was lots of back and forth and the crowd was really hot for it all. Ambrose and Reigns get the win and still look strong as their feud with Evolution and now Rollins continues. Cena wins as well because he always does. The Wyatts lose, which they seem to do a lot in big match situations. They stay hot though, so oh well.
Al: Great Raw. I just wish the matches weren’t rushed. I remember back in the attitude era, the matches lasted. They took their time. I mean for Pete’s sake you’ve got three hours!!!! But overall I’d give this raw 8 out of 10 on the Al N. Jaxson scale!!!! See ya next week you Pencil Neck Geeks!!!!
Mitch: This was one of the better Raws I’ve seen in a while and it was because there was plenty of good wrestling matches. Sheamus/BNB, Cesaro/RVD, and the main event were all good to above average matchups. There were several good promos including Heyman’s, Ambrose’s, and that opening segment with Hunter and Stephanie. I feel like the WWE is planting the seeds for the next Pay-Per-View. Money In The Bank is already looking to be good.
Match of the Night: Sheamus vs. Bad News Barrett. The main event was a close second, but I’m such a huge fan of Sheamus’ style. He’s hard-hitting and this was a pay-per-view quality matchup.
Promo of the Night: I’m tempted to give this to Ambrose, but I really loved Triple H and Stephanie in the opening segment. They were so tickled and happy to strip Bryan of the title and they made the crowd hate them so much for it.
Superstar of the Night: Dean Ambrose. Amazing promo by him and he was part of the great main event. Roman Reigns is lucky to have him around and he should help carry Reigns on his path to the top tier of this company.
Overall Grade: I’ll give this show a B+. It really approached the A status, but it I felt like even though it was a good show it could still have been better. The wrestling was great, but there were no match of the year contenders or anything. I also had to mourn over the current state of Damien Sandow, which I’m trying to forget.The crowd was into everything and that was a huge plus.
Join me, Mitch Nickelson, by Wednesday at TJRWrestling.com on Wednesday and you’ll be able to read my weekly review of WWE Main Event. Apparently Dolph Ziggler will face off against Seth Rollins this week. That should be one heck of a match. Al will join by a day or two later and we’ll add our combined, full review right here at Mitch and Al’s blog. Thanks for joining us for this weeks Raw Review.