Raw emanated from the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. Monday and a lot happened. But for some reason, it felt nothing happened at the same time.
It’s an odd assessment, I know, but Monday’s Raw felt like small step toward some bigger things to come.
The last couple of shows had an air of excitement and importance. This one did not. Why? I’m not quite sure. Nonetheless, here are my observations of Raw.
CM Punk’s absence was very notable
That may sound like I’m stating the obvious, but it really was. Last week, I almost forgot he wasn’t at the show until it went off the air.
This week, there was some notable re-shuffling of the deck. For one, Kane beat up on Daniel Bryan after the main event for no apparent reason. Kane was the main person affected by CM Punk’s absence because he was in a program with him.
The re-shuffling doesn’t stop there. One tag team has broken up completely (the Primetime Players) and another may be on its way to splitting as well (the Real Americans).
Was this the plan all along? It easily could have been. But I tend to believe that the time dedicated to a Titus O’Neil heel turn would have been spent on a segment involving CM Punk if he wasn’t home in Chicago.
O’Neil was barely on television before CM Punk left, but suddenly in a matter of a week he’s on his own and squashing the likes of Zack Ryder.
The crowd in Omaha missed CM Punk Monday, too, as they chanted his name periodically throughout the show. It didn’t border on the ridiculous.
Daniel Bryan pinned Randy Orton
I don’t know what this means going forward or if it means anything at all, but Daniel Bryan pinned Randy Orton in the middle of the ring Monday, and managed to fend off Kane in the process.
Like I mentioned earlier, Kane and Orton beat down Bryan after the match, which means this story will continue until next week at the very least.
From the looks of it, Bryan is the direct beneficiary of CM Punk taking his ball and going home. He was already the most over babyface with the crowd and now the WWE is seemingly positioning him for a run in the main event again.
The WWE is even doing an angle where the Authority is considering giving him its “Face of the WWE” label, which sure to end badly for him in some kind of way.
More dissention among The Shield
During its six-man tag team match against Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston and Big E Langston, Roman Reigns was in prime position to spear Langston and win the match for his team, but Dean Ambrose tagged himself in and delivered his modified DDT to pick up the victory himself.
Reigns wasn’t happy about the decision and confronted Ambrose right in the middle of the ring. Seth Rollins got in between the two and helped play peacemaker again.
The dissention didn’t last too long, however, as The Shield stood together during a Wyatt Family promo on the jumbotron soon after. Later in the show, the Wyatt Family won a six-man tag team match of its own against Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth and Xavier Woods. The Shield cut a similar promo on the jumbotron while the Wyatt Family stood in the ring.
I like how WWE is playing this very slowly and very subtly instead of having everything blow up in a matter of a week, a la the Primetime Players. Plus, I want The Shield to stay together for as long as possible.
Unfortunately, it looks like this may all come to head at the Elimination Chamber where the Wyatt Family gets the win because of miscommunication or a full-blown breakup of The Shield.
Batista booed again, in a feud with Alberto Del Rio
The boos are getting a little louder every time Batista comes to the ring. With the exception being what he did after the Royal Rumble went off the air, he hasn’t done a whole lot for people to dislike him.
Maybe it’s because he’s the guy that won the Royal Rumble and not Bryan. Maybe because of the way he carries himself. But for whatever reason, the people just aren’t coming around to him like everyone expected.
When Alberto Del Rio, a person who no one seems to like except me, came out and challenged him, he was cheered a little bit. Eventually, Del Rio and Batista’s confrontation turned physical where Del Rio narrowly escaped being Batista Bombed. It certainly looks like Batista will face Del Rio at Elimination Chamber.
Tag team cage match made no sense
A couple of weeks ago, the Usos went up against Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt in a steel cage. It wasn’t a tag team match. It was a fight where all four men were in the ring at once. The only way for one of the teams to win was for both men to escape the cage.
On Monday, WWE decided to Goldust and Cody Rhodes yet another rematch for their WWE Tag Team Championships against the New Age Outlaws, but decided to up the ante by putting the teams in a cage.
But when the teams entered the cage, they went to their respective corners and essentially put on a normal tag match.
This begs one question: What was the point of the cage? I get that they wanted to keep people out of the match after Brock Lesnar destroyed Goldust and Rhodes last week, but it didn’t make sense for them to put on a normal match.
The teams barely used the cage during the match and most it was used for a nonsensical spot where Rhodes did a moonsault from the top of it, only to be put in the famasser and lose.
It just didn’t make much sense to put these teams in a cage and have them work a normal match. It should have been an all out fight, but instead, the teams had to play by the rules because there was a referee in the ring.
- It was announced that Betty White would be the guest star on Raw next week.
- Luke Harper got to speak during the Wyatt Family promo.
- As mentioned earlier, there seems to be seed planted of a breakup of the Real Americans, or at least Zeb Coulter and Antonio Cesaro turning on Jack Swagger. Swagger lost to Christian again while his partner is in the Elimination Chamber. Cesaro and Coulter look none too happy about Swagger losing again.
- John Bradshaw Layfield brought up the fact that the reason why Ambrose has held on to the United States title for so long is because he hasn’t defended it in months.
- Jerry “The King” Lawler called out Bad News Barrett. Why? I have no idea.
- The Miz stormed to the announce table during the Ryder-O’Neil match and said that something was seriously wrong because he was not on the show and stormed off again.
- NXT Diva Emma actually got in the ring Monday for a dance-off with Summer Rae. She won by doing her patented dance move. No one in the crowd cared about any of this. They only cheered Emma because she was with Santino. People didn’t know what they were looking at. Maybe a vignette of Emma doing the dance would have worked.