Raw emanated from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the show was a lot more eventful from the one last week in Omaha, Neb.
Was WWE saving a good show for a big city like Los Angeles or did it realize it took a step backward last week and decided to add some juice this week’s edition?
Either way, a lot more noteworthy things occurred on this week’s episode, which leads me to my observations.
Daniel Bryan given more time to shine
How quickly things have changed.
A couple of weeks ago, fans were wondering if WWE would ever recognize the organic popularity of Daniel Bryan.
Now, because of thousands of angry fans in Pittsburgh and the sudden departure of CM Punk, Bryan is clearly being given a chance to shine in the spotlight and fill a void left by CM Punk.
On Monday, he was in the first segment opposite the Authority once again. He once again got in the face of Triple H, which caused the WWE’s COO to give Bryan the night off. The move made sense being as though everyone wanted to see Bryan wrestle in a match. Taking him out of one was a heel move to make on Triple H’s part.
Bryan didn’t reappear until later in the show when Kane went to the ring and apologized for his actions as of late. Bryan apparently did not feel as though Kane was contrite enough and decided to beat it into him.
When Kane retreated, Bryan led a hot Los Angeles crowd in a “Yes!” chant.
Much is still to be decided on what the eventual fate of Bryan will be, but it is nice to see Bryan positioned as a star for the time being.
Betty White’s opening segment was a waste of time
That is putting it lightly. Betty White, who was hyped all week as the guest star of Raw, came out for the opening segment with a dapper Big Show on her arm. Why Big Show? I don’t want to even begin to know.
What I do know is that White didn’t get four words out of her mouth before the Authority’s music hit. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon came out, gave White a couple of big hugs and received some mean stares Big Show in the process.
How did they respond? Triple H smiled at Big Show and he and his skipped arm and arm down to the ring.
Randy Orton eventually cut them off, but didn’t do a bunch of whining and complaining. He apologized to the Authority, which made him look even weaker, if that was even possible.
Thanks goodness Bryan made his entrance because this segment was dying a slow, painful death.
Randy Orton loses on Raw again
For the second week in a row, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton was pinned clean in the middle of the ring on Raw.
To be fair, he did defeat Christian on Smackdown last Friday and will more than likely beat Antonio Cesaro this week, but it still isn’t a good look going into a match like the Elimination Chamber.
Maybe the WWE is knocking Orton down a few more pegs before he triumphantly retains his title at the pay-per-view, but I think he’s too far-gone for anyone to take him seriously as champion — even with a strong showing at the Elimination Chamber.
Triple H advises Batista, gives him Alberto Del Rio at Elimination Chamber
Alberto Del Rio defeated Dolph Ziggler in awfully quick fashion Monday and then decided to put him in the cross arm breaker for good measure.
Batista came out to get a piece of Del Rio and was successful. He beat the daylights out of Del Rio and slammed him through a table.
Batista was then walking through a hallway when he bumped into Triple H. Triple H told Batista that he can’t have him going out of control like he did on Del Rio.
Batista insisted that Del Rio deserved the beating he gave him. Triple H then made the dumbest argument ever as to why Batista can’t go around putting people through tables.
He told Batista that things had changed since he left in 2010 and that the WWE was publicly traded company now.
Last time I checked, the WWE went public back in 1999 — before Batista was even in WWE’s developmental system. I think Batista knows full well that WWE is a publicly traded company. Being public didn’t stop the WWE from doing the Katie Vick angle (Triple H) so why would it matter if Batista slams another wrestler through a table?
That one line just ruined the entire segment for me because it was just silly to say. It will be 15 years this October since WWE has gone public. That shouldn’t even be factor on WWE television anymore. It’s not news to anyone.
Roman Reigns questions Dean Ambrose’s championship run
During a rare backstage interview with Renee Young, The Shield talked about their feud with the Wyatt Family.
The topic of conversation then switched Dean Ambrose and his long run as United States champion. When Young asked Ambrose why he hasn’t defended the title in months, Ambrose said that finding a challenger is a long process and that lots of paperwork had to be filed in order for that to happen. I thought that was a funny line.
He then said that there was no one left to defend the title against. Roman Reigns asked Ambrose what kind of champion doesn’t defend his title once every 30 days, which prompted Ambrose to have an open challenge for the title.
A returning Mark Henry answered the challenge and came very close to winning the title, but The Shield got involved and got Ambrose intentionally disqualified.
Although I don’t want to see The Shield break up, I do like the bits and pieces the WWE is doing leading up to it. The hints of a breakup are becoming less and less subtle, but still no major blowups have occurred yet between the trio, which is a good thing.
There have been a few shouting matches, but none of them have come to blows. That should be saved for the right moment.
The Wyatt Family-The Shield have a great standoff
After the Ambrose-Henry match, the Wyatt Family made their way down to the ring. What ensued was a great stand off between the two teams.
The two teams didn’t say a word to each other. They told the entire story with their eyes and their facial expressions. It went a long way into building up the tension between the two factions. The crowd in Los Angeles was into it, too. The people even booed when Bray Wyatt opted against any physicality and backed away.
Next week will be the final episode of Raw before the Elimination Chamber. I would imagine these two teams would have a big brawl in some way, shape or form. Last week, it was merely promos. This week, there was nearly a physical confrontation. Next week should a big brawl to do one last sell job on the match.
Miz is still upset, Ziggler upset his music got cut short then loses
For the second week in a row, The Miz walked to the announce table during a match and hopped on the headset. He complained again that he wasn’t on the show while Santino and Fandango were.
During Ziggler’s entrance, his music got cut short. He didn’t seem to happy about it. Rumors have been running rampant that Ziggler and The Miz will form a disgruntled union.
If If those rumors are true, it is a welcome change of direction for the both of them and these are good ways of planting the seeds of that. The Miz has talent, but none of it should be used for him in a babyface role. He’s just not that likeable a guy on television. He never was. He never will be.
Ziggler is supremely talented, but a number of things always seem to get in the way of true progress in his career.
Hopefully, these two can be salvaged in some way.
New Age Outlaws try to slip Betty White a laxative
For whatever reason, the New Age Outlaws insisted on having tea with Betty White. At first, it looked s if they just wanted to hang with another old person.
However, it turned out that the Outlaws attempted to slip her laxative. White, being the wise sage she is, caught on to their dastardly plan and switched cups with Billy Gunn; Gunn drunk the entire cup of tea.
The Outlaws were then out on commentary for a match between the Usos and Ryback and Curtis Axel. Road Dogg was fine, but Gunn was in a world of trouble.
When the match ended, the teams looked like they were going to have a stare down, but Gunn ran to the back holding his rear end, which was seemingly full of diarrhea.
One question remains: Why one earth would the Outlaws attempt to give White a laxative? It was never explained. They just decided to do it, I guess.
Oh well. I hope Gunn made it to the rest room before he made a mess.
The Bella Twins' poetry in motion fail
The Hardy Boys were a fantastic daredevil tag team from years gone by. They did a lot of innovative moves that got people out of their seats on a nightly basis.
One of those was called poetry in motion. For this move, Matt Hardy would usually whip the opponent into a corner and get on all fours in front of him. Meanwhile, Jeff Hardy would come from the opposite corner, jump off his brother’s back and launch himself into the helpless opponent.
The Bella Twins attempted this Monday, and failed miserably. Nikki Bella was playing the role of Matt Hardy here, while Brie Bella was supposed to be Jeff Hardy. Instead of gracefully showcasing poetry in motion. Brie Bella mistimed her jump and fell face-first into her opponent. It was more like the sound of a bunch of instruments being randomly played.
Randy Orton’s verbal exchange with fans
During his main-event match against John Cena, Randy Orton heard a couple of fans chanting at him, “Same old s***!” Orton and Cena are notoriously known for a having a very limited set of moves.
Orton took offense to this and told the fans, “Watch this.” Orton then grabbed Cena, who was already on the top turnbuckle, and delivered his patented DDT from the third rope as oppose to the second rope like he usually does.
Orton then got up and ran over to the fans and asked what sounded like, “Same old what?”
- Zeb Coulter told Jack Swagger to let Antonio Cesaro to start their match against Sheamus and Christian. Coulter is obviously favoring Cesaro more with his recent run of victories and spot in the Elimination Chamber.
- Announcer Bryon Saxton made his Raw debut,
- NXT Diva Emma went to the ring with Santino. She did not perform her dance, however.
- Anyone else notice how Christian rolled out of the ring after taking the Cesaro swing? That’s an easy way to protect a finishing move. Even better, was Christian waiting until the count of nine to finally get up and get back in the ring.