Tuesday, June 30, 2015

WWE Raw results (05/05/14): Eight observations from this week's episode

The night after Extreme Rules turned out to be pretty eventful.

WWE Raw results (05/05/14): Eight observations from this week's episode

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The night after Extreme Rules turned out to be pretty eventful.

Among the happenings were a new champion being crowned, a new superstar making his debut and another great chapter in the rivalry between The Wyatt Family and The Shield unfolded.

Before we dive into my observations, here are the full match results from Monday’s show:

- Sheamus wins 20-man battle royal to win United States Championship

- Rob Van Dam def. Cesaro via disqualification

- Ryback def. Cody Rhodes

- Rusev def. Kofi Kingston

- Daniel Bryan def. Alberto Del Rio

- Bad News Barrett def. Big E to retain Intercontinental Championship

- The Wyatt Family def. The Shield

Now, here are my observations from what took place from the Times Union Center

A rough night for The Shield

After earning possibly the biggest victory of their collective careers over Evolution Sunday, The Shield had very rough night on Raw.

Right from the start of the show things didn’t go their way, as by order of Triple H, Dean Ambrose was forced to defend his United States Championship in a 20-man battle royal.

Ambrose fought valiantly and managed to make it to the final two, but was unceremoniously brogue kicked and eliminated by Sheamus to lose his title. Right after the match, Triple H informed the trio that they were in the main event against The Wyatt Family — a team they have yet to beat in two tries.

The match between The Shield and The Wyatts wasn’t as good as their previous two, in my opinion, but it still served as a very quality main event for Raw. Unfortunately for The Shield, however, they lost to The Wyatt Family for the third time. This time, a distraction from Evolution had a hand in the defeat.

Things only got worse from there, as Evolution quickly picked the remains of The Shield and even delivered a triple power bomb to Roman Reigns.

Everything that took place on this night made sense to me. Getting the United States title off Ambrose instantly gives it some life (I’ll get more into this matter later), The Shield losing to the Wyatts keeps that team strong and Evolution laying the boots to The Shield after the match gives them their heat back after taking a clean loss Sunday night.

Oh, and by the way, Seth Rollins is unbelievable. How he manages to land on his feet after doing some of those dives is incredible. My knees hurt just looking at him do some of that stuff.

Kane haunts Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella

Throughout the night, Kane haunted Daniel Bryan and his wife Brie Bella. Although Stephanie McMahon continues to play as if she doesn’t know what’s going on, it’s very clear that she does. Eventually, she’s going to have to stop playing the middle ground on this. Also, why is she so heavy-handed?

Anyway, Bryan showed up to the arena Monday night to essentially babysit his wife all night in case Kane showed up. Bryan and Bella eventually had enough and attempted to leave, but McMahon told Bryan that he had to compete or else he would be in breach of his contract and would be stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Bryan reluctantly competed against Alberto Del Rio in a pretty good match, in my opinion, and won without Kane showing up. Suddenly, Kane’s pyro hit and Bryan and Bella bolted for their car.

Like a scene out of a horror movie, the car couldn’t start, which allowed for Kane to somehow pop up in the backseat behind Bella. Bryan managed to fight off Kane and drive away to get out of dodge.

I understand the story that the WWE is trying to tell here. Bryan is desperately trying to keep his wife out of harm’s way. In this case, harm is in the form of a supposed demon.

But I’m not so sure I like my babyface champion running away from the heel. It probably should be the other way around. Again, I get that he’s trying to get his wife out of harm’s way, but I don’t think a babyface should ever back down. I can’t remember a time where a babyface ran to his car to get away from the heel.

I can point to numerous times where the heel hauled his behind out of the arena with his clothes falling out of his suitcase trying to get away from the courageous babyface.

I understand the Kane is supposed to be a demon and all, but I’m still not a big fan of that visual.

Sheamus wins the forgotten United States Championship

Sheamus has held the United States title before, and it only got him to the dark match at WrestleMania 27.

The United States title means less than it did then, so where is it going to take him now?

Let’s look at the details here. This is Sheamus’ first title win since he was the World Heavyweight Champion in 2012. Since then, he’s been in mid-card purgatory for the most part, wrestling in cold match after cold match. Winning the United States title is actually a nice change of pace for him.

Now, I’ve been an advocate of doing away with the United States title and merging it with the Intercontinental Championship so that there’s one of every title. But if WWE gives each title significant television time and meaningful feuds, then I’m for keeping them. However, WWE’s track record with these types of things hasn’t been stellar in the last 10 years, which is sad.

Maybe things could change now that the WWE has put each title on two proven talents. Bad News Barrett has managed to get over with the fans and Sheamus has a pretty good following amongst the kids and seemingly has the support of the powers at be. This may be as strong of champions those titles have had in a long time.

But the titles will only be as strong as WWE makes them from here on out. But if WWE doesn’t want to keep both titles around, they have ready-made feud between Barrett and Sheamus over the titles since Barrett beat Sheamus in the Intercontinental title tournament a couple of weeks ago.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I would be all for a great mid-card feud between Barrett and Sheamus. The matches could be of quality and it would be refreshing, since it would be mostly based around a championship not named the WWE World Heavyweight title.

No John Cena?

Apparently, that little kid from Extreme Rules spooked John Cena so much that he couldn’t even bear to show up to Raw Monday. As silly that may sound on paper, I’m actually not against doing this a little more often. In reality, Cena was made an appearance on The View to promote his new workout program.

One of the biggest effects with the current era of wrestling is that the talents have been over-exposed. Big Show would have been a much bigger star if he were wrestling during the 1970s and 80s because he wouldn’t have been on television every week. But since he is, the aura of Big Show — while it still looms large — isn’t quite what it could be had he wrestled 30 years ago.

Cena is the same way. To be fair to him, he’s not the only one that has fell victim to this because this is the era everyone works in. But people can grow fatigued after seeing someone week after week, especially someone like Cena where he hasn’t changed all that much since 2007.

At least people like Bryan or CM Punk change their hairstyle or tweak what gear they wear. Cena merely changes the colors of his ugly t-shirts, his jorts and his sneakers. He still wears that buzz cut fade and while the colors change, the gear itself hasn’t.

I don’t expect Cena to take an extended break, however. He’ll more than likely be back on Raw saluting the fans and running to the ring next week.

Adam Rose’s debut falls kind of flat

That was it? All of these hype videos of the Exotic Express week after week just for him to toss Jack Swagger out of the ring and terrorize Zeb Colter? He didn’t even say anything. I mean, he did, but it wasn’t anything that knocked my socks off.

I’m willing to give Rose a chance and in due time I actually hope he grows on me. I root for new talent to make an impact, especially ones that WWE has given some sort of character to.

But the fans in Albany Monday night weren’t buying Rose’s character and I’m not really sure how much depth or staying power his character really has. It seems like a character that’s cool the first two or three times you see, but then you move on from it because there isn’t much else to it.

By the way, I loved Colter’s deportation list.

Cesaro does heel things finally

For the first time since he became a Paul Heyman guy, Cesaro worked like a true heel Monday night.

He was disqualified during his match against Rob Van Dam after ignoring the referee’s five count and kept pounding away at the ECW legend.

While this makes sense, I think Cesaro had a lot of momentum building up as a babyface and for it to be pushed to the side is kind of confusing to me. Even with Heyman, I’m not so sure the fans are buying Cesaro as a heel right now. Maybe they will over time.

WWE hates first names

Speaking of Cesaro, he lost his first name (Antonio) a couple of months back for no real reason at all. At the same time, Big E lost his last name (Langston).

Well, WWE has done it again, this time with Rusev. That’s right, the man formerly known as Alexander Rusev is now known simply as Rusev. He’s not even from Bulgaria anymore. He now resides in Russia and I think I saw photos of Vladimir Putin in his entrance video. We’ve barely gotten a chance to get to know the guy and the WWE has already tweaked his character.

None of this will matter if Rusev doesn’t get into a meaningful feud some time soon. I think we’ve seen him in enough squash matches to know that he’s a dominant wrestler in the ring against jobbers. It’s time to see him against some real competition.

Mr. T Mother’s Day video hilarious

Not much to say about this besides the fact that it was hilarious. You can watch it HERE.

I was in the arena for that speech in New Orleans and it was hilarious then and it’s still hilarious now. I love my mother, too.

Sports Producer
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The Squared Circle is a one-stop shop of pro wrestling news, recaps and observations. You can also enjoy interviews with some of your favorite stars from the world of professional wrestling both nationally and locally. Reach Vaughn at vjohnson@philly.com.

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