Monday, September 22, 2014
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WWE Raw results (06/02/14): 10 observations from this week's episode

As expected, the WWE shifted course Monday night and did so in a big way.

WWE Raw results (06/02/14): 10 observations from this week's episode

As expected, the WWE shifted course Monday night and did so in a big way.

Payback Sunday night was the culmination of a couple of major feuds. On Monday, the WWE began a very intriguing course that should the company through Money in the Bank and right into SummerSlam in August.

Before we dive into the shocking events of Monday night, let’s get into the full match results from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.:

- Sheamus & Rob Van Dam def. Bad News Barrett & Cesaro

- Bo Dallas def. Kofi Kingston

- John Cena def. Kane via disqualification

- Los Matadores def. 3MB (Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre)

- Alicia Fox & Aksana def. Nikki Bella

- Adam Rose def. Jack Swagger

- Luke Harper & Erick Rowan def. The Usos

- Money in the Bank qualifying match – Alberto Del Rio def. Dolph Ziggler

- RybAxel def. Goldust & Sin Cara

Now, let’s get into the details of what took place Monday night.

Seth Rollins turns on The Shield

Why, Seth Rollins, why? Like Frank White said in the film King of New York, “Just tell me why? Don’t lie to me. Just tell me why?”

Earlier in the night, Triple H said that there was a bigger plan at work and that Evolution’s feud with The Shield wasn’t over until The Shield no longer existed.

This turned out to be foreshadowing for later in the night, as Roman Reigns was scheduled to face Randy Orton, but Triple H accompanied Orton with a sledgehammer.

Rollins took it upon himself to grab a couple of chairs, but instead of handing them to his teammates, he figuratively stabbed them in the back with them and joined Evolution, taking Batista’s place. We’ll get more into why he took Batista’s place later on.

Right now, however, we have to get into the decision to have Rollins, the architect of The Shield, blow up the faction when it was at its highest point.

There are a number of questions surrounding this occurrence. Firstly, was it time to end The Shield as we know it? I think so. After they decimated Evolution, what else was there for the three of them to do as a group? There aren’t really any credible opponents out there to go against The Shield except The Wyatt Family, and we’ve already seen them go at it numerous times this year. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing them go at it again.

Could The Shield have competed in singles competition, but still remain together? Yes, but the WWE doesn’t seem to think that’s ever the right way to go. If a team or faction isn’t teaming up for one common goal, they’re on their way to ending. That’s just how the WWE usually does things.

My second question is was Rollins the right guy? I’m not 100 percent sure about this one. On one hand, Rollins could use the rub and the heat of turning on the hottest faction going right now.

Although he has been given a chance to shine in recent months, Rollins was always sort of seen as the third wheel in the group. While I thought that stigma was unfair and wasn’t an indictment of his obvious talent, sometimes perception can be reality. Having him be the one to turn gives him even more credibility and it may have been needed.

On the other hand, maybe Dean Ambrose would fit the role better because he’s such a natural heel. As talented as Rollins is, I believe Ambrose has more potential as a heel than he does. But that’s just my opinion. I don’t think you could have really gone wrong with either one.

I don’t think Reigns would have been the best choice because he has big-time babyface written all over him. You don’t cut that short.

My third questions is what now? What now for The Shield? Do Reigns and Ambrose move on with just the two of them? Do they add a third member? Or do they disband the group all together, so that Triple H gets his wish.

Adding a third member runs the risk of diluting the group. When the NOW was Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, it was pretty awesome. When it went further than that it got diluted.

The group will never quite be the same without Rollins. The Shield was about a brotherhood amongst those three on and off screen and I don’t know how you toss in a third member without there being some weirdness to it. You can’t duplicate the chemistry those three had together.

With all of that said, it may be best to disband the group.

What now for Evolution? I guess the group keeps on trucking with Rollins as the point man for the future? Who do they go against? Do they against anyone? Time will tell, but I’m looking forward to see what Rollins can do in more singles competition from here on. That’s the direction I assume he’s going in.

Finally, some sort of resolution to WWE World Heavyweight Champion situation

After weeks and weeks of the old song and dance routine, we finally have some sort of resolution to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship situation.

Stephanie McMahon announced Monday that if WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan is able to compete at Money in the Bank at the end of the month, then he will defend the title against Kane in a stretcher match.

But if Bryan is unable to compete at the event, then his title will go up for grabs in a Money in the Bank ladder match, which will mark the first time the title will be defended in such a manner.

Let me make this quite clear: I love Daniel Bryan and I would love nothing more for him to come back with a clean bill of health and get back into the ring. But I’m also kind of selfish and I don’t necessarily want to see him go against Kane again.

Instead of another Bryan-Kane match, I’d much rather see the WWE World Heavyweight Championship defended for the first time in a Money in the Bank ladder match.

Again, this is nothing against Bryan. If he could come back next week, I would welcome it. Call me crazy, but watching him go up against Kane again just doesn’t get me ready to run to the WWE Network to watch it. The Money in the Bank ladder match, however, does.

Batista quits the WWE

Remember when I said Rollins was taking Batista’s place in Evolution? That’s because Batista had enough Triple H’s plans and going up against The Shield, so he decided to quit Evolution and the company.

Batista cited empty promises for his primary reason for leaving. In realty, Batista is more than likely taking time off to help promote his movie that’s coming out later this summer titled Guardians of the Galaxy.

This would mark the second time in four years Batista quit the company. This opened the door for Triple H to somehow add Rollins to the faction.

John Cena plays the moral compass. Again.

While Stephanie McMahon was addressing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship situation, John Cena thought it would be a good time to set her straight.

To make a long story short, Cena told McMahon that she should put her personal feelings for Bryan to the side and allow things to be just business when it came to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

McMahon wasn’t having any of that and booked Cena to face Kane in match. McMahon then had a pretty cool line to end her promo, but it can’t necessarily be repeated here. We’re a PG web site, you guys.

Kane came out attempted to pummel Cena by ignoring the referee’s five count and getting disqualified. He then attempted to tombstone Cena on the steel steps, but Cena managed to escape and then proceeded to chuck the steps at Kane.

Cena was escorted away by a gang of officials, but Kane sat up and expressed his anger by destroying some things at ringside.

I sincerely hope we’re not in store for a potential Cena-Kane feud in the near future.

The Wyatts, The Usos have a great match

Luke Harper and Erick Rowan went up against The Usos Monday night and put on a great match, in my opinion.

This probably shouldn’t be a surprise given that all four guys know how to put on an entertaining match.

The Wyatts winning the match should mean a future shot at the WWE Tag Team Championships some time soon as well, but I’m not sure if like champions losing non-title matches, even if it is to a team as strong as Harper and Rowan.

Luke Harper is a great talker

I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. Harper has the potential to be a big star because of his work in the ring and his ability to talk. He really seems to have that character down to a tee and it shows when cut his promo Monday night without Bray Wyatt in the room.

I figured that Wyatt would be off television for a couple of weeks to give Harper a chance to shine on the microphone more, which is something I would have been alright with.

The WWE apparently doesn’t feel the same way, as Wyatt will be on Smackdown this week.

Hornswoggle plays the role of Buckwheat

Poor Hornswoggle. He had his head shaved Sunday night after losing to El Torito and was then forced to play the role of Buckwheat Monday by donning an afro wig.

Maybe Hornswoggle wasn’t Buckwheat per say, but since he’s white we can say he played Buckwhite from the hilarious sitcom Martin.

Eventually, Hornswoggle had his 1970s wig ripped off his head only to show the mangled mess known as his hair now. It must have sucked for him to walk around looking like that for the last 24 hours.

Damien Sandow, Bo Dallas troll Indiana

Both Damien Sandow and Bo Dallas trolled the fans in Indianapolis by making fun of the Indiana Pacers, who were just eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Miami Heat for the third consecutive year and in the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year.

Sandow accomplished this by walking out in a Lance Stephenson, which wasn’t met by a ton of approval from the Indianapolis fans and talked about how much better the Heat were than the Pacers, especially LeBron James. After showing off what he called his basketball skills, he was knocked out by Big Show. I think we’ve seen that before.

In the very next segment, Dallas cut a promo before his match with Kofi Kingston where he ripped the Pacers as well.

Don’t worry, people of Indianapolis. The Colts are only a couple of months away. For now, you can partake in Indiana Fever games.

No on interrupts Rusev's ceremony

Rusev received a medal from Russia for his bravery in defeating Big E at Payback. My only problem with this segment was that it was begging for someone to run and interrupt the proceedings, but no one did.

Everyone apparently just sat in the back and watched Rusev have confetti fall on him. At least that’s what we’re supposed to believe. I think that segment was tailor made for someone to run down and ruin the ceremony.

Cody Rhodes is bad at picking tag team partners

At Payback Sunday night, Cody Rhodes told his brother Goldust that he deserved a better tag team partner after the duo lost to RybAxel.

I guess Rhodes took it upon himself to find his brother a tag team partner, but ended up deciding on Sin Cara.

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Rhodes did that purposely.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
About this blog
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.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
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