Mike Tedesco’s RAW Thoughts
September 10, 2014
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
I apologize for getting this up on Wednesday instead of Tuesday like I originally said. We all have busy lives, and mine certainly gets busier once September hits, so there you go. I could have posted last a thoughts column last week, but the show was just so god awful that I just didn’t want to sit down for about forty minutes to relieve it. Mercifully, this show was much, much better.
The season premiere of RAW, which is really just a marketing gimmick to make people think it’s a really important episode so they don’t watch football, kicked off with the final battle between Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt in a cage match. It’s funny – I had such high hopes for this match up over the summer, but it just failed to live up to the hype. The angle at the beginning at the end of June was awesome, but it failed to keep traction after that. The promo-work from both men was, surprisingly, underwhelming. The story was hard to follow. There was no real clear-cut issue between the two. I thought it would elevate Wyatt even more and keep him fresh in the main event scene, but that didn’t happen. I don’t think of him as a potential main eventer as things stand right now, especially with the way they jobbed him out to John Cena so Cena could save face after SummerSlam. They had one rough match at WWE Battleground and one decent match at SummerSlam. After Wyatt defeated him at SummerSlam, there wasn’t much said about the rivalry. Then all of a sudden it was announced last week that they were meeting in a Cage Match.
The blow-off was the best match the two had. I found the cage match to be incredibly entertaining. It was hard-hitting, fast paced, and fun. There were a lot of fun moments, and Wyatt looked really good through most of it. Jericho did a lot of selling for him. In the end, Jericho had him down and was climbing out of the cage, but Harper and Rowan stopped him. Jericho then did a really impressive (because of his age) cross-body off the top of the cage. This is where they got creative. Jericho sold it like he had completely blown out his knee. Jericho could have won, but he was really slow as he was limping to the cage door. Wyatt stopped him from leaving, and they had a little scuffle until Wyatt essentially fell out of the cage for the win. Wyatt then attacked the knee after the match, initially leading me to think this was Jericho’s farewell for a bit, but events that happened later in the night changed that.
I really enjoyed the segment with Dolph Ziggler exposing The Miz’ leaked photos, a play off the scandal of celebrities having their personal devices hacked and sensitive pictures being leaked. The first two were ok, but I found it strange that Ziggler was making fun of The Miz for shaving his chest when Ziggler’s chest is free from any hair. Maybe he was criticizing him for not waxing? The Miz came out and threatened that he would see to it that Ziggler never worked in “this town” again. Ziggler then showed the last one, which was a really funny picture of a naked Miz (with a censored rear end) being spray tanned by Damien Sandow. Miz sent Sandow (or Mizdow) into the ring, but Ziggler quickly took him down.
The Miz has been fantastic with this new character. He’s the kind of heel WWE actually needs more of. He’s not afraid to take a beating and run for the hills as a coward. I think we see way too many heels in WWE not wanting to be that. They all want to be the Scott Hall/Kevin Nash nWo cool heels, but that act gets played out if too many do that. We need more heels to swallow their pride and be more cowardly.
The tag match with the Divas was just ok. Rosa Mendes wasn’t atrocious like she was last week, but that’s not really saying much. They still don’t trust her in the ring, not that they should. When AJ forcibly tagged in (they were teasing that both teams had issues since no one wanted to tag their partner in), she basically put the Black Widow on Mendes in a way that she wouldn’t be able to screw up or lose her balance. It was kind of funny to watch to be honest. AJ and Paige then furthered the story that both are playing mind games with each other. They both kissed the title, though I’m not sure how that is a mind game.
I enjoyed the next segment with Paul Heyman and John Cena. Heyman – surprise, surprise – continues to be the best in the business (and possibly one of the best in history) with his promos. People want to boo Cena and cheer Lesnar, but he finds ways to turn it around and make them do the exact opposite every week. This week, Heyman tried to goad Cena into turning heel, as that will be the only way he can beat Lesnar. Cena has to be ruthless and not care about the fans. Cena then cut a really passionate promo about the Make-A-Wish kids he’s seen and the wounded veterans that call him their hero and why they are the reason he will never go to the dark side. Cena was great with his delivery and sounded like he was legitimately getting choked up as he spoke about these people. Cena then challenged Heyman to a fight next week. If Lesnar is there, he’ll fight him. If it’s only Heyman, then he’ll fight Heyman. Of course, they announced later in the show that Lesnar would be there next week. I’m interested to see how that goes.
One interesting thing coming out of that segment was John Cena mentioning that The Undertaker got beat by Lesnar and hasn’t been heard from since whereas a week later, he was already getting a rematch with Lesnar. It sounded like Cena was showing up Undertaker and almost calling him a coward for staying away and licking his wounds. I don’t know if it’s something or nothing. I just found it interesting and want to see it developed a bit.
Sheamus took on Seth Rollins in a match that was just ok. I think it could have been better. Cesaro came out for a distraction that caused Sheamus to lose. Rollins then hit a Curb Stomp on Sheamus that was completely mistimed. Cesaro then attacked Sheamus after the match. I’m really looking forward to seeing Sheamus and Cesaro square off at the PPV.
Lana and Rusev were out to criticize Baltimore for being the city in which Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star Spangled Banner.” They then stood there as the Russian national anthem was played. I got a kick out of it, but I was left wondering where in the world Mark Henry was to stop that. It just happened and then they went to something else.
I got a big kick out of seeing Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, and Tyler Breeze make their main roster debuts. Tyson Kidd was there as well, but he’s been around for a bit. NXT is one of my favorite things to watch every week. I’ve been watching religiously every week since I got my WWE Network subscription back in February. It was really great to see them finally make it onto the main roster. I think Sami Zayn is ready. Maybe he needs a little tweak to his character, but he’s ready. The fans were pretty receptive to all the men, but it was clear that not everyone is familiar with NXT or gave them much of a chance since they’re not established names. Still, the match was a fun showcase, and I’m looking forward to the live special tomorrow.
What followed was another absolutely terrible segment with The Bella Twins that was the start to the routinely terrible third hour of the show. Jerry Springer was there to have an intervention with them, and they did Springer Show graphics and such. I think this was entertaining only in the writing room where they write for the audience of one, or in this case two, since Stephanie McMahon is involved. This was so brutal and just kept going on and on. Brie, the face, was made to look bad again as the mother told her to just get over the issue with Nikki. They then had a brawl that saw Springer fall over and get injured. It was just all around bad.
In normal circumstances, after one terrible segment, they wouldn’t do any more segments and just maybe do one or two quick backstage segments. Jericho and Wyatt comes to mind, as they didn’t do much after disappointing returns on their interactions. However, since Stephanie McMahon is involved, it continues to get put in prime spots at the top of the hour, even though the segments and results don’t merit the placement. Stephanie has to save face. They need to prioritize this show better. If it’s not working, it’s not working. It’s nothing personal. Cut your losses and move on.
The final hour just dragged on and on. Goldust and Stardust beat Los Matadores in a “whatever” match that saw The Usos attack them after. Then Adam Rose beat Titus O’Neil after The Bunny got involved again.
Finally the main event rolled around, however we were treated to one more piece of bad writing with Roman Reigns’ promo. Yes, he still has a few months before he needs to be ready for WrestleMania, if that is still the plan, but they’ll kill him dead with these terrible promos they keep writing for him. “Oh he’s got the venom, but I’ve got the antidote.” This isn’t a Harrison Ford movie where the good guy always has to have a cute little line.
The main event was well done and went through two commercial breaks. It didn’t really get hot until the end, and then Kane and Seth Rollins ran down for the save. They all attacked Reigns in a decent little brawl, and then they brought the cage down. Reigns cleared the ring of Rollins and Kane before the cage lowered so he was alone in the cage with Orton. Reigns hit a weak-looking spear on Orton before being taken out by an impressive cross-body block from Rollins off the top of the cage. It looked good, but I had to wonder why they did that when Jericho did the same move earlier in the night. Rollins then led the attack on Reigns and gave him a Curb Stomp onto the chair. We’re finally going to get the Rollins vs. Reigns match. Reigns needs to be away from title matches or even references to wanting it for a little bit so the audience can want to see him get his shot. The beat down was a good way to end the show.
Bump of the Night: Jericho’s cross-body off the top of the cage!
Match of the Night: Jericho vs. Wyatt *** 1/2
Final Rating: *** 1/4
Check out my recap of this week’s RAW here. Be sure to check out my Smackdown recap this Friday!
Thanks for reading!
Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE RAW and Smackdown for Wrestleview.com.