The string of really good Raws ended tonight. I didn’t like the booking or the emphasis placed on certain programs.
Daniel Bryan’s wedding present.
I sort of wondered if Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella got married at the wrong time. Bryan wins the title at WrestleMania, is part of the Shield angle to face Evolution, and then misses the next week. Rather than there being a kayfabe reason for him to leave the show, they quickly said that he and Brie were on their honeymoon and was barely mentioned again.
This week, he came out to open the show and his wife was in the ring for some unknown reason. They did “Yes!” chants in the middle of the ring until Stephanie McMahon came out and said Bryan would face Kane at Extreme Rules. Originally, they were supposed to have that match on this show.
Masked Kane came out and beat the life out of Bryan, hitting the tombstone pile driver on him three times including once on the floor, once on the steps, and once on the table. It’s a helluva way to get a dormant Kane character over I guess, but with only two weeks until Extreme Rules, I’m not sure sending Bryan back on a stretcher was the way to go.
Now, Bryan’s father passed away in real life, so if he needs to take time off, that could be the reason for the angle happening the way it did. But the reality of the situation is this: the Evolution vs. the Shield angle is very much the main event angle for Extreme Rules and for Bryan’s first title defense to not be the main event or the big program already treats him like a secondary champ. Having him face the retread Kane is already booking him to fail.
The same tournament that is setting up the Intercontinental title should’ve been for Bryan’s world belt. And if you really want Kane in that match, put him in the tournament. The way it’s booked now, this is Bryan’s punishment from Steph rather than any true reason for a title match, thus, placing the onus right back on her rather than Bryan. I hope I’m jumping to conclusions here and will allow it to play out, but my Spidey senses are tingling.
The Shield look weak.
Evolution flat out made the Shield look like weak. That doesn’t mean they did anything to undercut their momentum, but after laying them out last week, you would think the booking would make them look a little stronger. Instead, Evolution came out and told their story, including a video package for new fans.
The Shield came through the crowd and each spoke, but Seth Rollins’ portion was way too long and Evolution smirked through it. Roman Reigns challenged them to stay and fight and they didn’t. Instead, they had heels come out and support them while the Shield never attacked, making them look limp.
(This is nit picky, but I didn’t like that they had Rusev and Wade Barrett out there with Evolution. Barrett had just beaten Sheamus in his biggest win in quite some time and had to stand in the back like a secondary character.)
John Cena gets Wyatted.
The WWE App poll match was some version of John Cena vs. the Wyatts. John could either face Harper, Harper and Rowan together, or all three. And of course, the fans voted for all three.
Cena had the upper hand late, but of course he was triple teamed for the DQ win. Bray then hit the Sister Abigail on him and sang, “He’s got the whole world in his hands,” while caressing Cena’s head creepily. That’s how the show ended.
Wade Barrett beats Sheamus.
Barrett beat Sheamus with the Bull Hammer elbow and now looks like he might be the guy facing Big E on Extreme Rules. Cesaro surprisingly lost to RVD after being counted out. Jack Swagger threw him into the post on the outside. So your number one contender’s match is Wade Barrett vs. RVD. I guess the Bad News Barrett stuff did help him.
– The Usos beat Cody Rhodes and Goldust who teased a break up again.
– Paige beat Aksana in a match where Aksana got way too much offense in. And I don’t say that because I think it should’ve been a squash. I say that because Aksana is terrible.
– Rusev beat the fake Sin Cara.
I really disliked this Raw. I thought the segments were flat and the booking has me scratching my head and worrying for the worst.
Also, either we have a main event angle, or we have none. I don’t like that in the last three weeks, a different segment ended the show. John Cena and Bray is a top match, but it shouldn’t be the main event segment. End with the Bryan beat down, or a schmoz between the Shield and Evolution. Go hard with your main event segments, or go home.