Monday Night RAW HITS and MISSES for 02/17/2014

Editors Note:  Well, you guys didn’t let me down.  I asked for feedback, and I got a ton of it.  You’ve given me a lot of great ideas, which I will now shamelessly rip off, and call my own.  Go ahead, sue me.  For those who skipped those first four sentences, and would like to send me feedback, suggestions, winning lottery numbers, insider stock tips, or NSFW pictures of your wives, please feel free to do so at [email protected]  I’d say god bless you, but I didn’t sneeze.

Monday Night RAW HITS:

Cesaro Swing on John Cena - Photo Credit: WWE.com

Cesaro Swing on John Cena – Photo Credit: WWE.com

Antonio Cesaro vs. John Cena: To steal borrow a phrase from friend of Chinlock The Iron Sheik, Antonio Cesaro is the f***ing real.  If this match isn’t included on every single “Best of RAW” set going forward, it’s an absolute crime.  I know a lot of people are upset out there concerning the outcome of the match, and John Cena picking up the win.  You’re right, he doesn’t need it, and Cesaro could have benefited from it.  But I think you’re all barking up the wrong tree.  What matters here is Cesaro not only hung with John Cena in a premiere match on RAW, but thrived.  That’s what’s important here.  Aside from his match on Smackdown with Randy Orton last week, when has Cesaro looked this good?  We all know he IS that good, but when has he truly been given the opportunity to show it?  And, let’s face it.  This isn’t the first time WWE has had John Cena enter into a pay-per-view main event with a strong win on the RAW leading up to the pay-per-view.  So the finish doesn’t bother me, at all.  As a matter of fact, I actually expected and appreciate the finish.  The real story is in the match.  Cesaro demonstrated an absolutely ridiculous amount of power in hitting his Superplex, the gut-wrench suplex, the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, and just generally throwing Cena around in a way we see very rarely, if ever.  The match kept a great pace, and told a magnificent story.  Zeb Coutler’s presence at ringside was minimal, but effective, and the focus remained on two premiere WWE athletes getting it done.  You’re doing yourself a disservice by not going out of your way to see this match.  YouTube, WWE.com, DVR, time machine, I don’t care.  Make it happen.

Christian vs. Daniel Bryan: Aside from being interrupted by what seemed like 15 commercial breaks (see below), this was a hot opening match on RAW.  Christian showed an aggressive side which felt fresh, and welcomed, and Daniel Bryan sold well, and his routine spots were used effectively.  As hot as Bryan was a few weeks ago, some damage has been done to his character (whether intentionally, or not) as he doesn’t feel as hot as he did a few weeks ago as we lead into the Elimination Chamber.  That said, this match was a hit on a RAW that saw very little of any significance happen.

Zeb Coulter’s Antics: Although the match between 3MB and Big E Langston was a miss (see below), I enjoyed Zeb Coutler’s live cut-ins on the house mic.  They just added a bit of flavour to what was otherwise a train wreck.  It’s really hard to imagine that this character would have gotten over the way it has, especially in the past few weeks, but it has really caught on in a babyface kind of way.  Shocking, really.

RAW Commentary Team.  Photo Credit: WWE.com

RAW Commentary Team. Photo Credit: WWE.com

Road Dogg on Commentary: “Hey, where’s the guy who sang ‘With My Baby Tonight’?  That’s who I want to talk to.”  — laugh out loud funny.  JBL was excellent on commentary through-out the night, as well, markedly jabbing at Michael Cole several times throughout the night.

 

Monday Night RAW MISSES

RAW is Commercial: Maybe it was just me, but it felt like there were 100 commercials breaks during RAW last night.  I found it really difficult to get invested in anything because everything felt like they were in a real hurry to get absolutely nowhere.  Unless the match went under 3 minutes, every single match was interrupted by a commercial break.  Again, very difficult to get into the flow of a match, and the story told, when Cena/Cesaro are tearing the house down, and then I’m subjected to Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercials, and tampon ads.

RAW is Replay: There were less replays of last week’s RAW in this episode.  But we saw several re-hashed angles play live in front of our eyes.  Santino/Emma vs. Fandango/Summer Rae took a very minor step forward (if you missed it, you missed nothing) and did nothing to further Emma’s introduction at all.  The Wyatt Family and The Shield had an identical stare down as they did last week (which was effective for the live crowd, but not so effective for this viewer at home).  Randy Orton opening the show, saying the same thing he has said week-in and week-out felt like a repeat as well.  If you missed this RAW, all you have to do is go back and watch one match (Cesaro/Cena), and you’ve seen everything worth going out of your way to see.  A note to WWE.  3-hours is a MAJOR commitment to ask of your fans to make every single week.  You need to start making things worth going out of people’s way to see if you expect them to stay tune for the duration, or even the majority, of the show.

Big E vs. 3MB: This match was just sloppy.  Big E nearly dropped Drew MacIntyre right on Jinder Mahal’s face when doing his belly-to-belly, amongst several other “excitable rookie” mistakes.  Sometimes taking your time, and slowly things down, is better.

Titus O’Neil: Perhaps this is why they didn’t immediately follow up with the Prime Time Players break-up the following week on RAW.  O’Neil’s promo here, with Renee Young, was cringe worthy.  Titus, my friend, that bark has gotta go.  The same sound a dog makes when in heat is not going to catch on with the masses.

Bad News Barrett: SUCKS. WWE, I’ve got some bad news.  After a week reprieve (THANK YOU), the sound you heard in the 5th quarter of RAW was the sound of 3.5 million people changing the channel as Bad News Barrett returned to RAW.  It’s bad enough you had two of your most consistent and entertaining wrestlers (Goldust and Cody Rhodes) in a segment where they’re playing with action figures, and that be their only segment on the show.  You “sweetened” the deal by adding the only wrestler who has had more gimmick revamps than Brutis Beefcake/The Barber/The Booty Man/The Zodiak Man/The Man With No Name/Brother Bruti (and all of which have been equally as successful).  Please end this inside joke now.