Monday Night RAW HITS:
The Shield vs. The Wyatts – WWE can do no wrong with either of these factions right now. Both groups are on fire, and turn everything they touch into gold. WWE chose the right finish here, leaving all teams, including Evolution, looking very strong. The beatdown of The Shield by Evolution and the Wyatts closed the show strong, and left me with a strong desire to see more from all three teams. Well done, WWE.
20-Man Battle Royal – I was disappointed WWE didn’t decide to go with some fresh blood holding the US Championship, but in this case, Sheamus does do a lot to elevate the championship’s importance. Dean Ambrose did not need the US Championship anymore, and was actually weighing him down. As a 3-man group, the Shield is currently at it’s most effective, and a separate singles feud over than championship would feel like a step in the wrong direction for Ambrose. And what we got to crowd a new champion was a fun television battle royal. Not a bad way to refresh the championship, or it’s former and now current holders.
Antonio Cesaro vs. RVD – Cesaro’s character took another step towards being more developed, showing great aggression and anger towards RVD throughout this match, eventually leading to his disqualification. Unfortunately, unless your name is CM Punk or Brock Lesnar (two gentleman who were already very well established with WWE fans), being Paul Heyman guy hasn’t exactly lead to a huge career boost if you haven’t got the goods to back it up (Curtis Axel/Ryback). Cesaro has the ability to become a huge breakout star, and this was another step in the right direction. RVD seems to be extra motivated, as well, since returning a few weeks ago. A motivated and confident Rob Van Dam is very valuable to WWE.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Daniel Bryan – Bryan needs a series of wins against credible opponents, and Del Rio is a good start. Bryan has been effective in being the underdog in his matches, and this was no exception. I could have done without the silliness leading up to and after the match (see below), but taken away from that, this was a good 15 minute television match that satisfied my need for high quality wrestling.
Zeb Coulter’s Deportation List – Laugh out loud funny. The rest of the segment was a dud, but his reasoning for wanting to deport people had me in stitches.
Monday Night RAW MISSES:
Kane/Brie Bella/Daniel Bryan silliness –This was sports entertainment dreck at its most embarrassing. A hidden camera in Daniel Bryan’s car? Kane mysteriously showing up in the back seat? Brie Bella screaming like she was auditioning for I Don’t What You Did Last Summer 17? Ugh, just so much bad here. This is the type of stuff that could easily derail Daniel Bryan’s World Championship run. I’m having a hard time thinking of anything WCW did in its final year that was even this bad (although I’m sure there are plenty of examples that will fill up my inbox tonight, and that’s the reason I love you guys so much).
Adam Rose debut – Colour me disappointed. I was REALLY looking forward to Adam Rose’s main roster debut. Perhaps it was the way it came off on TV, but it felt really, really flat. It’s such a shame, too, because his entrance, and persona, are of my favourites on NXT. Then again, so was Emma’s. Oh, poor Emma.
Alexander Rusev vs. Kofi Kingston – Another NXT guy I had higher hopes for. Rusev isn’t connecting for me on the main roster. Lana is hot, and the character has roots in the right direction. But so far, I have not been impressed with what I’ve seen. It’s hard to connect with a character that has little for me to invest in. A Russian/Bulgarian monster should be attacking people I care about, and making a statement. Not ridding the Earth of career mid-carders like Kofi Kingston, and R-Truth. Really he’s doing me a favour, in that case. Is be supposed to be an ironic babyface?