Powell's WWE Raw Hitlst: Undertaker, Daniel Bryan, and Kane vs. The Shield, Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho, Mick Foley and Ryback, Fandango
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to my 53-minute audio review of Monday's WWE Raw television show. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page. Recent audio interviews include former WWE creative team member Court Bauer, Matt Hardy, Justin Credible, and Les Thatcher. Plus, the members listen to roughly six hours of exclusive audio content each week.
WWE Raw Hits
The Shield vs. Undertaker, Kane, and Daniel Bryan: It was a treat to see Undertaker in the ring on Raw again. I don't think WWE got as much out of that as they could have because of the lackluster hype, but he certainly held up his end of the bargain by working hard in front of a crowd that adored him. Bryan really shined here, particularly when he was performing his offensive moves on Seth Rollins. It was cool to see The Shield in the ring with Taker, but I don't know if The Shield really gained much by selling for Taker and eventually pinning Bryan.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho: A very good match that kept their rivalry alive before shifting the focus back to Jericho's feud with Fandango. I hope we see Dolph and Jericho feud over the World Hvt. Championship at some point. Meanwhile, it looked like they took the first step toward and eventual Big E Langston turn by having Dolph tell him not to be a creeper. I hope they take their time with that. It would be a lot of fun to see Dolph treat Langston poorly for the next few months only to have Langston win the Money in the Bank contract. There's just no need to rush into a Langston face turn.
Kane and Daniel Bryan skit: It's been a while since Kane and Bryan got a laugh out of me, but this was a lot of fun. Bryan's DDP-like match planning diagrams were great, as was his concern over the prominence of Team Hell No compared to The Brothers of Destruction. Kane played his role nicely and had a fun line of his own about Taker not carrying a cell phone.
Paul Heyman and Triple H: A solid segment with a good buildup for Triple H's appearance. Heyman continues to be the best talker in the business and he effectively made Triple H's appearance feel like a surprise for the live crowd.
Fandango and Chris Jericho: It's always nice to see William Regal even if only for 100 seconds this time around. I like the way they are keeping the Fandango and Jericho feud going. First, Fandango's music caused the distraction that led to Jericho losing, and then Jericho threw Fandango off the stage and then danced with his blonde dancer (Summer Rae). Jericho is working part-time, yet I'm enjoying both of his ongoing programs more than most of the main roster feuds.
Overall show: A solid night, especially considering they didn't have access to the top Smackdown talent due to the house show in Cardiff, Wales that was taking place at the same time Raw was taped. The filler was spread out enough that the show didn't drag nearly as much as most of the three-hour shows have. The live crowd was tame compared to the night after WrestleMania 29 crowd, yet they were still spirited enough to keep things fun.
WWE Raw Misses
Ryback and Mick Foley: This felt too similar to what we saw Foley do with C.M. Punk. It was easy to buy into Foley there because it was the first time. At this point, I found myself agreeing with the Ryback character when he asked Foley why he's getting involved in this. That said, I would like to see a big twist with Foley becoming the mouthpiece for Ryback, who desperately needs one. Ryback is improving on the mic, but he's not ready to hold up his end of the mic work in this rushed main event program with John Cena. By the way, watching Cena run off The Shield singlehandedly and then perform the Attitude Adjustment on Ryback to close the show was too much.
R-Truth vs. Antonio Cesaro: The tired, one dimensional rapping R-Truth pins the yodeling and underutilized Cesaro. I don't get it. There's no upside with Truth. He's been doing the same routine since he was K-Kwik. He's an undercard role player. That's not a shot, it's just the reality of the situation. Meanwhile, Cesaro is a very good worker with main event potential, yet he's been saddled with a cartoonish undercard yodeling act. Awful.
Divas Battle Royal: The idea of a five-person battle royal for a title shot was laughable enough, but the actual match itself was terrible. It's just not that complicated to punch and kick until it's your time to fall through the ropes to be eliminated. I do like the end result of A.J. becoming No. 1 contender.
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