Powell's WWE Raw Hit List: WWE Title held up, Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns, Randy Orton destroys The Miz in front of Mr. and Mrs. Miz, Paul Heyman and Ryback bromance, Big Show punches Dusty Rhodes
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw Hits
WWE Title in abeyance: I don't know if I'd ever even heard the word abeyance until Monday night, so I guess I owe WWE a thank you for expanding my vocabulary. It's a fancy way of saying the title has been held up. I don't think anyone really thought Bryan was going to get out of Raw with the WWE Championship. As predictable as it felt for Hunter to take the strap back, I like the way they held it up rather than give it right back to Orton. WWE also owes a tip of the cap to the Cleveland crowd. I was feeling pretty numb to the title situation coming out of the pay-per-view, but the live crowd was so hot for Daniel Bryan and the entire storyline that it created a really good atmosphere that made everything feel more important.
Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns: A good main event with Bryan facing the enforcer of The Shield. This was a big night for Reigns, who is clearly protected by working with a partner(s) who can handle the heavy lifting. Reigns performed well and working with one of the best wrestlers in the world clearly made his job a little easier. Reigns appears to have made a lot of progress in the ring and he could have a bright singles career once The Shield run concludes.
Randy Orton attacks The Miz: I like the story that was told that resulted in Orton becoming cold and ruthless again rather than just a guy who was hiding behind Triple H. The attack in front of Miz's parents was very effective.
Paul Heyman and Ryback: An absolutely hysterical yet also heat generating segment. I didn't think I would laugh any louder than I did when Heyman referred to Ryback as a "big beautiful man" but I did just moments later when he planted the kiss on Ryback's cheek. I don't know if we'll see them on camera together, but I would love to see the man love continue long enough to get one shot of Brock Lesnar's reaction to it.
Big Show punches Dusty Rhodes: Rhodes was good but frankly we've heard much better from him over the years. He seemed to have lost touch with the common man when he spoke about people struggling to pay their lawn service and rental cars. Stephanie McMahon actually impressed me more during the verbal exchange, as she is cast perfectly as power flaunting and manipulative. Big Show being forced to punch Rhodes was really well done, though I hope we get a break from the blubbering.
Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler: A minor Hit for a good television match that reignited their feud a night after Ambrose pinned Ziggler clean.
The Uso Brothers become No. 1 contenders: The Uso Brothers and The Real Americans worked really well together once Tons of Funk were eliminated from the tag team three-way match. It's a shame that The Real Americans are stuck in a tough spot because the tag champions are heels. Jack Swagger looks motivated and Antonio Cesaro is always very good. Fortunately, The Uso's work well with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Here's hoping they end up having a real feud rather than simply being the tag team challengers of the month.
Miz's Dad: Enough said.
WWE Raw Misses
Naomi, Cameron, and Brie Bella vs. Layla, Alicia Fox, and Aksana: Another throwaway Divas match that seemed to happen only so A.J. Lee and Natalya could have their verbal exchange. It is worth noting that Bryan and Brie had a public display of affection on Raw. Their relationship has been chronicled throughout Total Divas and I was wondering whether it would make it's way to Raw. My guess is that this was the setup for the eventual story with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon tormenting the apparently now babyface Brie Bella to punish Bryan.
Rob Van Dam vs. Damien Sandow: I'm fine with RVD getting a squash match win on Raw, but he could have plowed through countless guys on the roster. I hate the way the winner of the Smackdown version of Money in the Bank goes on to lose way more matches than they win once they have the briefcase in their possession. I realize that WWE officials believe the MITB winner can have all those losses essentially erased if they cash in successfully, but it's not like that approach did wonders for Dolph Ziggler last year.
Fandango vs. R-Truth: It's no secret that Vince McMahon was crazy about the Fandango character at one time. Unfortunately, it appears Vince never bothered to think of anything beyond the basic idea that Fandango is a ballroom dancing wrestler. I continue to see more in Johnny Curtis than being an undercard dancing character. The act is stale and they need to find a way to breathe new life into it.
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