Powell's WWE Raw Hit List: Daniel Bryan and The Authority, The Shield vs. Bryan, John Cena, and Sheamus, Bray Wyatt followup from his big Royal Rumble match, The New Age Outlaws vs. Goldust and Cody Rhodes
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw Hits
Daniel Bryan and The Authority: There was no way WWE could eliminate all of the negativity that was generated when Bryan failed to enter and win the Royal Rumble, but they did a pretty damn good job of addressing the situation and moving forward. I love the way Bryan finally stood up for himself. He wasn't just smiling and happy to be there for once. It left me wondering if this will somehow lead to Bryan vs. Triple H at WrestleMania. I know C.M. Punk was rumored for the match with Hunter, but Bryan is the one with the long term storyline issues with Hunter. Furthermore, they could throw pacify the Bryan fans in attendance by having Hunter promise Bryan a no nonsense WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules if he beats him at WrestleMania 30. Keep in mind that Extreme Rules will reportedly be held Bryan's home area of Seattle, Washington. I still feel the right move for the company was Bryan winning the Royal Rumble and going on to win the title at WrestleMania 30, but the key is that WWE gave Bryan fans hope by putting him in the Elimination Chamber. By the way, I got a big kick out of Triple H mocking the Bryan fans with baby talk, and Stephanie McMahon played her part very well. The power couple is so much better when they are straight up heels compared to when they try to be mysterious with the shades of gray nonsense.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman: I have no idea where they are going with Lesnar demanding a match against Batista or Randy Orton and deeming himself the No. 1 contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but I am intrigued. Is it as simple as Lesnar entering the Chamber? Lesnar vs. Batista at the Elimination Chamber show would probably lead to another night of Batista being booed since the show will be held in Minneapolis.
The Real Americans vs. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara: A minor Hit. Zeb Colter's simple slap to the face of Jack Swagger grabbed attention and the right team went over here. Was anyone surprised to see the Sin Cara character on WWE television despite the original Sin Cara claiming he has ownership rights to the character that was created for him by WWE?
The Uso Brothers vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback: A minor Hit for keeping the Uso's momentum going.
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz: A very minor Hit. I got the feeling that everyone outside the city of Cleveland had a hard time caring about this being dubbed The Battle of Cleveland, but at least they tried to give it a little hook. The match was solid and the live crowd bought in as they watched their hometown guys.
WWE Raw Misses
Daniel Bryan, John Cena, and Sheamus vs. The Shield: It was smart to have Cena come to Bryan's defense and then team with him in the main event, as it prevented the Bryan fans from really turning on Cena like they did at the Rumble. The match was entertaining and Roman Reigns was showcased nicely following his big night at the Rumble. The negative is that the finish of the match was so weak that I kept waiting for Triple H or one of the other 25 authority figures to walk out and say that the babyfaces trio wasn't getting in the Elimination Chamber that way. The whole thing felt anticlimactic and I wonder if we'll get a rematch on Raw next week. It also set up the possibility of The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family for Elimination Chamber with the idea being that The Shield blame The Wyatts.
Bray Wyatt: I expected so much more for Wyatt since he was coming off the best and most important match of his main roster career. I found it odd that Daniel Bryan was talking about the match quality when his character actually lost the match. Wyatt truly shined at the Royal Rumble and WWE didn't do nearly enough to spotlight that for the Raw audience. Yes, the Wyatt Family was out during the main event segment, but they simply caused the DQ and were run off quickly by Daniel Bryan, John Cena, and Sheamus.
The New Age Outlaws vs. Goldust and Cody Rhodes: A flat match. Goldust and Cody have been among the highlights of Raw since they started teaming. I liked the Outlaws back in the day, but they are really dragging Goldust and Cody down. It could change if the Outlaws would actually play true heels. Road Dogg played the part during the match, but why are they still doing their babyface entrance routine? And if Brock Lesnar wanted to end a message to Triple H, wouldn't he go after his friends rather than the former tag champions?
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston: This was a tale of two halves. The pre-commercial break portion of the match completely lost the live crowd to the point that they amused themselves by chanting for JBL and Jerry Lawler. To the credit of the wrestlers, they maintained their poise and got the fans to buy into the near falls. Nevertheless, WWE has to do something to breathe some life into Del Rio, and it would be nice if they would finally do more with Kingston, who gained nothing from his non-title win over Randy Orton. By the way, does anyone know why Del Rio is obsessed with Batista?
R-Truth vs. Fandango: Fandango beat Xavier Woods last week in short order and it left me feeling like there was a chance that they might do more with Fandango going forward. Instead, he comes back this week and loses to R-Truth in a throwaway match. It appears that Vince McMahon got bored with the Fandango toy he was so excited about at this time last year.
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