Hits & Misses 4/21 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Kane Destroys Bryan, Barrett vs. Sheamus, Evolution - Shield, RVD vs. Cesaro, Cena - Wyatts
Apr 23, 2014 - 1:56:49 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialist
Kane Destroys Bryan: My condolences go out to Bryan Danielson and his family. You could tell how emotional he was when he came out to start Raw. I'm going to judge this just for what it was on the surface without trying to judge whether or not Bryan should have been on, or what might have happened under other circumstances. WWE needed to do something to recreate the monster Kane. The way he attacked and destroyed Bryan was very memorable. This should cast doubt on Bryan's ability to successfully defend the WWE World Title at Extreme Rules. It also gives Bryan a reason to want revenge on Kane. Stephanie McMahon was good in her role was well. I do have a concern that this was such a huge beating that Bryan should be out of action for several weeks. The next time he's on, in order to actually sell this three tombstone beating, he should be in a wheel chair. We'll see what happens.
Barrett vs. Sheamus: This was definitely the highlight of the night from an in ring stand point. Bad News Barrett and Sheamus had the best match of the night. I was assuming that Cesaro would win his Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender Tournament match, and that WWE wouldn't do a heel vs. heel final, I thought Sheamus would win. But, I thought Barrett should win, so it was good to see him pick up the big win here. The two of these guys work well together. They put on a really good match that went back and forth with some nice nearfalls that the live crowd bought into. I'm not a fan of the Bull Hammer elbow as a finishing move, but Barrett is doing a nice job of getting it over.
Bray Wyatt's Promo: I continue to not be a fan of the feud between John Cena and The Wyatt Family. It seemed to me that WWE failed to tell the story that they wanted to heading into WrestleMania of Bray trying to unleash the monster in Cena. That was the story they told in that match, and they are doing a better job of telling the story coming out of the match than they did heading into it. I didn't really like the whole voting angle this week (more later), but Bray's performances on his own promos are still so compelling that I have to give it a Hit despite it being part of a larger program that I'm not into at the moment.
Los Matadores vs. 3MB: This is really such a small part of the show, I might just ignore it, but I think there are many better ways of taking up time on Raw than with a feud between El Torito and Hornswoggle. I could probably say the same thing about having two snake sock puppets make out.
Evolution - Shield Exchange: First of all Triple H, if you can barely talk, you probably shouldn't try to talk. While the idea of having a video recapping the history of Evolution, it is odd to me that they are showing clips of Ric Flair in the original group without acknowledging him otherwise as part of the group or asking what he thinks about the group reforming without him. The mic work from Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista was not what I would call inspired, or particularly good. The mic work from the members of The Shield was better. It wasn't great, but it was good. I like that they all have their own voice. I liked how they talked about getting knocked down, but not out. It was interesting how Seth Rollins tried to sow seeds of dissension in Evolution saying that each member of the group is really only out for himself. After the talking when The Shield went after Evolution, Evolution once again out smarted The Shield. I'm worried that Evolution is going to constantly be one step ahead during the entire feud.
Rhodes Bros.: WWE had something very good going last year and early this year with The Rhodes Brothers. Their team was having great performances and the fans were really getting behind them. Shortly after losing their Tag Titles to The New Age Outlaws, they practically turned into jobbers. Instead of being in more of a spotlight match at WrestleMania as part of the Tag Title match, they were lost in the shuffle of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Now that they have absolutely no momentum as a team, WWE is teasing a possible break up between Cody Rhodes and Goldust. That makes no sense to me. You want the team to be hot with the crowd before breaking them up, so that the fans care about the break up.
RVD vs. Cesaro: This match started off off. Rob Van Cam and Cesaro seemed to be having trouble gelling early on. They worked better together as the match continued, but it also continued at a pretty slow pace. I really had trouble getting into the match. It did pick up eventually. It did start to build and improve as it moved towards the ending, so I had hope that the match would not be a Miss. However, the ending that it was building to was very poor. I assumed Cesaro would win the entire tournament. I'm guessing now that it will be Barrett and that this was setting up a rematch between Cesaro and RVD. But, the ending with Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter coming out and getting into it with Cesaro and Paul Heyman was bad. I get that they want to protect Cesaro, but having RVD win in such a cheap way with the count out after Swagger attacked Cesaro from behind didn't really work for me. The whole heel wrestler / manager vs. heel wrestler / manager dynamic isn't working for me either.
Paige vs. Aksana: Paige is a good worker, but she needs better workers than Aksana to have good matches. I'm ok with the story that WWE is telling for Paige, that she has to prove that her win over AJ Lee two weeks ago wasn't a fluke. However, she also needs to just establish herself with the larger WWE audience who aren't familiar with her from NXT. She also needs a chance to establish her character with those fans. WWE hasn't given her that chance. And having her face someone with as little talent as Aksana isn't going to help her look impressive in the ring. Also, Aksana is so low on the Divas totem pole, that Paige should have very little trouble defeating her. Instead, Aksana got in the majority of the offense, making Paige look weak. Paige should have won easier. If you want her to continue to look vulnerable, then there are Divas who could be used for this effect, but Aksana isn't one of them.
Cena - Wyatt Vote: I wish the announcers had done a better job of explaining who had set up this WWE App Vote and why. Was it The Authority? Was it Brad Maddox? And why? They are really driving home the point that the fans are turning on Cena, but this is nothing new. The reactions he's getting in this feud against The Wyatts is the same he's gotten against every opponent for several years. It makes me feel like like I'm missing something. And the idea that Cena's actual fans would vote for the three-on-one handicap match so that Cena can get his hands on Bray Wyatt whom he has already defeated and will get in a one-on-one steel cage match in two weeks is just ridiculous. He's already gotten his hands on Wyatt and is about to again, so why put him in jeopardy like this? The only reason to vote for that option is that you want to see Cena beat up and to pretend that there was another reason was stupid.
The actual main event wasn't very good. For a three-on-one handicap match that was mostly one sided with Cena getting in very little offense throughout, it really dragged on and on, going 14 minutes. It was too long and got boring. The ending was pretty predictable. I think they are trying to sell the idea that Cena is finally going to snap on the fans for the way that they voted, putting him in such a terrible situation, but I doubt it will happen. I don't think they are ready to turn Cena heel yet. Also, I could be wrong, but it seemed to me that this crowd was less into The Wyatts than other recent crowds. It didn't sound to me that there were a lot of fans singing along with him, so I think they failed to get the live reaction they were hoping for.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com's WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell's views to mine by visiting prowrestling.NET's "Hitlist" section here.
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