Monday Night RAW has come and gone.
What makes it stand out from WWE's usual weekly offering is that it served as the organization's final flagship program before WrestleMania 30, which is significant in its number, as well as its place on the WWE Network, which has a good chance of imploding if everyone logs on at once.
Unfortunately, RAW was not well received by the masses, and drew a C- from our own General Mrosko. I thought it served its purpose well, since it was designed as a "go-home" show, but suffered in its delivery, due largely in part to a three-hour broadcast that has to keep everyone safe until the weekend.
Here's a look at what happened (videos), along with our expected reaction:
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. winner of Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H.
Orton and Batista closed the show by wrestling to an inconclusive finish, Bryan ran in at the last minute to beat the shit out of Trips with a kendo stick and the show went off the air with the crowd -- just like it has for months -- following along with the YES! chant.
I'll hate Triple H and WWE if "The Game" wins. Really hate him.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt:
After a few weeks of head games, Cena got one back with a clever sheepskin run-in that left Harper and Rowan rolling around like pigs in mud. Wyatt, as he should have, escaped unscathed, saving any and all violence until Sunday.
Johnny Boy not going down without a fight!
The Shield vs. Kane & The New Age Outlaws:
WWE reminded fans how popular Roman Reigns is by announcing that he was 80-percent more popular than his stablemates. Seth Rollins made a funny joke about the New Age Outlaws being old and a bunch of Shield-type moves were on display.
I don't care about this feud, but we'll probably get a bunch of crazy spots on Sunday.
Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker:
Lesnar came out and left 'Taker in a heap of deadness after THE UNTHINKABLE happened (apparently, the F5 is "unthinkable"). As expected, Michael Cole was selling it like Crazy Eddie was selling televisions at the Jersey Shore.
OMG ... the streak is in danger!
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal:
Roddy Piper came out to yell a promo because he was kind of a big deal when Andre was still alive so connect the dots etc., etc., at least until we have some of the upper-middle card come out to shout
I'm the tag team champions I'm the winner of the battle royal! Then Big Show looks dominant because he was big like "The Giant." Complex stuff.
I hope Kevin Nash isn't one of the four surprise entrants.
Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational:
Guerrero came out to the announcer's table to say a bunch of stupid things while a bunch of Divas wrestled a stupid match. The wrestlers botched their moves, the announcers botched their lines and everyone just looked awful all around.
At least they're including women in this weekend's event.
The Usos vs. Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel:
We had a big tag-team clusterfuck featuring a handful of nice spots that ended with Los Matadores pulling a Killer B's switcheroo. Everybody had a chance to shine in a dull program and there wasn't nearly enough Cesaro.
Oh shit, I forgot they were even wrestling. I hope Cesaro swings that little bull guy!
Those are your WrestleMania 30 matches and the 'E was able to get them front and center throughout the show. Unfortunately, the filler in between the top programs is what drained last night's RAW of its intensity. The pacing was just terrible.
Not that it matters.
Even if you felt this line up was only worth 10 bucks, that's all you have to pay to see it, assuming you're okay with a six month subscription to the WWE Network, which bears plenty of monthly PPV fruit for the same price.
Forget "go-home show," this was the go-online show, and it delivered.