WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (May 5, 2014) from Albany, New York, featuring the fallout show from the Extreme Rules special event this past Sunday night in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
It wasn't pretty.
Click here to get full results with the live blog. Let's get to reacting to all the night's events:
THE DEMON KANE (and the man who defeated him but is still really scared of him)
Vince McMahon once famously said WWE doesn't make a pro wrestling show, they make movies. Well, what we got a taste of a WWE movie with THE DEMON KANE playing mind games with poor Daniel Bryan and his helpless wife, Brie Bella.
Good lord it was awful.
It's not just that the acting was bad -- Stephanie was cheesing to the extreme, so much so that it it's worth considering it was on purpose, while Brie couldn't even scream correctly -- or that the script was garbage or that the characters lame.
It's that Bryan, the WWE world heavyweight champion, was made to look so very weak in the face of a man -- sorry, THE DEMON -- whom he had cleanly defeated just one night before. Stephanie expertly maneuvering Bryan and his wife into position to be exploited by the monster she herself unleashed? I can go for that, even with the horrific acting chops.
But Bryan running scared from THE DEMON he had JUST defeated not even 24 hours prior?
It's like WWE doesn't want you to care about whether wrestlers win or lose matches where someone has to win or lose.
Segment(s) grade: F
Too many limes
The battle royal is a great concept for a pro wrestling match because even when it's bad, it's good (other than the atrocity that was the 1999 Royal Rumble).
This particular battle royal was especially good because it featured some good psychology (Big Show and Mark Henry squaring off in a moment that felt big before being eliminated in a way that made the most sense) and the start of what could be a slow burn heel turn for the winner (Sheamus).
But what really made this good is what didn't happen.
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns didn't get involved when they could have. Sure, they could have hopped the ring right after Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Dean Ambrose and just laid down an ass whooping to ensure their partner retained his title. They absolutely could have done that.
But they didn't. They knew they could, and they didn't.
That's admirable. What's more, they got in the ring and patted Ambrose on the back after, showing nothing but support for his plight without cheating to help him win.
Take notes, John Cena. This is how badass babyfaces are supposed to act.
Segment grade: B
You know that I could use somebody
"Abigail always told me that I was born to lead. She said 'one day, Bray, you will change the world.' And I believed her. I always believed her. But this world we live in, this horrible world we live in, it has very wicked ways about it. And they would always snub their nose up at me, they would always look down on me, they would always refer to me as a piece of trash and a nobody. And they don't even know it but those people have made this day so sweet for me and oh what a glorious day it is because last night I, Bray Wyatt, became somebody. Last night, John Cena's fear was personified by that of a singing child.
"The mighty John Cena falling to a child. You can't fool the children, John, for they are the foundation of what tomorrow shall bring. Their ears are so eager to hear and their minds are so eager to learn and their innocent little eyes see right through you, John Cena.
"John Cena tells all of you that I am a monster. And he is right. I am a monster. And oh how cruel I can be. He would also have you believe that my message, my honorable message, is nothing but lies and that I only wish to watch the world burn. And I have to give it to you John, you're right again. I do wish to watch this world burn. I wish to watch it burn as a farmer watches his spoiled crops burn, so they may rise up again. This world must be burned down so that it can be reborn. And it will be reborn in my image, the image of Wyatt.
"John Cena thinks that I do this, everything that I do, all of this, I only do it for myself. And that, my friends, that is where John Cena is dead wrong. I do this for the children. I do this for the poor man that stands day and night begging on the street starving because they didn't think he was smart enough to live in this world. I do this for the teenage girl who wakes up crying looking in the mirror because they didn't think she was beautiful enough to be the prom queen. I do this for each and every one of you.
"And as of today and every day going forward, John Cena stands alone. And alone he shall fall. But you children shall stand with me and you don't ever have to be alone again. And you won't remember me as a monster but you will remember me for what I truly am ... a god."
Segment grade: D
All the best to all the rest:
- I can't do justice to the video you see above. I'm so glad WWE just didn't care about how Mr. T might feel and remixed his legendary Hall of Fame speech. It's the best thing.
- The fourth Shield vs. Wyatt Family match was the worst of all their encounters but it was still fun because how very good does it feel to have a Raw show in 2014 headlined by these six wrestlers? Seth Rollins and Luke Harper are worth the price of admission alone.
- Triple H seems to be in a hurry to do jobs now, doesn't he? Or maybe his speaking of The Shield like a father figure is more shoot than work and he's in a rush to put them over as strongly as they've been booked since their debut in 2012. Even with Roman Reigns taking a pinfall loss, that man had to eat finisher after finisher and it was crafted beautifully because I left feeling thirsty for him to get his revenge. They made him bleed his own blood. Payback is hell. Unless they book Reigns like Bryan, then he'll probably be crying in the corner on SmackDown this week.
- Adam Rose will be jobbing on Superstars by SummerSlam. He interrupted a good Zeb Colter promo to dance around the ring and work his stupid catchphrase. I don't get it.
- Rob Van Dam had a good match on WWE programming in 2014 ... until WWE decided he had to be protected in some weird way and refused to just give Cesaro a clean pinfall win over him just one night after doing exactly that. A five count disqualification finish is the WORST. It feels cheap when it should feel strong and that's highly unsatisfying.
- Could Ryback vs. Cody Rhodes have been any more of a waste of time?
- Could WWE find a way to be more offensive in this El Torito/Hornswoggle/Los Matadores/3MB feud that will NEVER end? I don't think it's enough to make fun of all the various groups represented here.
- Bad News Barrett is off to a decent enough start. Wait and see.
- More Lana, please.
This was a bad show.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?