Monday Night Raw
January 13, 2014
Providence, Rhode Island
We open with a vignette from Bray Wyatt’s home, talking about how Daniel Bryan needed him. How Bryan was lost and now is found. We head right into “The Dunk” for our first match.
MATCH: The Usos vs. Bray Wyatt & Daniel Bryan
You can tell the crowd isn’t totally falling for any of this yet. There is a hush over the crowd but Bryan still gets cheered. The match goes back and forth as the Usos have become the showcase babyfaces in this exchange over the past couple of weeks. The only thing I don’t like is that Bryan is working like a heel and getting hit in spots where as a babyface he wouldn’t. They shouldn’t have him change his style. The Usos go to the top rope where Rowan and Harper attack, forcing the DQ. WINNERS: The Usos by disqualification
The Wyatts beat the Usos down but they escape before any real damage. So Bryan shows up and now the Wyatts look like chumps? Weird. The Usos leave and Bryan is down while the family looks over him. He stands and Wyatt whispers to him. Bryan spreads his arms out and gets to his knees. Bray gives Bryan Sister Abigail. This is very weird, and doesn’t make much sense.
MATCH: Damien Sandow vs. John Cena
We have Cena’s first Raw match in 2014, and a rematch of when Sandow cashed in his MITB on Cena, and lost. Cena’s wearing underwear with words on the band. What is he 11? The MITB cash-in match wasn’t bad but I don’t think this one will be as good. The crowd is great tonight, but Providence is part of WWE’s old school wheelhouse, with Hartford, New Haven, Worcester, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, you get the idea. Sandow does crank some strange submission move that looked cool but Cena doesn’t tap. Maybe this match is equal to the MITB cash-in. There is a “SIGN STYLES” sign in the crowd. Wonder if it will be confiscated. Sandow’s hit a couple of crazy reverses. This has been a great match, I definitely short-changed it at the beginning. Cena gets the STF on but Sandow gets to the rope. Sandow then puts Cena in the STF. That was pretty cool. Cena powers to his feet and drops the AA for the win. WINNER: John Cena
That was a super match. Sandow’s best in months. Better than any of the matches with Ziggler. John Cena Sr.(JOHNNY FAB!) is in the front row tonight.
We get the promo piece for the WWE Network. 42 days until launch.
Kane is backstage looking at a pad when Brad Maddox walks in. These two dopes have zero chemistry. They yap about who can run the show better. Maddox says Wyatt/Bryan vs. Usos should have a rematch tonight, inside a steel cage. Kane says he’ll do one better. The door will be chained shut and only he will have the key.
MATCH: Big Show vs. Jack Swagger
We have a sacrificial lamb for the Big Show before his match at the Rumble with Brock Lesnar. Show makes very quick work with a chokeslam. WINNER: Big Show
Cesaro runs off and while looking over Swagger, Zeb Colter almost gets chokeslammed, then gets knocked out.
Batista is back next week.
MATCH: CM Punk & New Age Outlaws vs. The Shield
This is a rematch from Friday’s Smackdown. I love seeing the Attitude Era’s best team back together, just like Goldust. Sadly they have to clean up the gimmick. IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME! What a six-man tag team. Punk just crotch-chopped. I think I’m going to cry. I haven’t seen if they’re re-selling those DX shirts that the NAO have on. Yes, I owned it. NAO won the tag straps five times. So instead of yapping about the WWE App, the announcers will now shill the Network. That’s a nice change of pace. What surprises me is that Punk is taking most of the beating in this match and not the Legends guys, Dogg in particular. Reigns just crotch-chopped the NAO and laughed, then ate a kick to the head by Punk. Then as Punk goes for a tag, the NAO pull a Sid ala 1992 and just leave him in the ring. What the fuck was that? Reigns spears Punk and gets the pin. WINNERS: The Shield
Wait a minute, I get it. Hehe very clever. NAO is in DX. Who else is in DX? BINGO! The Shield was going to leave, but they get back in the ring and hit Punk with the Triple Power Bomb.
Backstage Bray Wyatt is talking to Daniel about the fear the Usos feel for being locked in a cage. Society is the cage and the family will fight out of it.
MATCH: Funkadactyls vs. AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka
AJ is five days away from passing Maryse as being the longest reigning Divas Champion ever. AJ pins Cameron to win it. WINNERS: AJ & Tamina
Tamina works Cameron over but Naomi breaks it up and the heels flee.
Randy Orton is pissed off backstage as usual, looking for The Authority.
Back from break and Orton finds Kane. He wants HHH and Stephanie. Orton says everybody’s gunning for him and he wants protection. Ugh this storyline is getting very stale. Kane says Orton can take his frustrations out on Kofi Kingston.
We have our first inductee into the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame. It’s…THE ULLLLLLLLLLLLTIMATE WARRIOR! Even though it really wasn’t a secret, it’s still pretty damn cool. Can’t wait for the unintelligible induction speech April 5 in New Orleans. I wonder if he’ll mention Ho Kogan. Maybe Ho Kogan will induct him.
Renee Young is backstage with Paul Heyman. We go back to last Monday when Brock was manhandled by Show. Heyman says a lot, but in short he says Big Show made a big mistake last week, and he will pay for it next Sunday.
MATCH: Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston
I’m wondering when Orton will start carrying just one belt. Why do I get the feeling Cena’s dad sitting at ringside isn’t a coincidence. Every time I see these two together I think of that moment at the Garden when Kofi hit that elbow (or leg drop?) on Orton from the second bowl. This match is going about the way I expected from two guys who have faced each other many times. However unlike Cena, Orton gets pinned out of nowhere. WINNER: Kofi Kingston
Ah as I anticipated, Orton takes his anger out of Cena’ dad. Back from break and Cena Sr is carried out on a stretcher and an ambulance.
MATCH: The Rhodes Brothers vs. Rybac-xel
Good grief. Hasn’t Ryback been fired or quit yet? Pretty solid match that The Brothers win. WINNERS: Rhodes Brothers
MATCH: Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio
Wow this match (and Rey for that matter) feel like afterthoughts. Del Rio wins and keeps badmouthing Batista. WINNER: Alberto Del Rio
We go back to last week in Las Vegas and the official announcement of the WWE Network. Backstage CM Punk goes to Kane wondering why the Authority is missing tonight. Kane responds by telling him the Authority is putting him in the Royal Rumble.
STEEL CAGE MATCH: The Usos vs. Bray Wyatt & Daniel Bryan
Kane comes out and chains the door shut. There must be some reason to get a rematch here. We get a lot of action on the wall of the cage as one of the Usos tries to escape but that doesn’t happen. Daniel Bryan tries to escape but both Usos double back drop him off the corner. From that we get the “THIS IS AWESOME” chants. More battling on top of the cage. One Uso gets over the wall and then the other. Another win for the Usos. I’m stunned. WINNERS: The Usos
They take out Rowan & Harper on the outside. Meanwhile in the cage, Bray Wyatt is laughing. He whispers in Daniel’s ear again, but this time when Daniel goes to his knees and Bray tries Sister Abigail Bryan pushes him off. The crowd goes nuts and chants Daniel’s name. Bray goes to attack Daniel but he ducks and starts drilling Bray with drop kicks to the corner. Daniel with kicks to the chest and he throws Wyatt into the cage walls. The YES YES chants are ridiculous. He knocks Wyatt out with the running knee. He goes to the top of the cage as his music blasts through the Dunk. What an ending to Raw as we go off the air.
SCOTT’S TAKE: This was a pretty solid Raw with some decent in-ring action and big time storyline advancement. Nice that Ultimate Warrior begins our HOF class announcements. Speaking of Hall of Fame, our Hall of Famer is the purveyor of the History of WWE, Graham Cawthon. Follow him @thehistoryofwwe. Here’s Graham’s Raw Tweet of the Night!