Scott’s Raw Recap 5/26/14

Adapt...or Perish. (Courtesy WWE)
Adapt…or Perish. (Courtesy WWE)

Monday Night Raw
May 26, 2014
Knoxville, Tennessee

We open with the traditional Memorial Day tribute that Vince McMahon does so very well. Taps plays at the end of it. Always well done. Say what you want about Vince, but he is indeed a patriot. We then head inside the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville where it’s time to get ON YOUR KNEES DOG. Out comes The H and Stephanie with shit-eating grins and boos from the crowd. Stephanie welcomes us, and does she sound this disingenuous with her kids? She says tonight is a night of choices. “Will Daniel Bryan do the right thing tonight and surrender the WWE World Heavyweight Champion?” She says they didn’t want to be right, but physically he just can’t do it. The fans want to cheer for him and they understand that, but sadly he has to do the right thing. Triple H says every generation has performers that rise to the top, and some burn out. Others become legends because they stand the test of time. They adapt, like Evolution. This Sunday at Payback, in a no holds barred elimination match, the Shield will realize you can’t stop Evolution. There will be a contract signing tonight. The Shield will either adapt or perish. Stephanie asks for General Manager Brad Maddox. He comes out. I don’t remember what this is about. He talks about Maddox allowing the Shield to be commentators. Maddox says he was roughed up, but the Authority doesn’t care. Out comes THE DEMON KANE, because that’s his name now. Triple H decks Maddox, then Kane chokeslams him. Then tombstones him. Then Stephanie fires him. Actually, I’m fine with that. In fact, let’s never have a General Manager again. That’s over. It’s been over for years.

MATCH: Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro
Tell me that new Cesaro t-shirt molded like the old King of the Ring logo isn’t awesome. Both these men have title shots Sunday at Payback, as RVD has an IC Title shot with Bad News Barrett and Cesaro will get a US Title shot against Sheamus. Barrett comes out to give bad news about people with bathing suits and fat guts. Barrett comes to the announce table. He says “It’s Me….It’s Me…It’s BNB.” Very funny. The match is stiff as expected, including RVD smacking Barrett with a kick to the face. Barrett recovers to distract RVD and Cesaro gets the win. WINNER: Cesaro

Sheamus runs down and Brogue Kicks Cesaro. Cesaro wins Sunday I think. That’s why Sheamus won the title, to transition off of Ambrose.

MATCH: Eva Marie vs. Summer Rae
Total Divas’ season finale is Sunday. Does that mean all these useless no-talent divas leave the ring for the next few months? Can one twin be hotter than the other? I’m starting to feel that way about Nikki Bella. Yes, I’m saying that. My recap wasn’t hijacked by Ben Morse. After a couple minutes Fandango comes out to make out with Layla with distracts Summer Rae, which allows Eva Marie to roll up for a cheap win. WINNER: Eva Marie

So who’s the heel in this feud, Fandango or Summer Rae? I’m so confused.

Randy Orton and Batista are talking when the Rhodes Brothers come in, and they jaw jack with each other. Cody calls Orton “RK-BLOW”. I laughed out loud at that. We have a tag match for later.

We get another Memorial Day moment with a JFK quote.

MATCH: Drew McIntyre vs. #midgetmantaur
Is this a serious match? Good lord what a waste. Letting the midget win is a disgrace. WINNER: El Torito

Hornswoggle ripped El Torito’s tail off. This is silly. We return from break and the trainer tries to put El Torito’s tail back on.

Thank god we are joined by the Wyatt Family. Did Jerry Lawler just call the WWE Universe “brainwashed”? What a dickhead. I hope this match Sunday ends the feud with Cena. I love Bray Wyatt but these promos are all starting to sound the same. The promo continues the premise of ending Cenation and destroying the king and all the minions. Speaking of Kings, he calls Jerry Lawler to the ring. Jerry refuses, but didn’t I just say that he was a dickhead? Bray threatens Michael Cole and JBL not to move. JBL gets up and Rowan & Harper attack and beat JBL down. Hell I didn’t see that coming. Lawler gets in the ring, and Bray asks if he and Cena are friends. Bray says that Jerry has fed the poison of Cena to the world without questioning his morality. They hold Lawler while Bray does the cool upside down spider thing. John Cena runs down and Rowan and Harper attack him. Bray holds Lawler in the corner. He says to Cena this is all his fault. He’s about to drop Jerry with Sister Abigail until the Usos come down to save him. I hope this ends soon. Cena grabs the mike and says lines have been crossed. He says that he was excited when he arrived, but now he is evil. Cena does the usual catch phrases with Payback (being a “bitch”) and Last Man Standing. Not a bad segment, but this feud is reaching the end.

MATCH: Zack Ryder vs. Rusev
I guessed that his opponent is Rusev, because Ryder came out with an American flag. Ryder was going to say something but out comes Lana who does her Vladimir Putin rants. Quick squash. WINNER: Rusev

He holds the Camel Clutch after the bell and Big E runs down, so both hosses go back and forth. Big E knocks him out of the ring. I’d like to see this match.

Stephanie is backstage talking to Alberto Del Rio.

Back from break with a Memorial Day moment, a quote from “Stormin” Norman Schwartzkopf.

MATCH: Randy Orton & Batista vs. Rhodes Brothers
Evolution dominates most of the action, but Lawler keeps talking about Cody and Goldust not “on the same page”. He should have eaten Sister Abigail. Without JBL, Cole and Lawler are so boring, it’s making things seem to slug along at a snail’s pace. Orton hits Cody with two RKO’s to end the match. WINNER: Randy Orton & Batista

The rules then change and now it’s a no holds barred handicap match.

MATCH: Randy Orton & Batista vs. Goldust
Evolution starts beating Goldust down and this could get ugly. Batista hits a spear and then Orton RKO’s him. Batista hits a Batista Bomb to end it. WINNERS: Randy Orton & Batista

Bolieve.

MATCH: Sin Cara vs. Bo Dallas
Honestly, this gimmick isn’t going to last on Raw. Match is average, and it’s Bo Time. WINNER: Bo Dallas

Rowan & Harper vs. the Usos on Main Event Tuesday.

Stephanie McMahon returns to the ring and is ready for Daniel Bryan to surrender the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Stephanie recaps earlier that tonight is a night of choices. She calls Daniel Bryan down to the ring and here he comes. The crowd goes crazy as he comes down with a neck brace. Stephanie says she could just strip him, but then he’d be a martyr. She tries to play mind games by saying Daniel Bryan isn’t selfish. He must do what is right for business according to Stephanie. Daniel says WrestleMania was the payoff to years of hard work. However he says there’s no shame in handing the belts over, but Daniel says this isn’t about them, it’s about her. He says handing the belts over would negate everything that has happened before this moment. The WWE Universe doesn’t deserve that. So Daniel Bryan is going to say something Stephanie is not used to hearing: NO NO NO NO! The crowd starts chanting it. Stephanie decides to show Daniel the clip from two weeks ago when Brie Bella shoved her. Daniel was already in the ambulance. So Stephanie says that Sunday at Payback, either Daniel Bryan surrenders the title, or she will fire Brie Bella. Really? That’s the best we can do? Ugh, this is atrocious. This is terrible creative booking. It’s making the most prestigious title in the business SECONDARY. That’s sacrilege in my book.

NXT Takeover is this Thursday. We’ll have post-show coverage here at Place to Be Nation.

MATCH: Alicia Fox vs. Emma
Crap match, and Emma wins. WINNER: Emma

Alicia Fox beats the crap out of Emma and then flips out again, yelling she’s not a loser and continuously bangs the ring bell. Pure torture. She starts shaking sodas and acting like Austin at an AA meeting. This is so annoying.

MATCH: “Davy Crockett” vs. Adam Rose
Damien Sandow continues his storyline of being local historical heroes. Finally we get the debut of Adam Rose, so now the company can stop bitching that his debut has been a failure. He needed to WRESTLE! We’ve seen vignettes and run-ins. We need WRESTLING MATCHES. Midway through the match out comes Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter with the “lemon” from his party. He recovers to beat Sandow. WINNER: Adam Rose

Swagger runs in and beats Rose down. Rose recovers to hit a spinebuster. He starts beating Swagger down until Swagger escapes.

MATCH: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
These two always had good chemistry. Are they going to talk about why Del Rio was talking to Stephanie McMahon earlier in the show? Probably not, because the writing has been shoddy tonight. Sheamus is suddenly acting loopy like he has a concussion. He looks to be out, but Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick for the win. WINNER: Sheamus

Paul Heyman grabs the mic and starts dogging Sheamus (while mentioning the ABSENT Brock Lesnar). Cesaro jumps Sheamus from behind and works him over. He keeps kneeing Sheamus in the head and then hits the Neutralizer.

We head into the ring for the contract signing for Sunday’s six man elimination tag match. Out comes the Shield. Ambrose says tonight will be historic. Tonight Evolution and the Shield will be in the ring on Raw for the last time. They start throwing the chairs out of the ring. Rollins says this stuff is all crap. They throw all the usual contract signing stuff out of the ring. Evolution comes out and Triple H explains what the Shield is about to sign. He talks about when these guys were going to be the future but instead at Payback they will be sent into obscurity. Everybody signs, and then the brawl starts. Shield gets the early upper hand until Triple H grabs the sledgehammer and they take over. Eventually Roman Reigns eats a sledge shot and a triple power bomb on the announce table. With that we’re out.

SCOTT’S TAKE:
The card Sunday is ok, but this go home Raw was torture. Long, boring matches and some shoddy writing. This Daniel Bryan/WWE World Title debacle is the perfect example.

Author: Scott Criscuolo

Scott Criscuolo is a co-founder of the Place to Be, co-host of the Place to Be Podcast, and was in the radio business for 10 years. He loves all things pop culture, and someday he will be the ghost writer for Triple H's autobiography. Send Scott an email