Scott’s Raw Recap 2/24/14

Hulk Hogan wasn't the only WWE legend to return tonight. (Courtesy WWE)
Hulk Hogan wasn’t the only WWE legend to return tonight. (Courtesy WWE)

Monday Night Raw
February 24, 2014
Green Bay, Wisconsin

We head into the arena in Packer Country and we waste absolutely no time as out comes the man…the return of HULK HOGAN! YEAH! Our host for WrestleMania XXX comes out to a raucous ovation. Damn it’s good to hear “Real American” again. On a historic day in any wrestling fan’s life, to see everyone’s first wrestling hero returns home to the company he belongs in is an absolute necessity. He does his classic “WELL LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING BROTHER!!!” and everybody goes bonkers. He says he’s officially home, and he talks about being part of the first WrestleMania. He then botches the WWE Network tag, but hell who cares. He’s been dealing with Dixie Carter for how long? He says he’s been walking around like a proud papa because of all the great young talent. He keeps putting over the Network and all the superstars he can watch, as well as the future. He announces he is the official host for WrestleMania XXX, and he asks “WHATCHA GONNA DO WHEN HULKAMANIA, THE NETWORK AND WRESTLEMANIA RUNS WILD ON YOU????” Like 50 Network plugs, but hell why not? I can’t believe how awesome it is to see him back.

We get what will be many WWE Network tutorial plugs.

MATCH: Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio

Jesus, we have to watch this AGAIN? Last night’s debacle was bad enough. Best quote from the show: “Batista is great at selling being tired.” What is wrong with him? He is ridiculously gassed after 90 seconds and everybody knows it. The backstage can’t be happy that A) He’s constantly getting booed, and B) He’s just an abomination in the ring. Feels like that WrestleMania 23 match with Undertaker was like seven years ago. Oh wait…never mind. I like how Cole said “Like it or not, Batista is in the main event at WrestleMania.” Jerry acknowledges the “Boo-tista” chants last night. This match is no better than last night. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton comes out, and distracts Batista enough to cause Del Rio to roll him up and steal the pin. WINNER: Alberto Del Rio

Orton apologizes for interrupting and actually acknowledges that the crowd hates that he’s back and in this match. We get very audible CM PUNK chants. Oh boy. Batista is still gassed for Christ’s Sakes. Batista says he loves this business, and he says if they cheer he cheers, and if they boo he boos. He says what matters is that he will go to WrestleMania and be the next champion whether anybody likes it or not. Is Batista turning heel? He was pretty adamant he couldn’t care less what anybody says. Interesting they are using the boos in the storyline.

MATCH: Big E vs. Cesaro

This isn’t for the Intercontinental Title. Big E and Jack Swagger had a fairly solid match last night. This one will be better. It’s a pretty great power affair that sees Cesaro grab the 290-plus pound IC Champion in mid-air and drop him with a backbreaker. This is a much longer match than I anticipated. Cesaro does the swing on Big E, after the epic swing he did on Orton last night. Swagger comes in to cost Cesaro the match by putting Big E in the ankle lock after Big E had attacked him outside the ring earlier in the match. WINNER: Big E by disqualification

We have some dissension in the Real Americans as all three guys argue, until Big E comes in to attack Swagger and both men attack. Cesaro hits Big E with the Neutralizer.

We go back to last night when the Wyatts cost John Cena the Chamber match.

Back from break and out comes John Cena, who sometimes needs to actually be pissed off instead of coming out all giddy, every single week. He now puts the Network over, which is clearly what all the talent has to do at some point tonight. He reminds everyone that the future of WWE has to get through him. Sounds heelish, eh? He says he now has a target on his back. He talks Bray Wyatt and asks him if he is a one trick pony or if he wants to make a move right now. GREEN BAY…WE’RE HERE. Out comes the Family. Bray calls the human race an infection. He says where would the world be without its knight in shining armor? He calls Cena a liar and that the world is a cold, dark and lonely place. The Wyatts hit the ring and Cena gets pummeled. Looks like Cena hurt his left foot. Don’t know if that’s legit or not. Maybe he should actually wear wrestling boots now. We get the CM Punk chants again. Cena keeps trying to get up and the Wyatts keep knocking him down. Follow the Buzzards.

During the break Cena was stretchered out.

MATCH: Christian vs. Sheamus

This stems from last night, and from the sniping between the two during the Raw Pre-Show on…the WWE Network. Hey Brad Maddox does still work for this company. The match isn’t bad, typical TV fare. I don’t know how long Christian will last this year, but he’s a bit of a tweener at the moment. Both guys really beat the shot out of each other until Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick while Christian was coming off the second rope. Pretty slick finish. WINNER: Sheamus

Another tutorial for the Network.

During the Raw Pre-Show the Authority arrives to put the Network over when Daniel Bryan snaps at Triple H and challenges him to a match at WrestleMania. Triple H says he only faces “A” players.

We get a Black History Month vignette on Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson, the Soul Patrol.

The Shield are bickering as Dean Ambrose is pissed and walks away. In come the Wyatt Family. Reigns challenges Bray Wyatt to a match with no interference. Bray accepts.

We go to the Pre-Show table as Josh is with two Hall of Famers, Booker T and Ric Flair.

MATCH: Daniel Bryan vs. Kane

He has to be holding the title at the end of WrestleMania, he just has to. Can this booking be any more friggin simple? I love Kane in his wife beater outfit. Absolutely hilarious. It’s amazing these two used to be Tag Team Champions. Kane looks as gassed as Batista. Good match nonetheless and Bryan wins with the knee. WINNER: Daniel Bryan

Bryan says he confronted the Authority, and he calls Triple H a coward. He challenged Triple H to a match at WrestleMania and he hid behind his wife’s skirt. Bryan’s getting the crowd all riled up and the YES YES YES chants are infectious. He tells Triple H to stop being a coward and make the match happen.

Another Alexander Rusev promo. Saw him against Sin Cara on NXT a few weeks ago. What a beast.

MATCH: Summer Rae vs. Emma

Emma is great. She’s a great worker and has proven it on NXT. Her dance is called the “Emmalution”. JBL is the GM of NXT but is he actually ever on? Fun match, and Emma wins with that crazy submission finisher. WINNER: Emma

MATCH: New Age Outlaws vs. Usos

We get another rematch from last night’s PPV. During the NAO’s intro the Usos attack and win the match in like twenty seconds. Apparently the bell rang before the intro. WINNERS: The Usos

Another Network plug.

MATCH: Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt

Now here’s a match of two awesome hosses. A well booked situation here as it gives Reigns a stage to himself and gain his babyface cred, even if it’s not a full-blown turn. I guess you can still use the WWE App to watch matches during the commercial, that’s separate from the Network. An UNDERTAKER chant starts in the match, why I don’t know. This match is good, as have most of the matches tonight have been. In-ring the company hasn’t been this stacked in years. The booking? Eh, not so much. Awesome moment when Rowan & Harper show up but Rollins runs clear across the ring and dives into them. Ambrose runs down the ramp like a psychopath. Reigns hits the Superman punch and is about to win the match when Ambrose runs in and forces the DQ. WINNER: Bray Wyatt by disqualification

Just like the Real Americans…

Brock Lesnar is in the back and he is told by Paul Heyman to relax tonight and not tear anything or anybody up.

The Need for Speed guy will be on Raw in Chicago next week. Yeah, like that will temper any emotion.

Out comes the Beast, Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman. A table is set in the ring like a press conference. He goes through his thing with Brock, and then says Brock isn’t in a good mood. He says Orton and Batista should get their match out of the way and the winner should face Brock at WrestleMania. The Authority instead gave Brock Lesnar an open contract to face anybody he wants April 6. Paul says in WWE “You can have anything you want, except the thing you want the most.” Sounds like a dig on Bryan, Punk and the fans. Heyman wants Lesnar to make history, but it won’t happen. Paul says no games will be played. They turn the contract down and are about to walk away, when the gong goes off. The lights go out, the smoke starts billowing, and out comes the Undertaker. You can officially say it’s WrestleMania season now. Taker’s rocking the awesome 1999 beard with no mustache gig. First time these two have been in the ring together since No Mercy 2003. They match glares as the UNDERTAKER chants reign down. Taker looks at the WrestleMania sign, and Brock knows what’s going on. Brock signs the open contract, and offers Taker the pen. Paul offers the contract. Taker jabs the pen in Brock’s hand and then chokeslams him through the table. That was pretty awesome. Well there we go, the quest for 22-0. With that we’re out.

SCOTT’S TAKE: Hogan, Taker, Bryan, the Network. What more could you ask for? That was a fun Raw. We have two confirmed matches for April 6, and one possible match for April 6. Someone who is as cool as Wrestlemania is Graham Cawthon, purveyor of Follow him on twitter @Thehistoryofwwe. Here’s Graham’s Raw Tweet of the Night!

@TheHistoryofWWE  Perhaps the winner faces Winnie the Pooh at Mania (Pertaining to Christian vs. Sheamus)

Don’t tease me Graham.