by Joe Thunder - February 25, 2014
Hey guys, I first want to thank all of you who pointed out that I predicted the entire Chamber card correctly. It was a fairly predictable show, but that doesn’t mean it was bad. In this case, it was quite the opposite of bad. We’re finally on the big part of the Road to WrestleMania!
Hulk Hogan kicks off Raw. He’s guest hosting WrestleMania 30 and he’s happy to be home in WWE. That’s that.
^He should be hosting WM30; it’s the right call. He “main evented” the first nine Manias(technically he didn’t main event WMIV, but he was a huge part of it) and had two other unforgettable matches(vs McMahon at 19 and Rock at 18) as well. As long as he’s not wrestling(or trying to), he could dance in a chicken suit and I’d be just as happy to have him on the show.
Batista is defeated with a rollup by Alberto Del Rio per a distraction by Randy Orton. Orton and Batista exchange words after the match.
^The match with Del Rio and Batista was sloppy, slow and boring. The potential Mania “main event” between Orton and Batista doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Those two cannot have an epic match together on WWE’s biggest stage; it simply won’t happen. This may have been one of the three parts of the show that I didn’t care about at all.
Big E. defeats Cesaro by DQ when Jack Swagger interferes. Big E. gets the upper hand on Swagger but Cesaro takes him out.
^That was one helluva big man match. These guys lifted each other up and tossed one another around like it was no one’s business. Swagger jumping in like that means him and Cesaro will split soon. Awesome match to make the IC Title scene feel important(despite the title not being on the line here).
John Cena cuts a promo. He’s happy to have Hogan back and he wants to know why the Wyatts cost him the WWE Title. The Wyatts come out and beat him down. Cena is “hurt” now.
^Cena in kayfabe “needed the injury” to justify why he couldn’t handle all three men and their beatdown. This is similar to Cena “needing the arm injury” to be pointed out to the ringside doctor(and the obvious sleeve) at Summerslam when he lost clean to Daniel Bryan(it’s a justifying way for Cena to lose or look weak in his eyes). It feels very similar to Hulk Hogan kicking out AFTER a three count when he would lose a match clean in the past(Warrior at Mania VI for example making it look like Hogan “barely” lost). I hate egos, and Cena’s is as big as anyone elses.
Sheamus defeats Christian in a solid back and forth match. Christian jumps off the ropes directly into a brogue kick.
^That was an excellent back and forth match between these two vets. Sheamus was bruised up and Christian had some marks on him as well from the Chamber, but damn did they deliver a good back and forth tv battle! Sheamus going over now is the right move, and it adds to their possible rivalry since they’ve both pinned one another in the last two matches.
We see Daniel Bryan approach Triple H earlier tonight about facing him at WrestleMania. Hunter just laughed him off and said he might earn a spot on the card somewhere.
^Well now we know that match is definitely going to happen.
The Shield are arguing backstage. The Wyatts interrupt and Roman challenges Bray to a match. He accepts.
^Yes! Yes! Yes! Two up and coming stars going one on one? What a treat!
Daniel Bryan defeats Kane with the running knee.
^For a guy of 46, Kane can still go. This was an excellent wrestling match from beginning to end. I like that the former Team Hell No finally has some finality to their longstanding history. It was a good finish and a nice way to put over Dbry as the top star that he has become. Great match!
Dbry cuts a promo after the match and wants to face Triple H at WrestleMania. He leads the crowd in a yes chant for the match.
^I don’t believe the crowd wants Daniel Bryan in anything other than the WWE Title match at Mania, but this is what we get. I just hope they’re smart enough to let Dbry go over Triple H on the grandest stage. One could use the argument that because Triple H beat Jericho, Sheamus, Orton and Lesnar all at Mania, why should Dbry be booked to get the win?
Emma defeats Summer Rae with the Emma-lock.
^This was somewhat messy, but I’ve seen these two have better matches in NXT. This is just the beginning for both of these ladies are they are hugely talented in the ring.
The Usos defeat the Outlaws in a non-title match. They get the win with a splash on Road Dogg in less than one minute.
^That was quick. They were running out of time and still had a match and a major segment to do. This was a decent way to keep the Usos chasing the belts and to justify giving them another title shot. I’m okay with it as long as they get those damn belts in the end.
Bray Wyatt defeats Roman Reigns by DQ. Ambrose jumps in the ring and attacks Bray when all hell has broken loose between the two factions at ringside.
^That was a fun back and forth match. Why did it have to end by DQ? First, it protects both men from taking the fall. Second, it puts heat on Ambrose for costing Reigns the match. Third, it keeps the feud going and allows for future matches over the next several weeks. Perfect booking in this specific case.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman talk backstage. Heyman begs Lesnar not to get physical tonight.
^No foreshadowing there or anything. It’s almost a guarantee something will go down now.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman come to the ring. Heyman tells us that the authority has given Lesnar an open contract to face anyone he wants at Mania since they won’t give him a WWE World Title match. Heyman turns down their offer. Undertaker’s music hits and he comes to the ring. He stares at the Mania sign and at Lesnar. Lesnar nods his head yes and signs the contract. He hands Undertaker the pen. Taker stabs Lesnar’s hand on the table with the pen and chokeslams him through the table to end the show.
^Nice to see the Deadman return after a long show full of good matches. It was the perfect ending for this particular episode of Raw. Do I think Taker should face Lesnar at WrestleMania? Nope. It will be too physical for Taker and he will be one sore SOB after that match is over. Is WWE doing it? Yup. So as Batista would say to us, deal with it. It was a well scripted segment to set up a potentially barbaric match at Mania.
Final Thoughts: I didn’t care for the Divas match too much only because it was awkward, and I didn’t care for the Batista/Del Rio match because it was even sloppier than their match at the Elimination Chamber. I wasn’t impressed with the Usos and the Outlaws only getting two minutes, but the point of the match worked out as it was supposed to. The other matches were all well done and highly enjoyable. On top of those matches, it was capped off with a great finish seeing the Undertaker return.
Taking into account what I didn’t like as compared to what I did, the overall show gets an eight out of ten from me. Originally I said nine, but a nine out of ten show wouldn’t have forced us to see Batista and Del Rio go one on one again.
Thanks for reading!
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