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ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 05/19/14

The Wyatts kick off Raw with Bray talking about Cena. Cena will face Harper later tonight. Cena ends up in the ring and hits an AA on Bray.

^As usual, Bray’s mic skills overshadow anything he’s had the chance to show us in the ring(he’s a solid performer but we haven’t exactly had a ton of opportunities to see him showcase it, no?). I like the Cena/Bray Wyatt rivalry because I know they’ll deliver huge in the Last Man Standing match at Payback.

Cesaro and Paul Heyman come out and do promo work. Then Sheamus comes out.

Sheamus faces Cesaro in a match where the US Title is not on the line. Paul Heyman is in Cesaro’s corner and he distracts Sheamus, enabling Cesaro to get the victory with the bridging german suplex. Sheamus wants a hand shake after the match and Cesaro denies him.

^That was short. I like the possibility of a feud with these two, but I’m still thinking Cesaro is going to win Money in the Bank this year. What happened to that rumored heel turn for Sheamus?

Big E defeats Ryback in 5:02. This is the first match in a beat the clock series to determine the number one contender at Payback for Bad News Barrett’s Intercontinental Championship.

^Thanks to the confusing booking of BOTH these performers, the crowd could’ve cared less about the entire match. Bloody brilliant.

Fandango and Layla come out. Summer Rae returns and attacks Layla. She kisses Fandango first. The Mixed tag team match against Cameron and R-Truth is apparently not happening now.

^That was entertaining, but that was not wrestling. Aside from the minimal yet solid action between Sheamus and Cesaro, I’m pretty disappointed with this show so far.

Stephanie McMahon comes out to Daniel Bryan’s music. She wants to strip Daniel Bryan of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship but wants to wait until next week when Bryan can be there in person to relinquish the gold.

^And that tells us nothing. Thanks for wasting my five minutes, Steph.

Alexander Rusev squashes Heath Slater of the “Union Jacks.”

^Breaking news! Alexander Rusev won a squash match! Ryback 2.0…poor sap.

Shield promo about Payback, Evolution and Rollins’ match with Batista tonight. Excellent promo work from ALL THREE members of the group.

Rob Van Dam defeats Alberto Del Rio in our second beat the clock match with a time of 4:47. RVD takes the lead.

^That was short. Didn’t these guys open the Hell in a Cell pay per view last year in a Hardcore Match with the World Title on the line? My, how the mighty have fallen.

Seth Rollins takes on Batista. Triple H is the special ring announcer and Randy Orton is the special timekeeper. Ambrose and Reigns come out to do commentary. The match ends by DQ when Hunter gets involved and we have a brawl.

^More chaos with this feud. Makes sense. Does Evolution pull out the win at Payback so we get the rubber match at Money in the Bank? I sure hope so! Singles matches would be even more desirable.

Alicia Fox defeats Paige in a short, non-title match.

^If this is WWE’s way of making Alicia Fox number one contender, kudos to them. Never mind the fact that you’re in Paige’s home country and never mind the fact that she’s a kick ass fighting champion who defeated AJ Lee for the gold. Never mind the fact that she’s got more talent in her pinky than Alicia Fox will ever possess in her entire life. No, never mind all of that.

Dolph Ziggler defeats Mark Henry in the final beat the block match. Ziggler’s time wasn’t better than RVD’s and thus RVD will face Barrett at Payback. Barrett attacks RVD.

^Dolph Ziggler won a match. That’s some good news. Dolph Ziggler was on Raw. That’s also good news. Dolph Ziggler will NOT be challenging Bad News Barrett for the IC Title despite their excellent chemistry. That’s some bad news.

Adam Rose comes out with his party. Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger come out. Zeb wants Rose to fight Swagger.

^When Rose was Leo Kruger in NXT, he could wrestle anyone and have a solid match. I’m excited to see what this “playboy” gimmick does for his career.

John Cena defeats Luke Harper in our main event by DQ(Rowan interferes; go figure). The Wyatts beat down Cena to end the show as Bray has already taken care of the Usos.

^Solid main event with a crappy finish. Protects both men; no surprise there. Anyone else tired of Cena’s repeated storylines of being beaten down one week and bouncing back the next? It’s an endless vicious cycle.

So this episode of Raw was taped, and it was rather uneventful overall. The feuds are pretty solid on the main event level, but everything midcard is just random and on the fly. It’s not fun and it doesn’t project much confidence in the mid card on WWE’s part when every week things are changing. Ryback, Axel, Cesaro, Dango, Barrett, Sheamus, RVD, Del Rio and others…it’s sickeningly inconsistent(Not to mention Truth, Big E, Sandow, Ziggler and Santino). The show gets a 4/10 with Cena and the Wyatt Family being the only thing giving it such a generous number.

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