In recent history, the Raw after Wrestlemania has been better than Wrestlemania itself, and it was going to be pretty tough for Raw to top it last night. People are already buzzing saying it’s in the category of top 5 Wrestlemanias of all time. Last night seemed like a turning point with Bryan winning the titles, the streak ending, Cena’s character seeming stale in a win over Bray Wyatt, and Cesaro winning the first ever Andre the Giant battle royal among other things. WWE continued this trend tonight and Raw definitely lived up to the expectations.
Raw opened with a Daniel Bryan video package and Daniel Bryan promo. Bryan’s promo lead to Triple H coming out and making tonight’s main event of him vs. Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. The video packages tonight were great, and this one made it seem like the same exact ending to every single Raw/Smackdown/Pay Per View the last 8 months was worth it. Was anybody else hoping for a Daniel Bryan/Brie Bella live celebration to compare to Lita and Edge’s celebration? I’m pretty sure Daniel Bryan’s standing ovation to open raw was louder and longer than Derek Jeter’s standing ovation for his last opening day at Yankees Stadium. When Triple H was talking there was somebody holding up a sign of a shovel with HHH written on it which was laugh out loud funny.
Next was a segment of Orton and Batista arguing with Triple H and Steph McMahon about tonight’s main event. Stephanie makes a match of Orton and Batista vs. the Usos for the tag titles tonight.
The opening match of the show was The Wyatt Family vs. John Cena, Sheamus, and Big E. The crowd was singing “John Cena Suuuuucks” to the tune of his theme song and it sounded great. This could be the Kurt Angle “You Suck” chant. The crowd was very behind the Wyatt’s, as to be expected for the night after Wrestlemania. The crowd was chanting “He’s got the whole world in his hands” when Bray Wyatt was in the ring like last night. I don’t think that chant will catch on but that’s up to the WWE Universe. The ending to the match came when Bray Wyatt hit the Sister Abigail on Big E. This was a great match even without the crowd. It makes perfect sense for Bray Wyatt to pick up the win after the lost to John Cena at Wrestlemania last night.
Next was a Bo Dallas video package. They showed many video packages of NXT stars tonight and it was a theme to tonight’s show. Funny to think that Bo Dallas is Bray Wyatt’s brother.
Second match was Fandango and Summer Rae vs. Santino and Emma. If they wanted to push Total Divas, this match should’ve been Fandango/Summer Rae vs. Natalya/Tyson Kidd. At least this match wasn’t another dancing segment/competition. Summer Rae taps to Emma’s finisher in a 3 minute match.
The 9:00 hour started with Brock Lesnar coming out (sporting a black eye) and Heyman cutting an in-ring promo about the streak. This was another classic Heyman promo that I’m worried the WWE universe is starting to take for granted. Paul Heyman did Paul Heyman things and brought up the real life injuries to the Undertaker last night, bashed the announcers, and made fun of Hogan for flubbing his lines last night. This was a great promo and I’m glad it went uninterrupted. You have to think Lesnar disappears until Summerslam because any match at Extreme Rules, win or lose, isn’t big enough for the person who just ended the streak.
Returning from commercial was an Adam Rose video package. Good to see them pushing NXT guys right after Wrestlemania season.
Next match was Batista and Orton vs. the Usos for the tag team titles. This match didn’t last long and ended in a double count out with Batista hitting one of the Usos with a Batista Bomb onto the steel steps. This is the first time in years a tag match has ended in a double count out.
Coming back from commercial break, Justin Roberts announced making his return would be RVD. It was great to see RVD back in a match vs. Damien Sandow who didn’t even get his entrance on tv. It’s worth nothing that this match is 2 former Mr. Money in the Bank’s. This was a good, quick match for RVD to work out any ring rust and he was able to hit all of his signature moves. RVD wins the match by hitting the 5 star frog splash.
They announce that there will be a special Daniel Bryan Road to Wrestlemania show on the network tomorrow at 9 that will be a documentary-type show where they had cameras following Daniel Bryan around the whole week leading up to Wrestlemania.
Next up was Rey Mysterio vs. Bad News Barrett (in the ring!!!). Barrett got a huge pop from the crowd. Less than a minute into the match Barrett grabbed the mic and wanted to announce he had some bad news but was interrupted by Mysterio. It reminded me of the segments by CM Punk and the Straight Edge Society at Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber 2010. Rey hits the 619 on Barrett and the crowd was not happy but Barrett ended up winning the match with the bullhammer.
We go to commercial with an Alexander Rusev video package. This guy currently has the best theme in WWE.
-Coming back from commercial there was another Adam Rose video package and I like that they people they’re bringing up from NXT have gimmicks.
Alexander Rusev vs. Zack Ryder was the next match. Every time Lana talks it sounds like she’s saying “meow meow meow”. I’m really hoping Alexander Rusev doesn’t turn out to be Vladimir Koslov 2.0. This was a squash match on Raw that used to be a sign that someone’s about to be released, I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens to Zack Ryder. Zack Ryder tapped to a camel clutch type submission.
A hall of fame video package is shown.
The Ultimate Warrior came down to the ring to cut a promo about the Ultimate Warrior character. I guess this was to promote that the Hall of Fame ceremony was on after Raw. He put on an Ultimate Warrior mask to get in true “promo-form” but it came off very strange.
WWE aired a very cool Thank You video package during the commercial break.
AJ came out and started talking about how she’s beaten divas for 294 days and outlasted all the divas last night despite 13 to 1 odds with a nice job mentioning she’s the “best in the world.” You had a feeling this segment was going to end in doom when she was talking about her 295-day reign. NXT diva Paige came out to congratulate AJ for winning the title and AJ slaps her and asks if she wants a match. She said as a post-Wrestlemania treat, she’ll put the title on the line. Paige pulled off the upset by reversing the black widow into a leg sweep move (her finisher is called the Paige turn). I loved Paige debuting. The Divas division is at a point where it needs something, anything, to make it interesting. It’s satisfying that they made an actual effort to build a feud and didn’t just give the Divas title to one of the Total Divas or the Bella’s. I hope Paige stays above all of the Total Divas hoopla the way AJ does/did.
Next segment Hulk Hogan came out to present the Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy to Cesaro. Hogan talks about how much the trophy means and he hands the mic over to Cesaro. Cesaro promptly gets the mic stolen from Zeb Colter. Zeb claims he’s the reason for Cesaro’s success by making him a Real American and a “Zeb Colter guy.” Cesaro steals the microphone back and says he’s not a “Zeb Colter guy” because he’s actually a “Paul Heyman Guy” and out comes Paul Heyman. Paul Heyman comes down to the ring and gives Cesaro the nickname the “King of Swing.” Jack Swagger attacked Cesaro from behind and destroyed the Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy. Cesaro made a comeback and knocked Swagger out of the ring as it goes to commercial.
The show comes back from commercial to Cesaro vs. Swagger going on in the ring. Paul Heyman was holding the Andre the Giant part of the broken Memorial Trophy the way he held the urn in the Wrestlemania buildup last year. Jack Swagger left the ring when Cesaro was setting up for the Cesaro swing and he gets counted out so Cesaro picks up the victory. The crowd was singing along with Cesaro’s Real American theme which I didn’t even know was possible.
The Shield vs. The Wyatt’s is announced as the main event of main event on the network tomorrow night. I don’t think the WWE Universe is going to get sick of this matchup any time soon.
There is a backstage segment of Stephanie McMahon trying to get The Shield and Kane on the same page to help Triple H win the title in the main event tonight.
Big Show vs. Cesaro is announced as the main event for Smackdown.
Daniel Bryan makes his entrance first and Orton/Batista come down ringside and start beating up Bryan. Orton hits an RKO on Bryan and Batista hits a Batista Bomb on Bryan. Kane came down next and choke-slammed Daniel Bryan. Next out is Triple H who makes his entrance with Stephanie by his side. Triple H forces Referee Mike Chioda to ring the bell and The Shield’s music hits. Daniel Bryan is laid out in the ring and Triple H is stuck in the middle of a stare down between The Shield and Orton/Kane/Batista. Triple H tries to calm everyone down but The Shield enter the ring and Triple H attempts to get them to stand down but Kane/Orton/Batista enter the ring as the two sides slowly approach each other. Reigns spears Triple H and all hell breaks loose. Ambrose and Rollins do a double suicide dive and Reigns hits Kane with the Superman Punch. The Shield tease a triple power bomb but Daniel Bryan hits Triple H with the running knee but Kane pulls Triple H out of the ring as the show ends to Yes chants from Bryan in the ring with the Shield.
Overall, a great show. There were rumors of Sting making his WWE debut tonight and I’m glad that didn’t happen because of how much of the show was focused on the future of WWE. WWE is getting a bunch of praise and hopefully they can keep this up.
– Tweets of the night:
— WWE Creative Humor (@WWECreative_ish) April 8, 2014
— WWE Creative Humor (@WWECreative_ish) April 8, 2014
H/T to @ZProphet_MMA for the awesome GIFs tonight.
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