WWE Raw Review March 24th 2014

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  • After the brilliant opening promo last week, I wonder if they let the trainee writing team loose on it this week? The problem here is the lack of Bryan, although I completely agree with the idea of limiting his screen time before ‘Mania. But what is Dave even trying to say about Steph being “drooled on”? Is that a sexual practice of some kind? I’m a full grown adult (sadly) and have no idea what he’s talking about. No, don’t nudge nuge wink wink me Dave, I just don’t know what you mean.
  • WWE, every time you skip a wrestler intro a baby seal dies.
  • It looks to me like this fatal four way was maybe not rehearsed too much. It also should have been promoted as a bigger deal. The Brooklyn crowd are so predictably behind Dolph it’s quite funny. Christian’s win is of course the result nobody wanted. I suppose you could argue he needs it most.
  • There is so much to dislike in the following Sin Cara segment. Sandow’s intro is skipped and he’s squashed in an absurdly brief match. And the damn Sin Cara lighting. What even is that? It looks crap, guys seriously. Terrible segment, and bear in mind I *liked* it when the Scooby Do mascot turned up.
  • Triple H talks a lot of sense in his little interview. As heels of course should. Excellent stuff.
  • Crikey, Joe Manganiello is *tall*. I enjoyed watching the camera angles getting slowly adjusted to camouflage the extent to which he dwarfs Hogan. My calculations tonight put Hogan’s current real-world height at about 6’3″. Hogan seemed much better than usual on the mic, although he was visually wincing when his arms were being held up. There are people on the internet who were convinced he would be working a match at ‘Mania.
  • Big Show seemed to have a tough time getting around tonight, even for him. Sadly his outing with Titus was truly terrible. This was also an absurd match to book. Why have Big Show fight somebody you’re newly pushing as a singles star? Neither competitor is going to be able to perform well, the result is inevitable, and it pointlessly harms the younger wrestler’s credibility.
  • I liked Cena’s more serious, unsmiling entrance tonight. This was an excellent match and Cena deserves credit, just as he did with Cesaro a few weeks ago. I do love a top rope leg drop. This might be the only “let’s go harper” you will ever hear, and he owes that to Cena. Also, Sheep face Cena is gonna scare kids something good, and the crowd make the moment with their “This Is Awesome”. Great segment.
  • Naomi has really improved in the ring. WWE are going to have to let her talk if they want her to get over though. Also, I’m not sure the rules were made clear enough for this Wrestlemania multi-diva match.
  • The Real Americans are just an excellent team, and the Shield bring out the best in them. This would be a great match for Wrestlemania and tonight it sets the crowd on fire. Both of these teams now kind of super-over tweeners. Beautiful.
  • … which makes it even more of a shame that The Shield will be facing Kane and the New Age Outlaws at Wrestlemania. I have no doubt that the match will be good, given the experience and skill of the heel team. But the rushed build means it doesn’t exactly scream must-see-PPV-match.
  • With respect to The Undertaker tonight, it’s funny how just one segment can make you feel a whole gimmick is getting a bit tired. We’ve marbled at Taker’s American Gothic act for decades, but something about it just felt hollow on this show. I wonder if Creative will notice and try some kind of swerve next week?

 

Tonight’s Raw was inconsistent. The show swung from great to awful in a way which pretty much reflects the current WWE. However the crowd added wit and excitement at every turn. The undercard heading into ‘Mania seems rather cobbled together, but at its best it shows the huge potential and talent in WWE, particularly among the younger performers.

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