WWE Raw Review: Is The Devil In The Details?

wwe-raw-logo For the third pay-per-view in a row, WWE had a lot to answer for coming out of Miami. Sure, they gave some definitive endings but they weren't exactly heavenly when they came to logic. Shawn Michaels was once again thrust into controversy as the special guest referee crowning a new WWE champion and Randy Orton, CM Punk gets his hands on Paul Heyman and crew and John Cena return miraculously after two months and became the World Heavyweight Championship holder for the third time. But in the end was that enough to make Satan's structure interesting again? Or was Raw, much like the pay-per-view in forgetting the devil is all in the details again. The show opens with John Cena coming out to the live crowd in Orlando very hyped up. The new champion says that he had his doubters pointing out JBL at ringside. But Cena goes on to thank the Texas blowhard for his help in motivating John to come back and overcome the odds Cena was much more slang oriented in his promo maybe pointing to a throwback version of Cena character. He said no matter who comes after him. He's ready and the champ is here. Damien Sandow then appears briefcase in hand as John Cena looks to exit the ring. The Intellectual Savior makes it perfectly clear that he is the uncrowned world champion with the contract in hand and teases that he may cash in as he knows Cena is still hurting from his match with Alberto del Rio. Sandow appears to use discretion before attacking Cena with the briefcase on his injured elbow. He continues the assault before taking it to the outside running John into the outside barricade and ring steps shoulder first. Sandow then grabs a chair and proceeds to smash Cena's arm. Damien says his time is now and then announces he is cashing in on his opportunity for the World Heavyweight Title right then and there. They cut to commercial with the champion still on the outside and come back with John Cena struggling to get back to his feet after the attack. On one hand, it was a competitive match, but having Cena be so much of a warrior fighting with one arm doesn't do much for Sandow or even the world title going forward. I don't understand why this had to happen? What did this do for John Cena? Or Damien Sandow? It just goes to prove that Cena's unstoppable which you already could guess considering he won the title. It's decisions like these that buckle my mind and seemed to happen all throughout the show this week. Like I said, it was the most competitive match the Damien Sandow has had for sure. The problem is it was against a one armed Cena. Sandow and Alberto del Rio had obliterated that arm and Cena still overcame. Do we really believe that when ADR gets his rematch that he has a shot. I know they wanted to keep John in the mix but was this the right thing to do? And what you do with Sandow going forward? Why did they feel the need to blow this off so quickly ? They make an announcement that we will have a championship celebration for Randy Orton, the fans will get to pick the stipulation between CM Punk and Ryback for later in the night and Shawn Michaels will explain his actions from the pay-per-view. We then learn that Dean Ambrose will defend his United States title once again against Big E. Langston next. The Shield is backstage and says that they have lost focus and are going to get back to what got them noticed. Ambrose says that if Langston was a stock, he would buy it putting over the young NXT rookie devastation from the night before. Ambrose brags he is the only champion the Shield has left getting glares from Rollins and Reigns. They are definitely planning the seeds that Ambrose will be the demise of The Shield soon enough. And while you can kind of see the cracks after the tag title loss, on the same token, it feels rather rushed. I understand they have been together a year, but this just feels it came out of nowhere. We all knew it was going to happen sooner or later but it didn't have that feeling of something special. The US title rematch itself is a short one as Rollins and Reigns get involved making the Usos come down and help out Langston. The match gets restarted by Brad Maddox as a six man tag. In the end, the Shield get the victory after Roman does an amazing double spear on Jimmy and Jey for the win. So looks like that Rollins and Reigns may be getting a face turn as they were the workhorse part of that match as Ambrose looked on from the outside. After the commercial, Shawn Michaels comes out and says that he has to explain his actions to Daniel Bryan face-to-face. He invites out his former student and says that what he did was not popular but Hunter is his best friend and he had to protect him following Daniel and his need to the face. Michaels asked Daniel to accept his apology, extending his hand. Bryan refuses. HBK says that he taught Daniel his final lesson about not trusting anybody in this business and Michaels asked for another handshake. This time, Shawn gets more indignant calling his former pupil an ungrateful little puke and goes on to say that he is Shawn Michaels and he needs to shake his hand. Bryan finally does, but holds on to put him in the Yes Lock were Shawn taps out before the referees break it up. Triple H nowhere in sight. Ill be interesting to see if Shaun and Hunter have interactions going forward on where he was during this whole incident. This is where the night gets really strange. Backstage, René young is attempting to get comments from Daniel Bryan when the Wyatt family begins to attack. Eric Rowan and Luke Harper beat down Bryan running him into a ladder backstage where Bray Wyatt is waiting. Wyatt hits Sister Abigail on Bryan on the chain-link fence behind him and then grabs an anvil case and runs it into the head of Daniel Bryan. Bray Wyatt then proclaims the devil made him do it. I can only assume that this would be Triple H given what happened later in the night with CM Punk. I don't really understand this move if it is the COO as the Wyatt family supposed to be fighting against the machine. Aren't they supposed to free your mind from all corporate entanglements? Does it take the shine of them, if they are just the new Shield? Maybe they're going for a corporate ministry sort of thing. I guess there's no more following the buzzards anymore. In a juxtaposition of segments following the darkness of the Wyatt family, Los Matadores defeat Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre once again. This time the trio tries the use what JBL calls bull catching nets to no avail. Under stupidity with a bunch of bad jokes and the like. Really took away from the Daniel Bryan mood I thought. This could of gone somewhere else in the night. We come back and find that Brie Bella and Nikki are being forced to compete against AJ and Tamina in tag team action. Brie is distracted by the fact that Daniel Bryan has been taken to the hospital and is reportedly in and out of consciousness. She cannot focus on the match in the end another miscommunication by the Bellas cost the twins another victory. There definitely setting up some sort of split between the two sooner rather than later. But they have done this before and did anybody care? Next up, we have the Miz trying to get revenge on Kane for the choke slam last night at Hell in a Cell. The match itself is pretty short and not that great as the Miz gets a little offense and suffers the same fate as the night before with Kane getting the pin after his chokeslam. Then things take another strange turn as Kane calls out Stephanie McMahon, who comes out to the ramp. Kane says that she is abusing her power playing with people's lives and he understands it is what is best for business. The big red monster says that he is at her disposal. Then the big man goes up the ramp taking off his mask with her included and handing it to. Stephanie like it's some sort of trophy. This is definitely because of See No Evil 2 coming out and he needs to look like Jacob Goodnight but it's still perplexing. So let's just assume that Bray Wyatt's devil is talking about Triple H now the Wyatt family and Kane are on the same side. I would've loved a little foreshadowing going into this. Another thing that came out of nowhere. They could've built it up over a few weeks, it would've meant more. So now Stephanie has replaced on monster and Big Show with another in Kane. I'm not a big fan of this but maybe they will surprise me. We see the Primetime Players doing the famous WWE shop add from the last few weeks. Is there a reason they're doing these more often? Then we see the special segment with David Otunga talking about Big Show's lawsuit against triple H and Stephanie. Otunga says that, Big Show could win big causing them to maybe lose ownership the company. Keep that in mind for later. CM Punk comes out says he's overjoyed and has slept like a baby the first time in three months because Heyman is gone. Punk says no matter what the fans chose or his match tonight Ryback will get destroyed and submit. The fans chose a Street Fight which saw Ryback go through a table and get beaten pillar to post until submitting to the Anaconda Vise. After the match, the Wyatt family makes their presence felt once again. CM Punk does his best to fight them off, but in the end, the numbers get the best of him. Bray Wyatt nails Sister Abigail and then proceeds to tell once again that the devil made him do it. Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger defeat Cody Rhodes and Goldust. So they go from losing a match one night prior to defeating the tag team champions? Are they the number one contenders now? If it is this has to be the most schizophrenic booking in a long time. Alberto Del Rio comes out and complains about his loss at the pay-per-view. It basically sets up a rematch at Survivor Series in Cena's hometown of Boston. Natalya defeated Summer Rae in a solid debut for the first lady of NXT on the main roster. It really established Fandango's dance partner as a legitimate threat in the ring. I would I preferred a victory for Summer but she did get one over on the Queen of Harts the night before. In the final segment of the night with superstars looking on the stage, Triple H puts over him seeing that Randy Orton is the future. Daniel Bryan wasn't it. Stephanie says that every superstar needs to strive to be Randy Orton. Orton adds to the mix saying that he's the better than all of them. With music, Big Show comes down to the ring, the shield tries to intercept but the Rhodes family and the Usos run interference. The authority scatters and big show gets on the mic and says he doesn't care about restraining orders or jail time. He has friends that can help him out with that. He's not going to stand this anymore. Just as he finishes Orton hits him with the WWE title belt and receives the KO punch for his efforts. In the end, the authority is left picking up the pieces and wondering what's next. If they did not mention about the Big Show lawsuit, I would not have a problem with this segment. Big show was motivated todo things for money. Why ruin a winning lawsuit that would give you money and satisfaction of justice? Especially violating court orders€ I know it's the world of WWE. It's not supposed to make sense but when you reference it an hour before and do the complete opposite, it's not good. All in all, not a bad episode of Monday Night Raw, they definitely reset a lot of pieces on the board. And with that, it will be interesting to see what shakes out from this creative shuffle. Regardless of how I feel about the show creatively, there was a lot of good in ring work on the show. Shield versus the Big E Langston and the Usos was a good time as was Rhodes dynasty And the Real Americans. Plus, Sandow versus Cena was great as well. Until next week, everyone.
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Paul Jordan is a handycapable source for all things entertainment. Whether he is watching the guys who go bump in the night with the world of professional wrestling or the latest small or big screen feature you will receive the blunt and honest truth on everything