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RAW: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Land of a Thousand YESses!
March 12, 2014

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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It's nice to finally be able to traverse the outdoors without needing to wear four layers and wading through seven feet of snow, because that is literally what happened and I never use hyperbole in any of my precaps. I'm still waiting for the first day of 2014 that I can go outside in just a T-shirt, and today may be the day.
 
But right now, I'm just chilling in my apartment, RAW on Hulu, OpenOffice on the computer screen, and bottle of 7-up on my desk. Thug life, yo.
 

Remember that I'm writing this based of the Hulu cut of RAW, which means some matches that took place on TV won't be here, for better or worse. From Rick's recaps over the past year, generally that seems to be a net positive to my WWE viewing experience, but I do miss a lot of divas matches. Let's get to the recap and see what's happening this week.

Segment 1: Hulk Hogan is out to start the show tonight. It's basically just a self-advertising for WWE Network and WrestleMania. Oh, and there's going to be a 30-man battle royal at WrestleMania called the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, with an accompanying Andre the Giant trophy. That's nice. The crowd seems entertained, so I guess that's the most important thing.

Hogan closes, and then John Cena arrives. Cena and Hogan in the same ring... the crowd may be booing, but that is quite an interesting sight. Cena tries to wax poetically about Hogan, though it comes off a little patronizing to me, but whatever. Cena then volunteers to be the first man to enter his name in the battle royal.

And then the Wyatt Family comes down to ringside. Bray says that pride has always been his favorite sin, and how it can blind even those who think they're immortal. Hogan and Cena are both liars and too prideful, using their catchphrases to give false hopes to the weak. He concludes that if Cena looks up at him, he'll see a friend; if he looks down at him, he'll see an enemy; but if he looks him square in the eye, he'll see a god.

The fans are onboard with that, but then Cena asks if Bray actually listens to his own crap, since it's really weird. Cena calls Bray out on his own hypocrisy, reminding reminding him that he just said how bad pride was, but then he called himself a god. Cena says he doesn't see a god; he sees a homeless man “wasted away in Margaritaville,” breaking into song mid-sentence. Heh, cute; Cena does know how to turn a wrestler's own catchphrases and promo ticks against them.

Cena apologizes to Hogan for possibly not making the Battle Royal after all, since he gives a challenge to Bray to face him at WrestleMania. Bray says it's all fun and games until you're caught in the spider's web yourself. Seems random, until Luke Harper and Eric Rowan get on the apron. Cena tosses away his hat and shirt as he and Hogan get into fighting positions.

...And then ads. Huh.

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: John Cena (w/ Hulk Hogan) reverse-squashes Eric Rowan (w/ Wyatt Family) by flash pin. Meh. The match was pretty subpar, and included such gems as the Bearhug of Doom. Rowan did all the work until a pin out of nowhere at the very end.

After the match, the Wyatts threatened to attack the two again, but didn't. The heels left, and they played Hogan's music, because that made sense.

I would like to point out that Hogan did his... well, his Hogan thing after the match. At one point, he points to the crowd and does his hand-flourish-to-the-ear thing, and the crowd cheered pretty loudly. Then he pointed to Cena... and the crowd was dead silent. Freaking hilarious.

Still, Cena mimicked Hogan's poses (with Hogan's urging) as they appealed to each side of the ring. You've seen it before.

Segment 3: Triple H and Stephanie McMahon pop out onto the stage to recap the Daniel Bryan situation, then gives a “very sincere” apology to DB for Trips Pedigreeing him last week. Steph also assures everyone that they totally won't fire DB for kicking Trips in the face last week, so long as he apologizes to them in turn. Especially since DB is so totally not worthy of being man enough to face Trips in the ring, and it's best for everyone if DB just admits that. I'm sure we'll look forward to that happening.

Segment 4 [Tag Match]: The Usos extend-squash Curtis Axel & Ryback by pin. Solid match with the Usos putting on a clinic on double-team and explosive offense. I'm not sure the heels got in any offense at all, but the match was definitely worth watching.

Even better, the New Age Outlaws were out there on commentary, and they were absolutely hilarious, in their subdued way they get as they made a hundred excuses why they lost the titles and why they haven't had their rematch yet, even though they so totally will. The five-man booth gave me a headache, but their blathering made up for it.

Segment 5: Kane meets with The Shield in the back. Kane recaps what The Shield has been up to the last month with the whole issue they've had with the Wyatt Family and each other. Kane says that they're seeing the cracks in The Shield, and that they first appeared when they lost the Tag Team Titles to the Rhodes Brothers. So, they're going to have a rematch with them to try to prove their worth.

Seth Rollins wonders if this is really about them, or if Kane is just feeling useless after getting the crap beaten out of him by DB on Monday and getting knocked out by Big Show on Friday. Kane's not having that and dismisses them, though Roman Reigns gets in a vague threat before leaving.

Segment 6: I feel at this point that I will never achieve my goal of seeing the Undertaker's entrance in person, but goddamn does it still give me chills to this day, even on a television screen.

He makes his full entrance but doesn't get a chance to speak as Paul Heyman appears on the stage. Heyman probably voids his bowels as he apologizes for interrupting Taker's moment here. Heyman is here to advocate that Taker just holds onto The Streak as it is. He puts it in perspective: Shawn Michaels, Mr. WrestleMania himself, never won two in a row; Trips had three; Hogan, Steve Austin, and John Cena had four, but not five. The biggest names in WWE couldn't break six, and here's Taker who's had 21 straight wins. So, you know, maybe you should just stop while the stopping is good, because Taker's streak is bigger than the business itself. And Brock Lesnar will of course snap it.

As always, Heyman delivers a damn good promoter speech. But Taker isn't having it; “The fear of death is far greater than the death itself. But the fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all. And if Lesnar shows up for WrestleMania 30, he will rest... in... peace...”

Simple and plain. Heyman gentle places the mic on the stage and backs away as Taker's music plays them out.

Excellent decision to basically let Heyman cut Taker's promo for him. At this point, it would seem silly and totally unnecessary for Taker to put himself over. Heyman gets to deliver the goods while Taker delivers the punchline, everyone wins. And you know me: I always like shorter promos that get to the fucking point than longer, overblown ones.

Segment 7: Daniel Bryan hits the ring to talk. He knows Steph's apology was so totally insincere, and that he should have kicked Trips in the face a long time ago. DB declares that Trips can send anyone he wants to try beat up DB, but it doesn't matter; DB will always fight back.

So DB declares he's not going to leave the ring until he gets his match with Trips at WrestleMania. But there have been many wrestlers who have said they're “not going to leave the ring” for something or other in the past, but DB has a different card up his sleeve. He calls on his members of the Yes Movement.

And a good two dozen “fans” (or plants, whatever) hit the ring in DB's newish T-shirt, a Che Guevara knockoff that instantly makes me roll my eyes.

Then we go to ads, and we're back, and there's got to be 100 people (including Sign Guy) in and around the ring doing Yes Fingers to DB's lead. Trips hits the stage, congratulates him on having a few fans with him, then warns them all (including DB) to get out of the ring before he summons security to arrest them all. They resist, so Trips call for security.

DB has a better idea: how about literally everyone just leaves the arena and sets up their own ring in the parking lot, then continue the night while Trips broadcasts RAW surrounded by empty chairs? Trips calls his bluff and sends security to the ring, which is comprised of two guys wearing off-the-rack suits. DB is pretty sure “all two of them” can't stop them. The security guys come down, look at them, say “fuck it” and just goes back up to the stage with shrugs.

Now Stephanie loses her shit and tries to convince the people to convert, but it doesn't help. DB once again declares that they own the ring and the company and everything, and she has no power to order them to leave.

Trips isn't having that, so he says to fire up someone's music and gets on with the next match. Damien Sandow (who I haven't seen in entirely too long) of all people gets the call, so he starts to make his entrance. DB invites him to the ring to join the Yes Movement, but Sandow wants no part of it, so he starts to leave around the stage. Trips charges back out there and stops him.

Then Steph comes out and shrieks and declares she totally owns them all, so get the hell out of the ring. No one does, DB again declares they're not going anywhere until he gets his match.

Trips says that the truth of this whole issue is that he likes Daniel Bryan, and has been trying to protect him by not agreeing to a match at WrestleMania. But fine, DB wants his career ended? Done. Trips agrees to the match! Now get out of the ring!

Trips and Steph start to leave... but DB is all, “You know, while I'm here anyway...” He clarifies that the people really want to see him fight for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. So this is what he wants: if DB beats Trips at WrestleMania, then he gets added to the main event and convert it to a triple threat match!

Trips loses his damn mind and rips off his suit jacket, then charges the ring. Security stops him, which makes no damn sense (unless we just want to pretend that security was protecting him for his own good, which would be apropos). But Trips agrees to the demand, and suddenly WrestleMania's title picture becomes a hell of a lot more interesting.

Pre-Segment 8: Back from ads and Jerry Lawler is in the ring, because there was a voting thing for tonight. Good call on bothering to air it, but the stipulations were loaded, leading to an obvious outcome. We're in Memphis, so this is going to be a “Memphis Street Fight.” Enjoy.

Segment 8 [Singles Street Fight]: Sheamus defeats Christian by pin. Solid match, probably worth a watch, but not exactly something that's got WrestleMania implications.

The fight spills outside the ring after a nanosecond with Sheamus in control. The first foreign object was introduced when Sheamus tried to smash Christian in the face with a guitar, but Christian ducked it, resulting in a perfectly good acoustic going to waste. Christian took control from there and started smacking the guitar into Sheamus's ribs, but Sheamus was able to get out of trouble and fling Christian into the steps to take control.

The fight went to the stage where Christian hit a sick tornado DDT by jumping off the stage to grab Sheamus and nail him into the concrete. Good lord. That takes us to ads.

Back, and Christian had apparently went to town on Sheamus's back with a kendo stick. He's welted up, but we come back from ads about two seconds before a Sheamus rally. Sheamus got his revenge with the kendo stick after a rolling senton and followed up with a White Noise, but it wasn't enough to close the deal.

After kicking out, Christian rolled himself to the apron, where Sheamus caught him and hit the 10 of Clubs (or rather, the 17 of Clubs in this case). The move has a proper name now, called the 10 Beats of the Bodhran. Two guesses as to whether I adopt that name going forward.

Sheamus wanted the Brogue Kick from there, but Christian wasn't having it, and just bailed. Sheamus caught him outside and did the Irish Curse Backbreaker by jumping from the steps, giving it some extra oomph. Sheamus threw him back in the ring, then tossed in some stairs and a bass drum. Christian fought Sheamus off and was able to get in a couple chair shots, then stacked them on Sheamus. Christian flew off with a top rope splash that probably hurt Christian as much as Sheamus, and he still only got the two count.

Christian found himself next to the bass drum, so he picked it up and readied it as a weapon. But then Sheamus popped up and hit the Brogue Kick through the drum, and that was that.

Segment 9: Angry Russian Girl comes out onto the stage to hype Alexander Rusev. Again. And then Rusev comes out to talk. Again. For the love of god, debut already.

Segment 10: Bray Wyatt cuts a promo from the back on the Titantron as he accuses Cena to being just as big a monster as he is, but doesn't justify it. Bray just talks some crazy nonsense as he does, then accepts Cena's challenge for a singles match at WrestleMania. But he adds that Cena is the one with everything to lose; Cena's time is done, but Bray is forever.

Bray sings himself off-camera as Rowan advises us to run.

Segment 11 [Tag Match]: Daniel Bryan & Big Show defeat Randy Orton & Batista by pin. Solid but time-compressed match. Batista started out with Orton. Orton got in a punch and a kick, then was sent flying out of the ring. DB followed up by fling out himself with a suicide dive, and we went to ads just that quick.

Back, and Orton has DB on his knees and has the heel beatdown going. DB got a little breathing room when Orton whiffed on a jumping knee, and he tagged out to Show. Show dominated for a bit but fell to a numbers game when Orton distracted him and Bats was able to deliver a chop block.

Orton back on offense from there, but Show breaks away after a minute and makes a hot tag. DB cleans house and hits Yes Kicks on Orton, but whiffs on the top rope splash. Orton tried a quick schoolboy pin, but DB kicked out and transitioned it to a Yes Lock. Bats broke it up; Show took him down with a side kick, but ate an RKO for his trouble.

DB was slow to rise and Orton readied an RKO. Just as they all rose though, Bats charged with a Spear. DB dodged it, so Orton took the Spear instead. DB took down Bats with a flying knee, but whiffed when trying to hit Orton with a running missile dropkick. Orton took advantage with a Hangman's DDT, then started humping the ring. DB countered the RKO into a backslide, only got a two, but followed up with the running knee... and made the pin! Yay!

Final Thoughts: Solid night, though really light on wrestling. For the Road to WrestleMania, I'm always softer when it comes to nights like this, since we get about six weeks of setup followed by one night of payoffs. Although Rusev really needs to debut sooner than later.

I've got nothing more, and I won't post the episode grade since I didn't see the whole thing due to the Hulu cut, since I enjoy pretending I'm professional about silly stuff like that. Starting next week, Rick is going to be back to the RAW recap, so you'll be getting all the expert commentary and analysis you come to Online Onslaught for! I'll be back in a couple days for SmackDown, and I really need to start writing the WrestleMania column. Enjoy your week, folks.

 
E-MAIL PYROFALKON


  
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