JC’s Top Rope Report: The RAW Truth Review for 2.24.14

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I’M HERE TO PLUG THE WWE NETWORK, BROTHER!

Hulk Hogan came out to start the show. He said tonight starts the turning point of his career because he is home again brother. He said 30 years ago he made history at WrestleMania and today the WWE Universe is making history with the WWE Network. He talked about the WWE Network and how the future is WrestleMania 30. He said he was going to be the host of WrestleMania 30 and that’s about it. Pretty much just a network plug.

Because Just Once Wasn’t Enough

It’s Batista vs Alberto del Rio again. Batista went right to work with some kicks to Del Rio in the corner. Batista threw Del Rio hard into the corner, then they went to the outside where Batista slammed ADR into the barricade then the apron. Del Rio caught Batista back in the ring with a kick to the head. Del Rio went for a suplex but Batista blocked it and hit one of his own. Del Rio went to the outside, then he knocked Batista off the apron and threw him into the steps into commercial.

Back from break Del Rio landed multiple kicks on Batista. He went for a dropkick but Del Rio went flying through the ropes. Del Rio recovered and dropped Batista’s neck on the ropes. Del Rio went to the top and Batista crotched him, then hit a suplex. Both men exchanged punches and kicks before Batista hit a clothesline. Del Rio came back with an enziguri kick and went for his kick to the head but Batista barely moved out of the way. Del Rio missed again and Batista hit a spinebuster. Suddenly, Randy Orton’s music hit. The distraction allowed Del Rio to roll up Batista and pick up the win.

WINNER: Alberto del Rio

Randy Orton talked about Batista being easily distracted and how the WWE Universe has negatively reacted to his return. The crowd broke out in a CM Punk chant. Batista then said that he loves this business and they can boo or cheer and he will do the same thing back. Batista said it is about honesty but that’s another story. Batista said he is going to WrestleMania to beat the ass of his former friend and he is going to be the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and to deal with it.

Battle Of Future Stars

It’s Big E vs Cesaro. Big E started with his leapfrog over Cesaro followed by a shoulder tackle. Cesaro regrouped then took Big E down to the mat. Big E threw him away but Cesaro recovered with some knees, followed by an uppercut. Cesaro went to the ropes but Big E stopped him and hit two belly-to-bellys. Big E then hit two shots to the gut in the corner. Big E went to an armbar, but Cesaro escaped and caught Big E with a boot. Cesaro went to the second rope but Big E caught him and hit three backbreakers for two. Big E went to another armbar but Cesaro escaped with some headbutts and went to a headlock. Big E escaped and when he went to leapfrog Cesaro, Cesaro caught him and hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker into commercial.

Cesaro landed a handful of uppercuts back from break but then went right into a Big E press slam. Big E charged at Cesaro but Cesaro moved and Big E went right into the ringpost. Cesaro hit his double stomp followed by more uppercuts and then a headlock. Big E escaped, but Cesaro threw him off the ropes and hit a powerslam. Cesaro then lifted Big E off the mat and hit a gut wrench slam for two. Both men exchanged blows again. Cesaro locked in a sleeper but Big E escaped. He hit some clotheslines followed by a belly-to-belly. Big E hit his splash for two. Big E went for the Big Ending but Cesaro escaped, launched Big E in the air and hit his uppercut. Cesaro went for the Swing but Big E countered. Big E then caught a charging Cesaro and hit a black hole slam for two. Cesaro rolled to the outside where Swagger went to take out Big E but ate a clothesline instead. Back in the ring, Cesaro applied the Cesaro Swing on Big E. Suddenly, Swagger came in the ring and applied the Patriot Lock on Big E, causing a DQ.

WINNER: Big E via DQ

Swagger and Cesaro argued while Zeb tried to calm things down. Big E then attacked Swagger but Cesaro stopped him and hit the Neutralizer on Big E. It looked like it was messed up as Big E somewhat landed on his head.

Uh Oh….

John Cena came out. He once again shilled the WWE Network. Cena called out Bray Wyatt and asked if he was a one trick pony or if he was going to come out. The Wyatts did. Bray said the world has a virus and what would it do without their hero. Bray called Cena a liar that can’t save the human race. Bray said that Cena was right and the future does go through him. Bray said he is the reaper of lies. Cena said that if the go into the ring, they are starting something that they can’t finish. The Wyatts surrounded the ring and eventually got the upperhand. Cena looks like he legit did something to his knee as the Wyatts attacked him again. The Wyatts left but Cena went after Rowan then Bray took him out with his charging dive. Cena appeared to be legit hurt.

Mandatory Smackdown Rematch

It’s Christian vs Sheamus. After a lock up Sheamus pushed Christian out of the ring. Christian caught Sheamus with a hard chop but Sheamus came back with a kick of his own and then a clothesline. Sheamus went to a chinlock and then knocked Christian out of the ring again. Christian caught Sheamus and went to crotch him on the post but Sheamus pulled him forward and Christian went into the post. Sheamus hit a couple of knee drops in the ring. Christian recovered and caught Sheamus with a dropkick. Sheamus went to the apron and Christian tried to slam him on the turnbuckle but Sheamus blocked it. Sheamus then tossed Christian over the top to the outside then hit a shoulder tackle off the apron.

Back from commercial Christian knocked Sheamus off the top, then threw Sheamus into the steps. Christian landed some hard shots to the mid-section of Sheamus in the ring. Christian landed a headbutt to the gut then went to a bearhug. Sheamus escaped but Christian then went right into the abdominal stretch. Sheamus escaped again but Christian caught Sheamus with a kick to the face, followed by his over the top rope uppercut. Christian missed a crossbody off the top. Sheamus caught Christian with a high running knee then a couple axe handles. Christian tossed Sheamus to the outside. Sheamus moved out of the way of a dive and Christian stopped himself. Sheamus hit his rope punches then a battering ram over the top. Sheamus went for a Cloverleaf but Christian escaped. Christian went to the second rope but Sheamus knocked him off and applied the Cloverleaf. Christian got to the ropes. Christian went to the outside and Sheamus chased him. Christian caught him with a couple kicks. He went for the Killswitch but Sheamus countered and went for White Noise, but Christian countered with a roll up for two. Sheamus came back with a running powerslam for two. Christian ducked a Brogue Kick and then caught Sheamus with a kick in the ropes. Christian went to the second rope but Sheamus caught him with a Brogue Kick mid-air for the win.

WINNER: Sheamus

Backstage Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins were arguing with Dean Ambrose about what happened. Ambrose then left. The Wyatts showed up and Reigns challenged Bray to a match and he accepted.

Well D-Bry, It’s Kind Of What We Want

Kane vs Daniel Bryan. Bryan landed some early kicks on Kane but Kane starting going after the injured shoulder of Bryan. Kane threw Bryan into the turnbuckle. Bryan then did a drop toe hold with Kane going into the turnbuckle. Bryan landed some kicks to the leg of Kane and started working over his leg. Bryan went to a half crab but Kane got to the ropes. Kane recovered and again went after the shoulder of Bryan. Kane slammed the injured shoulder of Bryan into the mat. Bryan went to the outside and Kane followed. Bryan quickly came back in the ring and hit a dropkick through the ropes. Kane recovered and caught Bryan with an uppercut, then through Bryan into the steps.

Bryan ran right into a boot to the shoulder from Kane. Kane clotheslined Bryan in the corner then went to an armbar. Bryan escaped then did his moonsault leap over Kane and hit a clothesline. Bryan landed kicks to the chest of Kane but Kane ducked the last one and hit a sidewalk slam. Kane went to the top but Bryan crotched him. Bryan then hit a hurricarrana off the ropes for two. Bryan hit two dropkicks in the corner but Kane came back with a right hand on the third try. Kane charged at Bryan but Bryan ducked and Kane went over the top. Bryan hit his dive to the outside then a dropkick into the barricade. Kane hit a missile dropkick off the top. Bryan caught Kane with a kick to the head. Bryan went to the top for a headbutt but Kane caught him and hit a chokeslam but only got two. Bryan went for the YES Lock, Kane countered and went for a chokeslam. Bryan went for a YES Lock again but Kane threw him away. Bryan ducked a clothesline and caught Kane with the running knee for the win.

WINNER: Daniel Bryan

Bryan brought up challenging Triple H to a match earlier backstage. Bryan called HHH a coward and said he hid behind his wife’s skirt. Bryan said ever since HHH put on that suit he’s ignored what the people want. Bryan said give the people what they want at WrestleMania, which is Triple H vs Daniel Bryan.

Still Better Than The Current WWE Divas

Emma vs Summer Rae. Summer Rae threw down Emma while dancing. She threw Emma into the corner then Summer Rae caught her with a spinning heel kick. Summer then shoved her leg into Emma in the ropes. Summer went to a headlock. Summer let go and went for another spinning heel kick, but Emma stopped it and applied the Emma Lock for the win.

WINNER: Emma

The Usos were set to take on the New Age Outlaws. The Outlaws asked The Usos to leave the ring to do their entrance. But one Uso caught Road Dogg with a kick, the other took out Billy with a dive, then the first Uso hit the splash off the top for the win.

Another Battle of Future Stars

Bray vs Roman Reigns. Bray started with a right hand but Reigns came back with his own that knocked Bray down. They locked up again and Bray caught Reigns with a kick followed by a right hand. Reigns recovered with a shoulder tackle followed by an elbow drop. Reigns landed some right hands but Bray caught Reigns with a right of his own to the throat. Bray caught Reigns with a short clothesline then went to a headlock. Reigns escaped but Bray hit his hard dive into Reigns. Reigns reversed Bray and tossed him to the outside. Reigns hit a clothesline on the floor.

Bray hit his back splash back from break. Reigns tried fighting back but Bray caught him again with an uppercut. Bray caught Reigns with his splash again. The crowd is trying to be cool again here and get themselves over with dumb and pointless chants. Bray hit one splash in the corner but moved out of the way of the second. Reigns shoved Bray away and hit a flying clothesline followed by another in the corner. He hit his dropkick on the outside. Suddenly Rowan and Harper appeared, but Rollins came out and hit a dive to the outside from the ring. Bray took out Reigns from behind. Ambrose made the save for Rollins, then went in the ring to attack Bray. All hell broke loose and the match ended.

WINNER: Bray Wyatt Via DQ

Nobody Makes Brock Lesnar Bleed His Own Blood

Brock Lesnar came out with Paul Heyman. Heyman once again called Lesnar the obvious #1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Heyman said Orton/Batista should get their title match out of the way and the winner should fight Lesnar at WrestleMania. Heyman said HHH offered them instead an open contract at WrestleMania where he can fight whoever he wants. Heyman said that is how the WWE gets you. Heyman said Lesnar has conquered everything that has been thrown in front of him. Heyman said that Lesnar wants to make history again and win the WWE Title at WrestleMania but that Triple H and Steph won’t let them. Heyman said that is how they get you. Heyman said you can give Brock Lesnar the chance to make history at WrestleMania or you can’t use Brock Lesnar and WrestleMania in the same sentence anymore.

Unsurprisingly, the gong hit and The Undertaker made his way to the ring. Taker and Lesnar stared each other down and Taker looked at the WrestleMania sign. Heyman opened the contract and Lesnar signed it. Lesnar put the pen in Taker’s chest and Heyman invited Taker to sign it. Taker “stabbed” Lesnar with the pen then signed it, and chokeslammed Lesnar through the table.

WHAT I LIKED

The Wrestling: Instead of listing every match separately, I’ll just go ahead and say that almost every match was good tonight on RAW. Cesaro/Big E was a great way to show off that Big E can work and hang with guys in the ring even with his size. Bryan/Kane was a good psychological match with each men working over specific body parts. Christian/Sheamus was another solid match between both men and even Reigns/Bray was decent despite the crowd (More on that later). The wrestling portion of the show definitely held up its end tonight.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

Batista/Del Rio, Orton Follow Up: There is no way that the WWE can hide this terrible error in judgment. Even if they throw this in the middle of the card it is admitting failure. The WWE tried to push Batista as a bigger star than he is and it blew up in their face, just like Batista has everytime he’s wrestled. The guy is not in wrestling shape. He can barely do a ten minute match and they want him to win the WWE Title at Mania?

Bryan Doing HHH’S Bidding: By having Daniel Bryan come out and challenge Triple H, it is clear they are trying to get the heat off HHH/Vince for not putting Bryan in the Title Match. Too bad it still won’t work in the long run.

The Crowd: I know I have taken crap on here before with crowd reactions but I’ll state it again here. Batista is one thing because every crowd hates him. But chanting stupid, random shit during every match tonight is stupid. It is like some wrestling fans got stupid and forgot how a match works, and that slow spots are needed for the heel to work on their offense. Crapping on stuff works once in awhile, and this wasn’t the case at all tonight.

WHAT I’M INDIFFERENT ABOUT

Lesnar/Taker: I really don’t know how I feel about this. I believe it will be a good match, but I would just rather see both men used differently. Each guy is a big enough star that they should be in separate matches.

As far as the show goes, I expected more from what was hyped as a big show. But I don’t think it delivered. I’m going to give it a 5, mostly for the wrestling on the show. Obviously, John Cena’s potential injury could be a big story going forward and is one to keep an eye on.

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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