WWE RAW Reaction 5/12/2014: Daniel Bryan Says Goodbye

Evolution

Evolution

The show opened with Evolution… because, at this point, it’s obvious that their feud with The Shield is WWE’s top priority right now. I’m not entirely sold on the ‘we’re angry and want to challenge Evolution to a REMATCH even though we won cleanly’ logic. There’d be more money on the table (and more momentum for both groups) had Evolution won at Extreme Rules and sent The Shield chasing them for another month. At least Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins are making the most of this opportunity.

I guess Jack Swagger vs. Adam Rose is a thing now. At least RVD won. Amirite?

Good to see Paige in action so early on the card. She needs victories like this to stay relevant, but she also needs a worthwhile feud for her championship reign to be anything more than a flash in the pan. And what about that Alicia Fox hissy-fit? All sorts of awkward going around.

The whole Daniel Bryan situation is… weird. I understand part of the issue – nobody is sure what to expect until Bryan actually goes under the knife. So Bryan’s goodbye speech was emotional, but it also felt a little bit like “I can’t really say goodbye in case I’m back next week.” And the whole Kane angle? Also weird. Had Stephanie confronted Bryan and threatened to strip his championship, I might be a little more excited, but to send Bryan out on an “injury” feels weaksauce. Like a little bit of WWE overbooking. So basically, it felt like Impact Wrestling.

Congrats to The Usos, John Cena, and The Wyatt Family for delivering a great match. Bray Wyatt’s promo after the match was all sorts of creepy, and kicked off what (hopefully) appears to be the last leg of this feud. I’m thinking Cena goes over at Payback… but with the “new WWE youth movement” in full-swing, who knows?

 

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It’s nice to see Sheamus on television each week again. I’m hoping the US Championship keeps getting treated almost like a TV Championship, with frequent title defenses on weekly shows against lower mid-card talent. Seeing Sheamus defeat both Curtis Axel and Ryback was impressive (even if both matches were fairly throwaway). Still, I feel a little remorse over the way RyBaxel has fallen.

Glad Dolph Ziggler got a victory over Fandango… but that’s about it. This ‘Total Divas RAW’ stuff has to go.

It was nice to see Rusev do something different – this time, stalking a legend! But just having something, anything new, to build his character was refreshing. And while I see potential in a Big E/Rusev feud, I think pairing these two up RIGHT NOW is a huge mistake. Both guys need wins to make it up the ladder. Plus, we recently saw Big E in a “Big Guy vs Big Guy” feud, so it doesn’t do much to excite me.

Damien Sandow lost… but Cody Rhodes won. Remember their great feud last fall? *sigh*

The closing segment between Roman Reigns and Batistia, The Shield and Evolution, felt like more of the same. We’ve gotten closing segments like this on practically EVERY SHOW since Wrestlemania. One group gets a win, the other one attacks, lots of random jobbers (like Brodus Clay!) show up for screen time. Enough is enough. This story between both groups tells itself, but this over-extension of wrestling 101 has me bored to tears.

Overall Show was a subpar, mid-month wrestling show. It epitomized the “lulls of summer.” And I’m worried next week won’t fare much better… but I’ve been wrong before. Just not about wrestling.

What did you think about last night’s show? Make your voice heard in the comments below. Or sound off when you follow Between the Ropes on Facebook and Twitter!

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