Raw 7/14/14: WWE Network Wants You!

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I have watched Monday Night Raw basically ever since I was able to do so as a Canadian. Never in the history of this program has Raw felt more like an infomercial for something than last night’s edition. Ironically it was an infomercial for a product that legally I can not purchase being a Canadian and that is of course the WWE Network. It would be mentioned from the beginning of the show to the end of the show with only a break or two for a segment about Sonic (Also Not Available in Canada)  and a Sting promo that Wrestling Observer reports cost 200,000 dollars for the new WWE 2K15 Video Game. In between all of this there was the odd match mixed in and an injury scare for a top WWE star. Seth Rollins is at least from initial reports said to be alright despite speculation of the worst immediately after Raw.

Segments:

John Cena was out front and center to start the show imploring you to purchase the WWE Network. Even going to the point to tease the fact he might lose this Sunday at “Battleground” live on the Network. John would than list off his opponents ending with Roman Reigns who would come out through the audience to confront Cena. He along with Cena and Ambrose were booked for the main event to face Orton, Kane and Seth Rollins which was mentioned just prior to the segment.

Cena would thank Reigns for helping him out at the end of the last Raw and would eventually be interrupted by Reigns who said for Cena to get to the point. I don’t have a lot of positives to say about this show, but I do like how they are dealing with Roman Reigns interacting with Cena. Reigns is standing up to him and that can only be a good thing for him moving forward to distance himself from Cena. So Cena would go on to say they needed to be united tonight and take out Kane and Orton so they could settle things on Sunday.

Dean Ambrose entered the conversation on the “Titantron “to tell Cena and Reigns that they had to work together to stick it to the Authority and he didn’t get to say much else as he was jumped by Orton, Kane and Rollins in the back. They beat on him for a long time ending with a curb stomp on a travelling case and that was that last we would see of Ambrose, as he was taken to hospital we were informed later by Michael Cole. Where were John Cena and Roman Reigns while Ambrose was getting the tar kicked out of him? That is a good question and one the WWE didn’t answer as we never saw those two again until the main event.

We had a debate moderated by Michael Cole between Lana and Uncle Zeb which took us back to the days of the cold war and made me nostalgic for Volkoff to sing the Russian anthem. Crowd was hot for this, as this angle had to be but on ice for a week because Jack Swagger that great American Hero is not allowed into Canada for his DUI arrest from back in the day. Still, that did not stop the fans in Richmond from treating him like the second coming of Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Bottom line to all this is we get Rusev and Swagger at the “Battleground” in the war to settle the score for world domination.

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Ric Flair was on the show and he came out to share his thoughts on how he would like to date Renee Young. Actually it only felt like that, for some reason he was there to claim who he felt would win the main event at “Battleground,” to which he said John Cena. This had Roman Reigns come out and tease he was not happy with that choice, but would shake hands with Flair and he would exit. On the way out John Cena entered and he stopped to talk with Flair and handed him the gold belt that years ago he brought to WWE from WCW and said to him it was his. Is this how we get down to having just one belt? It wasn’t exactly made clear, but it may well have been and if that is the case, a nice gesture to give it to Flair.

Triple H and Stephanie were back and they had a make out session but after that would assure Orton, Kane and Seth Rollins that they all were the focus of their love and attention. It almost felt like they had three more children to add to the couple having three daughters in reality. After all of that Paul Heyman who earlier in the night was abruptly announced as no longer representing Cesaro with claims he quit or was fired? Heyman suggested to Stephanie and Triple H that if their “Plan A & B” failed he had a guaranteed to work “Plan C” for them to consider. This likely alludes to Brock Lesnar’s return and the eventual match-up with Cena for Summerslam that has widely been reported and speculated to be happening.

Chris Jericho cut a fantastic promo that is worth going to find if you missed Raw. He would be interrupted by Bray Wyatt who cut a promo that crowd in Richmond either couldn’t hear or were just too stupid to appreciate.  They actually chanted boring at the end of his promo which I was just stunned by because it really was anything but. It led to lights going out Rowan and Harper attempted to attack Jericho unsuccessfully. He ran towards the back and Wyatt clocked him and would lay him out, standing over the fallen Jericho on the way to their match coming up on Sunday.

Matches:

There was a series of matches that were designed to hype up the Intercontinental Title Battle Royal. They failed to accomplish that goal for me. I have a hard time even remembering them to be honest. Here we go with what I can remember to the best of my knowledge.

Big E came out with his all of the sudden new buddy Kofi and took on Cesaro as mentioned with no Heyman. It doesn’t pay not be a Paul Heyman guy as Cesaro lost.

RVD and Alberto Del Rio went at it again going back to their not so classic feud over the World Championship of recent memory. RVD took a nasty bump and was arm-barred and tapped faster than Alexis Davis to Ronda Rousey.

Fandango was in a match with Dolph Ziggler. It would be interrupted by table dancing on the Raw announce table. I will not confirm of deny that Jerry Lawler was looking up Summer Rae’s dress. This caused both men to be distracted and Dolph would remember a match was going on first and hit the ” famouser” for the 1-2-3 and as a bonus would leave with both girls. This implied naughty things for the adult audience.

Stephanie came out and booked Nikki Bella in a handicap match with Alicia Fox and Cameron. It was meant as punishment for Nikki but in reality Alicia having to work with these two was punishment really. Steph had said Nikki only has her sister to blame for this, teasing the upcoming Stephanie against Bri match to where this has to lead us too.

A.J Lee speaking of being handicapped had to work with Eva Marie which was about as awful as one would think. This was all to set-up a strange confrontation with Paige who was on commentary singing the praises of the Diva’s Champion. After taping out the red headed stepchild of “Total Divas” A.J made her way and sat cross legged on the desk as her husband (who will get to in a minute) once did. The two were complimenting each other with so much under lying sarcasm you could taste it than A.J skipped away as they two will have a nice “friendly” battle on Sunday.

Main event was now a handicap match with Reigns and Cena against the Authority’s three kids, big brother Kane, Middle brother Randy and baby Seth. This match went off the track when Rollins injured his knee as mentioned earlier. He would get tossed out of the ring and quick attended to by medical staff off camera. Reigns would end up spearing Cena possibly by accident. Kane got RKOed and the whole match ended in complete chaos. No idea if any of this was the planned finish to the match. Ambrose never returned which you really thought was being teased with him injured so early in the show. This was perhaps due to the Rollins injury.

Other:

The Best in the World for last or something like that. How desperate is the WWE to push their network? They would plug the premiere of the “CM Punk DVD Best in the World” on the network tomorrow. It was done twice during the night and in a funny to stupid thing the announce team would not mention CM Punk by name. Punk if you have been living under a rock is expected to be released from his expiring contract by the company on Thursday. He has plans to start a podcast and work on projects outside of the WWE.  It always amuses me how this company likes to use CM Punk when it suits them to do so. It is also amusing that a lot of fans are buying into what WWE is selling in terms of Punk. Selling a network makes strange bedfellows I guess.

Overall Show: 350,000 Subscribers short of a Million.

Awful does not seem to be strong enough for what I felt about this show. I actually felt dirty watching it and it had nothing to do with Lana or Summer Rae and Layla’s dancing. It was just all around bad and made me question the reason I invest 3 hours a week in this program. There were few positives in a sea of darkness which might have been fitting for the first time Sting would appear in some form on WWE Raw.

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