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RAW Rundown 3-31-14

March 31, 2014

Live from Washington, D.C.

Your hosts are JBL, Jerry Lawler, and Michael Cole



The show starts with the Undertaker walking out to the ring very, very slowly. After he almost tripped on the steps, he finally got into the ring. They aired a video package of what he did to Brock Lesnar on RAW then he talked about how he was 21-0 at WrestleMania. He then tried to get inside of Lesnar's head by asking him how he intends to break his streak. Taker then talks up Brock and says that it is inevitable the streak will be broken but said people believe in three things: "death, taxes, and the streak." Lesnar's music hits and he comes out with Paul Heyman. A "CM Punk" chant broke out as Heyman tells Taker that all it takes is a three seconds after an F-5 to end his streak. Lesnar then teases a confrontation in the ring a few times but retreats then he and Heyman circle the ring until Heyman plops into a chair, which allows Lesnar to slide into the ring. Taker attacks him at first but walks into a clothesline then Lesnar hits him with an F5. Lesnar did a good job with his intensity at the end and he desperately needed to get the upper hand in a segment to at least build up some intrigue that he could end the streak but they are a few weeks late and a million dollars short of that goal. There was nothing wrong with the segment itself but this feud has been ice cold and no one at all is buying Lesnar in this match.


Alberto Del Rio d Big E (10:28) **1/4.

Del Rio pinned the IC Champ with a standing sidekick. Big E had a couple of nice power spots, including lifting up Del Rio, who had him in an armbar, and slamming him down, but he has been a dud as the champ. The crowd was not really into him, either. Del Rio has been okay in the ring recently but his stock has dropped a lot.


Wyatt Family promo. Bray said that everyone will forget about John Cena when he is done with him after WrestleMania and see him for what he is, which is a monster. More or less the same promo that he has been cutting throughout this feud.


Clip from "Total Diva's" of Summer Rae slapping Natalya. This appeared to be about 99.9%.


Summer Rae d. Natalya (2:20) DUD.

Vicki Guerrero came out to announce that the "Vicki Guerrero Invitational" will be a one-fall match. That is a bathroom break match if there ever was one. This match tonight was horrendous. Natalya blew a spot badly in this match, when she fell down as she attempted a sharpshooter. If she is the woman on the roster who is supposed to be teaching and helping the new diva's in the ring, then it's time to look elsewhere as she botches far too many moves for that role and doesnt bring enough to the table to be a major player.



HHH and Stephanie come out. HHH says how the fans have no loyalty just want to be a part of something, like the flavor of the day, and how they move on to something else, like they did with Fandango. They mock the Fandango dance as HHH tells the crowd how he is a B+ player, possibly an A, but they ruined him. Steph then led the crowd into a "Yes" chant and after it became successful, she mocked them by saying how anyone can get people to chant. HHH then tells everyone who thinks he got to where he is today because he "married well" says that he got to the top because of his dominance in the ring. They then proceed to show us a video package of all the people that HHH dominated (Booker T, Goldberg, Jeff Hardy, Scott Steiner, Chris Jericho) with Steph doing the voice-over. That video was glorious in a variety of ways. That ends as HHH talks about beating Bryan and walking out of Mania as the champ when Batista interrupts. He tells HHH that he noticed he was not in this video because he never lost to him then told HHH to focus on Daniel Bryan first. Randy Orton comes out next and sucks up to HHH, who calls him out on it, then tells him to take himself out of the three-way at Mania, because he respects him. HHH tells Orton that unless he can find the "Viper," he will lose his title. HHH then ends the segment by making the Orton vs. Batista match tonight a No DQ match. The video was something else but this segment was too long overall. At least they have some intrigue regarding the title match though.


Los Matadores & The Usos d. Real Americans & Ryback & Curtis Axel (14:00) *1/2

This match was super-sloppy with no flow but the fans still dug it a lot, for some reason. They are giving these guys some time to shine before the title match at WrestleMania, which will air on the preshow. The finish saw Los Matadores use the switcheroo on Swagger as they roll him up in a small package for the win. Seems like they are trying to build up the Matadores a little bit with this finish.


Cody Rhodes & Goldust d. Fandango & Damien Sandow (4:08) *

The crowd was dead for this match. The finish saw Goldust put away Sandow with the Final Cut. Poor Cody always busts his ass out there but he and his brother have been stuck in neutral since dropping the tag belts. Poor Sandow looks defeated out there and Fandango is overshadowed by his valet. Those two have seen their stock drop dramatically over the past year.


Backstage, the Shield make fun of Kane and the New Age Outlaws for being old then talks about how they are not to be messed with.



Bray Wyatt d. R Truth (4:36) *1/2

Good showing for Bray tonight and I thought that R-Truth did well at selling for him. Bray put him away with the Sister Abigail then took out Xavier Woods, who accompanied Truth to the ring. After the Wyatt's pose, someone wearing a sheep mask enters behind them and reveals themselves as John Cena and he clears the ring of the Wyatt's. I thought the ending of this segment was clever and Cena showed a lot of intensity and anger, which was appropriate for the situation unlike some of his other segments.


Naomi d. AJ Lee in a Lumberjill Match (4:05) 3/4*

The story of the match was that none of the other girls wanted to touch Naomi when she got tossed outside but would all swarm AJ when she was out of the ring. Even though it would make sense for the girls to rough up the champ before she defends the title, the champion does not have to be pinned in order to lose the match so it came off as a giant waste of time. This was a mini-preview of the Diva's WrestleMania match.


Renee Young is backstage with John Cena, who cuts a very good promo that was filled with intensity and anger. He ends by saying that he will shove his foot up Bray's ass. Cena cut a better promo than Bray this week.


Kane vs Roman Reigns Ended in a No-Contest (3:08) *. 

Reigns won with a whopping 80% of the vote over his other two stable mates. That should tell everyone who the most over member of the Shield is at the moment. Reigns looked decent out here in the short match that ended with the NAO coming out and getting attacked from behind by Ambrose & Rollins. After that, they surround Kane, who gets pulled away by the NAO. This was designed to push their match at Mania and it did an okay job of making me look forward to their bout.


Piper's Pit is next. Roddy looks older than dirt and sounded tanked, even if he was sober. Anyway, he got interrupted by Miz, Sheamus, Titus O'Neill, and Ziggler as Piper rammed Miz into the corner and they brawled as several other competitors of the Mania Battle Royal run out and join them. Rey Mysterio comes out and hits a few high-flying moves then the Big Show comes out and this ends with him press-slamming Rey out to the floor onto everyone. At least they are trying to make the Battle Royal come off as a big match but this segment was a mess.


Randy Orton vs. Batista No Disqualification Match Ends in a No Contest (9:00) *1/2

The match itself wasnt much and they put in a lot of gimmick spots to hide Batista's lack of ring shape but the big story here was Daniel Bryan running in to attack HHH, who was sitting in on commentary. Bryan beat HHH all over the ring side area and even hit Batista and Orton with his finisher. The crowd went nuts for him as he ended the show standing tall inside of the ring as a beaten-up and angry HHH was held back by his wife on the ramp, soaking in all of the "Yes" chants. HHH sold like a champ in this segment and bumped all over the place.


Final Thoughts: Not a terrible show but this really dragged at times and the overall momentum for WrestleMania is slow right now. The undercard matches are as uninteresting as it ever has been for a WrestleMania, with everyone seemingly slapped together in a multi-person match, and besides Cena/Wyatt and the World Title Picture, there is nothing else that feels like a must-see match. Mania has been advertised like a four match show and one of those matches has been horribly built (Lesnar vs. Taker). It seems like most of the focus of the WWE has been on the network itself and not WrestleMania.

Comments

  1. First off Bayless, solid review. I like just condensing it and talking about the match/angles. I don't always need a blow by blow.

    Second Bayless, that review was horrible! You are horrible! Look at the stacks of money you just ignore! I am The Main Event! So how bout this! If I get into the Top 20 by Sunday it's Magoonie versus Bayless at BOD Mania!

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  2. Don't you mean Snap Brisket, Plucky Bernstein, or Teddy Belmont I will be facing?

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  3. Haveny watched yet but that HHH segment sounds so awesome. It's like he's talking directly to the BoD.

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  4. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANMarch 31, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    I guess that segment salvaged Brock/Taker because I don't think "CM PUNK!" was what they were shooting for at the beginning. The rest of it was what it was. Alot of dead air since there's only like 3 matches on the card, but they hit their spots for it. Man, do Orton and Batista look like total jabronis, though. The logical thing for them to do would be to align to take out Trips and Bryan. But that's alot of layers.

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  5. Either way, must be some top shelf poon.

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  6. OK, tell you what. If you win, I'll change my name to whatever you want (*Magoonie still in the name though)! But if I win, I get to book the BOD for a month! I get your job! You got the balls for that Bayless. Nah, your balls are made of pussy!

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  7. In all seriousness, has a story ever wrecked a champion the way this story has destroyed any credibility Orton's character has had? I know I'm the only person here who doesn't hate him as a human being, but the booking has hurt him so much I don't know what happens next.

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  8. Oh yeah, it was part shoot. You could feel that.

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  9. Are you afraid of the money? The sweet sweet money I bring in?

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  10. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANMarch 31, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    Orton is Jericho 2002. Pretty impressive because he was a made guy before this, whereas that was "making" Jericho. Considering that, it's a pretty big fall. Whatever the finish is, he's eating it.

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  11. Btw why is nobody else having fun with this? It's silly yeah but damn an entire thread of promos back and forth building up to BOD Mania could be great or a fucking trainwreck.

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  12. Wait, we never find out the name or identity of number 31? So Barney's going to be the father in HIMYF. Shit!

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  13. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryApril 1, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    To be fair.....she's a fucking knockout and considering their interests out of the ring, they probably have a lot in common.

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  14. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryApril 1, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    Aside from AJ, they really need to flip flop the women's main roster and the NXT one. The developmental ladies are vastly superior to what we're putting up with.

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  15. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryApril 1, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    Even at Summerslam in LA, the selection was more weak than I remembered. In past events, they had a wide variety of stuff (even in 2005, they were still selling the Jericho Rangers-style jersey that he hadn't worn in years).

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  16. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryApril 1, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    I do love me some Great Gerwig. She looks like Lena Dunham if she was fit and came across as somebody you'd want to be around.

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  17. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryApril 1, 2014 at 12:17 AM

    The good news for the Nudertaker match is that it can't have a weaker payoff than HIMYM....right?

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  18. "NUDErtaker."

    Pass the brain bleach.

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  19. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANApril 1, 2014 at 12:20 AM

    They're focusing on the network, but it is a $9.99 WM and it kinda feels like. Gonna be very interesting how they pull 4 hours out of this. If this was a $60 show, it'd be a disaster. It's really a two match show: Bray vs. Cena and Trips vs. Bryan. The ME is either a coronation or a swerve and the match means nothing. Lesnar/Taker is lagging behind Punk/Taker by a mile, they got their heat tonight at least, though.


    Taker taking the F5 on his hip made me cringe a bit, the whole thing could have gone up in smoke right there. lol. Half of the intrigue is whether Taker goes 20 minutes in one piece... I don't think Brock knows how to pull up.

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  20. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANApril 1, 2014 at 12:23 AM

    I think Orton is completely salvageable. It's just the people he needs to get one over on... forget about it.

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  21. It's early on but I'm leaning toward trainwreck.

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  22. Eh, Orton's held the belt since October and had a few months of 'we support this guy' on screen from HHH/Steph. Jericho had (and showed) nothing.

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  23. They tried with Ziggler, and pre-concussion his heat was dying off every week.

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  24. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANApril 1, 2014 at 1:17 AM

    He beat the Rock without anyone helping him, which is more than I can say for Orton. They just haven't completely emasculated him. Yet.

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  25. http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/series-finale-review-how-i-met-your-mother-last-forever-how-they-conned-us-all/2

    "But they were bound by the rules they had made for themselves. They had a plan. They had to stick to that plan."


    yep, this really sounds like the WWE just a few weeks ago.

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  26. Hasn't Orton been booked worse than this twice already?

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  27. Let's be honest with ourselves: Orton has no significant positive attributes, and that's why when he needs to be built strongly in a way that doesn't necessitate jobbing out others, they can't because he sucks so much.

    Sad but true.

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  28. So was he.

    On his COCK!

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  29. Whoever has the bigger dick. That's all that matters in this world.

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  30. Look, he's a great wrestler, he's great on the mic... but he raped my sister and I just can't get behind him.

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  31. Because it's "cool".

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  32. THAT TV SHOW BROKED MY HEART

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  33. I worked 8-whenever they don't need me tonight. I got home at 6:20 am. I have not checked Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed, ANYTHING for fear of seeing a HIMYM spoiler. I figured this forum was safe.

    Anyone who participated in the discussion I stumbled on below: eat shit and die. That is all.

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  34. So which of today's wrestlers will be tomorrow's WWE announcers? Sandow and Miz seem like locks to wind up behind the table. Maybe Road Dogg, but I'm thinking he's not interested since he hasn't done it yet.

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  35. If I didn't have the network I wouldn't even bother watching wrestlemania. The network seems to have made them even more lazy than they were before. WTF!

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  36. Wow, reading this review took 3 hours. (Power outage yesterday, so I missed Raw). But that HHH segment sounded like the greatest thing ever!!

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  37. That is a bathroom break match if there ever was one.



    You don't know how true that is. I did in fact take a bathroom break at the Verizon Center during the match, and it was crowded as hell in there. No one wanted to see that match.

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  38. Piper not giving Hogan any credit was great. Also Hogan was just on TV calling the woman anchor "brother". Hilarious.

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  39. Shouldn't be rated that way? Wrestling's fake dude. Rate it anyway you like.

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  40. AverageJoeEverymanApril 1, 2014 at 6:54 AM

    The Cena in the mask bit was great but would have been better if the whole "realization" period for the Wyatts wasnt so fucking long. They just stand there staring for almost a full minute, maybe more. If they had all just looked at it, it looked at all of them and then started attacking it would have been better.

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  41. Pretty much. When I first found out they were dating in real life, it made total sense to me. I suppose everybody finds the right person at some point, even CM Punk.

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  42. Just watched raw on my dvr. MVP of the night was by far john cena. What an awesome promo he delivered, and first time in a while he got universal pops.

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  43. It's going to be real hard to replicate HIMYM's payoff.

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  44. After a few years of dating and/or marrying, they'll breakup and Punk will regress like Barney did in HIMYM.

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  45. That's what I'm saying.

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  46. I agree, could have been done better, still upset. Had a hard time going to sleep because of it. I don't think a show has ever done that to me.

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  47. It would be a great train wreck.

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  48. Besides the last segment, this Raw was one of the worst go-home shows that I can remember, especially for Wrestlemania. I only want to see the HHH/Bryan match because if Bryan does win, I don't even think he can save the triple threat. I thought last year's Wrestlemania was the worst overall, but this could easily take the cake (on paper at least).

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  49. True! I was there as well.

    That was after doing a lap around the place trying to find a pizza stand that had pizza :/

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  50. The concessions there leave much to be desired. Lots of different beer places, though, which would have appealed to me five years ago.

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  51. To kill time for a month?

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  52. Nope, same problem here.


    Not the DVR's fault, though, that's on whomever or whatever listed it that way.

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  53. Pretty much.

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  54. Totally, let him be the new Bret Hart - he can still have the big main-event PPV matches against top guys, but let him also wrestle a different mid-carder every week.

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  55. No prior conflict? HE STABBED HIM WITH A PEN!!!

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  56. Nope, I'm a huge Cena fan, too.


    I mean, sure, he's lame, and his character is stale, but that's just who he is - he's a goofy guy that cracks lots of lame jokes. He can absolutely deliver money promos, though, he's great in the ring (despite what many people consider a limited move-set), he's probably the most loyal, hard-working, perfect employee they've ever had, and he seems like a super nice guy.


    Cena's biggest problem has always been his booking. Main-eventing PPVs against Big Show and fuckin' John Laurinaitis when Punk and Bryan are cutting it up in the middle of the show (for the TITLE!!!) is absolutely ridiculous, but it's not on Cena himself.

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  57. exactly. and not to mention that it didn't help that they promoted that match as "once in a lifetime" (and it didn't seem that/totally unlikely that it would actually be a one-time thing).

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  58. Yeah, no. His timing is excellent, his offence is crisp, when he's a heel he never tries to act 'cool' and instead goes for being someone the audience feels no qualms about booing.

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  59. Taker/Lesnar has been awful, Lesnar has no chance, and they haven't done anything to convince anyone he'll win. Wow! an F5, what a beatdown. Why not 'break' his arm with the Kimura?

    Big E jobs again to Del Rio. Why? are they building to an IC title match between them? I bet not.

    That HHH video package was awesome heeling. Angle! Hardy! and HHH called them hall of famers! MIND BLOWN.

    Good stuff between Cena and Bray. Made both men look good. Bray needs to win at Mania, though.

    AJ's ragdoll bumps make me think what she's like in bed. Punk's a lucky man.

    Good hot ending to the show, too. Let's hope Bryan getting the upper hand doesn't mean anything.

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  60. Why wouldn't they love them some Shawn Michaels?

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  61. I think Triple H/Orton is the worst. At least the Miz headlining has something cruelly memorable to it.

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  62. You think no match in the history of wrestling more or even as much heat? That seems a little extreme.

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