RAGER’s 10 Thoughts: WWE RAW 1.06.14 (CM Punk, Shield, Daniel Bryan)

1. A weird thing is happening. WWE is using both Cena and Orton sparingly as of late. Last week, both were doing a house show instead of on a live Raw. And now this week, both are regulated in a garbage opening promo with Ric Flair and then not to be seen for the rest of the show. Not complaining but it was weird. Maybe this WWE’s way of pre-apologizing for the Rumble championship match.

2. Seeing Daniel Bryan debut with the Wyatt’s made me realize something. I equate this with that time HBK was JBL’s “employee” and because his wrestling avatar for a paycheck. He wasn’t necessarily a heel but he was employed by one. Of course, Daniel Bryan’s situation is different as this is more of a brain-wash story but I feel like this is going to play out in a similar fashion.

3. We got Shield, Piper, Punk and New Age Outlaws in the same ring at the same time. The only reason I point this out is to remind myself that all these amazing people were at the same spot together and wasn’t a dream. Also, Dean Ambrose is portraying himself more and more insane with each passing week.

4. Another match between CoDust and Real Americans had another match. It feels like we’re watching this match on a weekly basis but I’m alright with this as long as they keep churning out these good matches. I mean, they even found a way to make Swagger look decent. They do need to pace themselves so that they don’t turn into the tag team version of Ziggler vs Kofi or Miz vs Kofi or anyone else that’s had a “feud” with Kofi.

5. I think Bob Backlund is fast becoming the running joke where WWE brings him on and is always the losing choice in whatever app voting is going on. Also, last week’s ref and Sgt. Slaughter are both heels in my eyes now because they’re at fault for continuing whatever is going between Khali and Sandow.

6. Big Show and Lesnar looks like they might have a match against each other at Royal Rumble. It’s easy to begin groaning about this match considering how Brock doesn’t do as well with slower workers. However, this does mean no Big Show in the rumble match itself and that’s a pretty substantial positive point.

7. 3MB lost to 2 Cool and Rikishi. The worm happened but Drew McIntyre no-sold it and made me proud. At least Drew has apparently drawn the jobbing line. Good for him.

8. Good thing WWE finally taught their employees to operate lifts after the Paul Heyman Hell in a Cell debacle. They figured out the secret of it all with the Bad News Barrett segments is that they don’t have to drive it as far. Lifting Barrett is a good defense mechanism so people around him from punching him in the face. Still a bad gimmick in the grand scheme but it could be worse, he could be Los Matadores.

9. Could WWE get New Age Outlaws to do an intro for Punk from now on? The match between Punk and Reigns was a lot of fun, Roman just find more and more ways to impress me each week. It does seem like a Shield split is down the road and I think I’ve accepted it with the hope that it will be done right. It would be a shame for WWE to get so many things right with Shield only to screw it up at the finish line.

10. Great moment seeing a healthier Jake Roberts make the surprise return at the end. Would’ve rather seen the DDT than the snake but I’ll take what I can get. Also was fun watching Dean struggle not to corpse while Roberts was dangling the snake on his face.

Fun Raw but nothing was really advanced other than establishing Bryan in the Wyatts and more attempts to cause an eventual Shield split.

Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do twice,

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