Tuesday Raw Roundtable: WWE Doubles Down On Burying Daniel Bryan Out of Spite

WWE had a big Monday Night Raw in the post Fast Lane slot!

What did the Pulse Wrestling crew think of the show?

Brian Mitarotondo

What a cluster-f*ck. I feel bad for the wrestlers at this point. The in ring action was pretty good across the board. The guys, and even the divas, are working hard and putting together some decent matches. BNB and Ziggler work well together. The main event was good, until that mess of a finish. Randy Orton is a perfect example of “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone”. He is a damn fine worker, and his in ring psychology is perfect. His matches aren’t the most action packed, but he sure can tell a story. The problem is the story he is being forced to tell. It seems like the writers are overthinking this one. Everyone knows he will turn on the Authority before WrestleMania. There is no need to drag this out.

Every finish to every match seemed odd. The main event finish was a joke. In the span of 24 hours, Orton has RKOd Mercury, Noble(twice), and Kane, but he shakes Rollins’ hand? If he is playing “mind games”, why is the Authority falling for it? And why is R-Truth getting involved in the IC title scene? If they are setting up for a Fatal 4 Way, does anyone believe Truth has any chance of winning?

Also, no Brock or Taker? Really? Paul Heyman is a promo genius, but where is Brock? I understand the whole “limited schedule” thing, but this is the build to WrestleMania, not just some random Raw leading to some random ppv. He needs to be there the night after his WrestleMania match becomes official. And Bray Wyatt can only do so much to promote his match by himself. At some point, Taker needs to show up, and it should have been last night.

The biggest disappointment, for me, is the lack of direction for Daniel Bryan. I am not a DB fanboy by any means, but the guy is the most over guy in the company right now. He needs a major program at WrestleMania. We are now a month away from Mania, and he has no one to fight. It is looking more and more like the only guy left for him will be Sheamus. I don’t think anyone wants to see that again.

This Raw was a big fat waste of time. WWE had better pick up the pace, Mania is a month away.

Brittney Soban

Overall, not the worst Raw we’ve seen but it could’ve been a bit better.

Orton Promo: Nice to see him back on Raw but him putting his ego and bad feelings towards Rollins aside so easily is, simply put, unbelievable to me. We’ll see how it plays out.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad News Barrett: A good match overall but Barrett constantly losing kind of makes it seem like it’ll be easy for whoever takes the title from him. With R-Truth on commentary talking about his desire for a title shot and with Dean Ambrose strolling out there with the title over his shoulder it’s clear they’re trying to bring the IC title back to prominence.

Prime Time Players v. The Ascension: This win by the Prime Time Players seemed…well…like a bad move to me. I’m glad to see them win but to see them take out The Ascension was not the best idea. If they’re trying to build up The Ascension why have them fall to a newly reunited tag team? Also, what does this mean for Slater and Gator?

Roman Reigns Promo: The back and forth with Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns was nice, the handshake at the end a clear attempt to have the fans begin to back Roman. Paul Heyman’s arrival was expected but it didn’t disappoint as it allowed Roman to cut a pretty nice speech about how he isn’t afraid and doesn’t care what Brock Lesnar thinks of him.

Tag Team Rematch The Usos v. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro: Involving Natalya and Naomi will either help or hurt this rivalry. I hope it gives these two Diva’s some ring time on camera but we’ll see. With the Bella’s constantly taking up the allotted Diva time I’m happy to see others getting on screen. As for the match itself, I’m glad Tyson & Cesaro won, if only to show that their win wasn’t a fluke.

Swagger v. Stardust: While I like any chance to build the rivalry of the brothers I found this match, like the Prime Time Players and The Ascension to be a bad move. Still jobbing Swagger and not giving him a storyline hurts his career but it did make Goldust look sneaky and smart to mess with Stardust in a non-physical manner.

John Cena Promo: Better than we’ve seen lately and you can tell the fans are getting behind Cena again. Whether it’s because he’s going for a title that isn’t the biggest prize or that they’re playing up his patriotic nature is only helping Cena regain favor with the fans. Rusev’s “No” to Wrestlemania will be interesting in the weeks leading up to said PPV. Cena is bound to get in Rusev’s face about it and taunt him until a match is set.

Paige & Emma v. The Bella Twins: I’m always happy to see Paige. To see her with Emma was, odd. The Bella twins hog the screen time so go figure they were there. The quick finish was pointless and really, if the match was going to be that fast, why have the match at all?

Ryback v. Curtis Axel: Curtis Axel and Ryback were entertaining but the victory to Ryback was predictable. Again, neither of these guys has a solid storyline, just “things going on” with them i.e. Axel demanding he be recognized for not losing (or entering) the Royal Rumble and Ryback fighting his way back after being fired. Should these former tag partners face-off for the long term? Maybe. Right now? Maybe not.

Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan v. Randy Orton & Seth Rollins: I was disappointed in Orton for buying in to the Authority again. However, this match was pretty good and showcased how good each competitor could be. The juxtaposition of Orton freaking out when Rollins tagged in compared to Reigns laughing when Bryan tagged in shows how much WWE is now using Bryan to try and get fans to back Reigns. Orton allowing Rollins to be taken down was nice to see, and see Orton contemplate RKOing everybody was nice, even if he only did hit Jamie Noble. The tension between Rollins and Orton is still there and I’m hoping WWE goes a bit oldschool and lets this rivalry build and continue for a little while.

CB

Wow those Tennessee crowds sound so dead, but maybe it’s just overall apathy towards the product being presented.

Justin Czerwonka (@JCWonka)

What the hell was with that ending? That just seemed really awkward. Are they really going to stretch out this Orton turn when everyone knows he is going to turn in the end? It just seems unnecessary. Daniel Bryan, the most over guy in the company, still doesn’t have a match. The Undertaker hasn’t answered Bray Wyatt. Wrestlemania kind of seems like a mess right now. There was some good wrestling on the show including the main and the Ziggler/Barrett match. I hope we get a Fatal 4 Way at Mania and it is given some time. Paul Heyman is going to try his best to get this Reigns/Lesnar promo over, but I don’t think this week really helped. Tonight more then anything seemed like a hold steady show, but it didn’t do a good job of hooking viewers for next week, which should be the goal during this time period. I’m giving the show a 4. I might have been more generous if this was a June or July RAW, but the WWE needs their A game in Mania season and that didn’t happen tonight.

Widro (@Widro)

The Raw after Fast Lane was a downer. After the fan rebellion at the Royal Rumble, WWE made it seem like they were changing direction. Instead, they had a groan-inducing Bryan/Roman segment where Bryan put over Roman. Unlike previously, it seemed like the IWC audience is simply apathetic now to a WWE management team that is clearly doing whatever they want instead of what the fans want.

The show feels repetitive and slow, boring and stale. The hours just flow by with things happening.

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