WWE RAW Rundown: 3-17-14

March 17, 2014

Live from San Antonio, TX’s

Your hosts are JBL, Jerry Lawler, and Michael Cole

The show starts with a video package of last week “Yes Movement” segment.

After the package ends, HHH is standing in the ring telling the crowd that it is their fault for forcing his hand to end Daniel Bryan and the “Yes Movement.” Batista interrupts and yells at HHH for allowing Bryan to be in the title match at WrestleMania, saying that is not what he signed up for. HHH says that Bryan has no chance at beating him when Randy Orton interrupts. HHH assures them both that Bryan will not beat him then asks if Bryan has gotten that far inside of their heads. Orton asks HHH for a no DQ match with Bryan and HHH makes it happen. Orton then tells Batista that no one cared when he left then cared even less when he came back. Batista said the people love Bryan because Orton sucks and calls Orton a “paper champion” and they get in each other’s faces until HHH decides to leave. Batsita yells at him to fix the situation as HHH tells them he is sick of “troll-face, gremlins” like Bryan and of “Hollywood” starts coming back thinking they know more about THIS BUSINESS than him and says he is sick of talented guys who he has to hold their hand for so they can win. He then says if he beats Bryan, he will be in the title match at WrestleMania. As Batista yells at HHH, Orton hits him with an RKO. Well, they are guaranteeing a triple-threat match for WrestleMania now. The segment was alright but Batista is just seems to be going through the motions right now and no one at all seems to care about him.

After the break, Renee Young catches up with Batista, who is on his way out. He tells her that he is beginning to think that coming back was a big mistake

The Real Americans d The Usos in a Non-Title Match (12:20)

Solid match. Cesaro got the win after hitting Jey with the Neutralizer. I assume this leads to a feud that will end with Cesaro turning on Zeb and Swagger but it is very odd to see a feud start with the heels winning a match clean. They were putting over Cesaro strong on commentary, especially in regards to his strength. The crowd was really into the Usos, who are getting over as the tag champs.

We are shown a clip of The Shield walking out on Kane on last week’s Smackdown. When that ends, Kane is shown talking to The Shield backstage and warns them if they cannot be counted on, then they are of no use to The Authority.

Hornswoggle is tossing out St. Patrick’s Day goodies to the crowd when Bad News Barrett interrupts. His material was horrendous and seemingly written by someone who wrote for the show “All That.”

Sheamus d. Titus O’Neill (4:07)

Titus came out wearing a red beard and a green hat. He went ginger-face for this segment. Christian came out on commentary and announced that he was in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal then told Lawler that he looked like “David Spade in a fatsuit.” Sheamus won a meaningless match after hitting the Brogue Kick. There was a cool spot when Titus attempted a fallaway slam on Hornswoggle but Sheamus caught him instead. Titus is floundering as a singles wrestler and its a shame they cannot find a useful role for him as he has worlds of charisma. Sheamus is just not interesting in his current role. With a lack of heels on the roster, a Sheamus turn would help things out a lot. He claimed that he would win the Andre the Giant Battle Royal after the match until he was attacked by Christian, who ended up hitting him with an Unprettier on the floor.

Next Monday, Arnold Schwarzenegger will be on RAW. His YES chants were a thing of beauty. I hope he does that all show long next week.

John Cena comes into the ring. He said that he has given his best for twelve years and for the first time, is afraid. He is afraid of Bray Wyatt, who Cena said was different because he does not give a damn about being the best, he cares about destroying things. He cuts a passionate promo to the pro-Cena crowd about fighting for his legacy when Bray is shown on the screen wearing Cena’s shirt and other merchandise. He said that the children have not lived long enough to see Cena’s lies and that he could be just like him, singing autographs and telling jokes then going home to his “plastic”girlfriend in his castle but that is not him. He closes by stating he doesnt care if he dies, as long as he can make the world see Cena they way he does at WrestleMania. A good segment that Cena sold really well. In fact, he didnt even get a chance to respond to Wyatt.

Daniel Bryan d. Randy Orton in a non-title, no-DQ match (14:28)

Good match, about ***. Finish saw Batista run in and spear Orton then Bryan dropkicked Batista out of the ring before pinning Orton. The announcers played up the triple-threat rules after the finish and how this is how WrestleMania could end. Batista came back in and hit Orton with a Batista Bomb. Most of the no-D spots revolved around a kendo stick. Orton hit one of the nicest superplexes you will ever see during this match too. The finish was really out of nowhere.

Paul Heyman comes out and said that the Undertaker’s streak has nearly ended during the past several years, meaning that he is barely surviving. A video package then showed all of the punishment the Undertaker has taken before switching it up to showing Lesnar destroying everyone. The video package was phenomenal. After it airs, Heyman says that Lesnar will end the streak. Good effort but no one is buying Lesnar in this match.

Backstage, Stephanie and HHH are talking backstage. HHH tells Steph he is going to talk to Bryan in the ring tonight as Steph asks him if he was thinking when he made the stipulations at Mania tonight and how if he became the champion, he would be on the road away from his family.

Goldust d. Fandango (5:01)

Good lord, this match sucked. A negative star match. Just about every spot was blown and even still, it wasnt as bad as the commentary. How these three dipshits are still together on RAW is beyond me.  Fandango completely botched a suplex and after Goldy came off of the top, he nearly dropped him on his head. Goldust was livid after the match, and I think he hurt himself from one of Fandango’s blown spots. He was kicking the ropes and had to be calmed down by Cody. They seem to be building up Goldust as a harmless, goofball character as he kept on mimicking the dances off Fandango and Summer Rae. peaking of Fandango, this match did him no favors at all in attempting to improve his stock. He should get use to jobbing for a while. Sadly, the Rhodes Brothers run as a meaningful team seems to have come to an end.

Kane comes down to the ring. He cuts an overly long and very scripted promo about last week’s “Yes Movement” then blames it on Jerry Lawler for being behind the movement because it happened in his hometown of Memphis. The Shield comes out and leads Lawler into the ring. Once inside, Kane orders the Shield to attack Lawler but instead they back Kane into the corner and end up beating him down, complete with the triple powerbomb. The crowd was not into this segment at all, which started off really, really slow. Also, with all of the teasing they have done to split the team, a face turn is a change in the other direction and might confuse some of the fans.

Naomi & Cameron d. AJ Lee & Tamina (3:40)

The Bellas came out for commentary. Nikki’s tits were the highlight of the segment and it wasnt even close. The finish saw the returning Naomi, sporting an eye patch, pin AJ with a split-legged moonsault. The match wasnt anything special. After the match, AJ blames Tamina, who was trying to help her up, for leaving her alone to defend for herself. She screamed at her then Tamina shoved her to the mat, as the two stared each other down.

Mr. T is announced as the newest member of the “WWE Hall of Fame.” This was also announced by TMZ earlier today, which Cole acknowledged. As far as the intro, he and Lauper put the WWF into the National spotlight and that main event was money so Mr. T is an easy choice for the “Celebrity Wing” of the Hall of Fame.

Big Show & Dolph Ziggler & Big E. & Mark Henry d. Alberto Del Rio & Damien Sandow & Ryback & Curtis Axel (11:57)

Just a match to showcase eight guys in the WrestleMania battle Royal, specifically the Big Show, who scored the pin against Sandow. Nothing really wrong with this but the match was heatless. Dolph took his usual overly insane bumps. Del Rio was invisible here. He seems to be on the way out. Ryback and Big E had a nice little sequence at the beginning and a match between the two could end up being surprisingly fun.

The Undertaker will be on “Main Event” tomorrow night.

A Bray Wyatt Video airs set to the song “Legacy” by Eminem. It was really good and the video department brought their A+ game for this show.

Bray Wyatt d. Kofi Kingston (2:55)

Bray destroyed Kofi, who just two months ago defeated Randy Orton on RAW. Wyatt hit a really cool gutbuster and got the win with the Sister Abigail. Sucks to be Kofi.

HHH comes out to the ring and calls out Daniel Bryan. He assures that nothing he has done to him has been personal and everything he has done was best for business. He then tells Bryan that he a crossed a line last week that you do not come back from and is willing to give him a chance to come back. HHH gets angry then calms down and offers his hand, which Bryan brushes away. HHH says he would have done the same then talks about how he has dumped a ton of stuff on him and that the crowd respects him for that, where as anyone else would have folded and taken their ball and gone home, which drew a mild CM Punk chant. Steph comes out and says that Bryan endangered the lives of the fans last week and has several cops come out to arrest him. HHH argues with Steph about doing this as the cops finally ground and cuff Bryan. HHH then orders the cops to back off and leave Bryan alone. He then says how the cops arent even real then has them leave before he laughs and says he will enjoy this as he goes to stomp on a handcuffed Daniel Bryan. He brings Bryan outside and beats his ass all over the place as Steph is screeching in the background. Bryan sold like a motherfucker and everything about the beatdown was perfect. The crowd was even shocked by the beatdown, which isnt an easy feat to pull off today. This ended in the ring with HHH hitting the Pedigree then making out with Steph in a fantastic spot off a great segment. He also ripped off his shirt, I guess in an attempt to show us that he is still working out. He was ripped. Who would have ever thought that in 2014, Stephanie McMahon would be one of the best heels in the WWE? She has been great. The show ended at 11:17pm.

Final Thoughts: This show dragged badly at points but the final segment was fantastic. They are also doing a solid job building up the Cena vs. Wyatt match too. They pushed the Andre the Giant Battle Royal hard, with a lot of stars being announced for the match, which indicated that there will not be that  many actual matches on the card. They have been all over the place with the Shield the past few weeks and that might explain the lack of response from the crowd when they turned on Kane. They have been building up Mania well the past few weeks and my only real complaint for this show was in regards to the commentary, which was much, much worse than usual