HOUSTON, May 22, 2014 — Raw this week was live from the UK and the smart audience was in full attendance as 17k plus packed London’s O2 arena. The show started with the Wyatt’s in the ring with dimmed lights, as the audience illuminated the arena with their cell phones, Bray Wyatt delivered yet another Oscar worthy promo. Once again thousands sang with him, “he’s got the whole world in his hands.”
At the end of the promo, John Cena ambushed Bray from behind delivering an Attitude Adjustment, then ran away before the other Wyatt family members could get him. At no point should a baby face retreat from the heels in wrestling. Aside from that fopaux, the beginning segment was done very well, as any segment is when The Wyatt’s are involved.
Paul Heyman was brilliant, as always, on the microphone as his client, Cesaro, stood by him. Heyman handled the UK crowd brilliantly and at one point lied on his back in the middle of the ring to say; “I got one for you. What am I now? Nope! I’m not your Queen finally dying making Charles your King. I’m the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, except I can sit up and he can’t. Why? Because my client, Brock Lesnar, ended the Undertakers undefeated streak at Wrestlemania.” Heyman continues to do a great job driving in that last point ever since Brock Lesnar toppled the Takers streak.
Cesaro would then go on to wrestle the United States Champion, Sheamus, in a non-title bout. Cesaro picked up a victory with a German suplex-bridge, after Paul Heyman distracted Sheamus. The match itself was good and don’t be surprised if the two faceoff again next week, and/or for a title match at Payback in two weeks.
It was then announced that there will be a Beat the Clock series on Raw to decide who challenges the Intercontinental Champion, Bad News Barrett, at Payback. The first match Ryback took on the man whom Barrett beat for the IC Title, Big E. The match was okay, considering how botchy Big E’s work is and how ridiculous his punches look. He should stop throwing them altogether as they are way too light, just like much of his work. Ryback looked solid as usual and worked in a tight manner throughout the match. In the end though, it would be Big E who picked up a victory at 5:02, which would be the time to beat in the next series.
Up next Fandango’s ex-girlfriend, Summer Rae, got in an altercation with his current lady friend, Layla. That’s all the detail that’s worth detailing from that segment.
Stephanie McMahon was to announce the current status of the WWE World Championship. The Champion Daniel Bryan had neck surgery this past Thursday. So the question on everyone’s mind is, what are they going to do about the title, and is Bryan ever going to wrestle again?
Since getting the championship at Wrestlemania, Daniel Bryan’s short run has been anticlimactic, and to top it off he is out with an injury. Stephanie teased the crowd a bunch and heeled it up, but at the end said that next week on Raw she expects Bryan to show up and do the right thing by surrendering the title. Therefore, despite the fact they told us we would have an update on the title, we don’t know any more this week than we knew last week.
Ivan Drago, err, Rusev, showed that resistance was indeed futile when he stomped all over jobbers 3MB, or the Union Jacks, as they call themselves in the UK. At some point, Rusev will need to stop squashing jobbers, and start having real competition, if they want the crowd to care about this character.
Rob Van Dam took on Alberto Del Rio in the next Beat the Clock match. With only 47 seconds left on the clock RVD was victorious against Del Rio and the new series leader with 4:15 being the new time to beat.
Triple H announced that Shield member Seth Rollins would face Evolution member Batista, and that only WWE officials would be allowed at ringside. With Seth Rollins in the ring awaiting his opponent, it was announced that the other two members of evolution, Triple H and Randy Orton, were special guest time keepers and ring announcers. Then it was announced that the other two members of The Shield, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, were the special guest commentators.
The match between Rollins and Batista was a good one and would have been more enjoyable if there was a clean finish as opposed to how it ended. Triple H hit Seth Rollins causing a disqualification to Batista, and then all three men brawled. The two teams are set to face each other in a No Holds Barred match at Payback. This would be more entertaining if The Shield did not beat Evolution clean at Extreme Rules. Reigns looked the strongest and had the most reason to, since last week he received several stitches after his fight with Randy Orton.
The Divas Champion, UK’s own Paige, once again took on Alicia Fox in a non-title bout. Paige beat Fox two times in a row but lost to Fox in her home country. The booking and logic of this is as broken as the Divas division itself, such a shame.
In the final beat the clock match, the time expired as Dolph Ziggler faced Mark Henry. This means that RVD will take on Bad News Barrett for the Intercontinental title at Payback. When RVD came out to celebrate, Bad News Barrett attacked him from behind and knocked him out.
In the main event, John Cena squared away with Wyatt family member Luke Harper. The match was good, but led to a predictable ending with Bray interfering and rendering Cena helpless. The two are set to face one another at Payback in a Last Man Standing match.
The final scene of Raw was Bray standing over Cena at the entranceway singing, “He’s got the whole world in his hands,” as Luke Harper counted to ten; to symbolize the loss they expect Cena to have at Payback in the Last Man Standing match.
It was nice to see measures taken this week to bring further interest to the United States and Intercontinental titles, considering the WWE World Champion is out of action, but so much of the card was standstill booking. This week did not do anything to progress the feuds between The Shield and Evolution, or bring further interest to Bray and Cena. Perhaps next week with the state of the WWE World Championship being revealed, although they promised that this week, and only one week till Payback; we will see more progression in storylines and booking.
Carter Lee is a professional wrestler, author, advocate, and professional speaker. For more information you can follow him on Twitter.