WWE RAW 3/17/14 – Hornswoggle returns!By thinksojoe · · 4 Comments
Let me tell you right now that the first hour of this show pretty much dragged. That said, I’m going to be really skimming through it this week. The second hour was actually pretty good, and the start of hour three? Well, you’ll see when we get there. So, let’s go!
I watch the first two hours at home, drive to work, then have to watch the entire show again because I forgot what happened and didn’t have the foresight to review it live. It’s irrelevant anyway – you’re more interested in Gregory Iron being our special guest on this Sunday’s BWF Radio.
Triple H kicks off RAW, saying he’s going to end the YES Movement at WrestleMania. Batista comes out to confront him and ask why he would make the match at WrestleMania a triple threat match. Randy Orton comes out wondering the same thing, but says he’ll take on Daniel Bryan if Triple H gives him a no DQ match against him later on tonight. Triple H agrees to that, as Batista and Orton bicker. Triple H finally tells them that he’s tired of gremlins like Daniel Bryan, of Hollywood movie stars coming back here thinking they can tell him what’s right for this business, and of technically gifted guys who are so screwed up in the head that they can’t win a match without Triple H holding their hand. Triple H says we’re going to have a triple threat at WrestleMania – because if he beats Bryan, it’ll be Batista, Orton, and Triple H. Orton RKO’s Batista.
Backstage, Batista tells Renee Young he’s leaving.
The WWE Tag Team Champions, The Usos, take on The Real Americans, Cesaro and Jack Swagger. The Usos have been on a roll as of late while the Real Americans seem to be on a path of implosion. Tonight, however, Swagger sacrifices himself on behalf of Cesaro, taking a side kick and a suicide dive from one of the Usos – but Cesaro takes advantage with a huge European uppercut to the Uso trying to do a suicide dive on him, then drops him with a Neutralizer mid-ring to pick up the victory for the Real Americans over the Tag Team Champions.
We get a look at WWE Slam City, which is some animated series about the WWE Superstars finding day jobs after they all get fired. Best line in the ad is the character of Kane (none of them are voiced by their actual WWE counterparts) yelling “WHO WANTS DESSERT!?!?” while firing a flamethrower.
Kane apologizes to The Shield and informs them that they have a new mission from The Authority, and if they don’t prove themselves to be assets, they’ll be liabilities. The Shield give him their word that they are united.
Hornswoggle, looking like a mini Chum Lee from Pawn Stars, is tossing St. Patrick’s Day goodies out to the WWE Universe when Bad News Barrett interrupts. St. Patrick chased all the snakes out of Ireland, but the reality is that most people will spend this holiday getting inebriated and vomiting all night, waking up with a hangover, realizing they’ve done shameful things, and then spend the rest of their lives regretting them. I agree.
Sheamus takes on Titus O’Neil, who comes out dressed up for St. Patrick’s Day, complete with ginger beard. Christian is on commentary, announcing that he’s in the Andre The Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania. Titus tries to do a fireman’s carry throw 0n Hornswoggle a la Razor Ramon, but Sheamus catches ‘Swoggle, tosses him in to O’Neil, then hits the Brogue Kick for the win. Sheamus cuts a promo about how he beat “Tight Arse O’Neil” and how he’ll win the Andre The Giant battle royal – then Christian once again attacks Sheamus. Because nobody’s sick of that program yet.
We get an announcement that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joe Manganiello of the upcoming film Sabotage are the guest stars on next week’s RAW. And also, Scooby Doo and the Mystery Machine. So Schwarzenegger and Scooby Doo will be on RAW next week. Seriously. This is happening on the road to WrestleMania – Schwarzenegger and Scooby Doo.
John Cena hits the ring and admits he’s afraid of Bray Wyatt because Wyatt is like nothing he’s ever faced before. Wyatt interrupts on the TitanTron, wearing John Cena merch. He says children believe in Super Heroes because they want to believe that the world is good. They don’t understand that everything is a lie. Wyatt has scars that the world gave to him. He could be like Cena, sign autographs, kiss babies, make sure everybody buys his merchandise. “I could go home to my plastic girlfriend and my castle.” He can hide behind laughter and tell jokes to feel better about himself, that’s Cena. But he’s right, Wyatt’s different than anyone he will ever face, because at WrestleMania, he doesn’t care if he leaves. He doesn’t care if he dies. As long as the world sees Cena the way Wyatt does. Follow The Buzzards.
Randy Orton faces Daniel Bryan in a no disqualification match to kick off the second hour. It’s all Orton with a kendo stick, save for a few moments of offense from Bryan, and then he gets a steel chair to do even more damage. Before he can strike, however, Batista comes in and spears Orton. Bryan dropkicks Batista out of the ring, then pins Orton. As Bryan leaves, Batista drops the WWE World Heavyweight Champion with a Batista Bomb, much to the delight of the WWE Universe, who want him to do it one more time.
The announce team show their technical ineptitude as they try to show us the WWE Network sign up process.
Paul Heyman is here, and he tells us that Brock Lesnar has easily conquered several of the Undertaker’s more recent WrestleMania opponents, each of whom The Undertaker barely survived. He brought a clip. I’d put it here, but WWE hasn’t put it up on YouTube. Basically it says that Undertaker is getting old and that Brock Lesnar is a beast. Heyman says The Undertaker and the streak will rest in peace.
Back in the Authority’s office, Stephanie McMahon questions Triple H wanting to talk to Daniel Bryan tonight, and then what happens when he wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and has to go back on the road full time. She asks if he’s thinking at all. He says he’s thinking clearly and not to worry about it. She tells him he better take care of it.
Fandango with Summer Rae takes on Goldust with Cody Rhodes. Goldust dances with Cody on the ramp, and Fandango offers the floor to Goldust when the match starts. Goldust acts all creepy, Summer Rae tries to get involved, she falls off the apron into the arms of Cody Rhodes, who takes a while to put her down. Fandango misses the top rope legdrop and gets dropped by Goldust, who picks up the victory.
As the third hour kicks off, Kane comes to the ring and tells Jerry “The King” Lawler to get in the ring, because Kane’s investigation says he’s responsible for Occupy RAW happening last week. Jerry doesn’t oblige, so The Shield come down to escort him into the ring. They back Lawler into a corner. Kane says they’ve known each other for a long time, and Jerry’s not exactly in fighting shape, so Kane won’t enjoy this – well, maybe a little. He asks if Lawler has anything to say for himself. Lawler looks around, and Seth Rollins says “Jerry. I see that look in your eyes. But I got a good feeling Daniel Bryan is not coming to save you. Because The Shield always does what’s best for business.” Rollins drops the mic, and The Shield turn toward Kane. Lawler gets out of the ring with a big smile on his face. Kane berates The Shield as they surround him. He tries to fight them off, but Dean Ambrose breaks up a chokeslam attempt on Rollins, and Roman Reigns spears Kane. The Hounds of Justice drop Kane with the triple powerbomb and stand united over the fallen Director of Operations.
The Bella Twins are on commentary as The Funkadactyls take on AJ Lee and Tamina. Naomi is wearing an eye patch, but apparently must be cleared to wrestle. I left at the start of this match, but I really don’t give enough of a shit about this to sit through it. So, FFW! Naomi pins AJ after a split legged moonsault. Afterward, AJ and Tamina get into it. AJ blames Tamina for her recent string of losses. Tamina shoves AJ down.
Mr. T is announced as the next inductee into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame, and rightfully so, despite the fact that Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mean Gene Okerlund said he was completely unprofessional to work with on an episode of WWE Legends of Wrestling (it’s the “Renegades & Outlaws” edition, which is on the WWE Network’s On Demand service. Check it out!)
Eight man tag team action happens as Big Show, Mark Henry, Big E, and Dolph Ziggler take on RybAxel, Damien Sandow, and Alberto Del Rio. All of these guys are apparently in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. I really don’t care about this – more than the Diva’s match, but still not enough to sit through it. FFW! Sandow gets pinned by Big Show after a chokeslam.
Batista confirms that he didn’t quit WWE, and he doesn’t care who is the third man in the match, he’s leaving WrestleMania with what he came for, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Kofi Kingston takes on Bray Wyatt, but first, we get a music video package on Bray Wyatt set to the song “Legacy” by Eminem. Because when I think Bray Wyatt, I think Eminem. Of course, the WWE video package crew makes it work. So it’s the dude who is only on WrestleMania to be a spot monkey in the battle royal vs. the guy who is in one of the top matches against one of the WWE’s top stars. I wonder who is going to win this one. It doesn’t last long. Wyatt wins with Sister Abigail.
Did I mention that Schwarzenegger and Scooby Doo will be on RAW next week? Because WWE did again. Or at least that Schwarzenegger and the other dude in his new movie are anyway.
Triple H calls out Daniel Bryan. He doesn’t have to ask twice. Triple H has some things to get off his chest, and it’s not a popular decision among his circle. Triple H says that everything he’s done since SummerSlam he has done because he believes it is best for business. He says none of this was personal. He doesn’t expect anybody to understand the burdens of having to make the decisions of what is best for this company. Last week, Bryan crossed the line, but Triple H will let it be in the past. It feels like this was supposed to happen, but the fact is that they will step in this ring and fight in three weeks. Triple H won’t apologize for anything he does, and Bryan shouldn’t apologize to him either. They will do what they do best at WrestleMania. But Bryan crossed the line and Triple H has no choice but to end it, because it’s best for business. He wanted to let Bryan know, no hard feelings and may the best man win. He extends a hand to Bryan. Bryan refuses, and Triple H understands. He does want to let Bryan know one other thing. He’s dumped a ton on him since SummerSlam. He’s done everything possible, and yet Bryan is still standing here. Anybody else would have folded a long time ago, but not Bryan. Bryan’s got a big set, and if nothing else, he’s earned Triple H’s respect. Stephanie comes out and questions him. What Bryan did was illegal, and endangered the lives of the people in the ring, and she’s pressing charges. He spit in the face of her family, so he will suffer the consequences. Police officers, who look suspiciously similar to indie wrestlers, come out to arrest Bryan. Triple H and Stephanie argue on the ramp. The “officers” surround Bryan, then cuff him and take him down. Triple H questions them, then smiles at Stephanie. He says this isn’t what he wants. Triple H says they’re not even real cops. Besides, he’s really looking forward to doing this himself. Triple H starts stomping the shit out of a handcuffed and helpless Bryan. He tosses Bryan out of the ring and into the steel ring steps. He bounces Bryan’s head off of the announce table. Bryan tries to fight back, but to no avail. Triple H slams Bryan on the announce table. Triple H continues the assault as Stephanie mocks Bryan. Bryan once again tries to fight back unsuccessfully. Triple H holds Bryan for Stephanie to slap him. Bryan says “YOU HIT LIKE A GIRL!” Triple H puts Bryan in the ring with his head against the post, then nails him with a steel chair. Unprotected chairshots to the head – it’s what’s best for business. Triple H drags Bryan to the center of the ring and Pedigrees his unconscious body to the mat. Stephanie joins him in the ring and mocks the Yes chants. RAW ends with Triple H saying that this all belongs to them, and there is no “YES Movement.”
Thoughts: If Bryan doesn’t walk out of WrestleMania as the Champion, what is all of this for? Is Triple H going to bury Bryan and win the title himself? It’s now a possibility. By the way, I watched Talking Dead last night on AMC. CM Punk was introduced as “Phil Brooks, who you may know as CM Punk.” At the end of the show, the other people were announced with what they do for a living, but all that was said about Phil Brooks was that you can find him on Twitter at @CMPunk. Since he wasn’t in the Brock Lesnar/Undertaker video package, I think it’s safe to say he’s done.
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This show has resulted in significant amounts of praise for Stephanie McMahon as "the best work of her career," and that she's "the best heel in the business," and so on. Yes, the ending of RAW this week did exactly what it should have done. Whether one agrees with those statements or not, the simple truth is that Stephanie as a main heel has no real payoff, and never will. She can slap, kick, interfere in matches, book matches, and generally destroy careers with impunity. She cannot receive any physical violence of any kind, no one verbally eviscerates her (the "You hit like a girl" line was nice, but that's the only thing even close), and the last time that we saw the "McMahon-Helmsley Faction" in this position, she ate one rather sloppy Rock Bottom and was later dragged away screaming after Daddy turned on her. At times like this, I really miss the original ECW and its willingness to give serious comeuppance to females who deserved it. Interfere in matches or betray your wrestler/tag team? Piledriver through a table for you, missy! My point is that it really doesn't matter how effective Stephanie is in her role when there will be no true satisfaction in taking her down. Treating despicable people equally is not misogyny.
Unfortunately it's seen as misogyny and WWE have pretty strict television guidelines that forbid man on woman violence.
I know. I know. They're just wrong, is all.
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