Hits & Misses 2/10 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Betty White, Sheamus & Christian vs. The Real Americans, Batista, Cena vs. Orton
Feb 12, 2014 - 2:53:05 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialist
The Wyatts vs. Mysterio & The Rhodes Bros: After such a strong and fun to watch run as WWE Tag Team Champions, I don't like seeing The Rhodes Brothers used as fodder for The Wyatt Family. I get why WWE does it, so that the victory for the Wyatts means more than if they were facing 3MB or something. As for the match itself, it was quite good. It was solid for most of it, but really picked up nicely at the end. The final few minutes were very strong and fun to watch with Rey Mysterio flying around, followed by Cody Rhodes and Goldust doing the same. The ending sequence was great with Bray Wyatt tagging himself in to catch Mysterio off guard and catch him in that sudden and sick looking Sister Abigail for the win.
Sheamus & Christian vs. The Real Americans: I really enjoyed this match. Despite any worry about the crowd cheering the heel Antonio Cesaro and booing the babyface Sheamus, this match really made me want to see a long one-on-one batch between them. The fans here were certainly behind Cesaro. I would say they should turn him face, but they haven't exactly handled face turns of popular heels in the past few years. But the Giant Swing is always going to get a babyface reaction. The match itself was hard hitting and intense. Cesaro and Jack Swagger do work very well as a team. I do like the story that WWE is telling with the Zeb Colter being upset at Swagger. The way he instructed Cesaro to start this match instead of Swagger was a nice little touch. And I do think they both could work as singles stars. However, I hope they stay a team for awhile since they are capable of having such good matches like this.
Cena Promo: I'm not sure what this whole thing is about with John Cena's promo about the young new group of wrestlers like Daniel Bryan, the Wyatts, The Shield, etc. taking over for the old guard of wrestlers like himself and Randy Orton. I am intrigued. Part of me is worried. But, I liked the delivery from Cena. He did what he does best on the mic, deliver a serious intense promo without any silliness.
The Shield - Wyatt Family: WWE has done a nice job of building to the match between The Shield and The Wyatt Family at Elimination Chamber. I like the fact that they are keeping them physically apart and hope they continue to do so before the PPV. They have been smart not to go the traditional rout of having a series of singles matches with the various members of the two groups facing off against each other. They also should angle one of the two to get the crowd behind since they are both heel teams. They did that successfully here with The Wyatts ultimately backing away from The Shield. The fans wanted to see them fight, and were upset that The Wyatts didn't get in the ring to fight at that point, so they will cheer The Shield. Of course, a large part of this is the rising popularity of Roman Reigns. Either way, WWE has done a nice job of building anticipation to these teams actually fighting at the PPV.
Orton vs. Cena: I will first say that like everyone else, I hope that Cena's statement that this is the end of his feud with Orton comes true. I would be perfectly happy never seeing them wrestle again, at least in singles matches as they will be part of the Elimination Chamber match. All that being said, this was still a good match. I thought it was better than their match at The Royal Rumble. We've seen it far too many times to really get into it, but Cena and Orton did put on a good effort in the match. They performed well under the circumstances and delivered a good tv main event. I'm still not sure where WWE is going with Cena, Orton, the WWE Title and this whole idea of a new age of Superstars on the rise. But, I guess not knowing where they are going makes the outcome of the Elimination Chamber match itself less predictable which is good.
Betty White: I have nothing against Betty White. She was funny at times, but I just question having these random celebrity guests on Raw at all. It comes across as a waste of time. I don't understand having The Big Show make his first appearance since the terrible beating he received at the hands of Brock Lesnar at The Royal Rumble in this role of escorting her out to start the show. I did chuckle at Triple H's smile and Show's reaction to that smile at that point, but it still was an odd choice to have that be Show's return. And then we got a headache inducing scene with White and the Divas. Then we had the terrible crap humor with her and The New Age Outlaws. The final line was predictable, but amusing. I just don't have a lot of fond memories of the celebrity guest GMs and guests of the past, so I don't really want to see them use them again.
Opening Segment: I had mixed feelings about the opening segment. There were parts of it that I liked, but not enough to save it from being a Miss. After the Betty White bit, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H came to the ring. I am so sick and tired of hearing about The Face of WWE. It is behind the scenes corporate speak that doesn't belong on tv, so I don't want to hear The Authority talk about who they are considering to be the face of WWE or hear Randy Orton talk about wanting to be the face and get on all the tv shows and cereal boxes, etc. Of course, I didn't like how Stephanie once again dressed down the WWE World Champion and tell him to go to the back and think about what he's done. The opening got better once Daniel Bryan came out. Bryan was good on the mic demanding a match against Kane and Stephanie was hilarious in her dead pan delivery that Kane had received a strongly worded letter of reprimand in his permanent file. That was a good line and the way she delivered it as if we were supposed to think that was a good punishment for Kane was great. But, it was too little too late. They then said to Bryan's fans "don't keep watching as Bryan won't be wrestling." I don't get that decision.
Batista: I don't mind some ambiguity in wrestling, but for the most part I believe it works best when it has clear cut babyfaces and clear cut heels. Now, that doesn't mean that the fans will always cheer the babyface and boo the heel. But, I do want to at least know how WWE wants the fans to react to each wrestler. I believe that WWE wants the fans to cheer for Daniel Bryan. I believe that WWE wants the fans to cheer Sheamus. I believe that WWE wants the fans to make a huge amount of noise - a mixture of cheers, boos and loud chants - for John Cena. I have no idea right now how WWE wants the fans to react to Batista. I really don't know if we are supposed to cheer him or boo him. It makes sense that Batista would want revenge on Alberto Del Rio for the cheap shot from last week, especially after Del Rio escaped at that point. However, it seemed to me that he went way too far in putting Del Rio through the table. I didn't understand the scene that followed in the back with Triple H confronting him. If a heel authority figure confronts him, that would make him a face. But, then the heel authority figure gave him what he wanted. The writing of that scene was very clunky. Batista got his revenge on Del Rio. A match seems unnecessary to me at this point. What more can he do? I think WWE was blindsided by the lack of crowd enthusiasm for Batista and now they don't know what to do with him having put him in the main event of the biggest show of the year.
Ambrose vs. Henry: This was a bad match. I don't really need to go into too much detail here. Mark Henry and Dean Ambrose simply did not put on a good match. I also question the booking. I understand wanting to juxtapose Ambrose being a bit of a weasel refusing to defend the United States Championship for so long and needing the rest of The Shield to keep the Title against Henry with Roman Reigns being an all around general bad ass. However, shouldn't WWE be keeping the entire Shield team looking as strong as possible heading into their match against The Wyatts at the PPV?
Divas Tag: There is some talent in the Divas division, but it was not on display in this match. This was not good. It was sloppy. Cameron may have improved in the ring, but that doesn't mean that she is good enough to be on Raw. She isn't good enough. AJ Lee was the one in the match whom I want to see the most, and yet she was hardly involved. Aksana does not look like she belongs in the ring. Alicia Fox and The Bellas are ok, but this was not a good showcase for them either.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com's WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell's views to mine by visiting prowrestling.NET's "Hitlist" section here.
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