Powell's WWE Raw Hit List: Daniel Bryan attacks Triple H, Brock Lesnar finally gets the better of Undertaker, John Cena in a sheep mask, Kane vs. Roman Reigns, final hype for WrestleMania 30
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw Hits
Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Daniel Bryan: Forget the Batista vs. Randy Orton match, this was all about the strong show closing angle. I just hope they didn't scare viewers away by having Stephanie state that Bryan would not be there. After all, she said that last week and it turned out to be true, and Paul Heyman told the Chicago fans that C.M. Punk would not appear and that was also accurate. Overall, though, this was a hot show closing angle that had to sell pay-per-views and network subscriptions. Bryan looked really strong and it was a feel good, momentum building angle heading into WrestleMania 30.
Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, and Undertaker: Much better. I don't understand why we got so much of Taker looking strong and Lesnar showing fear, but the final angle finally put some heat on Lesnar. I was surprised that they didn't go further by having Taker work an injury to leave viewers fearing that he was injured going into the show.
Kane vs. Roman Reigns: A good showing for Reigns. I'm still not into The Shield's six-man tag match with Kane and The New Age Outlaws, but the poll results combined with Reigns' showing in the match is another sign that he should be a breakout star in the near future.
John Cena promo: Good passion from Cena. I'm happy that he's no longer seeing things in the mirror and that he's now fired up heading into the match. The fear routine and the talk about this match somehow determining Cena's legacy never really clicked, yet I still find myself looking forward to his match with Bray Wyatt.
Bray Wyatt vs. R-Truth: Wyatt's win over Show on Smackdown was obviously more impressive, but another win can't hurt. The bit with Cena showing up in the mask was a little corny because the Wyatts looked so bewildered, but I suspect there are a lot of younger Cena fans who thought this was the coolest part of the show.
Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow and Fandango: A minor Hit for a quick tag match with another strong offensive flurry from Goldust. They got the crowd going and once again left me baffled by the decision to not do more with The Brotherhood at WrestleMania. Here's hoping that something happens in the battle royal that explains why they needed to be in that match.
WWE Raw Misses
Piper's Pit: Piper was fine, but the segment was clearly designed to build up the battle royal. And rather than focus on the star power in the match, they opted to show Big Show dominating everyone who came out. This actually left me less enthused about the battle royal than I was going in.
Natalya vs. Summer Rae: A Miss simply because I felt like they missed an opportunity to have Summer look heelish. She beat Natalya with a legal kick. Furthermore, she played nice during the broadcast of the WrestleMania press conference today. I like the idea of using Total Divas to set up a match in this case, but they need to pick a direction with Summer and go with it. Here's hoping this isn't a sign that they are going to rebuild her image on the reality show as they seem to be doing with natural heel Eva Marie.
The Uso Brothers and Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans, Ryback, and Curtis Axel: An overly long preview of the preview show match. The work rate was strong, but any match with Los Matadores that goes more than five minutes is overstaying it's welcome as far as I'm concerned. It felt like WWE was more concerned with filling time on Raw than building up the tag title match as important. Am I alone in suspecting that the friction between The Real Americans will actually lead to them winning the tag titles rather than breaking up? Okay, so that might actually be wishful thinking since I really believe they could be a kick ass heel tag if they ditched the comedy elements of the Real Americans gimmick.
A.J. Lee vs. Naomi: The issue I had with the match is that the awkward Divas Championship match as been built around everyone going after Lee, including Tamina. However, they showed us last night that Tamina was trying to protect Lee. Which is it? Trust me, I'm not asking that question because I can't wait to find out the answer on Sunday. I'm asking because this conflicted with the story I thought they were telling.
Big E vs. Alberto Del Rio: A secondary champion loses another non-title match. Either make the secondary champions matter or just do away with the title belts. I felt like they were setting up a title match for next week's Raw rather than setting up anything at WrestleMania.
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