For just one week, I take over the RAW recap article duties and bring back the article series I once authored. If you’re not familiar with how I do things, here’s the lowdown: I give you not just the RAW 4/14/2014 results, but my analysis AND some random questions (some of which are supposed to be funny). Let’s get this started.

Warrior Tribute

W06750As this is the first show following the untimely passing of The Ultimate Warrior, and the roster took to the stage to open the show in tribute. Some of them were wearing a new signature tshirt which bares the likeness of Warrior’s facepaint. The Usos each continued the trend of wearing facepaint on just half their face but altered it to look like Warrior’s. The only partial complaint I have, and it’s minor, is that I don’t know how anyone is served by having Eva Marie put the Warrior’s symbol over her cleavage.

Disrespectful? Hopefully you don’t see it that way. I just wanted to see a Diva wearing facepaint.

So tonight, they’re going to celebrate the life of the Ultimate Warrior. Does that mean Batista will run to the ring and shake the ropes? I sure hope so.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the fact that we here at GuysNation have our own tribute to the Ultimate Warrior in the form of some of our favorite matches and moments.

Intercontinental Title Tournament

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a great tournament. Tonight begins the first round of a tournament to determine who gets a shot at Big E and the Intercontinental gold. Here are the first-round matches they’ve setup:

Mark Henry vs Cesaro (My pick is Cesaro, unless they have Swagger get involved, but because Mark Henry apparently is mentoring Cesaro backstage, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does the job for the Swedish Superman)

Rob Van Dam vs Alberto Del Rio (Rob Van Dam will likely get the win in his return, against an opponent with whom he’s familiar. Not surprising booking at all)

Sheamus vs Jack Swagger (I’d have to think Sheamus gets this win, and I’m thinking there could be some Cesaro retribution to cost Swagger the match)

Dolph Ziggler vs Wade Barrett (It’s a travesty, but Wade Barrett is very likely to get the win to continue his push. If you’re like me and you think Ziggler is being mis-treated, then the people who booked this match have some bad news for you…)

What do I hope we get from this tournament? Here’s my small list…

  • COVET THE BELT – Competitors in the tournament should actually make it known that they covet the belt not just because it’s a title, but because of the history of the belt and the prestige of it.
  • REMIND US OF THE HISTORY – The Intercontinental Championship isn’t a big deal right now, but it has been in the past, and fans need to be reminded about that.
  • ANALYSIS FROM BIG E – I want to hear from Big E about each of the matches in this tournament. I don’t want him to just show up once it’s all over, I want him to speak up along the way and maybe interact with some challengers backstage.
  • FEUD BUILDING – Two guys will get to the finals of this tournament, and six others will be eliminated along the way. I’d be surprised if Swagger and Cesaro don’t have a match at the next pay per view, but WWE could very easily build one or two other feuds through this tournament other than just whomever Big E will be facing at the end of it. We have reason to care about these eight guys tonight, four of them next week, and two of them after that. BUILD SOMETHING!

Rob Van Dam vs Alberto Del Rio

The first match we’re getting to see tonight is between the two guys with three names each. I’ve already stated that I think RVD will win the match and advance, but they’ve done surprising booking with ADR before, so it could happen again tonight.

Given that RVD is just getting back, and he’s certainly not in his prime, is anyone surprised that we just got an above average match? The finish wasn’t a surprise, as RVD advances.

Ultimate Moments

Nice to see a throwback to Warrior’s match with Honky Tonk Man from SummerSlam 88.

It was a great choice of things to do at the time, given the reign of the Honky Tonk Man and the difference in styles and representing Old School vs New School.

The Book Of Evolution

Triple H is trying to get Randy Orton and Batista on the same page so that they can take on The Shield, and I’m glad to see that both of the guys who were in the main event of WrestleMania want to continue to target the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I’d be disappointed if they didn’t need convincing to target Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns.

And this is the first time I’ve noticed it, but with the initials ARR, couldn’t the trio known as The Shield have a nickname that has something to do with pirates?

Arrrrr…. that was a bad joke/reference.

RybAxel vs The BRhodes

Two teams with makeshift nicknames, and if there’s a reason for this match happening, I missed it. Even if they said it was a #1 contenders match, that wouldn’t matter to me unless they specifically state that the match would take place next week (or on Smackdown). How frequently do they ignore that sort of thing?

Did JBL just say something about it being “an incredible night for farm animals”?

Nice to hear Jerry Lawler mention how great of a week Daniel Bryan is having, with his title win, title defense, AND getting married (and honeymoon’ing) with Brie Bella.

Good spot to end the match. I really like the idea of Ryback hitting a huge clothesline as Cody Rhodes comes off the middle rope with the Disaster Kick.


“Today is your day to shine. Make it the best day you ever had. Today is a gift, that’s why they call it the present.”

They’re definitely looking to sell us on Bo Dallas. This run couldn’t be any worse than the first time he tried to be on the roster.

Divas Turn The Paige

Paige shows up for the first time as Diva’s Champion, and she looks nervous… but she also looks hot. Licking her lips after she kisses the title? Great touch. Very interested to see how she adjusts to the main roster, and where they go with that angle.

Matching her up against Alicia Fox is a great thing, because (if I’m not mistaken) they’ve faced each other before, down in NXT, and Alicia Fox has some skills in the ring, giving Paige someone to work with, someone who isn’t probably pissed off because they felt like they were next in line to AJ’s title.

As Paige locks on her submission hold finisher, a Scorpion Cross Lock, it makes me wonder if this makes Natty’s Sharpshooter look a bit less effective by comparison. I’m a fan of both, but they setup the same way, and Paige’s hold looks SICK.

Either way, nice win for Paige, and I’m glad they didn’t just take the next step in what should be a long-term feud with AJ.

The Usos vs Half-olution

Don’t like the name “Half-olution”? I’m willing to consider a different name for the younger half of Evolution who are now a tag team once again, but until I get a better suggestion, that’s what I’m going with.

Ortista? Batistorton? The Bald Eagles?

The match doesn’t get a proper finish, as you might’ve guessed, with The Shield interfering and beating up on Orton and Batista (the aforementioned “Half-olution”). The Animal gets a Superman Punch from Reigns and the Pirates Of Justice stand in the ring while HHH’s minions retreat.

Ultimate Moments

WrestleMania VI. Does it get bigger in terms of moments in the career of The Ultimate Warrior? Not even close.

Gotta love the commentary from Gorilla Monsoon. People keep saying they want to hear Jim Ross on commentary again… I just wish it were possible to get Monsoon and Heenan back.

Cesaro vs Mark Henry

Paul Heyman provides a nice introduction for Cesaro, and I’m enjoying the trend of having no theme music for the Swedish Superman, but part of me wonders if they just haven’t settled on a good song yet.

Very nice start to the match, with Mark Henry establishing the fact that he’s keeping his eyes on Paul Heyman. Allows for some nice psychology.

I’ll try not to go point-for-point, spot-for-spot in this match, but I really enjoy how they started off with something of a Test Of Strength at the beginning of the match. Of course Mark Henry gets the best of Cesaro, but being the smaller of the two, it was nice to see Cesaro hold his own.

Nice ending to the match, with Cesaro hitting three signature moves (Euro-cut to the back, Flying Euro-cut, then his finisher) and once again showing off his strength against a heavy opponent. The right person won, and to an extent I’m glad that they didn’t have Swagger get involved. It makes me think they might have those two guys match up in the finals… and potentially make the Intercontinental Title Match a three-way…

Wasn’t I predicting it would be a triple threat at WrestleMania between those three? I absolutely was predicting that.

Alexander Rusev vs Xavier Woods

The lovely Lana, during her introduction of Rusev, said it was futile to resist. Is Rusev a member of the Borg?

Also, if WWE is trying to get people to think of Lana as something of a sexual object, including words like “erected” in her introduction is a good way to start.

I ramble on a bit like this because I don’t expect to have much to say about the match. I like Xavier Woods, but he’s not lasting very long in this thing.

Once again, someone taps out with the arm that’s on the opposite side of their body from where the referee is standing. Can’t blame Rusev for keeping the hold on too long if no one calls for the bell… although R-Truth holds it against him, runs in to help Woods and then gets beatdown for his troubles.

Anyone want to bet that WWE is going to book Rusev vs R-Truth for next week?

Ultimate Moments

Talk about guys who were gone far too young… I love the look back at SummerSlam 1990 with the great cage match against Rick Rude… though I really think that Rude should’ve won that match.

Just like hearing Gorilla Monsoon, how great was it to see the old, blue version of the steel cage from this clip?

Jack Swagger vs Sheamus

If he loses this match without any outside interference, Jack Swagger officially becomes the Marty Jannetty of the Real Americans.

Okay, so that’s a stretch, because Swagger did actually hold the big belt and had a Heavyweight title match at WrestleMania one year…

I keep hearing people reference the fact that there were 31 men in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal… and I have to ask why they’re doing that? What is there to gain? It’s not like there are many people who were counting the entrants or checking it on Wikipedia’s list of eliminations or anything like that. Why would they admit to the fact that they didn’t NEED to include Brad Maddox in there, and that by putting him in the match, they went over their 30-man limit.

So WWE keeps me on my toes, and Sheamus gets the clean win with the Brogue Kick (which I still think should be called the BRO Kick), but they have him stumble outside the ring with a weakened ankle. Might they have him out of the tournament due to injury? Would that be a good idea, allowing Swagger to continue on, even though he was already defeated?

Damien Sandow The Deserved

We come back from a commercial, and Damien Sandow says he’s deserving of better, and he wants to make the fans know that he won’t be silenced and that he will be heard.  Big Show decides that he’s coming to the ring because that’s what he wants to do… And once he has heard enough, the giant puts his huge fist to work and knocks Sandow out.

Not that anything Sandow was saying was untrue. He is great. He might be the future of the WWE. He’ll probably be a future champion.

Didn’t stop him from hitting the mat with his face tonight, though.

Wyatt: Society’s Savior

Bray doesn’t care what you call him, unless you’re calling him “liar”, because he claims to never lie to the fans. He still thinks that John Cena is a detriment… and Wyatt says he has Cena RIGHT where he wants him.

Apparently he’s just playing with John Cena at this point, and doesn’t want to “slay” him just yet.

So here comes Mr Hustle Loyalty Respect, and he quotes The Joker? “Why so serious?”. “Put a smile on his face”.

Anyone else get tired of John Cena minimizing his opponents? I hope Wyatt tears him apart at Extreme Rules.

John Cena is making fun of Bray even further by mocking the whole “Sister Abigail” thing, doing some Photoshop work, making a huge joke of all of this.

And then when he gets serious, John skews the truth and begrudges Bray his biggest accomplishment. He says that Bray can’t hold his own on his own, and yet, it was at Royal Rumble, just three months ago, that Bray beat Daniel Bryan.

Bray Wyatt once again kicks things up a notch, gets intense, gets creepy, and ends the segment by making a great impression.

Fandango Steps Up His Game

Don’t get me wrong, I was a big fan of Summer Rae from the first week that she replaced Fandango’s previous dance partner, but LONG before that, I became a big fan of Layla back when she started with the company as a dancer in WWECW.

There’s actually a match involved here, and big surprise, it’s Santino and Emma taking on Fandango and his dance partner… for like the 9th week in a row.

This time, it’s Layla who scores the win, pinning Emma to get back on her winning ways…. which hasn’t happened since Michelle McCool was around.


Kane’s Job Evaluation

Anyone else thinking it’s not a good idea for Stephanie McMahon to get in Kane’s face and verbally tear him a new one? She’s begging for him to become a monster again… but she doesn’t have control over where he takes out his aggression. I wouldn’t have provoked him.

How awkward is it at this point if Kane puts back on the red leather mask with the hair attached to it? We clearly know the hair is fake at this point.

Kane promises to eviscerate Daniel Bryan, which I’m sure he’s capable of doing, but his promise to send him to the depths of hell? Someone should tell him that if there is a Heaven and a Hell as he’s purporting, that it’s kinda up to Daniel Bryan’s past choices and actions that would determine WHERE he goes once he’s eviscerated. I guess he did do group therapy with the American Dragon, though, so he might have better insight into Bryan’s history than we do.

Ziggler vs Barrett

Aren’t you supposed to get the bad news out of the way to begin with, and then get around to the positive things? I guess they’re doing things backwards tonight…

When they told Ziggler he’d be facing Barrett tonight, and then went to give him more details about the match, did they say “we have some bad news for you…” before they told Dolph that Barrett would be DOMINATING almost the entire match?

Either way, Ziggler proves his worth, as he puts on a really good match as he sells Barrett’s offense extremely well.

Has anyone explained WHY Barrett turns his elbow pad inside out before hitting his crazy elbow smash?

As Bad News Barrett continues to the next round of this tournament, we’ll get more opportunity to try to find out.

The Shield vs ???

So they don’t announce ahead of time who The Shield is going to face, and then we find out that it’s Alberto Del Rio… and Jack Swagger… and Fandango… and 3 Man Band… and Titus O’Neil… Curtis Axel and Ryback… and Alexander Rusev… AND Bad News Barrett… and it looks like WWE is pulling out all of the midcard heels to participate in this match.

So long as The Shield don’t allow Heath Slater to tag any of the 10 guys in his corner, there could be 20 people on the other side of the ring and it wouldn’t make a difference.

Is anyone else amazed at how much chaos is needed to constitute a disqualification (or a no-contest) in an 11-on-3 match?

And we end the night with “Evolution” coming out to the ring, and apparently Orton and Batista have learned their lesson, they’ve bought-in to what Triple H was trying to tell them about needing to work together, all because they get ambushed during one tag match that they didn’t want to be involved with in the first place.

Was anyone else hoping that Kane would put the mask on, come to the ring and help The Shield?

We should’ve known that an alliance was going to form between Orton and Batista when they debuted their new team finishing move combo at WrestleMania. Batista’s return and placement into the main event was unsuccessful, and fans were getting tired of seeing Orton in that top spot. The next logical place for them to be is the tag division.

Now that you’ve finished the article, don’t forget to check out the latest episode of the GuysNation Wrestling Podcast, where we rundown our thoughts on WrestleMania XXX, The Ultimate Warrior, The Undertaker and what’s going to happen going forward! Available for direct download, also by RSS Feed AND on iTunes!