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Wrestling Reviews

WWE Raw Awards: June 23, 2014

 

WWE Raw Awards

STORY OF THE NIGHT

Vickie Guerrero‘s story of redemption and revenge before she departed WWE was by far the highlight of the evening. Using Eddie Guerrero in the most tasteful way possible to tap into the nostalgia and love for the late legend, Vickie made an immediate swap from being one of the most hated figures in the company to one of the most popular for the show.

She stood up to the latest attempt by Stephanie McMahon, and by proxy the McMahon family, to humiliate her and managed to leave with her head held high. And so she should. Vickie has shown an unbelievable improvement in ability over the years, and a dedication to crafting a character (and catchphrase) that eclipses most of the actual roster.

Her “Excuse Me!” in the face of Stephanie was a huge moment and probably the first time it has ever received a cheer, it might have been the loudest reaction from the Washington crowd. The use of the old Los Guerreros music was a nice moment for her only occasion of having a theme, and her Eddie shimmy as she left was the icing on the cake.

MATCH OF THE NIGHT

The Intercontinental Championship was on the line as Bad News Barrett defended his belt against the man who bested him on Friday Night SmackDown, Dolph Ziggler. The match lived up to expectations, with plenty of near-falls that made it look like either man could leave Washington as champion. Barrett was eventually successful with a mid-air Bull Hammer Elbow, but neither man looked like a loser here.

STAR OF THE NIGHT

Vickie Guerrero had one of the finest nights of her career, despite what could have easily been a repeat of some of her worst. This felt like a final goodbye to Vickie, and despite being an unusual one, it was great to see her go out on a high. Who knew after all these years playing one of the most hated characters in WWE that she, and the company, could make her so popular within one night?

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

After Stardust sang ‘When You Wish upon a Star’ during Goldust‘s backstage interview, the older sibling looked marvelled at his transformed brother. After exclaiming as much he turned to interviewer Bryan Saxton and said, “Now I’m the normal one!”

SURPRISE OF THE NIGHT

If WWE had advertised any of this before the show then eyes would have rolled, dread would have filled viewers and some would just reach for their control. All rightly so. Yet somehow this managed to come together in a surprisingly fulfilling resolution.

Stephanie McMahon had one thing on her mind after last weeks abysmal events, getting her revenge on Vickie Guerrero. What she hadn’t expected was Vickie to find a spine. She stood up for herself and accepted the challenge to fight her during the show with her job on the line.

As for the match, things looked to move swiftly downhill as Stephanie decided that instead of a wrestling match we would see a return of the ____ pool match – filled with what was alluded to as faeces. Worse still, she sent out Alicia Fox, Layla and Rosa Mendes to bully Vickie into it. Just another standard humiliation segment for Vickie, as the fans had chanted against earlier in the evening. Except Vickie fought back, threw all three into the pool before sadly being dumped in herself. Instead of ending there as it normally would, Vickie finally got vengeance for her endless humiliation as she threw Stephanie into the pool and celebrated on (presumably) her way out of the company.

LOGIC OF THE NIGHT

On not one occasion, but two, Triple H showed excellent storytelling logic for two of the entrants into the traditional Money in the Bank Ladder Match. First in the original announcement, the expected inclusion of Dolph Ziggler. But with Ziggler’s recent feud with the boss and Seth Rollins, it makes no sense for him to be placed in the match (as it made no sense for him to be in last weeks Battle Royal). This was addressed as Triple H announced his participation as “A man that many of you don’t think I appreciate the talent of, and for that very reason he is in the match.”

Secondly came the inclusion of Dean Ambrose. The former Shield member had to be in the match for his feud with Seth Rollins, but the trickery angle had already been done with Roman Reigns last week. So how could Ambrose be shoehorned in to the contest? Surprisingly easily. Rollins himself begged Triple H to place him in it. Not because of their hatred but because Rollins wants Ambrose where he can see and control him. He doesn’t want to risk having his shot at the briefcase stopped by Ambrose coming out of nowhere, so by putting him in the match, Rollins knows exactly where he is. Plus the rivalry gets a continuation. This is possibly the best booked moment of the post-Shield fallout.

QUESTIONABLE MOTIVES

Again going to Roman Reigns due to his actions last week. Knowing that he is the man who placed Vickie in the terrible situation of begging, then fighting, then fighting 3-on-1 with the threat of a faeces pool, all in an attempt to keep her job, Reigns didn’t even remotely acknowledge the situation. It was bad enough last week when he knew he was deliberately costing Vickie her job, but this week he watched her get publicly humiliated in an attempt to save it – and couldn’t care less.

IDENTITY CRISIS

Dolph Ziggler doesn’t seem to know where he is going to be billed from. Sometimes from “Cleveland, Ohio” – especially when it makes him a home town hero like a few weeks ago – and sometimes from “Hollywood, Florida”, Ziggler can’t seem to settle on a location he comes from.

WORST OF THE NIGHT

Cameron. It would be very easy to leave this award there and no-one would question it. She joined the commentators, along with Divas Champion Paige, during the match between Alicia Fox and Naomi. And besides endessly repeating the phrases “Actually,” and “Y’know it’s funny,” it was revealed that not only can’t she wrestle, she hasn’t yet mastered speaking either.

ANTI-CLIMAX OF THE NIGHT

This would be an anti-climax had it happened at any point of the evening but closing the show it was a huge disappointment. After the main event handicap match featuring the Money in the Bank Championship participants, Kane came to the ring to lay waste to everyone. Triple H then announced what people feared, that he was now in the Ladder Match. There was some slight damage limitation as Roman Reigns speared him to quickly turn the show ending but it was still flat.

SHOW REVIEW

A very good go-home show that was fun for the vast majority. The biggest let-down was the main event handicap match, an inferior rerun of the SmackDown main event that had the double anti-climax of a Sheamus win and Kane coming out to be announced as a participant. This could be a costly miss for the pay-per-view, which WWE had done such an excellent job of promoting during the rest of the show (even with only four official matches announced, plus some kind of Rusev and Big E clash).

Money in the Bank looks a mostly good event, once again the main event is the least exciting part of it but it does have the saving grace of crowning a brand new champion.

4 stars FTR

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  1. Pingback: WWE SmackDown Awards: June 27, 2014 | For The Record - June 29, 2014

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