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   November 27, 2014



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Raw is Hulu: YES!
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


SLAM! Wrestling is offering up a little something different this week for our Raw Recap.

With summer holidays carrying our reviewers all across this land of ours and theirs (we'll let you figure out which is which), we turn to one of our writers who recently cut the cable and joined the Hulu revolution. Here's what Raw looked like... about an hour and a half shorter.

So here we are - my cable box has been returned, my payment is in to the good people at Hulu and I'm getting an abbreviated version of Raw.

Admittedly, I'm a bit skeptical as to whether the hour and a half of Raw is going to give me everything I want. I mean this is half the show, it's like back in the old days when we'd get an hour of Nitro rather than the full broadcast.

So I start with the same segment 'regular' viewers get - the John Cena/Brad Maddox segment where we find out the champ will pick his Summerslam opponent. From reading other reports, it seems I do get the full segment, including Fandango and Randy Orton building to their match.

Hulu Match 1 - Fandango vs. Randy Orton

And we find out early that the WrestleMania smartasses made it to the show as we get chants for Randy Savage and JBL. Gotta love it.

Fandango gets in some really strong offence and gets a hell of a lot more cheers than he did following 'Mania, including when he hits the RKO literally outof nowhere.

Winner: Randy Orton

Next, we get Dolph Ziggler and AJ recapped from the previous night before a backstage interaction leads to a breakup. Ziggler all the sudden reminds me of Barney Stinson. Heck, he even suits up from time to time. AJ has the hurt puppy look going into break. Uh oh...

Next up, I get Mark Henry in the ring (entrance may have been clipped out) and being attacked by The Shield after a promo. I don't like Henry coming off weak and apparently turning face like this. He should've been given a rematch at Summerslam, especially since the bout between the two was fairly strong. I don't think this does any favours for The Shield either.

Hulu Match 2 - Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio

I'm not a fan, generally, of the same match being shown two nights in a row; but here I can justify it a smidge as we get the continuation of the breakup with AJ causing a distraction and leading to Ziggler getting pinned amidst a pretty good match.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Post match we get the official end to the relationship with Big E Langston putting the exclamation point on the cap off.

Next, R-Truth comes out for the first time in what feels like months, only to soon after be followed by The Wyatt Family. This is now my favourite segment of Raw each week. The 'hired help' of Bray destroy Truth so the Eater of Worlds (awesome nickname) can preach. Truth tries to get back in but gets decimated by all three with some real creepiness mixed in. I love this. I really, really do.

Hulu Match 3 - Christian vs. Damien Sandow

Okay, Hulu editing department, I could've lived without this one. No disrespect to Christian but I'm getting worried that these injuries are going to mount up too much and he's going to be like Rey - a forced part-timer.

Oh, Christian does win by the way.

Winner: Christian

After the match, Cody Rhodes attacks Sandow, so it looks like there will be a mini feud prior to the cash-in.

Next up is the heart and soul of tonight's ep - CM Punk coming out to confront Paul Heyman, and indeed we get a classic verbal bout between the two. Then, Brock Lesnar comes out and absolutely decimates Punk. Seriously, this was brutal with a capital RUTAL. I do fear that Punk was legitimately injured here... I sure hope not.

Hulu Match 4 - Chris Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam

Now for some reason everyone's going gaga over this match. I guess there's some sort of ECW retro love here because all I saw was the same schtick RVD did before - kick after kick, a forearm series, a single grapple (the Monkey Flip) a few more kicks and the 5 Star. Seriously now, I challenge any RVD fan to tell me the difference between his 5 moves (3.5 of which are kicks) and John Cena's. Oh can I hear the roars of anger now...

Winner: Rob Van Dam

Speaking of Cena, we cap off the night o' entertainment with John coming out to name his Summerslam opponent. After a couple teases, we get the word that it is indeed Daniel Bryan. Calling it now - Bryan wins, Orton cashes in that night.

Seriously though, it's great to see that WWE is up to 2/3 in picking opponents for Cena. Ryback was horrid but Henry and now Bryan are awesome. I hope in the build we get to see the Velocity match between Cena and Bryan, because it's a great example of how two guys can elevate themselves if given time. Oh and John, please bring back the yellow pants.

So what did I miss? The Usos beating the Real Americans (and thus getting deprived of a Hulk Hogan reference), Naomi vs. Brie Bella, a Sheamus commercial, a John Cena/Great Khali moment and a couple other things. So in reality - not much. I think I'll be Hulu'ing Raw for a while...