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[2013-05-27-WWE-Raw] Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins vs Daniel Bryan & Kane

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WWE World Tag Team Champs The Shield (Rollins & Reigns) vs. Team Hell No (Bryan & Kane) - RAW 5/27/13

This is not the title change, but the RAW rematch that follows Ambrose's victory over Kingston and Bryan & Kane save Kingston from a beatdown. During this time was my absolute favorite storyline of the year: Daniel Bryan's inferiority complex and much to the detriment of his relationships with Kane & Orton going out of his way to prove he is on the level of his partners. It mixed his natural smaller stature, his already developed anger issues with an interesting character flaw. There is an excellent moment before this match where Bret Hart basically reiterates the same thing as Kane had been saying to Bryan and Bryan is just lapping it up. An exasperated Kane is like "What!??!?! I just said that." and Bryan is all like "Yeah, but youre just Kane." It is such an excellent portrayal of someone who is dealing with tunnel vision. Of course, they sadly dropped this interesting character build-up for Bryan the plucky underdog babyface, which I dont begrudge them, but when he was fucking around with the Wyatts I would have liked to see more of a callback to this work because this was an interesting quality that was established.

 

At the outset, Bryan is a house of fire and he is beating up Rollins so bad in the corner. Kane, of all people, has to simmer him down so they don't get disqualified. In a nice juxtaposition, Kane wrestles calmly as opposed to overzealous, chip on his shoulder Bryan. Rollins hit his enziguiri to escape and tag Reigns, who is right on him. I like Rollins' punches a lot and Kane gets a good hope spot with a delayed vertical (he should add that to his arsenal). The hot tag to Bryan is glorious. After this run, Bryan was one of the best hot tags of all time. In my opinion, it was his hot tag that got him over like a muthafucka in addition to the Yes chant. Running dropkick to Reigns off the apron, huge German to Rollin, big running dropkick to Rollins, super back suplex, but that takes too much out of Bryan. Credit to the commentary team putting over that Bryan's chip on his shoulder may be costing him the match. The search for perfection is the enemy of good, after all.

 

The FIP begins with Reigns' palm strike stymieing Bryan. When The Shield came out, I was a huge Reigns mark and I just knew he was going place, but upon watching this back with a closer eye (when I watch Raw I am usually talking to my brother and/or dad and just enjoying it), Rollins is wicked good. I love how he takes time to always get the crowd into it. He wrestles like it is an actually contest. When he is doing the YES! chant while preparing to surfboard Bryan was wicked and one of the funniest moments of the year was he berated Bryan for being the weak link and Kane says from the apron, "Dont listen to him, Daniel". Bryan is still no Ricky Morton, but Rollins and Reigns did a great job smothering him. Bryan breaks free and here comes Kane. As good as Kane has been at character work, he is a lukewarm tag at best. Bryan rejoins the fracas pretty much immediately with a missile dropkick to Reigns and a diving elbow to the outside. He is going for the running knee off the apron, but Kane tells him to quit it and go back to the corner. Reigns catches Bryan and plants him on the outside, while Rollins his a springboard knee to Kane's temple to win. This is the type of match that used to be the WWF's bread and butter in the 80s establish an angle in the back and show how it affects the match outcome. Too many matches either have a disconnect or don't advance the story. This match did in an compelling way: Bryan's fiery attitude can backfire, how long is Kane's fuse with the irrational Daniel Bryan, Rollins is a huge dick and a Reigns is a beast. That's wrestling understanding who you are and how you fit into the context of a match. With Cena/Punk taking place on Raw in 2013, no match would top that as the best free TV match of the year, but in other years this would be a contender. ***3/4

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I liked the character work in this just as much as any of the actual work, which was top notch. Bryan's overzealous attitude distracting Kane at just the right time gives the Shield the win. I really like the way Bryan's character believes so strongly that he's the weak link that it comes true. That's great stuff there.

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Much better than the PPV title change match, since this had about twice or triple the length of time. Once again, the Shield look like unstoppable, strategic bad-asses, preying on the cracking chemistry that was showing in Team Hell No due to D-Bry's insecurities. Those insecurities though were causing D-Bry to bring out a fiery side that was allowing the audience to genuinely connect with his work. Loved this match. ***3/4

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