Tuesday, January 13, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 01/12/09 from Sioux City, IA.

The Big News: Shawn Michaels defeated John Cena in a long main event that was billed as Michaels’ WrestleMania.

Show Analysis:

JBL and Shawn Michaels were in a limousine to start the show. JBL said that unlike himself, Michaels would now only be fighting for paychecks rather than titles. JBL said that fighting Cena for him would be Michaels’ WrestleMania. Michaels was sad. This was a good start to the show.

Stephanie McMahon came to the ring and said she couldn’t wait for the return of Vince. Chris Jericho joined her and called her a liar. He said she’s scared of her father’s return because her time running the show will be over. Jericho was ecstatic about the return of Vince because Vince will right her wrongs and put Jericho in the title match at the Royal Rumble. Stephanie said that the contract is done for the Rumble and JBL vs. Cena will be signed next week. Stephanie told Jericho to worry about winning the Rumble and said he had a match for Raw.

Jericho refused to compete unless a title was at stake. He said he wouldn’t lower himself to that and called Stephanie a lame duck. He said next week nothing she says will mean anything. Stephanie said that this week she was still in charge and announced Jericho was out of the Rumble and won’t ever have another shot at the title. Jericho didn’t care, so Stephanie fired and escorted Jericho out of the building. I pretty much universally hate WWE angles built around getting over that the McMahons are powerful. They are passe and counterproductive.

Rey Mysterio beat Miz in a brief match. Miz worked over Rey’s back, but Rey came back with the 619 and a springboard splash for the pin. Mike Knox jumped Rey after the match but Rey fought him off this time. Rey and Knox will wrestle next week on Raw. Backstage, Candice was trying to speak to CM Punk, but Punk was listening to music and focusing on his match. He basically blew her off.

William Regal beat CM Punk via DQ in another nothing match. Regal was attacking Punk in the corner, and as Regal turned around Punk threw a punch that landed low on Regal. The referee called for a DQ. They would have been better off just making the title match for the Rumble, because these faux matches are making me less, not more, interested. Stephanie later announced a no-DQ title match for next week.

Backstage, Manu and Sim Snuka were annoyed at Cody for joining Orton last week. Cody said that they would have done the same thing. Manu warned Cody that they were coming after Orton, and Cody would either be with them or against them. Sim added that they would be bringing second generation backup. They then announced Steve Austin for the Hall of Fame. JBL and Shawn Michaels spoke backstage. JBL told Shawn that he can’t lose with JBL in his corner. Shawn said he doesn’t need JBL to win and that he would prove he’s still the main event and the showstopper.

Randy Orton beat Kane. Cody Rhodes was at ringside. Orton controlled the match with knees, kicks, punches and stomps. Kane came back with punches of his own, clotheslines and a side slam. Surprisingly, the crowd was with Kane. Kane went for the choke slam but Orton fought out and hit a neck breaker. Orton went for the RKO but Kane avoided that. The finish appeared to be botched. Kane went to the top for a clothesline but was caught with a dropkick. The referee counted three even though Kane got a shoulder up. There may be another second generation burial coming, this time for one Scott Armstrong.

After the match, Manu and Sim came out. Manu asked Cody if he was with them or against them. Manu and Sim had backup, Ted DiBiase. The three came to the ring and surrounded Orton. Cody came into the ring as well. A fight then broke out, with Orton, Rhodes and DiBiase laying out Manu and Sim. So there’s your Legacy group. The basic idea here was right but the execution left something to be desired.

John Cena backstage talked about how anything can happen at the Royal Rumble. He said that he would be competing against Shawn Michaels in Shawn’s WrestleMania. That sounded familiar. There was to be a women’s tag match, but Rosa Mendes jumped Melina coming to the ring and Beth and Jillian then joined in to lay her out.

Backstage, Randy Orton congratulated Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes on forming the Legacy. Orton noted, however, there could only be one winner of the Rumble. Elsewhere Jamie Noble, Santino, Dolph Ziggler, Goldust and Cryme Tyme were waiting outside Stephanie’s office to lobby for a spot in the Rumble. Santino succeeded.

Shawn Michaels beat John Cena in the main event. They gave them a ton of time and the match was good, but it was missing something. I think part of the problem was the crowd reaction. Crowds don’t know how to respond to Michaels right now and this crowd didn’t like Cena for the most part so there wasn’t a lot of heat.

Cena and Michaels shook hands, and started with some chain wrestling. Cena whipped Michaels into the turnbuckle, hit a back drop and dumped Michaels to the floor. Michaels responded by snapping Cena’s neck and applying the figure four. Cena went for a top rope rocker dropper but Michaels caught him in the crossface. Michaels followed with a flying forearm and body slam but Cena caught him on the top rope.

Cena went for the FU off the top but Michaels escaped and hit a power bomb off the top for two. Michaels went for a top rope elbow but missed. Cena hit the five knuckle shuffle but Michaels countered an FU attempt into a DDT for two. Michaels hit an elbow off the top and went for sweet chin music. Cena ducked under and hit the FU, but Michaels kicked out at two.

Cena went to lift Michaels up but Michaels hit sweet chin music. Cena kicked out at two. Cena went for the FU again but Michaels rolled him up for two. Cena then caught Michaels into the STFU. Michaels eventually got to the ropes. Cena went for the FU again but Michaels got out and sent Cena towards the ropes. Cena was distracted by JBL and Michaels hit sweet chin music for the pin.

Final Thoughts:

This was an average edition of Raw. It was heavily built around the main event, which, while good, didn’t deliver as strongly as they probably expected. The rest of the show was mostly built around the Royal Rumble and the return of Vince McMahon next week.

I’ll be on Fight Network Radio tomorrow talking Raw and other wrestling/MMA news at 3PM Eastern/12PM Pacific, so check that out here:



Anonymous SteRDLK said...

It seems as though it is true that Cena's finishing move will be renamed, as whenever he went for the FU, Cle just said "he's going for the finish!" and he called the submission just an STF, rather than the STFU. This is just ridiculous. WWE needs to wake up

Where does Jericho go from here? Will he become the new General Manager, will he just be reinstated next week, is he having time off or will he go to SmackDown?

Also, what are the odds that in the IC Title match next week, one of them gets counted out?!

2:00 AM  
Anonymous tyson kaethler said...

This crowd seemed kind of shitty. I think it was mostly children in here, because their choices of who to cheer (Kane/Orton) and their enthusiasm for certain segments (HBK/Cena) was questionable or disappointing.

I was surprised they let Cena and Michaels have a great match. With JBL out there I was fully expecting a DQ finish of some sort at the end, but when they went on with so much time left, I was pretty happy. However again, the crowd really hurt this match I thought.

The Legacy makes sense now, but where do Manu and Snuka go, I guess tag team purgatory? I assume Manu will float around awhile and then Snuka will be released later this year.

As soon as Punk got DQ'd I literally said out loud "oh fuck off" followed with a laugh, and switched the channel for a while. Sure they're working it into a storyline, but why not just let them have a really good regular match from the get-go? Idiots, I say.

6:03 AM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

This week's "The writers are morons moment": Lawler after the Austin HOF package/announcement:

"I'll be the first one in line in Houston this weekend when tickets go on sale."

OK, King - I'm sure you need tickets to the event, being a HOFer yourself. Too stupid. Yeah, I'm certain Joe Morgan, Bob Feller and other MLB HOF bittermen need tickets to go to Cooperstown each year.

Vince's return - I'll say it again (sarcastically) - yipee.

- Matt in Anchorage

9:35 AM  
Blogger DW said...

"The Big News: Shawn Michaels defeated John Cena in a long main event that was billed as Michaels’ WrestleMania."

Big news? Hardly. Boring news, rather. And inexplicable news, to boot. Again, we have the WWE sacrificing its best talent to advance a story. This week it was Cena. Last week it was Orton and Jericho. The creative team simply cannot muster up the talent to do anything different. Year after year, it's the same old crap. Faces winning legitimately, while heels only win if they cheat or force a DQ. And with what happened last night, they continue to bore us with more of their crap as well as undermining their own roster - by taking every decent performer they have and trashing their reputations to build a story for a PPV. And this one isn't even a good story. Adults know it's crap, and kids - the WWE's target audience - probably can't understand it. So it goes - the WWE idiocy. By the way, if they'd let some more talent get some camera time, they'd have more people to use to advance these insipid stories, but that's another topic.

There are dozens of things worthy of criticism of last night's show, but I honestly can't be bothered enumerating them. Let's just say that it's getting easier and easier to justify surfing or turning the television set off altogether. However, one thing did intrigue me. Stephanie McMahon, who proves week after week that she's incompetent to run the show, proves that fact and fiction are one. She is a delightful mirror of reality and fiction, something the WWE should really stay away from (the Hardy accident angle among others) but in this case it works. Steph rants about how it's "her show" and the effect is supposed to show how she's inept at staying in control, but it's really mimicking reality. I sort of like that!

It was difficult for me not to surf through the rest of mundane goings-on until the Orton vs Kane match. And here we have another example of the WWE's failure. Orton can't win the match legitimately? Kane got plenty of offense in, so it's no detriment to him - but God knows, a heel (and in this match they wanted Kane to clearly be the face) can't win legitimately and so they had the ref neglect to see Kane's shoulder come up at the end. Ridiculous. Even Rey Mysterio has beaten Kane, so why not Orton? What would have been the problem? I don't know what Todd was talking about with the "botch" at the end, perhaps he can explain. I may have missed something there. To me, it was just typical WWE BS. Give Orton a clean win. Let heels show their stuff if we are forced into the continual cookie-cutter face vs heel encounters. It makes the heel so much more interesting, especially if you want them to get their comeuppance. I honestly believe the WWE thinks their fans are idiots and that they can't comprehend anything more cerebral than that. Either that, or they are worried the whole arena will commit mass suicide if they don't get the decision they want. Either way, it sucks for anyone with a brain who is watching.

And the announcing? More BS, where they can't even let the fans decide for themselves. The creative team comes up with crap stories and they make the announcers shove it down our throats. Lawler ranted on about how Kane is more skillful and stoic that Orton. When Kane delivered the powerslam toward the end, Lawler was all over how he still had the strength to do it. When Orton delivered that dropkick - at an angle to the diving Kane - no such word was made of his stamina - even after taking most ot the match's beating. I think the fans can tell what's what, but the announcers blatantly tell you what fans are thinking, often making fools of themselves when the fans contradict their silly scripts. Lawler was talking about how Kane is not used to being cheered but that "tells you how much fans dislike Randy Orton." Not 15 seconds later, Orton downs Kane and you hear - and see- the fans cheering.

And Cena vs HBK? Give me a break. First, why Cena? You can mock him, but why trash his record for HBK? And the lack of continuity remains one of the most aggravating things about the WWE. HBK gets up from an FU. Huh? Nobody does that. And HBK looks about as frail as an old man. Cena gets up from the SCM? Huh? Nobody does that. Oh, except for when they're trying to build for a PPV. Yep, makes a lot of sense. But then, think about the intelligence quotient of those in attendance. Generally speaking, they must be morons, because they believe that on one day, someone can get decked by SCM and be carried out, yet on another day, someone can kick out on '2." Not only is it stupid, it diminishes the move as a "finisher." You can't "finish" someone with a move that one can kick out of. Just like trashing main eventers, this sort of stuff is short-sighted. It was only a couple of years ago that they did the same thing with Bobby Lashley. They trashed everone in sight to make Lashley look good for the Trump-McMahon hair match. They added handicaps and gauntlet matches to boot. What happened? Lashley ends up out of the company and meanwhile, decent folks' reputations are trashed. But again, I must cut my criticism with a dose of acceptance that the moronic fans continue to lap this crap up like manna from heaven. For anyone with a brain, though, it's a ill pill to swallow.

Average edition of RAW? Hardly. I am so tired of the idea that these shows are built around the main event that they lose sight of the actual show itself. Make the show good and include some build for the main event, and people will watch. They'll see the connection to the main event. But when the shows suck, no one will tune in and then no one will see the build for the PPV. Logical, but lost on the WWE and anyone who thinks the way the WWE is headed is good programming. No surprise the stock is going down. Hey, that's why HBK is in trouble! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

5:22 PM  
Anonymous the masterbater said...

Quick question Todd, you know the new time and day for Inside the Squared Circle comes on around the Montgomery County area?

6:59 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I expect Jericho will be back as a wrestler on Raw next week, but I guess we will see.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the IC title match next week has another garbage finish.

Manu and Sim Snuka are in big trouble. Sim was in trouble before but it seemed they were interested in pushing Manu and now clearly they aren't.

I didn't know there was a new time and day in Montgomery County. Sorry, I have no idea.

12:30 PM  

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