Monday, April 27, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 04/27/09 from Bridgeport, CT.

The Big News: Batista earned a shot at Randy Orton’s title with help from John Cena.

Show Analysis:

Vickie Guerrero started the show. She said she is proud that Edge won the Smackdown title and happy to introduce Randy Orton as the new Raw champion. Orton said the McMahons are in mourning because their protector and champion has fallen. He noted that he took out HHH just like he said he would. Vickie announced Orton will defend the title on the next PPV against the winner of a Batista vs. Big Show bout later in the show. MVP then came out to antagonize Orton and Vickie made that match as well for Raw.

Kofi Kingston beat The Brian Kendrick. Kendrick hit a top rope dropkick. Kingston responded with the high double leg drop, springboard crossbody and trouble in paradise for the pin. This was a good match, although I wish they hadn’t slotted Kendrick so low in week 1. They announced that John Cena will be out for a long time. Vickie congratulated Big Show for that backstage, but said that their relationship will now be strictly professional.

Santina Marella, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly and Brie Bella beat Beth Phoenix, Maryse, Rosa Mendes and Jillian Hall. Beth chopped Santina, who shrieked and tagged Brie. Brie went under the ring and came out with Nikki and Hornswoggle. Idiotic “comedy” ensued. God I hate Hornswoggle. Santina rolled up Jillian for the win.

Matt Hardy beat Goldust. Hardy was wearing a cast and talked about his broken hand. He called Jeff a heartless barbarian and said that he isn’t a quitter. Goldust then came out for the match. Matt backed off repeatedly until Goldust turned his back. Matt then hit Goldust with the cast for the pin. They are apparently going to do the old Bob Orton Jr. angle with Matt.

Randy Orton beat MVP via disqualification. MVP worked over Orton for much of the match. He hit a yakuza kick, while Orton nailed a neck breaker. MVP took over with an overhead belly to belly, face buster and balling. The balling spot didn’t get nearly the same reaction it does on Smackdown, illustrating the difference in Raw and Smackdown viewership numbers. MVP missed the yakuza kick, Orton dumped him over the top rope, and then Shane McMahon attacked Orton for the DQ.

Shane attacked Orton with a Singapore cane and hit en elbow off the top. He then ran into the crowd. Shane looks in much better shape now than when he first came back, and it makes him much more credible in this role. Vickie announced Shane vs. Orton for next week, and hopefully that’s the blow off of that for now. As for MVP/Orton, they gave MVP a ton of offense and tried to establish him at a high level.

Miz came out and challenged John Cena. The announcers made it clear Cena was injured and unavailable. “I’m tired of the same guys in main events every week in Raw,” said the Miz. Preach on! The man spits nothing but the truth. Like Beanie Sigel. Or Julius Smokes. “That’s why the Miz is going to grab the brass ring,” he continued. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up there, Sparky. Perhaps you should just stick with the idea of new main eventers in theory, because I’m not digging the specifics of your plan. Anyway, Miz announced himself the winner over Cena via forfeit.

Carlito and Primo Colon beat Chavo Guerrero and Jamie Noble. The Colons were in control early, but the heels briefly worked over Primo. He tagged Carlito, who came in with a back drop, sit down power bomb and double jump somersault senton. Primo took out Chavo with a tope and Carlito hit the back cracker on Noble for the pin.

Batista beat Big Show via count out. This was an awful, plodding, deadly boring retread of a match complete with a horrendous finish and setting up a bout nobody wants to see. Show worked over Batista seemingly forever. Batista came back with a spine buster, but Show hit a choke slam. At that point, John Cena came out on the ramp and Show was counted out.

Final Thoughts:

This was another not-so-great edition of Raw. Between the cutting down on brand mixing, the absence of HHH, and the slight role of Cena, the show was a lot lighter on star power.

I really hated the main event on a number of levels. As noted already, the match itself was awful. But the booking beyond that I thought was also really bad.

First, the idea of a title is that it signifies the best wrestler. WWE PPVs have collapsed in large part because they have killed off the idea that their titles mean anything. Thus, nobody cares to see wrestlers fight for them. And the last two days are yet another example of the crappy booking that has led to that situation. A cheap interference finish in a title match is okay if used very sparingly, but otherwise it just makes the titles feel pointless.

Edge beat Cena last night solely because Big Show interfered. Then 24 hours later they do the same exact diminution of the other title, by having Batista earn a title shot solely because Cena interfered. What are these title matches for, when neither champions nor challengers establish themselves as even negligibly better than the other members of WWE’s established main eventer club? It’s the same group, everyone stays at the same level regardless of whether they win or lose, and the wins or losses rarely come because one is better than the other. What’s the point? It’s just a prolonged exercise in preserving the status quo.

Second, and speaking of the status quo, Batista is challenging for the title again? Really? I swear this guy has unsuccessfully challenged for a title on pay-per-view 25 times in the past three years. Would it kill them to give someone else a push for once? I have nothing against Batista as a performer, but Batista as a face challenger was tired years ago. It’s almost to the point of farce now. He always challenges the heel champion. He never wins. He never truly loses. And the next month he challenges again. Give someone else a shot, for Christ’s sake.

Third, if Cena was going to show up at the end of the show, why did they do the angle earlier with the Miz? I’ve seen the angle tons of times over the years where the heel challenges a face knowing that the face isn’t there. I didn’t know it was possible for a promotion to be so stupid as to fuck this up by having it come out later that the face is in fact there. Are fans supposed to think Cena is a coward who won’t respond to a challenge from the Miz of all people? Or are they just assumed to be so stupid as to not remember what they saw two segments ago?

Much of this show wasn’t that bad. But the big picture stuff was.


Blogger Patrick said...

I loved the opening of this show. It really looks like they are going to be pushing MVP and they really tried to make him look like a big deal. If they keep this up, people will grow to love him.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Dan Wahlers said...

A couple points and counterpoints from your report, Todd:

Totally agree with you about Batista. Beyond stale. But I'm definitely not going to complain about no HHH or a slight role for John Cena. They're a big reason for the general stale feeling that exists on Raw these days. So any show without them is a good thing, in my view. This show felt fresher because of them not being there, with TV time for some undeutilized guys like MVP, The Miz, Matt Hardy, The Colon's, Brian Kendrick, and so forth. Hell, even Jamie Noble got on the show, even if it was in an absurdly short match.

At the same time, it's hard to get too excited about those guys getting pushed, because we know that invariably it will be the same guys on top. The hideously awful main event was proof of that. But overall, I thought it was a good show. There were some positive signs and a glimmer of hope that maybe they're going to start pushing some different people, and attempting to make some new stars. I realize history has shown that it won't happen, and it will be the same people on top six months from now. But I have to hold out hope, it's one of the only things keeping me watching the product.

I don't get citing the cutting down on brand mixing as a reason for not liking the show, though. Last week you were rightfully complaining about them not enforcing the draft. This week they enforce it, and you mention the lack of brand mixing hurting the star power on the show. You can't have it both ways. Do we want "star power" on the show if it's same tired, worn out acts? I'll take what we got last night over the alternative any day of the week. And hey, I was tired, and Batista/Show helped me out with a nice little 10 minute snooze. :)

I get what you're saying about the lack of logic in having John Cena not come out to answer The Miz's challenge, and then show up a couple segments later. That could have been explained away with the simple detail of showing Cena arriving to the building during the Batista/Show match, or even having Cole or Lawler mention that they understand that Cena literally just walked in the building. That part of the storyline continuity was severely lacking, but that's nothing new for this show.

I am glad Cena didn't come out, however, because if he had, that would have totally killed what they were trying to do with Miz. I might be in the minority, but I actually thought he did a really good job with his promo. It seemed like he realized this was his big break on Raw, and he really stepped up his game, and made the most of the opportunity. I don't know if it will result in anything, but it was a positive first step. I thought MVP and Miz specifically both took their opportunities and ran with them.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Max said...

WWE needs to make sure it informs it announcers to quit burying it talent. We saw it recently with Grisham and Tommy Dreamer.

Last night, Michael Cole said it would be a monumental upset if MVP beat Orton...I guess that means the U.S. title has no significance and neither does a guy they are pushing to Main Event status....

Hornswoggle is god awful....And that's a compliment.

Miz was so right about the same people main eventing over and over again.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shane McMahon will never have credibility. If not for being the son of the owner he'd be driving a cab in Brooklyn.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Dan about the star power being just fine without Triple H. And if there is any lack of star power, it's because the spotlight is continually hogged by Triple H. But I'd say the star power is just fine with Orton, Batista, Cena, Show and Hardy making an appearance.

Shane McMahon's participation is an embarrassment. If he's in much better shape, why isn't he showing off more skin? Precisely because he's the same out-of-shape, pasty Connecticut rich kid who is stoking his own ego as a ring performer. My condolences to Orton for having to endure this nonsense. An Orton vs Shane match next week? We've already seen Orton vs Shane - TWICE!

MVP's participation, which could have been a real asset to the program, was nothing more than filling in as the stooge fall guy for Shane's attack on Orton. They have no intention of going anywhere with this. MVP even disappeared without a trace right after Shane's appearance. Like Orton, I feel bad that he has to waste his time cowtowing to the egos of the McMahon family.

The show is losing credibility and any entertainment factor with each passing week. Let's hope that Triple H's absence will make that turn around. Hard to say with the Shane McMahon nonsense happening, though. If it isn't one McMoron, it's another.

3:39 PM  

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