Monday, May 11, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 05/11/09 from Columbus, OH.

The Big News: Batista looked to take out Randy Orton in advance of Judgment Day.

Show Analysis:

Raw had quite the opening this week. Randy Orton and Legacy came out, and Orton said that the McMahons pride themselves on listening to the audience. That’s a good one. Orton said that he put an end to the McMahons last week and now the company revolves around him. He said that Vickie Guerrero had announced a no physical contact ruling for Batista and Orton until Judgment Day. Wait, you say, didn’t they kill that stipulation off in a week less than two months ago? Oh, wait, it gets better.

Batista came out. Orton said that Batista won’t win the title and offered Batista a spot in Legacy as his enforcer. DiBiase said that getting punted by Orton was the best thing that ever happened to his career. Batista said he loathes Orton and he won’t be Orton’s backup. An angry Orton said that if there weren’t this no physical contact ruling he would drop Batista right there. Batista said Vickie wasn’t going to call off the Judgment Day main event, and there was nothing stopping him from destroying Orton.

Vickie came out, and asked “Did I just hear you call me predictable?” Only problem was, Batista had not in fact called her predictable. “I’m not predictable!” she continued. Good thing for those overly scripted promos. Anyway, Batista had just laughed at the idea that Vickie would stand by her own rulings. So what was her reaction? Why, she rescinded her no contact rule that lasted for a grand total of about 10 minutes. So, what was the point exactly of that? God only knows. Maybe they changed the script for Raw during the first five minutes of the show.

Vickie announced Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes vs. Batista in a handicap match. If Batista won, he would get Orton 1-on-1 later on Raw. If Legacy won, they would get Batista 3-on-1. The match took place and it was another of those nothing matches with a total crap finish that makes matches look like pointless contrivances. Rhodes went to use a chair. Batista grabbed it, swung it at Rhodes, and despite not even hitting Rhodes he was disqualified. Just like last week, they should have just announced the 3-on-1 handicap match rather than throwing in some pointless screw job finishes to set it up.

Mickie James and Kelly Kelly beat Maryse and Jillian Hall. The heels worked over Kelly, who got the tag to Mickie. Mickie came in with a huracanrana and Charlie Thesz press off the top on Maryse. Maryse went for a DDT but Mickie grabbed the ropes to block and hit an implant DDT for the win.

Backstage, Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase spoke briefly. DiBiase said Cody Rhodes was gone, and they went to investigate. Orton found Rhodes, but when they went back to get DiBiase, Batista had taken DiBiase out. Elsewhere, Chavo Guerrero said he spoke with Big Show and they thought John Cena should be forced to compete on Raw in an “exhibition match” until Cena proves to Vickie he can go on Sunday. Vickie liked this and made the exhibition match against Miz.

Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole did their usual pay-per-view preview, but this time they went into the ring to announce the matches like an upcoming house show announcement. I like the idea, because they were able to get some crowd reactions to make it sound exciting and important. They should continue to do this.

The Brian Kendrick beat Carlito in a very, very short match. Kendrick threw Carlito into the post and pinned him. Kendrick declared that this was step one and that step two will be finding a tag team partner to take the titles.

John Cena and Miz had their exhibition match with Big Show watching at the announce table. Cena tried to keep his eyes on Show throughout. Miz hit some suplexes and worked over Cena. Cena came back with shoulder blocks, the Cena slam and the five knuckle shuffle. After being at death’s door last week Cena was basically fine this week. Vickie then announced that she had seen enough and that it was obvious Cena has no chance against the Big Show. Wait, wasn’t the match supposed to go until he proved he could compete? Anyway, Miz hit a DDT and declared himself 3-0 against Cena.

Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes met backstage. They knew that Batista was after them, so they devised a plan: they would split up and have Rhodes go after Batista on his own. You would think the writers could have come up with a somewhat more plausible series of events leading to Rhodes getting taken out. Of course, when Rhodes went after Batista, Batista took him out.

Santina approached Vickie backstage. Vickie wanted to know if Santina called her swine-like last week. You know, you could watch the show you’re the general manager of to find out. Santina said she wasn’t there last week and that was Santino. Chavo wasn’t buying this and went to pull off Santina’s wig. Santina stopped him.

Vickie ordered Rosa and Beth to kiss Santina. I was wondering how they were going to pull off an erection gag on a PG show, but that wasn’t where they were going. Rosa kissed Santina on the cheek and Santina started making out with Rosa. Santina then admitted she was a lesbian and made a bunch more pig noises. They cut to the announce table. You could see rows of people with no one laughing or even smiling while Lawler and Cole just guffawed with fake laughter. I actually thought the segment was funny, but the phony laughter is so insulting to the audience’s intelligence.

Santina beat Beth Phoenix. There were Santina chants. Since Santina is a face you can’t really have her beat up women, so she basically sold the entire match here. In the end Santina pinned Beth with a small package and celebrated ebulliently. The Santina gimmick is getting over but I’m not sure where you go with it.

MVP hosted the VIP Lounge. He called William Regal out, and labeled Regal boring. Regal retorted that MVP is arrogant. Matt Hardy then came out and said he shouldn’t have to compete with a broken hand. He added that he should get the next shot at MVP’s title when he is healthy. Kofi Kingston ran out to attack Matt, and Chavo Guerrero made a tag match.

MVP and Kofi Kingston beat Matt Hardy and William Regal. They gave this match some time which was nice because the hot tag was more meaningful. Matt hit Kofi with the cast and they worked over Kofi. Kofi got the tag to MVP, who hit balling. Kofi kicked Matt in his cast, so Matt just left. MVP then used the yakuza kick and playmaker on Regal for the pin.

The highlight of this match may have been a hilarious exchange between Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole. Lawler said, “I had a broken hand one time and I just couldn’t compete. I called the official and said my hand was broken and they didn’t force me out here to compete.” Cole responded, “Did you wrestle all your matches in protest?” This was not a good night for listening.

Randy Orton came out on his own and wanted out of the match with Batista. Batista joined him and Orton ran away. Batista caught him and gave him a pair of spine busters. He then hit him with a chair repeatedly for another lame DQ. Of course they shouldn’t be giving a finish to Orton vs. Batista before the PPV but why not just have a “confrontation” if this was the plan? These crap finishes are just out of control.

Batista went after Orton’s ankle, and Rhodes and DiBiase came out for the save. Batista fought them off, but Orton got away. Batista hurled the ring steps at Orton at the close of the show.

Final Thoughts:
This was better than some recent editions of Raw, but I certainly wouldn’t label it good.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

DW writing as "Anonymous."

It's getting to the point where there's no longer a need for comments. RAW is an embarrassment to the entertainment world. But let's be clear, it's not the performers (excluding Triple H, of course, who is mercifully absent for a while yet still responsible for much of the nonsense going on before our eyes), it's the creative team and management. Fools and incompetents, one and all.

I no longer understand why you give any positive comments at the end of your reviews, Todd. There is so little to praise that every show deserves a "poor" rating. Call it what it is.

7:33 AM  
Anonymous mike said...

Wow, I thought the show was beyond horrible. It was also soooo illogical.

It started with the lame Vicky-Batista no-confrontation rule change and lasted all show. If Batista took out Rhodes and Dibiase, then how come they were able to return and save Orton at the end?

Why is Maryse losing every week on Raw? I realize they are trying to set up a Mickie James program. However, Maryse having just debuted on Raw does not have any Raw victories.

By the way, does agreeing with Regal's assessment of Americans make me unpatriotic?

8:19 AM  
Blogger s1rweeze said...

It's not often I feel like an idiot for watching pro wrestling -- after all, it's pro wrestling and its ridiculous by nature. And I know it's par for the course for Some Guy on the internet to proudly proclaim that he's "done" watching wrestling after seeing the "worst show ever".

But this show was unbearably stupid and for the first time in a while, I felt like an idiot for wasting my time. I'm sure I'll be back, and since Jericho's over on Smackdown maybe I'll try that show, but in the meantime, there's no reason to watch Raw, especially during baseball season.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Todd, I'm surprised you thought this show was better than some recent shows, as I thought it was the worst I've seen in quite a while. At least ridiculous stuff like Katie Vick gets a reaction. This Raw was just stupid in a completely boring way.

I'll be interested to see the rating, as that opening segment had "ratings killer" written all over it. I'm getting tired of Orton again, as he seems to have reverted back to where he was a few years ago, an uninteresting character who gives long, boring promos. Batista, that big, dumb clod, bores the audience while exposing the wellness policy as a complete joke. Vickie can't act off a script and is even worse at improv. Dibiase and Rhodes have been written to look like ineffective idiots.

I was watching on DVR, and even working the fast-forward like crazy, the show still felt sluggish.

I had previously been surprised to see that Maryse may be more than just another bimbo and actually has some good heel charisma, but clearly they gave her a new catch phrase to try out this week ("If I weren't Maryse [hair flip], I'd want to be"), and it was horrible. It didn't come across as a boast a real person was making; it came across a some crap an idiot writer came up with.

Then they have her lose in a minute every week. Why would a company create a champ with a dumb name like "Divas champion", give her a tramp-stamp of a belt, then job her out week after week? How does this draw money? How is this interesting?

I could go on and on, but I've wasted enough time on this for this week...

Hey, DW, when you post your comments, just pick Name/URL and then you can put DW in the name. No password required. Then you won't have to post as anonymous with a line saying it's really you.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Oh, let me waste a little more time...

So we have this infusion of new writers from Hollywood, right? So while they're ruining everything just to do things differently, you'd think they could at least do some good things like get rid of some of the tiresome cliches.

The prime example this week was Batista coming out and doing the old "well, everything you said is true, and your offer does make a lot of sense" shtick that supposedly is going to make the audience think he's going to take the offer, then it's supposed to be a big surprise when he does a 180. Instead, it makes me, and probably most other people, groan as soon as it starts.

(Maybe I'll start doing that in real life. When someone proposes anything that I think is a bad idea, I'll go on about how much sense it makes, etc., and then suddenly turn on it. I'm sure that would make me really popular.)

This was followed by Batista saying that the only problem was that he couldn't stand Orton. Then he took it back -- what a surprise; he likes Orton after all! Then it turned out he was only taking it back to say he despised Orton! Oh, another surprise! But, wait, what's this, now he's taking that back, so it turns out their friends after all! Surprise! But, no, it seems that was just another twist, as he only took it back to say he loathes Orton! Oh, my, what a delightful roller coaster ride that was!

If that is what they consider good writing, then I'd suggest the writers find another line of work.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Rating was 3.3. That's a pretty bad rating, but higher than that show deserved.

4:26 PM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

"I was watching on DVR, and even working the fast-forward like crazy, the show still felt sluggish."

Bob, as Dave Letterman often says to Paul Shaffer "Once again, Paul, you've crystallized my thoughts eloquently."

I'm leaning ever closer to watching SD and relying on Todd for his Raw reports.

- Matt in Anchorage

4:48 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

Thanks for the log-in tip, Bob!

6:38 PM  

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