Monday, May 18, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 05/18/09 from Louisville, KY.

The Big News: Raw was good! Huzzah!

Show Analysis:

Randy Orton came out to start the show. He said that he was going to take out Batista for good, but Ric Flair had to intervene. Orton said that Flair never liked him much in Evolution because he was a threat to Triple H. He said that he kicked Flair in the skull just like the other members of Evolution and they will never have their retribution. He dared Flair to get in his business again.

Ric Flair joined Orton, and pointed out that Orton didn’t beat Batista but instead got himself intentionally disqualified. He said that Orton was the heir apparent in Evolution, but Batista blew by him. I like the attempt to tie in history here, but it’s harder to do when you don’t have long term planning seeing storylines through (remember Flair turned on Batista and helped HHH when Evolution dissolved).

Flair told Orton that he suggested to Vickie Guerrero that Batista wrestle Orton in a cage match at Extreme Rules and she made the match. Orton said Flair delivered that message, so he had a message for Flair to deliver to Batista. Somehow Flair couldn’t crack the code of that oh-so-subtle message and stood there grinning right before Orton punched him in the mouth and put the boots to him. Batista and Legacy joined the fray, with Legacy winning the numbers game. John Cena then made the save. Vickie Guerrero would make Cena and Batista vs. Legacy for the main event.

Kelly Kelly won a battle royal for a women’s title shot over Rosa Mendes, Beth Phoenix, Mickie James and the Bellas. Maryse (announced as “Maurice” by Michael Cole) did commentary. Even though there were only seven participants, they basically all jumped over the top as quickly as possible. Kelly eliminated Beth, leaving Kelly and Mickie as the final two. Maryse then sprayed something in Mickie’s eyes (Arrogance, perhaps?), and Kelly dumped Mickie to win. This was very sloppy.

Santino beat Chavo Guerrero in a really entertaining comedy match. Santino was so unbelievably awesome here. Just his entrance was absolutely hilarious as he shamelessly pandered to the crowd. He waved at the crowd, smiled, feigned humility, and shook the hands of the ring announcer and referee. Chavo worked over Santino, but Santino hulked up. He then made his comeback, but couldn’t believe that he was actually succeeding in executing these moves. Chavo finally charged into the turnbuckle and Santino covered for the pin. Chavo after the match said that Santina would defend her Ms. WrestleMania crown against Vickie Guerrero later in the show.

Miz came onto Maryse backstage. Maryse wasn’t having it. Elsewhere, Vickie was upset that Chavo made the match with Santina. Chavo said he had a plan. Orton came in, and was angry that Vickie made a cage match without consulting him. Vickie said she doesn’t need to consult with anyone. Orton replied that she needs to worry about staying on his good side.

The Colons beat Goldust and The Brian Kendrick. I laughed at Goldust as Kendrick’s partner, but man did it ever bury Kendrick that he couldn’t get anyone better than Goldust for a partner. Kendrick was pleased at first but then turned on Goldust basically immediately when Goldust wasn’t doing well. Kendrick tagged himself in and worked the rest of the match. Primo beat Kendrick with a springboard crossbody press.

Kendrick yelled at Goldust afterwards. Hornswoggle came in to help and they fought off Kendrick. This was kind of funny, but it’s that type of burial comedy that keeps everyone but the top few guys from getting over.

Miz came out acting like John Cena. He was awesome here. Miz is working so well as a singles heel with all the focus on him. The association with Cena is helping a lot too. He pointed out that Cena is terrified of him, and did a remix of a Cena rap. It was intentionally really lame. He concluded that it is Miz 5, Cena 0 and declared himself awesome.Jerry Lawler came in to make the save for Cena. He said that calling someone out isn’t a victory. Lawler called out Batista, Steve Austin, Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan to make the point. He said that if he wants a match with Cena he should see Vickie Guerrero. Miz said he would do just that, which brought out Big Show. Show said Miz will have to wait, because he is wrestling Cena in a submission match at Extreme Rules.

Miz said that he would wait until after Cena beats Show. He then ran away from an infuriated Show. Show took out his aggression on Lawler, who was gone for the rest of the show. Jim Ross filled in on commentary.

I thought for sure that they would have Cena or Show just destroy Miz here, but God bless them, they didn’t. So please, WWE, I’m pleading with you, let Miz keep his heat. Don’t bury this guy. It’s almost incomprehensible if you had thought about this going in, but Miz is clicking. You want new stars, and this sort of angle is precisely how you create a new star. Give this guy a chance to become a singles star. If you stay the course, it might work. But you can destroy it all in just one week, so please be careful. And as an aside, can we now say that splitting up Miz and John Morrison might not have been the dumbest thing WWE could have done after all? I’m looking at you, Dave and Bryan.

MVP beat Matt Hardy in a US Title match. The announcers sold that Vickie Guerrero might have given Matt this match as a reward for helping Edge at Judgment Day. Matt hit MVP in the knee with the cast and worked over the knee. MVP came back with balling and the playmaker for the pin.

Backstage, Ric Flair told Batista that he was going to call out Randy Orton next week. Batista didn’t want him to do that. An annoyed Flair said that he doesn’t want to be retired, that he can still do it, and that he’ll beat up Orton in a street fight. Clearly, they are at the very least planting the seeds for Flair returning. Personally, I think Flair returning is kind of like ending Undertaker’s streak. Maybe you can come up with a really great reason for doing it, but if you can’t, you lose a lot more than you gain by pulling the trigger.

Elsewhere backstage, Chavo Guerrero tried to get Vickie to jump off the couch onto him with a frog splash. Vickie was having second thoughts about the match, but Santina came in and said that the only way Vickie wins is if pigs can fly. An angry Vickie said she would do the match after all.

Vickie Guerrero beat Santina Marella to be crowned Ms. WrestleMania. Vickie slapped Santina, and Santina responded by kissing Vickie. Chavo announced the match would be no-DQ. Santina somehow couldn’t figure out what was going to happen, so she squared off with Vickie and allowed Chavo to jump her from behind. Santina fought off Chavo and dumped him over the top rope, but William Regal then came in. He laid out Santina with an exploder and running knee to the head, and Vickie covered for the pin. They played “So Hot” and Vickie danced and celebrated.

Batista and John Cena beat Legacy. The heels first worked over Batista, who eventually got the tag to Cena. Cena hit the five knuckle and FU on Rhodes, but Orton tagged himself in and went to work on Cena. Cena eventually got the tag to Batista. Batista came in with a power slam on Orton. Big Show came out and fought to the back with Cena, seemingly leaving Batista alone against three men. However, Ric Flair came down to help and Batista speared Orton for the pin.

Final Thoughts:

This was the first honest-to-goodness strong episode of Raw in quite a while. The comedy was much, much, much better than the WWE average, and the main angles throughout the show worked well too. WWE tends to build momentum towards pay-per-views, whether it’s positive or negative, so hopefully this portends well for what’s to come the next couple weeks. I’m crossing my fingers when it comes to Miz. They’ve got something here that came out of nowhere, and I really hope they don’t squander it.

Final Plugs:

I want to make mention of a number of things this week. First, I’m doing an 8-part series on UFC history leading up to UFC 100 at CBSSports.com. The first piece is on Royce Gracie, and I’ve got his thoughts on all the key points in his career. I think you’ll really enjoy it if you’re a fan of the sport. It’s located here:

http://www.cbssports.com/mma/story/11761069

Second, I’ll be on Alex Reimer’s radio show Thursday evening talking pro wrestling. You can check that out here:

http://mysportsradio.com/

Third, I’ll be on the Arkansas Radio Network with Shawn and Wally talking UFC 98 Thursday at 4:30PM Central/2:30PM Pacific. You can listen to that here:

http://www.sportsanimal920.com/

Finally, I’ll be in Vegas for UFC 98 this weekend and will be blogging on the weekend’s events at CBSSports.com. Okay, that’s it.

8 Comments:

Blogger hobbyfan said...

I would've preferred seeing an actual diva (say, for example, Jillian, Mickie, or Maryse) beat Santina, rather than another last-milisecond stip-aided Guerrero victory, in this case Vicki's. She can't work, and has no business winning anything. All they did was siphon what heat Santino had left, and Vicki didn't need it. It makes what was a bad idea at Wrestlemania seem worse because they clearly didn't want any of the divas to win the crown in the first place. I'm sorry, but that only adds to the need to get rid of Vicki once and for all.

Chavo has no official title, so what he did is considered illegal in my book, and grounds for Vicki's dismissal.

The solution? Assemble the active divas only, and force Vicki to dress in appropriate attire for a battle royal next week. If she refuses, she's gone. Simple as that. I'd use this as a vehicle to bring Vince back, away from the Legacy-Batista feud, which is now shaping up to be Legacy vs. Evolution/DX. Not only is Ric Flair back, but HHH & HBK can't be too far behind.

Flair hasn't lost a step on the mic, and he pwned Orton yet again. What else is new? At least Vicki didn't fudge Orton's name this week (another reason to get rid of her--she crumbles on live TV like a condemned building).

Miz jumped the shark with his BS feud with Cena, and thank GOD that Jerry Lawler tried to set him straight. No more protecting this clown just because he used to be on Empty-V and is sort-of famous. He gets a match with Cena and either gets a fluke win via illegal help or Cena squashes him flat.

I got the idea of the perfect partner for "The" Brian Kendrick, and it's that injured, jealous Matt Hardy. Consider the resume. 8 tag titles with 2 partners. ECW title. IC, Cruiser, & US titles. Kendrick has 3 tag titles to his credit (all w/Paul London). However, Hardy's another one I'd put on the sidelines for now for his offenses. Erasing a loss to Kofi Kingston 2 weeks ago (not last week, as Matt claimed, getting his record scrambled along with his brain)? Stupid. That hasn't happened in 9 years (HHH-Jericho). I'd get rid of Geekwitz and his assistants and let the boys run the show themselves, the way it's meant to be. Put Arn Anderson in the head writer's chair, and maybe we go old school! WOOOOO!

Methinks those scribblers have been watching too much Impact. Seeing Maryse use hair spray on Mickie tells me she'd rather defend against someone that she has an actual chance of beating (Kelly). Sorry, but all this says is that Maryse's reign is on borrowed time.

And there are those on other sites who thought Hunter would return at Judgment Day. Too early, given the pattern of past punt victims. Shane was gone for 6 weeks. Batista for 4 months. Vince for nearly 2 1/2.

Hornswoggle's found a new protector in Goldust, but I don't know how long that'll last, given Dustin's past history.

Considering that Maryse blew him off, and Big Show got upset with him, it seems Miz and his selfish antics will have everyone coming after him to shut him up. I'd say, wrap him in duct tape and send him back to Empty-V until he learns a little something about humility.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is the WWE and Pepsi Center conflict going to be resolved for next Monday?

12:16 PM  
Blogger Steve Khan said...

So, the hero John Cena showed up to help a Hall of Famer and a 6'4" 300lbs monster against Legacy, but Miz calls him out and he doesn't show, AND doesn't bother helping the old colour commentator who is getting a beat down by his current rival.

Also, Big Show is very confident in his upcomming submission match despite never making anyone submit ever and going up against a guy who never gives up. So, they quickly come up with a move for him that we're supposed to believe in - a camel clutch - a move we've seen a million wrestlers use all the time, and give it just three weeks build before their next PPV.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

"Considering that Maryse blew him off, and Big Show got upset with him, it seems Miz and his selfish antics will have everyone coming after him to shut him up. I'd say, wrap him in duct tape and send him back to Empty-V until he learns a little something about humility."

You know wrestling isn't real, right?

Just checking...

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I thought it was a decent show, with some fun moments.

I'm intrigued by where they're going with Santino apparently discovering he can pack a wallop when he needs to (though a little confused why he returned as Santina only to be completely ineffective against Vicki).

FIRE HORNSWAGGLE. Look, I don't want the guy to be out of a job any more than I want anyone else to be, but there is absolutely nothing entertaining about his act. It's not funny, it's not cute, it's not impressive athletically...it's nothing.

I'm starting to really like Miz's act, and I was a little disappointed that Lawler, while entertaining himself, was basically put in the role of cutting Miz's legs out from under him. But maybe I'm jumping to conclusions and it will play out better than it seems. I thought it was especially funny when Lawler called out someone and asked Miz if that means he's 1-0 against them, and Miz indicated that he was. Funny.

The way they did it, I half expected someone Lawler called out to shock everyone and actually appear. That would have been fun.

Maryse has a ton of personality. Her rejection of Miz was just classic. Even though she's limited in the ring, I think they'd do well to protect her for a while.

Then there's Flair. As much as I complain about Raw, I still keep watching, but I am very unhappy about the idea of Flair wrestling again. If he does, that might be enough for me to finally stop tuning in. If he didn't want to retire, then he shouldn't have. If he wasn't 100% sure, then he shouldn't have gone along with making such a big deal about it. The angle where he was forced to retire was stupid, and I was glad that they kind of forgot about it, dropped the kayfabe, and talked about Flair retiring on his own terms. But now he's referring to the dumb angle and saying he was forced to retired.

As Todd said, if they can come up with something very, very good, and they can come up with a very compelling storyline, then...maybe. But if it's just a filler angle while we wait for Triple H to return from his fake injury...

3:12 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

They're still ruining the Legacy members. Orton, Ted and Cody are being wasted with the silly, implausible roles they are asked to play.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Mehrdad said...

Why do you say the Miz angle came out of nowhere? To me, it's clear that they've had plans for him since he was drafted to RAW. First, he was the one that looked good in the split between him and Morrison and the week after, he called out one of WWE's aces (who are proven to be protected) and has been building on that ever since.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Tyson said...

Miz has made a fan out of me as well. Holy shit. Miz and Santino may have been my favorite part of Judgment Day! haha.

4:03 AM  

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