Monday, August 24, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 08/24/09 from Las Vegas, NV.

The Big News: Vince McMahon celebrated his 64th birthday by pinning Randy Orton.

Show Analysis:

The show started with Legacy backstage. They acknowledged that Brett DiBiase was the one who interfered at SummerSlam. Randy Orton said Brett was there as a fan and they didn’t know he was going to do that. Orton said that was intolerable and wouldn’t be excused. He promised Brett wouldn’t interfere again. Brett apologized for getting caught up in the moment. Cody Rhodes said Orton would have won anyway. I enjoyed this segment. I like when villains are booked so you think they acted in bad faith but can’t be certain, since that’s how it usually is in real life when someone does something wrong.

Vince McMahon then came out in front of the crowd. He said that the referee’s decision at SummerSlam was final that there would be an Orton-Cena rematch in three weeks at Breaking Point. He said that the main events will be submission matches, so they evidently have decided not to do submissions only for all matches. That’s a smart move. Vince said Orton-Cena must end with someone saying “I quit” and if anyone interferes for Orton he will be stripped of the title. Wait, doesn’t that negate the I Quit stipulation?

DX joined Vince. HHH said he doesn’t like good guy Vince. They said it was Vince’s birthday and that he turned 84. They then said 74, and finally Vince screamed that he’s 64. DX made fun of him for that. They then aired a tribute video, which started serious and turned into a comedy. They then brought out a big fake cake. Can you guess who ended up being in it?

The birthday celebrations continued with DX bringing out showgirls, Cirque du Soleil and a fake Elvis. They all sang “Happy Birthday.” Big Dick Johnson then came out of the cake and danced for Vince. Vince threw him out of the ring. DX was setting up to drop something from the ceiling on Vince when Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase attacked DX. DX fought them off. HHH said that Floyd Mayweather wasn’t there yet so he made Legacy vs. DX and Vince McMahon. Vince then said it would be no-DQ. Wait, so if the guest host isn’t there the wrestlers have free reign over their matches?

This opening segment went 23 minutes or so. It had its good moments and bad moments. I thought overall it was fine but it did drag at times. The one huge negative on this was the announcers’ incessant, really irritating fake laughter. The fake laughter is always annoying but it reached a level of grating here that I don’t think it ever has before. It’s hard to even explain how obnoxious it was if you weren’t watching, since I can’t think of an apt comparison point in any form of entertainment I’ve ever watched.

Miz beat Santino in a quick match. Santino did a bunch of wacky stuff. He did the splits, hit a zany chop and then missed a flying head butt. Miz gave him the skull crushing finale for the pin.

Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox and Beth Phoenix beat Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly and Mickie James. This was advertised as a “Mayweather Melee” which meant the women had boxing themed outfits. The heels worked over Kelly for a few seconds. She tagged Mickie. Mickie came in with punches, a neck breaker and a Charlie Thesz press on Alicia. Alicia, however, sent her into the post and hit a sloppy scissors kick for the pin. They like to rotate the women regardless of talent, but I really hope this isn’t the beginning of a push for Alicia.

In a bizarre segment, DX was backstage and did a promo with loud inexplicable noise in the background. All it needed was flickering lights and it would have been Thunder. DX shouted over the background noise. Jillian Hall then did Marilyn Monroe for Vince. He ordered her out.

Big Show and Chris Jericho came out. Show said he wouldn’t leave until Floyd Mayweather came out. Yes, they booked him as a face again, completely having forgotten what happened the last time. Mayweather came out with his entourage to boos. Mayweather said he would beat up Show again but he has a pay-per-view bout that’s more important.

Jericho said Mayweather is a great self-promoter but not that good of a boxer. He said he thinks Juan Manuel Marquez will knock him out. MVP came out and put over Mayweather as his friend. He made fun of Show and Jericho and asked Mayweather to make MVP and a partner vs. Show and Jericho with MVP and partner getting a title shot at Breaking Point if they won. Why wouldn’t you just ask for the title shot straight up? What, is Mayweather going to say no to that? Mayweather agreed.

MVP and Mark Henry beat Big Show and Chris Jericho. Floyd Mayweather watched from ringside. The heels worked over MVP forever. Henry came in with clotheslines on Jericho. Jericho went for the code breaker which was reversed into a world’s strongest slam attempt which was reversed into a DDT. MVP tagged back in and hit balling, but Jericho gave him an enzuigiri. Henry knocked Show off the apron, Mayweather gave MVP the brass knuckles, and MVP nailed Jericho with them for the pin.

Hornswoggle beat Chavo Guerrero via DQ in a boxing match. Would anyone mind if I just stopped recapping these segments? I’m sure the commercials are significantly more entertaining. Chavo had to wear oversized gloves. “Entertainment at its greatest,” proclaimed Michael Cole. “Fuck off, Michael Cole,” proclaimed me. Chavo eventually took off his gloves and body slammed Hornswoggle for the DQ. Evan Bourne made the save and gave Chavo the shooting star press.

Vince warmed up backstage with Floyd Mayweather. Carlito came in and told Mayweather he wanted a rematch with Kofi Kingston. HHH alluded getting busy with Vince’s daughter so Vince knocked out Carlito for comedy.

DX and Vince McMahon beat Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Legacy worked over HHH, who eventually tagged Michaels. Michaels came in with punches, an inverted atomic drop, a body slam and a top rope elbow on DiBiase. Rhodes then cut off Michaels and they worked over Michaels for a while. Michaels eventually tagged HHH, who came in with a high knee, face buster, spine buster and pedigree on Rhodes. HHH tagged Vince who covered, but Orton broke up the pin.

Orton went for the punt on Vince, but Michaels cut him off. Rhodes and DiBiase then vanished and Orton started leaving. John Cena came out to attack Orton. They went back to the ring where Michaels gave Orton sweet chin music and Cena gave him the FU. Vince then pinned Orton, despite the fact Orton clearly wasn’t the legal man.

I was fine with Vince pinning Cody Rhodes after HHH did all the damage. But I don’t know about Vince pinning your top heel and champion Randy Orton. It’s not like it’s a huge deal given the circumstances, but it’s still not something I’d even consider doing. And if it’s no big deal for Orton to be pinned like this, why not have a young star team with DX and get the pin? You know, someone who can make you money?

Final Thoughts:

Raw was a bad show. Imagine!

Monday, August 17, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 08/17/09 from St. Louis, MO.

The Big News: Raw was much better this week. Hallelujah.

Show Analysis:

Freddie Prinze Jr. came out to start the show. He put over being a lifelong WWE fan, referencing action figures, Coliseum Home Video and ice cream bars. That made him more likeable. He announced title matches on Raw and the return of DX. Santino came out dressed like the man with the hook from I Know What You Did Last Summer. He said he wanted to be in a movie and made references to She’s All That and 24.

This wasn’t really funny and the movies are decade old genre films, but it was light hearted and fine in my book. Randy Orton came out and refused to team with John Cena or even compete at all. Prinze said he wouldn’t be bullied and that the match was on. Orton gave him a back breaker and the fans chanted RKO.

Kofi Kingston beat Carlito to retain the United States Title. Rosa Mendes was in Carlito’s corner. All her mannerisms seemed geared towards getting attention towards her and away from Carlito, which is not what a valet or manager ought to be doing. Carlito worked over Kofi. Kofi came back with chops, a dropkick and a high double leg drop. Kofi hit a crossbody off the top but Carlito rolled through for two. Kofi missed trouble in paradise and Carlito hit the roll of the dice for two. Carlito went for the back stabber but Kofi avoided it and hit trouble in paradise for the pin. This was a good match.

Miz came out and said that he is a new man with a new attitude and new look. He announced that he would embark on a remarkable turnaround, culminating in his taking the United States Title from Kofi Kingston. If that’s what constitutes a remarkable turnaround for you, you’re in really bad shape. It’s like announcing you have a goal to make a movie that doesn’t go straight to DVD.

Miz beat Evan Bourne. Miz hit a clothesline and used a bow and arrow submission. Bourne came back with a dropkick, standing moonsault and flying knee. He went for the shooting star press but Miz got up. Bourne got on his shoulders but Miz finished him with the “skull crushing finale.” This was a good short match. Bourne is always fun to watch even when losing quickly.

DX returned to Raw. Backstage they made fun of Jillian Hall and Carlito. They went to the ring and soaked up the reaction from the crowd. As they were starting to speak, Legacy came out and jumped them. They beat up and laid out DX and hit HHH repeatedly with Michaels’ boot. This was exactly what they needed to do to give Legacy some credibility heading into SummerSlam.

Mickie James beat Gail Kim to retain the women’s title. Things started out well. They went for a series of rollups. Each went for a clothesline at the same time. Gail hit a huracanrana and missile dropkick off the top. Each woman went for her finisher but the other escaped. Then everything fell apart.

Mickie went for the implant DDT. It was apparently supposed to be blocked but wasn’t. So Gail took the bump in slow motion and then just got right back up. Mickie then went for a spinning kick that missed horribly but Gail sold it anyway. Mickie then used a simple forearm to knock her down. Mickie stood in the ring for a while looking perturbed then just decided to cover and the referee counted three. Mickie looked so unbelievably disgusted after this match to the point I felt really bad for her.

John Cena backstage cut another of his obnoxious, cutesy, comedy promos directed at Randy Orton. They should show this to wrestling school students as the antithesis of a money promo for a pay-per-view event. Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be the guest host on Raw next week.

MVP beat Jack Swagger via DQ. Swagger used some wrestling early and smacked around MVP. It then broke down into a brawl. The finish was that new WWE favorite: Swagger was disqualified for punching in the corner about a minute in. Why even do a match if this is what was planned? The time would have been better invested just giving another match 2 minutes.

Hornswoggle beat Chavo Guerrero in a falls count anywhere match. WILL THIS FEUD NOT END?! Chavo pursued Hornswoggle under the ring. Something happened there but it was unclear what because it was under the ring. Chavo chased Hornswoggle to the back, where he was eventually knocked out by a paint can over the door trap, ala Home Alone. Hornswoggle pinned him. Chavo accused Mark Henry of setting the trap, but then Macauley Culkin appeared. Yes, Raw is now at the point where Macauley Culkin is doing cameos in angles.

John Cena and Randy Orton beat Big Show and Chris Jericho. Freddie Prinze Jr. announced this would be a lumberjack match and selected a bunch of face lumberjacks. Show and Cena worked over Cena and then worked over Orton. Orton made the tag. Cena came in with shoulder blocks and the Cena slam on Jericho. He went for the five knuckle but Show grabbed him by the throat. Cena knocked Show off the apron and hit the FU on Jericho for the pin. Orton gave Cena the RKO after the match.

Final Thoughts:

As stated at the beginning, this show was a substantial improvement over the past two weeks of Raw. There was some good wrestling and the booking was better than usual. I thought Freddie Prinze Jr. did a good job overall, although it’s disconcerting that the guest host concept has degenerated into a simple ego directive for WWE to feel more accepted in the entertainment world. SummerSlam has incredibly little momentum, but hopefully it will do okay just based on the name and the history. After SummerSlam, Raw would greatly benefit from a fresh face in the top program.

Monday, August 10, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 08/10/09 from Calgary, Alberta, CANADA.

The Big News: WWE hates Canada. I mean, “Obsessive stalker” hates. Still seething with inexplicable pent up anger for over a decade hates. If you’re Canadian, Vince McMahon will cook your pet rabbit and then instruct Michael Cole to laugh maniacally about it. WWE wants to eat your Canadian children, praise be to Allah. If you buy a ticket to a WWE live event in Canada, you WILL be insulted. You WILL be ridiculed. Your heroes WILL mock you and laugh at you and talk shit about you. And you WILL sit there and take it and like it. Because you’re a worthless, idiotic Canadian, and you deserve it.

Show Analysis:

Randy Orton was in the ring to start the show, and Jerry Lawler immediately opened by noting they were in “Bizarre-o-land.” The bizarre thing about the Canadian crowd ended up being that they liked Canadians and didn’t like WWE taking shots at them for two hours just for paying their money to attend a WWE show. Man, that is bizarre.

Orton said that he heard rumors he is worried about John Cena and bullied Jeremy Piven to get Piven to do his dirty work. Orton said that isn’t true and that he bullied Piven just because he could. He added that he will beat Cena. Cena came out and wasn’t cute this week. Instead he was furious. I’m not really sure why. He began melodramatically screaming at Orton and challenged him. They got face to face.

Chris Jericho and Big Show then came out. Show said Orton and Cena know nothing about intimidation. The crowd chanted Y2J. Jericho said that Raw was in his country where he grew up and trained. Cena pointed out that he left Canada and migrated to the US. Jericho told him not to change the subject. Jericho and Show said that Sgt. Slaughter made Cena vs. Jericho and Show vs. Orton.

Gail Kim won a four way women’s match over Kelly Kelly, Alicia Fox and Beth Phoenix to earn a title shot. They did a bunch of rollups. Gail hit a dropkick off the top on Alicia. Beth put Gail and Kelly in a double over-the-shoulder backbreaker. Alicia broke that up so Beth shoved her down. Kelly hit a handspring elbow on Beth. Gail used her new finisher, “eat defeat,” on Alicia for the pin. This was very good by WWE women’s match standards.

Sgt. Slaughter came out in front of the crowd. He put over Canada and said he wanted to salute the Canadian flag. A Canadian flag appeared on the screen, then eventually an X went through it. Slaughter then cut an anti-Canada promo. He said if it wasn’t for the US, Canadians would be speaking Russian and French. Huh? I’m not sure if that means that Canada would be subject to a joint French/Russian invasion or whether the Russians would insist English-speaking Canadians switch to Russian but not Quebec. In any event, Slaughter demanded the fans stand for the US pledge of allegiance.

Jack Swagger beat Evan Bourne. Bourne used a pescado with his knees. He went for a flying head scissors which was countered into a power bomb attempt but then countered back into a Bourne pinning attempt. Swagger then hit the gut wrench power bomb for another clean pin. This was a good short match.

Afterwards, MVP came out and called Swagger a loudmouth idiot with a lisp. He challenged Swagger on the spot. Swagger said next week, so MVP shoved him. Maybe it’s just me, but I identify more with the guy who’s minding his own business after winning a match fairly than the rested guy who comes out, insults him for something he can’t help, challenges him to wrestle again after just competing and then shoves him when he says he will do so in a week on fair terms.

We then got the first of an absolutely bizarre series of DX segments. HHH was at a cafeteria in Texas looking for Shawn Michaels. Michaels’ big return after a half year was played for total comedy. HHH thought he found Michaels but it was a homosexual instead who came onto HHH. A kid was screaming and ringing a bell, and Michaels then came in and reacted to the child. I’m not sure what he was going for. He might have been angry or crazy or joking. It was just weird. They cut back to the announcers, who fake guffawed.

WWE’s second anti-Canada segment saw Slaughter come out again. He said he had someone who would sing O Canada. He announced Celine Dion. I think they expected the fans to cheer, but shockingly the Canadian fans aren’t obsessed with nationalism and booed Dion. Slaughter then brought out Jillian Hall instead. She sang God Bless America.

Next up was Eugene vs. the masked “Calgary Kid” in a contract on a pole match. Eugene was not in good shape. “Calgary Kid” just got the contract in no time at all. He unmasked and it was the Miz. Has Vince Russo jumped to WWE? I mean, this is WCW at its worst level stuff. A guy is put in a stipulation match with no build and for no reason where he will have to leave the show if he loses. Then he just returns the next week. Why exactly should I care about any stipulation WWE ever does now?

Big Show beat Randy Orton via count out. Show hit a head butt and stepped on Orton’s throat. Orton hit an implant DDT. Show came back with the choke slam but Orton got his foot on the ropes. Show missed the KO punch and Orton just left. Why book your champion like this two weeks before SummerSlam? And if you have to, why do it against Big Show? Haven’t we established now after ten years that Big Show doesn’t mean anything?

We got another Michaels and HHH segment. It involved Michaels sarcastically defending his new job as a chef, I guess. He said he was a chef, not a cook. He said his co-workers liked and respected him, so some kid came in and berated him. I was having flashbacks to the Cactus Jack amnesia angle in WCW. Shawn Michaels was just making fun of the whole thing. Michaels said he is good as a chef, and a fire started on cue.

MVP beat Chris Masters. Masters used some stomps. MVP hit balling. Masters went for the Masterlock, but MVP got out and hit the playmaker for the pin. Swagger after the match distracted MVP and Masters put MVP in the Masterlock.

We went back to the DX vignette again. HHH was trying to talk Michaels into returning. HHH wanted him at SummerSlam. Michaels said he thought that it was SummerFest. That’s a good thing to bring attention to. Michaels’ boss then came in and yelled at “Hickenbottom.” Great, insider references only a small percentage of the audience understands. The manager yelled at Michaels, so he gave him the superkick. Michaels said he would return. Some old lady yelled suck it. Then Michaels went and superkicked the little girl who was yelling at him off screen.

Given Michaels’ sarcastic reactions and the fact none of this made any sense, I think the story here was that HHH and Michaels already decided that they would team up at SummerSlam. They then decided to film these vignettes and hired actors to work with them for TV comedy. Seriously, that’s the idea that makes the most sense to me. Do I even need to point out that this isn’t the best way to build up Michaels’ big WWE return?

They had a poll asking who Sgt. Slaughter beat to win the WWE title with 3 options, and still only half the audience got the answer. They then had Jerry Lawler say that he thought it was Randy Savage. I think the idea is that you’re supposed to think Lawler is an idiot. Somehow I don’t see NFL executives yelling at John Madden to say that he thought the Giants beat the Oakland Raiders at the 1991 Super Bowl.

WWE’s third or fourth (depending on what you think about the Calgary Kid thing) anti-Canada segment involved Slaughter coming out. He introduced the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. Bret Hart’s music played. For some reason, some people actually seemed to buy this. Hacksaw Jim Duggan came out instead waving a US flag. Why do they have so much contempt for their own audience?

Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase beat Mark Henry and Hornswoggle. Rhodes and DiBiase were replacements for Chavo Guerrero, who claimed an injury. Henry used a double suplex on them and hit the world’s strongest slam on DiBiase. He tagged in Hornswoggle, but Hornswoggle missed the frog splash. Rhodes took out Henry and DiBiase hit dream street on Hornswoggle for the pin. So, to summarize, they build up Rhodes and DiBiase’s big match against DX by having DX treat the whole thing as a joke and then having Rhodes and DiBiase beat a midget.

The next anti-Canada segment was a Chris Jericho interview. He talked about training in Stu Hart’s dungeon and put over Calgary as a great wrestling city. He dedicated his win over Cena to Calgary. Show came in and for some reason Jericho “not knowing he was still on the air” immediately launched into an anti-Calgary promo. He buried the city. They announced Freddie Prinze Jr. as next week’s guest host.

John Cena vs. Chris Jericho was more notable for the commentary than anything else. Cena got a mixture of cheers and boos which was funny since he got mostly cheers when he came out the first time before all the nationalist bullshit. The announcers talked about how the crowd was booing Cena just because he’s American, when they cheered him the first time and cheered every other American babyface who wasn’t giving them the finger.

The announcers then moved on to laughing about how Jericho buried Calgary. They went on and on burying the crowd to the point I could hardly concentrate on the match. The ending was weird. Jericho applied the Walls. Cena reversed into the STF. Orton came in and the referee called for the DQ even though he didn’t attack. Jericho then tapped out. So, Jericho was put in a hold and submitted, but he was protected because the submission didn’t count because another guy came in the ring and didn’t do anything.

Afterwards, Cena broke the hold and went face to face with Orton. Jericho then hit the code breaker on Cena. Orton threw Jericho out of the ring, so Show came in and gave Orton the choke slam. Slaughter made a tag match for next week with Jericho and Show vs. Orton and Cena. Cena and Orton knocked Show out of the ring together. Cena then lifted up Jericho for the FU and Orton gave Jericho the RKO off Cena’s shoulders.

Final Thoughts:

I can’t even do justice to how shitty this program was with a rant. This was easily one of the worst episodes of Raw in history. WWE clearly was booking to make sure the Calgary crowd didn’t enjoy the show, but one wonders if they weren’t also booking to make sure the home audience didn’t enjoy the show as well. If so, mission accomplished. Your show failed as entertainment. Your show failed in building for the pay-per-view. You exhibited palpable and irrational hatred for your own audience. In short, your whole style is chump.

I’ll be in San Jose this weekend for Strikeforce, so check out the coverage at I spoke with Cris Cyborg earlier today so a piece on her fight with Gina Carano will also be up there soon.

Monday, August 03, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 08/03/09 from Uncasville, CT.

The Big News: Miz has been banned from Summerfest, SummerSlam, the Staples Center and Raw forever.

Show Analysis:

Raw started off with quite the bang. Unfortunately, nobody was shot. Jeremy Piven came out with the most obnoxious human being I think I’ve ever seen named Dr. Ken. To say he had X-Pac heat would be charitable. Miz then came out and said he wanted another match with John Cena. He just hasn’t learned his lesson. John Cena came out to try to match Dr. Ken on the obnoxiousness scale. Cena said he beat the Miz in 2 minutes last week and he can fit that in, but that everyone knows Miz is no good.

Piven made Miz vs. Cena, but made it a lumberjack match. He then said that if Miz lost, he would be banned from “Summerfest.” That sure makes you look good when you bring in a celebrity to guest host your show and put him over huge and he quickly exposes that he has never watched your product and doesn’t know the name of your second biggest annual show. He added that Miz would be banned from Staples Center and from Raw. This first segment was so unbelievably awful on every conceivable level.

Jack Swagger beat Evan Bourne. Swagger worked Bourne over most of the match. Bourne went for a standing moonsault but landed on Swagger’s knees. Bourne reversed the gut wrench power bomb attempt into a pinning attempt. Swagger then hit the old Oklahoma Stampede (a move I’ve always liked) and a gut wrench power bomb for the three count. I’m glad they tried to redeem Swagger after last week. Bourne has upside but they’ve treated him as a joke most weeks since coming to Raw and Swagger hasn’t been branded that way yet. Swagger attacked Bourne after the match but MVP made the save.

Jeremy Piven was backstage with the obnoxious guy. He was being obnoxious. Big Show approached them and wanted to destroy Shaquille O’Neal. They had a poll about who would win a proposed match between the two. I can’t believe they showed the results, with their audience picking Shaq 83 percent to 17 percent. That shows you how seriously the audience perceives Show as a monster. I also don’t understand why they are teasing this match they aren’t going to deliver and that’s significantly more interesting than anything they’re actually promoting for SummerSlam. The obnoxious guy started taunting Show, further getting Show over as a non-threat. Finally, Piven made Show vs. Kofi Kingston for the United States title.

Beth Phoenix and Jillian Hall beat Mickie James and Gail Kim. The heels worked over Mickie. She tagged in Gail. Gail hit a dropkick off the top rope on Jillian. Jillian missed a handspring elbow but got the tag to Beth. Beth nailed Gail from behind and hit the glam slam for the pin.

Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase beat HHH. HHH dominated early. Legacy gained control with a double team high/low and worked HHH over. Rhodes missed a moonsault and HHH started taking both out. He gave Rhodes a high knee, face buster and spine buster. He went for the pedigree but DiBiase came in and gave him Dream Street. Rhodes covered but HHH kicked out. Rhodes then hit the roll of the dice for the pin. It’s certainly better that Legacy didn’t lose the handicap match here, but winning handicap matches is not how you get over young talent as serious threats.

HHH took the microphone afterwards and treated this loss as a joke and made it clear he didn’t care much about losing. He went “oww” sarcastically and jokingly suggested maybe Rhodes and DiBiase are actually that good. He then said it was time to bring back a group. He said he would make one phone call and if you’re not down with that he has two words for you.

Chavo Guerrero thought that Jeremy Piven was Joe Rogan or Jon Favreau. Piven said he would give Chavo another match against the Horngobbler, and that this time it would just be them.

Carlito beat Primo. Primo hit some clotheslines and a monkey flip. However, he then charged Carlito and collided with the post. Carlito went for the back stabber but Primo avoided that and rolled him up for two. Carlito went for the back stabber again and hit it this time for the pin.

Mark Henry beat Chavo Guerrero. Chavo thought he was going to wrestle Hornswoggle but instead Henry came out in a leprechaun hat. He hit the world’s strongest slam for the pin. He danced with Hornswoggle afterwards and Hornswoggle gave Chavo the frog splash. Backstage, Jeremy Piven wanted Randy Orton to be the guest ring announcer for Cena’s match. An angry Orton threatened to kill him.

Kofi Kingston beat Big Show via DQ. Show dominated the match. He hit a corner splash but Kofi got his feet on the ropes. The highlight was Chris Jericho doing commentary started to call Charles Robinson by his name but then had to correct himself midway through and just call him “the referee.” You’ve got to love WWE’s idiotic neuroses. Kofi hit trouble in paradise and a top rope double leg drop but Show powered out. Show hit a spear and then they did one of those increasingly prevalent horrendous WWE finishes. Show just kept punching Kofi and was disqualified.

HHH called up Shawn Michaels backstage to ask him if he would come back. Michaels revealed he wasn’t even watching Raw. HHH asked him “are you ready?” and Michaels hung up on him. They announced Sgt. Slaughter will be the guest host next week on Raw.

John Cena beat Miz in a lumberjack match. Bet you thought the Miz must leave Raw stipulation and lumberjack gimmick meant that Miz would finally get a fluke win thanks to copious amounts of interference. Nope. Well, I mean there was constant interference. But Cena was never in serious trouble and pinned Miz clean again anyway.

Jeremy Piven and the obnoxious guy came out before the match and turned. They said they were fans of Orton and let him handpick the lumberjacks. The obnoxious guy was actually less obnoxious as a heel. Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Jack Swagger and Carlito were the lumberjacks.

Miz fell out of the ring early but the lumberjacks looked after him. Cena went out and Masters applied the Masterlock. Cena made his comeback anyway. He hit shoulder blocks and then decided to go for the five knuckle shuffle. Can you detect a slight problem with his plan? Well, of course when the idiot babyface went to bounce off the ropes Orton pulled them down and threw the moron into the steps. All the heels beat him up on the outside, and the obnoxious guy gave Miz a cane to hit Cena with. But when Cena came back in he caught Miz in the FU for the pin anyway.

After the match, Jeremy Piven jumped off the top rope onto Cena. Cena caught him. The obnoxious guy hit Cena with the cane. Cena no sold that and put down Piven. He grabbed the obnoxious guy and eventually threw him out onto the other heels at ringside.

Final Thoughts:

This show was pretty much dreadful from beginning to end, a wretched all around television show. There were a lot of problems, but to me the biggest was that so few of the characters on the show are likeable. The heels are heels, and so many of the faces are obnoxious, arrogant, impotent or foolish.

On the plus side, UFC 101 is this weekend. I’ll be in Philadelphia for the show, and you can catch my play-by-play and thoughts on the show at Here’s a piece on the Anderson Silva-Forrest Griffin fight:

I’ll be on Fight Network Radio tomorrow at 3PM Eastern/12PM Pacific talking Raw and UFC 101. It should be a fun time and you can listen live here: