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:


Anonymous John said...

100% accurate review, Todd. It was painful to watch. Of all the dumb things done, for me the worst was Triple H mocking his own loss. First of all, he should have lost in a 2 on 1. Secondly, he practically dominated the entire match only losing control when the boys cheated and ganged up on him. The ego on this guy is pathetic. If Legacy had lost, they were pretty much headed where the Spirit Squad went before them. And in truth, I think the only reason they were allowed to “win” was to set up the return of DX. So nice to hear Trips even trash his friends Batista and Flair too for a cheap laugh. The treatment of Miz was a disgrace. Here’s a guy that had props as a tag team champ with Morrison and now he’s a joke. Finally, the entire main event twist with Orton and the lumberjacks didn’t even make sense! I’ve been reading that Vince called a big meeting last week and demanded a total overhaul of the shows. Was this it? A few more episodes like this one and I may be cured of my addiction.

3:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EGM3 says...

Thank you for the recap. I cut it off after the first 15 minutes of obnoxious guy and watched baseball instead. I see I didn't miss a thing.

And everyone thought ZZ Top was bad?

4:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next week's guest host - Sgt Slaughter? Apparently we've run out of celebrities...

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Corey said...

I'm guessing Miz is either going for a gimmick change or is in some kind of trouble with the Wellness Policy.

6:31 AM  
Blogger s1rweeze said...

I feel bad for people that still watch this dreck. You should not watch this show if you enjoy wrestling.

6:47 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

Worst. Raw. Of. The. Year.

Dr. Ken is an idiot, plain and simple. He detracted from the entire show. Why he was brought along to pimp "The Goods" is beyond me.

After being a 2-time Slammy winner and a 2-time tag team champion, Michael "Miz" Mizanin has suddenly seen his stock drop faster than GM, AIG, & Lindsay Lohan combined. He cuts some repetitive, annoying promos to get heat and try to forge a singles career, and what does it get him? 0-4 vs. John Cena. Either he goes to Smackdown for unfinished business with ex-partner John Morrison, or it's back to ECW, where Christian might be more his speed.

No, they haven't run out of celebrities. After 3 weeks in a row, they decided to go back to the wrestling personalities with Slaughter in Calgary next week. However, he's also closely associated with GI Joe dating back to the 80's, and he should've hosted this week, with Piven next week, since "The Goods" opens on 8/14. Timing is everything, or so they say.

I'm very surprised that Legacy won. I expected this to be a squash going the other way, because it's Triple H, but as he's turned 40, the man is again showing that he's not completely selfish. The fact that HBK "hung up on him" says to me that the next DX reunion may be a short one, with Shawn turning heel for a change. We haven't seen a heel HBK vs. a face HHH, and they haven't feuded against each other in a long time.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous SteRDLK said...

I dont think the show was THAT bad, but the guests were awful, and it didnt help that every 5 minutes eithet them or the commentators were plugging their crappy film.

Am I the only one who actually liked HHH's promo? The first promo of his I have liked since he ripped Cena for having kiddy fans. Which is what, 3 years ago?

I lol'd at HHH saying to HBK on the phone "But I thought you didn't do jobs"

The reason DX are returning should be with the sole intention of getting Legacy over. I can see them being a part of the HIAC match whenever that is going to take place.

I also lol'd at your line of "Well, of course when the idiot babyface went to bounce off the ropes Orton pulled them down and threw the moron into the steps." So true, it is shows like tonight that reminds me how much I dislike Cena. Just when I start believing I was wrong about him, he proves that I was originally right.

Miz to Smackdown, further hindering Raw and further improving SD.

Finally, the commentary this week was beyond ridiculous. Stupid plugs every 5 minutes, the fake laughing more noticeable than ever. It says a lot that the best commentary of the night was by a guy who never commentates. Jericho got Show over more than Cole and Lawler have in the past year combined.

8:16 AM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

I only have cable company recently added USA HD to my channel lineup, meaning I can FF through Raw in no time three to four hours earlier than before because the HD channel went live.

Sweet action. I'll see you at Summerfest.

- Matt in Anchorage

12:16 PM  
Anonymous HHH said...

You guys need to give me a break. I did my yearly job. What more do you want from me? I mean even though I will retrieve my glory and bury them in SummerSlam so it’s no biggie. Also, you guys need to give it up on Miz, he can’t challenge Cena. He is not in his league! The people that can challenge Cena and actually beat Cena is Main Eventers such as me, Orton, me, Batista, me, Shawn and did I say me?

1:35 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

Anonymous is absolutely correct. They have run out of celebrities. There's no other reason why they'd backtrack on this foolish "celebrity host" gimmick and let a wrestling personality host the show. What I'd like to know is, how many celebrities were asked and turned the WWE down? And forcing them to go back to wrestling personalities for hosting duties.

Triple H is as selfish as ever and his promo and post-match antics proved it. Losing to Legacy wasn't a magnanimous action - if it were, Trips would have played up his loss instead of ridiculing Legacy's win as a fluke. What a prick.

Last week the handicap match was being promoted by Trips himself as a big event - suddenly, now it's a joke. Which is it, Trips?

Let's recap. The most boring show ever, Trips is the focus of the show.....hmmmmmm, putting two and two together reveals what needs to be done to improve this trash.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Bobcat said...

Two things made me quit watching wrestling for good before this show even aired:

(1) Reading Ring of Hell
(2) The de-funnification of Santino

Usually when I vow to stop watching wrestling, it's inevitably followed by their best show of the year, which makes me relent after a few weeks. Glad to see that I missed the worst show. I have a feeling I won't ever be back.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"According to, the reason for Sgt. Slaughter being selected as next week's RAW guest host could be because no real celebrities were willing to make the trip to Calgary"

4:12 PM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

Uh, they're in Canada next week, eh? Canada has given us great actors & comics like Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, et al. Are they so busy they couldn't make a small homecoming for WWE?

I still think WWE Uncreative is covering their collective butts for screwing up the scheduling based on the movie releases. Slaughter, or a "GI Joe" co-star like Channing Tatum or Marlon Wayans, would've been a better bet this week, especially after Dr. Ken stunk up the joint.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I have no problem with older wrestlers being the hosts. I think it's better to mix it up than use a celebrity every week. And DiBiase did a great job. I'm not sold on Slaughter though. He's done the authority figure role before and I never found him entertaining in it.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Max said...

Todd's right...Slaughter has been commissioner in the past and is about as funny as a pencil.

Bringing in someone like a Roddy Piper or a performer whose been out of the spotlight, say Brutus Beefcake (as an example), would be better.

7:48 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

I think if you alternate celebs with former stars, say, every other week, this will work. I'm all for Piper hosting (he's also done the authority figure thing), but I can also see Stone Cold Steve Austin (ditto) and maybe the Artist Formerly Known as the Rock (Dwayne Johnson) down the line.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Max said...

I love HHH's comment. CLASSIC....

10:09 AM  
Anonymous SteRDLK said...

Just so you know, the first guest host was Batista, had they run out of guest hosts by then?

The guest host doesnt necessarily have to be a "celebrity"

11:31 AM  
Anonymous DW said...

Yeah, but the celebrities probably aren't lining up after Triple H ridiculed Seth Green the week after Green hosted. i'm sure word gets around - and Green is certainly not one to hold back.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous John said...

of course they want real celebrities but they'll fill in with wrestlers. Vince is hell bent on crossing over and he's always hot for Hollywood. The real draw is that USA will cross promote the show on other shows if they can plug a celebrity - even better when they can tie it to their own network. You think the network is going to brag during Burn Notice or Psych that Sgt Slaughter is hosting RAW? Don't kid yourselves - if they could get a big celebrity every week - they would!

5:39 PM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

With Cena spending his down time filming a guest shot on "Psych", as Mickie James did last season, odds are pretty good that James Roday and/or Dule Hill (or both) will do Raw in return. I said that before, but it's even more likely now when you factor in intra-network promotional synergy.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Todd, I completely agree that this show was the absolute pits. Sorry for the late comments, but I DVRed the stupid thing and felt compelled to at least skim through the whole thing before deleting it. Got halfway through Monday, tried watching a few minutes Tuesday and couldn't bear it, had no stomach to even try on Wednesday, and finally gritted my teeth and got through it on Thursday.

Why do I even bother? I have no idea. It's a compulsion at this point.

John, I wish you luck on getting cured of this addition. Bobcat, congratulations on being able to give it up. Hopefully you'll be able to stick with it.

As for the debate over who would make the best guest hosts, I still maintain as I said a few weeks ago that the whole idea is a mistake. Wrestling's appeal has always been larger-than-life hero/villain characters, and when any random celebrity can come in and boss the wrestlers around, it undermines that appeal completely.

On that note, however, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin are not going to be guest hosts. Dwayne Johnson clearly enjoyed his time in wrestling, but he's moved on and is clearly kind of embarrassed to be associated with it these days. The last time they got him to do anything was the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007, where they held it close to where his mom lived so she could come and inducted his father and grandfather. He declined to make an appearance at WrestleMania the next day. The next, and last, time we'll see him will be when he himself is inducted into the Hall of Fame.

I would have been more optimistic about Austin doing it, but in the last few years he has been less and less inclined to do this type of thing. At the Hall of Fame he definitely seemed to want to close the book on the wrestling phase of his life, so while I may be wrong I suspect we may have seen the last of him in the WWE.

Anyway, back to the show, as Todd says, it's just plain bad television, period. Everyone has different tastes in wrestling, so, yes, there are often shows that are going to annoy the older fans but might be appreciated by newer fans for their campy comedy, but with this episode, like so many recent ones, I can't see how anyone would come away saying, "wow, that was great!" I don't see that they're doing a particularly good job with anything they're trying to do.

2:35 PM  
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