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 WWE.com 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 CBSSports.com. I spoke with Cris Cyborg earlier today so a piece on her fight with Gina Carano will also be up there soon.

19 Comments:

Blogger EVE said...

WORST. RAW. EVER.

As if I needed any reminder what a total d-bags Vince and Co. are capable of being

2:40 AM  
Blogger John said...

You said it all Todd. This was rancid. Ridiculous treatment of Masters, Swagger and Orton - not to mention all of Canada. I was ashamed to watch this show and cringed through all of it.

5:27 AM  
Anonymous hhh said...

Hey Todd, I feel like you are disrespecting my WWE eehh job. I don't appreciate it. The reason my WWE eehh the WWE disrespected the Canadian audience is because they are backwards. They usually don’t cheer for who we want you to cheer nor boo who we want you to boo so that is why we don’t respect Canadians!! By the way Todd I would go to your world of MMA and lose weight and challenge a fight so I can pedigree Anderson Silva in the middle of the octagon because to show you that it is the most devastating move ever invented in the last decade and to show how superior I am!

6:33 AM  
Blogger Max said...

It just gets worse and worse every week. Im glad I wasted only 2 minutes watching it this week.

6:58 AM  
Blogger brian said...

Sounds like it was terrible stuff. I can't think of a large corporation that's as petty as WWE. Many big businesses do nasty things, but it usually makes sense in terms of their business plan and in the end helps them to make money. WWE takes everything personally and thinks nothing of ruining its product and turning off its audience in order to score a few petty points. You couldn't make it up!

8:04 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

I keep saying it, and will continue to do so until it's no longer necessary to do so. The writers were out to lunch again, and it showed.

One week after being "banned", Miz weasels his way back in. I'd like to see them do an angle where Miz gets called out for his little deception by some "advocate of the disabled", and forced to give Eugene a rematch, with the stip being that if he loses, Miz is shipped back to ECW, no questions asked. Of course, something that has depth to the plot is a foreign concept to geeks like Gewirtz.....!

How many times in the past has Chris Jericho been made to look like a total idiot, be it in Canada or in the US? It happened again here, which shows how little faith the creative team actually has in someone who has embarassed them in the past year (because Chris has probably written these dorks under the table) time and again. Sucks to be him, but I can see a 3-on-1 beatdown of Cena next week in St. Louis (Randy Orton's hometown).

Freddie Prinze, Jr. hosts next week. Expect jokes about the following: Scooby-Doo, Wing Commander, Chico & the Man (his dad's sitcom), the latter likely in a skit with Santino Marella, who was MIA this week. Since Freddie is an ex-creative team member, maybe he should take the initiative and write the show himself!

8:49 AM  
Anonymous SteRDLK said...

The anti-Canadian stuff was appalling.

The DX skits were midly funny (who doesnt find annoying girls being superkicked funny?!)

I somehow zoned out of listening to Cole and lawler for most of the show, so enjoyed the main event, but that ending was terrible.

Who changed the rules of a DQ? Firstly, HHH couldnt punch DiBiase 2 weeks back, and now Orotn gets in the ring and that causes a DQ?

Orton should have distracted Cena, Cena turns around and gets codebreaker-ed. Then Orton RKO's Cena.

What if Freddy Prince doesnt want that tag team match Slaughter set up?

Calgary Kid? That brought up memories of Los Conquistadors becoming tag team champions.

Legacy winning 2 in a row? Wow, never thought that would happen

At least Hornswoggle got bullied. Always fun to see.

Im not sure what is done by Bourne repeatedly getting beat. But no doubt it will be MVP & Bourne vs Swagger & Masters any week soon.

You were right about the womens match. It was pretty good, even with Alicia Fox and Kelly Kelly Kelly involved.

The ending of the show was fantastic, the "RKO Adjustment". But I dont see the point on jobbing Jericho, by far the most entertaining superstar.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Awful Raw, yes. One of the worst Raw's ever, no. That's a bit of an exaggeration. I thought the show with Piven and Dr. Ken last week was much worse than this one. But it's basically just different degrees of shit. At the end of the day, it's still shit, and that's what Raw has become. Thank god for Smackdown, that's all I can say.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Steve Khan said...

You're going to have egg on your face when Vince announces his plan all along was to kill the company.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I sat there the whole show thinking the anti-Canada thing was stupid and unjustified...

...then the fans cheered for the fake return of Bret Hart...

...and then Jericho, who had been cheered as a face all night, said the Canadian fans were stupid and easily manipulated, and they started booing him (against John Cena of all people). Wow, talk about a subtle, clever, and completely effective way of making the fans look like a bunch of morons. Of course, I doubt that was actually the point they were getting across, since "subtle" and "clever" really isn't there thing.

And, honestly, I'm being too harsh on the Canadians, as I'm sure American fans are every bit as stupid. Yes, I'm a fan (or was), as is everyone here, but we're highly representative of the median IQ level.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I thought the Michaels segments were beyond horrible, although I did think the "Summerfest" and "Hickenbottom" jokes were hilarious. I see your point about Summerfest, but the cat's already out of the bag.

As for the "Hickenbottom" joke, yes, insider references are generally stupid, but this one didn't rely on the fans having to understand it. If you don't know that's his real name, the joke was simply that he picked a really goofy fake name to stay anonymous. If you know it's his real name, then it works on an additional level.

Super-kicking the little girl was comical in a "they're not actually going to do that, are they?" kind of way. It was total camp, especially the lettuce flying everywhere after she had put her tray down and it was still visible and sitting on the edge of the salad bar after the kick.

But, yeah, overall this was dreadful. People argue about tastes, but when you are not even clear what you are supposed to think is happening, then that's just atrocious television. DX punking us with a zany skit makes as much sense as anything else, but it's hard to believe that's what they were going for.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

"really isn't there thing"

Uh, "their" thing.

"we're highly representative of the median IQ level."

Um, "hardly".

I guess I set myself up for that by bashing wrestling fans' intelligence. Maybe I'm closer to the median wrestling fan IQ than I thought.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Timelord said...

If anyone is interested - they put this out after TNA run a complete riot on Impact last week.

What is there to watch? That's the problem.

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What is there to watch? That's the problem"

At least football is about to start again. Monday night football!! Also UFC is always good.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raw is sinking faster than Obama's approval numbers...

DX back for the 3 or 4th time...great.....lets see...horrible writers trying to make two 35 year old guys look like hip outsiders.. one of whom is a born again christan who helped the boss screw over Bret Hart and the other one who is married to the boss's kid...ya this will work.....

1:06 AM  
Blogger John said...

you're right on with your comment but I got news for you. HBK is 44 and Trips is 40 so its worse than you think...

4:58 AM  
Blogger Max said...

Couldn't they have just waited for Summer Slam to put Michaels back on TV? I felt embarrassed for him having to lower himself for that type of segment...

6:19 AM  
Blogger Timelord said...

I said; "What is there to watch? That's the problem"

Anon below this said; "At least football is about to start again. Monday night football!! Also UFC is always good."

I hate UFC and I hate gridiron even more. This is an Australian typing by the way.

I was actually referring to wrestling in general. Not sport in general.

3:39 AM  
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8:57 PM  

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