Monday, September 14, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 09/14/09 from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The Big News: Trish Stratus and Batista returned to action in the first genuinely excellent edition of Raw in ages.

Show Analysis:

Batista came out to start the show. He thanked all the fans and said it has been a rough year for him. He said that he came to say goodbye. He was then interrupted by Randy Orton. Orton said he is not happy about losing the title, but that Batista retiring cheered him up. Orton told Batista to save the speech because no one cares. He added that Batista was retiring because of him. He told Batista to hang his head and cry.

Batista laughed and said that he was laughing for two reasons. First was that Orton is predictable and second was that he knew something Orton didn’t know. Batista took off his arm brace and clotheslined Orton out of the ring. Batista said he wasn’t there to announce his retirement but rather to announce that he is going to Smackdown. No explanation was given for this. I guess they want him as an opponent for CM Punk, but Batista chasing a heel champion is really overdone. Batista further announced Trish Stratus gave him one last no holds barred match with Orton later on Raw. This was a cool little angle.

Trish Stratus came out. She’s now a brunette and she still looks great. She didn’t get as big of a reaction as I would have expected. She announced Randy Orton vs. John Cena Hell in a Cell at the next pay-per-view.

Jack Swagger and the Miz beat Kofi Kingston and Primo Colon. The heels worked over Primo. A Swagger Vader bomb attempt collided with Primo’s knees, and that gave Primo the chance to tag Kofi. Kofi came in with an ax handle off the top and a dropkick on Swagger. As he was punching Swagger in the corner, Miz made off with Kofi’s U.S. title. That distracted Kofi and Swagger hit the gut wrench power bomb on Kofi for the pin.

Alicia Fox beat Gail Kim to become the top contender for Mickie James’ title. Mickie did commentary on the match. Alicia used a leg scissors. Gail came back with clotheslines and a crossbody off the top for two. However, she missed a dropkick off the top and Alicia hit the ax kick for the pin. This was better than expected.

Backstage, Beth Phoenix wanted to know why Trish didn’t put her in the women’s contender match. Jericho then said that Trish was in love with him but he told her to hit the bricks. Trish laughed at this interpretation and made fun of Jericho’s relationship with Big Show. Beth responded that at least Jericho has the guts to compete and didn’t run away to a yoga store. Trish said she would get a tag partner and wrestle Beth and Jericho.

Shawn Michaels beat Ted DiBiase via DQ. Before the match DiBiase and Cody Rhodes bragged about making DX tap. They said that they’re no longer the sons of their fathers but rather the other way around. I really liked this not only because of its role in helping to elevate Legacy but also because it tried to emphasize an in ring result as being a particularly important development and accomplishment.

DiBiase worked over Michaels early. Michaels came back with a figure four but DiBiase broke it by going to the eyes. Michaels then sold his eyes throughout the rest of the match as DiBiase attacked him. Michaels finally came back with the elbow off the top and went for sweet chin music but Cody grabbed Michaels’ leg for the DQ. Another brawl broke out all over the place. This was a hot segment and Michaels did a really good job selling.

Evan Bourne and Hornswoggle beat Chavo Guerrero and Carlito. The heels went after Bourne. Bourne eventually made his own comeback. He had Chavo beaten down and tagged Hornswoggle. Chavo grabbed Hornswoggle but Hornswoggle spit apple in Chavo’s face and hit the frog splash for the pin. Afterwards, Chavo said that he gave up and Hornswoggle wins, so that would appear to be the end of that feud. Thank God.

John Cena did a promo backstage. He said that he wanted to give up many times at Breaking Point but that he kept his word and didn’t give up. He said that at Hell in a Cell Orton will see a more savage side of Cena. This was a much more consistently serious promo and as a result it was extremely effective.

MVP, Mark Henry and Trish Stratus beat Chris Jericho, Big Show and Beth Phoenix. It started as a tag match with MVP and Trish against Jericho and Beth. Beth and Trish started but Show quickly ran in and Henry came out too. Trish thus made a six person tag. The heels worked over MVP, who hit an overhead belly to belly on Jericho and went for the yakuza kick. Jericho tagged Beth and MVP tagged Trish in response.

Trish and MVP did balling together on Beth. MVP hit a pescado on Jericho. Trish was coming off the ropes for a dive but Henry tripped her. Henry then took out Show. Back in the ring Trish hit the Stratusphere and Stratusfaction on Beth for the pin. This was a fun match. They announced Cedric the Entertainer as the guest host next week. I’m not optimistic about that one.

Batista beat Randy Orton. Batista hit some clotheslines. Orton grabbed a chair but Batista speared him. Batista threw Orton into the announce table and steps. Orton went for the RKO but Batista countered into a spine buster. Orton left the ring, but John Cena came out to stop him from leaving. Orton couldn’t decide where to go but eventually went after Cena. Cena gave him a clothesline and threw him back in the ring. Batista hit a spine buster and Batista bomb for the pin.

This was more of a squash than anything which doesn’t help Orton, but it was entertaining and gave Batista nice closure on Orton continually getting the better of him. I assume that Legacy not being there will become a plot point leading to Orton breaking with DiBiase following Hell in a Cell or Survivor Series.

Final Thoughts:

This is the sort of show I would love Raw to be every week. It was a wrestling show, build around serious feuds and the resolution of conflict. There was plenty of talk and entertainment, but it wasn’t presented in a goofy way that taught you not to take it seriously. They did a good job reintroducing Batista, they kept the DX-Legacy program hot and Trish Stratus did a good job as host. All in all, a very enjoyable two hour program.


Blogger hobbyfan said...

Don't know where that troll came from posting here, Todd, but maybe you should introduce him to reality.

Anyway, this was fun. Trish getting back in the ring was even more predictable than Orton interrupting Batista. With the face side of the Smackdown roster now down two with Mysterio suspended and Jeff Hardy gone, they needed to move a "money player" like Batista back to Fridays. So Orton gets virtually squashed to close that story out. Watch. "The Viper" will show up on Smackdown's 10th anniversary show to collect a receipt of some kind.

DiBiase-HBK was good mostly for the spectacular brawl that followed it. People tend to forget the tag title runs DiBiase & Rhodes had last year, and should be in the conversation for the titles now.

Maybe Chavo can do us a favor and follow Batista to Smackdown.

Miz didn't collect the pin, and walked off on Jack Swagger, who won the match, while stealing the US title. Swagger is a better choice as US champ anyway, IMPO, so Miz now is again alienating a fellow heel with his selfish antics. I'd send this turkey back to ECW to get squashed by Christian in 2:00 to teach him some manners.

Miz's antics, you see, took away from Swagger moving ahead of him in contention for the title. I'd love to see Swagger squash the little geek like a bug.

The last time Cedric the Entertainer was associated with anything related to WWE, he was doing Bud Light ads playing a "touchdown boogie coordinator" during the lone XFL season. Here's to hoping he doesn't fall prey to the temptations of people like Orton, as Jeremy Piven did before him.

Continuity was again an issue, as 9 months ago, Beth & Trish hooked up in a mixed tag. That night, Santino Marella (who didn't appear this time) and John Cena were the respective partners. Different partners, same result. How Vince and the writers could forget is unforgivable, but then, Vince isn't exactly sane these days......

6:00 AM  
Blogger s1rweeze said...

"I really liked this not only because of its role in helping to elevate Legacy but also because it tried to emphasize an in ring result as being a particularly important development and accomplishment."

Wow, imagine that. I'm sorry but pointing this out is like congratulating a kicker for making an extra point. That's not a slight against you Todd but against Raw in general.

6:15 AM  
Anonymous PeteW said...

Todd, how you can applaud this RAW is beyond me. First of all, they destroyed their next pay per view before it even begins. Batista squashed Orton in 5 minutes. You think that’s a great way to send off Batista to Smackdown, but what about Orton? He’s the only ‘heel’ on top level and they just cut his balls off. He has to come back next week to RAW. Why would anyone think Orton would be a worthy opponent for Cena now in Hell in a Cell? Plus, I love having to believe that Trish Stratus put together the main event for the next pay per view. Does anyone really swallow this nonsense? Back in the day when Batista and Orton were both on Smackdown before Evolution, they actually had a few good matches that Orton won with his speed and skill. Now he’s forced to play the stooge. And let us not forget those brilliant storyline angles; every time Batista gets hurt, they have to set it up to make it appear that Orton did it. This isn’t the dark ages. Fans have access to the internet and know what’s really going on. And Orton looked like an idiot in the opening being duped by Batista’s “cast”. Obviously he missed all the photos of Batista’s personal appearances while he was out – and the beach vacation pics – where he was fully healed without the brace.

The outcome of the Hell in the Cell match between DX and Legacy is already a given. It’s the rubber match – DX will win. Notice in Breaking Point that Trips wasn’t the one to tap out…or get pinned…or ever look bad. He heroically crawled to the ring after getting hit over the head by a plastic water bottle. Last night was supposed to make it up to HBK for tapping out. Please note – HBK tapped out to two men at Breaking Point. Lord knows a member of DX could never just tap out to one guy. Although the week before on RAW, Orton and Masters were both tapping – or ready to tap – to the superhuman powers of the 40 year old DX deities in practically no time! Triple H is poison and he destroys everything and everyone. I’ve read that the locker room empathizes with anyone that gets stuck in a story with him. If it’s true, it certainly doesn’t surprise me.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

The "downward spiral" that Michael Cole referred to on last night's Raw, a reference to Randy Orton's character on the show, was aimed at the wrong entity. It's not Orton, or even his character, that's on a downward spiral, it's the entire Raw show. Last night was a continuing trend of Raw being one of the most ridiculous and un-enteraining shows I have seen in a long time.

What a disappointment, but that's nothing new. It's a good thing they had Batista open the show, because if they left it up to Trish Stratus, it would have sunk in the first five minutes. The ship sinking would continue though, as the minutes wore on. Basically, the show was predictable bullshit that did nothing to further anybody's interest to watch any more. Stratus' opening segment, well over 15 minutes into the show (I thought she was hosting? Doesn't the host appear first?) was an embarrassment. She's a great-looking girl and used to be a good performer, so I don't know what happened to her. But apparently hosting a show is not her forte. She lost the crowd within seconds and it was the most awkward hosting bit I have ever witnessed. It was a relief to see her amateurish banter end as she made her exit by introducing "a match."

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Pretty good Raw for a change. I'd probably rate it as highly as you did if not for the fact that I can't stand Batista, so while you were enjoying a good angle, I was sitting there thinking, "Look at that big idiot loosening the straps on his arm brace whenever he thinks the camera's not on him, giving away that he's going to 'surprise' us by ripping it off and attacking someone who will come out to confront him soon."

"Afterwards, Chavo said that he gave up and Hornswoggle wins, so that would appear to be the end of that feud. Thank God."

I hope I'm wrong, but to me that sounded more like the start of the next chapter of the angle. Either it's a swerve or they'll end up teaming (which may turn into a swerve) or something.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

"Miz's antics, you see, took away from Swagger moving ahead of him in contention for the title."

Punishing him for doing what he was scripted to do makes no sense.

"But apparently hosting a show is not her forte. She lost the crowd within seconds and it was the most awkward hosting bit I have ever witnessed."

I've never thought Trish was that great on the mic. She always seems nervous, frequently using "and like" and other filler phrases. When the crowd booed her for making a PPV match, she actually interrupted herself to note that she couldn't make that match for tonight because Orton was already in another match, which seemed overly defensive (just talk through the boos and they'll stop in a few seconds).

Trish overall didn't do a bad job, but she's no Bob Barker when it comes to smoothly keeping the patter going in a way that seems natural.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

Funny that they'd hire Trish to do the show, given that she isn't known for being good on the mic. But she's from Toronto, isn't she, as Lilian noted in her introduction, so talent and ability be damned, let's just get a crowd reaction for the home girl. No other qualifications needed. Typical WWE lack of logic and sense. This is why Raw is tanking week after week.

The rest of Raw was either the predictable, mundane same-old WWE shit (faces trump heels, repetitive confrontations) or misuse of the talent by going for the short term gain instead of the long term goal. "Hey, let's just give Orton a Pedigree (insert Batista Bomb, Sweet Chin Music or whatever you like)" "Hey do you think the crowd will miss the continuity?" "Nah, they're idiots - they keep buying the same old shit, don't they?" "But maybe we can come up with something else?" "Uh....what?"

6:16 PM  
Anonymous HHH said...

See you guys are not giving me my due here. I am single handedly giving Lagecy their own name. I am not getting any credit for it? Do you guys see there actually competing with us? They got our number for two weeks! You guys need to get hip with the HHH Universe.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous joebeck said...

Did anyone see The Ultimate Fighter last night? What happened to that guy's head? I saw him bleeding all over the place but didn't see when the cut happened or how his head got opened up that big. Sheesh!

6:05 AM  

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