WWE Raw Report
The Big News: WWE finally took an explicit stand against repetitious main event booking and instead announced John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels vs. HHH for Survivor Series.
Jerishow came out to start the show. Chris Jericho was very happy carrying around his Bragging Rights trophy. Big Show tried to explain why he turned on the Raw team, but Jericho kept interrupting him. Jericho said Show didn’t need to explain himself because he was a man of loyalty and honor. He kept putting over Show and himself. Show eventually said that he didn’t do it for Smackdown or the tag team, but rather for himself. He said that he made a deal with Teddy Long and that he would be receiving the next title shot against Undertaker. Jericho and Show began bickering about this.
I liked this part of the opening segment a lot. Jericho and Show were both fantastic in their roles and they play off each other very well. I think they’re better off not constantly bickering, but they are good at that regardless of whether it’s desirable. And as far as Big Show vs. Undertaker goes, the less said the better.
Jerishow’s bickering was interrupted by the NASCAR guys who were driving around the parking lot and then drove in. They received a positive reaction, which I was kind of surprised by. They were terrible in their roles. I think the idea was one of them was a face and the other a heel, but they were both such terrible actors and so devoid of charisma that it was hard to tell.
The first NASCAR guy heeled on the city of Buffalo for no apparent reason with a delivery that reminded me of Linda McMahon. The other guy then played face and made Big Show vs. HHH. Then the guy who was playing heel became face again and made a match between Jericho and “Kofi Johnson, I mean, Kingston.”
Kofi Kingston beat Chris Jericho in a good match. Now that Kingston is definitively from Ghana and not Jamaica, does that mean they’ll bring in Prince Nana as his mouthpiece if he turns heel? God I hope so. Kingston was in control early, including hitting a tope. Jericho took over with a power bomb and springboard dropkick. Kingston made his comeback with chops, a dropkick and a high double leg drop.
Kingston hit the frog crossbody but Jericho rolled through for a two count. Kingston hit the side Ghanan leg sweep and reversed a Walls attempt into a cradle for two. Jericho hit the code breaker but Kingston got his foot on the ropes. Jericho argued with the referee allowing Kingston to hit trouble in paradise for the pin.
After the match, Randy Orton threw Kofi Kingston off the stage. He then explained that he was angry at Kingston for interfering in his match and costing him the title. He said what he did to Kingston was justice and it was only just the beginning. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase then tried to cheer up Orton by presenting him a gift of an Orton-themed NASCAR car. I was hoping Orton would dis the gift but he liked it. They said they had another surprise gift for Orton later.
Backstage, Jack Swagger and Miz were looking for a title shot against John Cena from the NASCAR guys. They said they would pick Cena’s Survivor Series opponent later on Raw.
Santino Marella and Melina beat Chavo Guerrero and Jillian Hall. Santino used his comedy offense on Chavo for most of the match. Jillian tagged in and Santino was ready to go against her but Jillian slapped him so he tagged Melina. Then for no reason Hornswoggle got on the apron in DX gear acting obnoxious and bringing attention upon himself. And he was so much more likeable last week. Melina hit the primal scream on Jillian for the pin. Hornswoggle was presented with a green envelope after the match. I was hoping it was a letter bomb but instead it was a cease and desist letter from DX.
Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase came out. They said that Randy Orton can’t fight for the title any more but that doesn’t mean they can’t. They vowed to bring back the title to Legacy where it belongs. I was so happy at this point. I figured they were going to essentially reprise what happened with Orton and Triple H in Evolution, where Orton would turn on his protege for getting too close to the title just like his mentor turned on him. It sounded like a great angle. Boy was I wrong.
John Cena came out. He said he was exhausted at the end of Sunday’s match, but he did it all for the title, the people and to end the rivalry. Cena made fun of the idea that DiBiase and Rhodes were interesting challengers, essentially burying them. He then said that a feud with Rhodes and DiBiase would feel like a re-run.
This was like a parody. They trot out the same main events month after month, and here you have a tease of actual fresh title contenders, and the face champion says the fresh challengers would be like a re-run. This became even more ridiculous when they revealed who would be challenging instead.
Cena continued by saying that Rhodes and DiBiase hadn’t earned a title shot. They needed to get in line and work for it, he said. He announced that he got a match made with Rhodes and DiBiase against MVP and Henry. So, would the story be Rhodes and DiBiase proving they deserve the title shot? Stay tuned to the next paragraph to find out!
Mark Henry and MVP beat Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. What, you were expecting something else? Legacy worked over MVP. MVP got the tag to Henry but he was cut off with a chop block. Legacy worked over Henry for a bit until Henry tagged back MVP. MVP hit balling and went for a sunset flip. He had trouble securing it but Henry hit a clothesline and MVP followed through for the pin.
Randy Orton came out after the match and said he wanted a rematch with John Cena. He didn’t care about the stipulation at Bragging Rights. Kofi Kingston appeared on the screen and said that Orton lost and nobody cares what he has to say. Orton invited Kingston to say that to Orton’s face. Instead, Kingston destroyed Orton’s new car. He keyed it, bashed it with a crowbar and poured paint all over it, all the while talking trash towards Orton.
This was a good news/bad news segment, although I thought the good news was more significant than the bad. The bad is to me Kingston comes across like a coward when he gets attacked and his response rather than confronting the heel is to deface his property.
With that said, I was extremely encouraged by Kingston’s performance here. The concern with Kingston moving to a higher level to me was his ability to project seriousness. They’ve worked to combat that by ditching the Jamaican gimmick, and his first big promo here I thought was very strong. He was serious, angry, and had very good delivery. His stock went up a lot in my book here because he showed he has charisma, working ability, and speaking ability.
Evan Bourne beat Miz via count out. Miz hit punches and kicks. Jack Swagger came out to bury Miz and the match. He turned his back to the ring and said nobody was watching the match but rather Eve Torres. WWE vindicated his opinion by showing Swagger rather than the match still going on. Miz got in Swagger’s face. Bourne took out both with a pescado and Miz was counted out. They announced Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne as guest hosts next week. That’s not really my cup of tea but I think it will be interesting to many.
Sheamus beat Jamie Noble. They announced Sheamus was a free agent acquisition, so he evidently had an elusive four-month contract with ECW. Wasn’t he just starting a feud with Shelton Benjamin on ECW? Was it so imperative to move him over this week rather than letting that wrap up? In any event, Sheamus hit some back breakers and a yakuza kick for the pin.
HHH beat Big Show in what ended up being a no-DQ lumberjack match with a bunch of Raw guys as the lumberjacks and John Cena as guest referee. They did a spot where all the guys on the outside tried to jump Show but he fought them all off. HHH went for a slam but Show fell on him. HHH came back with a face buster and clotheslines and countered a choke slam attempt into a sloppy DDT. Show came back with a Vader bomb. Cena counted two but feigned an arm injury and stopped the count.
All the Raw guys then came in the ring to attack Show. He fought off some but not others. The big spots were the shooting star press, trouble in paradise, FU, sweet chin music and pedigree for the pin. They certainly booked Show strong here but to me the odds were so stacked that it made all the faces look bad.
After the match, the NASCAR guys came out with Hornswoggle to announce John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels vs. HHH for Survivor Series. They delivered this in a way to encourage a big pop, but the announcement got very little reaction at all. And really, who could possibly want to see that? It’s like Freddy vs. Jason VII: This Time Featuring Aliens and Predator.
It’s amazing that a company this stale is still booking shows based around shooting down all the younger talent as unworthy and building to yet another re-run of a main event. At least with TNA you don’t have the feeling you’ve seen everything before five thousand times.
I don’t care if they want to elevate Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, Kofi Kingston, MVP, Evan Bourne, Jack Swagger, Miz or Kevin Freaking Federline. I just want something, anything, different.