Monday, October 26, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 10/26/09 from Buffalo, NY.

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.

Show Analysis:

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.

Final Thoughts:

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.

Monday, October 19, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 10/19/09 from Jacksonville, FL.

The Big News: HHH and John Cena were given a lot of time for their match. Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels not so much.

Show Analysis:

Since moving to the west coast, I’ve switched back and forth a number of times now as far as getting an east coast feed versus a west coast feed of Raw. With HD now I’m getting the east coast feed again, so these reports will be coming in earlier.

Snoop Dogg came out to start the show with the Bellas and Eve. He announced Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase and Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels for later in the show. Snoop has presence and was good in this role. He then brought out DX. DX and Snoop Dogg should get along well. They have a ton in common.

Shawn Michaels said that was off the hizzle for shizzle, and then DX turned to their opponents at Bragging Rights. HHH noted that both he and Michaels beat Chris Jericho at WrestleMania. Michaels made reference to the Katie Vick angle with Kane. HHH said you can find Cryme Tyme selling unused tickets at Smackdown events. HHH said he couldn’t remember Dolph Ziggler’s name. Then HHH said he had no idea who the other two are (Drew McIntyre and Eric Escobar). I thought the rest of the comments were fine, but that last one had too much truth to it.

Michaels explained who McIntyre was and made fun of Escobar for being with Vickie Guerrero. They mocked Vickie’s weight. DX then brought out Team Raw. They put over Show’s size and Henry’s strength. Michaels called Swagger the All American American American American American while Swagger kept smiling brightly. That was funny. Rhodes took the microphone and said DX are captains in name only. He said that if it were based on talent he would be captain.

Big Show told Rhodes he better not let the team down and nobody else better do that either. Henry wanted to know if that was a threat and a big argument broke out. Kofi Kingston played peacemaker. He dropped the Jamaican accent and HHH pointed that out asking what happened to the accent. I think it’s a good move because the Jamaican gimmick to me felt like a mid-card deal and he’s got the potential to go farther. Michaels announced a five on five test for the bickering partners and if any of them lost, he would be replaced on the team by the person who beat him. This was a clever idea.

Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry and Jack Swagger beat MVP, Evan Bourne, Primo Colon, Chris Masters and Chavo Guerrero (wearing matching video game t-shirts). While I liked this as a concept the execution just buried the non-Team Raw guys. The match was very short. Rhodes hit the roll of the dice on Primo and Swagger tagged himself in and scored the pin. The Team Raw guys brawled afterwards with Show coming out on top.

Randy Orton beat Ted DiBiase. Prior to the match DiBiase said Orton hadn’t been returning his calls. Orton said DiBiase betrayed him and demanded DiBiase not fight back in their scheduled match. So Orton kept striking and shoving DiBiase, while a livid DiBiase didn’t fight back. Eventually it looked like DiBiase reached his breaking point, but he then became sad and a confident Orton gave him the RKO for the pin.

Both guys did a great job here, particularly with their facials. The crowd wasn’t really ready for such a heavy angle with DiBiase in a face role, but hopefully that means they will revisit this premise in a couple months. If they do this scenario again then and DiBiase chooses a different path it should get over pretty big and would be a good final angle for a DiBiase turn.

They did a very nice video package on Captain Lou Albano. They then went to their weekly backstage guest host “comedy.” Jillian Hall wanted a women’s title rematch and began singing “Gin and Juice.” Santino was dressed like Charlie Brown to introduce himself again to Snoopy. They teased Snoop lighting up some weed but instead he lit some scented candles.

Triple H beat John Cena. They gave them 20 minutes and the announcers repeatedly called this a classic. I thought it was good, but not memorable even by the end of the show. I’m also very worried this means HHH vs. Cena is the next feud after Orton vs. Cena.

HHH controlled the match early. Cena tried to come back a few times but HHH cut him off. Cena got the STF but HHH got to the ropes. HHH hit the pedigree but Cena got his foot on the ropes. HHH applied a sharpshooter but Cena got to the ropes. Cena took control with shoulder blocks, the Cena slam and the five knuckle. HHH retaliated with a high knee, face buster, spine buster and pedigree. Cena kicked out again. Cena hit an FU, but HHH kicked out.

Cena missed a top rope rocker dropper. HHH went for a pedigree countered into an FU attempt countered into the third pedigree of the match. This time HHH scored the pin. They shook hands after the match. Cena afterwards did the Hulk Hogan thing while he hung around and moped, waiting for the big ovation but it only got light applause and some boos.

Miz beat Marty Jannetty. Miz was scheduled to wrestle a jobber but Snoop Dogg was annoyed that the Miz dissed Jannetty so he brought in Marty as the opponent. Jannetty got such a non-reaction for his entrance that I felt bad for him, although there were Marty chants later. Jannetty hit an elbow, clothesline, back drop and fist drop off the ropes. However, Miz reversed the tide with a stun gun and won with the skull crushing finale.

They announced NASCAR drivers Kyle Busch and Joey Logano will host Raw next week. NASCAR drivers were on my wish list for Raw guest hosts, right between Uwe Boll and Glenn Beck.

Melina beat Jillian Hall. Jillian hit a Samoan drop and went for a handspring elbow but was caught. Chavo Guerrero tried to interfere but Hornswoggle stopped him and Melina hit the primal scream for the pin. Afterwards Snoop Dogg came out and gave Chavo a clothesline and spear. Snoop and Hornswoggle proceeded to dance with the women. Hornswoggle was much more likeable doing the dancing because he wasn’t acting like some spastic mentally handicapped child.

Despite advertising a Jericho vs. Michaels match all show, they simply didn’t wrestle. Instead, Jericho brought out the other members of Team Smackdown. They all came out of the crowd I guess to suggest they were outsiders, but they still had their music, lighting and pyro cued. The Team Raw guys joined Michaels. Vickie Guerrero then appeared to try to stop the teams from brawling but they brawled anyway.

Final Thoughts:

I thought this was one of the best Raw shows from the past few months. It had some good wrestling, good angles, and good PPV build. I also appreciated that WWE didn’t try to hard sell the brand vs. brand concept. It’s fine as an occasional gimmick but you can’t pretend it’s this monumental thing when wrestlers intermingle and switch brands so often. They didn’t do that and I think less was more in making it seem like a fun gimmick.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 10/12/09 from Indianapolis, IN.

The Big News: Legacy isn’t getting along. Neither are Chris Jericho and Big Show.

Show Analysis:

Chris Jericho started the show by announcing a 7-on-7 Raw vs. Smackdown match at Bragging Rights to see which brand is superior. Jericho said he gets to wrestle on both shows but that he’s proud of Smackdown and will be the captain of that team. He vowed to put together a team to embarrass Raw. One of the women from Access Hollywood (I couldn’t even tell you what channel that show is on, let alone who they are) interrupted and told Jericho the show would start with DX and not Jericho. You probably should have gotten on that before the camera started rolling.

HHH came out and said that Shawn Michaels wouldn’t be on the show. He noted DX are the captains of the Raw team at Bragging Rights. He called Michaels and got Michaels’ voice message where Michaels was singing over his music. Michaels picked up and said his daughter is sick and he had to stay at home. Michaels noted he just read a book to his daughter. HHH asked if it was the DX book and Michaels replied that he wouldn’t read that piece of trash to her. He then corrected himself and said yes. With their book buried, HHH and Michaels hung up.

Jericho and Big Show joined HHH. Jericho put over Smackdown. HHH responded by calling him a troll, mocking Great Khali’s wrestling ability and saying Raw is better. Jericho said that Big Show would be on his team. HHH mocked them, saying that Jericho’s the pitcher and Show’s the catcher. Show retorted that he carries the team. Jericho and Show traded barbs and Show said he wanted to be on the Raw team. HHH acted all happy but then said there were no spaces and Show was sad. That was funny. HHH said Show would have to earn his spot by beating Chris Jericho in a match.

Big Show beat Chris Jericho via count out. They argued, shoved each other and slapped each other. They didn’t physically fight much, but after an argument on the outside Show got in the ring before the count of ten. I don’t like the fact Jericho and Show are already bickering, and the highly likely conclusion of Show turning on the Raw guys at Bragging Rights will make DX look like such morons for not seeing it coming.

One of the women from the show interviewed Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. They wanted to be on Team Raw but she told them they would have to wrestle in a three-way with John Cena for one spot on the team. The woman was so much better than the vast majority of contemporary wrestling interviewers.

Jillian Hall beat Mickie James to win the women’s title. The match was really good and not very good. Jillian hit a sloppy power bomb and put her feet on the ropes to win the title. She then freaked out in celebration and started singing. One of the women from the show appeared on the screen and announced she made a major divas trade. She waited for cheers but the crowd didn’t react at all. She then said Jillian would have to defend her title against a new Raw acquisition.

Melina beat Jillian to win the women’s title. They went for the primal scream but botched it beyond all recognition so they went to the last call for the pin. I’m at the point where I think they should just ditch the female wrestling altogether. They stink up the joint 2 times out of 3 with some of the worst stuff you’re ever going to see and the time would be better spent in allowing other matches to go a little longer.

As for the trade, I’m baffled that at the point they are trying to sell an interpromotional gimmick as a pay-per-view hook they would do a completely pointless trade that just emphasizes the reality that wrestlers constantly go back and forth between the shows for no reason. Couldn’t they at least have waited until after Bragging Rights if they absolutely had to switch around the women?

They announced Snoop Dogg will be the guest host next week on Raw. That should be fine. Hornswoggle visited HHH backstage dressed like Shawn Michaels. HHH said this was gimmick infringement. Michaels was on speakerphone and freaked out when he saw this on TV. Hornswoggle attacked a cardboard cutout of Michaels. This was terrible. Elsewhere, Beth Phoenix was annoyed about being traded and threatened the women from the show. Santino suggested Beth wrestle one of the women even though the woman clearly didn’t want it.

Cody Rhodes won a three-way over Ted DiBiase and John Cena. Rhodes and DiBiase came out together and it was basically a tornado rules handicap match. Rhodes and DiBiase used a high low and worked over Cena for a while. Cena came back with a double suplex on both and used a belly to belly, drop toe hold and STF on DiBiase. Orton came out and Cena broke the hold. With Cena distracted, Rhodes rolled up DiBiase for the pin. Legacy argued afterwards and one of the women from the show appeared on the screen to announce Cena and Orton vs. Rhodes and DiBiase.

Jack Swagger beat MVP in a Bragging Rights qualifier. Swagger dominated pretty much the entire match and won clean with the gut wrench power bomb. MVP’s only real offense was hitting balling. I’m all for picking a few young guys and putting them over as strong as possible.

Kofi Kingston beat Evan Bourne in a Bragging Rights qualifier. I like that Kingston is billed from Ghana now since that’s where he’s from but it is amusing he’s still doing the Jamaican gimmick. Bourne hit a spinning head kick and leaping knee and applied a half crab. He came off the ropes but was caught with trouble in paradise for the pin. I wish they were given more time but this was good. The Raw team for Bragging Rights is HHH, Michaels, Show, Rhodes, Swagger, Kingston and the Mark Henry/Chris Masters winner from Superstars.

Backstage, Legacy bickered. Orton said the main event would be a handicap match and he wouldn’t tag in. Elsewhere, Chavo Guerrero complained about not being in a Bragging Rights qualifier so HHH had one of the women from the show kick him low.

Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim and one of the women from the show beat Beth Phoenix, Rosa Mendes and Alicia Fox. Jerry Lawler said that just because you’re a fan of WWE doesn’t qualify you to wrestle. No, you have to be a fan *and* famous, King. Then you get to wrestle and win. The woman from the show kicked and slapped Beth. Kelly gave Rosa a handspring elbow, the woman snapped Rosa’s neck on the ropes, and Kelly hit a leg drop for the pin. The woman from the show was cute and likeable so this didn’t bother me as much as it might have otherwise.

Miz came out with the US Title to gloat. He said that he would face the Intercontinental champion at Smackdown. He waited for applause, but again there was no reaction whatsoever from the crowd. He then put down John Morrison, saying he was the talent of the tag team. The crowd did scream along at the end with his catchphrase about being awesome, which is a good sign.

Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes beat Randy Orton and John Cena. Orton said prior to the match that he told Snoop Dogg next week will be Cena’s last match on Raw, and Cena will be in one of the biggest matches of his career. Orton was proven to be a liar, as instead Cena will wrestle HHH again next week.

Rhodes and DiBiase worked over Cena for a while, but for some reason after Cena hit a Cena slam Orton decided to look down and not pay attention so Cena was able to tag himself in despite Orton’s wishes. Rhodes and DiBiase went for rollups on Orton, who tagged back in Cena. Cena hit a Cena slam and five knuckle on DiBiase, at which point Orton decided to tag himself back in. He attacked Cena, and DiBiase then rolled up Orton for the pin. Cena gave Orton an FU after the match.

This match seemed really illogical to me. I just don’t buy that someone in a tag match who is determined not to be tagged could somehow stop paying attention and end up tagged in anyway. More illogical was Orton tagging himself in later when Cena was offense. Why wouldn’t he just attack Cena without tagging? What possible benefit did he get from tagging in?

Final Thoughts:

This was an average show by recent Raw standards. One note on the guest hosts is they really need to switch up the formula. The premise is that these hosts from vastly different backgrounds are running the show, yet the shows are actually more formulaic with the hosts rather than less. The host announces a match at the beginning of the show. The host does a few “comedy” segments backstage, usually involving Santino. The host shoots a minor angle. And then the host says goodbye before the main event. It’s totally cookie cutter. I wish they’d spend a little more time thinking about unique ways to use the hosts rather than a one size fits all approach.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 10/05/09 from Wilkes-Barre, PA.

The Big News: Ben Roethlisberger’s presence ignited a feud between DX and Jerishow.

Show Analysis:

Ben Roethlisberger came out to start the show. He received a mixture of boos and cheers. He handled that well, laughing it off and noting the Eagles/Steelers divide in this part of Pennsylvania. He then announced he had a great idea to start the show, a diva bowl. How novel. It’s funny how seemingly every host has the same unique idea of putting the women in a theme match (Roethlisberger, Floyd Mayweather, Seth Green, probably others).

Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, the Bella twins, Maria, Eva Torres and Melina beat Natalya, Layla, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, Jillian Hall, Beth Phoenix and Michelle McCool. Gail Kim was the referee. Since it was a bowl, the faces dressed in Steelers uniforms and the heels didn’t. Couldn’t they just have dressed them in Broncos uniforms or something? As some sort of practical joke, Rosa and Mickie started the match. Rosa did a wacky pose and then screwed up a kick spot. It was just like old times. They quickly went through a bunch of spots. Mickie went over strong with an implant DDT on Michelle and then pinned Alicia with a victory roll.

Randy Orton came out and bragged about beating John Cena. Cena joined him. Cena started with horrible goofy facials like he was totally cool about losing the title. The first thing out of his mouth was then an asinine “WWE Universe” reference. You just lost your title and the first thing you have to do is plug your obnoxious corporate buzzwords?

Cena said that Orton did win, but then went right back to another “WWE Universe” reference by saying that he was just happy that the crowd was into the Orton-Cena match. Apparently entertaining is more important than winning for Cena. That’s just great. Cena then said that Orton-Cena had become “the” rivalry that always produces amazing moments. Do you think he could go any more over-the-top with the hyperbole? The answer, by the way, is yes.

After his third WWE Universe reference in a minute (we’re going to shove our buzzwords down your throats whether you like it or not), he challenged Orton to a 60 minute iron man match for Bragging Rights. He said this match would be (no joke) “epic,” “remarkable,” and “legendary.” No way this match can under-deliver now.

Orton said that he would accept the rematch, but if Orton wins Cena will be off Raw. Evidently they’re changing the title yet again. I’m not sure why given Cena has the automatic rematch clause anyway, but Cena accepted this. Orton then added it would be no-DQ and no count out and Cena agreed to that. I hated this promo by Cena more than any other in years for all the reasons I just recounted. It was like the perfect example of what’s gone wrong with wrestling promos in the past 10 years. Well, if it can even be described as a wrestling promo.

Jack Swagger beat Primo Colon. Before the match, Swagger said that he is a winner, that he wasn’t pinned last night, and that he will go undefeated for the rest of the year. I’m all for a sustained push of Swagger. I hope this doesn’t end with him humiliated repeatedly. Swagger hit a Vader bomb and did pushups. Primo came back with dropkicks but a springboard attempt collided with Swagger’s boot. Swagger then hit the gut wrench power bomb for the pin.

Backstage, some mentally handicapped individual asked Ben Roethlisberger if Smackdown on Friday was as big as the Superbowl. I was just begging for Brock Lesnar to do a run-in. Miz then came in and said that he’s awesome. He wanted a US title shot and decided the best way to achieve this goal was to insult Roethlisberger. So he insulted Roethlisberger repeatedly and Roethlisberger responded by giving the title shot but telling him that if he lost, he would have to say, “I’m the Miz and I’m awful.” Oh, burn.

MVP and Mark Henry beat Chavo Guerrero and Chris Masters in an extremely short match. MVP hit balling on Chavo basically at the beginning. Masters went to break the pin attempt with an elbow drop but hit Chavo accidentally. Henry speared Masters to knock him out of the ring and MVP pinned Chavo for the pin. Henry hurt himself with the spear and limped out of the ring. Afterwards, Masters attacked Chavo but Hornswoggle made the save and Chavo gave Masters a DDT.

Ben Roethlisberger came to the ring. Big Show and Chris Jericho joined him. Show said he didn’t understand why they call Roethlisberger “Big Ben.” They tried to intimidate Roethlisberger and asked where his offensive line was. Roethlisberger called them out. This shouldn’t be news, but these were some big dudes. Show lined up opposite the entire line with Roethlisberger standing behind them. That was a goofy spot that just looked ridiculous. Show left.

DX then came out and challenged Jericho and Show. They didn’t want the match but Roethlisberger made it anyway. DX and the Steelers all did the crotch chop together and celebrated, which was a cool spot and visual with all these gigantic men. Jericho and Show are really clicking as an act. I was one of the people that thought Jericho’s partner should have been a younger guy to get the rub, but ultimately Show was the right pick. Their tag team elevates Show, Jericho, and the tag titles.

Miz beat Kofi Kingston to win the US title. The announcers spent the whole match putting over how hilarious it would be if Miz had to say that he’s awful. This childish humor (name calling, “Mr. Ziggles,” etc.) is such a turnoff to non-children. Miz hit clotheslines, punches and worked Kofi over. Kofi hit trouble in paradise out of the blue but Miz fell out to the floor. By the time Kofi had brought him back into the ring, Miz kicked out of the pin attempt.

Miz then went for a rollup for two. Kofi hit a high double leg drop but Miz grabbed the bottom rope on the pin attempt. Kofi used a backslide for two. They traded punches and Kofi hit a pair of flying forearms. Kofi went for a top rope frog crossbody but Miz rolled through for two. Kofi went to dive off the ropes but landed wrong and Miz hit the skull crushing finale for the pin. They gave them time, they laid this out very well and the match delivered. It was the right finish too. This was an excellent segment.

They ran a video package noting John Cena got the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s highest honor for granting over 140 wishes. That’s very cool. They then announced next week’s guest hosts will be two women from Access Hollywood. I couldn’t possible care less. It feels like a shameless play for positive press.

DX beat Chris Jericho and Big Show in a fun match. I guess this is your next tag title program. The heels worked over HHH for a while. He got the tag to Michaels but the heels quickly gained control over Michaels as well. Jericho applied the Walls for an extended period. Michaels came back with an enzuigiri on Show and got the hot tag.

Michaels and HHH went for a double suplex on Show but he suplexed both of them instead. Michaels hit a pescado on Show but Show caught him. HHH helped Michaels get out and they sent Show into the post on the outside. That left Jericho alone with both members of DX, so he decided to leave. The Steelers appeared at the ramp to stop Jericho. Michaels and HHH brought him back to the ring where Michaels hit sweet chin music and HHH covered for the pin.

Final Thoughts:

I was really not digging this show early on (in large part due to John Cena), but it picked up big time in the second hour. The show was pretty consistently strong from the first Roethlisberger/O-Line/DX/Jerishow segment on.