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.


Anonymous PeteW said...

Trips calls the shots. The show will never improve while he's there. Just like last week when he beat Cena for no apparent reason other than to send him off into the PPV with the message to the fans that Trips was better. So you can be sure that Trips is going to make sure he headlines the next PPV.

And the guest hosts have made the show weaker and weaker...

4:07 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

I thought initially there'd be a good cop-bad cop vibe between Kyle Busch & Joey Logano, but no, they ended up being generic fanboys the rest of the night. And that wasn't the only problem.

You have Hornswoggle served with a cease & desist order (which Hunter kinda warned him about a week or two ago), which is ignored at the end of the show, save for a passing comment from Lawler.

Sheamus is one of the hottest heels in ECW, so what happens? Instead of finishing his feud with Shel Benjamin, or even a sniff at the ECW title, he gets promoted to Raw as "a free agent acquisition". Talk about moving too quickly up the ladder. He didn't show me anything I hadn't already seen in squashing Jamie Noble, but what was the alternative? Putting him in with Will Regal's group? Nah, that would make Regal's team look like a carbon copy of TNA's World Elite. Can't have that.

Main event was predictable. There'd been talk of HHH vs. Cena after last week on other boards, but adding HBK to the mix? Something's up.

It was funny, too, seeing Swagger & Miz, who'd teased a feud minutes earlier, going back-to-back with corner moves on Big Show. Lawler claimed the entire locker room came out, but that's not true. Legacy had left the building, hopefully stopping to check Orton into the nearest mental hospital.

The Osbournes being in charge next week guarantees Jericho will be there (Fozzy being a play on ol' Ozzy himself). Get the censors and the subtitles ready!

5:33 AM  
Anonymous HHH said...

Todd, no need to worry, you want something fresh you will get something fresh. I will win the title and defend it and ALSO, MAIN Event in Wrestlemania. I haven't main evented a Wrestlemania in so long and that will be fresh. I will also face someone fresh and i will degrade and humiliate his credibility and pedigree him for the win.

7:05 AM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

IMO, the shot of the night was the cut to the fan doing the Santino "trumpet/trombone dance" as Santino came down the ramp. It's nice to see a paying customer with some semblance of a sense of humor.

As for the rest of the show, as always, it was HHH-tastic.

- Matt in Anchorage

10:01 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I caught the trumpet blowing fan, too. That was amusing.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous DW said...

PeteW said it all. This crap is Triple H's show - and everything that doesn't involve him is secondary. And the guest hosting is so weak, I agree - that it almost feels like you're admitting you're on the D-list when you sign up. A reputation is developing.

HHH - you were right about everything in your post except one thing. When you headline at WM next year, you won't be facing anybody fresh. That would be too novel. But everything else is true - what a treat to look forward to it!! A fat ass, selfish prick selling himself as the messiah of professional wrestling - all while telling interviewers he's only interested in the good of the company and that he'd give it all up on a dime for his family. (I'll post some of those interview comments later.) Not only is he an ass, he's a liar.

There's a reason Sheamus is moving to Raw and getting the spotlight so quickly. It's been reported that he's Triple H's pet. That's all it takes, folks. Talent, hard work, dedication (all of which Sheamus may have - it's too early to tell) - none of that matters as long as you pass muster with the big decision maker, EgoTrips.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

Credit Powerslam Magazine (online):

Q: You've been on top for a decade. Now 40, you're married with two children. Do thoughts of retirement ever cross your mind?

Trips: Sure. I've always said that I won't be one of those guys still wrestling at 50 or 60 like (Randy 'The Ram' Robinson) in (The Wrestler). I look at the business now from the other side and, if I was Vince McMahon, I'd know when to tell me to step away. Right now, the talent's not there: there is no depth. But, yeah, I do think about retiring: wrestling isn't the only thing iny my life, like it was when I broke in. If my family asked me to give up wrestling tomorrow, I'd do it in a heartbeat for them, and I'd never look back.

Me: Why would he ever be like the character in The Wrestler? That guy was washed up with no money. Trips is a millionaire a thousand times over. "No depth" in the WWE? Hmmmm...wonder why? No air time on Raw with his fat ass taking up the majority of the show?

5:21 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

Credit Powerslam Magazine (online):

Q: Plenty of people say you use your backstage position and your marriage to your advantage --- even that you abuse the power you have. How do you respond to that? And does criticism bother you?

Trips: People say the power I have puts me in a position of dominance but, if I lost that power, I'd be quite happy. It's all about what benefits the business for me. As for criticism? I think that if you go through life and no one hates you, then that means you're not good at anything. The critics I listen to are the ones I can hear when I walk into the arena. When people aren't caring about me anymore, I'll know. Not even Vince deems that: fans deem that. Look at John Cena. People say, "Who does Vince push him so much?" He sells so much (merchandise) and he sells out arenas. It's all about what benefits the business.

Me: If he lost that power, he'd be happy? he admits he uses his power. I guess that's what's good for business.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

Credit Powerslam Magazine (online):

Q: What do you say to those who accuse you of zealously safeguarding your position at the top of the card and refusing to help elevate wrestlers to the main event level?

Trips: All the stars are at a certain level. You can't make someone a star by simply bringing other stars down. That's not how the business works; it's not how it's ever worked. The new stars have to rise on their own. What big star ever laid down for me? That's never been how business is done. Bret Hart didn't put Shawn Michaels over and refused to get beat (at Survivor Series 1997); he wouldn't lose the title. Now, that's not a knock: that's what happened. Look at Steve Austin. I remember when Vince said they were bringing Austin in, and he said, "He'll be a good hand, to help the other guys." Then, they made him The Ringmaster, and gave him those plain trunks to wear. And I was there at King of the Ring 1996 when Austin made himself a star, and then at WrestleMania (XIII) when he really got over. And, remember, he actually lost that match against Bret Hart (at WM XIII), but he got himself over doing it. I've never said, "No" to putting anybody over. But you put C.M. Punk in a 30-minute match with The Undertaker, it's 50-50 all the way and then Punk wins clean, the fans won't accept it. It does nothing for C.M. Punk, and it's also detrimental to the Undertaker.

Me: Hmmmm...."You can't make someone a star by simply bringing other stars down." I guess that doesn't count when an established star brings other people down, does it Trips? I believe Trips is leaving out a lot of information about the HBK/Hart story - and regarding fans not accepting a win by Punk over Undertaker, that has less to do with Trips' pseudo-philosophy and more to do with the WWE conditioning the fans to like their bullshit. They're all "face" and "heel" and nothing inbetween. Plus certain people are sold as "stars" that won't be beat (Trips is one of them); they are always presented in a great light and the conditioned fans eat it up. They're not the brightest bunch. Trips can really put a spin on it, can't he?

5:31 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

Credit Powerslam Magazine (online):

Q: You had competitive matches with Jeff Hardy on his journey to the top spot last year. But Booker T/King Booker was not afforded the same equality in his bouts with you at WrestleMania XIX or SummerSlam 2007. Is the amount of offence a wrestler is allowed dependent on his status?

Trips: Yes. Jeff was competitive with me, and I also put Jeff over, eventually. But Jeff was being built up a certain way. He couldn't get there: he was the guy that just couldn't beat me and, the more that happened, the more desperate the fans became for him to do it. So, when he did beat me, it made a much bigger impact. He could have gone out and beat me clean in our first match, but the fans would not have accepted him in the way they have now. We used to say the "marks" were the fans who believed wrestling was all real -- not choreographed -- but now the smart fans, the ones who think they know everything, have became the marks. I know the majority of them don't know the business, they've never been in the business or wrestled in their lives.

Me: I think he's underestimating Hardy's popularity (and I'm not even a Hardy fan) but this is coming from the mouth of a real winner. But consider this - who was it that was chosen to put Hardy over? Trips! Nobody else. That's the problem, not that they spread out the Hardy star machine. The smart fans are now the marks? Don't flatter yourself that you've figured us all out Trips. This is just more spin - like the entire interview - to try and change the sinking image you have in the business. In fact, I believe this whole interview was set up for just that purpose. Notice how the "interviewer" never challenges Trips. An interviewer would pursue some of his answers - they don't get in that business because they are pushovers.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

Credt Powerslam Magazine (online):

Q: Do you ever take it upon yourself to change match lay-outs or booking plans so your opponents have more offense?

Trips: Yeah. Look, Shawn Michaels and I have just come back as DX and, on our first night back, we got the **** kicked out of us (by Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes on the August 17 Raw - Ed). It wasn't Vince who suggested that; it was us. It's about what's right for the business, at the right time. Some people think we're scheming all the time to improve our own situations. But the more people we make stars, the more money we all make, and everyone's happy.

Me: Uh, huh. And just one night later, he buried that same team. What an ass.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

Credit Powerslam Magazine (online):

Q: Your father-in-law is obviously the Chairman of the company you work for. Do these family ties make your working life easier?

Trips: No. It's actually the hardest for me because I can't say, "No" to anything. If Vince says, "I want you to do 'this' show" or "Can you go to 'this' media event", I can't refuse: I have to set an example. He expects more of me.

Me: An example like taking over every damn show? Who's he kidding? He has his share of calling the shots and he's loving it.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

Credit Powerslam Magazine (online):

Q: Finally, are you mentoring any WWE wrestler in particular? And in who, do you see the most of the young Triple H?

Trips: The closest to me is probably Sheamus, because we always train together on the road. But I try to watch all the young guys' matches and give them advice, if they want to hear it. If they take advice to heart and really want to improve, them I am wanting to help. As for seeing some of myself in someone? That’s tough. Sheamus just the other day showed up at a show he didn't have to be at. He does whatever he's asked to do without complaining, he goes to every show and is always wanting to work: he does it all, goes above and beyond. That's what I was like

Me: Did you all notice the way Trips sold himself while he was complimenting Sheamus? That's Trips all the way, just like he displays in every show. No matter who gets praise or compliments, he upstages them, makes it about him, or ensures that he's at least as good if not better.

I loved this interview, fake or not. Trips may be able to hoodwink the idiot fans when he's in the ring, but he fails miserably in trying to hoodwink the reader of this interview.

5:47 PM  

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