Monday, November 09, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 11/09/09 from Sheffield, England.

The Big News: There’s only one Ricky Hatton. Or maybe two.

Show Analysis:

Ricky Hatton came out to Blue Moon, looking in Hatton’s renowned non-fighting shape. He got a nice reaction but no singing of “Hatton Wonderland.” I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Hatton said he has had some good memories in Sheffield but was there to make some new ones.

Jerishow came out, with even Jericho looking significantly taller than Hatton. Somebody should point out to Vince McMahon that Hatton’s last fight drew significantly more US PPV buys than WrestleMania. His infatuation with size has over time become something akin to a World War I general infatuated with horses.

Big Show said his breakfast was bigger than Hatton and told Hatton t get out of the ring. Hatton mocked Show for the Floyd Mayweather KO. Show offered Hatton a free punch. Hatton was going to take it but Jericho stepped in. That led to more bickering between Show and Jericho. Hatton made Jerishow vs. DX for later on Raw. Jericho and Show together then turned their sights on Hatton, but DX came out. HHH pointed out how Jerishow keeps screwing with guest hosts and bad things keep happening to them. DX took out Jericho, and Show left rather than choosing to fight two on one.

Alicia Fox beat Kelly Kelly in one of those women’s matches where they try all these elaborate moves and two out of three look bad. Kelly used a sloppy huracanrana and rocker dropper. Alicia came back with a sloppy axe kick for the pin.

Sheamus beat somebody. They had a ring introduction and said this was a one fall match, but then only announced one competitor. The announcers never announced the opponent’s name and just announced him as “a local competitor.” Is it so hard to just give him a name? Oh well. Sheamus won with a uranage into a back breaker, big boot, and razor’s edge for the finish.

Backstage, Ricky Hatton did a comedy vignette with Chavo Guerrero and Santino Marella. Santino was dressed as Ricky Fatton. Hatton beat Chavo at darts. Chavo challenged Santino to a match. Hatton accepted the match himself. Elsewhere, Miz was doing an interview talking about beating John Morrison at Survivor Series. Jack Swagger interrupted and they bickered about who would be team captain.

Evan Bourne beat Jack Swagger. So much for that great winning streak. Swagger threw Bourne around and hit a Vader bomb and big boot. Miz came out to distract Swagger. Bourne hit a spinning kick and shooting star press for the pin. This was like the prototypical WWE match where they accomplish nothing other than teaching the audience not to take a young star seriously. It’s so stupid that it should be outrageous, but they do it so often it’s just expected.

MVP Lounge featured MVP, Mark Henry and Kofi Kingston. I’m very happy that they made a Survivor Series tag match with Kingston and Randy Orton as captains. It will allow them to showcase both Kingston and Orton without hurting either. MVP and Henry put over Kingston and they had some champagne.

Legacy came out to interrupt. Orton said they are low class street thugs and they should go back to the hood where they came from. Kingston slapped Orton. I hate racial angles. I don’t think it makes you mad at the heel; it just makes WWE look sleazy. At least MVP was actually in prison. I don’t see what about Henry (a US Olympian) or Kingston (a graduate of a highly selected university) suggests criminality to WWE other than the color of their skin.

Randy Orton beat Mark Henry. Orton dominated the early part of the match. Henry was starting a comeback when Orton reversed a choke slam attempt into the RKO for the pin. A lot of people cheered Orton here. Orton slapped Kingston after the match and Kingston punched him back.

Ricky Hatton beat Chavo Guerrero. They announced this as “mixed martial arts” rules, which they then explained meant the boxer could only win by knockout and the wrestler could only win by pin fall or submission. Hatton wore boxing gloves. He landed some punches. Chavo scored a takedown but Hatton got back up. Chavo looked for another takedown but was caught with a punch for the ten count. This was pretty darn awful.

Celebrity angles can be a cool way to generate attention (although there is an issue of diminishing returns) and do fun angles. However, I think when it comes to athlete guest hosts you should just do angles and not bill matches. Boxers doing matches has been a big money attraction many times in the past. To me, doing it as a throwaway comedy midcard TV angle makes it a lot harder to make money next time.

They did another John Cena/DX comedy bit in advance of their Survivor Series match. Cena was with Hornswoggle and DX wanted Cena to hand him over. Hornswoggle eventually came out, but was dressed like Cena rather than DX. When DX left he went back to his DX gear. They announced Roddy Piper as guest host for next week. That should be fun.

DX beat Chris Jericho and Big Show. Jericho and Show worked over Michaels, who eventually got the tag to HHH. HHH came in with a face buster on Show and went for the pedigree but Show reversed it and hit the spear. John Cena was doing commentary for this and trying to hard sell the Survivor Series match, which was quite interesting. He was trying his heart out, god bless the guy.

HHH eventually tagged Michaels, who gave Jericho a flying forearm, inverted atomic drops and the elbow off the top. Michaels missed sweet chin music and Jericho went for the Walls but Michaels got out. Show hit a corner avalanche on both Jericho and Michaels. He then went for the KO punch on Michaels but hit Jericho instead. HHH sent Show out of the ring and Michaels covered for the pin. They then announced next week will be a triple threat match with Jericho and Show vs. DX vs. Undertaker and John Cena.

Final Thoughts:

On an absolute scale, I didn’t care for this show much, in terms of angles or matches. Relative to a lot of the recent shows, I thought it was pretty much average. Because DX/Cena feels stale and because they aren’t really pushing it very hard anyway, it feels like the top angle on Raw these days is the revolving guest host gimmick.


Blogger Patrick said...


12:21 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Oh God. Less Redskins. Yuck.

2:56 AM  
Anonymous PeteW said...

All Creative can muster for Orton is the "race card" angle? Pathetic and cringe-worthy. But it was great watching Orton able to wrestle and not be a coward for once. He took apart Henry as he realistically could without Legacy helping out. (Its actually sad calling Henry the World's Strongest Man still. He's about 50% bodyfat I'd guess and he can hardly waddle.) And if the announcers explained one more time that "Kofi had given Orton all he could handle" I was going to throw something at the TV. To me, no matter how hard they try to sell it, Kofi looks lost next to Orton. I hope he's getting paid extra for working so hard to put Kingston over - apparently his new role. When is Trips going to put over mid-level talent? Speaking of Trips, I nearly tuned off after his typical smarmy opening hosting duties. Thankfully the show was pre-taped so I knew a few worthy matches were coming up to watch.

4:01 AM  
Anonymous DW said...

Raw was a waste of viewer time, but that's nothing unusual. It isn't even entertainment for kids. It's foolishness, with a few moments of actual great wrestling by people who are s**t on regularly by Triple H - or ignored. It's simply a show that offers us the maddening ego of a bizarre man (Triple H) who can't live without being the biggest star in the pro wrestling pantheon, accompanied by a stooge sidekick (HBK, who is getting to be so much of a caricature, it's embarrassing. Even Flair lasted another 20 years before he became the court jester of the WWE).

The highlight of the show was, as PeteW pointed out, Orton's match with Henry. Orton is a guy worth tuning in for two-hours of dreck to watch. I still can't believe the WWE gave him a clean, authoritative victory. But then they had to taint it by having Kofi Kingston swat him to the ground (BWAHAHAHAHA - like a guy his size could knock Orton to the ground! Orton just faced a 400 pound guy and fared better. Reality? Not in the WWE... But Orton, as is his custom, sold it better than anybody). But, RARELY will you see a heel get the upper hand in the WWE. If they win, there's usually a moment after the match where they get their comeuppance. How much better it would have been to watch Orton stride off in victory unfazed - for me, that would have led to more interest in an upcoming match. It's not like we haven't seen Orton in the fool's position before. Why must it happen every time? And for the record, Todd's review pointed out that Kingston slapped Orton after the match (following a post-match slap by Orton to Kingston) - but it should be noted, for those who didn't see it, Kingston slapped Orton first, before the match. And yet, it doesn't matter too much because Orton outperforms Kingston in the long run - and the fans let the WWE know it with their reactions (cut to Triple H seething in the wings and thinking of a way to blame Orton for the fans' natural reaction).

The announcers are beyond annoying. Yeah, I know they are fed lines, but I don't care. They deserve the criticism for accepting their jobs. It's horrible - not only do they annoy by constantly keeping up nonsensical banter throughout the matches, but they intersperse their jabbering with judgment calls, like we can't figure out who's the face and who's the heel. All in a day's work, though, by the WWE who are hell-bent on making sure the idiot fans know who to cheer and who to jeer, so that their insipid storylines can continue uninterrupted. I'm not sure who to be more angry with - the WWE for offering us crap and trying to manipulate the crowd, or the fans, for being the imbeciles that they are. No mind of their own. "Alicia Fox is evil," screeches Michael Cole. Cut to the sheep in the crowd, booing their little hearts out.

Another disappointing episode of The Triple H Show. So Jericho always keeps screwing with the guest hosts? Well, on the flip side, Triple H is always kissing their asses. Which one is more fun?

5:49 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

Ricky Hatton was barely audible on the mic. Not good, but servicable at best.

You know Jeri-Show will implode. It's just a question of when, where, and who gets the bigger push in the aftermath. Jericho's ego has gotten so bloated, it's almost as if he's playing the role Triple H used to have. The role you guys accuse him of having off-screen without any evidence to support it. Show has won 2 of his championships at Survivor Series (1999 & 2002), a fact that Coleslaw & King never brought up (probably because Vince didn't think of it at that moment himself), so why not a 3rd?

Let's face it, Hornswoggle has jumped the shark. He's not the fun-to-have-around little guy anymore, just an annoying goof who won't take no for an answer. He's pit DX & Cena against each other in answer to the "cease & desist" DX hit him with over the merch. I get that. I also get that he's going to be on the move again come draft time, if not sooner.

Chavo Guerrero, please pick up the white courtesy phone. It may be Uncle Hector.

I have to disagree about Alicia Fox's axe kick. Her legs are longer than, say, Booker T or even R-Truth (and it would explain why we haven't seen Truth use the move of late himself), but she does make the kick an effective finisher.

Who's outfitting Miz? Little Sisters of the Blind? That preppy look just doesn't work.

I guess Sheamus just passed Jack Swagger on the priority push list. Why else to end Swag's winning streak so soon?

Piper as host next week @ MSG? Epic win! If anything, he'll put Santino in his place. (Yah, that's another one who's jumped the shark.)

10:55 AM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

I'm proud to announce I've gone two weeks without watching. Thanks, Todd, for letting me know what I've missed - or not missed.

- Matt in Anchorage

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Bad show.

One (to me) funny moment: That punch Hatton delivered had just a fantastic sound to it. I actually went back and watched a couple of times to figure out who was slapping their thigh or whatever and didn't see anything. Then I suddenly remembered the show was taped so they just probably added the sound in post-production, and I had a good laugh at my own expense.

About the "thugs" line, Kingston did seriously vandalize Orton's car (in storyline), so maybe that would make him a thug. Still, Henry doesn't really fit, and having a white guy call three black guys a bunch of thugs should probably be set up better than that so it doesn't feel as if it's playing off a racial component.

I know I keep whining but still keep watching like an idiot, but every time a skit like the Cena/Hornswaggle/DX one comes on, I wonder why I bother. Stuff like that is not funny, not entertaining...really not interesting in any way at all. They're really clueless, aren't they?

At least Dixie Carter's speech to the troops was unintentionally funny in several ways.

8:56 PM  
Blogger brian said...

"But, RARELY will you see a heel get the upper hand in the WWE."

Of course, when Triple H was a heel he overturned years of Wrestlemania tradition by walking out of it with the championship.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous DW said...

Thank you for referencing that Triple H moment, brian.

Several times I've mentioned, that when Triple H takes the heel role again, you won't see the kind of heel they've forced Orton to play. Nope, I'll go on record right now predicting that the same thing will happen, only more pronounced. He'll be an accomplished, successful heel who shines in the spotlight, defeating faces/heels/whatever comes along, on a regular basis. They'll probably have to feign injury to get the belt off him when the times comes to choose another champion.

6:24 AM  
Anonymous DW said...

The evidence of Triple H's control of the show is clear as daylight simply by looking at the air time he has and the mega-star role he plays.

Any changes in what he's doing currently are most likely a result of the heat he's feeling all over the Internet. It's everywhere for those who don't turn a blind eye to it.

Jericho - a big ego? That's just a means to shoot him down when the time comes. Trips will never get shot down - I challenge anybody to find a moment where he's truly put in his place. Any loss or heat he takes is soon coddled over by some comeuppance to the perpetrator.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Max said...

Ditto what Matt in Alaska said above...

11:12 AM  

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