Tuesday, December 01, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 11/30/09 from Baltimore, MD.

The Big News: Randy Orton finally got some payback on Kofi Kingston with a little help from his friends.

Show Analysis:

Chris Jericho and Big Show came out to start the show. Jericho and Show wanted to deliver some “facts” to illustrate that DX isn’t that good. They pointed out that DX has never even held the tag titles while Jerishow has held all sorts of titles. They said they can’t be beat, and that DX has never been in a TLC match.

DX came out, and HHH said that Jerishow was boring the audience to death. This was a true statement. HHH said that DX has an army of people who believe in them because they all believe in grabbing life by the throat. Shawn Michaels said that they will win the tag titles and if Jericho loses the tag titles he will no longer be on Raw. Jericho said that without him Raw is nothing. They made a match for later with HHH vs. Jericho and the loser has to wrestle in a handicap match against the winner’s tag team next week.

This was an ungodly boring segment. They went on for seemingly forever (twenty minutes in real time) and had absolutely nothing new or interesting to say. It didn’t help that the big pay-per-view tease (Jericho leaving Raw) was a rerun from last month with John Cena and the angle for the end of the show (wrestlers fighting even odds to set up a handicap match next week) was a rerun from two months ago with John Cena, Randy Orton and Jerishow.

Maryse and Jillian Hall beat Melina and Gail Kim. I had forgotten just how awesome Maryse’s heel mannerisms are. They really should link her with an act they want to move to the top of the card. Maryse tagged out to avoid Melina and mocked her. Melina later got in with Maryse and used a series of kicks and a spear. Maryse cut her offense off with an implant DDT for the pin.

Sheamus came out and said that at the PPV he doesn’t have to pin or submit John Cena, just put him through a table. Is it really good to emphasize your title match will likely have an inconclusive finish? Sheamus said he will make Cena take him seriously. Santino came out and did a bunch of comedy about Sheamus overlooking him as an opponent. He got in a Lucky Charms reference and skin pigmentation jokes. Sheamus of course destroyed him with the big boot and razor’s edge and put him through a table.

Verne Troyer was talking on his cell phone backstage and was approached by Big Show and Chris Jericho. They wanted to speak with him but he didn’t want to be interrupted from his call. Jericho eventually gave up on waiting and left, at which point Troyer immediately had the chance to say hello and shook hands with Show. Troyer is very small.

Troyer came out in front of the audience. He talked about coming to SummerSlam and how he loved everyone he met except the Miz. Troyer seemed nervous and his delivery wasn’t great but I thought it worked fine anyway because it came across more authentic.

Miz came out and told some jokes about Troyer’s height. There were Mini-Miz and Austin Powers references. Troyer said he would do that with Miz but Miz hasn’t been in any movies despite two Jackass movies being released. Miz threatened Troyer but Mark Henry came out to protect Troyer. Miz made some Fat Bastard jokes and ridiculed Henry as bland. Troyer made a match between Henry and Miz.

Randy Orton beat Kofi Kingston. As Kingston came out, he was jumped from behind by Cody Rhodes. Rhodes beat him up and threw him into the steps but Kingston wanted to continue with the match. Ted DiBiase then attacked his knee from behind and took it out. Kingston still wanted to wrestle, so Orton came out and beat him down. Kingston couldn’t fight back and succumbed to the RKO.

I like the idea behind this angle, with Kingston fighting heroically but falling just short thanks to the uneven odds. In practice, I thought it suffered a little bit from the fact Kingston never really made a comeback. It would have worked a lot better if Kingston teased that he could pull it off in spite of everything before Orton finally caught him with the RKO. It ended up being more of a squash, although I’m sure this isn’t the end of this program.

After the match, Orton put Kingston on the top rope and then gave him the DDT off the ropes. It looked great and Kingston sold it very well. This was a strong angle with both Kingston and Orton doing a great job.

Backstage, MVP and Troyer were playing video games. Jillian got in front of the screen and wanted to sing a song. MVP suggested she sing so Mark Henry could show off his dancing ability. The idea is they’re trying to show Henry isn’t bland. Well, his dancing didn’t do anything to dissuade that notion. Henry accidentally fell on Jillian. Troyer speculated she was dead but then went back to playing the video game.

John Cena did a promo in the ring. He said he would put up his title on Raw against Sheamus. Carlito came out instead. Carlito said he likes what Sheamus represents. He added that a lot of the wrestlers in the back want Cena to lose the title because they’re tired of him. Carlito said Sheamus represents the wrestlers and he’ll beat Cena and end Cena’s reign in WWE. This was a pretty darn great promo by Carlito.

John Cena said Carlito picked the wrong guy on the wrong night. Carlito started to chew some apple but Cena punched him, gave him the FU, and threw him out of the ring. It was a shame to see Carlito treated like a joke after he did a better job of building interest in Sheamus in two minutes than Sheamus has himself his entire WWE tenure. Sheamus came out and Cena challenged him but Sheamus left to the back.

Mark Henry beat Miz. Prior to the match, MVP served as hype man for a Mark Henry “rap.” This was not a good idea. Henry was just dreadful. I don’t even know how to do it justice with a comparison point. Vanilla Ice and 50 Cent aren’t even that bad. Okay, Vanilla Ice isn’t even that bad. Miz dominated the match with punches and clotheslines but was caught coming off the top rope with the world’s strongest slam for the pin.

Hornswoggle “spoke” with DX backstage. He made noises and there were subtitles. The subtitles themselves didn’t make any sense because WWE writers apparently have no idea how the legal system works. I think the idea is that the little people’s court was an offer for independent mediation but DX rejected that so now he is going to sue them. Mark Cuban will be guest host next week. That should be good.

Triple H beat Chris Jericho. Big Show and Shawn Michaels did commentary. Jericho worked over HHH but HHH got up his knees on a lionsault attempt. HHH attempted a pedigree which was reversed into a jackknife cradle for two. Jericho hit a DDT for two. HHH used a spine buster but again only got a two. Show and Jericho both did interference spots with the referee distracted. Show used the punch and Michaels the superkick and the referee ordered each to leave ringside. HHH attempted a pedigree which was reversed into a Walls attempt which was reversed into a rollup for the pin.

Final Thoughts:

This show had more misses than hits. It wasn’t a disaster and there were some good segments, but too much of it was dull and/or dumb.


Anonymous DW said...

Triple H calling Jericho boring is about as ridiculous as this show can get. Not only is Triple H boring when he starts pontificating, he's looking even more silly in the new headgear - and the same goes for HBK, who's looking more and more bored each week. I guess he must feel like his sidekick status with Triple H means he doesn't have to put out.

The Orton treatment in the Kofi feud continues to be a slap in the face to Orton's career. I've nothing against Kofi (or anybody) getting some time in the limelight - god knows this show needs more than one person being pushed - it's the way Orton has to act like an unskilled coward in this current progam that bothers me. Why not make Orton a match for Kofi in every way - it seems to me that Kofi's success would be elevated more if the opponent were one who was his equal. At every step of this feud, Orton is asked to come across as unequal to Kofi - significantly devaluing the most talented guy on the roster. Believe me - if it was Triple H as the heel in this encounter against Kofi, the script would not be reading the way it does with Orton. You can bet the friggin' rent on that.

And what's this with the Miz losing to Henry? Isn't he a titleholder? Would this happen to Cena? To Trips if he had a belt? Foolishness.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

"Vanilla Ice and 50 Cent aren’t even that bad. Okay, Vanilla Ice isn’t even that bad."

Heh. Funny stuff there, at least from my perspective. Nobody really ever took Vanilla Ice seriously, but 50 Cent was pushed as this huge, real, "street" megastar that was sanctioned by Eminem. But you know what? I can't name a single song "Fiddy" sang, but "Ice Ice Baby" (or at least its chorus) is still a fun -- stupid, but fun -- tune.

Overall, not a great Raw. As you said, bad opening, then a decent build to Cena vs. Sheamus, but that ended up with the Carlito showdown that turned into a squash of Carlito, so disappointing all around.

At this point I actually hope they put the title on Sheamus. Cena is stale beyond belief.

And DX? Warmed over crap from yesteryear. I'm surprised Triple H lets himself look this bad when he apparently has such backstage power.

So is Hornswaggle "childlike", mentally handicapped, or part of a different race that speaks its own language? I can't keep up.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

You know, as much as I disliked Orton in the past, I have to say that he's shaping up to be the next Ric Flair.

He can get a good match out of almost anybody, and he's almost completely selfless in putting people over and making them look good at his expense. And despite all that, he's still over in a big way.

Like Flair, I think he'd actually be better if he were a little more selfish and kept himself looking stronger. But, really, this is an amazing turnaround for someone who seemed like such a selfish prick in real life.

9:30 PM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

Man, I didn't realize how tiny Verne Troyer really is until we saw him with Hornswoggle. A-freakin'-mazing!

Well, actually, the size differential came into play when he met the tag champs. He buddied up to Big Show, but Jericho had no use for him? Is Jericho that self-centered these days? I guess Hunter decided to implant his old selfish heel persona onto Jericho so he doesn't have to turn heel ever again for the sake of his kids.

I was SO not digging Legacy's systematic beatdown of Kofi. This is where you need an impartial administrator outside the guest host to make some sort of ruling. This was a cheap way for Orton to get his heat back, resorting to having Legacy ambush Kofi pre-match. No! That is not acceptable. We'll get Kofi collecting a receipt from either Rhodes or DiBiase---or both---next week. Then, the onus is back on Orton to respond.

Carlito coming out as a spokesman not only for Sheamus---who can actually talk for himself real well, thanks---but for the rest of the talent? I think that's a bit of a reach, considering that Carlito, now clean shaven, let's note, hadn't been seen in weeks, and after Primo had been used like a broken toy by Orton last week. You get the feeling Carlito's days are numbered, coming full circle, as he started by feuding with Cena, and may end the same way.

Maryse hasn't shown me much. More sizzle than steak, IMPO. I just hope they finally decided to kill Jillian's karaoke girl act after 2 years, though.

The Miz got pwned in more ways than one by not only Mark Henry, but also Troyer. Pretty good Dr. Evil mimic, though. Nearly spot-on.

Hornswoggle's character has been downgraded in recent months. I used to think he could actually talk, but to have him speak in gibberish, requiring subtitles? Balderdash! Where is Finlay when you need him in all this? Oh, that's right. He's on Smackdown, and has been written out of the picture as it relates to his "son". Bad move, Uncreative.

Main event was fine, and since the heels were dominating the early part of the card, Jericho's goose was cooked, even with the false finish.

I'd like to see Mark Cuban collect a receipt of his own from Orton next week. Recall that Orton's 1st SportsCenter moment came at Cuban's expense at a PPV a few years ago.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous HHH said...

You guys fail to realize that if that was me getting jumped like Kofi did I would prevail because I can overcome those types of obstacles. Kofi in my book would not cut it as a superstar he has no charisma, talent, he can't wrestle (not in my league anyways), his finisher is not devastating as my pedigree because that is the move of all moves (better and more innovative than the front flip piledriver aka Canadian destroyer) and he is boring. That is why I think Shameus is a much better performer than Kofi would ever be. He can wrestle (a very technical wrestler I might add), he talks very well and the crowd reacts to him. You guys need to layoff and open your eyes more and most importantly get off my back!!

8:29 AM  
Anonymous CF Kane said...

I never watch the show anymore, and just read your report and freeload Bryan's podcast once a week, so I don't know much about what's going on, but I will say that I think that the Hornswoggle bit ( speaking in subtitles, while DX talked about being served all being a 'dream' ) was a reference to Twin Peaks, wherein there was a dream sequence with a midget who spoke unintelligibly, and could only be understood via subtitles.
If true, the fact that 'creative' would reach so far back, to a vague reference to a show that I'd wager nobody in the audience remembers/watched shows that WWE is beyond stale, and that I'm glad I don't watch anymore.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

Bob - You indicated that you thought Orton should be more selfish and keep himself looking stronger in this feud with Kingston.

I'm pretty certain that the script forbids Orton from doing that and that his role is defined backstage to do exactly as he is doing, rather it being up to him.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

DW writes:

"Bob - You indicated that you thought Orton should be more selfish and keep himself looking stronger in this feud with Kingston.

"I'm pretty certain that the script forbids Orton from doing that and that his role is defined backstage to do exactly as he is doing, rather it being up to him."

That's true for lower-level guys. When you get up to Flair's level, you have some pull, often quite a bit. Orton's definitely to the point where he has some.

Flair was notorious for not only being willing to lose, but actually asking to lose if he felt it would help get people over. Mick Foley got to be the same way late in his career. When they faced each other at SummerSlam a few years ago, the joke was that this was going to be the first match where the two guys were going to be arguing that they should be the one to lose, and that since Foley had more stroke at the time he'd probably win the argument and drop the fall (and he did).

Orton's not at the Flair or Foley level yet, probably, but I get the impression that he's willing to do anything asked of him, even in situations where he could request an adjustment that might keep him stronger. He may even be offering to put others over, judging by how often he does it.

Or I could be wrong, and he could have no backstage stroke and be very unhappy about his role.

By the way, I wasn't talking about Kofi in particular. In fact, I think in this case he is doing a great thing for Kofi's career and it's not hurting him much, if any. I was more referring to his tendency to be in this situation seemingly all the time, to a ridiculous extent, such as when Shane McMahon was beating the holy hell out week after week.

5:04 PM  

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