Monday, December 07, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 12/07/09 from Dallas, TX.

The Big News: There’s a pay-per-view this weekend!

Show Analysis:

There was no Umaga graphic at the beginning of the show. Mark Cuban came out to start the show. Michael Cole put over Cuban as a man of the people because he sits courtside for games rather than in the luxury box. Seriously. What, was Donald Trump a special guest writer for this show? Cuban announced a showdown later in the show between John Cena and Sheamus. Cuban stayed at ringside for the next few segments.

John Cena beat Carlito. Cena hit the Cena slam, but Sheamus started to come down to the ring. Mark Cuban got security to come out and stop him. Back in the ring Carlito went for the back stabber but Cena reversed into the FU for the pin. Carlito was treated as a joke again here. They announced a three hour show with guest host Dennis Miller next week. I guess they are trying to piggyback on the success Miller had the last time he was on a three hour Monday night show.

Legacy came to the ring. Randy Orton sucked up to Cuban and asked him to lift his ban on title shots. Cuban said no, and that Orton got lucky last week and only won against Kofi Kingston because WWE referees are worse than NBA referees. Cuban announced Kingston vs. Orton for Raw with Cuban as the referee. Cody Rhodes responded with a reference to Kenyon Martin’s mother and ran down the Mavs. Rhodes challenged Cuban to a match but Cuban declined. This was a fun segment.

Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase beat Evan Bourne and Primo Colon. Legacy worked over Primo. Primo bonked heads with Rhodes an got the tag. Bourne went for the shooting star but DiBiase cut him off and went for the superplex. Bourne blocked that and hit the knees off the top ropes. However, DiBiase then nailed dream street for the pin. After the match Cuban ejected Rhodes and DiBiase from the arena.

Maryse beat Gail Kim. Gail hit some clotheslines. Maryse slapped her and ran away. Gail threw Maryse into the turnbuckle and went for a springboard but Maryse kicked out her leg. Maryse then covered with her feet on the ropes for the pin. The referee then proceeded to look directly up at Maryse’s legs on the ropes and had to pretend not to see them.

Kelly Kelly was ring announcer but Maryse wasn’t content with her announcement of the winner. Maryse said that she wanted to be announced as the next divas champion and shoved Kelly. Kelly shoved her back and a brawl broke out. Melina made the save for Kelly. This is becoming a broken record, but Maryse’s mannerisms are so freaking awesome.

They aired a dreadful “comedy” segment built around DX plugging their merchandise for Christmas. They did a bit where they pulled out the script and hated on it. Hornswoggle ended up jumping on them off a Christmas tree.

Kofi Kingston beat Randy Orton. Kingston clotheslined Orton out of the ring and hit a tope. Orton cut him off with stomps, knees and a chin lock. Kingston came back with the side Ghanan leg sweep and high double leg drop. Kingston has a new thing where he tries to get people to clap and go boom when he sets up for trouble in paradise (ala Shawn Michaels “tuning up the band”). It should catch on soon. Kingston missed trouble in paradise and Orton hit the back breaker. Orton went for the RKO but Kingston used a backslide and Cuban used the fastest fast count you’re ever going to see to end the match.

Mark Cuban after the match said that was payback for six years ago when Orton gave him the RKO. Cuban said that now Kingston and Orton are tied at one and the rubber match will be at TLC.

Miz beat Mark Henry to retain the United States title. Miz went for a sunset flip. Henry dropped down but Miz moved out of the way. Miz hit punches and kicks and dropkicked Henry into the post outside the ring. Miz came off the top like last week and was caught with a world’s strongest slam attempt. However, this week Miz countered that into a DDT for the pin. It was nice to see them put over Miz strong.

Hornswoggle and Eve beat Chavo Guerrero and Jillian Hall. Chris Masters protected Hornswoggle from Chavo after the match. I’m simply not wasting any more of my life on Chavo/Hornswoggle segments.

Chris Jericho did a promo before his match. He had a black armband on his arm for Umaga. Jericho said he is the greatest performer of his generation. He goes where he wants and does what he wants because he’s omnipotent. And he’ll stay on Raw for as long as he wants. He vowed to beat DX Sunday and said the new catch phrase will be “Never Underestimate Chris Jericho.” I don’t see that selling well on a T-shirt.

Chris Jericho vs. DX went to a no contest. The match itself was flat and felt pointless. DX beat down Jericho for a little while and then Jericho threw a referee into HHH. Big Show ran in and gave Shawn Michaels a head butt. HHH brought in a chair but Show punched the chair into HHH’s face. Michaels got a ladder but Jericho hit a baseball slide and sent the ladder into Michaels’ face. Show held DX in a ladder and Jericho hit it repeatedly with a chair. The match was pointless but the post-match angle was good.

Maybe it was just me, but the closing segment on Raw was off the charts on the unintentional comedy scale. By the end I was guffawing with laughter.

Okay, so Mark Cuban is in the ring with Sheamus and John Cena. He announces he has three questions for them, which turn out to be the most comically pointless questions you’ll ever hear. It was like he was making fun of journalists. I was expecting Brock to run in and proclaim these dumb questions.

First he asked, “Why do you feel you will win?” Then he asked, “Are you concerned about competing in a table match?” Finally he asked, “Do you have anything to say to your opponent?” Sheamus answered the first two questions while Cena said no comment.

Sheamus said that he has never been beaten and is obsessed with putting Cena through a table. He said Cena isn’t concerned enough and threatened to break Cena’s back. Adding to the comedy of this was that Sheamus doesn’t pronounce H’s. I’m not sure if he started doing this now or I just haven’t heard enough of him in the past but it makes him come across as even more of a cartoon character.

So Cena had said no comment to the first two questions, but the third somehow inspires him to speak. He says that Sheamus sure has been talking a lot. And then, he proceeds to cut a seemingly 20 minute long soliloquy, pontificating on his own great career. It went nowhere and went on forever. He closes by saying he is impressed by Sheamus but not intimidated.

Sheamus and Cena turn over tables at this point and we cut to the physical confrontation. Cuban tried to separate them so Sheamus shoved him down. Sheamus then kicked Cena twice. At this point came the comedic coup de gras. Cuban gets up and gets in the face of Sheamus. The sports owner versus the new monster heel. And it went just how you would expect. Cuban shoved Sheamus to the ground and proceeded to pound his chest. Oh yes. Mark Cuban: tough guy. Sheamus: punk’d.

At least the show didn’t close with that. Sheamus threw Cuban through a table in retaliation to close the show.

Final Thoughts:

This was a typical edition of 2009 Raw. There was some good stuff. There was a lot of dumb stuff. It wasn’t particularly entertaining and didn’t particularly build the PPV. Mark Cuban I thought overall was good in his role but he really is better suited to be a heel character.

16 Comments:

Anonymous DW said...

Cuban has no talent for this sort of thing. He came off as completely amateurish. He can't act, lord knows he can't ad lib - most of his participation was pretty pathetic. He actually came off as a coward in his exchange with Legacy, begging off from a confrontation until June. We went from the best guest host (Ventura) to one of the worst this week.

And what was up with the fast three count in the Orton - Kingston match? THAT was supposed to be payback? That was supposed to set up the PPV? One win each now let's see what happens at the PPV? Where are the good writers?

For those who didn't watch the show, Todd actually left out a ton of great Orton skill that occurred during that match - it was heavily in favor of Orton rather than Kingston. And Kingston really better do more than jump around like a jack-in-box if they want to make him a star. The "boom-boom" routine wasn't exciting the fans, but as Todd said, I'm sure it will eventually work because the typical fan loves that sort of schtick-like nonsense. Similar to the DX foolishness. Kofi's reception on his entrance, by the way, was less than thunderous, unlike the crowd's spike when Orton entered. They should have teamed him up with Jericho to get him his star power because Orton overshadows everybody he works with. He can't help it. Save him for when guys become stars and let Triple H earn his annual $2 mil by selling somebody. He doesn't have the total star power that Orton does.

Maryse is excellent - great potential, but she's being ruined by slapping her with the same despicable character Orton has to live with. I feel bad for her because she has more talent than the rest of the divas put together.

DX - what more can be said? What a damn waste of time. I think of all the wrestlers they could be working with, introducing, building careers and we get that DX marketing bullshit. And then a whole half hour of what attempted to pass for a match.

4:13 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

I came in a wee bit late and wondered if they'd do a tribute graphic for Umaga. That they didn't makes no sense. They had three days to prepare at least something.

After being clean shaven last week, Carlito is growing back his mustache, but his luck didn't change. El squashola.

Good move by Cuban to block Sheamus from attacking Cena, but methinks Carlito waited too long to cash in on the distraction, and that cost him. Legacy getting tossed was a good, pro-active move to ensure there wouldn't be a repeat of last week. Orton & Kingston have each won one under dubious circumstances, and the writers would be well served to bar Legacy on Sunday as well.

You have to remind yourself that ref Justin King is a rookie and will make mistakes. Why not ad lib and void the fall, make Maryse go an extra minute or two. I hate leverage-aided finishes to begin with. If I'm writing, I make Maryse run a gauntlet next week.

You knew that Miz couldn't use his finisher on Mark Henry, so the DDT counter to the WSS was good stuff. However, IMPO, Miz has had the US title too long, but the Uncreative team is in no hurry to find someone who can actually take it from him.

Just when you thought Hornswoggle vs. Chavo was done.....! I guess Chris Masters is a face now, just because of the bouncing pecs. Little People's Court delayed again, probably because they don't have anything really figured out yet, and won't until after Christmas.

DX-Jericho goes to a No Contest? What a shock. Like, who didn't see this coming? And was Jericho the only guy wearing an armband for Umaga?

I thought Sheamus might win the title on Sunday, and I still do. He gets his SportsCenter moment with Mark Cuban just like Orton did 6 years ago, but that doesn't mean Cena will retain. WWE needs fresh blood at the top of Raw, and they haven't had someone rise up this fast since Brock Lesnar in '02. There will be at least 2 title changes on Sunday.

6:32 AM  
Blogger Max said...

VERY disappointed they didn't acknowledge Umaga's passing. They've recognized others in the past who were away from the company longer.

At least a still shot with his name and years would have been nice since today's fans know who he is.

Unreal.

7:15 AM  
Blogger brian said...

It's strange they didn't acknowledge Umaga. The role call of wrestlers that have died too young is a disgrace, and WWE certainly isn't an innocent party, but they can usually be relied on to acknowledge the passing of one of their former wrestlers. It's one of the few decent and classy things they do. Wonder if the absence of any tribute this time can be linked with Linda's political ambitions?

9:17 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

I doubt very seriously the omission of a tribute for Umaga has anything to do with Linda's run for the US Senate. It's more of a case of WWE deciding not to do so. It was just 6 months ago they released the man, so unless he left on bad terms, the only reason I can fathom for the omission might be they weren't sure if they wanted to do a video to be part of the tribute, or if they were doing that, they didn't have enough time to prepare a proper one.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

This whole "WWE Universe" thing hit a new low. Rather than say Cuban was a huge fan of the WWE, Michael Cole had to say he was, and I quote, "a huge member of the WWE Universe".

Absolutely loved the huge wall of "Jericho sucks" signs in the crowd. Jericho and the camera operator went out of their way to frame some shots with those fans in the background. I'm not a fan of Sign Guy and generally am not impressed by most signs, but that was cool.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EGM3 says:

I suspect the "boom boom" thing will get over for Kofi soon enough as it's essentially what Rey Buccanero and Ultimo Guerrero did down in Mexico, and WWE is pretty shameless about stealing what works, similar to how Rey Misterio stole the 619 from Silver King.

10:18 AM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

The lack of an Umaga shout out was just sad...WWE must have figured it wouldn't play to its much-desired junior high demographic.

BTW, did anyone notice his majesty, HHH, referring to the unified tag team "belts" last week? Not championship, not title, but belts. I'm sure he received a hefty fine for the blatant breakage of the rules.

- Matt in Anchorage

10:23 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

I was actually impressed that Cuban took that bump. It's nice to see a guest host willing to go all out.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous DW said...

In the dark matches taped for Superstars: Jack Swagger defeated MVP and Masters defeated Alex Riley.

Swagger, MVP and Masters are relegated to dark matches so we can have 15 minutes of EgoTrips hawking his crap merchandise (and trying to cover the shitty writing with his pseudo-sarcasm) and another half hour of him in a wasted match with Jericho and Big Show?

If his ego gets any bigger, the bastard will explode.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Masterbater said...

I don't understand why a guy like Hornswoggle gest more of a push than guys like Carlito or MVP?

5:56 AM  
Anonymous DW said...

If they cut a few minutes here and there from EgoTrips' omnipresence they could fit in some time for MVP and Carlito.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

Recent house show results (as reported online): Main Event - Triple H defeated Randy Orton in a falls count anywhere match. It was a solid match, with both of them going all out for the house show crowd. Triple H hit Orton with the sledgehammer for the win. Afterwards, HHH went around high fiving and hugging the fans and thanking them for coming out.

You'd think an Orton win against Triple H - going into this next PPV - would add a lot more tension and drama to the PPV match with Kingston. A Triple H win really does nothing but repeat the same boring stuff that we see all the time. An Orton win would have added heat and significant build for the PPV (especially since they've been doing this match for a few weeks now). But here we have more proof that His Majesty, the selfish prick Triple H is more interested in his own glory than in advancing the business.

9:47 AM  
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