Monday, December 14, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 12/14/09 from Corpus Christi, TX.

The Big News: Raw went 17 interminable hours this week, featuring the worst guest host ever.

Show Analysis:

Dennis Miller came out to start the show and told a few jokes about the pyrotechnics leaving him incontinent and how children from two parent homes are better at bitterly sarcastic repartee. There was no reaction to the jokes, so Miller goes, “I just wanted to get a feel for the wrestling crowd; I’m going to run back to the script now.” So 30 seconds in he’s already insulting pro wrestling fans and announcing that WWE is scripting material for him.

Miller said that he was excited to be there with a tone that said he was anything but excited about this. He then made a serious of conservative “jokes.” He bagged on Nancy Pelosi, argued that global warming isn’t happening and said that John Cena got put through a table while Barack Obama has brought nothing to it. The crowd didn’t really react positively or negatively to most of it. The announcers obnoxiously guffawed and Matt Striker agreed with Miller. Funny how Jesse Ventura and Al Sharpton weren’t allowed to deliver a bunch of political material. Gee, I wonder why they weren’t and Miller was?

R. Truth and Jillian Hall came out to present tag team of the year. Chris Jericho and Big Show won. Jericho thanked Edge for getting injured and himself for picking Big Show as a partner. Show vowed to regain the titles and Jericho invoked the rematch clause for Raw.

Christian, Kane and Great Khali beat William Regal, Vladimir Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson. Yes, you read that right. Before Khali left, he was involved in a feud with Kane and Kane put him out of action in his last match by attacking him repeatedly with foreign objects and trying to end his career with ring steps. And in Khali’s first match back, he’s teaming with Kane and not even selling dissension. Christian just said that they’d put their differences in the past.

What, were there no other possible options for this six man tag? You couldn’t have put Mark Henry in this spot and put Great Khali in the other six man tag later? I’ve seen injury angles dropped when the injured guy came back, but I can’t ever recall the injured guy coming back to immediately team with the guy who put him out of action for no good reason. Just baffling.

The match was very short, which was a trend for the night. I usually don’t keep track of match times, but it was so distinctive I grabbed the match times from the Torch, and seven of the nine matches on this three hour show were under three and a half minutes. Kane hit a side slam and clothesline off the top on Regal. He gave Kozlov the big boot and tagged in Khali for the giant chop and pin on Kozlov.

Dennis Miller came back out and this time had a Michael Moore joke. He then announced Teddy Long and Tiffany, who announced Sheamus as breakout star of the year. Sadly he didn’t come out in a big red suit like Suge Knight. The crowd chanted “what” at him as he tried to speak. He said John Cena will never get back the title.

Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes beat Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne. Yes, after losing clean to Orton last night, Kofi lost again tonight. But at least they’ve elevated Sheamus. This started as a singles match between Kingston and Rhodes, but DiBiase quickly ran in. Dennis Miller announced it would be a tag match and had his own Slammy for doing so. He said, “Suck it, Jeremy Piven and Al Sharpton” to laughs.

Legacy worked over Kingston. Bourne came in with a spinning kick and double knee drop on Rhodes. He took out DiBiase with an enzuigiri and gave Rhodes a high knee. However, Rhodes then countered into the crossroads for the pin. They gave them a little more time here and this was a good match.

One thing that was interesting on this show was the commentary between Michael Cole, Matt Striker and Jerry Lawler. Lawler and Striker were bickering back and forth constantly. It’s clearly to some degree shtick, but it really comes across that Lawler can’t stand Striker in real life.

Dennis Miller came out again. He apologized for his jokes at the beginning of the show and said that he didn’t know if he had just said “suck it” he’d be considered a genius. He was just overtly mocking the audience here, and the crowd didn’t even seem to get it. He introduced Vickie Guerrero and Santino to present the shocker of the year. CM Punk won for “retiring” Jeff Hardy. Punk thanked himself.

John Cena beat CM Punk in the “Superstar of the Year” tournament. It’s kind of silly to have a yearly accolade determined by a one night tournament, but that was the least of our problems on this show. Cena beat Punk in about a minute and 40 seconds, which served as an utter burial of Punk. He went for go 2 sleep but was reversed into the STF and tapped out.

Cena apologized to those who he let down after the match. He said he will never give up. “The WWE Universe is all I’ve got,” he proclaimed. It’s rare you see such a combination of pandering and condescension. Bravo. Cena said he won’t lose another match until he is champion. Somehow I don’t see this going the way of Jack Swagger.

HHH came out to present the match of the year award. He was introduced as “The Show” by Miller. HHH thanked “Dennis Milbern” for the introduction. It’s amusing they’re doing this guest host gimmick as much for their own egos as anything, and yet one host after another makes it clear he or she knows nothing about the product.

Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker won the award, but strangely they presented the award only to the loser and not to the winner of the match. Michaels accepted the award and said he can beat the Undertaker. He challenged Taker to a Mania rematch. I’m glad they’re starting to set things up for Mania now.

Randy Orton beat Undertaker via count out in a short match with a garbage finish. Undertaker went for old school but Orton threw him off. Undertaker hit punches and went for the choke slam but Orton fought out and clotheslined Orton to the floor. They brawled on the floor and Taker hit the legdrop on the apron. Legacy distracted Taker and Orton hit the RKO on the floor. Taker was counted out. Taker cleared the ring of Legacy after the match and gave Orton a choke slam.

Having assaulted wrestling fans, wrestlers’ names, liberals and science, Dennis Miller turned his sights to Vince McMahon and the show itself. “We’re 2 hours into our 17 hour extravaganza,” he remarked. He then said that Vince gave him comedy notes backstage, and he wasn’t sure if he could go on in life before that. He seemed a combination of annoyed and bemused that Vince McMahon would try to tell him how to do comedy.

Vince McMahon came out to present best guest host. He said some guest hosts have been better than others, and looked over at Miller. I can’t imagine Vince was very pleased with Miller by this point. Bob Barker won for best guest host. For some reason the audience wanted Ozzy Osbourne to win and reacted negatively to Barker. Well, Barker was only 8,000 times better than Ozzy.

Barker appeared in a video with the Slammy and thanked WWE for the award. Dennis Miller then suggested Bret Hart as a guest host to Vince. Vince acted like that wouldn’t happen, but presumably it will given they are teasing it. I’d love to see it.

Chris Jericho and Big Show beat DX via DQ. This was another great finish. Really, it was more of a bait and switch than a match. HHH shoved the referee over a crouched Shawn Michaels and the ref called for a DQ. DX then joked about having outsmarted Jericho. A bunch of wrestlers in DX gear came out to lead Jericho away from Raw.

They tried to get the crowd to chant na na na hey hey hey goodbye but few did. Maybe because they did this same gimmick with Jericho just months ago at the draft and he was back weeks later for one of the tri-branded shows and then again when they won the tag titles. As the coup de gras for this “separate brands” silliness, a bunch of Smackdown and ECW wrestlers proceeded to throw Jericho out of the Raw building. Does anyone think through this stuff?

Carlito, Chris Masters and Eve came out to present the extreme moment of the year. Jeff Hardy won for his SummerSlam dive. Matt Hardy accepted for Jeff. Carlito attacked Matt and stole the award. He thanked Jesus, the Academy and Puerto Rico. That was pretty funny but sadly Masters took him out with the Masterlock and Matt punched him. Carlito is clearly the new target for humiliation. It’s odd how they always need to be humiliating someone for comedy.

Mark Henry, John Morrison and Yoshi Tatsu beat Miz, Zack Ryder and Drew McIntyre. This was another match that ended practically instantaneously to make way for more skits. Ryder went woo woo woo in Tatsu’s face so Tatsu just kicked him in the head and pinned him. That was an amusing as hell finish.

Mickie James, Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly, Melina, Bellas and Maria beat Michelle McCool, Layla, Rosa Mendes, Natalya, Beth Phoenix, Maryse and Alicia Fox. They wore evening gowns, they said because the diva of the year award would be presented after the match. Again the match went no time at all and Mickie hit an implant DDT on Rosa for the pin.

MVP and Goldust came out to present the Slammy for diva of the year award. Maria won. Batista then came in wearing a pink shirt to interrupt and was escorted off by security. Yes, a Kanye West-Taylor Swift joke. How cutting edge. I mean, those certainly weren’t played out months ago. And what makes it even sillier is that this seriously was the third Kanye-Taylor joke on this show. Did they just find out about this?

Abraham Washington, Tony Atlas and Big Dick Johnson came out to present the oh my moment of the year. That’s just what we need two hours and 40 minutes into this show. Abraham Washington and Big Dick Johnson. Michael Cole won for vomiting. He proceeded to jump up and down like a complete loser. He hugged Jerry Lawler and ran around screaming and holding his hands in the air. He said it is the era of vintage and oh my. They sure do love making people look stupid, even if it is the guy selling their no buys pay-per-views.

Dennis Miller announced he was leaving. Good riddance. They then went to a DX vignette backstage. They were plugging DX snuggles. Oh, those anti-establishment bastards. There will be a little people’s court next week. That sounds great. Also, Johnny Damon will be guest host. Hornswoggle gave DX gifts but they tried to attack him. HHH ended up attacking Michaels accidentally.

John Cena beat Randy Orton. Yes, Orton vs. Cena again, less than two months after they finally settled their three year feud. Orton was in control early, but Cena came back with a top rope rocker dropper. Orton missed a knee drop and Cena hit shoulder blocks and the Cena slam. Cena went for the FU and STF but Orton escaped each. Cena finally hit the FU but Orton grabbed the rope. Orton went outside. Cena pursued and Orton hit a DDT off the apron to the floor. Orton rolled Cena back in and covered for two. Orton missed the punt and hit an FU for the pin.

Final Thoughts:

This was a terrible, terrible, terrible show. It was filled with horrendous comedy. The guest host hated the show and the audience. The matches seemed to go 30 seconds apiece and featured horrible finishes. The booking was atrocious and counterproductive. And the show seemed principally designed for people who want to laugh at how awful it is. Raw hasn’t exactly had high standards this year, but even by those standards this show was an abysmal, irredeemable mess.

I was kind of looking forward to the period between TLC and the Royal Rumble, because they have a little more time to set up feuds and give them time to breathe. Instead, the extra time is just an excuse for the WWE writers to screw around with awful, pointless comedy. Next week, little people’s court. It’s a great time to be a lifelong wrestling fan.


Anonymous F.Leghorn said...

Is there a bigger cunt walking the earth than Dennis Miller? The guy is a failure at virtually everything he does, and yet he remains this unbearably smug prick who, beyond his right-wing/teabagger politics, seems to have disdain for all of humanity.
It does seem appropriate, then, on a show this horrible that this douchebag was the master of ceremonies. What a disaster. This is WCW Thunder bad, and it happens more often than not. It's too bad that TNA sold it's soul to the devil, because if there was even half a brain in that company they could really make things a bit more interesting in the coming months. But, oh yeah, they hired fucking Hulk Hogan. So much for that idea.
I think the only funny thing I can imagine Miller ever doing would involve him falling head first down an elevator shaft. That, I must admit, would get a gut laugh out of me. Fuck him, and fuck this show.

10:05 PM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

"The Big News: Raw went 17 interminable hours this week, featuring the worst guest host ever."

Todd, I swear, I made the same observation and told my wife, who was unfortunate enough to be sitting in our living room as I DVR'd through this dreck.

Can you imagine how drunk adults like us in the crowd must have been to survive this torture chamber? I've been to six or so WWE live events in the last 10-12 years and had more than enough adult bevvys when the shows were mildly enjoyable, you know as part of the fun. I weep for the poor humps who had to sit through that mess in person.

- Matt in Anchorage

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Mike Awesome said...

So much for all of the young talent who are'nt BFF with egotrips. They have Punk losing dark matches to R-truth!? and getting squashed on TV. They pulled the rug out from Kofi who will probably end up like Benjamin. And Morrison remains stuck in neutral.

They say talent needs to get themselves over but tell me who is more over with the fans Bourne or Mcintyre? And who is getting pushed and who is a glorified jobber.

Poor Carlito.
Thank goodness for fast forward.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The big worry reading this (a spoiler for this little Australian) is that WWE is three weeks away from TNA moving into competition with them - and what do they have? Hogan. Whoopee.....

I agree with you, Todd - a great time for a lifelong wrestling fan, or one that has been one for nearly 25 years (yours truly).

But Bob Barker won? I would have gone with the Shaq myself - or the Bod. I agree though that he was better than Ozzy, but then Ozzy was stoned so he's got an excuse. I think.....

3:42 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

I thought putting the pics of Nancy Pelosi & Vicki Guerrero side-by-side was actually pretty funny.

Goldust was out of line with his PMS remark to the Divas, and there was no trace of the Tourette's gimmick. Hmmmmm. Dustin couldn't be leaving us again, could he?

Big Dick Johnson somehow found a pair of glasses and tried to sound intelligent. Couldn't tell if he was channeling Chris Farley, John Houseman, John McGiver, or his own high school English teacher. Pretty funny stuff.

Some of us wish Miller was still the funny guy he was on Saturday Night Live several eons ago, but it's like he was just there to collect a paycheck and plug, and it was obvious from the go that he had all the excitement of a mourner at a funeral.

It's funny how a woman who'd quietly disappeared for a few weeks suddenly returns and wins a Slammy. Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but I wonder if Vince was screwing around with the fan voting this time?

I didn't like the tournament set-up. UT got screwed because someone in creative decided they didn't want UT-Cena in the finals and wanted one more Orton-Cena match. Bad booking. Why is Kofi being buried even worse than Punk? Why isn't Legacy breaking up like we thought? When is Vince going to hire a writer that actually has a brain?

It amuses me that Johnny Damon is shown in a Yankee jersey, but is presently a free agent and could conceivably sign with Tampa Bay by next week (as an example). Secret Santas? Hmmmmmmmm.

The matches were nothing to write home about, though we could relive that diva match for the rest of the year just for eye candy alone.

5:35 AM  
Blogger s1rweeze said...

I'd be a lot more interested in an MST3K style torching of this show than a recap at this point.

6:06 AM  
Anonymous The Masterbater said...

I don't get it Shameus is champion? Then you bury Kofi Kingston, C.M. Punk and Carlito? But they see Shameus as an uprising star? So many questions, I don't understand can someone explain to me on how Shameus is champ (I know I am spelling his name wrong in someway but I don't want to show him the respect to look it up and spell his name right). I also know that is HHH's training partner or whatever but still, I mean come on, might as well put Mark Henry for the title. All I can say is this is to show how the future of the WWE will end up when Vince finally gives Stephanie and Trip the keys to the bus, it will probably crash.

6:31 AM  
Anonymous #1 HHH Hater said...

"When is Vince going to hire a writer that actually has a brain?"

If they did then he wouldn't be a yes man to Vince. Vince would probably fire him.

Monday Night Wars will come to full effect again, too bad this is two bad organizations. But I will give TNA a try but I can't imagine flipping the channels back and forth like I did in 97, I think the only difference is I will be flipping the channels to another station to watch another show!

6:40 AM  
Blogger Max said...

I loved HHH's little comment after Michaels/Taker won for best match. He said they had to follow it and they didn't stand a chance.

Translation - His ego took a hit because at that point in the show, nobody gave a sh*t about him and Orton.

Superstar of the Year? How lame...

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow... Libs really dont like being made fun of..but glad to see the hypocrites...Dont take any personal shots or you will be deleted..oh but yours is ok..

6:59 AM  
Blogger Matt Betush said...

Todd, I'm usually on par with your recaps, but I completely disagree with you here.

Maybe I come from the same cut as Dennis Miller, and I understand and appreciate the sort of humor that is filled with ridiculous metaphors coupled with flowing verbiage.

While the matches were less than stellar, I think this was actually one of the better guest hosting gigs.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

you know, when I heard that sheamus was the new champ...I was actually kind of excited. Finally, in the main event. but seeing him with the belt tonight has lowered it so much in my eyes. He's not a main eventer right now and he's mande the wwe championship seem mid card.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Rory Finch said...

"He said John Cena will never get back the title."

Did he also do way instain mother?

1:42 PM  
Anonymous SteRDLK said...

"I can’t ever recall the injured guy coming back to immediately team with the guy who put him out of action for no good reason. Just baffling"

Ted DiBiase Jr?

"“The WWE Universe is all I’ve got,” he proclaimed."

I thought he got married?...

"For some reason the audience wanted Ozzy Osbourne to win and reacted negatively to Barker."

The reason being... they are allowed their own opinion?

"Carlito attacked Matt and stole the award. He thanked Jesus, the Academy and Puerto Rico."

It was nice of him to thank his old tag team partner

" He proceeded to jump up and down like a complete loser. He hugged Jerry Lawler and ran around screaming and holding his hands in the air. He said it is the era of vintage and oh my. They sure do love making people look stupid"

That was the best part of the whole show!!!

2:13 PM  
Anonymous mike said...

I found it oddly entertaining in a train-wreck sort of way.

BTW, wasn't Miller once a Democrat? It sure seemed that way to me when he had his HBO show 10 or so years ago. Maybe I was too young to understand. I can't stand his right-wing wackiness, so that was a turn-off.

But I enjoyed his insults of the crowd, the scripts and Vince telling him how to do comedy. I really liked the dirty look Vince gave him. I'd rather a host go off-script and ad lib than someone going off of the WWE script.

I know I am in the minority but I enjoyed the Miller segments. True, it hurts the product but the uncomfortableness and the ad-libbing kept me entertained.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Yeah, Miller used to be liberal, then after 9/11 he supposedly had an epiphany and become conservative.

I says "supposedly" because the transition was just so immediate and complete that it defied belief. I personally suspect that he did move rightward a bit but he decided there was no future in the the middle so he hitched his public persona to the full-blown right-wing bandwagon.

Now if he had become more conservative on a lot of issues but still ridiculed Sarah Palin and her ilk, then I could buy it.

Back on subject, that was a pretty horrible Raw. Thank goodness for DVRs. I did get a big laugh with the "Dennis Milborn" crack though.

Vince seems forget that in storyline he was opposed to the guest hosts but it was (somehow) forced on his as the last act of Donald Trump when he owned the company for a week.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous F.Leghorn said...

I want to point out that I don't care about Miller's politics, or whatever lame potshots he took ( I do wonder how many in the audience even knew who Nancy Pelosi was; I'd guess they figured it was Linda McMahon or something ), as I know that WWE is a GOP company. It's none of my business.
What I am continually aggravated by is the fact that Miller is such a smug asshole, who continues to fail at everything he attempts, yet he remains one of the smarmiest bastards one could ever hope to see. His disdain for the whole thing was crystal clear; why have this guy within a country mile of your product if he thinks the fans are morons ( which, make no mistake, he does )?
That said, Miller and his teabagging cronies really are the dregs of this country. Fuck them.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous DW said...

I have to repeat it because it fits so perfectly, so please forgive the vulgarity. "Is there a bigger cunt walking the earth than"....Triple H?

There's your reason why most of this show sucks, why it's going nowhere but downhill where easily-manipulated morons with no lives think this is the best thing since sliced bread. I'll say no more about him - I just hope the bastard is reading.

Two other comments - the man who gave the best showing as guest host (and who actually guest-hosted and didn't guest star) was Jesse Ventura. This was Vince's opportunity to stick it to him after Jesse upstaged Vince, but I'm sure Ventura is roaring with laughter because that's all Vince can do - be petty and small. The product sucks and Ventura managed to pull it up a notch for 2 hours one week. He knows it's going nowhere with Vince and EgoTrips at the helm.

The other comment is about who really deserved to the SuperStar of the Year. Who really worked his ass off last year, selling everyone except Grandma Moses, putting his all into every single moment in the spotlight, demonstrating both tremendous skill and acting and keeping so many of us watching in spite of the other drivel? Randy Orton. And yet, to somehow fulfill a lame storyline that will probably tank (and to "send the crowd home happy" [BWAHAHAHAHA! a line only ignorant online reviewers use]) they chose Cena. Good luck to the douchebag management. They need it. I feel sorry for the talent that has to go down with the maelstrom of inadequacy and ego-stroking.

4:27 PM  
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