Monday, April 05, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 04/05/10 from Moline, IL.

The Big News: John Cena didn’t have a lot of luck with tag team partners on Raw.

Show Analysis:

I want to start with a quick note from last week. When Undertaker came out before Shawn Michaels began his speech, he tipped his hat to Michaels before leaving. Sorry about that; I occasionally will miss a detail when I’m looking down to type and that was an important one. Thanks to everyone who let me know that. Also, what an incredible performance by Kurt Angle on Impact tonight.

Jack Swagger came out to begin Raw. I’m happy with the elevation of Swagger but it sure would have been nice if he weren’t humiliated repeatedly in the past few months and even in the days before his title win.

Swagger said that he thought about cashing in his title shot against John Cena but that he realized to be truly appreciated he needed to beat someone superior to Cena in Chris Jericho. Swagger said he would have beaten Cena even faster than the nine seconds it took him to beat Jericho. He added that he will be on Smackdown because nobody on Raw can compare to his abilities. This, unfortunately, was not a good promo at all. Swagger seemed nervous and his delivery left a lot to be desired. He’s a guy who might benefit from a mouthpiece, actually.

John Cena came out with his obnoxious, cutesy demeanor. He labeled Swagger the luckiest man in the world. Cena sarcastically said that the fans will be really sorry to see Swagger leave for Smackdown. He then called Swagger a liar for saying that nobody on Raw can compete with him. Cena said Swagger is not championship material and is a weasel. He challenged Swagger to a match on Raw and said he’d put up his title. Swagger declined, which brought out Randy Orton.

Randy Orton pointed out he beat Swagger last week and wanted another match with Swagger. That brought out Miz and Big Show for no apparent reason. They said it was all about them. Guest host David Otunga then was last out and made Orton vs. Swagger and Show Miz vs. Batista and Cena. Orton went for an RKO on Cena but Cena brushed it off and Orton hit the RKO on Swagger.

This wasn’t a good opening segment and I didn’t really understand the motivation for most of the people involved. It was like they wanted the two announced matches but didn’t have a clear and logical way to set them up.

Sheamus beat Kofi Kingston. This was a short match and not good. Kofi was going for kicks but was caught with a big boot and razor’s edge for the pin. Sheamus hit Kofi in the head with his pipe after the match. They showed HHH walking towards the ring backstage and cut to a commercial break, which is a different way for them to get people to stay tuned.

After the break, Sheamus said that HHH deprived him of the biggest moment of his career so he attacked HHH with a pipe and left him lying. He then mocked HHH for going to cry with his friend Shawn Michaels rather than coming to get revenge on Sheamus. Sheamus threatened to take HHH out. HHH came out. Sheamus had a pipe so HHH grabbed a sledgehammer and hit Sheamus with it. Sheamus ran away through the crowd. HHH then said that Sheamus was a silly Irishman bringing a pipe to a sledgehammer fight. I really liked this segment. Sheamus delivered a very good promo and the HHH line at the end was funny.

Eve Torres won a battle royal to earn a title shot at Maryse next week over the Bellas, Jillian Hall, Alicia Fox, Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly, Katie Lea and Rosa Mendes. The women had to wrestle in dresses. Maryse did commentary and was hilarious in burying some of these women as they came out in their dresses.

This was one of those matches where everyone just went diving out as quickly as possible. In less than a minute it was down to Kelly, Alicia, Eve and Jillian. Kelly hit a whirlybird on Alicia but Jillian then threw out Kelly. Alicia and Jillian double teamed Eve, but Alicia missed a charge and Eve sent her out. Alicia tried to pull Eve out anyway but failed. Jillian charged and Eve sent her out for the win.

David Otunga was backstage with a bunch of lackeys and hangers-on who agreed with everything he said and laughed at his jokes. It was pretty amusing. Santino and Hornswoggle then came in for “comedy.”

Show Miz beat Batista and John Cena via count out. This went exactly how you would have expected. Cena started. He had success against Miz but Show took over on Cena. Miz missed a charge on Cena and Cena was ready to tag Batista but Batista of course left. Cena followed Batista, fought him on the ramp, and was counted out. David Otunga then came out to announce Show Miz defending the titles again later in the show against Cena and Otunga.

Ted DiBiase beat Christian. DiBiase now has the old Million Dollar Title and they even went through the history of the belt. DiBiase explained that last week Ted Sr. tried to act like a father for the first time but that it couldn’t make up for the lost years. DiBiase explained that his father always won him over through money rather than through the heart, so DiBiase gave his son the Million Dollar Title.

I don’t like this move for the same reason I don’t like AJ Styles impersonating Ric Flair or Shawn Stasiak doing Mr. Perfect’s gimmick. It’s hard to get over when it’s clear to fans that you’re doing a knockoff of someone else’s act, particularly when the other person was so much better at it.

The match itself between DiBiase and Christian was very good. Christian hit a baseball slide and springboard shoulder block to the outside. DiBiase retaliated with a neck breaker but Christian came back with a crossbody off the top. However, Christian was posted and DiBiase hit Dream Street for the pin.

They announced that in three weeks there will be a three hour draft special. They also announced next week the guest host will be David Hasselhoff. Just when you thought they’d scraped the bottom of the barrel. Coming soon to guest host Raw: Vanilla Ice! Dwight Gooden! Dustin Diamond! Carrot Top! The Noid!

Randy Orton beat Jack Swagger. Swagger used a slam and clothesline to the outside. He sent Orton into the barricade and into the post. Orton hit the DDT off the ropes but Swagger got his foot on the ropes at two. Orton followed with a power slam and back breaker. He went for the RKO but Swagger escaped and hit the big boot for two. Swagger hit two Vader bombs and went for the gut wrench power bomb but Orton ducked out and hit the RKO for the pin.

This was a good match and was booked in a way that I think ultimately didn’t do Swagger much harm. They treated him as pretty much an equal to Orton. But I continue to find it bewildering when they are “elevating” someone that the guy ends up doing job after job after job in the process. They protect guys who don’t need it and have the guys who need the help lose repeatedly.

Big Show and Miz beat John Cena and David Otunga. This was pretty much a repeat of earlier in the show. Cena started but did tag in Otunga. Otunga used a head lock and shoulder blocks on Miz and then tagged back in Cena. Show Miz took over on Cena. When Cena finally fought back and went for the tag Otunga left. Show then knocked out Cena off camera with a punch and scored the pin.

Batista came out and hit a Batista bomb. Otunga then said Batista had an announcement. Batista explained he would get his title rematch at Extreme Rules in a last man standing match. I didn’t really understand Otunga’s motivation in all this, but I’ll assume they have a good explanation on NXT or Smackdown.

Final Thoughts:

In some years after good WrestleMania builds, WWE has lost focus. That doesn’t appear to be happening this year. The direction continues to be solid and the shows are generally entertaining.

I don’t really understand why David Otunga was the guest host. I figured it was because they could get Jennifer Hudson with him, but she didn’t appear. I guess it was ultimately just because they felt the need to bring attention to NXT. While his presence was kind of weird, I thought he did a good job in the role. He has presence as a performer and can talk. He can’t really wrestle yet, but he’s got a lot of upside if he can step up his game in that department.

7 Comments:

Blogger AKFooFighter said...

Another quick FF trip through the show with the good 'ol DVR.

Quick question, have the brilliant comedy minds on the WWE writing team already penned next week's hilarious Santino/KITT talking car bit? Oh, the anticipation.

- Matt in Anchorage

10:17 PM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

AKFooFighter: "Brilliant comedy minds"? Monday Night Raw? Are you kidding? They're better off letting Cena, HHH, et al, write their own material because it's so much better that way. I'm stunned Hunter hasn't hosted SNL yet.

And to Todd and the rest of y'all: Yeah, this was an excuse to call attention to NXT, which definitely needs the help. Unfortunately, Otunga came off at the end like Jeremy Piven, turning on Cena for no real reason. You could've set up Last Man Standing 'tween Cena & Batista by having Bats cut a promo on Cena earlier in the show. We know Otunga is perhaps buds with Mizizzle, especially since Miz now lives in LA and did a trade show with Otunga a couple of weeks back.

Cena doesn't get a free pass from me this time, though. Do those stupid writers want us to forget that Cena is 2-0 vs. Swagger, both matches taking place last year? Nothing screams "Transitional Champion!" more than a newly crowned titlist jobbing needlessly. See Rey Mysterio, circa 2006. At least Rey can explain it to Swag over on Smackdown.

DiBiase-Christian II could've stood to have more time, but the idiots made a mistake in resurrecting the Million Dollar Championship. That didn't exactly do wonders for Steve Austin back in 1996, did it? I guess we'll see what happens when Cody Rhodes returns and see which side he's on.

The women's battle royal was fine, especially if you like the Divas competing barefoot (Katie Lea, though, seemed to be wearing hose). Way too quick, though, even if the outcome was predictable.

Can we hope Santino gets moved to Smackdown in the draft? His act is getting worse, and we're more likely to get Baywatch jokes from him rather than Knight Rider.

I don't know about you guys, but I finally discovered a picture-in-picture feature on my set a couple of weeks ago, which enabled me to watch Impact & Raw at the same time. Impact has a long, long way to go to be on a par with Raw. If only they could get away from the WABAC machine.....! That said, when Sheamus hit his finisher on Kofi, down in Orlando, Scott Hall was doing the same thing. Only diff is, Shea is younger and in better condition. Need any more be said?

6:01 AM  
Anonymous CF Kane said...

Hobby, I do believe that Matt was being sarcastic about Raw's 'brilliant comedy'.
I'm still not buying Swagger, I just don't think he has any charisma at all. They should have had him lose to Cena last week for all the good this is going to do him. That lisp really is tough; I sympathize with the guy, as it's not his fault, but it really does affect his promos in a negative way.
Todd, I would kill to see the Noid host Raw in the future. He had a magnetism that old drunks like Hasselhoff ( who resembles Scott Hall in many, many ways )just can't touch. Wither Alf?
Hobby's right, however. I can already picture Santino running in slow motion as a fading nod to the glory days of Baywatch. Ipso facto, I won't be watching.

4:04 PM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

Can we nominate Robert Downey, Jr., Megan Fox, ALF, & Mr. T as future guest hosts?

Crossing fingers and hoping Santino gets drafted to Smackdown to reunite with his old friend Vickie Guerrero. If that doesn't get rid of her, what will?

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Tony said...

Bad show this week. Cena's obnoxious demeanor has to stop. There is a way to have him idolized by the young fanbase without alienating the adult crowd in the process, and THIS is not the way to go. Ugh, please, I can't stand him for that very reason.

Otunga as guest host was super weak and they have had a LOT of bad guest hosts in the past. Having the exact same scenario play out with Cena / Batista and Cena / Otunga within 2 hours is called lazy booking.

Both shows were awful this week. Raw was better in the long run although as a stand-alone show, Impact was fascinating. It's like watching a trainwreck, they litterally throw everything against the wall hoping something, anything sticks. Raw on the other hand is just boring, it's just the same stale formula over and over but in the long run, they probably win out by being more disciplined. But booking wise, they sure aren't trying too hard.

4:55 AM  
Anonymous DW said...

Triple H is already writing his own material. And it ain't better that way. That's one of the major problems with the WWE. And he's significantly influencing the
rest of what goes on in the ring and out of it - to his own benefit rather than the company as a whole. There's the big problem - the man's ego is getting in the way of good business sense.

3:45 PM  
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1:11 AM  

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