Monday, June 14, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 06/14/10 from Charlotte, NC.

The Big News: WWE followed up on the big NXT angle from last week.

Show Analysis:

Wade Barrett was in the ring to start the show. He got a very good negative reaction. He said that Bret Hart demanded he come to the ring and apologize. He invited the other NXT guys to the ring and all except Bryan Danielson came out. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler left through the crowd, which was a nice touch.

Barrett asked each man if he wanted to apologize and they all refused. They each had these terrible little monologues they delivered before refusing that sounded completely scripted and phony. They really shouldn’t give these guys WWE scripts if they want them to sound like outsiders. Well, except for maybe Barrett, because he did a tremendous job here.

Barrett said that they were treated like animals and when you start to treat people like animals they act like animals. He complained about the dressing room they were given, the NXT challenges, and WWE management changing the rules on them. That brought out Bret Hart.

Bret Hart said that eight on one doesn’t make you tough and called the NXT guys cowards. Barrett responded by bringing up Daniel Bryan. He said that Bryan had remorse for what he did and that we will never see him again as a result. I guess they had to address Bryan whether it was a shoot or work. Basically disassociating him from the NXT guys would seem to suggest shoot but Barrett could always say he was lying later or they could bring Bryan back as a face. I guess we will see.

Bret Hart announced that John Cena will be at Fatal Four Way in spite of what happened. Barrett replied that this isn’t about Cena but about WWE management. He said that the NXT guys don’t have a problem with the WWE locker room. Barrett said that he has a WWE contract and title match but the other guys have their own demands. David Otunga said they want WWE contracts, their own dressing rooms and first class travel. Bret refused, fired Barrett, and told them all to leave. They left.

Miz won back the US title in a fatal four way over R. Truth, John Morrison and Zach Ryder. This was very spot oriented but it was fun. Ryder completely missed a pescado on two guys for comedy. Morrison hit a cool looking sunset flip power bomb on Miz from the ring to the floor. They did a tower of doom spot in the corner. For the finish, Truth hit a jaw breaker on Morrison. Ryder broke that up and hit the rough rider on Truth but Morrison broke that up. Morrison then hit the starship pain on Truth. Miz threw Morrison out of the ring and covered Truth to win.

Backstage, Randy Orton predicted a title victory on Sunday. He added that if you wonder about his health you can see how he does later in the show against Sheamus. Orton said that part of him respects what the NXT group did but that part of him thinks they’re a bunch of punks. He said that they deserved to either be fired or have their brains beaten in so Wade Barrett got off lucky.

Elsewhere, Ted DiBiase offered Mark Feuerstein a car if he made him co-guest host. Feuerstein indignantly replied no as if this was some gigantic affront to his integrity. Big Show was behind Ted DiBiase so Feuerstein started acting like an idiot standing up to DiBiase. They ended up making a tag match between Show and Feuerstein against Virgil and DiBiase. Feuerstein seemed like he’s probably a nice guy at heart but felt that on a wrestling show you have to act like an obnoxious clown.

Evan Bourne beat Chris Jericho via DQ. They played up that Jericho was in a bad mood over his loss last week and how Bourne was in a bad position with this match. Bourne landed some kicks. Jericho took over until Bourne came back with more kicks. Bourne went for a sunset flip that was countered into a Walls attempt. Bourne avoided that and cradled Jericho for two. Jericho then abruptly hit the code breaker but Bourne kicked out of the pin. Jericho stomped Bourne repeatedly and threatened to hit the ref, for which he was disqualified. This was a horrendous finish but I suppose at least Bourne didn’t lose. Bourne fought Jericho off after the match and hit the shooting star press.

John Cena came to the ring to cut a terrible, terrible promo with this unbelievably cheesy and melodramatic delivery and lines that amazingly got more and more ridiculous over time. He said that Bret gave him the night off but that he wanted to handle the situation. He labeled the NXT guys radicals. He said that their plan was almost brilliant except their genius was blinded by their ignorance. Who says that? He said that the NXT guys made enemies of the WWE Universe. Oh no. He then said that they destroyed the WWE ring, which is considered sacred ground. Sacred ground. Cena demanded the NXT guys come out and they came out of the crowd.

The best analogy I can come up with for John Cena on the microphone is that he has gone from Star Wars Episode V to Star Wars Episode I. That’s probably being a little kind to how he was both before, but I really thought he was a terrific promo for a great many years. Now he’s a serious liability on the microphone because it’s absolutely impossible to believe anything he says. He comes across as this phony, cheesy actor delivering terrible lines that only serve to underscore the whole thing is fake.

When the NXT guys came to the ring, John Cena was joined by Jerry Lawler, Santino Marella, William Regal, Evan Bourne and R. Truth. A brawl broke out with the WWE guys all getting the best of the NXT guys. Santino of all people was laying waste to people. Edge came out and speared Wade Barrett. Sheamus and Randy Orton joined the action. And the NXT guys fled for their lives, chased into the night by Santino Marella and Mark Henry.

I don’t believe as a general rule that after a really hot angle like the one last week that faces should be getting their heat back a week later. I think you need to build to the eventual comeback if you want people to pay to see it. And with this angle in particular, the heels really need all the help they can get. Having them get beat up by Santino and Jerry Lawler even when the odds were even doesn’t help teach the fans to take these guys seriously. This wasn’t the end of the world but it was a step backwards in making this angle significant.

Sheamus backstage said that he wasn’t going to let the NXT rookies ruin his title shot at Fatal Four Way. He declared that if anyone is going to take care of Cena it will be him.

Eve Torres and Gail Kim beat Maryse and Alicia Fox. These four will wrestle in a fatal four way for the title at the PPV. The heels worked over Eve, but Alicia accidentally ran into Maryse. Eve then hit a neck breaker on Alicia for the pin. Poor Gail didn’t even get the hot tag.

Big Show and Mark Feuerstein beat Ted DiBiase and Virgil. Show beat up DiBiase for a little while. DiBiase tagged in Virgil and Show beat up Virgil for a little while too. I felt bad for poor old Virgil. Show gave him a body slam, chop and choke slam. He then tagged Feuerstein. Feuerstein did the worm and an elbow drop for the pin. DiBiase shoved a dollar bill in Virgil’s mouth afterwards but then took it back. That’s evidently the end of Virgil. He lasted longer than I would have figured. I like smiling, happy Big Show.

Santino beat William Regal in a weird match with Vladimir Kozlov as referee. Regal as dominating but Santino rolled him up and Kozlov counted three. Kozlov counted kind of fast but I’m not sure if it was intended as a fast count. Regal was angry at Kozlov after the match.

John Cena and Randy Orton fought Edge and Sheamus to a no contest. Bret Hart had all the Raw wrestlers come on the stage for this match in case the NXT guys came out. Cena was selling basically nothing from last week. The faces worked over Sheamus. The heels then gained control on Cena.

Edge missed a spear and Orton got the tag. Orton hit a power slam and draping DDT on Sheamus. He set up for the RKO but Edge interfered and got the RKO himself. Sheamus then cut off Orton with an ax handle. The heels took over on Orton, with Sheamus hitting a back breaker. Cena eventually got the hot tag. Cena hit some shoulder blocks, at which point the lights went out and the match abruptly ended.

The NXT guys showed up backstage, destroying the backstage area. They then put Bret Hart in a limousine and supposedly ran him into a bunch of cars. They told Bret that on Sunday they want an answer in regards to their status.

This finale was another blow to this NXT angle. Vehicular attack angles in wrestling always suck, without exception. Why? Because they look fake. And what did this angle have going for it? That it felt more real than most angles. Doing a big fake-looking angle undermines the drama of the conflict. It’s like a movie with really obvious CGI. It takes you out of the story and destroys your suspension of disbelief. The lights’ going out also suggests someone in power is behind the whole thing, presumably Vince McMahon, which would quickly make this any other angle.

Oh, and this is some of the worst PPV build they have done in ages. They don’t have a single match on Sunday with any interest and this show in particular undermined one’s interest in Cena vs. Orton vs. Sheamus vs. Edge. So all in all, not a good finish.

Final Thoughts:

Well, the follow-up to last week could have been worse.


Anonymous SteRDLK said...

One fatal flaw to the whole review.

Daniel Bryan was the driver.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One week to mess it up.....hey,I won the pool

Bret Hart said that eight on one doesn’t make you tough

so says the guy who had his family help him win against a non wrestler at WM

John Cena was joined by Jerry Lawler, Santino Marella, William Regal, Evan Bourne and R. Truth

Eugene must have been busy

Well the 10th invasion angle is thru so lets get ready for the 12th rebirth of DX or the 23rd coming of Stephy McMahon

10:00 PM  
Anonymous CF Kane said...

They really killed this angle. I liked Barrett's work on the mic a lot, too, but the other guys just didn't sound believable in any way. As you say, Todd, just really cheesy, scripted material. Cena's promo was unbearable; it was literally the worst thing they could have done as a follow-up, and he sounded like a high school principal discussing some rotten kids who've been found playing rock n' roll records in the cafeteria. Then, to have all the WWE guys come in to punk out the 'faction' with Santino, of all the people in the fucking world, getting his shots in, and being the last image we saw as he and Mark Henry are chasing these guys out of dodge---words fail. As our friend Super Chico would say ' No goddam buys'. Which, as you also pointed out, will be the official statement at the stockholder's meeting after this PPV's numbers come in. The final segment, with them 'kidnapping' Bret Hart really hit home that this angle is already DOA--hokey in the worst ways possible. There's no question that McMahon will prove to be the 'puppetmaster', and this angle will officially be some kinda bullshit. It's too bad, as the stuff ending last week was really effective, but it seems obvious that they didn't know where they were going with it. If this was the plan all along, whether or not Danielson's status is a work or a shoot is meaningless--WWE really needed to get behind this group all the way, and sell it hard, and instead NXT come off like geeks who get their asses handed to them by guys who are, 51 weeks out of the year, the comic relief. Wade Barrett could be a star, with his look and mic skills, but instead of saying 'What the hell' and shooting for the moon, they have maintained the status quo, while showing their environmental roots by recycling every thing in sight.
It's too bad, but if it means I don't need to tune in next week to see the show, perhaps they've done me a favor. Life's too short.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Yeah, I cringed when they threw Bret into a car, hoping that they would just drive away with him without doing any corny crash angles, but it was not to be.

Maybe Bret's in charge and worked this whole thing out with a stunt coordinator he knows? Or maybe I'm thinking of something else.

This one was particularly stupid because the driver would be taking as much of a beating as Bret. If the part of the car where Bret was located was smashed in, that would be another story, but it wasn't even close. Maybe they can CGI it in for the replay.


I have to disagree with one point, though. You said them explaining the Bryan was kicked out of the group makes it seem like more of a work. To me, that makes the firing seem like more of a shoot. For a work, I'd expect them to be outraged that Bryan was fired, and play it up in the storyline as an injustice. Instead, they had a nice kayfabe reason for Bryan being gone that, as is traditional, made him look weak in the storyline.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

The thing that really stood out to me was how indignant the WWE roster was to the NXT invasion...yet none of them did anything when it actually happened. If we're really to believe that these guys cared what happened, and that the ring is SACRED GROUND~!, then someone -ANYONE- should have been out there to help Cena and Punk last week, yet nobody appeared.

If they wanted the entire roster to be upset they should have had the NXT guys interfere with each of them - have them cost Orton a match, cost Sheamus a match, cost Edge a match, now you have faces and heels each pissed at them. The reaction based on last week's events just doesn't fly for me.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Oh, and talk about bad pay-per-view build. They have a demo four-way match to show how cool the PPV will be. Miz wins in a fluky way, and Lawler not only complains about this at the time, but he brings up what a travesty it was several times throughout the show.

So what's the message there? If you want to see more flukes and travesties, order the PPV?

10:50 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I meant to say the Bryan line suggested shoot. I changed it now.

10:56 PM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

It had been reported that the Uncreative team had to rewrite the show, meaning they had to de-emphasize NXT for the duration in some manner. All this did was tell me that Team NXT will have a hand in the title match on Sunday. Do we really, really need Vince McMahon bigfooting his way into this angle? Hell, no! He's "WWE Management", which is what NXT has a problem with.

Of course, it doesn't help that his Raw writers are either morons or comics geeks or both......

I say, a Fatal 4-way, from this point forward, must be an elimination match in order to add additional drama. This way, Miz doesn't win the US title, and you wonder if Morrison or Ryder could've won. Of the four guys in the match, Ryder was the only one without a singles title on his resume, and he's become another comedy act since moving to Raw.

Why is Miz the US champ, anyway?

Right now, we have a total of 4 matches for the PPV. Lame. Right now, Vince should be on the phone with Paul Heyman, telling him all is forgiven, please don't go to Orlando, and help us out here.

Those same writers should let Cena improv his promos from now on. He's a natural talker saddled with bad scripts. Like his movies seem to be.

Bank on this. "Royal Pains" will have a bigger rating than Impact on Thursday. Shoot, that's too easy. If the NBA Finals go to a 7th game, TNA can just pack it in, 'cause no one will watch.

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Mike Awesome said...

What a horrendous follow-up. Just awful. Once again thank goodness for DVR.

And Royal Pains is one of the highest rated shows on cable. Forget Impact, it beats Raw.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous The Masterbater said...

Wow Santino leading the way huh, might as well have HORNSWAGGLE lead the way!! Why not tarnish this angle more and more! WWE is a joke and you knew they will drop the ball on this angle and they are sure on there way in doing so.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous The Masterbater said...

So I don't get it they released Bryan Danielson because he choked the ring announcer?? R U SERIOUS???? This has to be a joke. I think I am through with WWE. He was the most talented of the bunch and they release him over some choke. They said he spit on Cena C'MON!

1:19 PM  

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