Monday, July 05, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 07/05/10 from Nashville, TN.

The Big News: The Raw locker room is no longer united against Nexus.

Show Analysis:

The show started with Wade Barrett and the other Nexus guys in the ring. Thank God Barrett is back. Barrett said they can’t reveal why they attacked Vince McMahon but that it needed to happen and it’s part of a much bigger picture. Vince thought he had control of the thing but had no clue as to their agenda. I like the idea of a larger scheme yet to be revealed, so hopefully they have something solid planned. Skip Sheffield said that what they did to Ricky Steamboat was just for fun. He added that now people are more interested in Steamboat’s DVD so he should be thanking them.

The Raw GM then sent his first e-mail of the evening. They added a goofy, stupid touch where the lights in the building flash at the exact moment the e-mail arrives in this laptop connected to nothing. The e-mailing premise is goofy and unbelievable enough without additional signs the whole thing is a contrivance.

The mystery GM said that Nexus’ punishment is that none of them can compete for a WWE title until further notice and that the no touch rule has been lifted. Given that weak punishment, it would certainly seem that the GM is in cahoots with Nexus, will lift the WWE title opportunity ban at the right moment and then reveal him or herself after Barrett takes the title.

John Cena appeared at the moment of the GM announcement and said that Nexus hasn’t yet been in a fair fight. He apparently gathered Randy Orton, R. Truth, Evan Bourne, John Morrison and Hart Dynasty in the 15 seconds following the announcement that the no touch ban was lifted and they came to the ring for a fight. Even more amazingly, in the five seconds following Cena’s announcement of his plan, seven heels conspired to react to it. Sheamus, Edge, Chris Jericho, Ted DiBiase, Miz and Usos attacked the faces literally as they were coming to the ring and Nexus left. The timing of all this made no sense.

Cena wanted to know why the heels stopped the face attack on Nexus. Sheamus responded that if Nexus wants to take out Cena the heels are cool with that. Orton said Nexus is a serious threat to everyone and challenged the heels to a 7 on 7 match. 8 seconds elapsed, during which time the GM apparently considered the situation and wrote and sent a very lengthy e-mail. I guess that kind of works if Michael Cole is the GM but it doesn’t otherwise.

The GM said that the MITB participants would be in separate action against each other in a series of matches. The GM added that John Cena and Wade Barrett would have to shake hands and call a truce. Cena suggested instead that he attack Barrett, and the GM then immediately shot back another prolonged e-mail telling Cena to do the right thing and that’s the bottom line because the GM said so.

I like the idea of teasing the identity of this mystery GM, but geez, shouldn’t the first serious tease be someone plausible as opposed to an obvious red herring? Throwing out the red herring first just makes people less likely to take future clues seriously. Anyway, this was quite the opening segment. I like the direction they seem to be pointing the angle but the execution itself felt really contrived and fake.

Ted DiBiase beat John Morrison. Morrison sure has lost a lot of steam recently. Maryse did commentary. They told the story that people think she’s a gold digger but she claims to have quickly fallen in love with DiBiase. She took a phone call during commentary. DiBiase worked over Morrison. Morrison came back with punches and clotheslines. Maryse walked onto the apron in Morrison’s jacket, distracting Morrison and allowing DiBiase to gouge his eye and hit Dream Street for the pin.

Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov beat William Regal. Prior to the match, Kozlov threatened to hurt Santino if they lost. Regal then vowed revenge on Kozlov and said he got himself a monster in Khali. Kozlov hit head butts on Regal. Santino tagged in but Regal destroyed him with knees and an exploder. Kozlov tagged back in and hit the choke slam on Regal for the in. Khali was never in the match and gave Regal a chop after the match. Santino and Khali danced.

Jerry Lawler did a tremendous job seriously introducing footage of the Steamboat angle from last week. He made it seem like a big deal and a real situation. Arn Anderson backstage was going to talk about it but was interrupted by Sheamus. Sheamus called Arn a pathetic old man. Arn said he was never blind and stupid and talked about the Nexus hostile takeover. Sheamus said that Nexus is smarter than the Horsemen because they know not to screw with him. Arn said that Sheamus is fine now but in a month there may be no one left to ally with. Sheamus said he doesn’t need anyone because he’s the champion. This was a good segment.

Miz was going to wrestle R. Truth. Miz did another rap but then attacked Truth with a microphone as Truth was laughing. Miz posted Truth and went after his arm and shoulder. Miz ran down Truth and vowed to hurt others as Truth was helped to the back. They were putting over Miz more seriously here and it felt like they were trying to bury Truth too the way he just hobbled to the back as Miz was running him down. They later announced Truth is out of the Money in the Bank match.

Edge did his Cutting Edge segment. He mockingly showed sympathy for Truth, saying that Truth only knew one song but he did it well. Edge noted that he’s smart and won’t make enemies when Nexus could be his allies. He introduced Evan Bourne but Chris Jericho came out instead. Jericho’s eyes were really bloodshot.

Jericho said he wouldn’t take a backseat to Bourne. He accused Edge of pandering to Nexus but added that he was Wade Barrett’s pro and sculpted Barrett. Edge and Jericho bickered back and forth and ended up fighting. Evan Bourne came out to fight but ducked out as Jericho and Edge started to try to double team him. The mystery GM then e-mailed, “If you want some action, give me a hell yeah.” The GM booked Edge and Jericho vs. Bourne and Orton.

Randy Orton and Evan Bourne beat Chris Jericho and Edge in a good match they gave a lot of time to. The faces had the advantage for a while, with Edge and Jericho having trouble getting along. The heels took over on Bourne. As Orton got the hot tag, Jericho hesitated taking the tag from Edge. Orton gave Jericho a power slam and draping DDT but was cut off by an Edge distraction and Jericho enzuigiri.

The heels then took over on Orton. As Bourne finally got the hot tag, Edge hesitated on the tag from Jericho. Jericho started running down Edge but then ran into a Bourne kick. Edge proceeded to spear Jericho and Bourne hit the shooting star press on Jericho for the pin.

After the match, Orton gave Bourne an RKO. This spot leading into a multi-person match can work with the right characters. But here it only served to ruin the match result and bury Bourne. It didn’t help Orton or the PPV one iota either. This was really bad booking.

Randy Orton spoke backstage with David Otunga, Michael Tarver and Heath Slater. They apologized for involving themselves in Orton’s title match at the last PPV and said they wouldn’t interfere in Orton’s MITB match. They said they couldn’t say the same for the main event, so we’ve basically got guaranteed interference in the cage match. The basic idea is if Orton is friendly with Nexus he can win MITB and cash it in on the beaten down winner of the main event. Orton didn’t tip his hand on how he felt but told them to leave. This was a cool little way of adding intrigue.

The Usos backstage were happy about getting a title shot against the Hart Dynasty at MITB. They said they will take the titles. Alicia Fox then came in and wanted to know why she hadn’t been interviewed since winning the women’s title. She said she would show what she’s got against Eve Torres. That led to a very brief match where Alicia beat Eve. Alicia fake sold her ankle for a while and then when Eve came in Alicia kneed her and hit a bicycle kick for the pin. Eve looked like a fool here.

Wade Barrett came out for the final segment of the show. He told John Cena that everything Nexus does has a purpose and it’s unfortunate Cena got caught up. Barrett encouraged Cena to come out and shake hands like men, because Cena isn’t in their future plans.

John Cena joined Barrett and did his phony serious expression. He wanted to know if he had Barrett’s word. Barrett said yes and extended his hand but Cena pulled back. Cena then transitioned to his goofy comedy shtick, babbling about nothing. Finally, he put on his serious face. He’s like a play actor rather than a realistic character caught up in an actual conflict.

Cena finally delivered the serious promo he should have given from the beginning. Cena said the future is him taking out Barrett and each and every one of the Nexus guys. He delivered this really well. Barrett said if Cena didn’t shake hands there would be serious consequences. Cena took his hand but then went for the FU.

Nexus ran out to attack Cena. Evan Bourne came in but got jumped as well. John Morrison was next and he got cut off too. Then Mark Henry came and brought in the cavalry. A ton of wrestlers hit the ring and the GM then interjected. The GM called for peace and said there would be consequences if everyone didn’t stop fighting. Cena proceeded to apply the STF on Darren Young.

The GM responded by making Nexus vs. Cena 7 on 1 next week. A livid Cena threw Young hard into the post, threw the steps at Young, and threw him over the announce table. I will be so happy if they make Cena’s character more serious and cut down on the comedy, but I’m not holding my breath.

Final Thoughts:

This show was okay. There was plenty of good and plenty of bad mixed together up and down the show. One thing I like is it seems they have a plan of where they are going now, and that’s the first time I’ve had that sense since they started the NXT angle.


Anonymous chris said...

Maryse wasted little time in proving me right about her overshadowing DiBiase due to her tendency to take over any segment that has her involved. If she was trying to get herself over, she did fine, but as DiBiase's manager, she was counterproductive.

I liked the show overall and completely agree about Eve looking like an idiot in her match.

11:42 PM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

Uncreative proved once again that there is very little imagination.

The mystery GM alternated between teasing Stone Cold & Stephanie, using Austin's catchphrases while making pleas the way Steph would. That tells you right away it won't be either one of them.

Maryse fits with Ted DiBiase about as well as the late Sherri Martel did with Ted, Sr., and that is to say, not at all. The DiBiase-Morrison match was way too short.

Alicia's finisher, taken from R-Truth, is an axe or scissor kick, same as Booker T. The "Pele" kick used by Morrison & AJ Styles is the bicycle kick. Big difference.

Uncreative has had Cena in the same role as the smart-aleck superface for 5 years, ever since he came to Raw and ditched the raps. The only way he'll go back to rapping his promos is if he gets into another feud with Miz, because he can rap Miz under the table.

I hit the mute button when Miz came out to do his self-serving mockery of Truth's theme song. Uncreative didn't do Truth any favors by not showing his entrance, making Miz more important not because he's the US champ (and shouldn't be--he only won the title because he was going to a trade show and Vince thought it'd be nice if he'd represent as a belt-holder), but because he's a celebrity, and we know how Vince gives them priority. Here's to hoping Truth returns and collects a receipt.

Arn Anderson's promo on Sheamus was golden, the best part of the show. Arn was there when the NWO broke into WCW 14 years ago, so he knows what he's talking about, but apparently Vince didn't want him referencing something that far back. Uh, Vince, I hate to keep bringing this up, but we're not stupid!!

Cena vs. Nexus, 7-on-1? More like 6-on-1 if they did an angle with Darren Young at the end of the show to eliminate him. That has the stink of Vince being the shadow GM after all, and that, fellas, would be counter-productive.

5:14 AM  
Blogger s1rweeze said...

"I like the direction they seem to be pointing the angle but the execution itself felt really contrived and fake."

Waiting for adequate suspension of disbelief in pro wrestling is like waiting for Santa Claus. Of course it's contrived, it's wrestling! Also, you're far from the target audience, so these reports are starting to read like a critique of the latest episode of "Johnny Test" or something. I like your writing Todd, but this had to be said.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

It's a bad sign if someone in the 18-34 demographic who has been a wrestling fan for two decades isn't a target audience for a wrestling show.

(And I'm not disagreeing with you, BTW)

10:42 AM  
Anonymous SteRDLK said...

Jerry Lawler said "this is the most unfair match in WWE history" regarding next weeks 7(6) on 1 match.

Erm, Cena and Orton faced about 17 wrestlers at one time about 2 years ago, while Kane faced all 8 of the NXT1 rookies about 2 months ago.

The stupid lighting they have done when the e-mail is received is so pathetic. I can vaguely understand them playing the noise. It would be far better if the laptop was on Cole's desk and he read them out of his own accord.

The awful booking of Truth continues. About a month ago he was beating Chris Jericho, now he gets victimised by The Miz?

A good episode of Raw, with some odd booking decisions in hindsight.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Steve Khan said...

I laughed at the light effect they added to the email noise. They should just make it as obnoxious as possible. I love that the fans groan any time there's an email, even after they teased it was Stone Cold. It's really stupid.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Tony said...

That GM e-mail alert thing has got to be one of the most ridiculous things they ever conceived in the recent years, and that covers a lot of things.

Also, Cena is trying WAY too hard to be perceived as "cool" which actually has the opposite effect. At least on the 18-34 demographic, but we're no longer the target demo anyway so who cares, huh ? And I'm even touching on the fact he's stale as fuck having main-evented pretty much non stop for the past 5 years with the exact same persona without the slightest bit of change or evolution.

The Nexus angle has already lost a good chunk of its steam, yet another missed program from the current creative regime!

Otherwise, this was a pretty blah show.

8:09 AM  
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7:28 PM  

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