Monday, July 12, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 07/12/10 from Lexington, KY.

The Big News: John Cena couldn’t overcome the odds against Nexus.

Show Analysis:

John Cena started the show. He was still grinning, amused and telling jokes even after flipping out last week and being faced with a 6-on-1 match (since Darren Young was out selling injuries) this week. To his credit, he underplayed the comedy to a degree even though the writers seem to have no conception of how to book a serious wrestling feud.

Cena said Sheamus will eventually realize that when it comes to Nexus all the WWE guys are in it together. He then added that he will take the title from Sheamus. That doesn’t sound like all in it together, Mr. Cena. Cena tried to get over that no one can interfere in a cage match, which is kind of undermined by recent historical fact. Cena vowed to take out Nexus six on one.

Nexus showed up on the stage. Wade Barrett said Cena has brought his troubles upon himself and that there is a bigger picture for Nexus. The anonymous GM then sent an e-mail saying that if any WWE wrestler got involved in Cena vs. Nexus they would be suspended for 90 days but that if Nexus didn’t tag in and out they would be suspended 90 days. Cena said he would take a few Nexus guys down with him.

Alicia Fox beat Gail Kim. Eve Torres did commentary. Gail used some arm drags. Alicia hit a high knee. Gail went for eat defeat but Alicia avoided that and hit a sloppy ax kick for the win. The anonymous GM then announced Alicia vs. Eve for the title at Money in the Bank.

The Usos and Tamina beat Hart Dynasty and Natalya. Tyson Kidd hit a somersault senton off the apron onto the Usos. The Usos worked over Kidd. Smith tagged in but was cut off pretty quickly with a superkick and top rope splash for the pin. It’s ultimately not a big deal but I do wish they had a few more tag teams the title challengers could beat on their way to a title shot. It’s hard to make Hart Dynasty vs. Usos seem important when they have done variations of that match so many times already.

Backstage, Wade Barrett and Chris Jericho shook hands and were cordial together. Jericho was asked about this but declined comment. Barrett and Nexus then approached Yoshi Tatsu. Tatsu said that Cena is his friend so they beat him up a little.

Ted DiBiase and Maryse came to the ring. They look like bigger stars all dressed up. DiBiase said he wanted to introduce the best power couple in the WWE, but he was talking about himself and the MITB briefcase rather than Maryse. Maryse seemed annoyed but DiBiase told her to imagine what he will give her when he wins the match.

John Morrison came out and took a shot at Maryse saying the French don’t bathe. Maryse then cut a promo in French on him. He then did the old comedy deal where he fake translates what she says. That is always such an easy comedy opportunity but Morrison was given the worst material ever and it died a horrible death. DiBiase attacked Morrison. Morrison got the best of the fight but Maryse pulled DiBiase out before Morrison could hit starship pain.

They did a parody of the Brady Bunch opening song introducing an 8 man tag match later in the show featuring Santino and William Regal. Florence Henderson then spoke with Santino backstage. A laugh track was added in. Regal tried to get the laugh track but didn’t and was annoyed. Henderson ended up slapping Regal for making a Partridge family reference. I thought all of this was amusing and enjoyable.

Edge beat Randy Orton. Orton hit the Garvin stomp and followed with punches, clotheslines and power slams. Orton’s draping DDT attempt was reversed into an Edge implant DDT. Edge went for the spear but Orton kicked him. Orton went for the RKO but Edge escaped. Edge missed another spear and Orton rolled him up for two. Orton hit a back breaker, but Chris Jericho came out. Orton did the old “turn your back on your opponent” move and Edge rolled him up for the pin.

This match started off without a lot of heat but it really picked up towards the end and got pretty hot before the terrible finish. I’ve said it before but they really need to retire the cheap distraction finish. It accomplishes nothing positive, it’s ridiculously overused, it’s a crutch for more thoughtful and effective storytelling, it looks fake as hell, and it makes the loser look like a significantly bigger fool than if he just got pinned clean.

After the match, Chris Jericho gave Edge the code breaker. Orton then gave Jericho the RKO. Evan Bourne ran in and went for a shooting star press on Orton but was caught on the way down with an RKO. I wouldn’t have figured they could make that look good on live TV but all credit to Bourne and Orton because they totally did. It was a great looking spot. Backstage, the Nexus guys jumped John Morrison.

Miz came out and said that R. Truth got off easy because what happened was little compared to what Miz will do to his other opponents at Money in the Bank. The anonymous GM announced Miz vs. the new MITB participant Mark Henry. The GM added “just when you think you have the answers I change the questions,” which is a tease of Roddy Piper.

The Miz-Henry “match” was bizarre. Henry hit a press slam but accidentally ran into the GM podium. Miz then emptied a plastic garbage container on Henry and hit him with this plastic container. And the match just ended like that with Miz acting like the shot with the plastic object was some big heat angle.

Santino, Great Khali, Vladimir Kozlov and Goldust beat William Regal, Zack Ryder, Primo Colon and Doink the Clown. Florence Henderson announced the match and Regal kept threatening to attack her from behind which was hilarious. Regal hit knees on Santino but was distracted by Henderson parading around in his coat. Santino used the cobra on Regal for two. Khali then hit the Khali chop on Doink for the pin. Santino wanted a kiss after the match from Henderson but she kissed Khali instead.

Edge backstage thanked Jericho for take wakeup call about the nature of Money in the Bank. He noted he has been in more of those matches than anyone. Edge said he knows to be ruthless and loves destroying the lives of others. He again said that the fun truly begins on Sunday. This was a good promo.

Elsewhere, Sheamus confronted Evan Bourne. The Nexus guys came in and Sheamus left them to beat up Bourne. Sheamus then started to rub it in when the Nexus guys came back. They teased attacking Sheamus and Sheamus ran away like he was Bobby Heenan or something. He asked where John Cena’s locker room was and ran for the hills.

I’ve never believed in booking tough heels to act like cowards but WWE has done it all the time in recent years. A Jericho or Edge works well as a cowardly heel. But Sheamus or Orton acting cowardly as a heel just undermines what makes them an effective heel in the first place.

Nexus beat John Cena. Cena beat up Michael Tarver with punches and then did the same to Justin Gabriel. Heath Slater attacked Cena from behind and Skip Sheffield took over. Slater hit some belly to back suplexes. Otunga used a suplex and Irish whip. Barrett hit a yakuza kick.

Cena came back with shoulder blocks, the Cena slam, five knuckle shuffle and FU on Barrett. However, Sheffield tagged himself in and hit a big clothesline. Otunga followed with a spine buster and Gabriel hit the 450 for the pin on Cena. This match was a reminder of the lack of talent among the Nexus group as pretty much every move in this match was really, really simplistic.

After the match, Cena grabbed a chair and tried to fight off the Nexus guys. The heels circled the ring and were about to go after Cena anyway when Sheamus ran in with a chair of his own to make the show ending save. This seems like one of those swerves that’s such an obvious swerve you wonder why they even bother doing a swerve in the first place. I guess we’ll see though.

Final Thoughts:

Raw has settled into a little bit of a groove, or at least a consistent pattern, in recent weeks. It’s not great, but it’s better.

7 Comments:

Blogger hobbyfan said...

I hate it when the go-home show for a PPV is dominated by heels winning nearly every match. For example, it's like the ref had to have seen Jericho throw his jacket at Orton. If contact is made, where's the bell for a DQ? Orton should've won via DQ.

Likewise, the ref stopped his count while Henry & Miz were on the floor, and let Miz get away with using a trash barrel. Stupid. The writers were on vacation mentally again this week, Gewirtz is getting ready for ComicCon in San Diego in 9 days, so his mind is elsewhere, and Vince forgot his Geritol, so his writing---such as that might be---isn't up to par.

Women's match was short but felt like Gail was being jobbed out. That is so wrong. The GM e-mail gimmick is already dead. I've said all along that Cena needs to start doing freestyle raps again so at least we know he's capable of delivering better material than he's been given. The DiBiase-Maryse-Morrison seg died when Maryse decided to speak French. Where was John Astin?

And, now, Nexus visits NXT. Prepare to cringe.

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Decent show.

Did you catch the Sheamus blooper at the end? He ran in with the chair, swung it at one of the Nexus guys, lost his grip, and it went sailing out of the ring. I though, oh no, I bet he's going to panic, jump out of the ring, grab the chair, and jump right back in. Sure enough, that's exactly what he did. Definitely the kind of thing a more seasoned pro would have handle better.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I think everyone needs to quit deluding themselves about Cena being "given bad material".

Cena is one of their biggest stars, and he has a lot of input on his character. While he might want better jokes or whatever, I think the overall tone of his character is exactly what he wants. He seems to really enjoy doing the long, jokey promos that take a serious turn at the end.

I agree with Todd and most commenters here that the jokey promos are bad in almost all of the contexts he does them and that they undermine the story (when he should be furious, he's instead cracking lame jokes, then when he "gets serious" it's not believable). Where I disagree is that I don't think they hand Cena the script and he's like, oh no, not this again. To the contrary, I think this pattern is what he's most comfortable with.

This reminds me of people who used to complain about Angle in the WWE doing a dork character when he'd be so much stronger as a serious character, so they complained about the poor writing, Triple H manipulating the writers to undermine Angle, etc. Then Angle went to TNA, where he was the biggest star and essentially had total control over his character, and after his first few weeks of a serious feud with Samoa Joe, he chose to settle into playing...the exact same type of dork character. I'm glad to see that at this point he's trying the serious approach again, but it's clear the goofball shtick wasn't being forced on him.

Likewise with Cena. The writing team may let him down with the particular jokes he wants, but I bet he's completely on board with doing the whole jokey segment. Just watch him. He's completely comfortable and in his element when he's doing it. I haven't seen his movies, but I have seen the clips they showed incessantly, and he's not that good of an actor.

Now if you want to talk about bad writing ruining a segment, John Morrison's fake translation of Maryse would be it. THAT was probably a situation where he got the script, read it, and thought, "Oh no, THIS is what they want me to say? Oh well..."

10:12 AM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

Curious...when will Reuben Kincaid guest host a show? Maybe Herb Tarlek...

- Matt in Anchorage

1:43 PM  
Anonymous CF Kane said...

Matt, don't think they haven't discussed David Cassidy for guest host ( hell, he may be the GM for all we know ). It's all part of god's great plan.
Show is dull. Not bad, but nothing to get excited about. I really do think they are just winging the whole thing.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Steve Khan said...

Line of the night, from Jerry Lawler: "I thought if you wanted to see Doink the Clown you'd need a shovel and a flashlight."

7:26 PM  
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