Monday, August 09, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 08/09/10 from Sacramento, CA.

The Big News: Team Raw reunited, minus Great Khali, heading into their SummerSlam showdown with Nexus.

Show Analysis:

Bret Hart came out to start the show. He said that he has been training like a lunatic for SummerSlam. I’m not sure about that one. Bret said that he vouched for Edge and Chris Jericho to John Cena and asked them to come out. Jericho came out first and wanted Bret to put over how great he is. Bret said that Jericho and Edge are hurting themselves by making themselves pariahs with nowhere to go.

Jericho teased being won over by Bret but then said he wouldn’t rejoin the team. Jericho claimed that Bret is a phony and just concerned about getting hurt by Jericho or Edge. Edge then came out to talk to Jericho. He talked about how much they both idolized Bret when they were younger. Edge said he was in, but of course it was swerve number two and he tried to kick Bret when they shook hands.

Bret caught the kick and went for the sharpshooter but Jericho poked Bret in the eye. Natalya then ran to ringside and Nexus was shown on the screen beating up the Hart Dynasty backstage. Wade Barrett said Bret couldn’t use the Hart Dynasty as replacements any more. These “injury” angles “eliminating” people from SummerSlam felt completely fake and unconvincing given we see worse beatings pretty much every segment of every wrestling show and no one is ever out a full week.

With that said, I really liked this opening segment. Bret, Jericho and Edge all played their roles very well even if I could have done without two obviously phony swerves in the same segment. Bret seemed very comfortable on the microphone trying to pull the team back together and Jericho and Edge both play the role of slimy heel well.

Backstage, Bret Hart was angry about what happened to Hart Dynasty. He grabbed a chair and was going to go for revenge but John Cena stopped him. Cena told Bret to stay there while he tried to keep the team together.

Miz beat Evan Bourne. Miz hit a kick to the head of Bourne and worked him over. Bourne came back with a beautiful springboard backwards into a huracanrana. However, Miz took back over with a head over heels clothesline and the skull crushing finale for the pin. This was treated as pretty much a total squash complete with the announcers acting shocked during Bourne’s 20 seconds of offense. After the match, Miz said that when he cashes in his MITB contract he will be champion. The crowd is really taking to Miz with the MITB gimmick. He’s really clicking right now.

Melina beat Alicia Fox. Melina hit punches and forearms. Alicia used a clothesline on the floor and a slow motion tilt-a-whirl back breaker. She followed with an over the top back breaker but Melina countered that into the last call for the pin. This was very sloppy. Backstage, Great Khali was without Ranjin Singh. He said that he is with Team WWE and challenged Wade Barrett to a match.

Backstage, Edge griped about Bret Hart to Chris Jericho. Jericho was concerned that they might have screwed themselves. Edge said that they have survived it all in WWE and will survive Nexus. Jericho suggested that if they took out Bret and Cena there would be no match at SummerSlam and they would be fine. What? John Morrison and R. Truth met elsewhere and talked about how they needed to find a replacement. Mark Henry said he would be the replacement and his upcoming match would be the audition.

Mark Henry was coming to the ring for a match with Ted DiBiase when he was jumped by Nexus. They threw Henry into the ring steps and that was apparently the end of Mark Henry. It will be really funny if Henry and Hart Dynasty are back on Raw next Monday. They probably will be, too.

Sheamus came to the ring and said that last week he was scared about what he would do to Randy Orton. They aired video of Sheamus beating people up. Orton joined Sheamus and said Sheamus had a chance to prove he should be taken seriously last week but blew it. Sheamus said he will beat Orton at SummerSlam and send him back to the end of the lin. Orton replied that he will win the title at SummerSlam and dare Sheamus to redeem himself for last week.

At that moment Bryan Alvarez’s cell phone went off and the anonymous GM said that if anyone interferes in the SummerSlam title match they will be suspended indefinitely. The GM further added that if Orton loses there will be no rematch. Finally, the GM encouraged Sheamus to show he isn’t scared of Orton. Sheamus teased attacking but pulled back. Orton attacked with a back breaker and set up for the punt but didn’t use it. Instead he just stared at Sheamus. This was a good segment.

Alex Riley, Husky Harris and Joe Hennig beat Percy Watson, Kaval and Lucky Cannon. The heel team worked over Watson. Watson hit an enzuigiri and tagged Kaval. Kaval came in with a bunch of awesome kicks on Riley and applied a dragon sleeper in the ropes. A brawl broke out. Kaval hit a double foot stomp on Riley but Harris tagged himself in. Harris hit a clothesline from behind and senton for the pin on Kaval.

It’s so irritating to see WWE bury really talented guys for the grave offense of having success in the wrestling business before coming to WWE. Afterwards Sheamus laid out half the NXT guys and the other half ran away. So they brought them in just to bury them. Sheamus hit the razor’s edge on Kaval. He said this was a message for the GM, people and Randy Orton.

John Morrison and R. Truth beat William Regal and Zack Ryder. The heels worked over Truth briefly. He got the tag to Morrison. He hit some kicks and then did this crazy move that was like a full flip downward spiral into a uranage. I’m not sure what exactly it was but it looked awesome. He followed with starship pain for the pin.

The Bella twins won a “summertime spectacular” triple threat match over Jillian Hall & Maryse and Eve Torres & Gail Kim. Santino and Vladimir Kozlov were the referees and the women wore these 1950s conservative bathing suits. Okay, maybe not that bad but it really defeated the purpose of having them in swimwear. The match was chaos. Nikki hit a crossbody off the top on Jillian for the pin. Afterwards, Samina Snuka of all people came on to Santino.

Nexus jumped Great Khali backstage and went after his knee. This at least looked more convincing than the other “eliminations” with the wolves going after the giant’s leg. Nexus came to the ring and Barrett said his match with Khali was cancelled. Thank God. Skip Sheffield said that Raw is their show and Bret Hart will join Ricky Steamboat and Vince McMahon as victims of Nexus. David Otunga added that if anyone was thinking of joining Team WWE, they should think about what Nexus did to Hart Dynasty, Henry and Khali.

Miz came up to Bret Hart and John Cena backstage. He said that they need help and wanted to hear them ask him to save them. Bret and Cena both asked if he was in or out. Miz said that times sure have changed in the past year with Cena now asking Miz for help. Miz said he would let them know Sunday. Miz was tremendous here.

Edge and Chris Jericho vs. Bret Hart and John Cena with Nexus as lumberjacks didn’t have a finish. Edge and Jericho worked over Cena. They sent Cena outside and he was jumped by Nexus multiple times. Jericho then fell to the outside and was ready to be attacked but Nexus left him alone. Jericho did a great job selling this. Cena went for the FU on Jericho but it was reversed into the Walls.

Jericho accidentally ran into Barrett and as a result Nexus ended up jumping Jericho. Edge joined the fight against Nexus. Edge and Jericho then started to leave. Nexus went to attack Cena and Bret. Morrison and Truth came out to join them. Then after a period of reflection, Jericho and Edge finally hit the ring to join Team WWE. The crowd at this point was going nuts. The two teams squared off and a big fight broke out. At this point the building came unglued and it was an awesome scene. Nexus fled into the crowd as Team WWE held the ring.

Final Thoughts:

I thought this was a very strong go home show for SummerSlam. In particular, I thought the final segment was the best final Raw segment before a PPV in years. It was just electric and made you really excited for the PPV match.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Mean Dean said...

did this crazy move that was like a full flip downward spiral into a uranage

I'm surprised you've never seen this move before. That has been Burchill's finisher for ages, and he's even used it in WWE. He has always called it the C4, we'll see if there's a different name for it for Morrison.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAl50Mda3TY

11:11 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Thanks! Probably have seen it before and just forgot. Although given Burchill didn't win much and I never watched Velocity, so who knows.

Morrison's version looked a lot better than Burchill's in that video, IMO.

12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly the Nexus guys are going to win at Summer Slam for the simple reason that Cena's team is too stupid. Week after week we see Nexus take out WWE guys one-by-one from sneak attacks, yet does it ever occur to Cena to do the same thing? Or tonight when the Nexus guys bailed, didn't it occur to anyone to hold one or two of them back and beat the crap out of them? No, they just let them go. If as Jericho says, Cena is bad for the WWE, it's because of his infectious stupidity.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the set up is Miz will either (A) turn and join the WWE group or (B) go super heel and say no to Cena's group. B would get him super heat.

I can't see the Nexus team winning unless they want to keep this angle going past Summer Slam. We'll see.

9:51 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

To clarify Mean Dean's comments, Paul Burchill used the C4 during his only face run (as a Pirates of the Caribbean knock-off) in 2005-6. Super Crazy also used the move off the top rope in at least one Velocity match that I can think of. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Morrison would adopt the move and add it to his set.

Anonymous: I have to agree on Miz and the options you offered. I see him remaining a heel because right now he has 0 redeeming value that might make him a face in the short term. His fan base can be spelled with just 3 letters: M. T. V.. Enough said there. I'd rather he defend the US title on either Raw or NXT, the latter of which has suddenly become a vanity vehicle for him IMPO, especially with Michael Cole's man-crushing on him in commentary. Makes me sick.

11:22 AM  
Blogger s1rweeze said...

"In particular, I thought the final segment was the best final Raw segment before a PPV in years. It was just electric and made you really excited for the PPV match."

I had to look this up myself but holy crap, you're right, that was AWESOME. Although I have to say, I'm getting annoyed with the Michael Cole "don't say anything" bit for big moments. That was a spot where the announcer going nuts only would've added to the crazy frenetic atmosphere. Not to pile on but JR would've hit that one out of the park. You gotta save silence for the really big moments and know when to get into it. For a guy that's been around 10+ years, Cole really does a lousy job picking his spots.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Todd, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the UFC ppv on Saturday. That main event was one of the best matches I have ever seen.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Silva-Sonnen I think is going to be one of the real legendary fights of this decade. Just awesome in every way from the incredible build to a fight that managed to not only live up to it but overdeliver. And a super finish. I wasn't originally planning on going to the show but I rearranged some things so I could make it and I'm so glad I did. This has been one hell of a year for MMA and that was an unbelievable fight.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say that the whole Nexus thing has me bored and is just another stain on what was once an entertaining product (wrestling).

When WWE finally does drop the Nexus angle, what becomes of these guys? Are any of them by themselves worthy of a headline match? So the idea is to turn everybody face to battle Nexus?

I'd rather watch the Spirit Squad. Maybe the WWE can reassemble the SS and then the two groups can battle.

Better yet, maybe the WWE can hire a cast of midget wrestlers and have them defeat Nexus and then run wild all over RAW! Now that would be entertaining!

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Chrid said...

Hey Todd,

Off the topic of raw or UFC but I'll be starting my first year of law school next week. Was wondering if you have any advice on how to make it out alive?

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I can nitpick aspects the show, but the bottom line is at the end they had the crowd rocking like I haven't seen in years.

People -- including me -- have talked about how in the olden days of kayfabe the crowds were much hotter. Maybe deep down the people didn't really believe it was real (as surveys of fans at events consistently showed), but they sure gave themselves license to suspend disbelief and react to it as if it were.

We have seen monster pops in recent years, but it's more like a reaction to a celebrity or an event or a big stunt than a crowd going wild for a fight.

This was a crowd coming completely unhinged for the fight in the ring. It was awesome to see. It reminded me of one of those old crowds, such as a big Texas crowd going nuts as the Freebirds and Von Erichs went at each other. It was really fun to see.

I think it's completely silly to have a bad reaction to this because the WWE is going to blow it. Well, probably they will. But they might not. Have the bad reaction if and when they do. For now, nitpicking aside, it's a great angle.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Chris - just keep a positive attitude and surround yourself with positive people. There are people who become really stressed out about the experience and that tends to rub off on other people. Just stay upbeat, focused, and you'll be fine. It's more work than undergrad but if you don't allow it to be a scary experience it won't be. Good luck!

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Tony said...

"Blogger s1rweeze said...

Although I have to say, I'm getting annoyed with the Michael Cole "don't say anything" bit for big moments. That was a spot where the announcer going nuts only would've added to the crazy frenetic atmosphere. Not to pile on but JR would've hit that one out of the park. You gotta save silence for the really big moments and know when to get into it. For a guy that's been around 10+ years, Cole really does a lousy job picking his spots."

Actually, I think that's a WWE prerogative rather than just Cole doing it on his own. It has been this way since 2007/08. The first time I remember WWE implementing that new philosophy was during the Big Show / Mayweather angle from No Way Out 2008. They think the moment sells itself or something.

Even though a reaction too robotic, as Cole or Grisham often have, could spoil the big moments, I think they're wrong : announcers pissing their pants during major angles are needed. Austin / Tyson wouldn't have been the same if JR had stayed silent instead of screaming "Tyson and Austin!!"

Plus, it's not believable that announcers just sit there apparently too shocked to utter a word, but the crowd on the other hand are just popping like crazy; announcers are supposed to have fan's reactions.

Then again, I don't agree with WWE's philosophy on announcing anymore, getting rid of color commentators generally cheering for the heels was a mistake, it makes the matches even more boring, as if the extremely slow pace in all the matches these days wasn't boring enough.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Steve Khan said...

Great show heading into SummerSlam. I thought Bret did a good job getting the match over despite the fact there's technically nothing on the line.

The Miz/Bret/Cena segment was great for so many reasons. First, Miz tells them he knew it was just a matter of time until they came looking for him, but they weren't actually looking for him, they just ran into him on the way to the ring. Second, he forces both Bret and Cena to specifically ask him to join the team, and when they finally do, he just casually says he'll let them know on Sunday. Third, as he left, he briefly walked away backwards so they could see him with the shit-eating grin on his face. Great stuff.

12:10 PM  
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