Monday, August 16, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 08/16/10 from Los Angeles, CA.

The Big News: Nexus “bounced back” from SummerSlam with a series of “wins” over Raw wrestlers.

Show Analysis:

Nexus came out at the start of the show. Wade Barrett said that Nexus may have lost at SummerSlam but they eliminated six WWE guys and are still here. He said that they are still united and ready to dominate. He promised severe consequences for Raw: suffering, destruction and chaos. That does sound pretty bad.

John Cena made an appearance in smarmy, obnoxious, jokey mode. He started out with Jersey Shore and Expendables jokes. He pointed out that Barrett tapped out and said Daniel Bryan eliminated half of Nexus by himself. Cena said that SummerSlam proved Nexus is human and can be beat. So apparently he didn’t watch the first season of NXT.

Cena then told a bunch of jokes. He referred to David Otunga as a male escort and Michael Tarver as a stripper. He had a Wendy’s joke about Heath Slater, complete with a “humorous” video graphic. He called Darren Young Buckwheat and suggested Gabriel is a homosexual. Finally he made fun of Sheffield’s intelligence. Nexus all just stood there and took it as Cena ridiculed them for seemingly half the program.

When Cena concluded, Nexus started arguing among themselves. The anonymous GM then popped up and announced matches with each member of Nexus against Team WWE. The GM threatened punishment for outside interference by Nexus members. Barrett said this would be redemption and the weak links on Nexus would be weeded out. He said that if anyone from Nexus lost they would be exiled from the group. Otunga then told Barrett that if he lost someone else would take over. The GM said Nexus could choose the matches except Barrett had to face Jericho.

This was a terrible start to the show. Nexus came across insecure, whiny and weak while Cena offered up a 10 minute embodiment of why WWE is seen as so incredibly uncool.

Wade Barrett beat Chris Jericho. Barrett hit a kick to the head and applied a bow and arrow. Jericho came back with a dropkick off the second rope, bulldog and applied the Walls. Barrett got to the ropes. Barrett hit a big boot but Jericho responded with an enzuigiri. Finally, Jericho’s code breaker attempt was reversed into the forward fireman carry drop for the pin. I thought Barrett should have been put over stronger here, but this was Anderson Silva-Forrest Griffin compared to basically all of the other Nexus “wins.”

The anonymous GM announced that the unified tag team titles have been renamed the WWE tag titles. They switched the four title belts for two new title belts. Bret Hart presented them to Hart Dynasty. I think it’s a good idea. The extra belts were cool for a period but it’s time to just make it clear there’s one championship. The new belts are bronze colored. I don’t really like the look but it’s no big deal.

Michael Tarver beat Daniel Bryan. Michael Cole spent this entire match on a crazed tirade against Bryan. That shtick was amusing as hell on NXT, but NXT was a throwaway show. Raw is the big show and the play-by-play guy acting like a maniac in reference to one particular face comes across distracting, bizarre and counterproductive. They need to severely tone it down.

The crowd chanted for Daniel Bryan. Bryan hit a series of kicks including a dropkick off the top. The finish was one of those idiotic, nonsensical distraction finishes. Miz and Alex Riley ran down to ringside. Bryan, learning nothing from the most common finish in WWE, turned his back on his opponent to stare at Riley and Miz for a while. Tarver of course recovered and rolled up Bryan for the pin. Afterwards, Bryan hit a tope on Miz but Riley and Tarver helped Miz take over on Bryan. Miz speared him into the barricade and gave him the skull crushing finale on the briefcase.

Backstage, Miz was livid about people saying Bryan should have been his pro and NXT and Bryan replacing him on the SummerSlam team. He proclaimed Riley the next breakout star. Miz was really good here. Riley said that Bryan never appreciated Miz. Riley said he will be the next winner of NXT and owes it all to Miz. Elsewhere, Darren Young said that he wanted John Cena. Otunga said he respected that.

Justin Gabriel beat Randy Orton via count out. Gabriel had elected to wrestle Bret Hart, but the anonymous GM said Bret Hart wouldn’t compete because he never liked Bret. He then brought in Orton as the replacement. That makes no sense if as assumed the GM ends up being affiliated with Nexus.

Orton basically treated Gabriel as a joke in this match. He smirked at Gabriel as Gabriel tried to get in a little offense. Gabriel threw a couple kicks but Orton caught one. He then took over with clotheslines, a powerslam and the draping DDT. At that point Sheamus came out. He fought with Orton into the crowd.

For some reason, rather than disqualifying Gabriel, the referee just counted Orton out. So let’s see. The finish didn’t make sense. It was shitty and inconclusive. And the winner gained absolutely nothing. Great. Afterwards, just to emphasize that Gabriel is a non-entity, Orton laid him out with an RKO. He then hit Sheamus a bunch of times with a chair.

David Otunga and Skip Sheffield beat John Morrison and R. Truth. Nexus worked over Truth. Truth got the tag and hit a clothesline on Otunga. However, Sheffield tagged himself in. Sheffield knocked Truth off the apron and hit a hard clothesline on Morrison for the pin. This is how you put someone over.

Maryse, Jillian Hall and Alicia Fox beat Melina, Eve Torres and Gail Kim. The heels worked over Melina. She tagged Eve. Eve hit dropkicks, a body slam and a somersault senton on Hall. Eve went for a moonsault but Hall pulled her off the ropes and covered for the pin. I was shocked by this result. Not that there was anything wrong with it; I just take it as a given that when Hall is in at the end of a match she is going to lose.

Edge and Heath Slater met backstage. Edge said he wasn’t surprised to get the victory at SummerSlam. Slater said that he has patterned himself after Edge and suggested Edge take the night off. Edge responded that he wouldn’t want to forfeit a match to the likes of Slate. Slater hit him from behind and left.

Heath Slater beat Edge via count out. Slater sent Edge into the barricade and beat him up. Edge came back with clotheslines, a flying forearm and a big boot. He went for the spear on the outside but Slater ducked into the ring and Edge was counted out. The night of ridiculously bad finishes continued. Edge hit a spear on Slater afterwards. Backstage, they did a comedy bit where Great Khali apparently gave up on his ugly girlfriend in favor of the Bella twins.

John Cena beat Darren Young. Young worked over Cena with elbows and leg drops. He threw Cena into the steps and kicked the steps into Cena. Cena came back with shoulder blocks, the Cena slam and the five knuckle. He went for the FU. Young escaped that but Cena countered back into the STF for the tap. As Cena left the Nexus guys surrounded Young. Cena did a good job selling pity for Young. Nexus then laid him out.

Final Thoughts:

The basic idea of what they were trying to do on Raw was good. You put over the Nexus guys and build them back up after their SummerSlam loss. But the execution of that idea was just awful. It was one terrible finish after another, after a SummerSlam event also riddled with horrible finishes.

Is it so hard to book a real winner and a real loser and have matches actually mean something? And if you think so lowly of these Nexus guys that you are completely unwilling to give them strong wins over stars, why are they in a main event program in the first place?

A lot of people really disliked the finish to the main event last night. I was okay with it, even if I thought Barrett should have beaten Cena. But the follow-up on this show was really bad. It was like a textbook example of how to book guys win matches without the wins meaning a damn thing.

On the plus side, I’m all for cutting the deadweight from Nexus and replacing them with the strongest guys from the second season of NXT.

Latest piece:

http://sports.espn.go.com/extra/mma/news/story?id=5467102

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd, I totally agree that if you are going to have the Nexus guys win don't do it with BS finishes and then really bury them by having the "losing" wrestler kill the "winner" with their finisher. They are doing a good job with Skip Sheffield but everybody else is looking like a joke.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous SteRDLK said...

Surprised you made little mention of the Orton-Sheamus fight. The crowd was hot for that, but once again the newbie gets completely victimised by the veteran.

I think the Slater-Edge finish worked well, but it was after that stupid countout for Orton, even though Sheamus beat him.

It would have been far better if Sheamus came out as soon as the match began and beat Orton up. It gives Gabriel an out for a loss as it wasn't his fault, he doesn't look like a jobber afterwards, and Orton can still beat Sheamus up. Odd booking.

"I’m all for cutting the deadweight from Nexus and replacing them with the strongest guys from the second season of NXT."

I agree 100% with that. Get Hennig and Harris in after they finish up to Kaval (Harris and Watson are going home this week)

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How utterly fitting of the WWE to set up Daniel Bryan to be the savior of RAW at Summerslam and then bury him in his match the next night.

Really not liking Edge as a face. He's so much more effective as a heel.

How about this for a new angle. The anonymous GM's computer gets hacked and so now we have a new anonymous hacker GM who changes the matches after the GM shoots off an email. Wow! Now that would be riveting!

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

People were complaining last week about the Nexus angle not because the WWE had blown it but because they felt it was certain that they would. I suggested waiting for that to happen before complaining.

Well, the time for complaining has arrived.

They blew it at SummerSlam, and Todd's sneer quotes about their "redemption" summarizes how much they blew it on Raw better than any words could.

Now that everyone is completely open about wrestling being fake, you'd think the egos wouldn't get in the way quite as much (since everybody knows your aren't really losing, just playing a part). But, nope, there's still hesitation to put new guys over in a meaningful way, no matter how good it would be for the show and for business.

The scripting of the shows is just terrible. They set it up so the Nexus guys have win with no interference, but they don't want to script them to go over strongly, so they do things like have guys walk up to the ring and stand there so the non-Nexus guy in the ring can stare at them like an idiot until he gets attacked and loses.

Hey, geniuses, if you can't make the concept work due to egos or whatever, then change the concept. This "just do whatever to get from A to B" writing is the pits.

3:59 PM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

I've said before how I detest unbalanced booking. Cena was the only face to win, and that shouldn't have happened. If the writers weren't on crack, and this must've been their monthly binge, or Gewirtz spent too much time at the local comics store this week, take your pick.

I get that they want to finally set up a challenger for Mizizzle for the US title, but in reality they should've had him have at least one title defense already since winning the MITB. However, his abuse of the briefcase would draw the attention of a totally pro-babyface GM who'd take the case away, along with the US title. Miz is overexposed. Period.

And, SteRDLK, Husky Harris is not going anywhere tonight. I agree that Percy Watson is going home, but Miz's current homeboy, Alex Riley, is also being dumped. The right guys are in the finals (Joe Hennig, aka Michael McGillicutty, Harris, & Kaval) for the right reasons. Riley is a Reggie Mantle wannabe, just as Miz comes off like Eddie Haskell. Go figure that one out, eh?

BTW, Edge is not a full face. He's a face only vs. Nexus.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Steve Khan said...

I thought the show was fine, at first. Then, five minutes after it was over I thought, "Did it really just take us 2 hours to find out that Darren Young was the weakest link on Nexus?"

8:52 PM  
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