Monday, September 27, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 09/27/10 from Indianapolis, IN.

The Big News: If you can’t get enough of the anonymous GM and wanted that angle to get even goofier, this was the show for you. If you think Chris Jericho sucks and wanted him gone from Raw, this was also the show for you.

Show Analysis:

Miz and Alex Riley beat Daniel Bryan and John Morrison. Before the match Miz said that Bryan got lucky at the PPV and every Monday he gets beat up by the Miz. Miz and Riley worked over Morrison. Bryan tagged in and hit a German suplex and dropkick on Miz. He went for the LeBell lock but Miz threw Bryan into Morrison and hit the skull crushing finale for the pin.

After the match Miz attacked Bryan again until Morrison made the save. But Bryan then hit a tope on both Miz and Morrison. It broke into a three way brawl. Bryan looked kind of like a jerk here going after Morrison. The anonymous GM announced a triple threat submissions count anywhere match for Sunday’s PPV.

Natalya won a battle royal to earn a women’s title shot against Lay Cool. Lay Cool did commentary for the match. Melina was out first. Tamina took out Gail but Eve then took out Tamina. The Bellas eliminated themselves going for simultaneous baseball slides. They looked awfully dumb doing that spot. Eve dumped Maryse and Alicia got rid of Eve. That left Jillian and Alicia to double team Natalya. They threw Natalya over the top but Natalya didn’t go to the floor. The heels then turned on each other and Alicia threw out Jillian. Natalya then eliminated Alicia to win the match.

Backstage, Ted DiBiase and Maryse were arguing when a letter arrived at their door saying “next week you will be mine.”

Great Khali beat Sheamus via DQ. Sheamus told an Irish story and said he would cut off his hand to win the title. He then challenged anyone, which brought out Khali. Interestingly, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler plugged Mick Foley’s book during this. They even mentioned the Countdown to Lockdown title, despite it alluding to a TNA PPV. They didn’t make any backhanded remarks either. This was a class move by WWE. Sheamus attacked Khali with the announcers’ chairs early on for the DQ. He then hit two bicycle kicks.

Edge’s guest on the Cutting Edge was the anonymous GM. They had a computer in the ring with a microphone and the computer spoke ala Stephen Hawking. Edge asked why the GM is such a coward. The GM responded by asking why Edge is such a moron and said it is to protect his or her identity. Edge called the GM a liar. “Why do you have to hate, yo?” responded the GM, “Why do you despise me so?” Edge then pointed out how stupid it was for him to be arguing with a computer. The GM then announced Edge would be wrestling an opponent, John Cena.

This was one of those idiotic segments that has led to WWE being held in such incredibly low regard by the average fully functioning adult. It beat you over the head with the idea that this is just a ridiculous joke show you can’t take seriously. The anonymous GM sending in e-mails was stupid and irritating enough without a sarcastic, talking computer. It comes across like the writers are just making fun of their own show, and if you have no respect for your own product why should we? And why would we possibly shell out money for your PPV Sunday?

John Cena beat Edge. This wasn’t much of a match. It was more an angle. Edge dominated the whole thing. He hit a spear and the referee counted the pin but Cena’s foot was under the bottom rope. The GM of course restarted the match. Edge went for another spear but was caught with the STF for the tap. Edge then approached the computer. The computer made a series of stupid comedy warnings before Edge destroyed it.

Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel beat Mark Henry and Evan Bourne. Nexus took it to Bourne. Henry got the tag and hit clotheslines and a press slam on Gabriel. He tagged Bourne back in for the shooting star press but Gabriel crotched him. Gabriel went for the 450 but missed it. Bourne then hit the shooting star but Slater pushed Gabriel over on top of Bourne for the win. Nexus beat up Bourne after the match and hit the wasteland and 450. Wade Barrett said he will beat Cena and David Otunga said they will take over Smackdown on Friday. They announced Johnny Knoxville as the guest star for next week.

Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre beat Hart Dynasty. Michael Cole launched into another burial of the Hart Dynasty and called them boring. Cole tends to go hardest after people associated with Vince McMahon’s enemies (Hart Dynasty and Bret, Danielson and diehard wrestling fans, etc.). The champions worked over Tyson Kidd. David Hart Smith got the tag and came in with a high knee and clothesline on Rhodes. They went for the springboard Hart attack but McIntyre broke that up and Rhodes hit the crossroads for the win. Afterwards the Hart Dynasty argued and Smith walked off teasing a heel turn. I thought they were trying to create a better tag division.

R. Truth backstage said he has John Cena’s back. Cena said he will be fine on his own Sunday. Cena then teased showing up on Smackdown Friday to confront Nexus. Smackdown was a continual focus on this show.

Randy Orton beat Chris Jericho via DQ. Jericho said prior to the match that he would win and become the number one contender. He vowed to cut the head off the viper. He went through all the guys he has beaten in his career for comedy. It went through a commercial break and when they came back he was still going. He had little groups of wrestlers, sometimes with someone who didn’t fit, and he would mention the same people under different aliases. It was all quite amusing.

Jericho started with punches and kicks. Orton clotheslined Jericho to the outside but Jericho reversed Orton into the barricade. Sheamus came out to watch the match. Jericho hit an enzuigiri and choked Orton. Orton went for the RKO but Jericho countered with a backslide for two. Jericho hit a bulldog but missed the lionsault. Orton got the back breaker and went for the RKO again but Jericho escaped and hit the lionsault for two. Orton went for the draping DDT but it was countered into the Walls. Orton reversed and hit the draping DDT. Sheamus then ran in for the DQ.

After the match, Orton hit a draping DDT on Sheamus. He went to punt Sheamus but Jericho gave him the code breaker. Jericho brought in a chair to use on Orton but Orton hit the RKO and then punted Jericho. They were setting up a stretcher for Jericho as they went off the air. They did a final plug for Smackdown before ending. The match was good but it was telling that in a company out of control with garbage finishes they wouldn’t even do a clean finish when one guy is leaving.

Final Thoughts:

The show was okay if you set aside the asinine foolishness with the talking computer. But they have done a terrible job of building up their PPV Sunday, which looks like it will bomb badly despite the Hell in a Cell gimmick. Clearly the priority was advertising Smackdown’s new network on Friday, but it felt like the PPV was basically ignored.

Monday, September 20, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 09/20/10 from Indianapolis, IN.

The Big News: Raw set up its top two matches for the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, Randy Orton vs. Sheamus and John Cena vs. Wade Barrett in stipulation matches.

Show Analysis:

Randy Orton came out to start the show but was immediately interrupted by Sheamus. Sheamus said that the title has been stolen from him twice in six person matches. Orton pointed out Sheamus won the title in a four way with interference from Nexus and got himself disqualified in his singles title match against Orton. Orton and Sheamus exchanged threats.

The anonymous GM then announced Sheamus vs. Orton for the title in a Hell in a Cell match. Sheamus asked for the WWE title back from Orton. Orton threw the title up towards Sheamus but then gave him the RKO. He went to punt Sheamus but Sheamus escaped the ring.

This was a good opening segment. However, Sheamus vs. Orton as a Hell in a Cell match perfectly illustrates the problem with these stipulation themed pay-per-views. A heavy stipulation match ought to be the culmination of a big feud. That sort of match should be saved for when the timing is right in a feud, not at a specific time each year because that’s the gimmick. It makes Hell in a Cell seem like less of a big deal when it’s used for a feud that isn’t even hot.

Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes beat Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov. The Hart Dynasty did commentary and David Hart Smith whipped out some amazingly bad comedy. Santino went for the cobra but got kicked in the head. He kicked out at two. The champs worked over Santino. Santino tagged Kozlov, who came in with a powerslam on McIntyre. Rhodes broke up the pin. Kozlov kicked Rhodes out of the ring but was caught with the future shock for the pin.

Backstage, Zack Ryder suggested to Edge that they start hanging out again. Edge was angry about not winning the title and said they aren’t friends. Daniel Bryan came in carrying a book and told them to keep it down. Ryder told Bryan to “read this” and put an L on his forehead. I completely lost it. I’ll give the WWE writers this much, for the last month or so they’ve been finding ways to make me burst out in laughter at least once a week.

Ryder wanted a high five from Edge for this but Edge no sold him. Edge challenged Bryan to a match and Bryan accepted. Ryder then said “see you later” to Bryan with the L on his forehead and a gigantic smirk on his face. I love Zack Ryder. Edge pointed out the L was backwards.

John Morrison beat Chris Jericho. They explained that Jericho simply refused to abide by the stipulation that he would leave WWE if he lost Sunday. Why do they kill off stipulations for no reason? I mean, at least for a while they tried to get something out of reneging on stipulations.

Morrison hit a plancha on Jericho. Jericho retaliated with an enzuigiri, knocked Morrison into the barricade, dropped Morrison on the barricade, and then hit a suplex, dropkick, clothesline and bulldog. Jericho applied the Walls but Morrison got to the ropes. Jericho tried again but Morrison countered. He then hit a knee and starship pain for the pin. They played up that Jericho is totally dejected and on the biggest downturn of his career. This was a good match.

Backstage, John Cena did comedy about not winning the title. He had plenty of jokes and said he enjoyed seeing Orton win because Wade Barrett got the RKO. Good thing Cena doesn’t care about not winning the title because we wouldn’t want fans invested in that sort of thing. Cena pointed out that Nexus went from 8 to 5 and said he would take the rest of them out one by one.

Miz came out for a brief promo and then did commentary for Daniel Bryan’s match. Two guesses how that match ended. Anyway, Miz said that he didn’t tap at Night of Champions. He claimed an MCL injury and said that he needed to save himself from surgery.

Daniel Bryan beat Edge via DQ. Bryan came out to the Ride of the Valkyries of all things. Everyone was bewildered. They’re going strong with the geek gimmick for Bryan. Miz said on commentary that he has signed Alex Riley to a personal services contract. Edge worked over Bryan. Bryan came back with a clothesline, jawbreaker and running knee. He came off the top but was caught with a kick.

Edge went for the spear which was countered into the LeBell lock. However, Riley got up on the apron for the distraction. Miz then snapped Bryan’s neck on the top rope and Edge hit the spear for the apparent win. However, the anonymous GM then reversed the decision. Given we see this type of finish twice a week on Raw, I’m not sure why the GM decided to act now. Particularly if the GM ends up being Michael Cole or someone in cahoots with Michael Cole. Edge said that he is sick of the computer. Who isn’t? Riley and Miz jumped Bryan afterwards and verbally berated him. Miz was really good throughout this segment.

Layla beat Melina to retain the unified women’s title. Michelle McCool did commentary. Melina went after her. She was all over Layla with punches and forearms and used a curb stomp. However, Layla then whipped out diamond dust (seriously!) for the pretty much clean win. Any segment where Layla El pulls off a nice looking diamond dust gets a thumbs up from me.

Chris Jericho backstage plugged his DVD. He then said he is close to discovering the identity of the mystery GM. He basically said he will rule the world when he figures it out. Randy Orton approached Jericho and suggested they wrestle next week. If Jericho wins he gets a title shot but if Orton wins he will make sure Jericho is gone for a while. Yay, more Jericho stipulations.

R. Truth and Eve Torres beat Maryse and Ted DiBiase. Truth came out again to his new theme. The match mostly involved the women and was sloppy. Eve won with a neck breaker. After the match as Maryse and DiBiase were leaving romantic music played and the screen said “I will have you.”

I guess John Cena won a gauntlet match over Nexus via DQ. Wade Barrett was supposed to wrestle Cena in a singles match but Barrett said that since Cena said he wants to take out Nexus one-by-one he should be happy to do a gauntlet match.

John Cena beat Heath Slater first. Slater got in a little offense but Cena rolled through a top rope crossbody and hit the FU for the pin. John Cena pinned David Otunga next. Otunga hit a couple suplexes before Cena rolled him up for the pin. Cena next made Michael Tarver submit to the STF. Tarver was limping badly.

John Cena finally beat Justin Gabriel via DQ. Gabriel hit kicks, a superplex and an STO. Cena came back with shoulder blocks, the Cena slam and the five knuckle shuffle. He went for the FU but all the Nexus guys ran in for the DQ. Cena fought them all off anyway. If they’ve simply given up on Nexus and are writing them off, this was fine. If they are planning on having Nexus continue, the booking of this was really bad.

After the match, Cena challenged Barrett to a match. Barrett refused and said he has nothing to gain from that. Cena said he would do anything to get the match, so Barrett said he would wrestle Cena at Hell in a Cell but if Cena loses he has to join Nexus. Cena responded that if he wins, Nexus will be done. Barrett accepted.

This conclusion made no sense. They started with Barrett backing off from a match with Cena. Then he ends up agreeing to not only the match but that his group will have to dissolve if he loses in a really one-sided set of stipulations. Oh wait, you know what. It makes sense after all. Because if Barrett loses he can just refuse to abide by what he said and no one will do anything about it.

Final Thoughts:

This show was a mixed bag. It was pretty entertaining but the booking was largely counterproductive.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 09/13/10 from Cincinnati, OH.

The Big News: Chris Jericho is back in the six pack challenge for the WWE title at Night of Champions.

Show Analysis:

“Raw Roulette” began with John Cena spinning the wheel to determine what his match with Randy Orton would be. It ended up on a tables match. Josh Matthews pointed out Cena lost the title in a tables match but Cena wasn’t worried and said he was feeling lucky.

Guest host Chad Ochocinco came out but was interrupted by the Miz. At first Miz said he could relate to Ochocinco because both men say what they want when they want. But then he said in fact they’re nothing alike because Miz is a champion and Ochocinco will never win a championship playing for the Bungles. Ochocinco responded by pointing out the Bengals won the AFC North last year and sad they will win the Super Bowl this year.

Miz mocked Ochocinco by bringing up how he and Terrell Owens left their game before halftime yesterday. He then took a shot at Ochocinco dropping passes and Bengals QB Carson Palmer having no mobility. Miz called them overrated. The anonymous GM then popped up and had the wheel spun to determine Miz’s match. It came up on a submission match. The GM let Ochocinco pick Miz’s opponent and Ochocinco selected Daniel Bryan. I enjoyed this segment.

Daniel Bryan beat Miz via forfeit in a submission match. Bryan hit some kicks. Miz used a chop block and applied the figure four. Bryan reversed this and went for the LeBell lock but Miz went to the outside. There, Miz claimed a hernia and said he was pulling out of the match. He announced Alex Riley as a replacement.

So now you can just unilaterally pull out of a match and name your replacement? And how exactly does it build interest in a PPV match when you teach fans on TV that one of the participants doesn’t care about winning or losing? In short, this was one of those shit finishes that make matches feel pointless. Daniel Bryan then submitted Riley immediately with the LeBell lock. Miz attacked Bryan after the match. Bryan eventually countered and put Miz in the LeBell lock. Miz tapped.

Edge beat Evan Bourne in a body slam challenge. Great stipulation there. Edge went for a body slam but Bourne got out. Bourne went for a slam but Edge escaped with the Edgecution. Edge then hit the body slam for the win. He gave Bourne a spear after the match. The anonymous GM was angry about the spear and ordered another body slam challenge.

Mark Henry beat Edge in a body slam challenge. Henry missed a corner avalanche. Edge went for a slam but Henry landed on him. Henry then hit the world’s strongest slam for the victory.

R. Truth and Eve Torres beat Ted DiBiase and Maryse in a song and dance match. That sounds dreadful but I was actually amused by this for some reason. The idea was one member of the team had to sing and the other had to dance and the fans would pick the winner.

This was basically a backdrop for Truth to finally debut a new song. I’m pleased about that one. DiBiase went with “My Way” while Maryse did an absurd dance. Jerry Lawler of course got in a Pat Patterson reference. The teams fought afterwards with Truth and Torres getting the best of it. Truth did his new song again after the fight so apparently that’s his song going forward.

Backstage, William Regal spun the wheel and it landed on a trading places match. This meant he would have to dress up like his opponent, Goldust. Chad Ochocinco then told Sheamus that the GM said if John Morrison beat Sheamus, Morrison would get Jericho’s spot in the six pack match. Sheamus spun the wheel and ended up with a falls count anywhere match against John Morrison.

Zack Ryder and Edge met elsewhere backstage. Edge said that if he wins the title he is going to stage a holdout. Sheamus then came in and said if he were Edge he wouldn’t hold his breath on winning the title. “Burn!” yelled Ryder excitedly. Edge and Sheamus stared at him and he left. They then cut to John Morrison doing acrobatic warm-ups backstage. It looked cool. Funny, someone was telling me they needed to start airing these warm-ups just the other week.

Sheamus beat John Morrison in a falls count anywhere match. Morrison hit a running knee and sent Sheamus into the crowd with a backdrop. He then hit a springboard dive onto Sheamus in the crowd. Sheamus hit a back breaker on the floor which looked idiotic because it would have hurt so much more if he just dropped him on the concrete rather than on his knee. Sheamus went for a bicycle kick but kicked a speaker instead.

Sheamus dropped Morrison on the stage and went to throw Morrison off the stage but Morrison landed on his feet. Morrison hit a springboard kick off the stage and a crossbody off the top of the video wall for two. Jericho then ran in and hit Morrison with a chair. Sheamus covered for the pin. This was a very good match and they really tried to get Morrison over here.

Chris Jericho in the ring said he wouldn’t leave until the anonymous GM put him back in the six pack challenge. The GM said he or she doesn’t like ultimatums. “No chance in hell,” he or she added. Jericho laughed at the idea the GM would be Vince McMahon. The GM then announced the six pack challenge would be an elimination match and Jericho could get back in if he won a handicap cage match against the Hart Dynasty. This anonymous GM gimmick gets more irritating by the week. Having wrestlers repeatedly get in arguments with a fucking computer is just stupid.

Chris Jericho beat the Hart Dynasty in a handicap cage match. This was booked to not bury Hart Dynasty that badly but as a general rule I wouldn’t have face tag team champions lose handicap cage matches to heels. David Hart Smith hit a power slam and the Dynasty followed with the Hart attack. They then went to climb out on opposite sides of the cage like idiots.

Of course, Jericho caught Tyson Kidd while Smith climbed out so those fools turned it into a singles match. Jericho went for the Walls but Kidd escaped. Kidd applied the sharpshooter but Jericho fought out. Kidd went for a huracanrana off the ropes but Jericho did a cool counter dropping down into the Walls and Kidd tapped. I really liked the finish.

Goldust beat William Regal. This was of course an excuse for Regal to act indignant about having to dress up like Goldust. That usually works really well for comedy but it didn’t click here. I think that’s partly because the paint covered up his facials and partly because the announcers were doing the overzealous fake laughter while the crowd wasn’t reacting at all. Goldust put on brass knuckles and used the old power of the punch for the win immediately.

Randy Orton beat John Cena in a tables match. Chad Ochocinco was ring announcer for the match. I thought this was a dull, terribly slow, paint by the numbers match prior to the insane amount of interference. Cena went for the FU but Orton escaped and hit a DDT. For some reason Jerry Lawler flipped out and started yelling that Orton hit the RKO. Cena used the shoulder blocks, Cena slam and five knuckle. He went for the FU but Orton got out and hit clotheslines and a powerslam. Cena gained control, however, with the STF.

Nexus then ran in. They fought for a while but Orton ended up getting rid of all of them and sending Wade Barrett through a table. This did Barrett no favors. Edge and Chris Jericho then ran in but Orton sent them into a table together. Sheamus was next out but Cena gave him an FU on the floor. In the ring Cena went for the FU on Orton through the table but Orton reversed the FU into the RKO through the table for the win.

Final Thoughts:

I thought this was an average edition of Raw. The comedy again I thought hit better than usual and the quality of wrestling was pretty good. The booking on the other hand wasn’t very good. In particular, I remember the original spin the wheel, make the deal gimmick that is the predecessor of the Raw Roulette. The idea then was you’d get some violent stipulation that would settle a serious feud. Now, it’s an excuse to throw out a bunch of comedy gimmicks and stipulations that allow them to bypass real finishes even more so than usual. I guess that just mirrors WWE’s direction shift in general, but I don’t think it’s a positive change.

Monday, September 06, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 09/06/10 from Washington, DC.

The Big News: Chris Jericho is no longer in the six pack challenge for the WWE title at Night of Champions.

Show Analysis:

Nexus was in the ring to start the show. They claimed they did something that people will remember forever by giving Undertaker the wasteland. David Otunga labeled Nexus the new phenoms of the WWE. He added that it was the greatest night of their lives. Michael Tarver said that it was unprecedented. They came across so pathetic here bragging about nothing.

Tarver then bragged about winning a match against five Raw wrestlers. He said Chris Jericho and Edge were so scared they left. Heath Slater bragged about pinning Sheamus. Justin Gabriel bragged about hitting the 450 on John Cena. Wade Barrett said he devenomized the viper and that he will bring back the title to Nexus.

Randy Orton came out. He said he took out two Nexus members and that he’ll take out Nexus members again. Orton vowed to give Barrett the RKO at Night of Champions. The anonymous GM then weighed in with this e-mail that just went on and on pontificating about the situation. The anonymous GM gimmick already feels fake as hell, and having the GM supposedly type up these long, wordy WWE-style promos in seconds while watching the show and deciding what to do doesn’t help one bit. The GM made Gabriel vs. Cena and Orton vs. Barrett.

John Morrison beat Chris Jericho. The anonymous GM was annoyed that Edge and Jericho left last week and said that if either man lost their match this week they would be out of the six pack challenge. Jericho hit stomps and punches. Morrison came back with clotheslines and a back breaker. Jericho went for the Walls but Morrison escaped. Jericho then tried the code breaker but Morrison escaped again.

Jericho hit an enzuigiri, but ran into the post accidentally. Morrison went for starship pain but Jericho got up and Morrison landed on his feet. Jericho applied the Walls and it looked like that was it but Morrison got to the ropes. Morrison then hit starship pain for the win. This was a very good match.

Melina beat Alicia Fox. Alicia Fox cut quite the promo coming to the ring. She said that she should be the “undefined” women’s champion and that she would enter Night of Champions as a champion. The announcers made fun of her for this. Alicia hit a few kicks. Melina went for the last call. Alicia escaped that so Melina gave her the sunset split for the pin.

Backstage, Miz had something hidden behind a curtain. He said that the world would learn about his road to awesome. Josh Mathews wanted to see what was behind the curtain but Miz slapped his hand away. That was funny.

Elsewhere backstage, Edge was speaking with Zack Ryder. Edge said he shoved the referee last week because the referee disrespected his mother. Well that actually is a pretty good reason. The GM should investigate that referee. Zack Ryder suggested that he wrestle Edge on Raw. Edge replied that this was a good idea, because Ryder is an easy win, because he sucks. That was hilarious. Edge then shouted into the air as a method of reaching the GM. He threatened to smash the GM’s computer if the GM didn’t make Edge vs. Ryder.

There was a note in Maryse’s bag saying “I want you.” Maryse thought it was from Ted DiBiase but DiBiase said it wasn’t. DiBiase thought the note was for him. DiBiase and Maryse argued. They announced next week’s Raw will be the season premier. I can’t believe it’s already time for another season! There will be Raw roulette and a match between John Cena and Randy Orton.

John Cena beat Justin Gabriel. Gabriel hit a somersault senton, springboard crossbody, side Russian leg sweep and power bomb. Gabriel then missed a moonsault and Cena made his comeback. Cena hit shoulder blocks, the Cena slam and the five knuckle shuffle. Cena went for the FU but Gabriel escaped and hit an STO. Gabriel went to the top rope but Cena caught him with the FU off the ropes for the finish.

Miz came out for a lengthy segment. He said that he was told he had no right to be in WWE because he was a reality TV star. He started at the bottom. He did Tough Enough and then was the host of Smackdown. The fans told him he didn’t belong. But he kept going and formed a championship tag team with Morrison. But even then people said Morrison was the star and Miz was the sidekick. They thought Miz would fail when the tag team split.

However, after the split Miz became US champ and won MITB. This led up to Miz’s big unveiling that he is on the cover of the new edition of WWE Magazine. He said this was a big deal because he used to collect the magazines when he was a kid. He wanted the audience to admit that we were all wrong about him.

I thought this segment was great. Miz’s delivery was tremendous and what really made it work was that basically everything he said was true. Interestingly, the narrative also makes him kind of likeable. Some fans are already taking to him so I guess we will see if they turn him sooner rather than later. I think they should let it build for a while and pull the trigger if and when fans are really clamoring for it. The one negative to me was that the segment built to the transparent WWE Magazine plug. Given everything else in the segment felt so real, having it conclude with Miz acting like WWE Magazine is some huge deal relative to all his much bigger accomplishments felt phony.

Daniel Bryan came out. He said that no one thought he would make it either. Miz said Bryan hasn’t. Bryan accepted that and made fun of his own generic entrance music and haircut. But he said that he can beat the Miz. Miz said he can beat Bryan so badly that Bryan will go back to the minor leagues. Bryan wanted to know if the match was on and Miz accepted.

Miz went to cheapshot Bryan but Bryan caught him in what is being billed as the LeBell lock. Alex Riley ran in but Bryan gave him a kick to the head and threw Miz over the top. Bryan then put Riley in the LeBell lock and Riley tapped. Riley called for help but Miz just left. Bryan kicked the WWE Magazine cardboard cutout.

Edge kind of beat Great Khali. This was a complete disaster of a segment. Okay, so Khali came out as the opponent. Edge threatened the computer which was so stupid. Edge then started mocking Khali on the outside, which was very funny. Khali chased Edge to the outside. Edge kicked Khali in the leg and ran back to the ring. Khali was counted out. The GM then restarted the match and called for, of all things, an over the top challenge.

Edge slid under the bottom rope. Khali followed over the top rope to the floor and threw Edge back in. Michael Cole couldn’t understand why Khali hadn’t just eliminated himself. Eventually, Jerry Lawler said that you need to throw your opponent over. I’m not sure whether the wrestler and referee didn’t know the rules or the play-by-play announcer didn’t know the rules. Either scenario isn’t very good.

Khali threw Edge back through the ropes. As Khali was climbing over the top rope again to get Edge, Edge grabbed Khali’s leg and helped him fall over the ropes. And that mercifully brought this segment to an end.

Backstage, Chris Jericho refused to comment on his future plans given he doesn’t have the chance to become champion at the PPV. You could hear a few fans lightly chant TNA. John Morrison came in and mocked Jericho. He wanted to know if Jericho still thought he was the best in the world at what he does. Jericho gave him a dirty look.

Randy Orton beat Wade Barrett. Sheamus was really amusing on commentary here with Edge and Cena. Barrett worked over Orton. Barrett went for wasteland but Orton escaped and hit a back breaker and power slam. Orton went for the draping DDT but Barrett got out. Darren Young then came out.

Christ, Yoshi Tatsu never gets on Raw and this guy is being brought back? He said that he isn’t the weakest link, but rather the missing link. Actually, that’s Dewey Robertson’s gimmick. How about you just be missing? You can form a six man tag team with Eli Cottonwood and Lucky Cannon using that gimmick. Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek can try to find you unsuccessfully.

This led to the asinine twice weekly finish where Barrett stood starring at Darren Young forever so Orton could fully recovery and give Barrett the RKO from behind. That finish is this generation’s Dusty finish. No, I take that back. The Dusty finish was actually effective at first. After the match, Orton gave Young, Edge and Sheamus the RKO as well. He then had a stare down with John Cena to close the show.

Final Thoughts:

This was a good show by recent Raw standards. There were two good matches, a really good Miz segment and the comedy was surprisingly very amusing throughout.