Monday, October 04, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 10/04/10 from Wichita, KS.

The Big News: John Cena helped Wade Barrett earn a title shot against Randy Orton at Bragging Rights.

Show Analysis:

The show started with Nexus. They received a really strong negative reaction. Wade Barrett pointed out that he won and Nexus is still around. He noted that the people who hit the ring last night were Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty (it pains me to type out that stupid name) but that they aren’t members of Nexus. Barrett then criticized David Otunga for encouraging the rest of Nexus to involve themselves in his match. Throughout the show they teased dissension between Barrett and Otunga.

Nexus brought out John Cena without music as the new member of the group. Michael Tarver presented Cena with a Nexus armband to wear. Cena teased this forever before finally replacing his purple armband with the Nexus armband. This struck me as silly but the crowd absolutely ate it up and was reacting huge. They showed a bunch of children in the audience looking depressed.

Heath Slater gave Cena a statement to read. The statement said that Cena is officially a member of Nexus and that any enemy of Nexus is an enemy of his. It concluded that Cena hopes his fans stand by him because you’re Nexus or against us. Barrett said Cena could pick his Nexus partner for a match and Cena chose Tarver. This whole thing came across cheesy and melodramatic to me, but it seemed to be getting over really well with the audience so props to them. Cena himself did a great job selling here.

Evan Bourne and Mark Henry beat John Cena and Michael Tarver. Cena shook hands with Bourne before the match and Tarver got mad at Cena for it. The faces worked over Tarver. Cena pulled back from the tag when Tarver tried to get it and eventually left the apron to sign autographs for fans. Henry hit the world’s strongest slam for the pin on Tarver.

Cena after the match said he would destroy Nexus from within. He hit Tarver with the microphone and slammed him on the ring steps twice. Michael Cole labeled Cena the ultimate nonconformist. Yeah, and I’m the ultimate astronaut. Cena went after Tarver’s knee and applied the STF.

I had two problems with this segment, but WWE ended up addressing both of them very quickly. First, it seemed silly to have Cena basically ignoring the stipulation of the PPV match right from the beginning. However, the GM sent an e-mail after this saying that if Cena didn’t start taking directions from Wade Barrett he would be fired. So this will be the hope spot at the beginning before Cena is forced to follow Barrett’s instructions for a while. The second problem was that it didn’t seem to make much sense that Nexus wouldn’t try to save Tarver, but that would be addressed later in the show as well. So good for them.

Natalya beat Alicia Fox in a very brief match. Natalya hit a clothesline and applied the sharpshooter for the submission. Backstage, Johnny Knoxville played a prank on Zack Ryder.

Elsewhere, Cena said he doesn’t know what to do. He saw Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty and gave chase, but they ran back into the dressing room with Nexus. Barrett told Cena they had something to talk about. WWE announced “Rocktober” on WWE Classics on Demand. I wonder if they’re aware of the “Brocktober” UFC slogan.

Daniel Bryan beat Sheamus via DQ. This was just a squash. Sheamus beat up Bryan really badly. Bryan got in no offense. Sheamus kept kneeing Bryan in the head until he was disqualified. Sheamus then hit a razor’s edge after the match. I wouldn’t make my US champion look quite so worthless, but WWE writers clearly have a philosophical difference on the subject.

Michael Cole in the ring said that the GM would be communicating via e-mail through Cole and no more computer voice. Cole was reading from a sheet of paper even more overtly than usual. The GM demanded an apology from Edge. Edge came out and called Cole the personification of stupid. He said he would rather listen to a recording of JR than live Cole.

The GM then sent an e-mail. He said that the winner of a 20 man battle royal later in the show would receive a title shot against Randy Orton at Bragging Rights. He further announced that Edge would not be in the battle royal because he has been traded to Smackdown. I wonder if they’ll ever announce who Edge was traded for. Edge was happy about not having to deal any more with the GM and Cole.

Michael Cole was agitated at this and said he should be treated with respect. Edge threatened Cole, which brought out Miz and Alex Riley to the rescue. Miz called Cole a visionary. Edge and Miz traded insults. Edge speared Riley but Miz gave Edge the skull crushing finale. Miz and Riley are a really good pairing. I’m ready for the end of the anonymous GM gimmick like South Korea is ready for the fall of the North Korean regime.

Backstage, Wade Barrett said that he had been looking to get rid of Michael Tarver anyway so Cena did him a favor. He said that Cena had to help him win the battle royal. Otunga suggested that if Barrett was eliminated, Cena should help one of the other Nexus members win but everyone blew that off. It’s good to see they’re streamlining Nexus like I’d hoped they would.

The Bella Twins beat Lay Cool. Lay Cool did commentary during their own match. I’ve seen this done a bunch of times and it’s never been this uninteresting. Michelle was covered for the pin. I don’t understand the finish at all either given Natalya is still apparently the top contender for the title and the Bellas bring very little to the table.

Maryse and Ted DiBiase thought that Johnny Knoxville was sending them the letters. DiBiase and Maryse were then hurt accidentally by Knoxville’s earlier prank. DiBiase pursued Knoxville to the ring, slapped him, and applied the million dollar dream. A graphic on the screen then said “you are mine.” Who should appear of all people but Goldust.

Goldust laid out DiBiase. He said that he didn’t want DiBiase and then that he didn’t want Maryse either. He wants the million dollar title. What a great payoff. Although I must admit I was hoping for Savio Vega or Rockabilly. I guess they want to feature Goldust more prominently given he has a book coming out at the end of the year. And he has gotten in better shape and improved his work. Backstage, David Otunga said that Wade Barrett can be demanding but assured Cena that he is there for Cena.

Wade Barrett won a battle royal over Zack Ryder, Primo Colon, David Hart Smith, Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, David Otunga, Heath Slater, Santino Marella, Darren Young, R. Truth, Vladimir Kozlov, Ted DiBiase, William Regal, Mark Henry, Evan Bourne, John Morrison, Miz, Sheamus and John Cena. That lineup was really sad because it speaks volumes about what they have done to the midcard when there are only four semi-legitimate contenders to win. The match was really monotonous too.

Cena was together with Nexus. Sheamus dumped Bourne and Smith immediately. Cena got rid of Regal. Miz eliminated Santino. Henry threw out Ryder and Primo. Cena saved Barrett from Henry and Nexus eliminated Henry together. Cena threw out Otunga since he only had to help Barrett and not the others. Barrett got rid of Kozlov. Nexus removed Young. Morrison eliminated Slater. Cena saved Barrett from a bunch of people.

Morrison eliminated Kidd. Miz threw Morrison over the top but Morrison landed on the apron and pulled out Miz with his legs. Towards the end of the match Barrett would just stand in the corner with Cena protecting him. Truth got rid of Gabriel. DiBiase threw out Truth. Barrett eliminated DiBiase. That left Sheamus, Morrison, Cena and Barrett. Morrison eliminated himself by kicking Barrett on the apron and looked like an absolute buffoon in the process.

Cena hit shoulder blocks and the five knuckle on Sheamus. He went for the FU but was caught by a Sheamus back breaker. Sheamus missed the bicycle kick and landed on the apron. Cena then sent him off. Barrett told Cena to leave. Cena got in Barrett’s face but then climbed over the top rope and left. I guess he realized he can’t wrestle Orton for the title again. Orton then came out and got in Barrett’s face.

Final Thoughts:

This was probably the most eventful edition of Raw in a while. They shook things up and went in some different directions. There isn’t anything that gets me terribly excited but I think on balance it’s more interesting than what they had going.


Anonymous mcory said...

Great analysis. I thought it was one of the best RAWs in a long time. The writing staff not only has a compelling storyline (Cena joins Nexus) but they are paying attention to the little details (e.g. why Tarver wasn't saved by Nexus). It's the lack of attention to the little details (and sometimes big details) that always ends up pushing me away from the product. WWE always does wrestling well and always has great production values. Lately, WWE has also been doing "acting" well. They must be sending the performers to public speaking/acting classes because even the new guys (Nexus,Riley,Del Rio,etc.) are miles ahead of the roster 10 years ago (Lesnar,RVD,Gunn,etc.). The one fault I've always had with the WWE is that the writing has been lousy. If they can write more episodes like last night, they might finally have the winning formula.

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

"There isn’t anything that gets me terribly excited but I think on balance it’s more interesting than what they had going."

Vintage Damning with Faint Praise!

To me, the show was only enjoyable in a "meta" way, by which I mean I didn't really get into the story itself but more was interested in the story behind the story, such as where they are going with the whole Nexus/Cena angle.

I think it might be time to reevaluate the "genius" title that everyone wants to put on Vince McMahon. The theory that he happened to based near a major media center when cable TV needed programming and happened to get some good stars (Hogan, Austin, Rock) on whose coat tails he rode is starting to look more correct.

The truly amazing thing about the WWE is how they stay in business while consistently delivering poor-to-terrible programming.

Meltzer a while back questioned Vince's decision to try to position Raw and SmackDown as television series, since most series only last a few years. We've come to the point where I could honestly see the whole thing getting canceled.

Raw and SmackDown are now both on channels owned by NBC. None of their other programming (Superstars on WGN, syndication) means anything. NXT was unceremoniously booted off the air because NBC didn't want that much wrestling. The Raw ratings are lagging, and there is a lot of concern about how SmackDown will do on SyFy. If SmackDown flops and Raw doesn't pick up its ratings, I could see NBC deciding to dump the whole product. Then where do they go -- back to Spike at a fraction of the rights fees they got before?

7:56 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

I have to disagree with the consensus.

The mystery GM just got rid of Edge, sending him back to Smackdown, less than 6 full months after Edge had been drafted to Raw. Odds are that come draft night next spring, they'll move him back. Real swift, Uncreative, as usual.

The GM then forces John Cena to abide by the stipulation of his match @ Hell in a Cell, even though he has a legal right to protest the result, given the interference. A true GM can, as the cybernetic one did last week, overturn a decision, but it's all selective because this GM insists on playing games with both the talent and the fans. It got old some time ago and needs to end yesterday. Barrett is obviously lying about Harris & McGillicutty, as he has them on as insurance. Sorry, but you're as guilty as sin, buddy.

This is begging for some help from the home office. Triple H is due back soon, probably after he's done campaigning for Linda, but we need him back now. He doesn't have to wrestle, just offset the GM.

The more they bring up Jim Ross, as Edge did, the more likely it is that Ross will finally be allowed to return to the desk, probably in time for Wrestlemania in Atlanta. Michael Cole's act has also gone stale already, but no one is more stale right now than LayCool. That Divas title should be taken away from those two drama queens yesterday.

I'm thisclose to boycotting Raw until these incorrectly booked angles are resolved. It has to end before they return to Albany, my home area, after Christmas.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The opening match was entertaining! It is a shame that the writers can't figure out what it is that the fans want to see.

The 20 man match was as bland, predictable and boring as it could be. There was absolutely no doubt that the final 2 would be Cena and Barrett. Ending would have been much better if Cena had FU'd Barrett and then left the ring with Barrett laid out or if Cena exited knowing that Orton was on his way to the ring and Orton lays out Barrett with an RKO.

I thought that it was ironic that Michael Cole would so adamantly defend the GM when dealing with Edge and then talk about the travesty of the GM's actions with regards to Cena. Makes no sense.

If I'm Triple H, I have to ask myself do I really want to come back to this crap!

3:14 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home