Monday, November 01, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 11/01/10 from Long Island, NY.

The Big News: When John Cena ends his wrestling career, he might want to look into another line of work than refereeing.

Show Analysis:

Randy Orton came out to start the show. He said that he doesn’t think anyone can take the title from him. However, he can accept a legitimate loss but not a loss caused by a crooked referee. He called out John Cena to tell him if he is going to be screwed. Cena joined Orton and said that titles come and go but that he can be fired at Survivor Series. Cena said he doesn’t know what he will do. Orton thought this was Cena’s way of saying he will screw Orton. Cena said Wade Barrett may have enough skill to compete straight up with Orton but he won’t do it.

That brought out Nexus. Wade Barrett told Cena that he will do what Barrett says and raise Barrett’s hand. Cena vowed to beat the hell out of Barrett when this is over. Orton called Barrett a scared, pathetic child who stands behind others. He challenged Barrett to fight him one-on-one. Barrett started towards the ring when the anonymous GM announced Orton and a partner of his choice versus Barrett and a partner of his choice with Cena as referee for later in the show. This was a good opening segment.

Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater beat Hart Dynasty. Dynasty teased dissension on the way to the ring and throughout the match. David Hart Smith hit a delayed vertical suplex on Slater. Nexus took over on Smith until Smith hit a powerslam and tagged Tyson Kidd. A brawl broke out. Kidd accidentally hit Smith with a somersault plancha. If you’re thinking that’s a hard spot to pull off without looking contrived, well, you’re right. Gabriel hit a superkick and 450 on Kidd for the pin.

Dynasty argued afterwards with neither coming off as likeable. This breakup has been really poorly done and both guys are going to come out of it ice cold if they don’t quickly make some changes. Backstage, R. Truth met with John Cena. Truth wanted to know what Cena will do at Survivor Series. Cena couldn’t answer.

Sheamus beat Vladimir Kozlov. Sheamus before the match said Santino didn’t beat him, he beat himself. Sheamus called the win a fluke and vowed to make Santino pay. A nervous Santino came out. He said that he respects Sheamus as a human being. He said he went trick or treating as Sheamus but everyone thought he was a ghost. That was a cute line. Santino claimed to not be able to wrestle Sheamus because he ate too much candy for Halloween and would throw up during the match. He then introduced Kozlov as his replacement. Kozlov said that Sheamus talks funny and threatened to crush him.

Sheamus worked over Kozlov briefly. Kozlov hid head butts and a kick but Sheamus got his foot on the ropes. Sheamus then hit the ax handle and Brogue kick for the win. Santino came in the ring from behind after the match but Sheamus stepped on his hand. Sheamus then chased after Santino.

Santino first begged for mercy. Then he offered candy. Sheamus wasn’t having it, so he proceeded to offer money. However, he only had singles. He offered a credit card but noted there wasn’t much money on it because he is rebuilding his credit. He then offered to write Sheamus a check and asked how to spell Sheamus. Sheamus seemed legitimately amused as hell by all this. Finally Sheamus was going for the razor’s edge on the stage but John Morrison made the save. Santino then threw a huge celebration.

I loved this segment. I thought it was really funny throughout. I like the role reversal with the undercard comedy face playing the traditional role of the cowardly chickenshit making excuses not to fight and getting someone else to fight his battles. It obviously would be counterproductive with most anyone else on the roster but Santino made it work really well.

Backstage, Truth told Orton that he spoke with Cena and didn’t like what he saw. He said he thinks Cena has made up his mind and won’t let himself get fired. Orton suggested Truth be his tag team partner. Orton noted he hasn’t gotten along with Cena but that Truth is his friend so we’ll see how he treats Truth. Some friend Truth is, snitching Cena out and passing judgment on him. Let’s just say with Truth’s tendencies he’s better off collaborating with 50 Cent than Cam’Ron.

Mark Henry and Pee Wee Herman backstage were speaking to each other on cell phones despite standing next to each other. Henry was sad about losing his tag partner Evan Bourne. Henry wanted Herman to be his tag partner and they hugged. Herman then suggested a game of diva twister. For some reason he just moved the spinner where he wanted it rather than spinning. Henry didn’t seem to know his left hand from his right hand. Herman then promised surprises and Lita came in randomly. That was the last we saw of her. She acted like a face. This was a weird segment.

Ezekiel Jackson beat Zack Ryder. Jackson seems to be a face now although the crowd wasn’t sure how to react to him. Jackson hit clotheslines, a gorilla press and a uranage for the pin.

Pee Wee Herman came out to a mixed reaction. He did a bunch of spots from Pee Wee’s Playhouse. I only vaguely remember that show from when I was a kid so most of it beyond the secret word went over my head. After reading the Wiki page I figured out what they were doing. The crowd wasn’t into it at all. Miz came out and argued with Herman. Herman eventually brought out Big Show to protect him and the GM made Miz vs. Show. We’re back to random Raw vs. Smackdown matches every week.

Big Show beat Miz via DQ. Show was in control early. He missed a Vader bomb and Miz hit three double ax handles off the ropes. Show went for the choke slam but Alex Riley got on the apron. Show threw Miz into Riley. The briefcase fell and Miz hit Show with it for the DQ. I loved heel Michael Cole for a while but the novelty has worn off and it is becoming very distracting.

Backstage, Wade Barrett wanted John Cena to clean his locker room after the show and scrub his back after Barrett won. Barrett left and David Otunga came in. Otunga said Cena would be scrubbing his back not Barrett’s. Kinky. Otunga said he has more talent than anyone in Nexus and more than Cena. I’m not so sure about that one.

Daniel Bryan beat Ted DiBiase. There were pretty loud chants for Bryan, which is an encouraging sign. DiBiase used punches and kicks. Bryan went for a series of pin attempts. He followed with kicks and the LeBell lock for the submission. They kept showing Maryse throughout the match. She looked bored and then aggravated. After the match DiBiase told her to shut up and threatened to break up Goldust’s wedding tomorrow on NXT.

Natalya beat Michelle McCool. Lay Cool came out and said they need a fresh start with the people. They made fun of Natalya but said that if Natalya could beat Michelle they would give her another shot at the title at Survivor Series. Michelle used a leg scissors and northern lights suplex. Natalya sent Layla into Michelle, Michelle accidentally kicked Layla, and Natalya covered for the win.

Next up came a wacky skit. Freddie Prinze was a doctor and went to check on Vince McMahon, who was in a coma. He said that Linda had been coming in every day to check on Vince despite spending $50 million on her Senatorial campaign. Vince’s heart started beating faster and he popped up shocked and furious about the 50 million dollars. There were Linda campaign stickers all over the front of Vince’s gown.

Vince said that as long as everything is okay in WWE, he will be fine. Prinze pointed out ratings are down, PPVs are collapsing and all the stars are leaving or getting injured. Okay, he actually just said Nexus is stronger than ever, Undertaker was buried and Raw was taken over by Pee Wee Herman. He has interesting priorities. Vince responded, “The next thing you’ll tell me Daniel Bryan is US champion.”

Vince got up and said that if Linda ran for Senate, he can run for president. Run, sure. Vince then had to go to the bathroom and there was a Blumenthal campaign ad covering up his ass. Stephanie McMahon then woke up and said she had the weirdest dream. HHH’s voice confirmed that Vince is still in a coma. Usually I don’t like this type of WWE comedy skit, but I thought this was fine.

Randy Orton and R. Truth beat Wade Barrett and David Otunga. The match went back and forth early. Nexus eventually settled into beating up Truth. Orton got the tag but Cena was distracted by Otunga and wouldn’t allow the tag. Moments later, Orton distracted Cena so Cena didn’t see a tag Otunga made to Barrett. Orton then gave Otunga the RKO and Truth covered for the pin. This was a clever finish even if it did kind of make Cena look incompetent.

Final Thoughts:

This show was fine. It was certainly better than recent weeks. The wrestling wasn’t much to speak of but the booking and comedy was much improved. The way WWE is booked these days, whether the comedy hits or misses really does make a big difference.


Blogger hobbyfan said...

The idea of Vince "being in a coma" for at least 4 months plus is implausible when you consider that most of the free world figures he's been busy lending Linda some support in her Senate run. The skit, like Lita's cameo, was just a little too random.

Never mind the skit. Freddie Prinze, Jr. should take Brian Gewirtz's job as head writer, then have Gewirtz audition for the next Scooby-Doo movie.

Big Show must've been wearing a tearaway suit, with his singlet underneath, since he was dressed for action when we came back from commercial. And, as a note to Michael Cole, it's not "Mizville", it's "Jerkville" when it comes to Miz & Alex Riley.

It was great seeing Pee Wee Herman. I had read a feature piece on him in the paper earlier in the day. He's pushing 60, but looks great.

Why wait any longer to stall on the GM's ID? After 4 months, the novelty is not only gone, but the act is stale. Just like LayCool. Well, at least LayCool has an excuse for why Uncreative won't break them up.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Yay, Linda loses. Our long national sports entertainment nightmare is finally over.

I didn't think she would make a good Senator...and the WWE programming has really suffered as a result of her trying to become one.

My probably unrealistic fallout hopes:

- The increased scrutiny leads to them taking better care of their employees' health.

- Their employees get classified as employees and the "independent contractor" charade ends.

- The show doesn't necessarily go back to Attitude-era raunchiness, but at least walking-on-eggshells nonsense like stopping matches for an accidental cut ends.

- All the endless "look at all the good things we do" spots get eliminated.

- Instead of "stand up for WWE" campaigns, they take a look at why they're considered such lowbrow entertainment and maybe stop insulting the intelligence of their audience as much.

Odds of all this happening: Nearly zero. Oh, well. One can dream.

By the way, did anybody think the Vince skit yesterday had a clear "Linda is losing" vibe? I thought that was very odd. When Vince asked what campaign Linda had run, the doctor said something like, "She was trying to become a senator" (not the exact words, but it was in the past tense). The whole "I hate politics" thing didn't seem like a great idea either if he thought she had a chance of eeking out a win in a close race.

7:35 PM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

The skit, as Gorilla Monsoon often would say, stuck a fork in Linda's Senatorial hopes. Good thing she stayed far, far away from the Tea Party. They'd be looking to lock Vince away after seeing that silly skit last night.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Freudian slip on the Observer site?:

"In her concession speech, [Linda] said she considered it amoral victory."

8:52 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

You're on a roll tonight, Bob. You completely nailed it with the things you'd like to see WWE do now. Couldn't agree more. And I got a great laugh out of the amoral line too. I have editing privileges so when I see a typo on the Observer site I usually just jump in and fix it, but I thought that was too perfect to correct.

1:00 AM  

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