Monday, December 06, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 12/06/10 from Louisville, KY.

The Big News: John Cena has discovered that being fired from WWE is actually a pretty good gig.

Show Analysis:

Jerry Lawler and CM Punk were at the announce table to start the show. Lawler was serenaded with very loud chants of “Jerry.” Obviously the angle last week got over big. Michael Cole then came out to the ring. Cole said he didn’t know why he interfered in Lawler’s match. Cole said he had a traumatic week with a bunch of hate mail but that he will not apologize for the way he feels about the Miz. That was an amusing line. Cole said he always supported Miz and Miz winning the title was like his own son winning the title. Cole claimed to have gotten caught up in the emotion of the moment and said he regrets that.

Lawler threatened to go in the ring and finish what he started last week. Cole suggested they talk like adults and said Lawler was as much to blame for last week as he was. He pointed out Lawler is supposed to be a broadcast journalist, covering the news rather than making it. Cole accused Lawler of not letting Miz have his moment. Cole concluded that he doesn’t owe Lawler an apology but rather Lawler owes him an apology. Lawler said he would go in the ring and give Cole what he owes him.

A GM e-mail came in. CM Punk went to read it and got “CM Punk” chants. Punk is acting like a face in a lot of ways as an announcer. The GM basically said that if Cole or Lawler attacks the other the offending party will be fired. The GM then told Lawler to go in the ring and shake hands with Cole. Lawler did it, but then held Cole’s hand and said someone wanted to speak with him.

Randy Orton came out. Orton said that he doesn’t blame Miz for cashing in MITB because Orton would have done the same thing. He told Cole to keep rooting for Miz because he will take back the title. Miz came out and said he won’t have to defend the title against Orton until TLC. Orton said that Miz won’t have seven guys to beat him up before the match this time. Alex Riley challenged Orton to a match and Orton accepted. Miz then said he will pick their match at TLC. Orton said even with an injured knee he can still do one thing well. He gave Michael Cole the RKO.

This was a dramatic segment and the interplay between Lawler and Cole worked very well. Lawler again carried himself great. Breaking up Lawler and Cole for at least one week was a smart move. Josh Mathews came out to commentate with Punk and Lawler for the rest of the show.

Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella beat Ted DiBiase and Maurice. Nikki Bella was jealous that Brie got to team with Bryan but came out to support them anyway. This was a very short match with the Bella switch finish. Afterwards, DiBiase yelled at Maurice until she stuck her hand in his face and walked away.

Wade Barrett was scheduled to do a satellite interview from a hotel room but he left for the arena so David Otunga was there himself. Otunga alone in his room said he doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with Barrett but that they have a strategy and just have to stick together to death with John Cena.

There was a knock on the door. It was room service, but then when room service left there was immediately another knock at the door and it was Cena. Cena attacked Otunga. Husky Harris came out of nowhere and Cena beat him up while Otunga ran away. I think the idea was that Nexus set up a trap for Cena, but the announcers didn’t really explain that.

Tyson Kidd beat David Hart Smith. Jackson Andrews came out as Kidd’s bodyguard but wasn’t identified. He’s a very tall man who looks a lot like Kurrgan. Smith dominated the quick match. He hit a really nice delayed superplex. Kidd then just rolled him up for the clean pin without involvement from Andrews. Smith attacked Kidd after the match but Andrews destroyed him.

Backstage, Wade Barrett met with Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. Slater and Gabriel were concerned about Cena. Barrett said things would be okay. Otunga came in and said that Barrett’s plan didn’t work. Barrett said the problem was the execution of the plan. Otunga hinted there might be a mutiny if things don’t improve.

Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov beat Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel, Yoshi Tatsu & Mark Henry and the Usos to win the tag titles. The Usos worked over Tatsu but Slater tagged in and basically stole the pin. The Usos hit a combination back drop/Samoan drop on Slater but Gabriel broke up the pin. Kozlov hit a choke slam to eliminate the Usos. Tamina stayed to watch the end of the match.

Nexus worked over Kozlov, then worked over Santino, then worked over Kozlov some more. Finally, Santino came in with a head butt and stunner on Gabriel. At that point, Cena came out from under the ring. So apparently Cena beat up Husky Harris in a hotel, drove back to the arena and snuck under the ring in the space of 25 minutes during a live show without anyone noticing. That’s a hell of a trick. He was all smiling and happy after crying two weeks ago about the end of his career. Santino used the distraction from Cena and hit the cobra on Gabriel for the pin. Tamina and Santino kissed.

Sheamus came out in an outfit that can only be described as preposterous. He looks like a comedy goofball and cut a cheesy promo running down “peasants.” He said that he ended the career of the King of Kings HHH and that his reign will last forever. They need to tone down this thing about 30 notches before they turn Sheamus into a midcard comedy figure.

John Morrison came out to try to make fun of Sheamus. He failed in the attempt, which was amazing given the material he had to work with. Morrison couldn’t get a single good line in and nobody was laughing. Sheamus said Morrison is jealous of him. Morrison claimed he is the better man. Sheamus ordered Morrison to bow to him. Morrison attacked him instead. Morrison beat Sheamus up and threw him into the throne.

Natalya beat Melina. Lay Cool did commentary, so the one week ban on brand mixing is apparently over. They explained that Michael Cole invited them. The match was very short with Natalya winning with the sharpshooter (really, it looks more like a Texas cloverleaf many weeks). Melina held on for a bit and then tapped. Lay Cool attacked Natalya after the match. They spotlighted Melina leaving as this happened, which seemed to be the first tease of a heel turn.

Backstage, Miz said that Alex Riley would be representing him. Miz claimed that his winning the title will be a turning point for WWE. Well, hopefully, but what does that say about the recent direction of the company? Miz told Riley he needed to take out Orton. Riley said he would. Miz then said he would show Orton what type of match they’re having at TLC. I’m guessing tables; ladders; chairs; or tables, ladders and chairs.

Randy Orton beat Alex Riley via DQ in another very short match. Orton was in control when Miz ran in and gave Orton the skull crushing finale. He then brought a table into the ring, so apparently his match with Orton is a tables match. To me, just stick with the TLC main event for TLC. Tables matches are significantly less interesting both in build and in execution than a regular singles match. Orton tried to put Miz through the table but Miz left.

Wade Barrett came out for the final segment of the show. He said that he got it wrong, that he thought John Cena was a man of his word. The stipulation was free or fired and he was fired, but he just shows up at will. Barrett said that if Cena had an ounce of honor or integrity he wouldn’t show up. Barrett’s right, you know. He said he is the only one who can rehire Cena.

John Cena came to the ring. Nexus except for Michael McGillicutty appeared on stage. Barrett said he will never rehire Cena. I was wondering why Cena would even care. And Cena then said the same thing. He told a bunch of obnoxious jokes. He said being fired isn’t that bad. He just comes to all the shows and screws with Nexus. He said he is content with the current situation.

Barrett wanted to know if he rehires Cena whether Cena will keep attacking. Cena said he may stop attacking Nexus but won’t stop attacking Barrett. He vowed to get Barrett either way and make his life a nightmare. What did Barrett even do to Cena? Make him get coffee? Cena’s the one who cost Barrett the title. Cena’s the one who is attacking Barrett’s friends every week. Cena’s the one who flagrantly ignores the stipulation he was supposed to be held to. Cena’s the disingenuous prick who cries about having to abide by that stipulation one week and then laughs about not honoring his word the next. Poor Barrett really is the face here. Shame on John Cena.

Barrett ordered Nexus to come get Cena but they all left. Cena attacked Barrett and went to give him an FU through the announce table but Barrett ran away. Barrett confronted Otunga backstage. Otunga told Barrett to either hire Cena back next week or Barrett will be out of Nexus. Barrett pondered his next move as the fired man’s music played throughout the arena.

Final Thoughts:

I really liked the start of Raw. Much of the rest of the show I thought was okay, but the strong lack of wrestling was a negative. And I absolutely hate the Cena storyline.


Blogger AKFooFighter said...

Do the "hotels" in towns like Louisville line up to have those scenes shot inside their establishments?

Riveting stuff...

- Matt in Anchorage

9:40 PM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

I don't get the DQ finish in the Riley-Orton match. Riley has not won a match since being assigned to Raw as Miz's stooge, so why go this route? What you neglected to mention, Todd, is that Riley ended up going through the table for the 2nd week in a row.

Punk was great mocking Cole's e-mail announcements, but Team LayMeOut ignored his request to shut up during the women's match. Michelle in particular has developed the snobby attitude that it's supposed to be about her, but the gimmick went stale months ago. No one, however, has bothered to explain that to her, and that's a shame.

Speaking of stale gimmicks, the GM angle falls in that category. It needs to end, preferably next week during the Slammys.

Maybe they can do us a favor and pull Cole off Smackdown as well to sell this angle.

None of this Nexus-Cena stuff would be happening if they did the right thing and had exposed the GM as being a Nexus ally before Survivor Series and blocked the stip.

That all having been said, it exposes again the shortcomings in creative caused by Vince's refusal to properly train his writers. This needs to end as well.

I'm very surprised that Nexus lost the tag titles, but the Usos are obviously the next challengers due to the Tamina-Santino angle.

It's funny how they decide that Tyson Kidd will be the new HBK, and the bodyguard (Jackson Andrews) is the latest Diesel clone coming up from FCW, but they get no interview time after Kidd beat David Hart Smith. Priorities, folks.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Allroy said...

Didn't watch the show, but wondering what everyone thought of Josh Matthews on commentary?

12:03 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

"Todd, is that Riley ended up going through the table for the 2nd week in a row."

I realized that when I was listening to Dave and Bryan this morning. What happened (and this happens from time to time) is that I'll type out notes as the show is going on, then I'll go back and turn those notes into (hopefully) coherent paragraphs. Occasionally I'll accidentally leave out a key point during that process, and that's exactly what happened on that segment.

I thought Josh Mathews was fine. He didn't really stand out, but that's probably a good thing given what they've been doing with PBP guys of late.

1:35 PM  

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