Monday, December 13, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 12/13/10 from New Orleans, LA.

The Big News: WWE set a record with the longest Raw in history, 18 hours by my unofficial tally.

Show Analysis:

Michael Cole, CM Punk and Jerry Lawler were back as the commentary team.

David Arquette presented the first Slammy Award. He was introduced as former WCW champion and was playing heel. It appeared he was trying to be purposefully bad, but it was the wrong kind of bad. The debut of Nexus won Shocker of the Year. Wade Barrett said that Nexus would never have become so powerful without him. Barrett said he hadn’t made up his mind on what to do with Cena but that he would do so by the end of the show.

Big Show beat Wade Barrett via count out. The GM made this match after Barrett won his award. This was a terrible match with an abysmal finish. It was a complete waste of time that could have been better spent in just about any conceivable way. Barrett stalled for a while. He then poked Show in the eye. He punched and kicked Show for a little while. Then Show punched and kicked him a little. Finally, Barrett grabbed his Slammy and left. Just incomprehensible.

Kelly Kelly and Tyson Kidd presented the next award. They traded insults that sounded so completely scripted in delivery. Kidd introduced Jackson Andrews as his bodyguard. CM Punk won the “Despicable Me” Award. He celebrated with Michael Cole and is heel this week after siding with Lawler the past two weeks. Punk vowed revenge on someone but didn’t mention who. Watch out, Raven. Punk then left backstage rather than commentate the next match.

Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan beat Ted DiBiase and Dolph Ziggler. Bryan was accompanied to the ring by the Bellas again. The match was fine but wasn’t given much time. The heels worked over Bryan. Kingston tagged in and hit the boom drop and trouble in paradise on Ziggler for the pin. The finish seemed abrupt and DiBiase tried to break up the pin but was slightly late. I think DiBiase was supposed to break up the pin but the referee just had to count three when he didn’t get there in time.

Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov presented the next award. Santino referenced Kozlov being humiliated by the cast of MacGruber. That angered Kozlov so Marella tried to assuage his anger. Pee Wee Herman won guest star shining moment of the year. He accepted the award on video with a thank you speech that seemed to last ten minutes. They cut to the audience twice, with the audience looking completely disinterested.

Backstage, David Otunga wanted Wade Barrett to make his decision. He made fun of Barrett for not doing well against Big Show. Barrett thanked Otunga for helping him decide what to do. This seemed to be a tease for Barrett turning on Otunga later.

Cody Rhodes beat Mark Henry in a short match. Rhodes was in control early with a sleeper. Henry hit some clotheslines but missed a corner avalanche. Rhodes hit a springboard kick and knee drop to the shoulder off the second rope for the win.

Jerry Lawler and Vickie Guerrero presented the Holy Shit Award. They went out of their way to emphasize they couldn’t use that dreaded scourge of civil society: the word shit. Shit, it’s not like anyone gives a fuck about mild profanity on cable TV in 2010. Lawler and Guerrero traded insults. John Cena won the award for his FU of Batista through a gimmicked stage.

Wade Barrett took the award and said that if Cena wanted it he could come and get it. He told Cena to come down to hear his decision. Nexus then joined Cena and Barrett. Barrett rehired Cena on two conditions: Cena would wrestle Barrett Sunday in a chairs match and Cena would wrestle Otunga on Raw. I’m so glad Cena is back. I sure missed him while he was fired. And look, just in time for the very next PPV. Nexus beat up Cena and Barrett hit him with a chair twice.

David Arquette came out again and was again really irritating in the wrong way. He presented the fan reaction of the year award, which of course went to the Miz girl. She got a big face pop when they showed her. She then showed up in person to accept the award. She started to give a speech but Miz interrupted and took the award from her. The girl gave him a dirty look and left. Miz then went to the ring to badmouth Randy Orton. The GM announced both Miz and Orton would face former champions on the show.

Miz beat Rey Mysterio. I figured they would give these guys some time, but they didn’t. Alberto Del Rio showed up. Rey hit a senton off the top and springboard crossbody on Miz but Del Rio prevented him from hitting the 619. Rey sent Miz into Del Rio and rolled up Miz for two. He went for 619 again but Alex Riley distracted the referee and Del Rio tripped Rey. Miz covered for the pin. The recent booking of this Rey/Del Rio feud is terrible, a constant stream of interference and distraction BS finishes.

The GM announced Alex Riley and David Arquette vs. Randy Orton for later in the show.

Edge and Christian (with his arm in a sling) presented the award for meltdown of the year. Edge won and then acted like he was having another meltdown about winning.

Sheamus and John Morrison were supposed to have a match, but they just brawled and were both disqualified. That’s just what the show needed at this point. Sheamus still had his goofy costume. The GM announced Sheamus vs. Morrison in a number one contender ladder match for Sunday. Sheamus then threw Morrison over the top rope onto the ladder. That was a very cool looking spot.

JTG and William Regal presented the knucklehead moment of the year. I haven’t seen poor JTG in ages and he blew the award announcement. He said Lay Cool won for beating Mae Young, when Young beat Lay Cool. Lay Cool came out to celebrate and made fun of Young.

Michelle McCool won a battle royal over Layla, Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Maryse, the Bella twins, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, Melina, Kaitlyn, Tamina, Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix and Natalya to be crowned diva of the year. I don’t know about determining a yearly award on the basis of one match that everyone qualifies for, but there were bigger fish to fry on this show.

Everyone went after Lay Cool to start. Tamina dumped Kaitlyn and Rosa, but the Bellas threw out Tamina. There were then a bunch of rapid fire eliminations. At the end, Beth threw out Melina and Layla. Layla helped Michelle get rid of Beth. Natalya threw out Gail and Alicia together, but Michelle sent out Natalya to win.

The GM announced Lay Cool vs. Natalya and Beth Phoenix for Sunday in a tag team tables match. They’re perhaps going overboard with stipulations that mean nothing. And I don’t know that I want to see one tables match a year, let alone two on the same night.

Edge beat Jack Swagger in a good short match. They announced Swagger vs. Kingston vs. Ziggler in a triple threat ladder match for the Intercontinental title Sunday. Swagger worked over Edge. Swagger went for the Vader bomb but Edge got his feet up. Swagger landed on his feet and went for the ankle lock. Edge got out and hit the implant DDT. He followed with the spear for the pin.

Backstage, Alex Riley was upset about having to team up with David Arquette. Arquette was enthusiastic. Miz said that it would be nice for Riley to win but that his goal is to put Orton through a table.

Big Show presented the award for moment of the year to Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. Michaels accepted the award on the screen. He said that he was at an undisclosed location because if WWE knew where he was they would try to get him to come back. Michaels said he misses the fans and hopes to see them some time down the road.

Randy Orton beat Alex Riley and David Arquette. Orton beat up Riley. Arquette came in but Orton went to give him an RKO so he tagged back out. Riley took over with punches on Orton and Arquette choked Orton behind the referee’s back. Orton came back with clotheslines, a powerslam, and an Angle slam on Riley. He then hit the RKO for the pin. Miz hit Orton with the briefcase after the match. Miz and Arquette went to suplex Orton through the table but Orton got out. Orton went to throw Miz through the table but Arquette made the save. So Orton gave Arquette a power bomb through the table.

Michael Cole presented the “And I Quote” line of the year award to himself. He then started to give an insincere acceptance speech. They played music to cut him off. This was amusing, although I do wish he would have kept going and going as the music played.

Teddy Long presented the Wrestler of the Year award to John Cena. “I’m back,” he said. Yes, back. He said that it was amazing he won the award given he didn’t have a job until an hour ago. Cena said that he said he would leave the company and he did. Now he’s back and he will continue to be a man of his word. Seriously, this is what they scripted him to say. He said that he has gotten to every member of Nexus but two: Barrett and Otunga. I guess pinning Otunga clean in a singles match on Raw a few weeks ago doesn’t count. He told jokes and then gave his word that he will destroy Barrett Sunday. They are booking and scripting Cena to be an obnoxious, insincere liar.

John Cena beat David Otunga. Nexus abandoned Otunga. Cena got the STF for the tap in a hurry. Cena hit Otunga with a chair repeatedly after the match while Otunga called for help from Barrett. Barrett stayed on the stage and watched as Cena vowed to take him out Sunday.

Final Thoughts:

This wasn’t as counterproductive as some editions of Raw are, but for entertainment this was pretty close to rock bottom. The Slammy Awards just aren’t very interesting and it feels like over the years it has become more about WWE writers congratulating themselves for “clever” and goofy ideas than actually rewarding performers for memorable performances that fans enjoyed. They also seemed particularly desperate to cover up any hint that they are a wrestling show.

Aside from the Slammy gimmick, the show itself was terrible. The wrestling was bad, the finishes were atrocious, the promos weren’t good, and the pay-per-view build was uninspiring. Besides all that, the show was flatly boring and felt like it went on forever.


Anonymous mike said...

Yeah, that show sucked.

I thought Punk had a couple of good lines. One being where he asked to read the e-mails since the fans seemed to like him doing it before. I also liked when he asked why Cena was smiling (this was before Barrett's decision).

The show would've been 1 million times better if Edge and Christian had given us a 5-second pose.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I'd like to know why Del Rio ran up the platform from Rey Mysterio, a man who is a foot shorter and 80 lbs. lighter than him?

7:52 AM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

Thank you, Todd.

You saved me from watching the second half of last night's mess. It's clear all your holiday wishes will come true.

All the best.

- Matt in Anchorage

7:54 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

The Slammy Awards have officially jumped the shark.

Michelle McCool is not the diva of the year in my opinion. She gets that because of who's she's married to (Undertaker), which hasn't really helped her in the ring. She's one of Vince's golden children, but the right thing to do in the battle royal would be to disqualify McCool and restart the match from the point of Layla's elimination (from whence she refused to leave), and give the award to someone more deserving.

Miz needs to learn that it's ok to job in non title matches. He needed illegal help to beat Mysterio, and the best thing they should do on Sunday is keep Alex Riley away from ringside. Miz needs credibility as champ, and is being booked in the opposite direction. Edge is right. Michael Cole is and always will be a tool, and he's in the right group, hanging with Miz.

The comedy bits with Lawler & Piggy Guerrero and Kelly & Kidd were gold. Everything else seemed like it was written for and by people with ADD. Hmmmm.......

9:34 AM  

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