Monday, January 17, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 01/17/11 from Little Rock, AR.

The Big News: Everybody wants to win the Royal Rumble and Nexus has a new member.

Show Analysis:

John Cena started the show vowing to take out CM Punk, win the Royal Rumble and capture the title at WrestleMania. He told Punk to come get some. Miz came out instead. He said that nobody wants to see Cena at Mania because Cena is played out. Ain’t that the truth? Miz noted that the Rumble will be harder for Cena to win with 40 men in this year. He added that if Cena wins he shouldn’t come after Miz because he will lose. Cena responded with annoying “comedy.” Cena said Miz should have lost his title twice already because Michael Cole saved him from Jerry Lawler and Alex Riley saved him from Randy Orton.

Miz responded by calling Cena corny and put himself over. He said that he wouldn’t call himself awesome until he took out Orton. Cena said that Orton vs. Cena sounds like a WrestleMania match. Thankfully I can’t imagine that tease being anything other than a red herring. Cena said that Miz won’t get to Mania with the title.

CM Punk, David Otunga, Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris came out. Punk said that Miz doesn’t have to prove himself to Cena because Miz is champion and Cena isn’t. Punk said that Cena won’t win the Rumble with 40 competitors and all the members of Nexus looking to ensure Punk wins. The other members of Nexus attacked Cena. Vladimir Kozlov and Santino Marella made the save and Nexus bailed. However, they then went back to the ring with Punk joining them this time. The anonymous GM announced that if anyone in Nexus got involved in Punk-Cena they would be out of the Rumble.

Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov beat the Usos. The Usos worked over Santino. Kozlov tagged in and hit clotheslines and a powerslam on Jimmy. He tagged back in Santino and Santino hit the cobra for the win. Backstage, Nexus was trying to figure out a plan for the main event when Punk came in smiling and just said “faith.”

John Morrison beat Daniel Bryan. This was very good while it lasted and made you want more, which is pretty much the story of Bryan’s WWE career. Bryan went after Morrison’s arm. Morrison hit a side Russian leg sweep but missed starship pain and was kicked in the head. Bryan went for the LeBell lock but Morrison escaped and there was a double crossbody collision.

Bryan went for a German suplex but Morrison landed on his feet and hit a huracanrana. Bryan rolled through that for a pinning attempt. They followed with another series of pin attempts. Bryan went for the LeBell lock but Morrison reversed into a slingshot that sent Bryan into the corner. He followed with a springboard enzuigiri and shining wizard for the win.

After the match King Sheamus came out, talked about royalty, winning the Royal Rumble, and eliminating Morrison and Bryan. “Long live the king,” he concluded. God does Sheamus ever need to ditch this gimmick. Say the luggage with your outfit got lost and hope for the best, fella. We’re about six months from Red Rooster territory.

Randy Orton beat Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler went after Orton’s leg for a while. Orton came back with European uppercuts, a back breaker, clotheslines and a powerslam. He went for the draping DDT but Ziggler attacked his leg. Ziggler followed with a famouser for two. He applied the sleeper but Orton got to the ropes. He went for the zig zag but Orton grabbed the ropes. He then went for the zig zag again but Orton kind of countered into the RKO for the win.

This was a good match. I don’t really see the purpose of beating a title challenger repeatedly heading into a title shot but it’s not like anyone is ordering the Rumble for Edge vs. Ziggler. Still, they have this weird thing where they have to let everyone know that they’re not behind a new main eventer before the main event even comes.

After the match, Alex Riley and Miz attacked Randy Orton. Miz sent Orton into the steps. Jerry Lawler tried to stop Miz so Miz threw him into the crowd. Miz then sent Orton into the table, post and barricade. He finally said that he’s the Miz and he’s awesome. I liked the way they set that up over a few week period and booked Miz as a serious threat. Backstage, Punk preached to Nexus about faith.

Natalya beat Maryse in a short match with the sharpshooter. This was a weird segment. Eve Torres and Melina did commentary, but Melina basically just sat there and looked like she wanted to be anywhere else in the world. After the match, Maryse threw a temper tantrum in front of Michael Cole. Ted DiBiase tried to console her but Maryse wasn’t having it and left.

After the break, we got another weird segment. DiBiase said he will win the Rumble and that nobody can throw him out of the ring. So Mark Henry came out and did. Then a bunch of random undercard guys all came out and had an impromptu unofficial battle royal. They should have just booked an actual battle royal because all the guys spontaneously running out felt scripted. Darren Young finally shaved his hair. It ended up with Mark Henry throwing out King Sheamus. The descent of Sheamus continues. Alberto Del Rio then drove out and said his destiny is to be the winner of the Rumble.

They did a bizarre Derrick Bateman “comedy” vignette with Bateman acting like a scientist advertising the World’s Strongest Man cologne. Mark Henry did a voiceover warning of the side effects. They announced Miz vs. Edge for next week.

CM Punk beat John Cena via disqualification in an excellent match. Nexus came out with Punk but then left to the back. Punk gained control for a little while. Cena made his comeback with shoulder blocks, the Cena slam and the five knuckle. He went for the FU but Punk escaped and hit a leg lariat, running knee and bulldog. He went for the GTS but Cena countered into the STF. Punk got to the ropes.

Following a double clothesline, Cena went for the FU again but Punk got out and hit a kick to the head. He followed with a springboard clothesline for two. He used a reverse STO and then applied the Koji clutch. For some reason Michael Cole called this the Anaconda vise despite it not looking remotely like the anaconda vise. Cena escaped to the ropes.

Punk went for a pescado to the outside but Cena caught him and sent him into the post. Back in the ring, Punk went for a superplex but Cena fought him off and hit a top rope famouser. Mason Ryan then came out and jumped onto the apron. He kicked a security guy off him. Cena was distracted and Punk kicked Cena in the head. Mason Ryan came into the ring. Punk extended his arms and Ryan kicked him in the head for the DQ. Ryan then attacked Cena. Nexus came out to protect Punk but Ryan got on one knee and Punk gave him the Nexus armband.

Final Thoughts:

The wrestling on this show was very strong. It seemed the show long focus was emphasizing how everyone wants to win the Royal Rumble. And they did a nice job setting up Mason Ryan’s Nexus debut. This was a solid show.

One thing that is striking about Raw and Smackdown climaxing with the Nexus debuts of Ezekiel Jackson and Mason Ryan is Vince McMahon’s undying infatuation with size over charisma, speaking ability and working ability. The new guys they push as a big deal are almost always enormous muscleheads, which is an antiquated way of thinking given there is only one top pay-per-view attraction of the past five years who fits that mold.


Anonymous Ryan Rosenthal said...

The move CM Punk used that Cole incorrectly labeled the Anaconda Vise was actually the Koji Clutch, recently popularized by Christopher Daniels who uses it regularly in ROH as well as the tail end of his TNA run.

The move looks more visually impressive than the Anaconda Vise and Punk certainly locked it in nicely on a less than technically sound Cena, so I imagine he'll adopt it going forward as his submission since he certainly needs an over submission hold if he's to be a main eventer again and eventually have to work with the likes of Kane, Taker, Mason, etc., IE, guys generally too big for the GTS.

All that being said, I believe Cole intentionally via McMahon in his headset called the move the Anaconda Vise. Why? Why not. The Anaconda Vise has been used very sparingly by Punk and you know just how much WWE loves to re-write history, so why should this be any different? After calling the Koji Clutch the "Anaconda Vise" enough times, no casual fan will remember the previous hold.

Just my 2 cents.

~Ryan Rosenthal

11:29 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Thanks Ryan. I remember it now that you mention it. I hadn't seen it called in ages so it had drifted out of my consciousness.

12:15 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

Michael Cole has had a habit of late, thanks of course to "Chairman Wackjob" Vince McMahon forgetting the names of moves himself. Cole has, more than once, miscalled the Fameasser as a Zig Zag when applied by Dolph Ziggler. Luckily, he didn't do that last night.

Ryan Rosenthal: Thank you for ID'ing what Punk was really using for a submission. I knew it wasn't the Anaconda Vise, but since Vince is so ignorant.....!

And what about Mason Ryan? I'm sorry, but at first glance he does not remind me of Dave Batista in the slightest. Facially, from an angle, he reminds me more of an old football player from my youth, Hall of Famer Franco Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sorry, too, that this Nexus 2.0 is getting old real fast.

5:12 PM  

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