Monday, June 13, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 06/13/11 from Zack Ryder Country, USA.

The Big News: WWE celebrated the WWE All Stars video game with a nine hour extravaganza featuring 1 decent finish every 95 minutes.

Show Analysis:

Miz came out to start the show and labeled himself the all-time WWE All Star. He called Alex Riley a fraud and vowed to expose him. He then asserted Steve Austin is jealous of him and owes him an apology. Steve Austin came out and said Miz can talk but when it is time to fight he runs away. Miz started to say something but Austin told him to shut up. Austin said Riley has more guts than Miz and might be a bigger star than Miz someday.

Miz asked for permission to speak like a child but Austin told him he couldn’t and continued on. Austin grabbed Miz by the tie and said Miz and Riley would be in Piper’s Pit later in the show. Austin then told Miz to get out of the ring if he knows what is good for him. So Miz just backed off and left. Miz got completely punked out and treated like a joke here, for no good reason.

Alberto Del Rio then came out. Del Rio said Austin would pass the torch from the greatest superstar of Austin’s time to the greatest superstar of all time. Del Rio started talking about destiny and Austin replied that Del Rio’s immediate destiny was an ass whipping. He announced an immediate match between Kane and Del Rio.

Kane beat Alberto Del Rio via DQ. Kane missed a clothesline off the top. Del Rio got him in the armbar. Kane got to the ropes but Del Rio refused to break and was disqualified. This was an awful start to the show and terrible finish.

Big Show then literally ran out after Del Rio, which was quite the spectacle. Show demonstrated great intensity and wasn’t selling any injury from having his leg run over with a car. He started beating up Del Rio but Del Rio ran off. Show then beat the hell out of Ricardo Rodriguez until Kane had to pull Show off. Rodriguez sold this big. Austin announced Show vs. Del Rio for Capitol Combat. It seems to me that if you book an angle where a guy gets run over by a car, he ought to be gone for longer than three weeks.

Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan and Ezekiel Jackson beat Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase and Wade Barrett. They used the Sin Cara lighting for the match. Cara hit a springboard elbow and tagged Daniel Bryan. The heels worked over Bryan until he got the tag to Jackson. Jackson came in with shoulder blocks, the body slams and went for the torture rack. Jackson’s comeback got no reaction. Rhodes and DiBiase prevented the rack but Jackson sent them to the outside and pressed Bryan onto them on the floor. Jackson then tagged Cara and Cara used a springboard crossbody on Barrett for the win.

After a break, Hornswoggle was shooting t-shirts out to the crowd. Memo to people shooting t-shirts to the crowd: if they come back from commercial and show you shooting the shirts live, run away immediately because something horrible is about to happen to you. R. Truth came out. He thought the t-shirt gun looked like fun and wanted to try it. Then he started to threaten John Cena and Hornswoggle so Hornswoggle shot him with the gun.

Truth no sold the attack and grabbed Hornswoggle. Truth teased that he wouldn’t do anything but then kicked Hornswoggle in the head. Steve Austin on the screen said that Truth should pick on someone his own size and announced Truth vs. Morrison for later on Raw. Truth stomped Hornswoggle again for good measure. This was a good angle.

Sheamus beat Santino. Santino avoided the razor’s edge and used a judo throw. He hit the cobra but Sheamus kicked out quickly with a knee to the head. He followed with the Brogue kick and then applied the Texas cloverleaf for the submission. Cloverleaf kind of fits with the Irish identity, although Texas doesn’t quite so much.

Randy Orton came out and said it was good to be back on Raw. However, he said he wasn’t satisfied because Christian was in the building. He invited Christian to come out for a conversation. When Christian didn’t show up, Orton admitted he was lying and was looking to hurt Christian. Christian appeared on the screen and wanted to know why Orton is so angry when his whole career has been handed to him on a silver platter and Christian has had to fight for everything he has earned. The crowd reaction to Christian seemed to indicate a lot of people didn’t know he turned heel.

Christian said he wouldn’t come out there. Orton responded by saying that it was too bad Edge wasn’t there to carry Christian to the ring like he carried Christian throughout his career. Christian teased like he would come out but of course he stopped at the stage and security came out to stop Orton from coming after him. The anonymous GM said although Steve Austin was in charge, Orton had a concussion and couldn’t compete. The GM told Orton to leave or be stripped of the title. Orton left and Austin announced Christian vs. Rey Mysterio.

Rey Mysterio beat Christian via DQ. Coming back after a break, Christian was choking Mysterio in the ropes. He broke right at five and was disqualified. Yes, they did a DQ for not breaking a hold twice in the same show. And the second finish managed to be even more dreadful than the first.

Afterwards, Christian was going to hit a splash off the top rope. However, Mysterio got up and stopped him. Mysterio was going to give Christian a top rope splash but CM Punk ran out. Mysterio took him out but then like an idiot went back into the ring to stare at Punk with his back turned to Christian. Christian tried to take advantage with the kill switch but Mysterio got out and knocked the members of Nexus off the apron.

Mysterio went for the 619 on Christian but was caught by Mason Ryan and sent into the post. Ryan threw Mysterio back into the ring. Mysterio was finally beat up enough for the title challenger to do something against him, and Christian gave Mysterio the kill switch. This segment did nothing for Christian going into the pay-per-view.

Backstage, Steve Austin was on the phone. Vickie Guerrero screamed at him to get his attention. She then asked Austin to give Dolph Ziggler a US title match on Sunday. Austin said he would make the match but only if Ziggler dropped Guerrero as his manager. After much delay, Ziggler said he would drop her. Guerrero was furious but Austin then said he was just having fun with them and he already made the match earlier in the day. This was an amusing segment.

The match between R. Truth and John Morrison didn’t take place. Morrison didn’t come out when his music played. Truth went backstage and found Morrison selling his neck on the ground. Obviously, the idea was Truth attacked him before the match and Truth kind of implied that. Truth slammed a heavy container into Morrison, which looked good.

Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne beat Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. The heels worked over Kingston. Kingston got the tag to Bourne. Bourne used a head scissors, double knee to the face and high knee on Swagger. Swagger applied the ankle lock but Bourne escaped. Kingston gave Swagger trouble in paradise and Bourne hit the shooting star press for the win.

Piper’s Pit began with Roddy Piper bringing up his boxing match with Mr. T at WrestleMania 2 in Long Island. Miz came out and said people tell him he’s the next Roddy Piper. Piper said there will never be another Piper and Miz is just a Piper wannabe. Miz retorted that he’s not like Piper at all. He noted he has been WWE champion and Piper hasn’t. In fairness, if Piper were around now he’d be a 14 time champion.

Miz said his time on the Real World was much better than They Live. Piper said he never saw the Real World and introduced Alex Riley. Riley said he decided to stop helping Miz when he realized he could beat Miz. Miz pointed out that he fired Riley. Piper did this silly, dated routine about Riley changing the questions on Sunday.

Miz suggested Piper bet with him on the result of the Riley-Miz match. Riley said Piper could beat Miz on Raw. Miz said he would put up $1,000 against Piper. What is this, 1972? Piper suggested $5,000. Austin on the screen then made the match with $5,000 on the line and Alex Riley as referee. Hold up. That fundamentally changes the previous agreement. Miz really ought not to be on the hook for that bet.

Roddy Piper beat Miz. Miz beat up Piper early. Alex Riley tried to stop him. Riley and Miz traded punches. Piper then rolled up Miz and Riley used a fast count for the fall. This was yet another crap finish.

Kelly Kelly, A.J., Eve Torres, Natalya, Beth Phoenix and Kaitlyn beat Maryse, Alicia Fox, Melina, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Rosa Mendes and Tamina. It started with Kelly and Brie. Brie immediately tagged Rosa. Kelly hit a Thesz press, stinkface and bulldog. She went to cover but Brie broke up the pin. A neatly organized brawl ensued with everyone leaving the ring in about 10 seconds. Kelly then hit the famouser on Rosa for the win. So, in summation, they booked a 14 person match that lasted one minute with only two people actually wrestling. The faces celebrated their win by doing the Rockettes thing to no audience reaction.

Backstage, Steve Austin was talking with Andy Leavine. CM Punk came in and Austin offered Punk a beer. They argued briefly. Punk thanked Austin for the match with John Cena later and said Austin set something in motion that will change the WWE landscape forever. Austin noted that Nexus will not be allowed at ringside.

Steve Austin came out to the ring. The anonymous GM told Austin he did a good job but the anonymous GM will be back next week. Austin said he was still the GM for this week and announced next week will be another three hour show with the fans selecting the matches and stipulations.

They blinked the lights and made the sound to indicate another e-mail from the GM. Only, the camera was right behind Michael Cole so you could see the screen remaining exactly the same as the lights blinked to signal a new message and Cole prepared to read off this unchanged screen. The e-mail sound kept going off. This made Austin mad so Michael Cole ran away into the crowd. The sound kept going out over the arena speakers even after Austin unplugged the computer. Austin poured beer over the computer and ran it over with the ATV.

This week’s WWE did you know announced that last night on USA, over 10 million viewers watched Tough Enough and Raw. That must have been quite the Sunday night lineup. The announcers quickly explained that it meant last week. If you add up Raw, Tough Enough and the Tough Enough replay last week and count each viewer on each show as entirely separate, you get almost 9.5 million viewers. So that’s basically true if you have very low standards for what constitutes truth.

CM Punk beat John Cena. Punk worked over Cena for a little while. As Cena was making his comeback, R. Truth came out through the crowd and was harassing a child. Cena was distracted and Punk hit the GTS for the win. Truth gave Cena the leaping downward spiral after the match. This completed the night’s theme of awful finishes.

Final Thoughts:

For the second straight week, WWE presented a terribly booked edition of Raw. Particularly striking is the WWE’s continued infatuation with terrible finishes. Every week they deliver one terrible finish after another, and somehow this is supposed to make you spend $50 on Sunday to see who wins additional matches. Instead, it teaches the audience that matches don’t matter, they don’t settle anything, and you’re not going to see feuds settled satisfactorily.

There are a bunch of factors for WWE’s long term pay-per-view decline, but these incessant horrendous finishes are right at the top of the list. Look at the people who draw on pay-per-view and the ratio of fuck finishes on their shows relative to the people who don’t. And at some point you ought to have the basic sense to recognize that match results have to matter again. People aren’t going to spend $50 for a show that resolves nothing and means nothing.

This is not that hard. The wrestlers in the top matches decisively win a series of matches and then they face each other on pay-per-view to settle who the best is. This isn’t rocket science. It is in fact exceedingly simple and is how wrestling has basically always been done. The whole point of protecting wrestlers with screw job finishes is so the losers can draw better in the future, but the point is completely moot because nobody in WWE is drawing.

We get a seemingly endless string of distraction finishes, interference finishes, count outs, disqualifications and assorted other bullshit. Then the pay-per-view comes, shock of all shocks nobody orders, and we’re told pay-per-view is a dying business. No, it’s not. But you have to actually give people a reason to spend their money and this incessant nonsense does not accomplish that goal in the slightest.


Anonymous Steve Khan said...

The Raw GM told Orton that if he didn't leave, he'd be stripped of the Smackdown title. Am I missing something here? Orton looked like an idiot for obeying the computer.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Todd,

Enjoy your Raw recaps and agree with your sentiments most of the time.

Let me say though the wrestling PPV business IS dying especially when it comes to WWE because there is NOTHING they can offer on PPV that would seem fresh and important compared to Raw and Smackdown.

With WWE's need to consistently pop a rating for USA network, they constantly giveaway "PPV quality matches" for free and yet we are expected to spend 50 bucks to see these matches again?

In this day and age with all things considered (economy, state of wrestling business, diversity of overall entertainment, need for ratings etc) the wrestling PPV business is dying and may never recover.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Bryan said...

They need to start calling the show Raw is Heels Never Get Over.

5:05 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

Was the Raw GM right to act in re.: Randy Orton? It's a jurisdictional thing, and one that again suggests that ol' Chairman Wackjob himself, Vince, is the one responsible. Teddy Long will hear some static on Friday for sure, but if the creative idiots were trying a red herring tease suggesting that Teddy has been pulling a Vickie Guerrero and trying to govern both shows, albeit covertly on one, they are out of their minds more than R-Truth has been presented to be.

Add Truth. After bringing down the house in Richmond last week, he gets shoved down the viewers' throats this week. Sorry, but he's not winning on Sunday.

This is 3 weeks in a row he's gotten the better of Cena, and while that pattern has worked before (Miz), this time, Truth is coming up a wee bit short.

Miz got pwned by two Hall of Famers on the mic. Now, all he needs is a whole humble pie.

The fault for WWE's problems creatively lies with Vince. As long as he continues to control the action, it's never going to change. The man needs to step down and let Hunter & Stephanie take over once and for all. I think we can see why Shane left. He got tired of waiting.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just thinking what anonymous stated above. You don't really have jobbers anymore and there is nothing to really distinguish what we watch for free and PPVs.

I think true wrestling fans will always tune into free television so you don't have to have ppv quality matches on raw and/or smackdown.

4:04 PM  

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