Monday, September 19, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 09/19/11 from Cleveland, OH.

The Big News: Miz and R. Truth were “fired.”

Show Analysis:

CM Punk came out to start the show limping badly. He noted that Cleveland has never been kind to him, as he once had to forfeit his title and once Hardcore Holly hit him so hard he still has a dead spot in his eye. He said that he’s beaten up, at which point Jerry Lawler started mocking him. Punk started to say that he might have been wrong about conspiracy when HHH came out to interrupt. Jim Ross had said that HHH was limping backstage but of course he walked out just fine. At least HHH said he was beat up.

HHH opened by announcing John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Punk in a Hell in a Cell triple threat title match for the next PPV in two weeks. He reiterated that he has nothing to do with any conspiracy and offered to fight Punk right there. Punk responded by saying that someone is playing both of them. He said the conspiracy doesn’t involve HHH but someone higher on the ladder. John Laurinaitis came out and told HHH not to believe anything Punk says.

Punk asserted that Laurinaitis wants to be COO and if HHH lost, Laurinaitis would have swooped in. Punk accused Laurinaitis of being behind the Miz, R. Truth and Kevin Nash run-ins. Laurinaitis said that HHH has lost control of the show but he wasn’t involved in any of that. Laurinaitis said Punk works for him. HHH said Laurinaitis works for him. HHH said he’d get to the bottom of this. Laurinaitis fired Punk. HHH said Punk wasn’t fired, but by the end of the night someone would be fired.

Justin Gabriel, Sheamus, Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne beat David Otunga, Christian, Wade Barrett and Michael McGillicutty. Nobody in the match got an entrance. Jim Ross at one point said WWF accidentally and it was censored. The heels worked over Bourne. Sheamus got the tag and hit a back breaker on Otunga. Kingston used a frog crossbody to take out Barrett. Christian set up for the spear but was caught with a boot to the head by Sheamus. Sheamus then gave Otunga a Brogue kick and razor’s edge for the win.

Backstage, HHH told a referee that he wanted to see Miz and R. Truth. Alberto Del Rio came in and criticized HHH for his title rematch coming in a cell and with Punk also in the match. HHH offered to give Del Rio his rematch on Raw but Del Rio said he needed the rest. Del Rio said he prays Vince McMahon comes back to run things, so they’re already teasing that.

Alberto Del Rio beat John Morrison with an armbar submission in a minute or so. Del Rio just worked over the arm quickly and applied the armbar for the tap. It seemed like this was partially intended as a burial of Morrison, but it’s also possible they just really wanted to put Del Rio over strong following his title loss.

Hugh Jackman came out. He ran the ropes, and yes, he was better than Kelly Kelly. He seemed in a great mood and was enthusiastic. He plugged his new movie. Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler interrupted. Vickie came on to Jackman. Jackman offered to shake hands with Ziggler but Ziggler refused and instead ran down Jackman and put himself over. They told the story that Jackman would find an underdog to beat Ziggler, with the underdog theme tying into his movie. There were “we want Ryder” chants. Jackman immediately recognized that and brought a Ryder sign into the ring. Jackman was great here.

Sin Cara was supposed to wrestle Cody Rhodes, but that never happened. The original Sin Cara came out first, but then Sin Cara Dos came out. They fought and blew a couple spots. The original Sin Cara cleared the ring of the second Sin Cara. They need to go ahead and clearly differentiate these two soon, because with them looking the same the crowd just isn’t reacting to Cara like they were before they started this angle.

Backstage, Miz and Truth apologized to John Laurinaitis. Then they apologized to HHH and were acting all humble and basically groveling. This was so stupid as they came across as enhancement talent cowering before the boss rather than heel main eventers. HHH accepted their apologies but said they would each be fined $250,000. I get that you want the idea they are making a lot of money, but they went overboard with that figure.

Jim Ross announced Randy Orton would wrestle Mark Henry in a title Hell in a Cell match at the next pay-per-view. He then brought Mark Henry down for an interview. Henry said he has never been in a Hell in a Cell match but he gave Orton hell the night before and he will do it again. He read his title belt, saying, “This says ‘World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry.’” In fact, it read “World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Mark Henry.” Evidently we’re supposed to pretend not to see that word. Henry said he will never forgive the people for not supporting him and wanted Jim Ross to apologize.

Henry said that Jim Ross wanted Vince McMahon to fire Mark Henry at one point because he thought Henry was injury prone and an underachiever. Henry demanded an apology and Ross apology. Henry then said he hates ass kissers. He grabbed Ross by the tie and choked him. Jerry Lawler went into the ring and asked Henry to stop. Henry let Ross go but then said Lawler would take his place. Lawler punched Henry in self-defense but Henry gave him a head butt and world’s strongest slam. He then gave Lawler another world’s strongest slam through the announce table. Josh Mathews and Michael Cole commentated the rest of the show. Henry was again really good here.

Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres beat Beth Phoenix and Natalya. The heels worked over Eve a bit and then she just rolled up Natalya for the win. This was a waste of time.

Zack Ryder beat Dolph Ziggler. Jackman recruited Ryder backstage before the match despite openly recognizing Ryder’s kind of a goof. There were let’s go Ryder chants. Ziggler hit a superkick and dropkick. They knocked each other down with a double clothesline. Vickie slapped Ryder so the referee ejected Vickie. Jackman then snuck up and punched Ziggler (which looked quite good) and Ryder hit the rough rider for the win. Jackman was again really good here and this was a fun segment.

They aired a Jack Swagger video package. Then, Swagger and Vickie Guerrero agreed that he would officially join her stable. Punk and Cena spoke backstage. Cena said that they are a lot alike. They each speculated the other might be fired by HHH.

John Cena and CM Punk beat Miz and R. Truth. The heels worked over Cena. Cena tagged Punk. Punk hit the high knee, bulldog and GTS on Miz for the win. After the match, HHH fired Miz and Truth. Truth and Miz attacked HHH backstage but most of the roster was sitting together watching a monitor and they grabbed Miz and Truth and threw them out of the building.

Final Thoughts:

For entertainment value, this was one of the better recent Raws even if the big picture problems with creative remain glaring. In particular, Hugh Jackman was tremendous. He looked like he was having a great time, he was on point with everything he did, and he’s legitimately a big star for them to get on. Mark Henry was another highlight.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Havent watched Raw since Obama was popular...does not look like I missed much....Mark Henry? Was Khali busy?

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Jeru the Damaja said...

It does seem as though Nash brought some old TNA scripts with him, gave 'em to 'Paul', and they decided that stuff was gold. I've been of the mind that Punk and HHH are, eventually, going to team up to defeat...I dunno, evil?
Kudos to Jackman. He really is a pro. He definitely made that punch look good, I suppose he's had a bit of practice doing that during his career.
Henry is coming off very well, but he's so limited that it just won't last very long. If they are already yanking the title off of Del Rio, who was looking good and can work, how does Henry stand a chance? He doesn't.
Agreed on the Sin Cara thing. I really couldn't tell who was who, since I don't watch Smackdown, so they need to have the fake Cara wear a Venom outfit to differentiate. It will be hard to sell this since the 'real' Sin Cara can't do any promos in English. He really needs somebody to be a mouthpiece for him.
It seems like Cena has been champ since Republicans were popular..which was a long time ago..and I really don't think I can take much more of him. Only fifteen more years of it, I guess.

9:25 PM  
Blogger s1rweeze said...

Hugh Jackman was a great get for them and was arguably their best guest host ever. A total natural on the mic and great in front of a crowd. Dolph Ziggler was also really good.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Laurinaitis is just awful on the mic. Definitely best kept behind the curtains.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous The Masterbater said...

I don't watch raw like I use too, but I just read your blog to keep me up to date but it looks like this whole CM Punk and HHH angle is a way of Vince McMahon to make a come back as he is the one trying to fire HHH.

11:19 AM  
Blogger The Original Donald said...

McMahon For Defeat in 2012.

4:59 PM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

Well, it's about freakin' time someone got a clue. I think we all figured out the plot way before Punk did, so of course Johnny Space Ace had to try to confuse the issue. Sorry, but now we know who the real doofus in the WWE is, don't we, kids?

Watch: Ace will "rehire" Miz & Truth in time for Hell in a Cell. He's marshaling forces against HHH, and if this doesn't sound familiar, well, think back about 8 years. Vince vs. Stephanie over on Smackdown. Pretty much the same thing, but done a little bit better.

More proof that when in doubt, the writers reach into the recycling bin.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Thanks, Todd. I skimmed the web last night, and maybe I just picked the wrong sites, but it seemed the consensus was this angle was awesome. "Contrived" was exactly the same thing I was thinking.

If 50% or even 80% walked out, that could be interesting. 100% is just not even remotely believable.

I'll at least give them some credit is they have the guts to run SmackDown with a skeleton crew or new developmental talent, or if they have some sort of good explanation for why people are there under duress. But I suspect the walk out will just be turned into a symbolic thing, not people essentially striking as was implied.

And why weren't Punk, etc., there? Triple H could have some interesting interaction with Punk. Maybe in a logical plot twist, Punk would lead a small group that would stick with Triple H.

Maybe the plan is everyone quit except Orton, Triple H, Cena, and Punk. Now those tippy-top guys can just wrestle each other over and over again on every show.

9:47 AM  

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