Monday, December 05, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 12/05/11 from Tampa, FL.

The Big News: A bunch of random guys received title shots against other random guys through happenstance and whatnot, with random stipulations thrown in for good measure.

Show Analysis:

John Cena came out to start the show. Cena said he was happy Roddy Piper told him how Piper felt. Cena noted the fans have the right to say what they want about him and he respects that. He basically sucked up to the audience. Cena argued he has always dealt with negative reactions but now people are making a big of it. He said it isn’t a big deal but CM Punk beating Alberto Del Rio was a big deal. Cena said Punk needs a number one contender and lobbied for the match. This set up the segment where everybody comes out to say they want a title shot and then the GM makes an impromptu decision to build the entire show around that.

Alberto Del Rio was first out to complain about Punk dropping him on an exposed turnbuckle when an intentional DQ was supposed to cost Punk the title. Dolph Ziggler was next. He pointed out that he beat Randy Orton and is the longest reigning champion in WWE. Cena called Ziggler a jerkoff and said he should give Zack Ryder a title shot. Miz was then out to say that he beat Cena, had the title longer than Del Rio, and doesn’t need Vickie Guerrero.

Miraculously, John Laurinaitis had a solution devised for just this scenario of four guys coming out to demand title shots at the start of the show and he announced each heel would face a Smackdown wrestler. Each man who won would be entered into a title shot at TLC, with a contract signing coming later in the show. He then told John Cena that Cena would be in a social experiment match.

Miz beat Randy Orton via count out in a short match. Orton hit a powerslam in the ring and a powerslam on the floor. Wade Barrett appeared on the stage. Orton proceeded to throw Miz back into the ring and then at the count of eight, chase after Barrett. He was of course counted out.

This was like a parody of WWE’s asinine distraction finishes. The challenger for the title looked like an undeserving joke. And that was done for the sake of “protecting” the face by making him look like the biggest idiot walking the face of the planet. You see, last week, he lost his match because rather than concentrating on his opponent, he decided to go after Wade Barrett.

This week, Wade Barrett comes out during his match again. Did he learn his lesson and decide to focus on wrestling the match at hand? Why of course not. He went after the guy not in the match and lost for the second straight week. But it wasn’t enough that he chased after someone not in his match and got counted out. No, he elected first to roll his opponent into the ring. Then, with his opponent safely lying in the ring at the count of eight, he elected to give chase after the guy not in the match. This is the scenario WWE writers devised to protect one of the company’s top babyfaces. Bravo, WWE. Bravo.

And then, for the coup de grace, Orton gave up chase of Barrett. Because Barrett ducked behind the curtain. Match lost, nemesis gone forever, Orton turned around to go back to the ring. Only, you see, Barrett hadn’t in fact disappeared forever! When Orton turned his back, Barrett attacked Orton from behind, left Orton lying, and departed chuckling to himself. And I’d be chuckling too if I picked a fight with a mentally handicapped ogre.

WWE aired a commercial for WWE Network in 2012. They plugged live wrestling, old wrestling and reality TV shows. They specifically mentioned legends in a house. This was all announced with one of the tackiest video packages you’re ever going to see.

Backstage, Zack Ryder wanted a title shot. John Laurinaitis said a petition isn’t enough. John Cena came in and told jokes. Laurinaitis made Cena vs. Ryder. Cena didn’t want this. Laurinaitis acted like Cena was saying Ryder was no competition for him. Ryder instantaneously was fooled by the heel’s manipulation and got angry at Cena. Laurinaitis announced that if Ryder won he would get a US title shot and if Cena won he would get into the WWE title match at TLC.

Backstage, David Otunga told Kevin Nash that Nash would be wrestling HHH in a ladder match at TLC. Nash said he doesn’t do ladder matches. Otunga said that a sledgehammer would be hanging above the ring and Nash was fine with this. Nash really should have trusted his first instinct on this one. Otunga said that Nash would be wrestling on Raw. Nash didn’t care about his opponent beyond it not being HHH.

Alberto Del Rio beat Daniel Bryan very quickly and clean with an armbar. This is how you build up a title challenger. They then announced Tribute to the Troops next Tuesday.

Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres beat Beth Phoenix and Natalya. They worked over Kelly a few seconds and then Kelly just rolled up Beth for the pin without even getting the tag. This was one of those women’s matches that accomplishes nothing other than making matches feel fake and insignificant. In other words, every WWE women’s match.

John Cena beat Zack Ryder. Ryder worked over Cena with a long headlock, a dropkick off the second rope, and a tornado DDT. Cena came back with the Cena slam and five knuckle. Ryder countered the FU and hit a running kick to the head. He went for the Rough Ryder but Cena countered into the FU for the pin. Ryder was annoyed after and Cena left.

Backstage, John Cena confronted John Laurinaitis. He wanted Ryder to get his title shot. Laurinaitis offered Ryder another opportunity, but only if Ryder won a match and only if Cena gave up his WWE title match at TLC. Cena agreed.

Zack Ryder beat Mark Henry. Henry dominated the match. Then John Cena ran in, gave Henry an FU, and put Ryder on top for the win. Ryder was perfectly happy with this and celebrated. This was more stupid booking. Ryder keeps losing and backs into a title match he is presumably going to win only through blatant interference. Meanwhile, the world champion gets pinned and it’s not even setting up a match. Henry himself isn’t hurt but wins and losses just feel like the random stuff that happens depending on who interferes or distracts this week.

We went backstage again. This time, Vickie Guerrero told Dolph Ziggler that Sheamus would be his opponent. Jack Swagger said he’d be there to help. Ziggler told Swagger that Ziggler didn’t need that. They teased tension but then laughed it off. Swagger said he’d be there but Ziggler again said no and left.

Kevin Nash beat Santino with a power bomb. After the match, he teased hitting Santino with the sledgehammer but didn’t do it. They showed CM Punk chatting backstage with Evan Bourne, who is obviously back now.

Sheamus beat Dolph Ziggler. Sheamus beat up Ziggler with punches and clotheslines. He set up for the razor’s edge but Ziggler escaped. Sheamus accidentally ran into the post but Zack Ryder then came out. Ziggler was of course distracted and Sheamus hit the Brogue kick for the pin. After the match, Ryder gave Ziggler the Rough Ryder.

I loved the booking of this match. Just kidding! It was shit. Again. So, not only is the challenger backing into the US title match but the champion is too. And through what means? The ever popular distraction finish, which would never happen in any legitimate athletic competition but manages to occur approximately 150 times a year in WWE, helping the winners not one iota, making the losers look like nimrods and imbeciles, and making matches themselves feel like utterly phony contrivances. And shockingly, WWE seems to be struggling getting people to pay $55 to see matches on pay-per-view. Go figure.

The show ended with a contract signing for the TLC title match. John Laurinaitis said exciting things are coming like the introduction of Brodus Clay and a Mark Henry vs. John Cena match next week. The Clay thing is just a joke at this point for WWE. The crowd just went “what” to the Henry-Cena match announcement and didn’t show any interest whatsoever. And why would they care, given the way matches are treated?

CM Punk said contract signings are clichéd and plugged twitter. Laurinaitis said he is about excitement and that Punk vs. Del Rio vs. Miz wouldn’t be a traditional match but a triple threat TLC match. Why? Why not? Punk said he’s okay facing a guy who lost at Survivor Series and a guy who lost on Raw. He told jokes about Miz. Miz said he took out Truth and Morrison. Laurinaitis wished Morrison the best in his future endeavors. Miz said those were his friends so imagine what he will do to Punk. He said he will take back the title.

Del Rio said he is the best and will take back the title. Punk made fun of him for always talking about destiny. Miz and Del Rio agreed that Cena won’t leave TLC with the title. Laurinaitis called for a goofy photo op and they all lined up except Punk. Punk said these things are supposed to end in violence so he started a fight for the hell of it. He ended up giving Del Rio a bulldog through the table and giving Miz the GTS. This segment had more comedy than anything and made little attempt to create any tension for the TLC match. Punk played the role of Cena, telling jokes and acting like he doesn’t give a shit about the matches.

Final Thoughts:

WWE’s streak of two better shows ended abruptly with just an incompetently booked show. The people putting together the show seemed to have no concept of the idea that in order to sell pay-per-views, you have to get fans invested in match results and make the matches feel important.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh shut up...Just please shut up already. You know something Todd, each and every week you sit there and pick apart and dissect Raw like some kind of Wrestling Genius, like someone who has had enormous success in the pro wrestling industry.


Thats right, your just a me. A guy who has sat back and watched wrestling as a fan for many years.

Look I know some of the shit WWE does, is not considered booking brilliance, but you know what Todd, it is what is buddy. This is WWE today, and this is what WWE has been for a long time. Perhaps your not capable of enjoying WWE anymore. Maybe you would enjoy one of those Smark Owned little rasslin groups who book their shows for the 50 geeks who actually watch the crap.

I only know of you from reading your Raw Reports on the F4W site and whatever else Free shit they offer...but you always complain man. Nothing in WWE satisfies you, nothing in WWE makes sense to you. Well then move on. Find something else to do with your time. Go write MMA Reports and talk about how everything is perfect in Reality Land of tough guy fighting.

Its WWE man. Its not that serious at all. You should know this by now. Its a goofy pro wrestling show. 90% of the fans who watch WWE, do not care about perfect booking and things making perfect sense and every angle and every character being perfectly explained to them. They watch the show for the entertainment of it and thats it. They're not sitting there taking notes and getting angry because of bad booking and finishes. I see you often say things like "this would never happen in a real sport" Hey Genius, it is frekin Entertainment. Pro Wrestling Entertainment. Lighten up already.

Quit being such a miserable Smart Mark and just sit back and be a fan again. That goes for you and that whiny Bryan Alvarez. Meltzer is chill and doesnt let stuff in Wrestling get to him, and Vinny is also for the most part. But you and Alvarez are ridiculous with this negativity.

Its not that serious guys. Its WWE.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

It's sad that WWE has turned some fans into battered wives, defending something they acknowledge is bad and attacking people for suggesting it ought to be better.

12:15 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

"Anonymous": Unfortunately for you, Todd is correct. Raw this week was badly misbooked.

Inasmuch as the contract signing is a cliche, as CM Punk correctly pointed out, but so are the tired distraction finishes. It's lazy writing. All it really did was settle John Laurinitis in the cliched role of the crooked GM. This cannot continue for too much longer. To be really creative, they need to have a face GM counter-balance Johnny Space Ace's incorrect decisions. It has to be done preferably next week.

A friend pointed out to me that Dolph Ziggler reminds him of the late Curt Hennig. I told him that the one flaw is that Hennig had a better manager as Mr. Perfect, and that was, of course, Bobby Heenan. What? You were expecting maybe "Coach" John Tolos? Hmm, well, of course not. Tolos added nothing to Hennig. Vickie Guerrero adds nothing to Ziggler, as all the heat generated is on her, not Ziggler. Why Uncreative can't see that is beyond me.

I can rebook this show pretty easily. So can you.

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd's overview of Raw each week is by far the best thing about the show.

Most weeks I skip Raw altogether, and Todd's recap assures me that (most of the time) I didn't miss much.

Then there's a week like this, where I waste a few hours of my life I'll never get back watching the show; reading Todd's recaps on Tuesday mornings reminds me that at least I'm not insane in realizing how bad it is (or if I am, I'm at least not alone).

After last night's horrible show, I certainly won't be watching next week, but I'm already looking forward to the update on this blog. If you're paid for this Todd, it's not enough. Keep up the great work!

7:36 AM  
Anonymous HHH said...

Everyone needs to leave the 1st Anonymous alone. Its about time someone stood up for the me ehhh I meant the WWE hating. I agree with him. Stop hating Todd!! The only complaint I have with WWE today is the lack of me in the WWE Universe, I know, I know that Kevin Nash put me out but you know we got to make these stupid storylines work, but anyways, I was thinking for a new reality TV show for the WWE-HHH Network for you guys its a show about me, my nose, Steph and the kids about our daily lives. Its going to be called Family Pedigree, I think its a good idea and you guys should start a petition on it. What do you guys think? And STOP HATING TODD!

11:42 AM  
Anonymous the Masterbater said...

Hey Anonymous, you ever wonder why, the WWE have low ppv buys, less attendance and low ratings?????? And you want Todd to stop complaining about Raw? We love professional wrestling and look at what it becomes, we complain about the product because we want it to succeed but if its going on the direction its going, it might not exist anymore. You are the one of a few fans that accepts the WWE for what it is. Well more of us want a better product and it shows, look at it less people watching. You need a reality check buddy.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off Todd, Your the one who seems to hate the show so much, yet you keep coming back week after week after week for another dose. I on the other hand actually enjoy the show, thats why I watch every week.

I dont find it anywhere near as bad as you make it out to be. Sure, certain things regarding Creative and Booking could be better, but the way you pick through and dissect everything, just makes you come off very miserable towards the show.

All Im saying is, were about to enter 2012. This is what the WWE product is currently and has been for years now. Im not saying its horrible...Im just saying, if you dont like it this much week after week after week....why even bother watching anymore?

Do what you want obviously, but I know I wouldnt watch something week after week if I didnt find anything good about it.

I hear guys like you and Alvarez talk about wrestling today, and I wonder, why in the hell do these guys even bother to watch anymore. All they do is whine about what they think is wrong with the shows, what they dont like, what sucks, what doesnt make sense....and you both pretty much crap on both everything in WWE and TNA. All that negativity is depressing to hear and read and does absolutely nothing to change the product.

All Im saying is, you guys should lighten up a bit, and try to enjoy the shows as a FAN. Instead of an angry Smart Mark who thinks they know all the answers. We all have our little fantasys about how we wish the shows to be, but guess what? Its not our call.

I read your Raw reports, and some of the things you point out, the common fan could probably care less about. Most people just go to the shows and watch to have a good time.

You just seem to be so miserable and negative to WWE. Think back to all the good times the company has provided you over the years, and try to find some good in it now. Thats what I do. Block out the crap I dont like, and enjoy the stuff I like. I cant imagine watching a show just to critique and point out all the bad I find in it.

Be a Fan again, you'll enjoy it more.

As far as you other people go... No. Its most of you who need the Reality Check! I would estimate there is only 5000 or less of you miserable Smarks, yet you think everyone must also feel the same way you do about current wrestling. WRONG!

Ive been watching WWE since the mid 80s. I understand that things change over time and with the times. A lot of you are stuck in the past and cant accept the fact that WWE has changed with the times. Move on already. Its the misery loves company mentality that some of you seem to have.


Just because there is a small amount of Observer subscribing malcontent rasslin fans who dont like todays product...doesnt mean that there isnt Millions of Fans around the world who do enjoy it.

For everyone of you 30 somethings who live in the past filled with Nostalgia and Sadness, yearning for the days of the past and wont accept the fact that times change and evolve and with that WWE has changed and evolved.....there are plenty of fans who enjoy the show that have taken your place.

One more thing. For anyone that compares todays Ratings, Buyrates, and things of that nature, to the past of 10-20 years ago, and is to dumb to realize how the competitive entertainment market has changed in those decades...wake up and do your research.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous The Masterbater said...

I did my research and what is it competing too? Since you did your research what is the competitive market WWE is competing with? TNA? UFC? Monday Night Football??? Dancing with the Stars????? American Idol????? Or are they competing against their awesome collection of movies that they develop, which I see Oscar performances with HHH and John Cena.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Gilman Chatsworth said...

The fans like Anonymous are competing against apostrophes.

6:24 AM  
Anonymous The Masterbater said...


I just saw the Raw ratings went down this week....hmmm... must be that competitive entertainment market that anonymous is talking about. Was it the epic Monday Night Football game? oh wait that had low ratings too, couldn't be that, must be that very entertaining show Pawn Stars in the History Channel. Damn that competitive entertainment market! Your right I do have to do my research more.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Id gladly explain it to you, but its not worth my time to go into that much detail for a little blog page that only gets like 1 comment a week.

If I was to explain it, Id want at least hundreds of people to see it, but preferably thousands, so its just not worth my time to explain in detail if only like 5 people will read it here.

Its funny that people actually compare PPV Buy Rates and TV Ratings from 10-20 years ago to today and dont realize why there is a big difference. Whats sad though is when wrestling newz people cant even figure it out, or just choose not to.

WWEs ratings are actually very strong....all things considered.

11:42 PM  
Anonymous The Masterbater said...

Ok so its not worth your time to explain it in detail BUT you keep coming back making comments in this small blog? Also its not worth your time but you typed about 6 paragraphs telling Todd to shut up and stop complaining about WWE. And then you keep saying the same stuff that why are we comparing TV ratings and buy rates 10 to 20 years ago, AND YET YOU CAN'T GIVE ME AN EXPLANATION OR FACTS because its not worth your time? Maybe is it because you don't have any answers?

11:30 AM  

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