Let’s start this off by giving congratulations to the WWE for what they accomplished this past Friday night. Just to show how important and big professional wrestling is in our culture, let’s take a look at the list of longest running weekly episodic shows in TELEVISION HISTORY.
6) Law and Order 456 episodes
5) The Simpsons 488 episodes
4) Lassie 588 episodes
3) Gunsmoke 633 episodes
2) WWE Smackdown 634 episodes
1) WWE Raw 960 episodes
Truly impressive. On to the show
Monday Night Raw Results 10/17/11
WWE is live tonight for the first time ever in Mexico City to a jammed pack crowd of 14,825 people. There are fans for miles and miles in the large arena. John Lauranaitis comes out to the ring. Immediately I have to complain. Seeing how they are in Mexico and the WWE Champion is from Mexico, there is no reason why the show didn’t start with Alberto Del Rio. But instead we get Lauranaitis. He says Rey Mysterio will return tonight. The crowd gives a huge reaction. Then he says Mysterio is still injured and that Mexicans don’t have a good sense of humor. I for one am happy Mysterio isn’t back yet. I don’t miss him and his same 5 moves at all. I need a much longer break away from having to see him. Lauranitis says that because of WWE fan backlash he has to bring back Jim Ross. Michael Cole is very angry about this and asks how JR even got over the border. He says they don’t have passports in Oklahoma. Lauranaitis gives JR a big fake hug in the ring. He shows JR a clip from commercial break last week when Michael Cole and Ricardo Rodriguez were in the ring together singing na na na na hey hey hey goodbye to JR. Lauranaitis makes the main event for tonight Alberto Del Rio and Michael Cole vs. John Cena and Jim Ross. Cole stands up on the announcers desk shouting at Ross. Boring start to the show. I don’t want to see JR on TV. Wrestling fans should truly be booing Jim Ross for the same reasons that they boo Laurinaitis. When JR was in Lauranaitis’ role as head of talent relations he used to ignore all the top indy talents. It wasn’t until Lauranaitis was brought in that good talents from other organizations were finally brought in. JR has always been a politician and doesn’t really know talent.
Randy Orton, Sheamus, and John Morrison vs. World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry (puke), Cody Rhodes, and Christian- Huge pop for Randy Orton from the large crowd. Maybe the loudest of the entire night. Orton and Christian start the match. Nice spot early on where Christian would normally go for a leap frog but is pounded with a stiff clothesline instead. Rhodes avoids Orton for awhile but when they are finally in the ring together Orton chases him to the back. (Commerical- ugh) Back from commercial apparently its now a 2 on 2 match. What a stupid idea. I hate “run offs” to the back. Such a lazy way to book a segment. It takes no thought. Morrison is now in the ring with Christian and hits a nice spring board cross body, followed by a flipping slam that Evan Bourn made famous during Wrestling Society X. But then Mark Henry is tagged in and he squashes Morrison. Christian comes back in and isolates Morrison away from the hot tag. Morrison counters with an enzuguri but is cut off by Henry from making the tag. Henry with a bear hug. Morrison eventually gains momentum and chops Henry down with drop kicks. Right when he is finally about to get the hot tag Christian knocks Sheamus off the apron. Sheamus chases him to the back. It’s now a 1 on 1 match. Really????? Again???? Well this match is officially awful. Morrison bounces off the ropes but is caught in the Worlds Strongest Slam. Henry simply catches him in mid air but Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole make it sound like we just saw a move from a John Morrison/CM Punk match. Henry’s slam was completely overrated and overhyped by the announcers, but that’s the finish. Henry wins (puke).
We see yet another hype video for Brodus Clay. He tries to be intense during the promo but his facial expressions and eyes don’t put the intensity over. He’s going to fail.
John Lauranaitis is in the back on the phone when the Bella Twins walk in. How long has it been since they were on TV? A month? They get a huge pop from the Mexican fans. They tell Lauranaitis not to forget about them and give him a double kiss on the cheek. Pretty pointless. Lauranaitis gets back on the phone and Ricardo comes in trying to get his attention. Lauranaitis won’t give him the same attention he gave the Bella’s so Ricardo has to keep whispering “Alberto Del Rio.” Pretty comical actually. Del Rio bursts through and says he doesn’t like his match tonight. Lauranaitis says that the winner of his match will pick the stipulation for their PPV match this Sunday at Vengeance. There is a PPV already? I feel like there have been 3 in the last month. There are way too many and they come way too fast. All of these mediocre middle card PPV’s are the worst. There really isn’t much to be excited about until The Rock returns at Survivor Series.
Eve Torres w/ Kelly Kelly vs. Natalya w/ Beth Phoenix- The announcers say that Eve Torres will get a Diva’s Title shot at Vengeance vs. Beth Phoenix. I’m glad they are moving Kelly Kelly out of the title picture. She doesn’t deserve to be champion. Funny moment is when they cut to a crowd shot full of Mexicans wearing Zack Ryder head bands. WWWYKI. Anyways the match is decent thanks to Natalya carrying most of it. Eve eventually wins with the moonsault thus preparing her for her Diva’s Title loss to Beth this Sunday. I must say that Natalya is by far the best wrestler out of the 4 women in this segment each week and yet she is the one who always jobs to everyone else.
CM Punk comes out to another huge pop. He is facing The Miz. The Miz and R-Truth come out together singing their “You Suck’ song. Miz sings some of it in spanish. He says something about stupido. Punk is sitting down in the middle of the ring Indian style while they sing. Miz takes the mic and says that they did something that CM Punk could never do..get Triple H fired. R-Truth says CM Punk talks too much and they don’t like people who talk too much. Triple H’s music hits and he comes out in Punk’s corner.
CM Punk vs. The Miz- Good chain wrestling to start. The Miz rolls to the outside and Punk hits a running suicide dive. He hits a senton back into the ring. He misses his knees in the corner spot and rolls to the outside. R-Truth approaches him, but Triple H neutralizes. Punk hits a springboard forearm back into the ring. The Miz takes over on offense and draws Triple H into the ring who inadvertently distracts the referee. Miz and Truth double team Punk. Stupid Truth goes on for too long and is still hitting Punk when the referee turns around. Realistically this should have been a disqualification. But because they spot wasn’t planned that way and because Truth botched it the referee acted like nothing happened. Good going Truth. The match continues as Miz and Punk go back and forth for awhile. Have I mentioned yet that this is a solid match? R-Truth hits Punk with a water bottle on the outside. Triple H chases him to the back. What is the problem with everyone chasing everyone to the back tonight? Geez. Lauranaitis comes out to say that there is an immigration problem with Triple H. Triple H has to leave. R-Truth is dancing telling Triple H to go and gets nailed in the face. We then go to commercial. Coming back we are shown what happened during the commercial break. Lauranitis is in the back with Triple H telling him that he will sort this all out after Raw is over. Back in the ring and the match is still going on. I LOVE IT. Finally, a real wrestling match. And a long PPV style wrestling match at that. And it involves the best wrestler on Raw, CM Punk, and another highly entertaining wrestler in The Miz. Punk hits Miz with hard elbows and kicks which leads into a swinging neck breaker. He hits the high knees in the corner followed by the Macho Man Randy Savage flying elbow drop, in homage of course. He signals for the Go to Sleep. But first he has to knock R-Truth off the apron. The Miz counters the GTS but gets thrown into Truth, who is now back up. Punk rolls up Miz for the win. After the match he is double teamed by Miz and Truth. The referees come out and make them leave. They throw their hands up and then on the back of their heads like they did when they were arrested at the last PPV. They leave peacefully but then Truth sprints back down the ramp and kicks Punk in the head. Miz runs back down and hits the Skull Crushing Finale. This entire match lasted 34 minutes. Major kudos to the WWE for this. A true highlight of the show.
Back from commercial Cole and The King are asking everyone to go to WWE.com to vote for the name of a reality show they will produce featuring a bunch of WWE legends living under one house. Are you serious? That is amazing. I can’t wait for this. It has to be hilarious. But it has to feature The Iron Sheik. Can you imagine him, Nikolai Vokoff, and Roddy Piper all living in one house together. Greatest television ever!
Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, and Vickie Guerrero come out. Vickie is wearing some hideous large red Mexican dress. She says she is a goddess in Mexico and is the Angelina Jolie of Mexico City. Vickie is a great heel. She announces that she got Ziggler and Swagger a tag team title shot at Vengeance against Air Boom. Ziggler says he is the champion of the greatest country in the world, the United States. The Mexican fans boo loudly. Speaking of Nikolai Volkoff, Swagger asks everyone to rise as he sings the American National Anthem. He sings very poorly and has to stop because the crowd is extremely loud with boos. He tells them he will start again. At that time Zack Ryder’s music hits. Finally. Ryder comes out fist pumping of course.
Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder- Swagger hits a very impressive power slam. Ryder counters with double knees to the face in the corner and then hits the Rough Ryder for the win. The match was about 30 seconds long. I hate 30 second matches. But I never would have thought in a million years that Zack Ryder would be winning one of them. That part I love. After the match Ziggler and Swagger corner Ryder, but Mason Ryan hits the ring. They attempt to leave but Ryan reminds Ziggler that they have a match next. Oh yay (sarcasm.)
Mason Ryan vs. Dolph Ziggler- Back from commercial Ziggler is trying to fight off Ryan. But Ziggler runs into a huge shoulder block. Because that’s what big men do. Shoulder blocks, gorilla press slams, and choke slams. Booooring. Ryan continues to counter every single move that Ziggler does. He chases Ziggler outside and gets slapped by Vickie. He takes his aggression out on Dolph. He pounds Ziggler in the corner until he is disqualified. Swagger hits the ring and is taken out. Then Ryan hits his swinging power slam finisher thing on Ziggler. End of segment. So again Ryan upstages Ryder. How will Ryder ever get his rightful United States Championship match if they are too busy pushing Ryan? And Mason Ryan is not good. He stumbles, he is green, and he has no charisma.
In the back Jim Ross is putting on boots when John Cena comes up to him. JR says he’s almost 60 years old and that he’s a grandfather. He doesn’t want to wrestle. Cena tells him to just stand in the corner. JR says that he does want to get his hands on Michael Cole though. Cole, who is sitting at ringside, picks up a mic says he will put JR out of his misery. He also says that he will pin John Cena. Thank god Cole put this storyline over because the backstage segment with JR mumbling didn’t do it.
Josh Matthews is now on commentary. Ricardo Rodriguez introduces Alberto Del Rio to a mixed reaction in his home country. Michael Cole comes out next wearing a red singlet, wresting head gear, and with a jump rope. Jim Ross comes out. Finally it’s John Cena. Cena comes out to a surprisingly huge reaction full of mostly cheers.
WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio and Michael Cole vs. John Cena and Jim Ross- Cole wants to start the match with JR. Cole makes fun of JR’s stomach and gets a huge slap to the face. Cena and Del Rio are tagged in. The crowd immediately goes wild for their face off. So wild that Cena has a huge smile on his face. All of a sudden this match has a big match feeling to it. Cena hits a hip toss and all of a sudden the crowd changes. Huge boos to Cena. Del Rio then hits a hip toss to huge cheers. This is completely opposite to what happened when they made their entrances. Talk about being in bizarro land. At this point in the match I’m very into the wrestling and the crowd. I kinda wish the Cole/JR storyline wasn’t interrupting what we are witnessing. Thankfully the wrestling lasts awhile and I’m really able to get into the match. Del Rio works Cena into a corner and Michael Cole clubs Cena over the back. Del Rio hits a series of viscous kicks. He hits a bad double ax handle off the top. Del Rio with a snap suplex into a chin lock. The crowd is going crazy chanting something in Spanish as Ricardo Rodriguez revs them up on the outside. Del Rio hits a beautiful bridging German suplex. Cena tries to counter a Del Rio slam but gets caught in a tilt a whirl back breaker. Del Rio has dominated the entire match. He hits a big enzuguri kick in the corner for a near fall. But then Del Rio misses a senton off the top rope. The match turns. Cena hits a shoulder tackle and the 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Del Rio tags in Michael Cole and flees. Cena slams Cole into the ring. Cole begs Cena and asks for a hand shake. Cena gives him the Attitude Adjustment instead. Cena tags in JR who puts an ankle lock on Cole. Cole taps out for the win. Del Rio pulls Cena to the outside but Cena hits another AA on Del Rio onto the floor. Cena counts to 7. Del Rio gets up, gets hit with a clothesline, and then hit with the ring steps. Cena counts to 10. Which obviously means that their match at Vengeance will be a Last Man Standing Match.
My thoughts- Decent show. Here is the problem. Every time there is a special overseas live show it’s supposed to be unique. Every show in England is always decent because the crowd will chant “We want wrestling” if there isn’t enough wrestling. I remember the one time only live show from Japan when the show started with a submission match between Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit and the crowd clapped in the unison the entire night. Amazing, unique, legendary, epic show. All the Canadian shows have a special buzz to them. So I thought that a live show in Mexico in front of a larger than normal packed house would be special. Well it wasn’t special. It was only mediocre. The problem with the WWE is that they have to spend so much time pushing story lines and using all the mediocre talent they have. They do this instead of putting on a strong wrestling card full of great matches with the talent that they do have. The number one priority of the show should be the wrestling. Then you can mix in all the good storylines and all the entertaining characters. But the wrestling needs to come first. This means that they need to feature longer matches with guys like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Evan Bourn, John Morrison, Kofi Kingston, Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Natalya, Maryse, AJ, and Alicia Fox. Obviously you have to use superstars like John Cena and Triple H in there as well, but the good wrestlers will carry them. From there you can mix in the entertaining guys like Zack Ryder, Christian, Cody Rhodes, Sin Cara good and bad, David Otunga, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Wade Barrett, and Santino Marella. I list all of those guys here because they aren’t tremendous wrestlers but they are good enough to be used in the WWE and are entertaining. Then you have your list of guys who just aren’t good that need to go or don’t need to be used much at all. Too many of these guys are pushed and overused leading to a mediocre show. These guys are Mark Henry, The Big Show, Alex Riley, Jack Swagger, Mason Ryan, Ezekial Jackson, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Kane, Ted DiBiase, and Kelly Kelly. All of these guys are either big, have worn out their welcome, lack wrestling ability, or lack charisma. Then there is your group of guys that are solid and need to be used in a bigger role. These guys are mostly jobbers and will never get their chance. I’m talking about Yoshi Tatsu, Drew McIntryre, Tyson Kidd, William Regal, and Goldust. I know Regal and Goldust are older, but there is soooo much you can do with them. Regal is one of the greatest in ring wrestlers of all time and can put on an absolute clinic with all the great wrestlers I listed above. The possibilities of Goldust interacting with his younger brother Cody Rhodes are endless.
That my friends is how you fix the WWE. But instead we get mediocre shows in front of major crowds featuring a bunch of big men with limited in ring skill. At least we got Punk vs. Miz and Del Rio vs. Cena tonight. Those two matches were the only reason why this show is even being listed as mediocre.
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