Because of the overwhelming support of you wrestling fans I’m back to once again give you a full recap and my thoughts on last night’s edition of Monday Night Raw. Please continue to leave comments and to discuss what you think about the current state of Raw, and feel free to ask me any questions at all. I can answer anything at all about the WWE or the wrestling business itself. Let’s do this again.
WWE Monday Night Raw 9/12/11
The WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio is out to start the show. He puts himself over and tries to make himself a more believable champion by talking about his list of accomplishments. My favorite wrestler of all time, and WWE Hall of Famer, Bret the Hitman Hart makes a surprise appearance in Canada, and heads down to the ring. Bret is the best technical wrestler of all time, never had a wasted a move in a single one of his matches, and never had a bad match with anyone. He truly is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. Moving on. He pretty much had the same exact altercation that he had with Christian on Smackdown a few weeks back. A simple heel/face conversation to bring more heat to the champion. John Cena comes down to the ring to support Bret. Del Rio suggests that Cena faces his ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez. Cena suggest that Del Rio puts the title on the line against Bret. The head of talent relations John Laurinitis comes out to announce a predictable tag team match later on in the night. That ends the segment. So why are we seeing Laurinitis every week? He has no charisma, has no voice for television, and his decision making power really makes no sense. Why would a guy who signs talent be able to make decisions? I don’t get it. My guess is that they are trying to keep him relevant since he will be part of the big finish at the PPV this Sunday in the CM Punk/Triple H match. Of course Kevin Nash will return and be accompanied by Laurinitis.
John Morrison and Alex Riley vs. Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero. First of all why were there no entrances for this match? I hate when we come back from commercial break and all of a sudden 4 guys are in the ring and the bell rings. It’s very stupid. It’s like saying, oh by the way, a match that we didn’t hype at all is happening, so here you go, lets start it. It demoralizes the value and the purpose of the match. Find another way to save time. So John Morrison, who is underused, is very impressive early with a lot of nice spots. Then in typical WWE Raw style, the match concludes pretty quickly. Alex Riley hits a weird spinning finish on Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler doesn’t try to break up the 3 count. Thus continuing this jealousy feud where Swagger and Ziggler are fighting over the services of Vickie Guerrero. This one is over. I have to say that I really don’t like Alex Riley. I think he is boring, he doesn’t make sense as a face, he isn’t over with the crowd, and his mic skills aren’t as good as he thinks. Former WWE wrestler Shane Helms calls him The Mock on Twitter because everything he does mimics The Rock in his early days. I see it. Tonight I saw him kneel over and motion for his opponent to get up, then kick them in the gut, and try for a quick DDT. Does that spot remind you of anyone?
In the back we see The Miz and R-Truth as they begin a walking promo towards the ring. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a walking promo, but The Miz is the king of them. The purpose of this promo is to talk about how they want Triple H to lose to CM Punk at the PPV this Sunday so that he is no longer the COO of the WWE. They continue out to the ring trying to be comical. Most of their jokes are awkward. They don’t really have good chemistry together on the mic. They steal each other’s catch phrases at the end.
The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston. In an attempt to hype the thrown together tag team championship match at the PPV we have this match. The beginning of it is very good and very quick as the two men counter each other’s every move. Then we go to commercial and I completely lose the psychology of the match. I hate mid match commercials. They skip over an important part of the story to each match. It reminds me of the scene in the unpopular movie Planet Terror (which was part of the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse double feature) where they are in this building and everything is fine, and then part of the film reel is missing, and when it cuts back the entire building is on fire and there are zombies and bodies everywhere. How am I supposed to follow the story of the match when half of it is cut out???? Anyways, The Miz wins cleanly with the Skull Crushing Finale. This gives the team of The Miz and R-Truth momentum heading into their PPV match and actually makes them realistic contenders to face Kofi and Evan Bourn for the titles.
Terrible and outdated Smackdown General Manager Theodore Long is in the back with Vickie Guerrero and informs her that at Night of Champions Dolph Ziggler will defend his title in a fatal 4 way match against Alex Riley, Jack Swagger, and John Morrison. I love John Morrison, but how did he get involved in this match? What has he done to be in the title picture? It doesn’t make sense. Next, WWE Diva’s Champion Kelly Kelly goes up to Vickie and tells her that if she were nice these things wouldn’t happen to her. Vickie tells her that she hopes Beth Phoenix beats her for the title at the PPV and that she could even beat her herself. Teddy Long hears this and books the match. So why are they using so many non wrestlers tonight when they are already having trouble fitting everyone onto one Raw roster? Bret Hart (not complaining), Ricardo, and Vickie? Isn’t one gimmick match good enough?
David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty are in the ring (no entrances again) telling Jerry “The King” Lawler that they have a famous father and a Harvard degree. The King tells Otunga that he must have failed his charisma class. (Not funny.) The King has a mystery partner tonight and introduces Sheamus.
David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler and Sheamus. Otunga and McGillicutty isolate King and beat on him for a little bit. Then a pretty quick hot tag happens and Sheamus dominates them both. He hits a double Bro Kick and the Celtic Cross for the win. Yay! Huge problems with the booking and this match. First of all, the purpose of this storyline should be to put Otunga and McGillicutty over. Why would they need to put a Hall of Famer, Jerry Lawler, over anymore? Squashing the team doesn’t help them at all. It’s kind of what WWE did with Lance Storm years back. They put down his lack of charisma then squashed him for no reason. Also, the storyline is backwards. What sense does it make to have The King find a new mystery partner each week and keep on winning? Usually in this storyline the guy keeps using a different partner each week and keeps on losing. That creates a purpose for the guy to find a new partner the next week in an attempt to get back at the winners. It doesn’t make sense to progress this storyline anymore in this role. They already killed Otunga and McGillicutty. All they can do now is change McGillicutty’s name to Henig or have him do the same gimmick as his father Mr. Perfect. Otunga needs to be by himself and re-branded. Maybe his wife Jennifer Hudson can valet for him for a little while to help get him over. Also why did Christian not get involved in this match seeing how he is in a new and fresh feud with Sheamus. How about Christian distracts Sheamus leaving The King all alone with the tag team. Then Otunga and Perfect Jr. pins Lawler? That is how you book a show guys.
Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo are in the back as Ricardo tries to do push ups in preparation for his first match. Of course he can’t really do the push ups.
Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez vs. John Cena and Bret Hart. Bret is wearing shorts for this match. I really wish he would put on some pink and black tights. Ricardo is wearing tights. A huge “Thank you Bret” from the great and rowdy Canadian fans before the match gets underway. Cena starts the match by playing bull fighting with his red shirt with Ricardo. The crowd chants “Ole” every time Ricardo misses. Cena then dominates Ricardo. Then he dominates Del Rio. Then Del Rio leaves. Cena tags in Bret Hart who applies the Sharpshooter on Ricardo for the win. This was good hype and good momentum for Cena heading into the PPV. Ricardo’s ring skills were impressive. Bret is a god.
We see a 9/11 video voiced by John Cena showing the historic Smackdown from 9/13/01 where the WWE was the first event to take place with a public gathering following the attacks. I think the show should have started with this video. I don’t understand the placement of this. It kind of popped up at a weird time. Cena could have introduced it. Maybe Smackdown will start Friday with it.
Kelly Kelly vs. Vickie Guerrero w/ Dolph Ziggler. Kelly throws Vickie around for about 30 seconds before Jack Swagger comes out to argue with Dolph. They begin to fight as Kelly rolls up Vickie for the win, effectively wasting everyone’s time. Didn’t we already see the Ziggler/Swagger storyline progress tonight? I mean, I like the storyline and all, but now its being overbooked. WWE acts like a heel/heel rivalry is a brand new innovative thing. So Beth Phoenix eventually hits the ring, but Kelly knocks her down and gets out of the way. Poor way to hype their PPV match Sunday. The match will be in Beth Phoenix’s home town of Buffalo, so I’m sure she will win.
Mark Henry is in the back talking about how he has been with the company for 15 years and has never been World Champion. He is using that as his motivation to beating Randy Orton for the title at the PPV.
World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes. I love the bags that Rhodes brings out for the crowd to put over their head. Pretty funny seeing 5 random people in the front row watching the match with paper bags on their head the whole time. Mark Henry wastes no time coming out to the ramp. Orton chases him to the back. He comes out again and sits on a chair. He starts to inch closer throughout the match. Jim Ross makes a horrible symbolic reference saying that the closer he gets to the ring symbolizes him getting closer and closer to the World Championship. Jim Ross is terrible. One of the worst ever in my eyes. Plus he calls every single move incorrectly. Back to the match. Henry eventually gets to the steps and distracts Orton. Rhodes hits Orton with his mask, hits Cross Rhodes, and pins him for the big upset. Henry then gets in the ring and hits Orton with his steel chair. He holds up the title, that if he wins will make me not want to watch WWE programming. Did I mention I think Mark Henry is terrible and one of the worst wrestlers ever? Why hasn’t he been champion in his 15 years? Because he’s not good at anything. His golden days were being a comedy character in a storyline with 80 year old Mae Young. He’s an awful wrestler, he’s slow, he lacks psychology, and he’s incredibly injury prone.
Finally the moment we’ve all been waiting for. CM Punk. The main event segment is scheduled to be a talking session between him and Triple H. These things will NEVER EVER get old. I could sit and listen to CM Punk shoot about the wrestling business for hours. Usually I hate talking segments, but I want to hear Punk get into a real debate week after week with every higher up in the company. Punk starts the talking by acknowledging that everyone listening can’t wait to hear what real things he has to say. He may be the smartest wrestler I’ve ever seen. He knows the importance of his speeches and how much everyone truly wants to hear them. Highlight line #1 from Punk to Triple H. “ I respect you for firing that charisma vacuum and ratings killer Kevin Nash.” Highlight line #2 from Punk to Triple H. “Your just like Vince McMahon with your little suit and pants that probably don’t have a back pocket for some strange reason.” Punk then goes on to talk about how the WWE is the land of the giants and how big men get more opportunities than smaller wrestlers. Triple H argues that Shawn Michaels and others were not big. Punk accuses him of ignoring the fact that this issue really does exist in the company (and we all know it does.) This is why I love Punk. He is not afraid to, and is allowed to, say anything he wants. My favorite line of the night….Triple H talks about how getting over is by giving the people what they want. Punk responds with “Then where oh where are my WWE ice cream bars.” For those of you younger fans, WWF ice cream bars were these amazing magical double flavored wonders that were sold in the early 90’s. They had a soft cookie outside flavor and were filled with vanilla. They featured a black outline of a WWF wrestler on them and came with a WWF trading card. I’ve personally told people for years how much I missed them, and Punk does too. He’s brought this up on multiple occasions. So if anyone from WWE world is reading this, listen to Punk, and bring back the ice cream! Moving on to the finale. Punk tries to straight shoot and says “This isn’t CM Punk talking to Triple H, it’s Phil Brooks talking to Paul Levesque”, and at that time his mic is cut off. Triple H hands him another, but that one gets cut off too. Triple H hands him a third but Punk hits him in the head with it. He walks off to the back to some major “CM Punk” chants from the crowd.
I want to point out that earlier on in the night they announced that the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Pay Per View will be taking place in Baltimore, MD at the 1st Mariner Arena in December. Tickets go on sale this weekend.
Thoughts: Decent Raw. WHERE IS ZACK RYDER??? After pushing him last week they failed to use him this week. Shame on them. For some reason a whole lot of the things I talked about and wanted to see last week showed up on WWE this week. Which tells me that A) I’m predicting what will happen a week in advance because I know what the writers are thinking, or B) Someone from WWE creative read my article. If that is the case then I hope they find what I’m saying to be motivational to putting on a better product. If that is the case then here is what I want to see next. More Zack Ryder. I want to see Daniel Bryan on Raw and on Smackdown, because he is the best pure wrestler in the world. I also want to see CM Punk booked in more than one segment. And finally I want more WRESTLING. This is a WRESTLING show. All of the talking segments tonight (minus Punk) weren’t very entertaining. Give me longer and more athletic matches instead. Let guys like John Morrison, Evan Bourn, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Sheamus, Kofi Kingston, and The Miz have longer matches. That is why I watch.
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Dats was sweet of CM Punk to do that
I think the last segment with HHH/CM Punk dragged and the pops from the crowd were not that loud. Not sure if that was a TV production issue or the Canadian crowd was just not into it, which is unusual because Canadians usually bring the excitement. They broke out into a few chants but it wasnt that loud. Punk looked like he didn’t know what to say a lot of the times and there seemed to be some pauses. I like Punk but based on ratings and crowd reaction (Chicago excepted) it doesn’t seem like he got that much pop. The end of the segment was classic machismo talk but it added some energy to the long segment and I liked it, even if it wasn’t as intellectual as the beginning exchanges of their convo.
In other news, I dont like the way John Cena gets all brave with Alberto Del Rio, promising to beat him down, when he was all calm and cordial with CM Punk. It makes John Cena look like a weak bully who just talks smack to people he can beat up and is afraid to make guarantees against someone like Punk. I dont think Cena ever said anything to Punk like “Come Summerslam, the title is mine,” or “You got lucky in Chicago because Ace interfered but I’m going to beat you straight at Summerslam.” It also makes Del Rio look weak and WWE really doesn’t have any strong heels and Punk is a tweener/face so not sure why they make Del Rio look so weak. Even if he wins he’ll look weak.
I thought the crowd was loud and rowdy the whole show. I agree with you on Cena. Del Rio is still a little weak as a champion right now, but he won’t be after he beats Cena. I don’t think Punk is a tweener at all. He is the most over face in the company. Nobody has been that over while acting that way since Stone Cold. As far as other top heels, I have to put The Miz in that category. He is the top heel in the company and underused.
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Overall, a very solid RAW in my opinion. McGilicutty (Curt Henning’s son) has NEVER been more in need of a name/gimmick change and the exchange he had with Lawler only proves that.
Yes, he is very weak right now. I’m not sure he will ever really make it in the WWE. I don’t really see much for him to do to be successful. Ted Dibiase is having a hard enough time, and he is better than McGillicutty.
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Please write more, finally a wrestling writer who thinks how i think.. please dont stop writing
Thanks Ryan!! Every Tuesday It’ll be there!
Sucks that they didn’t use Ryder on RAW because he actually did fight that night but for the WWE Superstars segment (right before RAW) and RAW actually ended with an Alberto del Rio/C.M Punk/John Cena 3-way gimmick match which wasn’t aired.. finishing with yet another sharpshooter from Bret who turned guest referee after one of the refs got knocked out… and @Mike Todd… the crowd was insane and a typical Canadian crowd.. I’m not from Ottawa, I’m from Montreal so I know what real crowds sound like and this was definitely one of them.
Yeah they have those bonus matches that aren’t aired every single week for the live crowd only. People have complained in the past that there weren’t enough matches during a live TV taping. And I agree with you on the crowd Roy. Canadian crowds are always great!
People people people… its entertanment. Wrestlers dont choose who wins in a match, its chosen for them. Cena is the face of WWE and the MVP. If you were to see behind the fakeness of WWE and the realness in each wrestler, you”ll understand why the brand sees him as such. Punk is definetely one to change WWE but he will never be a Cena. I like the segments of Punk, im not sure if they improv on the ring or remember a script but they are certainly a change from the usual bad talking segmets.
I don’t understand most of what your trying to say. Cena is the face of the company. What does Punk will never be a Cena mean? Will he ever be a household name like him? No. Is he a better wrestler? By far. Is he better on the mic? By far. Is he all around better in everything in the business? By far. Punk is the only one who does not memorize a script. He is the only one in the company allowed to say whatever he wants (except for Triple H.) That is why these promo’s are so good, because of the realness. What Punk and Triple H are talking about isn’t really part of a storyline, it’s a real conversation (until they start talking about their match at the PPV.) One last comment. Don’t say wrestling is fake. It is not. I have a few scars just from being a referee to prove it. Pre determined, yes. Fake? Not even close. Thanks for the comment.
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