If there’s one thing The Fantasy God knows better than fantasy sports or baseball its professional wrestling. Here is a little background. I am a lifelong fan of the WWE. I was in the professional wrestling business for over 5 years as a referee. During that time I traveled all over the east coast and worked for dozens of wrestling promotions. I also owned, promoted, produced, and wrote my own live shows for about a year in the Maryland/Pennsylvania/West Virginia area. My company still holds the record for largest crowd at a debut show in the state of West Virginia. I not only like and understand professional wrestling, but I was born with the knowledge of the business. I am an expert at match psychology and consider myself one of the smartest wrestling minds in the entire country. Yup I said it. I know the industry that well. So for the time being I am going to give weekly recaps of the flagship WWE show Monday Night Raw, along with my thoughts, where the storylines will progress, and what I think is being done right and wrong in the company….Here we go
WWE Monday Night Raw Recap 9/5/11
CM Punk was out to start the show. Thank god. CM Punk is a breath of fresh air to the wrestling industry. Not only can most wrestlers not compare to him in the ring, but absolutely nobody can compare to him on the mic. He is able to say anything he wants at any point because his mic skills are so strong, and because he embodies everything a real wrestling fan wants to see. To start the show he called out Kevin Nash, who he is currently in a bad storyline with. Triple H made his way to the ring to complete the three way nightmare of an angle that only Punk’s honesty has saved. The “who did it” storyline is now complete as we found out that Kevin Nash texted himself at Summerslam to take out CM Punk. Lame. Nash and Triple H began to argue and eventually Triple H gave him a right hand to the jaw and fired him. Is it just me or does Kevin Nash give off a “B show” feel every single time he is in the ring. Punk is right on when he talks about him being old, out of touch with the industry, and stale. The guy has always been an injury prone, political, piece of trash, who was on sinking ship promotions. WCW was awful. TNA is worse. Thank god he never got involved with Ring of Honor. We don’t need that promotion going up in flames. Overall this opening segment was too long and took up too much time. Only CM Punk was entertaining.
Evan Bourn and Kofi Kingston vs. Jinder Mahal and The Great Khali. I’m a huge Evan Bourn fan from his days in Ring of Honor and Wrestling Society X. He has huge talent and is underused by the WWE. Glad to see him with a title. This match really wasn’t good though. The early part of the match was nothing but Jinder Mahal getting the heat in on Bourn. Bourn really had no offense. I will say that Mahal’s chain wrestling was slightly impressive. Both Mahal and Khali worked Bourn until the finish where Khali accidentally chopped Mahal in the head. Then came the hot tag to Kofi and the finish. For a high flying team there really wasn’t any high flying in this match. Not that there is much you can do with The Great Khali in the ring. It looks like Mahal will continue to hold Khali as his slave until he gets fed up with him, slaps him, and then gets destroyed. This is leading to a lengthy mediocre feud between Mahal and Khali and an eventual Khali face turn. Lets just hope Runjin Singh doesn’t come back to progress the storyline.
Eve vs. Beth Phoenix for the #1 Contendership to the Diva’s Championship. I really like the duo of Beth Phoenix and Natalya forming the Diva’s of Doom. Just as they preach, I am sick of the barbie doll divas who can’t wrestle. This was another bad match. Too many botched spots by Eve. She messed up a good 3 times and even screwed up the finish. Eventually Beth hit her with the Glam Slam for the win. During the match Kelly Kelly and Natalya were on commentary arguing like a couple of school girls. I’m not sure if the match or the commentary was worse.
Christian was in the back talking with Drew McIntyre when WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio interrupted to talk to Christian about taking out John Cena for him. First of all, I forgot Drew McIntyre still had a job. Talk about being underused. Anways, this promo was all part of a bigger plan that led up to the end of the night. Read along.
CM Punk vs. R Truth with The Miz. This little storyline of The Miz teaming up with Truth is terrible. Of anyone on Raw the WWE really needs to find better storylines for Miz. This guy is way too good to be involved in petty storylines that he can’t even keep a straight face through. Why is he aligned with Truth? Because there really isn’t anything else for him to do right now? The real answer is the upcoming Pay Per View Night of Champions. They are throwing this duo together to face Evan Bourn and Kofi Kingston for the WWE Tag Team Titles. Which is really a pointless match. Since when do tag teams get to randomly form and automatically get a shot at the titles? Gone are the strong tag team divisional days. Hopefully after the PPV The Miz will move on to bigger and better things. So Punk wrestled Truth and it was a good match. Great psychology where Truth worked the leg of Punk throughout the match. Eventually The Miz was ejected and Punk hit the GTS on Truth for the win. After the match Triple H came out to tell Punk that their match at the PPV is a no DQ match. They then raised the stakes by saying that if Triple H loses he will resign as COO of the WWE. So obviously this whole storyline with Nash will come to a climax at the PPV. The no DQ stipulation gives Nash the chance to get involved. The intent here is to show that Triple H has a plan because he was so willing to agree to putting his job on the line. I wouldn’t be surprised if the fix really were in and Nash and Triple H reunite for a Triple H heel turn. Its been years since he’s been a bad guy and with his leadership role and the rebellion of Punk he really needs to be. There is so much they can do with a heel Triple H including the return of Shawn Michaels to be in the corner of CM Punk for the storyline.
Wade Barrett is in the back talking to Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks when Alberto Del Rio interrupts to talk to Barrett about taking out Cena. So it looks like they are trying to push more lower level talent on air before they start releasing them. Goodbye Hawkins and Reks. Hope you enjoyed your last time on Raw. Again this conversation leads to the main event. Read on.
Jerry “The King” Lawler and Zack Ryder vs. David Otunga and Michael McGuillicutty. First of all let me say that I am a huge Zack Ryder fan. I watch every episode of his web show and love everything he does. Before this match WWE ran a video highlight package of him and his web show. That was awesome. I love how they are finally starting to use this guy. He has so much charisma and is so very entertaining. Ryder gets the pinfall to win the match too. For me I could really care less about what they are trying to do with Otunga and McGuillicutty and their involvement with Jerry Lawler. They are trying to use him to get them over. All I care about was that Ryder was used and actually won a match. I see big things coming with his character. Woo Woo Woo….You Know It!
Alberto Del Rio is in the back talking to Dolph Ziggler about taking out Cena. The Bella Twins are featured in this segment as love interests for Del Rio. So last week they get a big tag team win over the Diva’s champion and now they are back to being extras in backstage segments? Poor Bellas. They were actually gaining momentum, have charisma, and are entertaining on Twitter.
World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Heath Slater. Solid little match. Orton wins by RKO. I’m starting to like these combined supershows when I get to see a big talent like Orton in a random match late in the show without hype. I feel like there were plenty of other guys than Slater to use here though. Cody Rhodes could have been involved instead in the corner of Ted DiBiase. Orton has an impressive new way of throwing his opponents into the ropes to hit his hanging DDT. I loved it. The fans were really into his match too. He is super over.
John Cena was in the back with Zack Ryder talking about his win. Cena took a shot at The Rock by saying “who wears sunglasses indoors”, then did the people’s eyebrow. Liked it. Cena and The Rock need to be taking more shots at one another leading up to Wrestlemania next year. I want to see that kinda stuff a few times a month.
John Cena calls out Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio sends Christian/Wade Barrett/ Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger out after him. Where did Swagger’s involvement come from? Anyways….randomly we see Alex Riley, Sheamus, and John Morrison hit the ring for the save!!! I couldn’t have written it any poorly myself. Then Teddy Long comes out to make it an 8 man elimination match! Really??????? What terrible terrible booking here. So a bunch of guys randomly hit the ring and then boom there is a match. Is that how lazy this writing staff is now? I mean I like how Del Rio talked to all of these guys one by one (minus Swagger) the whole night to lead up to this match. But why would those 3 random faces hit the ring who have no involvement with anyone out there? Ugh. Anyways, I did say elimination. Thats a bonus. Love those matches.
So the purpose of this match turns out to be to put over a developing mid card storyline with Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler fighting over the services of Vickie Guerrero. The two constantly tag each other on the back in a game of one up. They hit a double submission on Morrison to get him to tap out. Next Ziggler does all the work on Riley before Swagger tags himself in to make him tap out to the ankle lock. Barrett is eliminated next by Sheamus. I think he calls that pump kick the Bro Kick?? Christian eventually slaps Sheamus and the two run around the crowd before they are counted out. It looks like a new feud just started there. Finally Ziggler and Swagger push each other until Cena eliminates them both with his AA and STF. After the match Del Rio jumps in and gets hit with the AA. Pretty weak finish. Decent match though. Mediocre Raw. But it can never be a bad Raw when Zack Ryder is featured. Plus CM Punk is always entertaining.