WWE RAW RANT
November 21, 2011
Welcome to Raw, sorry it’s very late this week. My Sky+ box decided it’d be a great idea to only record 45 minutes of the show, so I had to wait for the repeat later in the week.
Anyway, still we’re flying the Supershow banner, this week flapping in the breeze of Hershey, Pennsylvania. Great, chocolate references all night then I guess.
Michael Cole tells us Survivor Series was one of the most explosive and controversial of all time. I have to say he’s absolutely right…except for the fact that he’s wrong on every single count. I wonder if Cole would consider becoming the world’s oldest aborted child. Too much? I don’t care.
Tonight we have Booker T on commentary instead of Josh Matthews. What the hell did the guy do wrong? Oh and King’s voice is virtually gone. Seriously! This company is paying a color-commentator (you know, someone who has to speak for 2 hours to aid in the calling of the matches, whilst offering expert analysis and theory from the point of view of a competitor) to occasionally croak a word out here or there. Erm…can I get that job?
We kick off the show with YOUR new WWE Champion CM Punk. Good start. Cole points out that Punk’s victory was “worldwide news”. Funny, it never made it to England. Our idiotic news reporters were busy with the triviality of the Eurozone debt crisis and the potential bankruptcy of Greece and Italy, causing England to be asked for financial help, which would effectively eradicate our own financial sector in London. And other shit less meaningful than pre-determined championship changings.
Punk gets on the mic and talks about school and kids’ responses to the age-old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some kids said astronaut, some police office, one said Teamwolf. Punk said he wanted to be a pro wrestler (not, note, a sports entertainer). He goes on to say he’s been a wrestling fan since birth and that to win in Madison Square garden is a huge deal to him, especially since he did things on his own terms, as himself. He says the WWE title, hot potato game is now over and he’s going to bring some danger back to Raw. Also, seeing as he’s an agent of change, he still wants those ice cream bars (Seriously Vince, people WILL buy those fucking things. I’d buy them. What is your problem? That it wasn’t your idea to bring them back? GET. OVER. YOURSELF!) and he also wants John Laurinaitis out.
This prompts the man himself to grace the stage. I genuinely couldn’t understand the first couple of lines he said, but he went on to say both he and Punk want what’s best for the WWE Universe and he doesn’t understand Punk’s problem with him.
Punk says he can’t hear him, partially because of the crowd and then declares Vince McMahon to be a “greedy, money-grabbing, soulless, bastard”. However, he says, Vince will tell you that to your face, Laurinaitis is mid-management, the worst kind. He goes on to ridicule the term “WWE Universe” (Finally someone questions it). He says they’re fans, not a universe and calls Laurinaitis a stooge.
Laurinaitis corrects Punk, in that he is upper-management and tells Punk he has him wrong. Just because he doesn’t have tattoos and piercings doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a wild side. He then proves it by booking a Punk v Alberto del Rio rematch for…next week. (Great. That showed ‘em Johnny)
Punk quite rightly mocks him for this and asks why it isn’t right now. Apparently that’s because Punk will fight Dolph Ziggler tonight.
Punk declares that stupid, not creative and says nobody wants to see it. He says he’s not afraid of Ziggler, but Laurinaitis isn’t listening to the fans. They respond with a “We want Ryder” chant.
It should be noted that during Survivor Series that chant struck up during virtually every match. I’m serious! This guy is O-V-E-R!
Punk points out the fans want to see Ziggler v. Ryder. Laurinaitis books Ryder against Alberto saying Ryder won’t defeat him and Punk won’t defeat Ziggler. Punk walks back up the ramp saying tonight he’ll beat Ziggler, next week Alberto, but someday, someone will beat some sense into Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis reacts by getting his damn phone out and texting. (Has this texting gimmick ever had a fucking point?)
We then get to see a clip from after Survivor Series went off the air as Rock grabs a mic to thank the fans. They cut him off to chant “We want Ryder”. THAT is how over Ryder is right now. To his credit, Rock rolls with it and declares he’s a Ryder fan. (So essentially what Vince just showed with that clip is that he’s aware of how much we all like Zack Ryder, but he couldn’t give two fucks and we’re not going to get the match we want. Thanks Vince.)
ZACK RYDER VS. ALBERTO DEL RIO (W. RICARDO RODRIGUEZ)
I have to point out that I’m a huge Rodriguez fan. He has ten times the charisma of Alberto, who arrives tonight in a Bentley. As Rodriguez does his usual intro speech Ryder snatches the mic away and instead delivers his catchphrases. That was funny. Not to alberto though who makes a beeline for the ring.
The match: Alberto takes control early, focusing on Ryder’s arm from the off. He shows a lot more intensity than he has of late. Ryder soon gets back into the match and goes for the Ruff Ryder, which Alberto ducks. A matter of seconds later the cross-armbreaker is sitched in and Ryder taps.
Winner by submission: Alberto del Rio.
Match thoughts: Good match, but waaaaaayyyyy too short. Is this a punishment for Ryder because he actually got himself over with no help from creative? Or to us for liking something we weren’t told to like? BULLSHIT!
We’re then told John Cena will respond to being a recipient of the Rock Bottom last night. (Awesome, can’t wait).
Backstage, we have Sheamus heading to the ring. (You know what? Sheamus is one of the few examples in recent memory of a monster heel being able to make the transition to face without losing any of his menace). His opponent will be Jack Swagger.
SHEAMUS VS. JACK SWAGGER (W. VICKIE GUERRERO)
The story is that Swagger requested this match after Sheamus was DQ’d for going nuts on Swagger at Survivor Series. Apparently WWE Magazine has listed Swagger as Jerk Of The Month. (When exactly was that glorified toilet roll last relevant?)
The match: Sheamus takes control early, frustrating Swagger. Pretty stiff opening to the match, which includes a strange little incident where Sheamus almost trips over a motionless, prone Swagger whilst simply walking towards him. Michael Cole provides further evidence that he was skullfucked as a child when he declares Vickie’s attire to make her resemble a zebra. This, despite the fact that her clothing is neither black and white or striped. Swagger tries to keep Sheamus grounded with his wrestling ability (and a healthy does of blatantly obvious spot-calling during restholds). Sheamus soon regains control but misses a Brogue Kick, which Swagger awkwardly counters into the ankle lock. Sheamus escapes, nails the Brogue kick and picks up the win.
Winner by pinfall: Sheamus.
Thoughts: The match was too short and a little awkward in places. It served absolutely no purpose by burying Swagger and didn’t do a thing for Sheamus either.
Backstage we have Kevin Nash heading for the ring…slowly of course.
We’re then treated to David fucking Otunga fronting the worst PPV promo in the history of man where, set to horrid music, he outlines the correct usage of tables, ladders and chairs, before showing how the WWE uses them for TLC. This is a free show in England but this promo makes me not want to watch it. The whole point of a promo (short, of course, for promotion) is to make people part with cash to buy your product. SO DON’T USE DAVID FUCKING OTUNGA TO TRY AND ACHIEVE THAT!!
Now here’s Nash, on the stage, with a mic. He immediately fucks up saying “Madison Square Garden”…TWICE! He then points out it’s significance to him, it being the venue where he defeated Bob Backlund in 8 seconds for the world title and it being the location for the infamous formation of The Kliq. The crowd couldn’t give a damn about this promo. He says he thought he had a friend when he returned to WWE in HHH, but all he had was a boss. It should’ve been Nash & HHH vs. Rock & Cena at Survivor Series (That would’ve actually been quite cool, I have to admit). Now HHH is gone at the hands of Nash, due to a broken neck from his own sledgehammer. Nash declares himself the sole survivor of The Kliq…and leaves.
OK, seriously. What is the point of Kevin Nash at the moment? He is adding NOTHING to the show.
More buildup for the Cena promo.
Now we see some footage of the recent house show tour across the UK, Ireland and France. It features the Miz attempting (and spectacularly failing) and English accent.
Cody Rhodes is in the ring with a mic. He says shame made him vulnerable to predators like Randy Orton. (That kinda makes him sound like a kid who’s been groomed giving evidence in court). He then genuinely used the term “if you will” in his promo. (That was awesome! And if you don’t know why that was awesome…well…that’s because you’re not!) It’s another of Cody’s wordy promos that most fans won’t understand (which believe it or not isn’t a criticism. It makes a refreshing change to genuinely have to listen to someone to understand what they’re saying). He then does that shit effort at an evil laugh again before being interrupted by the music of Santino Marella. Santino power walks to, and around, the ring a few times.
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION CODY RHODES VS. SANTINO MARELLA
Match: Cody continues to build his mean streak. Santino goes for The Cobra early, Cody counters into CrossRhodes. Match over.
Winner by pinfall: Cody Rhodes.
Thoughts: Another short, pointless match.
Post-match: Cody gets in Booker T’s face, telling Booker he can hear what he says about him, he watches the show. Booker acts like a pussy, reneging on everything he’s JUST said about Cody, who responds by emptying a bottle of water into Book’s face. He leaves. Booker looks pissed off. I forgot King was there. (Pretty sure he hasn’t spoken at all tonight).
Backstage Josh Matthews interviews Dolph & Vickie. He points out Dolph is the only guy to wrestle two matches at Survivor Series. Dolph corrects by saying he’s the only guy to WIN two matches at Survivor Series. (Genuinely great heel logic there, love it). He says he is the new face of WWE, not CM Punk. (Dolph’s promo’s are improving week by week but this “No offense” line he keeps throwing in after saying something offensive…it just doesn’t work).
CHAMPION VS. CHAMPION
UNITED STATES CHAMPION DOLPH ZIGGLER (W. VICKIE GUERRERO) VS. WWE CHAMPION CM PUNK
Match: Has Vickie had her tits done? My ex-girlfriend seems to think so, I can’t decide. To be honest, I try not to look. Match starts with some excellent wrestling from both guys (The commentators don’t call a single move because they don’t have a fucking clue what they are). Cole then brings up Dolph’s abortion of a 20-minute world title reign. Really good pacing of the match early on between two students of the game who’ve clearly scouted each other. Back and forth action until Dolph takes control with some submission wrestling. Vickie gets on the apron to flirt with Punk. The distraction fails. In a nice spot, Punk attempts the Pepsi One (credit to my inimitable predecessor Cameron Burge as I’m sure it was he that so-named the running knee lift/bulldog combo) but misses, driving his knee into the top turnbuckle and taking a hard spill to the floor as we head to commercial. When we return the pace quickens even further, with more back and forth action. Dolph counters the GTS into the Sleeperhold in a fantastic spot, which then sees Punk eventually re-hoist Dolph for the GTS, only for Dolph to again counter into a roll-up. Dolph also delivers a BRUTAL dropkick to Punk, which causes Punk to bleed from the mouth. (They replay it about 4 times, it’s so good). Plenty of nearfalls in the match and another great GTS counter into an inverted exploder suplex. After a block/counter of the ZigZag Punk eventually picks up the win with the GTS.
Thoughts: FANTASTIC match! Easily the best match on Raw in weeks if not months. It displayed great psychology, work ethic, tempo and tension building. It was the kind of match where signature manouveurs are made to look like potential match winners and each guy’s finisher was teased and built until one of them hit it and won the match. Most importantly it didn’t bury Dolph, rather it showed he can be a genuine main-eventer who ran the champ to the wire and it also put Punk over as a highly credible and adaptive champion.
MORE babble about Cena’s upcoming promo.
Now a vignette for the returning Kane featuring abandoned concrete buildings, fire, glass and somewhat notably…the mask.
Time for another promo on the stage. It’s Big Show’s turn now. He talks about legdropping Mark Henry’s leg, which was wrapped in a steel chair. (I have to say at this point I really enjoyed the whole buildup of this feud. I enjoyed the original match with the ring collapse and I enjoyed the Survivor Series match featuring Big Show genuinely risking his life by performing a top-rope elbow drop on Mark Henry. YouTube it! Now! I was watching through my hands, petrified he was going to fall and die at any moment. HUGE credit to Show for pulling that off. So to ruin that with a bullshit DQ ending as they did was criminal.) Show says he proved he’s bigger, badder, better, stronger etc. And that giants can fly. He says Henry took the cheap way out with the low blow. He doesn’t know if Henry’s leg is broken or not, but when Henry returns Show’ll be waiting.
EVEN MORE buildup to the Cena promo.
Wade Barrett heads to the ring for a match now. In one of those old-school picture-in-picture promos Wade declares the Barrett Barrage is going after the World Title next. (Really enjoyed the fact that Wade and Cody were the team survivors at Survivor Series. Kudos for not having Orton win again). He’ll be fighting Kofi Kingston.
Amusingly a still of Wade about to deliver Wasteland to Randy Orton from Survivor Series is displayed, only the image is juddering, likely sending epileptics into seizures all over the world.
WADE BARRETT VS. TAG-TEAM CHAMPION KOFI KINGSTON
Match: Barrett takes control early with his power and striking game. An early wasteland attempt is halted by Orton’s music sending us to commercial. During the commercial Wade tripped Kofi on the ring apron sending him face first into the edge of the ring (That had to hurt). Wade also delivers a Black Hole Slam, unfortunately though it doesn’t prompt a run-in from Abyss. Kofi tries to get back into the match with some of his trademark, high-flying offense, until Wade kicks the top rope as Kofi attempts a springboard, sending him crashing into the ring. One Wasteland later, we have a winner.
Winner via pinfall: Wade Barrett.
Thoughts: This looked like the first time they’d worked together, but there was some potential chemistry there, suggesting future matches could be good. Dragged a little at times but did a solid job of furthering Wade without burying Kofi.
Post-match: Orton starts to leave ringside until Wade grabs a mic and reiterates the fact that he won into the back of Orton’s head. Orton flinches to attack causing Wade to fill his trunks. Just makes Wade look like an idiot.
FOR FUCK’S SAKE MORE Cena buildup.
Backstage Cena is headed to the ring and he’s wearing serious face damnit.
That Otunga TLC promo airs again…It didn’t get any less abysmal.
Cena heads for the ring and cracks some kind of deranged joke about not being qualified to deliver a baby into the camera. I have ZERO clue what that was about. There seems to be even more Cena haters in the house than usual tonight. Cena begins with his usual crowd-pandering crap and proceeds to say jackshit for about 5 minutes and recaps what we saw at Survivor Series anyway. (He mentions The Rock looking great and I have to agree. I am NOT a Rock fan, never have been, never will be, but the guy was in amazing shape and he wrestled like the last 7 years were 7 seconds. Credit where credit is due, he looked fantastic). Cena begins to build Wrestlemania when he’s interrupted by Awesome Truth.
The Miz starts with his “Really” spiel as per. He mocks Cena’s version of events from Survivor Series and says Cena forgot the part where a sold-out MSG crowd chanted “Don’t tag Cena” during the tag match. Miz says “You always say ‘You can’t see me’, well last night nobody wanted to Cena.” (Awesome)
R-Truth then joins in saying Rock will beat Cena at Mania to the usual “What?” chants.
Cena gets annoyed and starts to throw out insults culminating with telling Truth he’ll melt down his gold teeth and sell them to Mr. T, which was actually funny. He says nobody cares about them and then sets about trying to drive a wedge between them by saying Miz thinks Truth is a nutjob riding his coattails and that Truth thinks Miz is an attention-seeking D-lister from a bad reality show. He then leaves saying “Don’t boo me, you should be booing yourselves.”
Stupidly Miz and Truth bite and begin to argue as the crowd chant “Little Jimmy” for no reason whatsoever. They start pushing each other and Truth drops Miz. Miz plays the chicken heel and begins to reason with Truth, stating Cena is the one they need to get. They both take their jackets off and storm up the aisle before Miz suddenly attacks Truth and nails him with a Skull-Crushing Finale going down the stage. Ouch!
So…does this mean Truth is face again? If so, his career’s over. Also…what the hell is the point of the tag division now if they’ve split? Also…what was the point in that?
The show ends with trainers and referees coming to Truth’s aid.
Overall thoughts: MUCH better show than last week. Punk vs. Ziggler the undisputed highlight of the night.
Thanks for tuning in. See you next week. Same Warrior time…same Warrior channel!
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
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