The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal for 09/05/11 (Eight Man Tag)

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal for 09/05/11 (Eight Man Tag)
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter at @johnreport

This is going to be a short Raw Deal compared to my usual. I’ve been busy working on a lot of things and I don’t have a lot of time to write this morning. I’ll have a new column up tomorrow too. Live from Columbus, Ohio this is the Raw Deal…

We get a video package to summarize the last few weeks of key events on Raw. Do I have to call it a Raw SuperShow? No, I don’t. They can call it that every five seconds. I’m not calling it that. It’s just Raw to me just like it’s been for 18 years.

“Cult of Personality” hits and CM Punk walks out for promo time. Can we start a show without a promo? Apparently not. Punk sits in the ring and talks about the same stuff he’s always said regarding Nash & Hunter working together even if they don’t admit it. Punk made fun of Nash, basically making of him for being old and busting out a great Super Shredder reference. The NWO porn music hit, Nash slowly marched out and Punk ended up calling him the Big Complainer. Punk said Nash wasn’t relevant since 1994. I’d disagree because forming the NWO in 1996 was very relevant and influential, but I see why he said 1994 since that was Nash’s year as the worst WWF Champion ever (my opinion). Hunter comes out to tell us that he got footage from Summerslam that shows that Nash went into Hunter’s locker room to send the text to himself. What the hell? I thought Nash got left tickets by Hunter. All of a sudden he was backstage. Nash somehow claims that by doing that he made WWE cool and exciting again. How does he figure that? Old people are crazy. Hunter said he didn’t like Punk, but at least he doesn’t lie to him. His problem was Nash lying to him, so Kevin asked him what he would do about it, he shoved him twice and Hunter decked him with one punch. Nash hasn’t taken a dive like that since the fingerpoke of doom match in 1999. Then Hunter fired him. Crowd liked that and Punk ended the segment with the classic “good luck in your future endeavors” line.

It was the typical 15 minute opening promo that starts off every week pretty much. Punk had some good one liners in there and they put over the adversity between Triple H & Nash with Hunter “firing” him. I’m not sure if this was the long term story plan or they are changing on the fly. It doesn’t seem like the right direction. I think it’s all a swerve and that Hunter will turn heel officially to beat Punk at Night of Champions. The “Nash sent the email to himself” story is really weak. People should be upset about it because the potential was there and the ball has been dropped on it, in my opinion.

They showed Nash walking backstage to get to his car. John Laurinaitis showed up. The door didn’t open when Nash first tried. Haha that was funny. Laurinaitis got in the car with Nash as it sped off. Is he really fired? Of course not.

Air Boom d. Jinder Mahal & The Great Khali (*)
Short match. Only about three minutes. The heels worked over Bourne while the announcers talked about the previous segment because tag teams don’t really matter. He got the hot tag to Kofi, he avoided a Khali chop, which hit Mahal and Bourne got the tag back to win with the Air Bourne SSP. It was good for the sake of establishing the new champions, but they clearly need more teams in the company.

They showed Alberto Del Rio arriving to the arena with Ricardo Rodriguez. He’s here this week after missing last week.

Kelly Kelly came out in a ho style dress to be an announcer for the next match. Oh no, she’d yell outside the ring instead of inside. Usually she does that involving a bed. Yes, easy joke. Had to.

My favorite diva Natalya came out to accompany my second favorite diva Beth Phoenix. I’m a Divas of Doom kind of guy. Natalya was on commentary, which makes me enjoy the match more. They mentioned the divas article on WWE.com. Not sure why people got so worked up on Twitter when it was clearly a worked article. It’s like people think WWE.com has credibility. I forgot…people are stupid. I mean I love my readers!

Beth Phoenix d. Eve (1/4*)
The most disgusting thing here was that Cole received a kiss on the cheek from Natalya. I almost like her a little less for that. This was a #1 Contender’s match. What has Eve done to warrant contention? Nothing. Kelly commented that she’d have a great match with Eve. No. Drug test her. She’s on something. The women bickered, the announcers bickered and then Beth won with the Glam Slam that looked sloppy. Post match, Natalya decked Kelly on the floor. I cheered that one…while also staring at Natalya. Now Beth gets the title shot against Kelly at Night of Champions in her hometown of Buffalo. If they don’t put the title on Beth this time they’re idiots.

They plugged The Rock getting 1,000,000 Twitter followers. They mentioned Survivor Series in NYC because he’ll be there and tickets will be on sale this weekend. That will be a quick sellout I think.

There was Drew McIntyre randomly talking to Christian. Del Rio walked in and basically encouraged Christian to go after Cena. It was an ongoing story with Del Rio trying to get people to attack Cena.

Another trailer for Triple H’s movie Inside Out. Select theatres. That means less than ten.

Truth & Miz came out prior to Truth’s match. Miz had a checkered suit. It’s 1970s night I guess. They talked about how they have a title shot at Night of Champions against Bourne & Kingston. That should be a fun match. Truth was in funny dumbass mode this week by doing a fart joke with the Air Boom name. You know Vince loved that.

CM Punk d. R-Truth (**)
They worked a decent TV match for about 9 minutes. I don’t think anybody thought Truth was going to win, nor should he have. None of the nearfalls were really believable. Miz got thrown out from ringside. Punk ended up winning with the GTS.

Post match, Hunter came out because he needs more TV time I guess. He told Punk their NOC match was changed to a NO DQ match where anything goes. Punk was fine with it as long as Hunter quit as COO. They’re already teasing that idea? I think it means Hunter wins. I think at the PPV it sets up Nash coming out, attacking Punk and Hunter turning heel to win while proving that Punk was right all along. It makes the most sense.

Hey, there’s Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks backstage. That’s different. They were on for a few seconds. Del Rio talked to Barrett backstage to try to get him to attack Cena later.

They aired a video about the WWE Network saying that it was coming in 2012. This isn’t really new, but the first time they’ve acknowledged it on TV. No specific date on when it would launch.

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They brought out McGillicutty & Otunga. They’d be facing Lawler and a partner of his choice. It’s Zack Ryder. They gave Ryder a video that went about two minutes that showed his youtube show. It took them 30 weeks or whatever it’s been to finally acknowledge it. He didn’t get a great pop coming out, but it was decent.

Zack Ryder & Jerry Lawler d. McGillicutty & Otunga (1/4*)
Two minute match. Lawler had them beat after the first drop, but Ryder wanted the win. He got it with the Rough Ryder leg lariat. It’s nice to see WWE is trying to push Ryder as a babyface now. Let’s see how long it lasts. Can they go the serious route or will he be the goofball? Not sure yet.

Backstage, Del Rio recruited Ziggler. The Bella Whores showed up, so ADR told them to wait five minutes. He told Dolph to think about his words. I guess the Bellas are back to their whore gimmick. That’s good with Hugh Jackman being a guest host in a couple of weeks.

Randy Orton d. Heath Slater (1/2*)
Basically a three minute squash match where Slater had no chance. The crowd popped huge for everything Orton did and especially for the RKO. It’s amazing how a move that he’s been doing for almost a decade still gets such ridiculous pops.

Backstage, Ryder celebrated his win with Cena as he was filming his online show. Cena mocked him for wearing sunglasses indoors, but he was only kidding. Cena had a promo coming up.

John Cena came out. He bitched about Del Rio. That led to Ricardo coming out to introduce Del Rio, who drove out in an expensive car while Cena mocked the whole thing. Cole bitched about Cena saying that Del Rio rents his cars. He said Del Rio owned them. That’s about as true as Cole thinking he’s a good announcer. Del Rio said he didn’t want to hurt Cena like he did Mysterio because that’s the kind of champion he is. Then he brought out the Rudos of Raw. That’s another word for heels basically. All of a sudden, Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger & Christian attacked Cena. All of them in wrestling gear. A few seconds after that, the babyface trio of Alex Riley, John Morrison & Sheamus saved them. All of them were in wrestling gear. Smackdown GM Teddy Long showed up to say that Triple H gave him the authority to make decisions and in vintage TLong style he made an eight man elimination tag match. You could make a DVD of Teddy Long making tag matches based on a brawl because that’s the booking WWE loves to do.

Elimination Tag: John Cena, John Morrison, Sheamus & Alex Riley d. Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Christian & Wade Barrett (**3/4)
The match got a lot of time at about 18 minutes. The first fall was Swagger making Morrison tap in about two minutes. They hyped up Morrison’s return, he beat Truth once and otherwise he’s lost a lot of matches. What a company. They had Vickie walk out as Ziggler was mad about it and they went to break. Back from break, Swagger made Riley tap while Sheamus pinned Barrett after a Brogue Kick. Christian got in there, wrestled Sheamus for a bit and slapped him in the face. I guess wrestling moves, but a slap makes a man mad! He chased Christian around the ring, into the crowd and up the ramp where they got counted out. That looks like it could be a really good feud. That left Cena vs. Ziggler & Swagger. If you thought anybody other than Cena was winning this you’re officially dumb. Sorry to be so direct, but somebody has to tell you for own damn good for thinking that way. The crowd was hot for it as Cena eliminated Ziggler with the Attitude Adjustment after Dolph blind tagged himself in. Swagger was left with Cena, he put him in the ankle lock, Cena reversed it into the STF and Swagger tapped. The match was fine. I liked it in the sense that we don’t see too many eight man elimination tags, but the setup was lame and the outcome was predictable.

After the match, Del Rio tried to attack Cena. Cena dropped him with the AA. Wow, so the whole point of the show was to show that Cena was strong. That’s fresh. Not exactly. The feud isn’t hot. They need to crank it up in the next two weeks.

Three Stars of the Show
1. CM Punk – Strong promo plus a good match.
2. Jack Swagger – Think he did a great job. He needs to be used better.
3. Zack Ryder – Nice to see him get a shot, at least a little bit.

4.5 out of 10
Last week: 5
2011 High Score: 9.1 (March 28)
2011 Low Score: 4 (Jan. 10/May 9)
2011 Average: 5.79
Last 5 Weeks: 5, 7.5, 4, 6.5, 5

It’s the Labor Day show. Every year it’s a bit of a drag because they know viewership is going to be down for it. It was another step back. The momentum from Money in the Bank and Summerslam is now gone. I’m not sure if the story of HHH vs. Punk was originally planned the way they are doing it or if things have changed that have made them go in a different direction. All I know is it doesn’t feel epic now. It could have been. It feels rushed, though.

I don’t think this show did a good job of building up to Del Rio vs. Cena either. Cena beats a bunch of heels, two of them by himself. Nothing new. It’s like Vince McMahon thought he needed to book Cena strong because he isn’t booked strong enough already. Sorry Vince. We know he’s strong.

The announcing was terrible this week. This was one of the worst Michael Cole performances ever, which is saying something. It really hurt the show this time. It’s fine if announcers bicker. It’s not fine if it comes at the expense of trying to get angles over. I don’t understand the Vince McMahon logic on how he produces announcers now. The Gorilla/Brain dynamic in the late 80s/early 90s worked and so did face Ross with heel Lawler, but what they are doing now hurts the show more than it helps.

Last thing is TJR Radio is on Wednesday night live at 10pmET. Info is HERE. New column goes up Wednesday afternoon too.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton – john@thejohnreport.net
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