Monday, July 20, 2009

Raw Thoughts - July 20, 2009

I'm beginning to suspect someone in WWE may be a Kick-Out!! fan. I totally called Billy Gibbons hosting a few weeks back and it just gets weirder as the night progresses. But more on that in a bit, let's get to the ZZ Top edition of Monday Night Raw!

John Cena starts the show and he's in what I like to call "Preacher Mode," he's very excited and he's going to yell at us about it! Someone get this man an "amen!" Of course, "The Fun Killer" Randy Orton has to come out and suck the energy out of the room with one of his patented "I'm going to win, you're going to lose" promos. Cena wants to fight, Legacy surrounds the ring (of course) and then Triple H evens the odds. And shockingly, the main event becomes a 3-on-2 handicap match between these five guys. In all honesty, the stuff with Triple H and John Cena cracking jokes was pretty funny, so it made the segment great, but seriously WWE, please: NO... MORE... HANDICAP MATCHES! Especially with Legacy.

Okay, Part 1 of my suspicions that WWE is reading my blog, they announce a Six-Pack Challenge at Night of Champions for the US Title featuring: Kofi Kingston, Big Show, MVP, Jack Swagger, The Miz and Carlito. Sound familiar? It should since I suggested this in my Superstars review last week:

"Personally, I'd like to see them get crazy and have a big six-man clusterfudge (I'm still edgy!) and throw in MVP, Swagger and The Miz. Wouldn't count on that though."

I was expecting Bourne instead of Carlito... but still pretty creepy, right? Oh, it gets weirder later on.

Kofi Kingston, MVP & Primo vs. Big Show, Jack Swagger & Carlito was a really fun six-man tag. Poor Primo, not only did he get betrayed by his brother, then forced to put on those hideous tights, he doesn't even get to be in the US Title match at Night of Champions. Tough break, but at least he got the win in this match, right? This was the best I've ever seen Primo, he was on fire the whole match and his springboard headbutt was nasty! Good showing for all six guys, but I'm totally pulling for The Miz on Sunday!

Santino Marella & ZZ Top? Hilarious... wonder if WWE dug their Santa Claus beard out of wardrobe for Santino? These segments were fairly harmless, but also somewhat surreal at the same time. I dunno, something about seeing ZZ Top goofing off backstage with various WWE Superstars while pretending to play their songs just made me feel like I was on some kind of drug. I would've preferred cutting a couple of these segments and giving ZZ Top a live performance in front of the crowd, but oh well.

Part 2 of me suspecting a WWE staffer reading Kick-Out!! The Brian Kendrick campaigning to be Chris Jericho's partner at Night of Champions. Last week in my Raw review, I said this:

"I'm a sucker for mystery partners, hopefully this one doesn't disappoint. My heart is rooting for a guy like The Brian Kendrick, who would make sense since he was looking for a partner months ago, but my brain suggests it won't be that shocking. "

Obviously after Kendrick took a clean loss to Jerry Lawler of all people, I wouldn't count on him showing up on Sunday, but it was nice of WWE to at least throw me a bone on that one. Seriously though WWE, you're just flushing money down the toilet by not doing more with Kendrick, yeah he's small, but he's just so damn good.

And Part 3 of my suspicions, Mickie James being interviewed on a platform near the entrance ramp, old school World Wrestling Federation style. I mentioned this a month ago in the June 21 edition of The Five Count:

"As simple as it was, I loved the bit on Smackdown where Josh Matthews interviewed Jeff Hardy and CM Punk in the ring. Backstage skits have their place, but there's just something deliciously old school about an in-ring interview. Now I can only hope they'll bring back the old interview platform near the entrance that they used on syndicated shows in the 80s."

Oh come on! Three explanations here: 1. WWE likes my blog (hey, I am trying to create a legit wrestling media for them!) 2. Strange coincidence. 3. A solar eclipse is coming and will soon awaken my psychic powers.

Anyway, the Mickie James/Miz/Maryse bit on the old school interview platform was awesome. Maybe even the highlight of the night. Mickie James using the phrase "Night of Tramp-ions" might be the WWE Quote of the Year, but it has some stiff competition from JR calling Big Show's fist "malignant" and the dozens of times Chris has cracked open the Jerichopedia. Maryse as the modern day Rick Martel also makes me smile... even though she's evil.

Chris Jericho vs. Mark Henry was okay, mainly thanks to Jericho always being amazing. The novelty of Mark Henry as a face is starting to wear off for me and unless something changes (like him destroying Randy Orton again), I don't know if I'm going to dig it. Anyway, Jericho's above wrestling bulbous, recalcitrant manatees on a brand he shouldn't even have to compete on, so he clocks Henry with a chair and takes the DQ loss. It's okay Chris, the parasitic tapeworms are much more interested in what you have in store for us at the PPV.

Has there been a Tuxedo Match in WWE since Harvey Wippleman vs. Howard Finkel in the early 90s? The Sharp Dressed Man Tuxedo Match between Chavo Guerrero and Hornswoggle was stupid, but at least more enjoyable than last week's encounter. And hey, Michael Cole actually said something legitimately funny when he referenced "March of the Penguins" due to Chavo's pant legs being sewn together. Hornswoggle's "no no no" beg-off, then Chavo screaming "do you think this is funny?!" and Horny replying "yeah" was rather awesome as well.

Jericho telling Legacy that his partner could be Randy Orton was genius. Can't wait to see him and whoever his partner is destroy these two on Sunday.

Oh wow, Alicia Fox & Rosa Mendes vs. Gail Kim & Kelly Kelly was bad. Really, really bad. I'd be willing to bet money that this will go down as the worst Divas match of 2009. Fox, Mendes and Kelly are all capable when in the ring with wrestlers like Mickie, Maryse, Jillian or The Glamazon, but really this match was entirely on the shoulders of Gail Kim and that's just plain unfair. I hate sounding like a negative smark here, but there's no other way to put it, this was awful.

Okay, I'm not kidding, earlier today, I suggested to the First Lady of Kick-Out!! that they should try to get Shaq to guest host since he's a big WWE fan. I even wondered aloud why I didn't put him on last week's poll. Since I have no written proof of this, I'm not going to suggest that WWE is reading my blog, but it does lend credibility to the psychic theory...

Triple H & John Cena vs. Legacy was your standard Raw main event handicap match. Can I get away with not writing about this one since I've recapped this match at least half a dozen times this year? The ending was cool with Orton missing The Punt and Cena getting the roll-up, but everything else was by the numbers.

As soon as I got on my computer, someone told me on Twitter that this was "one of the worst Raws in history." I didn't have the ability to reply since I was too busy rolling my eyes. This wasn't a great Raw, not even a good Raw, but still better than what we were getting post-Backlash. Also saw people whining about ZZ Top "selling out" to Vince McMahon... uh, what? ZZ Top are huge WWE fans and promoted their tour and new DVD on the show, but that's considered "selling out?" Puh-lease. Do these people not watch any other sport on television? It is nothing but advertising!

Anyway, no not the best Raw ever, but they also used the majority of the roster in the six-man tag and the main event. Night of Champions is shaping up nicely (my predictions will be up later this week) and since the show got me excited for the PPV, I'm not going to complain too much. As I mentioned last week, since this guest host idea has been implemented, Raw's got its mojo back. Even when the show isn't that great, it still has a fun, unique vibe to it and that helps me forget about the bad and focus on the good. Hell, it worked for Raw for a lot of shows in the late 90s, so I'm glad they've captured that magic once again.

11 comments:

  1. You may be onto something with your third theory.

    That Divas match was extremely bad. Saying so doesn't make you sound like a negative smark, just a normal viewer.

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  2. I think I actually liked Raw, if only because the bad stuff really washed away to me. The divas match was bad, especially when Rosa was involved, though, it's bad that she isn't even the worst nationally televised women's wrestler in the country right now. This was trainwrecky stuff, yes. I was more in awe of the ridiculousness of the ZZ Top/Santino pretapes. They were officially weirder than John Morrison and Teddy Long singing Michael Jackson on Smackdown. This Raw also seemed about as wacky as that Raw episode where it was announced that Mike Adamle became GM. (Which famously had Adamle and Jim Ross call a long section of the show and Ross being there for no active reason at all.)

    The Maryse/Mickie angle was such old school setup that it was pretty amazing. Maryse is a tramp, Mickie is a likable girl, Mickie hates Maryse's attitude. Guy trying to get Maryse tries to taunt Mickie because guys love tramps. People give a damn about match on Sunday.

    Also, you support the heels, Razor. Shouldn't Chavo file a damages suit for emotional embarrassment over having to wear sewn up pants? He's clearly traumatized by

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  3. *by the incident and further humiliated because of it! Those uncaring bastards at ZZ Top!

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  4. I do believe Hornswoggle could be sued for creating an unsafe work environment for Mr. Guerrero. Someone call Clarence Mason!

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  5. Are you sure you don't actually work for WWE Creative? That is one hell of a coincidence, picking pretty much everything that happened.

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  6. Unfortunately no, I do not work for WWE creative. Unfortunate for me, not for them... haha.

    I think a lot of this is just coming from over 20 years of watching. I have studied the presentation of WWE's shows for quite some time as well, so I think I might catch glimpses of things that casual observers may miss.

    That said, bringing back the old school interview platform is just plain eerie.

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  7. Maybe it has something to do with the age of ZZ Top, and the era they grew up with.

    Having them as hosts just made me dig out my Dad's ZZ Top collection. And I don't think there is a solar eclipse coming for quite some time.

    I'm finsing it quite strange that Evan Bourne was left out of the 6 man match at NoC, maybe some run-on neck problem from that spear last week? It probably isn't, but still.

    Chris Jericho is absolute gold at the moment. They need to keep him as Tag Champ just so he can appear on RAW as well as Smackdown.

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  8. Wow, this show was bad. Number 1 don't force musicians to be actors, ZZ Top pretending to play their greatest hits and hanging out with Santino? Who the hell thought that up and why do they still have a job? Number 2, please for the love of blue eyed, sweet baby Jesus, no more Triple H vs. Orton and can have Orton please have his balls back? The guy goes from being a monster heel who punted a who's who list of WWE stars into taking time off and now is the worse cowardly "snake" man since Cobra Commander in the GI JOE movie. ONCE A MAN! ONCE A MAN! "The viper" needs to get back to kicking ass and stop slowly walking to the ring, slowly, slithering into the ring, slowly looking bored, etc.

    Also whats up with Brian Kendrick getting buried? I bet he was pysched when he came into work and found out he gets to job to a 60 year old plus man FOR NO REASON. Way to sell that fist drop of doom, Brian.

    Can the Divas please just stop wasting their time and my time? Can't they just be like the second coming of the Nitro girls, dance around on stage, or have pillow fights in the back or something?

    I hope Chavo hits Hornswoggle in the face with a chair...soon.

    Jericho was the only thing good on this entire episode. When he said, "I've won more titles then you and your dads combined" to Legacy, that might be a contender for best verbal bitch slap of the year. We can only hope that Jericho manages to clone himself by Sunday, so that his partner can be Chris Jericho, but sadly as we all know, the world could not handle the awesomeness that is 2 Jerichos.

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  9. I'm personally under the impression that Randy Orton has NEVER been a badass. If anything though, he needs to drop Legacy; what started as a great idea to have Orton's own version of Evolution, has turned into the most predictable, boring stable in years.

    And if there's one thing I want people to take away from this blog, it's that The Brian Kendrick is the most wasted talent in all of professional wrestling today.

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  10. I guess I am in the minority/dissenting opinion because I thought that the most recent Raw was thoroughly entertaining (divas aside, and even then there was a couple of moments that caught my attention).

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  11. I really didn't find the divas match to be that bad, and I thought Kelly getting some offense against somebody is a good thing. Baffling ending though that sucked the heat out of what was otherwise an average diva tag match. Alicia Fox is pretty green, but she's Stu Hart compared to Jenna Morasca.

    I thought this was a poor Raw and was reminded of Cornette's rant from a few months back about writers: only a writer could come up with recurring segments where Santino and ZZ Top play fake guitar in the back, because that is a TERRIBLE IDEA. You'd hope anybody with background in wrestling might've come up with the idea of them actually coming out at least as far as the stage, maybe even play a song or two and piss off some heel somehow. Then the heel (let's call him... The Miz) has to wrestle a babyface of ZZ Top's choosing (Triple H or Cena), and... ta-da, the crowd cares about the match and ZZ Top contributed! Even for those that found these sketches funny, did it help anyone? Did it build to anything? I mean, Santino vs. Vickie was poor, but at least it was a feud that ended in a match (if not a real ring). This was just filler for what basically amounted to a repeat of last week.

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