Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monday Night RAW recap: HBK appreciation night



Location: San Antonio, Texas
Announcers: Jerry "The King" Lawler, Michael Cole

Preface:
These three hour RAWs are killing me. I had my television on for the entire 3 hours, but I can't say I really watched with intensity. Good for the Neilson ratings, bad for writing RAW reviews. You're slowly going to see these reviews morph more into my RAW thoughts and much less on what actually happened in the ring.

RAW opening segment

I know it's only been two weeks, but I'm out on AJ as the RAW GM. Bring back Laurinaitis, give it to William Regal or let Vince come back and be the owner of both shows. To me AJ has been nothing more than a Stephanie McMahon clone, a petulant child making decisions to please a whimsical audience. The WWE has bastardized her character in an attempt to capitalize on her mounting popularity. I don't really watch Smackdown so I could care less that Booker T was announced general manager over there. And I suppose I could go the "anybody but Teddy Long, Vicky Guerrero or Stephanie McMahon route" but I'm not satisfied with AJ as the RAW GM. Give me Lord Steven Regal or give me death.


These were the best options?
To recap the segment CM Punk apologizes in the most condescending way possible. Cena comes out and gets creepy with AJ and the Big Show was in Mike Rupp's words, irrelevant out there. Being the new queen of RAW interactive AJ gave us the choice of #PunkRey, #PunkMiz, or #PunkKane. Wow. What options. Where was #PunkLesnar, #PunkAustin, or #PunkFunaki? The WWE was obviously baiting the audience to choose Punk/Rey Rey. Here I am talking like the votes were actually calculated.


"You smell great." John Cena, you creeper



CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio 

Solid match while it lasted. Can we stop pretending that Rey Mysterio is a heavyweight wrestler? Actually with all the weight it looks like he gained while he was away, he probably qualifies now. I'm tired of watching bigger wrestlers have to sell his offense. Does anyone remember his matches against Tajiri? All of them were total classics. Why? Because his offense was believable and smaller wrestlers can properly sell what he does in the ring. 


Rey Mysterio wrestles in a shirt the same way a fat kid wears one to go swimming. 



Wade Barrett promo

I'm going to be patient on this one and give Wade Barrett a second chance. Take my eyes (but not my shirt) before making me ever watch Randy Orton vs Wade Barrett in the ring again. 

Christian vs Alberto Del Rio

So after declaring that he would not wrestle again until his championship match, Del Rio immediately had a match on Smackdown and then again tonight on RAW. That's a shame because everything he said was true last week. What is the point of having him wrestle annihilate Santino Marella on a regular basis, when he has a title match lined up at Summerslam. When you secure the number one or two seed, you rest your players at the end of the season. You don't go all out against inferior competition. 

On another note, another RAW without a US title defense or any mention of it's champion really. You would be better off throwing the belt in the trash at this point, it wouldn't make a lick of difference. 

Christian deserves better than this. I thought I read somewhere that he is close to retirement. Give him one more title run on Smackdown and then let him retire so he can go hiking and kayaking with Edge in Colorado. Del Rio with the victory after a Ricardo distraction.

Backstage


Oh Sheamus stole Del Rio's car......on national television. At this point Del Rio can either: 

1. Call the police and report his car stolen. All he has to do is tell them to look for the pale, Irish, Beaker-looking asshole in a Ferrari.

2. Relax because he has theft insurance.

3. Realize that he's the Mexican version of JBL and that if he's as rich as the WWE wants us to believe, he still has 900 other $200,000 cars that we've seen him drive onto the Smackdown set. 

This was incredibly stupid. I spaced out for a bit, but I'm pretty sure it ended with Sheamus defecating in his pants. Sheamus, you sir, are no Stone Cold Steve Austin


Remember kids, in WWE, they don't call the cops when a law is broken, they settle it in the ring. This ain't new. 


Big Show vs Randy Orton  

I won't lie to you loyal viewer(s). I did not watch this match. Apparently it ended in a double count out and after the match Randy Orton laid Show out with an RKO. So wait, you had the Big Show close RAW holding the WWE title up high after knocking out the 8 month champion, but they couldn't let him get a clean victory over Randy Orton? Worse yet, Randy Orton got the better of him after the match? Excuse my language, but how in the heck does that happen? 
Not as bad as Randall Orton

This result shows that they value Randy Orton higher than the Big Show or their champion CM Punk. The Big Show is in your main event at Summerslam (presumably). Randy Orton doesn't even have a match on the PPV or any general direction for that matter. Yet Orton receives better treatment? I don't get it. Someone slip Randy a poppy seed bagel backstage so that he fails his third drug test and they can ship him off to that wrestling wasteland known as TNA. 

In case you aren't clear about my feelings towards the Viper. I hate him with a passion reserved for Betty DraperLori Grimes and Joffrey Baratheoon

Ryback vs Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins

Did we not already have this exact match before? Listen I want to like Ryback, I really do. But give him some direction. I'm begging you, let him wrestle just one established star in a competitive match. And I'm glad that it appears the Goldberg chants are somewhat dissipating, because now you can feature the man on RAW instead of hiding him on a tape delayed Smackdown where they edit out the chants. 


Speaking of Goldberg. Do you remember when they told William Regal that he had to go out and job to Goldberg. And he was like "frack that, I'm a lord." Well Regal went out there and gave Goldberg one of his best matches he's ever had. Goldberg showed that he could wrestle in an actual match against a different style of opponent. He looked strong because he beat an established wrestler and Regal looked good because he didn't get pinned in a twenty second squash match against the man who was receiving a monster push. 

Employ this logic with Ryback. You know what has potential to be good.....or absolutely horrible? A Ryback and Kane feud. Kane is pretty mobile for a big man and could help legitimize Ryback as a wrestler instead of being known as the guy who beats up on house show talent.

Epico/Primo vs Prime Time players

Good to see AW was mic'd up again this week. I thought there was a pretty decent chance that he would be fired over last weeks indiscretions. The tag champs came out and this led to a distraction and a victory for the Rosa-less, Epico and Primo. The tag team division needs more wrestlers. Long gone are the glory days of the Dudley Boys, Edge and Christian and the Hardys, but tag team wrestling can still be good. Throw Tyson Kidd on a team with somebody. Bring back Sheldon Benjamin and Charlie Haas. Make the tag titles relevant again. 

Brodus Clay vs Damien Sandow

Sandow attacks Clay's leg before the match starts. Fine. This accomplishes two things. Helps put over Sandow and give him more television time. It gets the Funkasauras off of television for a bit. I am okay with all of this.

Kelly Kelly vs Eve Torres


Welcome back! Welcome back!
Oh how I have missed hearing holla, holla, holla. Good to see Kelly Kelly back. The girl can't wrestle worth crap but I would rather watch her and Eve flail around in the ring than be subjected to anything featured Randy Orton. 


So all my girls in the back say ho.
Cause you know just how we do.
Side to side, and front to back.
If you ain't taking that. (Holla. Holla.) 
-Shakespeare 



Kelly Kelly returns to revive Diva division, which leaves for a few weeks but comes back stronger than ever, like a cold sore


HBK/Brock Lesnar/HHH segment

They really wasted one of Brock Lesnar's limited appearances on this? He came out with Paul Heyman, who did all of the talking thankfully. And then Brock Lesnar tells HHH that he'll see him at Summerslam and he'll see Shawn Michaels sooner than that. 


Shawn Michaels is my second favorite wrestler of all time, but I do not like him involved with this match at all. The only object for this match should be to put over Brock Lesnar. HHH is no longer an active wrestler, a loss for him does absolutely nothing. Shawn Michaels is retired. While I love seeing the Heart Break Kid back on television, I do not want it to be in this capacity. 

Brock Lesnar needs to be booked as the new baddest man on the planet. True he lost to John Cena in his first match back, but he dominated him in the ring. No excuses, he needs to pin HHH cleanly in the middle of the ring at Summerslam. I do not want to see any botched Shawn Michaels interference of any other bullshit that lets HHH save face. HHH is always talking about doing what's best for "this business". He needs to put his money where his mouth is and prove this by putting over Lesnar. Also, Paul Heyman is just awesome.

Dolph Ziggler vs Alex Riley 


Alex Riley with an appearance on RAW was the shocker of the year. On top of this, they let him get a victory over Ziggler. As an unabashed Ziggler fan, I'm not too happy with this result. Whatever, keep building up the feud between him and Jericho. Their match at Summerslam is one of the few things I'm looking forward to on that PPV.

Kane vs the Miz

Kane wins in a short match. This ends Miz's re-push and his insanely long de-push. That was fast. Still digging the republican haircut however. How did this match help sell Kane vs Daniel Bryan at Summerslam? You know, the two guys who are wrestling one another in two weeks. Serious question, is Freddie Prince Jr. still on the creative team?

Main Event
Daniel Bryan vs John Cena

Daniel Bryan is so hot right now he could take a crap, wrap it in tinfoil, put a couple of fish hooks on it and sell it to Queen Elizabeth as earrings. So hot right now. That being said, I have to 100% completely agree with @titowrestling on this one. 


Are you kidding me,  / ? Giving away John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan for FREE?!? That's 1 unique feud you haven't done yet, but oh well

You're just pissing money away by not building this up. THIS is why Stone Cold walked out of the company at one point. The creative geniuses at the World Wrestling Entertainment wanted to randomly have Brock Lesnar beat Stone Cold on an episode of RAW with zero build up. I've got to agree with Austin's decision on that one. It's just like WCW giving Hogan vs Goldberg away for free on Nitro. Were they actively trying not to make money? Daniel Bryan vs John Cena is a match that could make the WWE money. If booked right, it could be a PPV main event. Why they would give it away for free is beyond me. 

As for the actual match; it was very good. They had them wrestle as if they were on an equal level instead of a glorified Cena squash. I can't believe they gave us a finish to this match either. They had Daniel Bryan get pinned cleanly in the middle of the ring. IF you are going to pair these two together, DON'T give us a finish. Have someone interfere. Anyone really. 

Daniel Bryan and Kane have a match at Summerslam; logic would dictate that they have some sort of interaction before then. Have Kane attack Bryan in the middle of his main event match. 

John Cena has a championship match against CM Punk and the Big Show, have one of them attack Cena to cause a disqualification. It would have played off CM Punk's opening promo proclimation that he is the one who knocks....or closes the show. 

There goes Cena, no selling like Wille Loman 
 (A Death of a Salesman reference? Pure gold.)




RAW ends with the Big Show knocking out both Punk and Cena with his heavy right hand. Show stands tall holding up the title belt. He's got better odds of fitting that thing around his waist than actually winning the match at Summerslam.

GRADE: B - 

FINAL THOUGHTS: Did RAW drag on for anyone else? Seriously 3 hours is way too long. There were some good things that happened, but there was also a lot of filler crap. Sheamus stealing Del Rio's car was last week's "Oh my God there was a small fire on RAW footage." On the plus side, we only saw the Lesnar/HHH recap one time this week. The divas finally received a match, albeit a short and technically flawed one. 

Top 5 Completely Arbitrary


5. Verbal botches - I don't know which one was worse, John Cena referencing the "Miami Gators" or Jerry Lawler butchering the "woman scorned" quote.

4. Kelly Kelly - Her return made me holla, holla, holla!

3. William Regal - Two references in my column and nary a mention on RAW, impressive. 

2. Pick one - Punk/Bryan/Lesnar/Heyman 

1. HBK - How can anyone else get the top spot on Shawn Michaels appreciation night? Also that Hall of Fame shirt he was wearing so boss.


Thanks for reading. Don't forget to leave a comment down below and follow me @TheRawLibrarian

Until next time enjoy this 2003 John Cena vs American Dragon Brian Danielson match on Velocity.



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