The WWE Raw Deal for 12/20/10 (Cena/Ziggler)
By John Canton (Follow me on Twitter @johnreport)
If you missed the 2010 WWE Johnny Awards they are HERE. I did not write about TLC and will not write about it, but my buddy Christian Michael covered it live for me. I saw it. I just don’t have the time to write about every single show especially during the holiday season. After this column I’m taking a week off. No podcast this week either. I need the break like we all do. And I’ve had a few people ask me about sending Christmas gifts. I really don’t have an Amazon wishlist or anything like that. However at thejohnreport.net there’s a donation button if you want. I’m not rich and I’m not begging or anything, but since I’ve been asked I figure I’d mention it.
Live from Austin, Texas this is the Raw Deal…
The Miz came out to start the show, bragging about beating Orton at the PPV. Then a Ghost from Christmas Past showed up. It was Alex Riley and he reminded Miz about beating Jerry Lawler a few weeks back. Cole showed up dressed as the Ghost from Christmas Present telling Miz that even though his win over Orton wasn’t clean it was still a win. Then the Ghost of Christmas Future was the pic of the Angry Miz Girl with somebody doing the voice for her Conan O’Brien style. She mentioned John Morrison being the next challenger.
Cue John Morrison. At least he doesn’t wear furry boots when he’s not wrestling. Morrison said “sometime soon” they’d be wrestling for the belt, but didn’t say the Rumble. It could be the first Raw of 2011 or it could be the Rumble. Not sure. I think it’ll be the Rumble, so Miz can go over and then likely face Cena at WrestleMania for the belt. Morrison said he’d win like he has in the past. Miz went into his “Really?” thing and it ended up in brawl with Sheamus coming out to attack Morrison too. Lawler decked Riley with a bunch at ringside. The GM buzzed in to say Miz would be in a match featuring his past, present & future as he will team up with Riley & Sheamus versus Lawler, Orton & Morrison. I thought it was a pretty good opening segment that sets up a nice main event for later. I’m fine with 6 man tag main events. They are strong.
Melina d. Alicia Fox & Eve to become #1 Contender to Divas Title (*)
Natalya was on commentary looking great. There’s something about these women when you’re used to them in wrestling gear and then you see them dressed up. It’s like “wow she’s even hotter than I thought!” Yes, I’m a fan of Natalya. The match was only about three minutes with Melina winning using a nice cradle as a counter move. Post match, Natalya went to shake her hand. Melina slapped her. Heel turn! Watch Tribute to the Troops on USA on Wednesday and you’ll see Melina’s teamed with the heels. I’m glad. I like her as a talent, but I think she needed this turn badly. Her babyface run was very stale.
The Bellas showed up to meet Daniel Bryan backstage.
Smackdown’s live on USA tonight 9-11pm. Not for me here in Canada, but I’ll probably watch it online. Smart move by WWE. It’ll be the most watched Smackdown since they moved to Fridays, I think. We’ll see. They did a good job of plugging it all night. It’d be nice if they plugged the Friday show more often.
Daniel Bryan d. William Regal (**1/4)
About as good as a 5 minute match can be. A true wrestling match. Regal was working his ass off, Bryan was mostly selling and then got him to tap out. It was nice to see Punk mention that Regal helped to train Bryan back in the day. I wish it was longer and I really doubt we’d ever see it on PPV, so why not give them 12-15 minutes on Superstars sometime? That could be awesome. Post match, the Bellas celebrated with Bryan. One of them kissed him on the cheek, then the other one kissed him on the lips, then the other one kissed him on the lips and Bryan was shocked by it all. Cole was freaking out about a nerd getting the pretty whores. I threw in the whores part.
Backstage, Orton talked to Morrison. When Morrison said he trusts Orton will be ready Orton countered by saying he shouldn’t trust him. Just like Steve Austin’s “Don’t Trust Anybody” phrase. Am I allowed to remember that?
Backstage, Tamina was standing on Santino’s back as a back massage. Maryse showed up and they started arguing. The comedy was they were both standing on Santino. They got pulled off and Santino sold the pain, but it wasn’t too funny.
Ha awkward backstage segment of the week with Mark Henry talking to Gail Kim casually. I love casual talk in front of a camera. They mentioned the air being better because there was no Nexus there. Then Dolph & Vickie walked by (with the patented “EXCUSE ME!”) while Henry said the air doesn’t feel that fresh anymore. Way to deliver those lines, Mark. Get ready for the Rumble! Always a threat.
They kept hyping up John Cena being back. HE NEVER LEFT! Even when he was fired he was still on the show every week.
Santino & Tamina d. Ted Dibiase & Maryse (*)
Santino was about to do the Cobra, then Maryse tagged in and he had to stop doing it. That was about the only funny part. Tamina ended up pinning Maryse with the Superfly Splash. Did Ted Dibiase lose 80% of his matches this year? Seems like it.
Backstage Cena was walking, looking all happy as Cole was orgasmic about him being back. Doesn’t Cole love heels? He received a Poinsettia from a dude, then gave it to some chick and he was about to address the crowd at the top of hour two.
John Cena came out for an interview segment. I know people hate the guy, but I thought he was pretty good here. He had a lot of energy. He hugged a “we hate Cena” guy in the front row, which was funny and he even sang “Deep in the Heart of Texas” too. Then he played footage of dropping all the chairs on Barrett at the PPV. Of course he protected Barrett by putting a wooden cart over him, which would obviously soften the blow, but we have to pretend like it makes it hurt more. They showed it four different times from different angles. Cena said he vowed to take out Nexus and he did…even though they’ll probably be on Raw next week.
Vickie Guerrero came out with Dolph Ziggler. She did the “EXCUSE ME!” bit and the crowd was all over her. The heat was awesome. She is awesome at riling up the crowd. They took a few minutes to get into the whole spiel because the crowd was so hot, Cena was laughing & even Vickie almost looked like she was laughing too. It was a lot of fun mostly because of the audience. She said Cena wasn’t the only one that won last night…Dolph did too. Then Cena threw to a video package of Vickie at the Slammy’s last week. It’s like he knew she’d be out there. Amazing! (That’s sarcasm.) They showed the clips of Lawler making fun of her. Then back to the live crowd, Cena & Lawler made fat jokes towards Vickie. She slapped Cena. The GM buzzed in to announce Cena vs. Ziggler coming up next.
In the last two days Cena brutally assaulted Wade Barrett with a steel chair attack at the PPV after he won the match and then he made fat jokes towards a mother of two who isn’t nearly as big as she used to be. This is your top babyface? I guess so. At least I enjoyed his mic work here.
John Cena d. Dolph Ziggler (**3/4)
A very good TV match. It was really cool how Cena was getting the upperhand and Ziggler was able to fight back, cut his momentum off & look credible here. They could have booked this in a bad way, but instead we got 13 minutes of wrestling with the crowd popping for everything they’ve been trained to pop for. It worked well. If it was booked so Cena dominated it would have done nothing for Ziggler. Instead, Cena won clean, but Ziggler gained credibility for hanging with the top guy. It should be noted during commentary that Punk was really going hard against Cena, which was nice to hear since Cole seems to love him despite usually liking heels (one of the things about Cole’s character I dislike). Ziggler tried to lie, cheat & steal Eddie Guerrero style, but Cena ducked a belt shot and hit the Attitude Adjustment for the pinfall. Quality wrestling match. I approve.
Post match, Punk attacked Cena with a chair jab to the ribs and then a shot to the back. He left to huge heel heat. He got out of there fast while the camera focused in on Cena, who was doing his angry Incredible Hulk like faces to sell his anger. SUPER CENA MAD! SUPER CENA ANGRY!
In the parking lot, Mathews caught up to Punk who said he was doing to Cena what he did to Barrett. Then he sped off in his car. I’m assuming this means Punk’s hip is in a condition good enough to allow him to wrestle within a couple of weeks and now we’ve got a Punk-Cena feud, which is pretty fresh. Works for me. I’ll miss Punk on commentary, but he’s a lot more valuable as an in-ring performer where he is as good as anybody in the company.
Backstage, Sheamus threatened Lawler in his dressing room. Lawler mentioned being the King since 1974. That’s six years before I was born, before Sheamus was born and before a lot of viewers were born. Sheamus said, “Long Live the King.” It’s not a good thing that the guy won King of the Ring, then he lost clean on PPV to a guy that is number one contender. He could have been booked better.
Backstage, they mentioned Smackdown again as Vickie & Dolph were talking. She booked Cena vs. Dolph…and Vickie this Tuesday night on Smackdown. That should be interesting. I guess.
Before the main event aired, they showed all the media coverage The Miz has been getting since being WWE Champion. You know Vince loves that. I expect him to hold the belt until WrestleMania where, as I said previously, he’ll likely lose to Cena.
Randy Orton, Jerry Lawler & John Morrison d. The Miz, Sheamus & Alex Riley (**1/2)
Another good match on Raw! Crazy! They got 14 minutes to tell the story. The majority of the match saw the heels dominate by working on Lawler and then Morrison. Morrison got the hot tag to Orton, who was absolutely on fire. The crowd was popping huge for everything. I loved them. It reminded me of the Attitude Era crowds that were always so hot. Yes, I’ve noticed Orton using the Angle Slam. Why not, right? Kurt Angle has worked for TNA for many years now. It’s okay to use somebody else’s move, I think. Orton hit Miz with the DDT, the pin got broken up and he hit Riley with a RKO. Does a week go by where Riley isn’t taking somebody’s finish? Haha. Lawler tagged in, Miz went to give him the Skull Crushing Finale, but Orton hit Miz with a RKO and Lawler covered for the pinfall win.
Post match, the GM announced Miz vs. Orton on the live Smackdown on USA Network tonight. It’s at 9pmET if you are wondering. Non-title, I assume. Miz went to attack Orton, but Randy went for a RKO. Miz ended up bailing to the back with Riley. I was a little disappointed that they barely had Morrison do anything here. I guess they want to hype up Miz vs. Orton for Smackdown whereas they have lots of time to hype Miz vs. Morrison.
My assumption is that Lawler beating Miz clean will lead to another Miz vs. Lawler match where Miz beats him again in relatively clean fashion.
Three Stars of the Show
1. CM Punk – I’ll miss him announcing, but if his attack on Cena means he’s back to wrestling it’s a great thing.
2. John Cena – The promo was entertaining and I liked the match with Ziggler.
3. Dolph Ziggler (tie) – He’s really had a good year. Showed it here. Well deserved.
3. Vickie Guerrero (tie) – She is a heat magnet. Have to honor her for that. She has great poise on the microphone and she’s right in saying she’s lost weight too.
8 out of 10
Last week: 5
Loved this show. Who booked this show to have actual wrestling matches that got time? Thank you! Thank you so much for allowing me to enjoy a full edition of Raw from start to finish. Three good matches, a divas segment that gave us something different and some really strong microphone work too. It’s not hard to book a good show like this, is it? At least it shouldn’t be.
No Nexus on the show. I didn’t really miss them too much. They’ve been booked so poorly anyway, so it made the show better without them.
Kudos to the crowd in Austin, Texas too. They were hot for everything even if some of the stuff didn’t really deserve it.
I enjoyed this show. More please!
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Merry Christmas to all that are celebrating! Mine will be filled with gifts, wine, family, wine, poker and more win. Good times had by all!
Thanks for reading.
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