The John Report: The Raw Deal for August 17/09 (Plus a Summerslam Preview)
Welcome to a loaded edition of the Raw Deal that will include the usual full recap of Raw along with a Summerslam preview where I’ll be joined by a special guest. Before I start, just want to mention that I have started writing about Smackdown on a weekly basis. In case you missed the first edition of “Talking Smack” because you’re not much of a weekend computer user (like me) the link to that is here. The goal is to post it on Saturday afternoons, but there will be the occasion like this week where it gets a Sunday posting because sometimes Saturdays are too busy.
Last thing I have to say before starting is a big thank you to Jarrod from the F1X crew for the beautiful new Raw Deal banner. You can go visit his efed at fightingonexperience.com, which is proof that if you help me out I’ll shill for you! It’s a fair trade! I’ve had several banners made for me in the past couple of weeks and I will do what I can to showcase them.
Live from St. Louis, Missouri (or Missoura for people that can’t speak properly) here’s the Raw Deal…
Raw’s GM of the night…Freddie Prinze Jr.
My thoughts on Freddie going in were lukewarm at best. I can’t remember if I ever saw “I Know What You Did Last Summer” a decade ago and I know I never saw “She’s All That.” If I don’t remember these movies do you think Vince McMahon saw them? The chances are slim and none there. He will be on 24, which is my favorite television show along with Lost, so I guess I’ll see him there. I do know that he used to work for the WWE creative team last year and part of this year, so obviously he had a good knowledge of the product. He showed good enthusiasm in his opening promo. The crowd could tell that, so they gave him some nice pops. Then Santino came out. This is how you use Santino. He was great calling him “Freddie the Prince June.” I love how he mispronounces things. He made references to Freddie’s movies (from a decade ago) and then went into 24 mode, pointing his finger in Lillian’s face and asking where the bomb was. I just re-watched season 3 just for the hell out of it. Pretty accurate portrayal by Santino. Plus, Keifer Sutherland’s short like him. Then he sent Santino away by telling him to rehearse while the crowd gave him an ovation. See, that use of Santino worked great.
Orton came out next. Got somewhat of a pop due to being in his hometown of St. Louis. He doesn’t want to work. I feel the same way. Maybe I hear voices in my head? Freddie’s like, “dude, it’s your hometown, you have to work” and Randy does the typical ripping of the hometown because that’s what heels do. Heels are miserable all the time. Freddie’s not scared of him (“Do I look like Seth Green?”) and tells Orton he will be wrestling in the main event. Once Freddie turns his back, Orton grabs him and does his backbreaker move as Freddie sells it like the most painful thing ever. I guess they didn’t have confidence in him selling the RKO properly. I immediately cheered at this because I knew it meant the show wouldn’t be ruined by too many guest GM segments that have plagued Raw for months. It works for me.
After returning from commercial, the announcers are talking in their SERIOUS VOICES~! Oh no, Freddie’s hurt. Thank you SERIOUS VOICES~! for letting me know because if you used regular voices I would doubt the seriousness of it.
US Title Match: Kofi Kingston d. Carlito (**¾)
Rosa Mendes is with Carlito and she does absolutely nothing. About a minute in, Carlito hit him and Kofi rolled out to the floor for the customary “guy is laying on the floor so let’s throw to commercial” spot that you don’t always see on Raw. Remember the days when they told you to go WWE.com to watch stuff during the commercial? Guess that didn’t work very well, huh. We come back with Carlito still in control. The action was very good, I have to admit. Kingston’s so fun to watch and much to my surprise Carlito was motivated enough to keep up. Good counter wrestling with Kofi hitting the crossbody, Carlito reversing and getting a two of his own. Then some more countering led to Kofi hitting the Trouble in Paradise kick for the win. Look at that, huh? A clean 10 minute match that had the crowd into it ending in a favorable result. I complain about this every week and now they finally give it to me. Thank you! More Kofi matches please. He’s definitely becoming a favorite of mine.
Hey, here’s a DX video package. Look at all the dick jokes. Remember that WWE is a family company, bring the kids! While watching this, are we supposed to forget that four months ago they rammed the whole “HHH is the savior of the McMahon family” stuff when we see him tormenting Vince and Shane three years ago? We are? Okay, thanks. I’m sorry for using my brain. It was a nice trip down memory lane until they showed Chyna. Please don’t do that again without warning.
Miz comes out in new ring gear. He’s on a quest to be US Champion. Good for him.
The Miz d. Evan Bourne (*½)
They got about half the time that Kofi/Carlito got, which is okay with me. I’m not one to usually criticize hair, but what the hell was that mop on Evan’s head? Shave it off, dude. Bourne needs to be wrestling every week because he’s so exciting to watch and the fans genuinely like him as they should. I like Miz as a worker. He’s not great, but he’s certainly good enough and I would have no problem with him receiving a push. They exchanged some nearfalls, I actually thought Bourne was winning because they love to piss Miz off. Then Miz ended up hitting the “skull crushing finale” for the win. Basically, it’s like Jeff Jarrett’s “Stroke” finisher. Not a huge fan of that finisher name, but it certainly gets the point across. I guess Miz is one step closer to getting a US title shot. Of course he’ll get the belt sooner rather than later.
DeGeneration X returned. Jillian was annoying so they put a trash can on her, then Santino did some 24 on them and HBK kicked him for the hell of it. Their entrance took a long time. They were about to talk and then Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes came out of “nowhere” to beat the crap out of them. Cody even took off Michaels’ boot and beat him with it. Dusty would be proud. I loved this because it makes Legacy seem like a threat even though everybody knows that DX is winning on Sunday. I guess Legacy is on a roll, though. Two weeks ago they pinned HHH in a handicap match, last week they pinned the midget that almost never loses and now they beat the crap out of DX. Beating the midget that never loses does top the list, of course.
The WrestleMania 25 music video special on NBC on August 29 interests me just so I can relive HBK vs. Undertaker again. I’m sure WWE will try to make us think that Triple H vs. Orton was the best thing on the show even though the crowd was dead for it.
I couldn’t tell if the announcers busted out the SERIOUS VOICES~! when talking about the DX beatdown. I think they did.
Divas Title: Mickie James d. Gail Kim (DUD)
Man, I love when Mickie bounces to the ring. This was a tough spot because the crowd was pissed after the DX reunion. They tried to have a fast pace for this, but things just unraveled. I only saw it once, so I don’t know. My best guess is Gail must have hit her head at some point, maybe when she landed the crossbody because after that point she messed up. Mickie’s DDT didn’t work because Gail didn’t sell it. Then when Mickie threw a kick it missed by a foot, yet Gail sold that one. Then Mickie hit a forearm for the win. You could see the frustration on Mickie’s face. Stuff like that happens on a live show. If it was Smackdown they could have re-taped it or just not aired it at all. I just hope Gail’s alright.
Apparently Freddie’s back at the arena. That’s nice. What a waste of SERIOUS VOICES~! earlier in the show.
Cena’s backstage doing a promo. Instead of doing the serious promo that is sorely needed for this match against Orton, he busts out the over the top comedy promo that doesn’t work nearly as well when you’re trying to sell a big PPV on Sunday. Compare this to something like Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk, which is about ten times better than this feud. Why? Because they hate eachother. We know they do. With Cena/Orton, it feels more like they’re wrestling because one guy has the belt and the other doesn’t. Telling jokes isn’t going to get people to pay money to see the match. They really needed a Cena-Orton face to face on this show. Make up some bullshit about how they were friends coming up, but ever since then Orton’s been a jerk to him. Say that you’ve always measured yourself against Orton because you’re about the same age and you came up at the same time. Talk about how you despise Orton as a person because of the way he treats people without respect. Things like that. Making jokes about Orton being a whiner doesn’t work in this scenario. I like Cena. I don’t blame him. It’s the writing. Bad idea for a go home show.
MVP d. Jack Swagger via DQ (DUD)
No intros. They’re just in the ring. The match ended in about 45 seconds thanks to Swagger punching him in the corner. Wow, they couldn’t even get a minute. Brutal. They’ve since announced on WWE.com that they’re having a match at Summerslam. Why couldn’t they say it during the show when they did the rundown of Summerslam?
Hey look, WWE made People magazine for something other than a wrestler killing his family or having too many people on steroids. Good for you! There’s Piven giving the crossbody. That show was brutally awful, but who cares about good shows when you can be in People magazine!
Hornswoggle d. Chavo in a Falls Count Anywhere match (-*)
Holy shit, they felt the need to do this again? Horny won when he ran backstage and Chavo got hit by a bucket in the face. Who did it? Macaulay Culkin. Wow, a Home Alone reference. I loved that movie…20 years ago. Good to see Horny win again after losing last week. His WrestleMania push has returned. I think they’re having a Best of 25 series. Kool-Aid man was here too.
Next week’s guest host is Floyd Mayweather Jr. Good. I like him a lot and he tends to go off script because he’s a bit of a nutcase, so that could be good for unintentional comedy.
Main event time. Before we get to that, though, Freddie the tough guy tells Orton that he’s picked the lumberjacks for this tag match. Oh, a counter to Piven picking the lumberjacks two weeks ago. You go girlfriend (finger snap).
John Cena & Randy Orton d. Chris Jericho & Big Show (**)
Hey, Jamie Noble’s still employed! That’s nice to know. I love how we’re supposed to believe that if Orton got tossed out by Noble he’d get beat up. I guess the story of the match was how Orton and Cena would work together. They had Orton get beat up for a bit, then he just made the tag. Nothing out of the ordinary. Aren’t they supposed to hate eachother? No slap in the face? No spit? Nothing? Cena came in, hit the usual on Jericho, took Show out and then pinned Jericho clean with the AA. It was pretty much by the numbers although it wasn’t terrible or anything.
Post match, Orton hit the RKO on Cena. Then, within about twenty seconds, Cena was clearing house on Jerishow while Orton ran away. Way to sell the move. I understand time constraints and all that, but that really hurts the credibility of that move. I guess the story heading into Summerslam is that Cena’s looking strong while Orton might be worried about losing his belt. When you have to guess what the story is it’s not a good sign. We should all know what it is.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Kofi Kingston – Best match of the night. His reward? Nothing at Summerslam.
2. Carlito – Him too.
3. Legacy – That’s how you build to a PPV match.
Rating: 6 (out of 10)
Last week: 5 (That probably should have been a 4 in hindsight.)
The show was okay. Everything involving Cena and Orton left a bad taste in my mouth, though. It was not the right way to build up the PPV main event of what is supposedly the second biggest show in the company. Cutting comedy promos and then no selling finishers does not equal PPV buys. What’s even sadder is this was still better than all the hype for the countless HHH/Orton matches we’ve seen this year…I liked Freddie Prinze Jr. as host because the show wasn’t about him. He put the product over, which is what the host should be doing…Santino genuinely made me laugh. I’m fine with using him in that kind of role…The Kofi/Carlito match was refreshing to see on a weekly show that really has forgot the value of good matches happening on television. Kudos to both guys…I hope Gail Kim’s okay. I’m not about to hurt somebody that might have forgot something because of a possible injury. She’s not somebody that screws up regularly and is one of the best people in the business…Legacy looked better here than they have ever looked. Too bad they’re getting destroyed on Sunday…Nice to see Miz not treated like a joke for once…Somebody needs to work on the timing of the show. There’s no reason why a match should get only a minute before being thrown out. That’s brutal…Finally, no more Hornswoggle vs. Chavo! It’s painful to watch.
Thoughts from the Facebook friends
Here are some random thoughts from some of my facebook friends (just head to Facebook.com/thejohnreport) after I asked for some comments about the show. I will put some additional comments of my own when necessary in brackets following the quotation marks:
“He’s this excited to host RAW? Imagine what happens when he goes to bed with his wife! I bet he cries his little eyes out…”
“Summerslam? What’s Freddie talki…ohhhh. Summerfest.” (Never gets old, does it?)
“The majority of the humor on Raw is unintentional, but IMO Santino is the one person who consistently nails the comedy routine – he is to the ” comedy fillers” what Jericho is to the wrestling.”
“It’s impossible to be funny and “cool” at the same time. That’s why people like Triple H fail at it. Santino sells out for his humor.”
“Wiser words were never spoken: Freddy isn’t Seth Green or Jeremy Piven. They actually have somewhat decent careers.”
“Where was Jack Bauer with the save!?!” (I wish.)
“If only Orton would do that to everyone who’s on/used to be on the creative team.”
“I really don’t think you can be a successful wrestler nowadays unless you have a move that you pause and gesture (with the crowd chanting along) before you then attack your opponent. <--Sarcasm" (Hey, it worked for that Dwayne Johnson guy.)
“My God a good match on RAW. If I hadn’t just watched it, I’d slap whoever told me.”
“The best part of this greatest hits of DX, I see a real championship belt, and not that god damn spinner belt.”
“Way to aim high there Miz. Really making a name for yourself.” (Some people don’t think highly of the US title.)
“”I’m the Miz, and I’m ORANGE!” Ease up on the self-tanner, dude!”
“Crazy how Chyna was all over that DX promo but yet they catch amnesia when referring to the most physical divas of all time.”
“The most important part of tonight’s Raw was when I voted on who will win in the main event. Or maybe it was DX reuniting? Nah my vote was way more important.”
“Miz-1. Guy who deserves the push more – 0. I’m crushing my own skull against a brick wall at the stupidity of this finale.”
“I was hoping Jillian was going to fall out of her dress.”
“Its DX…ITS DX…OMG DX IS HERE…ARE YOU READY? For the same catch phrases you heard when they were 12 years younger…and actually were somewhat rebellious.”
“Whatever I’m just glad HBK is back.” (I’m with ya.)
“Since when does Degeneration X come out prancing and skipping and waving little green glowsticks? If I didn’t know better, I’d say Shawn Michaels and Triple H are on shrooms right now…”
“Hold on. Did they just try to put over young talent at the expense of veterans? When did they star doing that?”
“Wow creative…way to make Legacy look strong A WEEK before the ppv. Now I have to pretend like I’ve never seen them get destroyed by hhh a million of times and think that they might win at summer slam.” (Pretending is fun isn’t it?)
“The numbers game was too much? It was two on two.”
“I don’t mean to beat a dead horse but my god Mickie James is the hottest girl ever.” (Ever? No. Right now in WWE I’d say yes.)
“Trish is, was and always will be hotter.” (Tits true, tits damn true.)
“Botched DDT, followed by botched kick. Gail Kim pinned with a forearm shot. Match was great until then.”
“YAY!! JERICHO HAS SAVED ME AGAIN!! GOD DAMN IT PUT THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP AROUND JERICHO!! PLEASE!!!!” (This was posted by somebody that ripped Cena about as many times as HHH has wrestled Orton this year.)
“The real reason Cena doesnt want to face Big Show is because WE’VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE! How many times do we have to see Super-Cena lift that huge freak?”
“I can’t even make a sandwich without missing a match.” (He means Swagger/MVP.)
“JBL always used to tell us Guerrero means ‘warrior’, what he forgot to mention was Chavo means ‘WTF are you doing to my career I’m supposed to be a'”
“The fifteen seconds of showing the TLC match promo for Smackdown, and me picturing it in my mind, was better than the last two matches.”
“Surely the lumberjacks wouldn’t like Jerishow either??”
“I deserve to be in the comments section just for putting up with Chavo vs Hornswoggle. Painful.” (I agree!)
“Don’t forget Show’s mallet like hands…Cole loves those.”
“If Cole doesn’t use “vintage” I will be pissed off.”
“Yes ‘vintage Cena flying shoulders.” (That’s MC making dreams come true.)
“The Jerishow theme was more interesting than the match was.” (Hey, somebody likes the theme!)
“When did the Giant change his name to The Big Show, get a blue leotard, and shave his head? Just last week he was facing Hogan and Nash, right? OH CRAP… that was 10 years ago!! I get confused cause this seems just like Nitro ala 99-00.”
“My thoughts on Raw is this…The new madden game is friggin’ sweet! Huh?” (I agree.)
“WHERE DID YOU PUT DE BOMB, LILLIANS?!?!”
We’ll do the same thing every week. I’m not putting in names to protect the people, but join the facebook page and throw your comments in after Raw and it could show up in the column. While I won’t only post funny stuff, I would suggest the funnier you make your comment(s) the better. I post this Tuesday afternoons so get in there and join the fun.
A Very Quick Summerslam Preview
I’m going to be joined by my Facebook friend Trent Rudiger, who earned the spot because he came up with the “Talking Smack” name for the column. I gave him the guidelines of keeping every write-up short and those same rules will apply to me.
Trent: Ladies and Gentleman welcome to my portion of this Summerslam preview. I know, you have no idea who I am and why I am taking part of this column. Basically it is because like The Miz, “I’m Awesome!” Well, in actuality it is simply because I came up with the super cool, super hip, “Talking Smack” title for John’s Smackdown reports. Sorry Ed but I guess I am a faster typer. For a very brief history of me read o. I watched WWE when I was young circa early 1990’s, fell out until late 1998. Avid watcher from then until about 2005-2006. Trying to get back into it because Wrestlemania is in Phoenix this year and I may go. Side note, I was at the first PPV in Arizona; it was Summerslam in 2003 and I still have the chair to prove it. Thus, I am looking forward to Summerslam for a nostalgia kick as well as what could be some interesting matches. That and the beer and fried food I will imbibe while watching.
Jack Swagger vs. MVP
John: The winner of this match only matters if he is elevated up the card. If Swagger wins is he getting Cena? If MVP wins is he getting Orton? The answer to both of those questions is probably not. I hope I’m wrong about that, but I doubt it. The fact that they couldn’t announce this on Raw lets me know they probably don’t care a whole lot about it. That’s a shame because they both deserve better. The Pick: MVP.
Intercontinental Title: Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Trent: I love Rey. It helps that I am also a shorter guy and have enjoyed his work since the early WCW days. I just don’t get how the WWE doesn’t see that smaller, athletic guys are capable of being quality performers at all levels. Anyhoo, I like this “feud” so far. The match at NOC of was good and I honestly could see this going either way. However, I think that Rey will win and they may continue this out for another month or two with Ziggler eventually winning. But then again, the WWE loves to swap titles. Meh.
My Shorty Pick: Rey Mysterio Jr.
John: I thought Ziggler was winning last month, but they decided to keep it on Rey so that he could have a longer title reign for once. I don’t think Mysterio needs the belt while the belt would help Ziggler’s status in the eyes of the fan. The Pick: Ziggler.
Tag Titles: Chris Jericho & Big Show (c) vs. Cryme Tyme
Trent: First off, if they are unified why not make new belts instead of having two sets. Secondly, I was so excited when Y2J came back in 2007. I have been a fan of his since 1997 when he was making WCW’s Cruiserweight division fun to watch. Big Show is better than he gets credit for. Now for the match, I think Cryme Tyme are coming out as winners. Not of the titles but by working with JeriShow they are getting elevated. I just don’t see enough competition for them to keep the titles relavent so JeriShow keeps them and works with another team. Maybe they are making a concentrated effort to build the division again.
My Unified Pick: JeriShow
John: This feud has been great for the tag titles and even better for Cryme Tyme’s status as a team. Doesn’t mean they’re winning the belts. I could see it ending a DQ, but I’ll pick the champs to retain. The Pick: Jerishow.
Kane vs. The Great Khali
Trent: I really hope they follow the idea of Raw matches for this match because anything longer than 5 mins will put everyone to sleep. I like Kane, and have enjoyed the progression of his character. I do NOT feel the same for Khali. He is 2009’s version of the Giant Gonzalez sans the zippered body suit complete with body hair. Shudder. Thus, Kane wins…quickly I hope.
My Awesome Pick: Kane
John: The winner of this match will be nobody. Not the fans in the arena. Not the fans at home. We are all losers here. Somebody should capture and torment whoever thought it was a good idea to book this match. The Pick: Great Khali.
DeGeneration X vs. Legacy
Trent: Am I the only one who feels that this “reformation” of DX is like when Hollywood made Blues Brothers 2000. They tried to capture lightning in a bottle twice (or in this case a what, 3rd time) and it just didn’t work. I could try to justify Legacy winning here in so many ways but I, like almost everyone in the world, knows that HHH and HBK are not losing to Legacy. Plain and simple. If they do, it would probably make me spit my beer all over the place like if I was on some bad sitcom. I am assuming that all alcohol will be going down smoothly.
My Mission from God Pick: DX
John: You know who’s winning. I know who’s winning. Even Trent knows who’s winning. But hey, at least Legacy pinned Hornswoggle last week. That’s something to be proud of. The Pick: DX.
World Title TLC Match: Jeff Hardy (c) vs. CM Punk
Trent: Sigh, the problem with being knowledgeable about wrestling and the workings of the business is when you feel you know the outcome already. I mean at the most basic level, don’t you want to see what happens and be surprised? I do. But since it seems that Jeff has no new contract I would bet that CM Punk wins. I am okay with that. I hope that this goes last because I think that these two can have another great match especially with the TLC factor. Although it depends on how much the new WWE will let them do, and with no blood it seems like this match won’t be as impressive looking as some of the other TLC matches have been. Still, I really like both of these guys and have enjoyed this feud so I hope that this match will end it in a positive way for both guys. It will be interesting to see what role if any Matt will play.
My so what if I am not Straight Edge, I’m a good person Pick: CM Punk.
John: Match of the night. Maybe the feud of the year. I look forward to it very much. Like Trent said, being a smart fan means you know Hardy’s deal is up and he’s probably gone. Of course he could always change his mind. You never know. Still, I think Punk walks away as champion here in a thrilling encounter. The Pick: CM Punk
WWE Title: Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena
Trent: Lather, Rinse, Repeat. I suppose when you only have so many “main-eventers” that the matches will tend to become repetative but maybe they should figure out how to get more Raw main-eventers and soon. This one is interesting only because while Cena is the current “golden boy” and apparently can’t lose to anyone ever, Orton is the top of the heel mountain. If before or during the PPV someone turns (HHH or HBK etc.) then I could see Orton losing. But I doubt that will happen.
My Let’s stare at each other inches away Pick: Randy Orton
John: I don’t think the build for this has been very great, but it’s been better than the annoying HHH/Orton feud. I don’t expect the match to be a classic although it should be good enough. They’ll probably get 20 minutes and ultimately Cena wins the belt back because they hate long title reigns these days. The Pick: Cena
I’ll be watching on Sunday. I doubt I’ll write some kind of formal recap, but I may post a quick, bulleted style piece with my thoughts on the show.
I appreciate any feedback you guys can give so please send me your thoughts at email@example.com about anything related to WWE past or present. If you add me on facebook (just head to Facebook.com/thejohnreport) you’ll see the links to my columns as well because I post them there just as soon as I post them on this website.
Regarding future columns, I don’t think my Summerslam history piece will be done this week like I thought. Hopefully next week it will be done so that I can include some stuff from this year’s show. I’ll be back on the weekend for Talking Smack and then next week again for the Raw Deal with Floyd Mayweather as host.
Smell ya later,
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org
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