Three matches, all commentated by Josh Mathews, one with Matt Striker, two with Scott Stanford. I guess I should put “commentated” in quotes with the whole Mathews thing since he spent a lot of time staring in the blankness. Wow.
4. Yoshi Tatsu vs. Hunico
I know little kids like Yoshi, but it surprises me when he’s out there and wrestling how much the crowd gets behind him. This is another moment where Yoshi gets the cheers and Hunico gets the boos, but Yoshi’s are much louder and clearer. Everyone accuses WWE of piping in sound, but it’s rarely done on NXT or Superstars. Of course I think people want to go straight to “piped in sound” when they don’t want to believe someone they like or dislike is truly getting pops or boos. Anyway, Yoshi was over and the crowd loved him, but you knew this match was about Hunico, who is an incredible wrestler. Unfortunately they decided to saddle him with a stereotype gimmick, and we know what happens to those with a stereotype gimmick. Obscurity. No matter if they are incredible, or not-so-incredible.
3. Alex Riley vs. Jinder Mahal
Riley needs to stop with the grenades. Those aren’t “A-Bombs”. Other than that, though, Riley comes out and gets the crowd ready to scream his name. He’s one of those guys that the internet laughs at but a crowd goes wild for. He has the looks, he finally has the moves, and they put him up against Jinder Mahal. I complain constantly Mahal always wins with the Camel Clutch (as he does here as well) but to be honest Mahal has come along way since his over-push a year ago. And while Mahal always wins with a Camel Clutch he doesn’t gloat over his enemy as they have fallen and pose before going for it. Riley was down and Mahal went straight in to the submission. Sometimes there is no time for gloating.
2. Zack Ryder vs. Jack Swagger
Wow. SWAGGER WON!!! Swagger won, Swagger won, Swagger won! I literally jumped off of the couch and cheered. Swagger is an excellent wrestler and deserves to beat down someone for once. I honestly did not see his win coming. He was dominant through most of it, which usually means the face needs to superman up and take the win. I like Ryder, so this isn’t a dig on him, but Ryder gains nothing from the win over Swagger other than the loud cheers that accompany him already to the ring. Instead this match was able to show off the Swagger Skills which people blatantly ignore. Excellent match.
1. Scott Stanford
Revving up his engines and ready to go right out of the dock Scott puts on a cap of enthusiasm and embraces the matches in front of him. Managing to sound excited for every match up and like he’s never seen anything as incredible as this match in his life he makes you believe each of these men are stars worthy of the main event on Raw. Yes, he tells stories, like how Jinder Mahal had once dated Aishwarya Rai, one of these most famous Bollywood actresses who might be one of the most beautiful women in the world, but he adds to the character of the wrestler that does not get developed on screen in matches. He paints a picture of Mahal that no one else sees and you can now look at Mahal, or Swagger, or even Ryder with a new light. Scott may appear random at times but you come away with something that you didn’t have going in and you’ll remember it later.
Last night’s RAW was a disappointment to most who watched it. Perhaps not everyone thought it was awful but the majority of the people I had spoken to were unhappy with Monday Night Raw.
While the show did have a couple of good highlights, there was a couple of interesting matches that were overshadowed by everything going on. Even John Morrison did not lose in three minutes and put on an entertaining match with Wade Barrett.
Instead of doing four reasons to watch Raw, though, I’m going to tell you the four things that should have chased people away:
4. Michael Cole vs. JR
There was not a match in itself last night but Michael Cole did issue JR a challenge. JR was not there to accept or refuse. Cole told JR if JR beats him in the Cole Challenge than Cole will quit. I have always been a supporter of Cole. While not thinking he was the best commentator he does what he does well, which is mostly get the audience to root for or boo a man. Even if you do not realize it’s happening, he’s swaying your decisions, just like he does on whether you like him or not. However this is a wrestling show. If you want the commentators to do something it should be a plotline revolving around a Superstar, not around the commentators. For example, Matt Striker coming out as Tyson Kidd’s manager on Superstars a few months back. That worked. Striker has the personality and it was still more about Kidd than it was Striker. John Cena and JR vs. Alberto Del Rio and Cole was about Cole and JR, not the Superstars.
Many of you will ask if I would feel differently if it was Scott Stanford issuing a challenge to Jack Korpela. Nope. These men are good at speaking. They are not wrestlers. They announce matches and put over the Superstars. That is what they are supposed to do. Not promote themselves.
3. CM Punk
I loved CM Punk a few months ago when he was ready to quit. Now CM Punk sounds angry for the sake of being angry and I can not get back behind him. I was bored enough during Punk’s speaking I got up and left the room to go play with one of the cats for awhile.
2. John Cena announcing his tag partner as The Rock
Unfortunately this was the most anticlimactic moment in awhile. WWE had announced this back in September and so when it came time for Cena to actually make it official I could not bring myself to care. I am excited to see The Rock do something, but The Rock has already “come back” and has not made a lot of appearances since. I’m a big Rock fan and still I am not excited to see him in Survivor Series. There should have been more build or at least a lack of spilling this match at the pay-per-view. WWE holds on to its spoilers so hard, why did this one have to leak?
1. Does He Have a Pulse/Recap
Just two days ago I complained that the Pre Show was one large Raw recap show, when Raw has enough recaps. In case you missed it, here’s where Raw recaps: NXT, Superstars, Smackdown, Pre Shows, and Bottom Line. To name a few. To be honest I do not watch After Burn but I’m guessing it does much of the same thing.
Raw became it’s own recap show last night. Triple H, who we all knew was injured from when Kevin Nash threw him to the ring Sunday night, decided he has too much pride to let that take him out. So he had to be assaulted with a sledgehammer and proceed to have a seizure. Then be assaulted again as he was being lifted into the ambulance. Triple H does not go down easily.
After the first half an hour of this, and then a commercial break, we come back to, you guessed it, a recap. A recap of what just happened not ten minutes ago! Then the show does something later that I can not believe it didn’t think better of. It recapped this again.
I hate recaps. I want them to go away. Or at least not take up nearly a half an hour of a two hours show. But this did not repulse me nearly as much as the line, “Does he have a pulse?” Don’t you think you are pushing it a bit, Triple H? You can’t admit you were injured so we have to go so far as to try to believe you might have died from these attacks?
These bits were enough in the show to make me lose a lot of faith, and it only took one episode. I won’t stop watching because I still love WWE. But why is it my least favorite show but out by them is the main one?
When asked to name one thing people liked least about last night’s RAW here are a few of the smatterings of replies I received:
TheSupremeForce: Raw being a recap show for itself just to ensure that every person on the planet saw the stupid opening segment.
BizarroDoom: No Daniel Bryan. Again. And, if he HAD been on, he would’ve lost. Again.
StanfordArmy: CM Punk and his long promos. They were interesting once. No longer.
Yawsrko: Not enough John Laurinaitis and too much Hunter. And one line: “Does he have a pulse?”
Right2PlayGod: a lack of @scottstanford1 Honestly the tag match while good is what we’ve been seeing for weeks. Orton v Rhodes, sheamus v christian. Its over played. I think Orton Rhodes isn’t done just yet but .christian sheamus is killing me
meatredfish: Cole was annoying
Pichigo_Soul: Johnny Ace
Samalamalamalam: The one thing that really annoyed me tonight was Johnny Ace’s promo skills.
ImAMelFo: Didn’t like Cody losing for the 2nd night in a row. He’s ur IC champ, & he is being booked to lose clean which makes him weak.
mastersolace: the fact that John Laryngitis is @WWERawGM and he ain’t smart enough to pronounce Universe.
Shanicesaunt: that they kept replaying nash attacking the game
OWA_Sephiroth: Zack Ryder should’ve been in that main event. If there’s no follow up, then they absolutely blue-balled us.
Let me start off by saying that I am not in any way anti Vickie Guerrero. In fact, I think she’s fabulous. I want Vickie Inc. to grow. If she gains Christian, if Swagger and Ziggler learn to work together, this could be one of the most interesting groups that the WWE could have, if they just tell the story correctly.
Vickie’s group is growing and so is a need for her in a storyline. Unfortunately WWE books her and her own a bit too much like they treat Miz. They do not need to win but we are still supposed to take them seriously as a threat. This is a group that needs to win, if for one reason alone: The Anti Vickie Guerrero Stable.
Enter Monday Night Raw. Nickleback finishes up and out starts an entrance we have not heard before. Ears perk up and people turn to look. When Scott Stanford walks out there will be some confusion, many cheers, and wonderment in the hearts and minds of every Zack Ryder fan. Because there is one reason for Scott Stanford to be walking out, and that’s because Zack Ryder has found his new manager.
Zack Ryder follows shortly after, joining Scott in the ring in their usual jovial fashion. These two will be all smiles when they come into the ring, even when Stanford has something serious to say. What he wants to say is that Ryder deserves a rematch. He knows that Jack Swagger and Vickie Guerrero had everything to do with Ryder losing his pay-per-view match.
Enter Vickie, Swagger, and Ziggler who will do their usual of laughing at anyone who dare to try to oppose them. Teddy Long, in perfect Teddy Long fashion, will be the one who decides to make a tag match. Stanford and Ryder have an hour before the tag match begins. If Ryder’s team wins the tag match then Ryder can have another shot at the title.
Since this is my own perfect world I’m not giving Ryder who everyone thinks he should have because he’s suddenly the face they want to push (Mason Ryan). I want someone who meshes well with the outgoing personalities of Stanford and Ryder (and I’m not taking Hawkins away from Reks right now, I’m enjoying that too much). Who would I choose then, you ask? I’m glad you asked. My answer: Trent Barreta. Trent has the personality, he has the skill, he has just been held down because, well, whatever reason WWE holds down anyone.
How are Ryder and Barreta going to win a match, you ask? Why, Stanford is going to help them cheat this time. Is it underhanded? Of course. But it’s also payback for the constant cheating of Guerrero and her minions.
I know, I’m dreaming, but this would be my own perfect little Raw.
Once again it was time to predict a pay-per-view. No one wanted to admit going in they were not confident in their predictions, but perhaps despite all of our griping over the weeks they may have done a good job lining up this pay-per-view. Vengeance was hard to predict and for the most part had pretty good matches.
Here’s how the six of us lined up this time:
Air Boom vs. Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler
Air Boom is on a roll and Swagger and Ziggler just can’t seem to work consistently together. However I can’t say Air Boom is going to win. I’m not sure if it’s my love for the two Heels in this match or what, but I’m going with Winner: Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler
JackDolph. I think the titles are changing hands, and that Dolph is going to be holding 2 titles, if only for an hour. Winner: Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler
I HATE AIR BOOM. I FUCKING DESPISE AIR BOOM. AIR BOOM SUCKS. I HOPE AIR BOOM CHOKES TO DEATH ON A BOWL OF *censored*. DID I MENTION I DON’T LIKE AIR BOOM? Anyway…I’m giving this to Swagger and Ziggler so they can continue to strengthen Vickie’s stable. PLUS I HATE AIR BOOM. I never said my hate was rational, either. But it exists and I must acknowledge it. Winner: Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler
I wasn’t going to pick them, then I found out Dolph has two matches and not one. I see Ziggler leaving with gold tonight, but I don’t think they’re going to give him the status as double champion. Winner: Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler
AirBoom have brought interest back to the titles, Swaggler have provided good opposition for them. I reckon Swaggler will finally get the titles off AirBoom. Winner: Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler
This match scares me. I’m afraid they’re going to pull the trigger on the Ziggler/Swagger pairing too soon, which means they lose. I’m going to try to be optimistic and pick Zig Swagg to win. Winner: Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler
Winner: Air Boom
Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder
This is a great push for Ryder, but Ziggler is on fire. Ziggler can’t move up yet to the main title belt when there is such an array of storyline going for it already. Better to keep the title on Ziggler and still let Ryder look like a champ. Winner: Dolph Ziggler
@SirTweets_a lot Prediction:
Now this match, I have put A LOT of thought into. Follow me on this. If Zack Ryder has anybody in his corner, he will lose. If Dolph has Swagger and Vickie in his corner, and they DO NOT get banned from ringside, Ryder will win via miscommunication between Dolph and Jack/Vickie. HOWEVER. If Swagger and Guerrero get banned from ringside at any time before/during the match, Ziggles wins. Winner: Zack Ryder (because of the stips and what happened in the match)
Zack Ryder. Not saying this because you’re a Zack fan or Stanford junkie, saying it because Zack’s earned the push *and* if Cody wins against RKO, retaining the IC belt (which is more prestigious than the US one), Vickie’s stable won’t need a second win for this PPV. Winner: Zack Ryder
It may be a massive want pick at this point, but WWE has clearly noticed Ryder’s efforts. I think they might give him the US title here Ziggler has two matches, Ryder can beat him in the second match of the night. It allows the feud to continue, Ryder gets his opportunity. Winner: Zack Ryder
If WWE tease Broskis this much with a Ryder title match on a PPV and don’t give him a title people will probably give up on him (through no fault of his own). So I’ll predict Ryder for the win and maybe some kind of guff about how he’s double champion (Internet Champ) and Ziggler isn’t. That’s be interesting in my opinion. Winner: Zack Ryder
I’m terrified that Ryder wins this, which would be too soon. I’m picking Ziggler though, out of the HOPE that the WWE gets this one correct. Ziggler needs to leave Vengeance with two Titles. Ryder can take the title from him later (leading the Swagger vs Ziggler feud that I’m not quite ready for yet). Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Beth Phoenix vs. Eve Torres
I have nothing invested in this match at all. Letting Eve win proves nothing but that we should not take these Divas of Doom seriously. Winner: Beth Phoenix
The only Superstar that I hate more than Eve is Riley. If Eve were to win, I would have a hissy fit. Beth, in hopefully dominating fashion. Winner: Beth Phoenix
lol ok, well now that my feelings are out of the way, here’s hoping Beth. I’m not ready to let the “Divas of Doom” go yet. Especially to Eve Torres. If Eve had the ‘it’ factor, maybe, and fine, but…no. Keep that ugly-ass designed-by-a-7-yr-old title belt on Beth for now. Winner: Beth Phoenix
They just gave Beth the belt, I can’t see them taking it off her this soon. I think she’s going to get a good reign with it, and the only person I see taking it away from her, is Natalya down the road. Winner: Beth Phoenix
Beth has been champion for about 47 minutes (that’s how long it’s been since the last PPV… right?) so she’ll keep it. Maybe a Kelly heel turn on Eve cos KK didn’t get a rematch. (I admit I’ve heard rumours of a KK heel turn on the net, I’m predicting it will happen now.) Winner: Beth Phoenix
Beth needs to keep the title or they might as well scrap the entire angle and start over. Winner: Beth Phoenix
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Christian vs. Sheamus
Has Christian really won any of his feuds since losing the title? Winner: Sheamus
I think that it is finally time for Christian to be buried, and done with this “One more match” fiasco. Sheamus will win, and I foresee Christian being either an Intercontinental or Tag Champ in the near future. Winner: Sheamus
Hmm. I typed Sheamus as the winner, then backspaced. Because Vickie can’t have 3 losses in her stable in the same PPV…BUT…it really doesn’t matter *who* gets the win, Christian or Sheamus, since it’s not like either *needs* to get over…hmm. I’ll say Christian if only to have a bigger, better, badder #FELLABRATION at the end of the PPV. Winner: Christian
Not sure what they’re doing with Christian these days, but it seems as if Sheamus has been dominating most of this feud. Christian can certainly use the win here a lot more than Sheamus can at this point. Winner: Christian
They’ve managed to build an interesting feud based on nothing but the fact they both didn’t have a feud! As I’m expecting a (probably not so) surprise return in another match that means the WHC will be tied up for at least another PPV I think this feud will keep going, therefore a Christian win is needed. Winner: Christian
Christian seems to currently be the “filler heel” used to give wins to faces at ppv’s. They can’t do it to Jericho or Punk right now, so that leaves Christian and the Awesome Truth. Winner: Sheamus
R-Truth and The Miz vs. CM Punk and Triple H
R-Truth and The Miz are great, but Punk and Triple H are not going to lose to them. Winner: CM Punk and Triple H
If something important were on the line, Punk and HHH, but since it’s just a bunch of mad guys, Awesome Troof. Winner: R-Truth and The Miz
Ugh….Punk and Hunter, because Hunter can’t swallow his ego enough to lose at a PPV, even though a PPV Payday is a guarantee for him. Not breaking Taker’s streak and ‘being returned to the roster full-time’ “requires” a Triple H win. To which, I boo, hiss and throw shit. Winner: CM Punk and Triple H
This will hardly be a clean call, but I think this feud is going beyond this PPV. It should, and them stealing the win helps. Winner: R-Truth and The Miz
I don’t see anything that would make a Punk/Trips win make sense. Which if anything should mean I go straight for a Punk/Trips win, however I’ll say the WWE will get this right. Nash will return, Michaels’ (who’ll undoubtedly feature in the PPV earlier on) music will hit but it’ll all be some kind of Laurinitis screw job and he won’t come out. Miz/Truth win. Winner: R-Truth and The Miz
I only see the Awesome Truth winning if there’s a run in or Triple H turns on Punk. I’m guessing they don’t do that here, since I’m already predicting a run in during ADR/Cena. Therefore, I guess I have to go with Punk/HHH even though Miz/Truth are 8000 times better. I hope to be wrong here. Winner: CM Punk and Triple H
Winner: R-Truth and The Miz
Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton
I want Cody to win, but Randy’s been beaten too many times recently. They can’t have one of their big names going down so many times in a row. Winner: Randy Orton
If the match continues to be non-title, I think that Randy will win, but if the title is put on the line, Cody will win via dirty tactics. Winner: Randy Orton
In my heart, I want this to be Cody. I honestly don’t know. I know Randy’s wanting to work this program with Cody, so I’m hoping that Creative indulges him and allows Cody to go over. He doesn’t have to go over cleanly quite yet; just over. I would like to see this extend at least as long as Big Show and Mark Henry; I also wish Ted hadn’t been separated from Cody quite yet, because Legacy still has a lot of story they could be telling. But we’ll go with Cody via a DQ or dirty win as my prediction. Winner: Cody Rhodes
Hardest call really, but I think they’re going to make Cody a main event guy with this feud. I see him getting the win here, though I highly doubt we’re seeing a Cross Rhodes and three count and a clean win for Cody this time around. Winner: Cody Rhodes
Rhodes has been awesome since February and his feud with Mysterio, bringing back the classic IC title is a nice touch. The IC title means something again… but it’s not for the title, so I see Orton winning and going for the title later. Plus I doubt I’d see the day Orton loses 3 PPV matches in a row! Winner: Randy Orton
I imagine that Cody’s going to put a good fight but eat an RKO at the end. I hope the feud continues, but I don’t see Orton losing at three ppv’s in a row. Winner: Randy Orton
Winner: Randy Orton
Mark Henry vs. Big Show
Big Show made his triumphant return and now is out to get the man who took him out of the competition for awhile. Unfortunately, Big Show started this fight to begin with. I love Big Show, but I’m going with: Winner: Mark Henry
Mark Henry. He’s a steamroller, and I don’t foresee them taking his title away before Royal Rumble 2012. Winner: Mark Henry
Too soon to kill the Monster Heel Which Is Mark Henry’s Character quite yet. Otherwise, it would cheapen Randy’s character. This Big Show/Mark Henry will probably go at least 1, possibly 2 more PPVs. Then Big Show will ‘discover the secret’ of how to beat Mark …or whatever the hell. Winner: Mark Henry
I really don’t see the title going on Big Show at this point, too much work in building Henry up as a monster for him to fail now. I don’t know if it’s going to be a clean ending, as I can see this going through the next pay-per-view. But I think Henry is going to win. Winner: Mark Henry
I’ve never liked or disliked Henry during his career, neither been impressed or depressed by his work… until now. I’ve still not developed any emotion towards him but I think he’s been on top of his game. I reckon he’ll retain his title… with a win. Go to crock Show again and Kane returns to stop him (and feud with him next, hence Sheamus/Christian feud continues). Winner: Mark Henry
Henry retains. Probably not cleanly. I think the Henry/BS feud has been kind of stupid and backwards. Does that count? I hate the WWE’s standard approach to booking feuds like this. Big Show assaults Henry for no reason, but Henry is somehow the “bad guy” for retaliating. They did the same thing with Cena/ADR. Winner: Mark Henry
Winner: No Call
As the match ended with both Mark Henry and Big Show unable to continue I’ve decided to be nice and not include this match in the percentages for predictions. Personally, I enjoyed watching the ring fall even as it was being predicted on twitter.
Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena
I guessed Cena last time, and was wrong. I want to vote Cena again because are they really going to let him not win the title back two pay-per-views in a row? However, I’m going with they will. They will be in San Antonio Texas hot off their tour of Mexico. Don’t undermine the man with the smile and accent. Winner: Alberto Del Rio.
@SirTweets_a lot Prediction:
ADR, for two reasons. I think WWE is finally realizing that the title changes hands too often. Secondly, Survivor Series is coming up soon And I don’t think Cena is gonna have the title when he teams with The Jabroni-beating, pie-eating People’s Champ, THE ROCK. Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Del RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrio. Why? Because I like rolling the R’s. No, lol, because I think it’s too soon to put the belt back on Cena. We all know he’ll be going into WM28 as champ, at least give us *something* different for right now. And Del Rio’s doing a decent job carrying the belt, so there’s no need for him to drop it quite yet. Winner: Alberto Del Rio
I have a hard time not seeing the belt on the line at SS, and they already confirmed Cena/Rock teaming. So ADR keeps the belt. Winner: Alberto Del Rio
This is the hardest to call. I don’t see a way ADR can keep Cena down for 10 clean, don’t see a screw that will keep Cena down for 10. Ricardo Rodriguez does a good job of screwing opponents out of matches but that’s for a close 3, how will that work for 10?
Cena winning also gives WWE the chance to have the WWE title in everything when the Rock shows up. (They made a lot of Miz doing this and the Jackman punch on Ziggler, why not do it bigger than ever before?) However I don’t see why Cena actually needs to be champion (except for that one picture). So I can’t see ADR winning, only a flaky reason for Cena winning… I’ll go for Cena on the basis that they will happily chuck the title around by having that one photo then handing it on to someone else! Winner: John Cena
ADR wins. This is probably the match featuring a run in. Cena can’t be Champion right now, but they’re not going to have him just lose a Last Man Standing Match. Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
This pay-per-view proved to be much less predictable than the last one. Here’s how predictions went, minus the Mark Henry/Big Show predictions:
Solace – 71%
SirTweets_ALot – 71%
TheSupremeForce – 71%
Paradise_Lost12 – 42%
MarkBilly – 42%
Yawsrko – 28%
So how did you do?