Imagine if you will that somewhere in the first hour of Raw Dolph Ziggler did his thing. You know, where he tells everyone he is the greatest, that there is a reason he is the Showstopper. Could I write it as well as he speaks it, of course not, but you know what he’d say, or have an idea of the tingling feeling you get when he says it.
As Ziggler proves how much of a braggart he is Kofi is harmlessly walking through and gets into Ziggler’s shot. Ziggler tells the “mark” to watch where he is going and Kofi responds with it being time someone actually shut Ziggler up. The challenge made they both walk off screen.
At the first hour mark of Raw Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston awaken this growing tension in the ring. The commentary during this match is almost music to the ears, focusing on the talents within the ring. At ringside Vickie does what she does best, calling out for Dolph to, “finish him,” and getting the audience to applaud Ziggler. Ziggler, meanwhile, does his growing famous headstand in the middle of the ring. And Kofi, Kofi shines. This match lasts around twenty minutes and the men in the ring work non-stop. There are no rest holds. Both men work their asses off and keep up at an almost fervent pace the entire match.
Now, break your imagination. There was no interaction during the show. In fact, the match didn’t even happen on Raw, it happened on Superstars. The reason the commentary was beautiful and focused was because it was done by Scott Stanford and Josh Mathews. It was a twenty minute match. It was highly entertaining and fervent. Event Scott commented, “This is a Pay-Per-View quality match.” And it was.
I do not know if their rash of putting stars who are more popular lately is their way of making room on Raw for The Rock and John Cena or if they are honestly trying to push wrestling. Is it all a test? Smackdown had typical matches leading up to the main event. Heath Slater vs. Justin Gabriel who I will not even tell you who the winner is because if you have been paying attention you would know. The second match is Ted Dibiase vs. Jinder Mahal and Jinder Mahal wins with, what a surprise, a Camel Clutch. Great move, overdone. Wrestlers can have submission finishers, but it should not be all I see. I want to see him put that submission on Mark Henry, or try. I do not see the mechanics working.
No, Superstars this week was all about Ziggler and Kofi. This was a match that should have been seen by everyone, but instead you will have missed it because you don’t watch Superstars. Scott does a fantastic job of calling this match, going with the highs and lows and giving each man an equal opportunity to be the star they are. The wrestlers in the ring don’t do too badly themselves. They are tireless and work for your entertainment. If you watch any match this week, let it be this one. You won’t regret it.
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?
By now everyone knows that Raw had the largest drop off from the first to second hour in ratings in over four years. That’s huge. And it happened for a good reason. Raw was too carried away with its own momentum and storylines. After last week’s episode I had to wonder if the storyline was good, or bad. I ultimately went with good because I was not sure where it was going.
This week I still, even over twenty-four hours later, can not seem to conclude that what they did with it on Monday night was actually good. None of it really surprised me, besides JR’s firing.
But it’s Raw. There had to be some good to it, right?
And here’s the list I compiled of the good things, in order of appearance.
- CM Punk
I think most of CM Punk‘s lines speak for themselves:
“You want me to do commentary?” “I want you to do commentary.” “Can I wear your blazer?” “You can even wear my blazer.” “I’m in!”
“Don’t screw it up they say, how nice of the fans. Don’t screw it up.”
“I’m like Bob Uecker.”
“Who’s gonna win?”
Now we knew it could not last long. Punk alone on commentary is entertaining, but he needs someone to play up to. Of course everyone who follows me on twitter knows my dream team would be reuniting CM Punk and Scott Stanford. However, this really is just going to focus on what was good about Raw.
- Teaming up the four heels of Swagger, Rhodes, Christian, and Ziggler.
These four work well off of one another. If I could have my way, Vickie would be taking Cody Rhodes and Christian under her wing as well just so I can see more of all of them together. It also showed something very important: bullying still exists at ringside. The exact thing some of the wrestlers were protesting happened in the very first match back. The men behaved but it still was striking a point that was actually subtle.
- Cody Rhodes bagging Randy Orton.
Cody Rhodes interrupted the match between Mark Henry and Randy Orton, mostly because there was no way Henry was getting a third win over Randy Orton, cleanly. At least not at this point. When Cody Rhodes had one of his lackeys run and grab a bag I honestly had turned to my boyfriend and said, “There’s no way Rhodes bags him.” And was giddy when I was wrong. I’m a huge mark for Randy Orton and I was still cheering for Cody Rhodes and his Guccis! Cody decided to have a maniacal moment as he lost control of his laughter and the moment was exquisite.
- Rosa Mendes
She may not be the best wrestler of the diva division, but screw it, she’s the best looking. Also when Kelly Kelly had her in the corner and seemed to be trying to put her butt in Rosa’s face Rosa said no to that and pushed her away.
- The return of The Miz and R-Truth
Oh, we all knew they were coming back sooner or later. It was not even that shocking. However I love watching R-Truth and The Miz telling the audience, “You suck,” as they enter. R-Truth enunciates better as a rapper as a heel and with The Miz accompanying him the crowd can not help but boo. Especially as Michael Cole nearly jumps for joy as he sees his favorite tag team together again.
Now for what I might consider the bad part of Raw. Am I reading too much into the Morrison angle, or is this something the WWE is doing to toy with the fans because they know there is a lot of internet speculation? They’ve done it before. But Triple H did “re-sign” John Morrison. In turn John Morrison was one of the superstars to walk out on Triple H. Will Laurinaitis take that as a reason to fire Morrison? Rumors are that his contract are nearly up and they have lost interest in him. Since he returned he no longer seems to be the same Morrison that made ladies’ hearts throb.
I used to love John Morrison. The bedazzled pants, the fur jackets, the wavy salon style hair. Now he’s become Job Morrison and it’s a bit heartbreaking, if I could bring myself to be that invested. Internet rumors do not help my level of interest, but it will be interesting to see where it goes.
What was your favorite moment of Raw? What was your least?
Cole: “Way to go JR, I actually had some respect for ya.” JR: “Well that’s unnecessary.”