Live from Cincinnati, Ohio, this is the Raw Deal…
We start with Randy Orton and John Cena facing off backstage in front of the Raw Roulette wheel. They spin the wheel to determine the stipulation on their match later.
No wait, Eve spins it. That's why she makes the big bucks!
It ends up being a Tables Match. Orton walks away (actually, he slithers) while Josh points out that the last time Cena was in a Tables match, he lost the title to Sheamus (at the TLC PPV). Cena says no worries because he's feeling lucky tonight.
It's the Season Premiere of Raw. Whatever the hell that means. It's also the 902nd episode, if that matters. Michael Cole is also a douchebag. That matters.
The guest star (no longer are they known as guest hosts) is Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals. If you don't know, his given last name is Johnson. He legally changed it to Ochocinco because he wears #85 in the NFL.
Yes, he's that weird.
Good choice for the local fans, but do international fans know much about him? Probably not. He's a flamboyant guy as well as a good talker for an athlete. He fits the role better than most guest stars.
Miz comes out and does some strong promo work on Ocho boy, who fires back. I am stunned that they didn't make a Cleveland joke since Miz is from there and Cincy doesn't like Cleveland. The GM buzzes in to say that Miz has a match, so they have Alicia backstage spinning the wheel. It ends up being a Submission match.
Then the GM, who types very fast, says that Ochocinco gets to pick the opponent. He chooses a guy that make Miz submit in 85 ways, Daniel Bryan.
Daniel Bryan d. The Miz/Alex Riley (NR)
The match with Miz lasts a couple of minutes. Miz fakes some hernia injury. Alex Riley, who apparently doesn't have a contract even though he's allowed to stand ringside at Raw every week, subs in for Miz. He has his wallet and watch on, so he gives them to the ref.
And of course, Bryan makes him tap to the LeBell Lock in less than a minute.
Post-match, Miz attacks (he is healed!) and Bryan puts him in the LeBell Lock. Miz taps like crazy. I thought they'd move the belt onto Bryan at the PPV. Now I'm not so sure.
Backstage, Jillian spins the wheel, singing "Right Round" (or whatever it's called) while Edge joins in. Was it the 80s version or the remake? Who knows?
They are really making Edge into a silly heel. He's funny, but it hurts his credibility. The wheel keeps spinning as they go to break.
Edge d. Evan Bourne in a bodyslam challenge (NR)
Remember when it looked like Bourne was getting a push? He's back to losing in two minutes again. Thrilling.
After the match, Edge spears him. The GM, showing those fierce typing skills, buzzes in to say that he didn't like Edge's post-match attack. He gets another match.
Mark Henry d. Edge in a bodyslam challenge (NR)
KOOL-AID~! Nothing says "we're selling PPV buys" more than having a main-eventer lose to a guy that never wins. Genius booking!
Mark quenches his thirst with a bodyslam in about 30 seconds. My only theory as to why Edge is booked so poorly is because they are going to move him over to Smackdown in October when that show is on Syfy.
He continues to have problems with the GM, so the GM trades him away. It makes storyline sense.
There is a "song and dance" match. Holy shit this is dumb. R-Truth is "randomly" picked for this with Eve as his partner, while Ted DiBiase had Maryse with him. Also, R-Truth "randomly" has a new song ready to go for this "random" draw.
It's almost like this is scripted! (That's sarcasm, people. Don't bitch to me.)
Truth sang, Eve danced, and Cole complained because he's anti R-Truth. Then Ted poorly sang "My Way" by Frank Sinatra while Maryse poorly danced. I guess they're trying to show some personality in the wooden DiBiase character.
Of course, they fight after with the babyfaces looking good. This iss a painful segment to watch. "This is stupid. This is ridiculous," DiBiase says. He is right.
Backstage, Regal watches as the wheel lands on Trading Places. Ochocinco informs him that he has to trade places with his opponent, meaning they have to dress like the other guy. It was Goldust.
Oh, the comedy that commences.
Sheamus shows up. Ocho tells him that he has to face Morrison, and if JoMo wins, he'll take Jericho's spot in the WWE title match at the PPV. They spin the wheel to determine the match stip: Falls Count Anywhere. Sheamus insults Chad and then leaves. The Bella Twins are in the segment too. They do nothing, like usual.
They are my heroes. They get paid to do nothing. I wish I could do that. So smart, sexy, and powerful!
(That's sarcasm. Very obvious sarcasm. I just want to make sure you know.)
Backstage, Ryder asks Edge what the GM's problem is; did Edge steal his girlfriend? Edge points out the obvious and says he doesn't know who he is, so how could he?
He also calls Zack a tool. (That's a lovely word.) Edge says that, when he wins the belt, he's going to do a holdup until he finds out who the GM is.
Edge is not winning the belt.
They show Morrison backstage jumping over and onto things in his unique Parkour training style. The guy is a great athlete.
Sheamus d. John Morrison in a Falls Count Anywhere Match (**1/2)
This is a good match.
They go into the crowd and end it up on the stage. It goes about eight minutes, with Morrison hitting a cross body from about ten feet up. He covers Sheamus, who kicks out. Jericho shows up, hits him with a chair in the back, and Sheamus covers since there was no DQ. I was fine with this.
It seems to me like they're giving Morrison more of a push because he beat Jericho clean last week and didn't lose clean to Sheamus this week. They also showed his training methods backstage while trying to put over his athleticism really hard.
A John Morrison push? I hope so. The guy deserves it as much as anybody on the Raw brand. He can really work. I approve of this decision…if an actual decision has been made to push the guy.
In the ring, Chris Jericho is sitting on the chair saying he wants to be re-inserted into the WWE Title match at Night of Champions. He's not leaving till the anonymous GM tells him.
Cue the GM noise. Cole says he received an email and Jericho yells: "Of course you have an email, you idiot! Just read it."
Epic. Line of the year? Maybe.
The GM, who obviously types fast because the comments are already printed on a paper on the computer (how does WWE continue to let this happen?), says Jericho has to beat the Hart Dynasty in a cage match.
Wait, did the stipulation get picked via Raw Roulette? I thought that's what this show was. I want to see the wheel spin, dammit. I don't like holes in the booking.
As they go to break, Jericho is yelling at Cole some more. This is classic Jericho. An awesome segment. I love that man.
Chris Jericho d. The Hart Dynasty in a Steel Cage Match (**)
Jericho is working in his dress pants. The shoes look to be his wrestling boots, although it isn't a clear giveaway. It wouldn't be safe working in dress shoes when there's climbing involved.
The deal is that it's a handicap match with steel cage rules. DH and Tyson hit him with the Hart Attack clothesline. DH climbs one side and gets out while Jericho is able to keep Tyson in.
Logically it's dumb, because why would you climb out to leave your partner alone, essentially losing your advantage? It's wrestling, though, so these things happen. You just shrug your shoulders. There's no plausible explanation other than "I thought he would get out too!"
It becomes a singles match, which is great. Jericho really gives Tyson a lot of offense to make him look credible. Jericho is in the defensive position the entire match, which helps to tell a great story.
Tyson has him in the Sharpshooter, Jericho goes to the ropes, but that can't end it because it's a cage. He uses the ropes for leverage to kick out. The finish comes with Jericho sitting on the top rope, Tyson moving to give him the hurricanrana, and Jericho catching him on the way down.
Wow, that's a risky spot.
There are two inches of space between Tyson's head and the mat. That could have been very painful. Jericho puts him seamlessly in the Walls for the tapout win after about seven minutes.
Why does nobody walk out the door? That's easy. Because nobody ever uses the door! That's my usual gripe about WWE cage matches.
I should point out that during all this they mention that the Six Pack Challenge will be elimination style: If you get pinned you are out. That's better than a single fall. It will also lead to a longer match that will be better than a one fall match.
Goldust d. William Regal (NR)
Regal was dressed as Goldust. It was funny, but not as funny as some of Regal's stuff. Goldust was dressed as Regal. After Regal did the Goldust hand-rise into the chomp, Goldust grabbed brass knucks and KO'd him for the win. It was maybe 10 seconds.
Match of the year!
They did a PPV rundown. I think Sheamus is keeping the belt, but I could change my mind. My preview is going up in a couple of days.
Randy Orton d. John Cena in a Tables Match (**1/2)
The star rating for this one is hard say because it involves so many people. I liked the work up until the point where the run-ins began. I was expecting a screwy finish, but with the table stip they couldn't do a DQ.
Even though this is their first singles match on TV in 2010, the chemistry is still there from all the matches that took place a year ago. There are some nice counters by both guys. Better than their usual. Cena has Orton in the STF when Nexus comes out. Together, they take care of Tarver, Otunga and Slater easily.
Barrett gives Cena the Wasteland, then he and Gabriel work him over. They try to give him the 450 through the table until Orton shoves Gabriel off and manages to put Barrett through a table shortly after.
Edge and Jericho come out. Orton moves out of their way, so, like a bunch of bumbling fools, they go through a table propped up in the corner thanks to Edge's spear. That's seven bodies scattered around ringside. How about one more?
Sheamus comes out. Cena gives him the AA on the floor. That's eight bodies.
Cena goes back in, Orton goes for the DDT, Cena counters to the AA. It looks like he is going to put him through the table. Instead, Orton counters into the RKO.
The finish is supposed to be that Orton misses the table and Cena goes through cleanly. The problem is that part of Orton's body goes through it, so it isn't an obvious win for Orton. There is confusion until Orton rises up with his arm in the air. It was a nice spot to try, but the execution of it was off a bit.
The show ends with Orton standing triumphant while nine bodies continue to lie motionless around the ring.
They show the replay of the finish. It doesn't look good from any angle. It's okay. The effort was there. It was a tough spot because Cena had to push Orton forward and he didn't get him far enough. They sold it like he did.
Orton goes into the PPV match as the clear favorite.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Chris Jericho - Easy. For yelling at Cole like he did, that's the easiest star of the show I've ever seen.
2. John Morrison - I'm strongly in favor of a push.
3. The GM that types very fast. - I go about 70 WPM, but I think the GM has me beat. And the GM is also able to print the e-mails without a printer for Cole to read to the world. Amazing.
Worst Moment of the Week
The song and dance thing was really bad. At least they didn't involve Khali.
5 out of 10
Last week: 7
Last week was better. This week was hit and miss, hence the average score of five. In terms of matches, it was better than a typical Raw. I liked Morrison/Sheamus as a PG brawl, while Jericho/THD was solid and Orton/Cena was mostly good.
I don't understand some of the booking, though.
Edge was made to look far too weak, they did the same angle with Jericho that they did at Summerslam, and the main event was so overbooked that I thought I was watching TNA.
If every title is on the line, why didn't they announce a match for The Hart Dynasty? Maybe they will on Smackdown.
I thought the promotion of the PPV was okay, but not great. Having guys crashing into tables is good if you're promoting TLC or something. I'm not sure if it was the best move in this situation. The US title match is what I'm most looking forward to at the PPV.
I didn't mind Chad Ochocinco as host. He wasn't intrusive at all, and he was comfortable enough on the microphone. Sometimes when they are bad, it kills the atmosphere. He was acceptable in his performance.
"Of course you have an e-mail you idiot! Just read it."
Thanks for reading.
John Canton - thejohnreport.net">firstname.lastname@example.org
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