WWE Raw Review (10/17/11): John Cena and Alberto Del Rio Battle Before Vengeance
Last week's show may have been the worst episode of Raw in the last 10 years. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer was so pissed off that he has a permanent picture of Vince McMahon on his home page with the phrase "your show sucks" underneath it.
Ratings dropped significantly throughout the night, which was a shame, because people were legitimately interested in the walkout angle that opened the show.
Of course, since that was different and interesting, WWE immediately killed it by firing Triple H, putting Vince McMahon back on television and inserting yet another heel authority figure for the faces to "rebel" against.
Hey Vince...1998 called; it wants its angle back.
I was half-tempted to skip this show simply because it was taped and half of you have read the spoilers already. However, because I love my dear readers, I simply could not deny you another two hours of my greatness.
-Once again, we are TAPED! from Mexico City, Mexico (home of more dead tourists than an Eli Roth film).
-We recap the awful, brutal, terrible decision to insert Johnny Ace as the new GM. I mean, seriously, this guy has the charisma of a bag of dog puke...why make him the highest profile heel on the show?
-Speaking of terrible, Johnny Ace hits the ring and cuts a bad promo promising the return of Rey Mysterio....then saying he's just kidding. Oh, that Johnny Ace; always has his hand on the funny bone. Be still my aching sides, they hurt oh-so-much from laughing...hee hee ho ho.
-By the way, is WWE completely moronic? Why in God's name are they having EVERYTHING in English? They do realize they are in Mexico City, Mexico right?? The crowd just randomly started chanting during Ace's promo because they probably didn't understand half of what he was saying.
Either that, or Ace just really sucks.
-Anyway, Johnny Ace brings Jim Ross back and launches some second grade insults at him. Then, in something I can't forgive him for, he books Jim Ross and John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio and Michael Cole. Why the hell would I want to see that? Warring commentators = ratings, I suppose.
-By the way, the crowd once again didn't understand a word of the promo. They only popped for the names Alberto Del Rio and John Cena, not for the actual match because...well, they speak Spanish. Good planning there, Vinnie Mac.
Randy Orton, John Morrison and Sheamus vs. Christian, Cody Rhodes and Mark Henry
As good as they've booked Henry the past couple months, they've almost undone all that goodwill with the last week. Why have Henry take a bunch of RKOs and let Big Show lay a beating on him? Henry finally got over because he showed no weakness, didn't sell a thing and beat the crap out of everyone in his way. It's not rocket science, Jethro.
Christian tries to start quickly, but Orton beats him down in the corner and brings in Sheamus, causing Christian to smartly run away. Cody tries his luck and gets his ass beat before taking a back drop and tagging out to Mizark.
Orton lays a beating on Cody outside of the ring, and they brawl up the entrance ramp and head to back as we go to commercial.
We return with Mark Henry headbutting down Job Morrison but when Christian tags in, he takes an elbow off the ropes for two and a leg lariat for the same. Christian randomly tries for the Kill Switch, but Morrison hits him with the unnamed flipping STO for two. Henry runs interference, allowing Christian to hit a reverse back breaker and bring in the world champion.
Mizark uses his power of blubber offense to work over Morrison and Christian tags in to work over the neck. Job Morrison finally floors Christian, but Henry cuts off the hot tag and works a bear hug. Henry drives him to the corner, but Morrison catches him and tries a tornado DDT. Henry powers out, so Job goes low with a dropkick and is inches away from a tag...until Christian yanks Sheamus off the apron.
Sheamus has had enough after that, and he brawls with Christian through the crowd. That leaves Job Morrison alone with Mark Henry and you can guess what happens there.
Winners: Mark Henry, Christian and Cody Rhodes
-Morrison really should just quit and take up male modeling or something...his career is DOA. The match was pretty good, and it put over the feuds involved and buried Job Morrison (WWE's primary goal). Call it *** and chalk it up to good work.
-Brodus Clay is coming...and he's HUNGRY!
-Meanwhile, Johnny Ace is backstage, and the Bella Sluts kiss him (who cares?). Alberto Del Rio is pissed about teaming with Michael Cole tonight, but Ace placates him by stating whoever wins tonight will pick the stipulation for the bout at the PPV.
Eve vs. Natalya
I'm telling you, Natalya is very underrated hot. You can have your borderline anorexic failed models; I'll take the female Hart. Natalya hits her with discus clothesline to start and works an abdominal stretch (it's not 1974 anymore, Nattie), then stomps on her surgically enhanced chest.
Natalya goes all heel and trash talks, but that only wakes Eve up and she hits a reverse DDT. Eve hits her second move of the match, a moonsault, and that's enough to get the pin.
-Honestly, if I never saw another Divas match in my entire life, I'd be just fine with it 1/2*.
-CM Punk hits the ring for his scheduled match against The Miz, but Truth and Mizzie interrupt and run him down with some token TV-PG insults. The heels look to deliver a beatdown, but Triple H hits the ring (in a suit for some reason) and acts as backup as we go to break.
CM Punk vs. The Miz
The Mexican crowd really likes CM Punk, so he responds with a half-STF submission, forcing Miz to fight to the ropes early. They work some amateur stuff, and Miz grabs a headlock, but Punk fights out and hits a dropkick, causing Miz to take a powder. Punk follows with a dive through the ropes (nearly bashing his head off the announce table) and hits a slingshot senton back into the ring for two.
Punk chops away in the corner, but misses his running knee, tumbling to the outside and causing Triple H to give R-Truth the STARE OF DEATH to make him back down.
Punk necksnaps Miz and hits a springboard clothesline for two, then follows with a punt to the spine for another near fall. Miz catches him coming into the corner however and stomps away, but that only pisses Punk off and he kicks the hell out of Miz. Truth finally sees his opening and trips up Punk, allowing the heels to beat him down when Triple H jumps up to protest.
Miz works a headlock and clotheslines Punk down, then appears to have a seizure in the corner before hitting his clothesline on Punk. Miz hits a double ax handle off the top (smacking his mouth off of Punk's head in the process), then goes back to the chinlock.
Punk backdrops out and catches Miz trying another double ax with a sloppy spin kick for a double KO spot. Miz dumps Punk to the outside where Truth gets involved again, causing Triple H to chase him to the back.
Before HHH can deliver a beating, Johnny Ace appears and says there's an "immigration problem" and Hunter has to come to the back with him. This whole thing is so damn stupid...we've seen it 500 times by now. Triple H makes sure to knock out Truth on his way to the back.
-During the break, HHH is escorted out by custom officials...wow, I bet it's legit and this will draw millions.
The Miz vs. CM Punk continued
Punk fights out of a chinlock and mounts his babyface comeback with a swinging neckbreaker and a high knee in the corner. Randomly, they insert a post-production Cole plugging the WWE Twitter feed. Why do that? It totally stuck out in the broadcast.
Punk hits the MACHO MAN ELBOW and looks for the GTS, but Truth runs interference. Punk manages to dodge everything, though, and tosses Miz into his partner before rolling him up for the win.
Winner: CM Punk
-Post-match, Awesome Truth beats down Punk, and the lowly referees have to come save him. Call it *** because Punk was game, but I took off some points because of the stupid Triple H angle in the middle.
-We get more pimping of the WWE Network, which could be just an absolute disaster of epic, XFL-level proportions.
Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder
Vickie is dressed like an extra from West Side Story and cuts a heel promo, calling herself the Angelina Jolie of Mexico. Dolph, meanwhile, cuts a pro-USA promo to earn some heat. Swagger goes a step further and attempts to sing the US National Anthem. I have to say, this is the first time I've ever seen the Star Spangled Banner as a heel device...it's kind of weird.
We finally get to the match, and Swagger slams him hard before pounding away in the corner. Ziggler catches him coming into the corner with a knee and immediately hits the Ruff Ryder for the win.
Winner: Zack Ryder
-The heel promo was longer than the match DUD.
-The heels threatened to beat down Long Island Iced Z, but Mason Ryan makes the save by coming to the ring and flexing....interesting. Ryan should actually never talk because the British accent takes away from his "tough guy" persona.
Ryan informs us that he's taking on Ziggler after this next commercial break.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Mason Ryan
The match is JIP, as Dolph sticks and moves to try to mount an offense, but he gets floored with a shoulder tackle. Ryan tosses Dolph into the corner, as Ziggler is bumping around like a ping pong ball right now trying to get Ryan over as a monster.
Ziggler returns and hits a dropkick, but Ryan no-sells it and hits a bodyslam. A really bad boot to the face (actually to the armpit) puts Dolph on the floor again, where Vickie slaps Ryan across the face. This only serves to piss him off, though, as he kicks Dolph's ass in the ring and stiffs the hell out of him. The referee calls for the break in the corner, but Ryan doesn't listen and the referee calls for the bell.
Winner by DQ: Dolph Ziggler
-Why do they insist on doing that finish every few weeks? It never works and just pisses me off. Ryan powerslams Dolph afterwards because he's big and Dolph is small. Ryan is really, really bad and could easily hurt someone...not exactly a good combination *1/4.
-Meanwhile, John Cena and Jim Ross prep for their match. Cole responds by stating his wife is Mexican, so the crowd has to cheer for him.
-WWE does their token "we need to waste time before the main event, so let's plug everything we have going on in the next four months" segment.
Alberto Del Rio and Michael Cole vs. John Cena and Jim Ross
The Mexican fans apparently really like John Cena. I guess they are suckers for neon orange. Jim Ross starts with Cole and smacks him across the head, sending him reeling, and now Cena starts with Del Rio for real.
Cena hits a hip toss for two and works a headlock, but Del Rio escapes and gets a hip toss of his own for a near fall (a noticeable pop for Del Rio there...makes you wonder if Cena's pop was post-production enhanced). Del Rio works a headlock for a bit, but Cena hits a gutwrench suplex out of nowhere for two. Del Rio quickly recovers though and stomps Cena down in the corner before choking him out on the ropes.
Del Rio drags him over to the heel corner for some token offense and hits a double axe off the top for a two count. Del Rio stalls to mock Cena a bit then hits a floatover suplex for a near fall while the crowd switches over and becomes extremely pro-Del Rio. Leave it to Cena to turn a whole nation against him in only six minutes.
Cna attempts to counter, but Del Rio does a standing switch and hits a German suplex for two. Del Rio works a submission and Cena counters to an STF attempt, but Del Rio dodges out and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for another near fall. Enzuigiri hits in the corner for two, and we're all just waiting for Cena to make his SOS Comeback any second now.
Sure enough, Del Rio misses a senton off the top, and Cena goes into his "oh my God, I've seen this 600 times in the last six years" comeback. Del Rio comes up with an interesting counter, though. He tags Michael Cole and then runs away.
Cena drags him into the ring and delivers an attitude adjustment (almost called an FU by Lawler), but decides to let JR finish him off. Ross hooks an ankle lock and Cole taps out to end things.
Winners: John Cena and Alberto Del Rio
-Obviously, the commentators were just there for the finish, as Cena and Del Rio wrestled the entire thing. Not a bad match but nothing spectacular ***1/4.
-Del Rio attempts to attack after the match, but gets hit with an AA on the floor. Cena runs into him with the ring steps and counts to signaling that Sunday's match will be a Last Man Standing match. Meh, that doesn't do much for me since I know there won't be blood.
Last week was downright terrible, and this week was just about average. The crowd helped matters a lot, but there's only so much you can do when one of your matches is Zack Ryder squashing Jack Swagger and two non-wrestlers in the main event.
Still, the Miz-Punk match was decent, and the main event didn't segue into a comedy match, so I guess that's a good thing.
However, the show did absolutely nothing to get me to buy the PPV this weekend, and I have a feeling I'm not the only one.
Let's go Pens.
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