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Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Raw Thoughts - November 23

  • Jesse walked to the ring and said "Hershey, Pennsylvania" and I was already longing for the days when he was in the colour commentator's position. There has barely been anyone like him for fifteen years, with the exception of JBL.
  • I'm watching Raw early afternoon Tuesday, UK time, but I've had a spoiler as to who wins the "Breakthrough Battle Royal" that I've just seen Jesse announce. I'll try not to let it spoil things.
  • Nice covering by Cole for Randy and Kofi simply having a stare-off and not fighting in the aisle by saying that perhaps Randy has gained a measure of respect for Kofi.
  • I like the concept of different brands' wrestlers fighting each other and then facing their respective champ.
  • We have an issue with the tourney straight away. Kofi and Ziggler are both talented individuals - and what did that match take? Four minutes? I don't set stopwatches, but that wasn't very long at all.
  • Now I don't mind Sheamus and Finlay being short. Not because they couldn't have a good match, but because it fits Sheamus' current push to dominate like that.
  • I enjoyed that Cena/Punk match. I don't think there was a lot of doubt that Punk would be losing the match, but they at least let Punk get to the ropes out of the STF and then it took a supersize version of Cena's finisher to polish him off. Did Punk no harm, that.
  • That was AWESOME! Great promo by Jesse on Vince, classic McMahon double-taking and adams-apple-bobbing - I can't wait for these two on the mic.
  • I don't like that concept - the six man tag with all winners progressing. Seems ludicrous to me.
  • I give him enough abuse, I think I ought to say that Cole is on great form tonight. He just zinged Lawler for not being made Mayor of Memphis. Made I laff.
  • Match itself was ok. I thought for a second that Henry and Porter were going to turn on Truth, but not to be.
  • That DX segment was so poor. Two of the WWE's premier performers, amongst the top five biggest names in the business currently, both lost a title match last night, but rather than bemoan their bad luck, express their desire to win the title, Shawn played his "goofy Shawn" routine and they made Midget jokes. I don't know if DX are booking themselves at the moment, but they are doing a terrible job if they are - and I'm a DX fan.
  • Sorry Cole, my kind words were short can Orton 'stalk' Bourne, lying in wait for him......then hit an RKO "out of nowhere", exactly?
  • I wonder if WWE poached Hector away from TNA to put him in the Gooker suit.
  • AAAARGH. What am I supposed to do? I love Pilgrims, but now McCool is dressed as one. What do I do?
  • So, where to start on that Divas aftermath? Why was King scared of Maryse? Why didn't Kelly and Mickie come back to help? Gooker's music and a video played, so therefore the conceit is that he was booked to be the timekeeper - so they knew it would be Maryse? King doing the interview in the ring? You have to do that often with no recriminations for it to actually be a surprise.
  • Should Nattie make her surname "Brake" just for one night. Since Hart and Kidd are doing such a great job of killing Shawn - Hart, Brake and Kidd would be awesome. Actually, maybe not.
  • Hell of a lot of punishment by the Dynasty on DX, before the sudden ending. Looked like Shawn Superkicked Hunter in the arse until I realised it was on Harry.
  • A chair match? The winner straps his opponent into a high chair?
  • That was hilarious - "I'm sick of your catchphrases.......I'm the best in the world at what I do." I wonder how intentional that was.
  • Batista should have come out with a lucha mask on.
  • You can tell that very few people remember Vince as a commentator. Muted response. I want to hear "The cover, the count, yes he got him! Wait, no he didn't."
  • Mini Me as guest host - surely a face-off with Hornswoggle.
  • Sheamus v Cena then, in a tables match. I see three major problems here.
  • One is that Sheamus may not quite be ready to step up and put on a great match with Cena. He might, but it's a lot to ask of both men.
  • The second is that his push would work much better as a slow burn over a reasonable amount of time. He would be better off beating some midcarders dominantly before stepping up. Loads of great superstars spent years building their character by battering people to build their aura
  • And there lies the third issue. Do you beat Sheamus on his first major PPV singles match, and retain the SuperCena aura? Or do you give an inexperienced guy (in WWE terms - Sheamus has paid dues elsewhere) a World Title within two months of hitting Raw?

Monday, 23 November 2009

Survivor Series Live Notes

Here we go, then, Survivor Series 2009, and it's from DC. I didn't realise that. I wonder if there will be any kind of mixed reaction for Batista.

Robo-Roberts reads out the rules for the Survivor Series matches, but says that the "remaining teammates on the team will be sole survivors." Erm, no. If there is more than one remaining guy, that isn't a 'sole survivor' is it? I fear this is an unwinnable 25th Anniversary of Wrestlemania argument again.

Miz leads out his team, with Swagger, Ziggler, Galloway and O'Shaunnessy for company. Sheamus might well be an interesting element to this match. Might he simply attack someone and walk out, or get DQ-ed for excessive punishment? Odds on it's Evan Bourne who is his scapegoat, and a squash will follow on Raw.

By contrast, Morrison brings up the rear for his team, with Bourne, Finlay, Hardy and Benjamin preceding him. Finlay can't seem to make his mind up whether he wants his original music or his "diddley-dee" Hornswoggle music.

Hate to be picky, but Cole reckons that because this match features many future superstars that we are "looking into a mirror". OK. That means I'm a future star, because I have a mirror next to my desk, and when I look into it I see my handsome mug looking back. I think he means crystal ball.

Air Bourne to Ziggler gets rid of him, but McIntrye follows with his cradle double arm DDT to make it 4-4. Good to see finishers being used to eliminate, and not the usual soft moves which would normally only just warrant a two count.

Sheamus eliminates Finlay with a bicycle kick after a staredown. South defeats North there. 4-3 to the heels.

Swagger is gone after Starship Pain, and we have a new ref in the ring. Seems Scott Armstrong has got injured. They didn't make enough of it to be storyline, so I'm guessing it was legit. I hope the guy is alright, but goodness knows we can cope without him.

3-2 in the heels' favour after Miz rids the ring of Shelton after an SCF and an assist from Sheamus. Incidentally, they have shown Armstrong getting a knee to the back of he head from Sheamus.

The highly-thought of (by me, at least) Drew McIntyre hits his DDT on Matt Hardy and it's 3-1, with only Morrison remaining. King says John has a 1 in 3 chance.

Actually, he doesn't, because statistically, using equal probabilities, he has a 1 in 2 chance of winning the next fall. Then, should he win that it is a 1 in 2 of the next, and the next. Accumulative, it's 1 in 8. Clearly Matt Striker wasn't a Maths teacher, or he's have picked King up there.

Remember AJ said that Morrison steals moves? He just hit a Pele. Offense was short-lived, though, since Sheamus then laid him out. Game over, and the heels win with three men - Miz, Sheamus and McIntrye - remaining. "Sole" survivors, apparently.

Cool little segment with Christian acknowledging he was 'different' from his team mates. The elephant in the room was the fact he was the only white guy, but he said it was because he was the only ECW guy or the only Canadian. He then said Canadians could rap, and went on to (try and) prove it.

"Team Kofi Kingston, looking for a fight.
Four of us are black, and one of us is white.

Awkward moment, then they all joshed with each other. Some will sniff at this, and say its racist or a lame attempt at humour, or maybe that the white-run WWE are trying to pretend they are cool. I tend to think that we ought to accept that this is a kids show now, and that this is actually a reasonable message to kids - that the good guys all get on despite any superfluous differences.

Rey in the ring, and it's grudge match time next. Fair enough little storyline this, but I'm so fed up of Rey wrestling big guys. He has spent the last two years wrestling Kane, Mike Knox, JBL, now Batista...... save for a great feud with Jericho, Rey has had to work very hard with limited bigger guys. His match with Morrison before his suspension showed he can still go and create awesome matches - I wish he was allowed to do it more.

Matt Striker is a superb, vaguely heel, colour guy. He is a majr asset to tonight's broadcast team, which is Cole, Lawler and Matt himself. Here is a gem.

Striker defending Batista's actions prompted Cole to remark "I'm glad I'm not your friend." Striker shot back with - "You are." Brilliant.

Batista wins after hitting a methodical combo of spear, spinebuster and three Batistabombs. Ref had to stop it rather than a pinfall occuring.

Post match, big Dave gets a chair and spinebust Rey on said implement. The irony of all this was that the cheers for Batista, in his hometown, remember, actually grew as time went on.

Orton, along with his team - Cody, Ted, Regal and Punk - are out first, with Cole making a nice deal of Orton having a good record of being a survivor at this event. I like that, it's what proper sports commentators would do.

All the faces - MVP., Henry, KR-Truth Krush Kwik, Christian and Kofi - are out, and Punk does a brilliant job of going after Truth, still mad at him after ruining his fun on Smackdown.

Heels gang up, and Henry is gone without even tagging anyone else into the match.

Very Kwikly, Killing the Truth is gone, thanks to Punk. 5-3 now, and the heels look great so far. I'd expect Cody and Regal to go soon though, possibly to an incoming Kofi.

Nope, it's the second Marine who departs, falling to Christian's sunset flip. Meanwhile, Cole uses the nonsense phrase "controlled frenzy" and gets called out by Striker, who says "What does that mean?" Cole can't explain. Striker is AWESOME tonight.

MVP does for Regal, and nearly rolls Cody up, too. This match, despite the added star power, has not been as good as the first SSeries match thus far - and the first one was no better than ok.

Painful looking CrossRhodes to MVP, and it's 3-2, with Kofi and Christian battling Cody, Punk and Orton.

Equilibrium restored, as Christian pins Cody. Could go either way this.

Killswitch looks to have Randy beaten, but Punk makes the save before and RKO gets shot of the Legend Killer. Kofi is left, but Orton tags out to avoid the confrontation. Former tag partners Punk and Kofi to face off.....

The Kingston bandwagon rolls on. A reversal of a roll-up for three on Punk leads to Orton coming in, and getting met with a Trouble in Paradise. Kofi beats both men quickly, and wins the match for his team.

The cheer was major, the announcers went crazy. They are doing GOOD job with Kingston. Next step is a solid PPV effort with Orton. I wouldn't say he'll win the Rumble, but he ought to have a big run in it. Kingston for the Money in the Bank, I'd say.

Three main men in the ring for the World title match. Smart money has to be on Taker's retention after Jericho accidently (or otherwise) costs Show the match.

Should go back and mention that the Survivor Match we just had did pick up from the point where I said it was inferior to the one before. From the point where it was Christian and Kofi v Orton and Punk it was very sound indeed.

I don't really know what to make of that. It was very watchable, and reasonable executed, but it was like most Triple Threats you'll see. Quite slow, methodical, and unable to really shock or grip me.

Undertaker wins after a succession of finishing moves didn't do the job, and reversed a chokeslam by Big Show into a Hells Gate. I would fully expect the Raw triple threat to top that.

Here comes the girls, now. Kelly eliminates Layla quickly. Pathetically, the talentless Michelle McCool quickly gets rid of Gail Kim. I think the success of Michelle McCool is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing in WWE right now.

An unco-ordinated section between Eve and Jillian ends with the former hitting a top-rope sunset flip, before Beth demolishes Eve then Double Kelly. Surprisingly, though, Beth is pinned via a Mickie crucifix. Beth decks Mickie before leaving.

Mickie removes Alicia with an untidy Thesz press from the top, before Striker undoes his night's good work in one fell swoop by suggesting that McCool could be in the Hall of Fame one day. Urgh.

Melina puts this one away with her (much) modified Canadian Destroyer. Mickie and Melina survive - and I suspect the Verizon Center just sold more beer and popcorn, with people nipping out for the last time before the main event.

DX Music hits. I'm surprised. I would have said this match merited seperate entrances for Triple H and Shawn Michaels, and not the DX music and hoopla. No video package building up the storyline for this one.

Because there hasn't been one.

I was just in the process of typing that Cena has this one wrapped up because Michael Cole just led the commentary trio in declaring that either Trips or Shawn HAD to win.......when HBK turned and kicked Hunter in the face. Great moment.

Shawn and Hunter now battling away, but the real story is when HBK gets back in.

Correction to the above, I obviously got my HBKs and my Hunters the wrong way around.

O-ho! Hunter is back up, saves Shawn from Cena who was about to plunge HBK through the announce table, then a heavy duty spinebuster sends Michaels and the table sprawling.

It's interesting, no doubt, but it's taking away from the match a little because they are doing the old trick of having one of the three lie down for a while as the other two duke it out.

Cena gets the win after a tense one. Lots of finishers and pauses as we approached the finish, before Michaels Superkicked Hunter, only to walk into an Attitude adjustment. Cena dropped HBK onto HHH, and the champ pinned The Game.

The intrigue in the match superceded the action here, and I would say that the booking of Shawn to kick Hunter in the face at the start of the match was an inspired decision. It's hardly an original or clever point to make when I say that the build to this was weak, but as soon at that first bar of chin music played you had to tune in.

So will they continue the DX break up? Possibly, and if they do it remains to be seen if it is a gradual or quick thing. I'd do a jump ahead to Mania and suggest that Michaels v Helmsley would be a great match at Mania, along with Cena v Taker and Edge v Jericho. I'd suggest you get to DiBiase v Orton by then, too, and you are in good shape for the PPV when March in Phoenix rolls around. Won't be long, you know.