by Amish Patel - September 27, 2011
The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal for 09/26/11 (Punk/Del Rio)
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter at @johnreport
Anal bleeding. What? Live from Kansas City, Missouri this is the Raw Deal…
We get the usual Raw intro to start. Michael Cole welcomes us to the show. Joining him at the announce desk are Jim Ross and Booker T., who is replacing Jerry Lawler. Why is Lawler out? We’ll get to that one. I promise you we will talk about that. I wonder if this show will start with a promo? Hmmm yes.
Triple H comes out for his weekly address to the WWE Universe. I think we can call it that. With some help from video footage, he explained that Miz & Truth were fired for claiming to wreak havoc, assaulting referees and interfering in matches. Then he said he waited until the end of last week’s show
You can’t have promo time without promo interruption time, so here’s Vickie Guerrero with Dolph Ziggler. He complained about Hugh Jackman “breaking his jaw” (not legit, even though the dumbass media thought so) and wanted Hunter to do something about it. The best part was when Ziggler said “no offense” to Triple H when he mentioned Jackman was an actor. Clever. I love how Ziggler was so mad about Jackman that he was happy enough to show us a video package about it. Then Cody Rhodes came out to complain about Orton going nuts on him on Smackdown, cutting his head open and he had to get stitched up. Then Christian showed up, saying it’s not like him to interrupt…even though he does. That’s called being funny, people. He complained about Sheamus costing him the World Title on Smackdown, so Hunter replied by telling him that it was a Lumberjack Match and that’s part of the rules. Well played, Mr. Hx3. Christian said they should sue Hunter, unless he was given one…more…match. Hunter said he gets a match against Sheamus at Hell in a Cell, a match against Orton on Smackdown and a match against Cena later in the show. For the title? No. Christian is a workhorse that has some of the best matches in the company. That’s why they feed him to the babyfaces.
Christian left, so Hunter moved on to Ziggler. He told him he’d have to face Ziggler for the US Title later in the show. I thought they’d save that for the PPV. Nope. Then Ziggler said he’s only the Internet Champion and that’s not a real title. That cracked me up even though he’s 100% right. It was funny that it was even acknowledged. Hunter told Cody he’d have the night off, but then Cody talked back to the boss and Hunter put him in a match, then a triple threat, then a fatal four way and finally a ten man IC Title over the top rope battle royal that would be next.
IC Title: Cody Rhodes won a battle royal (*1/2)
The ten guys were Cody, Ezekiel Jackson, John Horowitz Morrison, Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan, Alex Riley, Ted Dibiase, Drew McIntyre and Justin Gabriel. They went after McIntyre right away and he was gone within 15 seconds. I guess they hate Drew as much as the booking team huh? Nobody pulled a Gail Kim by eliminating themselves, which is a shame. Sin Cara got replaced by the heel Sin Cara, who ended up getting tossed out and they fought on the floor about it. My fave Daniel Bryan got tossed out like a jobber by Big Zeke. Way to push a guy that’s getting a major title shot at WrestleMania. Final three was Rhodes, Jackson & Sheamus with Cody eliminating Jackson because Zeke is a dummy that decided to charge at him while he was against the ropes. Rhodes fought with Sheamus, who missed going over the top after the failed Brogue Kick and that was an awkwardly looking spot. Predictably, Christian interfered and that allowed Rhodes to hit Sheamus with his mask to win the match after five minutes. Pretty good for a battle royal. I thought they would do something to build to another Rhodes-Dibiase match at Hell in a Cell, but that didn’t happen.
After the battle royal, Christian attacked Sheamus by throwing him into the ringpost. Sheamus grabbed at his arm. That should be an awesome match at the PPV on Sunday.
They showed a clip of Mark Henry injuring Jerry Lawler last week when he put him through the table. They said that Lawler had bruised ribs and…wait for it…ANAL BLEEDING~! Yes that’s what Cole said. Anal bleeding. I wonder if Vince McMahon approved of that diagnosis for Jerry Lawler? Odds are likely yes considering his warped sense of humor. It trended on Twitter too, so that’s something to be proud of. I can’t wait for next week when Lawler tells us that the bleeding has subsided. Actually I don’t need to hear that. If you missed it or don’t believe they actually said it click here. Kudos to Michael Cole for delivering the line without cracking up. Booker was great with his: “What?” Exactly. I also think JR saying nothing was the right call. Who can forget Vince’s ass surgery on the fake JR years ago? I wish I could forget that. Anyway, Lawler will be back next week.
Backstage, David Otunga was sporting a bowtie looking like a nerd while talking to John Laurinaitis. They mentioned that he was a lawyer that graduated from Harvard. I guess looking like a dumbass for over a year should be forgotten now? It’s nice that they have finally given him a gimmick at least. Then Laurinaitis started texting as they cut out, which I guess is his gimmick now.
They showed Beth & Natalya walking backstage. Nice spikes on their shoulders. That’s a cool tribute to LOD by the DOD. They aired a video package on Kelly Kelly’s reign of victorious terror. The song they used in the video was worse than her entrance song. That’s saying a lot. Then her and Eve, with new hair, entered before the break for a tag match.
Beth Phoenix & Natalya d. Eve & Kelly Kelly (*)
This was a three minute match with Phoenix pinning Kelly after the Glam Slam. Two things stood out here. First off was the submission move that Natalya put on Eve. I’m not sure what to call it (she suggested “Pinup Strong” on Twitter), but it was damn impressive because she locked her feet up and then held onto her arms as well. Don’t know how to describe it except to say it looked painful. The other thing I really noticed was how badly Kelly runs the ropes. It’s like she’s afraid to touch them. She’s been at it for like five years and she still can’t run the ropes? Come on! The first one was bad, but the second one was brutal. It’s an ongoing thing with her. I realize I’m being picky, but I don’t say it every week either. It’s just something I notice.
They cut from the beauties to the beast Mark Henry, showing his back walking from behind the curtain. Vince got excited watching that shot I bet. Back from break, they mentioned Henry was fined $250,000 for assaulting Ross & Lawler last week. Why do they use such a ridiculous number for the fines? They should watch sports and relate. I guess whoever wrote that lives in the same bubble that Vince does where they are isolated from the real world.
Time for my dream match. Henry vs. Khali…but noooooooooooooooooo! Henry attacked him with the title pre-match and then gave him the World’s Strongest Slam. That was impressive. I was also impressed that they were smart enough to save Henry vs. Khali for WrestleMania in a 60 Minute Ironman match. If even one person takes that seriously then I’ve done my job. Anyway, Henry talked trash afterwards saying that if he had to pay a fine then everybody had to pay. His heart don’t run on Kool-Aid either. Somebody gonna get they ass kicked, somebody gonna cause anal bleeding…catchy no?
Plug time. I enjoy social media of all kinds and I’m now jumping into Google Plus as well. It’s available for everybody now. You can find me right here or just type in John Canton and find me that way. Add me. Don’t be shy.
At the top of hour two, Super John Cena came out to cut a promo about the Hell in a Cell as it hung ominously (is there any other way?) above the ring. He cut the same promo he does every year while using the word hell because that’s supposed to make people want to order the show now. They had Alberto Del Rio come out for commentary…in his ring gear. CM Punk also came out for commentary. He wore his announcer’s jacket. Booker didn’t know what that was, so Cole told him that Punk wore it when he was announcing at the end of last year. Booker wasn’t back in WWE until January, so I guess he was not a WWE viewer. Cole ripped him for it, which was justified. Punk was great as an announcer of course.
John Cena d. Christian via DQ (3/4*)
Was there even a match? I was too distracted by everything else. The announcers said hell a lot. Punk is so controversial now that he also says hell as much as everybody else. Next week nobody will, though. Maybe they will speak of vengeance. Funny how that works. They went to the floor with Cena throwing Christian into the announce table. Punk yelled at him about spilling his diet soda. That was a fun reference to late 2010 also. Del Rio attacked Punk at that moment. Back in the ring, Cena went for the AA when Del Rio interfered for the DQ finish.
Post match, Del Rio went up the ramp to tell us that he’d beat the hell out of them to be WWE Champ again and that the people can go to hell too. I think they’ve said hell more than I’ve mentioned anal bleeding in this column. I’m not sure, though. Who wants to count? Rhetorical question.
They showed a “Did You Know?” about Smackdown’s great rating on Friday, beating all of the main competitors on cable TV for the night. It still needs to get off Fridays. A 2.3 rating on Friday is nice, but you could be getting more viewers on another night. Tuesday is what I prefer.
US Title: Dolph Ziggler d. Zack Ryder (*)
Dolph Ziggler came out with Vickie as well as Jack Swagger, who is her new client. Short match that got about three minutes. Vickie distracted the ref, so Swagger got a cheapshot on Ryder by using the ropes to slingshot him back to the center where Ziggler hit the Zig Zag for the victory. Ryder could barely win matches for over a year and now Ziggler had to cheat to beat him. The US Title sucks.
After the match, the heels continued the beatdown until Bourne & Kingston saved Ryder. Cue Teddy Long for his BOOKING OF A TAG MATCH~! It gets capitalized because that man loves booking impromptu tag matches. He said Vickie had to find a tag partner for the six man tag coming up next.
Zack Ryder, Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne d. Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger & Mason Ryan (*3/4)
Ryan showed up as their partner a couple of minutes into it as the heels were working on Kingston for the majority of it. When they tagged Ryan, he beat up both heels. He’s been working as a face on Superstars. I saw him wrestle against Swagger at a house show a few weeks ago and he bored the hell out of us. He won’t work very well as a babyface. Why? See: Jackson, Ezekiel. Fans don’t have much interest in cheering big guys who don’t have charisma or talent. There’s no sympathy heat for them. The team of Air Woo Woo Woo Boom got the win when Ryder hit the Rough Ryder on Ziggler. The announcers made a big deal of Ryder pinning Ziggler again. Does this mean a match at the PPV? We don’t know yet. Match went about 7 minutes.
They aired a video package about Hell in a Cell matches of the past. The only HIAC match I’ve really liked in the PG era was Undertaker vs. Edge at Summerslam 2008. That had five months of build, though. Pre-PG, most Hell in a Cell matches were great. Now the gimmick has been watered down because of this PPV. It’s a shame because HIAC was a big draw in the past.
PPV lineup on Sunday: Cena vs. Punk vs. Del Rio, Henry vs. Orton, Sheamus vs. Christian & Kelly vs. Beth for the third straight PPV. I’ll share my predictions on Friday with the TJR staff. I got crushed for Night of Champions. It’s not my fault that they book so many major title changes!
Backstage, Nerd Otunga talked to Rhodes, Christian & Ziggler/Guerrero about a potential lawsuit against Triple H. He wasn’t sure if a lawsuit was the best way to go, but he said they needed to stick together. I like that Otunga actually has a gimmick now even though he’s like a wrestling Clarence Mason (google him).
Main event time. They had Ricardo Rodriguez announce Del Rio. Holy shit that car was fantastic. It was a yellow Lamborghini. Somewhere John Cena was bitching about it being a rental. It’s real to Cena, I guess. After the last break, Cena came out for commentary. Then CM Punk came out to a big pop.
CM Punk d. Alberto Del Rio (**1/2)
Cena was a cliché machine at the announce desk. He fired off more of them than even Booker T. and that’s saying something! They had Punk throw Del Rio into Cena…well…almost. Revenge for earlier in the night. They went to break in the middle of the match. I’m pretty sure I heard Booker say he arrived in WWE from WCW in 2000 and that he never wrestled in a HIAC match by design. It was 2001 actually. Maybe that “by design” line means he asked not to be in one? Not sure. Del Rio did his bump to the floor where he lands feet first. That always looks scary to me. It can’t be wise to take a bump feet and ass first like that. They had a few nearfall attempts, but never anything that was major or out of the ordinary. It didn’t feel like this match was taken to the next level. It’s like they were saving a lot. Del Rio went for the Cross Armbreaker, but Punk avoided it, hit him with a kick to the head and that ended the match right there at 12 minutes. He beat him with a finisher that wasn’t his real finisher. That’s a little surprising considering Del Rio is supposed to be the top heel on Raw at this point. That makes him look really weak.
Post match, the cell lowered with ominous music to go along with it. That’s quite the tag team right there – lowering plus the music! Cole was freaking out about it. I think it’s happened on every Raw every time there’s a HIAC match. At least it feels like it. Cena dropped the headset, grabbed Rodriguez and threw him into the ring as the cell lowered around them. Punk hit the GTS on RR while Cena hit the AA. Then Del Rio showed up with a chair in hand and knocked down both guys with aggressive shots to the back. He hit Cena & Punk multiple times. The show ended with Del Rio standing over both guys as the announcers put over his efforts.
I thought the match was pretty average. I was expecting better from them. Putting over Del Rio at the end would have been more effective if he didn’t lose to a kick in the head. I think Cena will likely win on Sunday to keep his title. It should be on Del Rio because he needs it more than the other two, but they have obviously changed their tune regarding his push.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Dolph Ziggler – He was great. Push this man to the main event soon.
2. Cody Rhodes – I enjoy his work.
3. Michael Cole – He’s here because he said Jerry Lawler was suffering from “anal bleeding” with a straight face. I don’t like Cole, but he gets props for that.
6 out of 10
Last week: 5.5
2011 High Score: 9.1 (March 28)
2011 Low Score: 4 (Jan. 10/May 9)
2011 Average: 5.75
Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 7.5
I’m going with a 6 even though it wasn’t a strong show in terms of in-ring action. If you look at the last five weeks including this one I’ve given Raw a rating between four and six every time. I think that means it’s a time of complacency for WWE. Instead of giving us something fresh or invigorating we’re getting the same things week after week. They stalked up the card this week, giving us some really good matches on paper and then they rush through all of them because they feel the need to get everybody on the show.
The hype for Punk/Del Rio was pretty good. Like I wrote I thought it was weak for Del Rio to lose to Punk with a move that isn’t his finisher, though. We’re accustomed to main eventers kicking out of finishers even in TV matches sometimes, yet Del Rio goes down to a kick? He did get his heat back thanks to the chair, but the way the match ended was a little weak to me.
I am surprised that Miz & Truth weren’t back already. They had them on house shows over the weekend doing run-ins during the Air Boom tag matches. Why put them on the road only to not use them on TV? Weird. I’d guess that maybe they return at the PPV although Raw would be more appropriate. Should we praise WWE for actually selling an angle longer for a week? That’s rare these days.
They should have announced more than four PPV matches. I assume more will be added on Smackdown although they obviously care less about the midcard than ever before.
Keep checking out thejohnreport.net daily for more articles by our amazing crew of writers and I’ll be back Wednesday & Thursday (they will most likely be late evening posts for those on East Coast time like me) for my full WWE Roster Evaluation. It will be a big one. Then to end the week there will be a Hell in a Cell preview as well as Canton’s Corner. I’m starting to think all of this may be too much for me, for CC may get altered a bit. I have something in mind.
Take care, spike your hair and try to avoid any activity that leads to anal bleeding. Is that right? It is now.
Thanks for reading.
Visit my 10+ year column archive at the Wrestling Oratory right HERE.
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