The John Report: WWE Raw Deal for 06/13/11 (WWE All-Stars)
I wrote this live tonight. Live from Long Island, New York this is the Raw Deal...
They go straight to the opening Nickelback song for Raw. The announcers are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. They're using the WWE All-Stars graphics for the show. They announce that Austin has booked John Cena vs. CM Punk in the main event. The Miz comes out in a suit.
They showed a video package from last week on Raw when Miz got screwed by Austin in the main event and "won" the match after the GM reversed it. He says he is the all time WWE All-Star. He says it's obvious and only a moron wouldn't realize that, like Alex Riley. "I'm going to expose you more than a tweet from Anthony Weiner." A well timed joke. The crowd is doing the "WHAT?" chant, Miz tells them that it was "cool in 2001 by the way." Then they did it again and he said he was going to call out Steve Austin. He's tired of guys like Rock and Austin always being on his show. He says Austin owes him an apology. Austin comes out wearing a Stone Cold shirt. Huge pop for the Rattlesnake, which is what he deserves.
The crowd starts up an "Austin" chant as he confronts Miz, does the routine where he runs down things as the crowd chants along with the "WHAT?" chant. Miz tries to talk: "Shut up!" says Austin. He brings up their previous interaction after WrestleMania and said he let Miz show him if he can talk. Austin told him to shut up and listen to him. He said he has an itchy finger. He says he can give him a Stunner. He even dropped a "sumbitch" there. Austin gave Riley credit for attacking him months ago for being tough. Austin said Riley might be a bigger superstar than Miz one day. "Can I speak now?" asks Miz. "No you can't speak now" says Austin. He asks the crowd if he should stun Miz. They say "Hell Yeah!" Austin is so good here.
Austin books Miz in a Piper's Pip segment with Alex Riley hosted by "Rowdy" Roddy Piper of course. Austin tells him if he knows what's good for him he should get out of the ring right now. Miz slowly backs away even with Austin's back turned. Miz leaves the ring. The crowd boos because they want to see a Stunner. "This is WWE Monday Night All-Stars or whatever the hell they want to call it." Cue Alberto Del Rio's music.
Del Rio comes out in a Porsche 911 as Cole tells us. I bet Josh misses announcing that. Del Rio is in his ring gear as he walks down the ramp talking to Austin saying he's the greatest superstar of his time while Del Rio is the best right now. He assumes Austin wants to see what true greatness looks like. Austin cuts him off and he says Del Rio's destiny is an ass-whooping. Austin mentions there's been a guy wanting to get after him, but he couldn't do it until now. It's Kane. There's our opening match.
That was a great opening segment. Austin is one of the best talkers ever. He showed why. It was good to see him interacting with top heels like Miz & Del Rio and he even complimented Miz quite a bit. I liked it.
They came back from break showing when Rodriguez & Del Rio ran over Big Show's leg three weeks ago. I like that they've kept Kane off Raw because he's a Smackdown guy. Now that both brands are on Raw this is the first time he can get at Del Rio.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kane
Post match, Big Show's music hits and he runs down the ring. Rodriguez goes after Big Show. Del Rio bails. Big Show ran out there by the way. I guess he's fine after getting run over by a car three weeks ago. Big Show goes nuts on Rodriguez. Kane tries to pull him off. He's eventually able to do it. He doesn't want him to kill him because he has to save it for Del Rio.
After Kane gets Big Show off Rodriguez, Austin comes out to announce Big Show vs. Del Rio at Capitol Punishment this Sunday night in Washington, DC. The ref checks on Rodriguez as they put over that he's knocked out from Big Show's attack.
Analysis: 1/2* Not much of a match. Del Rio barely had any offense, which was fine because Kane should be mad since ADR took out Big Show. I'm surprised that Show sprinted to the ring like he did. The crowd reacted to it well, though. It was an effective segment to set up the match.
They plugged Randy Orton returning to Raw for "one night only" as they went to break.
Back from break, they showed Ricardo Rodriguez getting taken away on a stretcher.
It's Smackdown match time apparently as they show Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase and Wade Barrett at ringside. They show some fans in the crowd that have bags on their head because that's Cody's gimmick these days. Sin Cara gets a big entrance too. He's teaming with Daniel Bryan and Ezekiel Jackson.
Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase & Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan, Ezekiel Jackson & Sin Cara
Analysis: *1/2 This was a decent, formulaic tag team match. The crowd didn't react much to Jackson's offense, but they popped huge for Sin Cara. I'm not sure if a Springboard Crossbody is strong for a finisher. I assume that's because Barrett's a bigger guy. They need a more impressive finisher for Cara, though.
They plugged Miz & Riley being on Piper's Pit with Roddy Piper later.
Back from break, Hornswoggle is shooting the t-shirt gun to the crowd. "Surprise surprise surprise" it's R-Truth to interrupt. Thank you. Of all the people to interrupt Hornswoggle he'd be my first pick. He references the "Little Jimmy's" and "Little Jenny's" too. He says he wants to try to the t-shirt gun. "Don't be scared of me Hornswoggle - I'm a good R-Truth." His crazy eyes are great. He says he's going to be the new WWE Champion. After some more taunting, Hornswoggle shot a t-shirt at him. Truth grabbed him. He said "we're cool" and gave him a hug. He shook his hand. Then he booted him the face, knocking him down. The crowd booed loudly. I cheered quietly. Then the camera zoomed in on Truth's face as he did some crazy expressions.
Steve Austin showed up on the video screen. He says why don't you pick on somebody like this…John Morrison. He says Truth has a match with Morrison tonight. Just like that Morrison's back from injury. I thought he'd be out a little bit longer. Truth booted Hornswoggle in the ribs to end the segment. Lawler checked on Hornswoggle to make sure he was okay.
They went to break plugging the main event of John Cena vs. CM Punk. Michael Cole mentioned it using SERIOUS VOICES~! because when Hornswoggle gets attacked that's what they always do. I really don't miss Hornswoggle on Raw.
Santino vs. Sheamus
Analysis: * Basically a squash match where they put over Sheamus using a submission move to finish it.
The Ryder chant was great to hear. He had a match on Superstars apparently. Let's hope he's on Raw too.
They showed a preview of the USA Network called "Suits." Jerry Lawler said he can't wait for Suits. Of course he can't.
Coming up after the break is Randy Orton to talk about the Christian attacks of the last couple of weeks. It's the end of the first hour.
They come back from break showing how Christian turned heel a few weeks ago when he attacked Randy Orton with the World Title. "I can beat you Randy Orton" are the highlighted words there.
Right at the 9pmET hour, Randy Orton comes out. They showed a replay of Smackdown when Christian came out to cost Orton his No DQ match against Sheamus. He hit Orton in the back of the head with the World Title as Sheamus got the win. It's Orton vs. Christian at Capitol Punishment for the World Title. It's a rematch of one of the best matches of the year.
Randy Orton says he knows he hasn't been gone long, but it feels good to be back on Raw. He says he's not satisfied being World Champion. He wants to talk to Christian. He knows he's there. "All I want to do is talk," he says. He says first chance he gets he'll hurt him. Christian shows up on the video screen wearing a new shirt that says "Hit The Switch." His finisher is called the Killswitch, so I guess it works. Christian tells Orton he's been handed everything while Christian has worked hard unlike the people of Long Island. He asks the fans if they want to see him face Orton. That's how he lost the belt to Orton. It's a cause for his heel turn. The fans want him to come out, but Christian doesn't care what they think. Orton says it's a shame Edge isn't there because he's been carrying Christian for 17 years, so what's one more day? Great line. Christian says he's coming out there now. They show him walking in the backstage area. His music plays.
Christian shows up on the ramp. He slowly makes his way down, but he stops halfway down the ramp. Orton walks towards him. Security comes out. There's an email from the Raw GM. I thought Austin was in charge? Cole reads the email. The GM mentions that he has to get involved. He says Orton has a concussion, so while he will compete on Sunday he can't let him wrestle tonight. He suggests he gets his hands on Christian when he defends the title on Sunday. The security guys keep him away. The GM says if he doesn't comply then he will strip him of the World Heavyweight Championship.
I don't understand the logic of that. I guess they want to keep the GM a heel, but they appointed Austin as GM. Teddy Long is the Smackdown GM. Why is the anonymous GM able to strip him of the title? It's a bit of a logic hole that I don't like. We're sick of the anonymous GM. It would have been nice to have a Raw without it. By the way, continuing to show reading these "emails" off a piece of paper on the laptop is ridiculous.
With Orton now backstage thanks to security, Austin appears on the video screen to announce a match for Christian. His opponent will be Rey Mysterio. Good. Give them 15 minutes please. They could have a great match if given the opportunity.
They come back from break with Booker T. joining the announce team with Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. Maybe they finally realized that Lawler shouldn't be talking about Smackdown guys because he clearly never watches the show.
They also announced Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk for Capitol Punishment on Sunday. That's likely the second best match of the night because it won't get as much time as Orton vs. Christian, which should be the best again.
Christian vs. Rey Mysterio
They come back from break with Mysterio trying to come back, but Christian throws him face first into the middle turnbuckle. Christian puts his knee on the back of Rey's head. The ref counts to five and calls for the DQ. What the hell was that?
Analysis: 1/2* The match went six minutes, three minutes of it was during the commercial and when they came back it ended just thirty seconds in. A match ends because of a five count in the corner? They already did that DQ finish with Del Rio putting the Cross Armbreaker on Kane in the ropes. That was one of the most bizarre finishes to a match I've ever seen. It really came out of nowhere. It's a shame it didn't get more time.
Christian went to the top, Mysterio knocked him off the top and went for a splash. CM Punk ran out. Rey jumped onto Punk. The Nexus guys ran down. Mysterio set up Christian for the 619, but Mason Ryan caught him. He rammed Mysterio back first into the ringpost. Then the Nexus left.
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero asked Stone Cold to book Ziggler vs. Kingston for the US Title at Capitol Punishment. Austin says he'll do it only if he drops Vickie as his manager. He gives Ziggler a pep talk telling him he has to prove that he can do it on his own. Austin told them he was having fun with them because he already booked the match. I guess that means she's still his manager. What a swerve…I guess.
Morrison vs. R-Truth is next.
I do a monthly Q&A on thejohnreport.net. I posted this month's edition earlier today and you can check that out here. I covered a lot, so check it out when you get some time. There might be a part two later this month.
The "did you know?" feature told us that WWE has more twitter followers than Coke, McDonald's and some other big companies. Guess what Vince? They have way more money than you. It's not even close.
They showed the video of Truth taking out Morrison last month. He's been out for six weeks. Truth goes in the ring first. Morrison's music plays. He doesn't come out. It stops, so Truth freaks out. Morrison's music plays again. He doesn't come out again. Truth gets on the microphone wondering where Morrison is. "If you're scared say you're scared. I'm scared of myself." Truth goes to the back looking for Morrison.
Backstage, Truth looks for Morrison. He's down on the ground grabbing his neck while refs attended to him. Truth trash talked him. "At least you can say you got got by the future WWE Champion." The he ran an equipment box into him, crushing him against the door. "Take that Little Jimmy!" They called for a paramedics as they went to break.
That does a good job of putting over Truth's evil ways while also building up this feud for next month when Morrison will likely be back. From what I've read he wasn't ready for action this month anyway. It keeps the feud fresh. I think it was a well done segment. And I laughed my ass off at the "Take that Little Jimmy!" line at the end. Truth has the best facial expressions in WWE right now.
They plugged the Top 25 Managers in WWE history on WWE.com. I only visit wwe.com for the diva photoshoots although they're not as good as they were in the TV14 era.
Dolph Ziggler walked out with Vickie Guerrero. They aired a video package on "the new and improved Dolph Ziggler." I still don't know how he "re-invented himself" as they like to say. It's the exact same gimmick. Now he's back to the blonde hair too. It's similar to last week when they had a video on Kofi Kingston. His partner is Jack Swagger. Their opponents are Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston. It's the matching of two midcard feuds.
Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne vs. Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler
Analysis: * Too short for my liking. Why are they having such short matches on a three hour show? There's time for longer matches. At least you would think so. Bourne's SSP is the best looking move in WWE. It's especially great in slow motion.
They said congrats to The Rock for winning "Biggest Ass Kicker" at the Guys Choice Awards.
Piper's Pit is next.
They showed a video package of the Riley/Miz segment from Raw last week.
Roddy Piper came out to a big pop for Piper's Pit. He mentioned that 25 years ago they had WrestleMania II in that building and he dropped Mr. T. with a right hand. It was an awful match. Miz interrupts him. He says people call him a modern day Roddy Piper and Roddy says there will never be another Piper. He says Miz is a Roddy Piper wannabe. "For one thing I've actually been WWE Champion and I've won the main event of WrestleMania." He says his episodes of Real World were better than anything from They Live. "The Real World? Never saw it. I was busy living in the real world."
Piper brings out Alex Riley, who gets a decent pop. I have to say his theme music is pretty awesome. The fans even do a "Alex Riley" chant. That's surprising, but I'm sure Vince loves hearing that because they have high hopes for him. Piper asked Riley what made him realize that Miz wasn't good for him. Riley said Miz was using him. Miz references Piper using Bob Orton for years. Miz said he fired Riley. "Every time you think you've got all the answers I change the questions!" Piper busts out his line. Cole: "What is this, 1984?" Piper's great. Some of the lines here were so random. Riley says he's going to beat Miz and he thinks Piper can beat Miz right now. Miz says he'll put up $1,000 of his own money.
The crowd chants "Piper!" as he thinks about it. Piper says I'm going to get my butt kicked. Then he says "how about $5,000?" Steve Austin says that the match is on with each man is putting up $5,000 of their own money. The guest referee is Alex Riley. They go to commercial.
That segment started off okay, but Piper rambled on quite a bit and the crowd didn't know how to react to some of it. By the end of it they were calling for Piper to fight Miz, though, so it worked in that sense. It will be interesting to see how they book this one.
They air the "Be A Star" anti-bullying campaign that they run every week.
This past Wednesday I joined my buddies The Ace and WWE superfan Frank The Clown to talk about all things wrestling. We had people call in too. It could be the start of a monthly thing. You can listen to it here and there's also an iTunes link there if you choose to use that method.
Back from break, they plugged the WWE All-Stars video game by showing Miz vs. Roddy Piper in the game.
Roddy Piper vs. The Miz
Post match, Piper really did a good job of putting over Riley by raising his hand and the crowd loved it. They are hot for Riley. For a guy that has barely won any matches he is getting some good pops. Credit Miz for being such a hated heel too.
Analysis: N/R Obviously just an angle. I assume this leads to Miz winning on Sunday night although I'm not sure about that. How did Justin Roberts announce it? "The winner of the match and now five thousand dollars richer…Rowdy Roddy Piper."
They plugged Cena vs. Punk later.
We're 2 hours and 15 minutes into the show. The longest match has been five minutes. So much for my high expectations. To their credit the build for some of the Capitol Punishment matches have been better than the past few weeks.
They showed a video package highlighting Kelly Kelly and The Bella Twins on Price is Right. The announcers said they're putting their differences aside. The showcase showdown is VIP treatment for Summerslam. It's tomorrow on the Price is Right. That's WWE Hall of Famer Drew Carey by the way.
A 7 on 7 divas tag team match is next.
Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Alicia Fox, Melina, Rosa Mendes, Tamina and Maryse vs. Kelly Kelly, Eve, Kaitlyn, AJ, Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix and Natalya
Analysis: DUD A 7 on 7 match? What was the point of having them all out there? Oh here it comes.
Post match, Eve gets on the microphone and says they're going to do a WWE Diva Tribute to Broadway in honor of the Tony Awards from the night before. They do the Rockettes dance. The babyface announcers loved it. Cole hated it. The crowd didn't react to it at all. That was awful.
They showed a video package crowning Andy Leavine as the Tough Enough win. They cut to backstage where Steve Austin was celebrating with him. CM Punk walked in. Finally the Punk/Austin confrontation. "You want a beer?" "WHAT?" Whiskey, vodka, anything? WHAT? Punk is straight edge, so he says no. He asks Austin if he can spell the alphabet backwards because he's drunk. "I can whip your ass backwards." That was a great line by Austin. Punk says Austin's best days are behind him. He says he's happy that it's Punk vs. Cena later. Austin says no Nexus at ringside. Punk says he's okay with it. Austin says he has an announcement that he's going to announce to the world right now.
Yes! That was great. Here's to hoping that Austin's announcement is that he wants to wrestle one more match and that it leads to Austin vs. Punk at Summerslam. Just throwing it out there. Their chemistry was great. More please.
The glass breaks. Steve Austin comes out to another nice pop from the crowd. He came out riding his four wheeler. Before he can say anything, the Raw GM interrupts. Austin doesn't like it. Cole reads the message. The GM said he'll be back next week. He was already on the show, wasn't he?
Austin makes his announcement. Since he's GM this week he announces that next week's show is another 3 hour Raw where the fans get to book the matches and stipulations. I assume they're doing a Taboo Tuesday/Cber Sunday type show. The GM's message kept beeping. Austin ran Cole off. Austin grabbed the laptop, threw it on ground and then he poured beer on it. He went up the ramp in the four wheeler. Then he ran back to the ring, had a beer bash in the ring and told the Nassau Coliseum that it was great to be back.
I guess I had my hopes up about an announcement that Austin would return to the ring soon. Instead, the announcement was that next week's Raw would be a three hour show with fan interaction. No Austin on that show.
Time for another "Obama press conference" with Smackdown guys asking Obama questions. There were appearances by Christian, Cody Rhodes, a shirtless Sheamus (who says he was born in Cleveland) and then Khali showed up to yell "AHHHHH!" It ended with Hornswoggle muttering in his own language. It's still not very funny. Of course Lawler and Booker both loved their dream. Awful. So happy that this is the last week for those "commercials" on the show.
Up next is Cena vs. Punk apparently. It's 10:42pmET as they say it, so we might have a match go longer than five minutes.
It said, "Last night on USA 10,000,000 people watched Tough Enough and WWE Raw." I imagine they used that graphic on NXT last week. Cole corrected it on commentary by saying "it was last week" that they had 10 million viewers. Somebody goofed. Fire them, Vince!
They plugged the Punk/Mysterio and Cena/Truth matches at Capitol Punishment. I'm shocked they went 2 hours and 45 minutes without a Cena appearance. Some of the crowd is chanting "Cena sucks" before the match. There are a lot of Zack Ryder signs in the crowd. No sign of him.
CM Punk vs. John Cena
Back from break, CM Punk puts Cena in the abdominal stretch and the crowd cheers it. Cena fights out. Some fans boo. Punk leaps onto Cena on the floor. Then he hits Cena with a double axe. Back in the ring, he wraps his legs around Cena's ribs. The crowd does the dueling chants again. Cena fights out, but Punk hits a running knee to the head. This match is at the 10 minute mark, which means it's double everything else on the show. The majority of the match has been Punk working over Cena with John being unable to get into his SuperCena offense. Cena charged at him, Punk dunked and Cena's shoulderblock missed. He went crashing to the floor. Thankfully they're out of commercials now.
It's 11pmET as Punk gets another nearfall on Cena. More dueling chants. Punk goes for a springboard clothesline. Cena moves out of the way. It's SuperCena time with John hitting the shoulderblock, the side slam and just as he's going for the Five Knuckle Shuffle we hear R-Truth on the microphone. He walks through the crowd saying hello to the "Little Jimmy's" in the crowd. Truth took the hat of a kid. Cena was yelling for Truth to stop. Back in the ring, CM Punk hit John Cena with the GTS for the win at 14 minutes.
Analysis: **1/2 It was okay. It's rare for Cena to lose a match without totally blatant interference, so that was a refreshing change. The match never seemed to get into high gear. Not a lot of good nearfalls or submissions.
Post match, R-Truth hit Cena with the bottle of water. Cena actually sold it like it was a hammer or something. It was only a bottle of water. Truth grabbed the belt. He said he'd beat Cena for the title. They showed a replay of Cena looking into the crowd and Punk hitting the GTS on Cena to win.
They showed a video hyping the "Power to the People" three hour Raw next week.
Three Stars of the Show
5 out of 10
We're back in the average territory with the 5 rating. It was a poor show for in-ring competition, which shouldn't happen when you have three hours. One match got more than five minutes. Usually on Raw they have more in-ring action. I realize they had to promote the PPV, but within a three hour show you should be able to have a couple of matches that get some time.
The build for Cena-Truth was weak. I'm shocked that Cena didn't speak during the entire show. I liked the build for Miz/Riley although having Miz lose to Piper is silly. It would have been better to have him take a bump rather than get pinned. The Orton/Christian stuff was decent, but the finish to that Christian/Mysterio match was terrible. Stories like Mysterio/Punk, Kingston/Ziggler and Show/Del Rio are all okay. None of them stand out as being great or particularly fresh, though.
The presence of Stone Cold reminds me of when Rock was on. It makes me realize how great of an entertainer a guy like him is and how there's nobody on the current roster that can touch him. Maybe CM Punk if given the chance. Their one minute segment was very entertaining. Like I said above: More please!
Also, that divas segment was ridiculously bad. Remember how exciting divas segments were because of Kharma? A few weeks later and it's back to the same old shit.
My guess is that Cena retains against Truth on Sunday, then at Money in the Bank in July they do Cena over Punk due to Punk getting the victory on this week's show. Then at Summerslam it's Del Rio vs. Cena.
You'll be seeing a lot more of me the rest of this week too. We've got Commentfest on TJR Wednesday, Capitol Punishment preview will be up Thursday or Friday, I'll probably write about TNA Live show I’m going to Thursday (writeup Fri or Sat) and then WWE Capitol Punishment PPV live on Sunday. Until then have a great week.
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