The John Report: The Raw Deal for 08/23/10 (Cena/Miz)

Taped from Los Angeles, CA (even though WWE won’t tell you it was taped) this is the Raw Deal…

After the recap from last week, WWE Champion Sheamus was introduced. He cut an in-ring promo, fella. He said fella a lot, which was great. That ups the show’s rating right off the bat. Then he went to some kids in the front row, calling them spoiled and talking to them like some 1980s heel used to do. I remember that at the house shows all the time. Maybe they were time killers because somebody was in the can or something? Who knows? Basically he said he doesn’t think Orton should get another shot at his belt. The GM interrupted. Man, see the heel heat Cole gets just for reading the “emails” he gets? Massive. Anyway, Sheamus gets to sit on some throne at the top of the ramp while other dudes wrestle and Sheamus gets to pick his opponent based on who impresses him. It’s kind of like Beat the Clock or a tournament although not exactly. It’s just another way of setting up a title match that isn’t going to be one on one.

Edge d. R-Truth (*1/2)
Cole hates Truth, specifically his entrance. Does that mean he’s the heel GM of Raw? No, but a lot of people will think that. It’s weird to have him hate some babyfaces like Truth & Bryan yet he loves John Cena as he proclaimed later. And of course Miz is his favorite. It’s a little weird although to me it’s better than having bland announcers. Edge won in about 4 minutes. They worked hard and he finished him off with a short spear. Did anybody think Truth had a chance? No. Edge needs a feud. Or get him back on Smackdown to feud with Christian. That would be nice.

Hey, Dashing Cody Rhodes is on some show called Warehouse 13 that I’ve never heard of. That’s nice.

They talked about the trip to China, WWE’s first time there. I read it was a 90 minute show rather than a typical 2 hours, 30 minute show because that’s what China requested. Odd. But that’s China for ya.

Chris Jericho d. Khali (*1/4)
Jericho had his working boots on and was moving fast to make it look good. It reminded me of Ric Flair working against bigger opponents. The old pinball routine. The small guy moves, the big guy stands there and the little guy crumbles to the ground when he gets hit. It was great seeing Khali try to sell the leg injury too. The guy cracks me up just by walking, so trying to see him act hurt was gold Jerry, gold! (I wonder what percent of my references have no idea when I make a Seinfeld reference? Watch the show, kids!) Khali tapping out to the Walls of Jericho is one of my five favorite things in WWE this year. Sadly I’ll forget about it by the time I wake up in the morning, but as of now it was epic! This four minute match was easily one of the best things Khali has ever done in WWE thanks to Jericho.

Cena did a promo in his regular voice. No jokes or GETTING LOUD. He just said Miz is a big mouth and he’ll shut it with the Attitude Adjustment. If he was on Twitter he’d go like this: “CeNataion, The Miz is a big meanie. Let’s throw our milk and cookies at him. The end.” I dunno. Something like that.

Ha, Jillian was singing “Not Afraid” by Eminem in ring. That’s pretty awesome.

Melina d. Jillian (1/2*)
When Melina did the splits Cole called it “vintage.” Yes because five years is the new vintage. Man, I used to love her when she was managing MNM and she wore those fantastic outfits. Now she’s still good, but I really enjoyed her before she was even in the ring. Anyway, they gave Jillian some good offense rather than making her look like a complete moron. I’ve always thought Jillian is very underused. Melina ended up winning with her finisher in about 3 minutes. Post match, Laycool showed up to say they’d be at Raw next week to give Melina an offer she can’t refuse. I guess the writing team watched The Godfather this week. Maybe unify the belts because they realize the “divisions” on these shows are bad? Nah. I doubt it will be that.

Backstage, Miz cut a great promo about how Cena put WWE at risk by picking Bryan. I still don’t get what would have happened to WWE if Nexus won. And since WWE won, nothing happened to Nexus. But hey, let’s pretend like it was really huge. Anyway, great promo from Miz in making Cena look like the bad guy even though Miz was the one that attacked Bryan during that match. That’s the key to being a great heel. You have to make the audience believe everything you say because from your perspective what you are saying is the truth. And with Miz he does a great job of making it believable.

The Nexus guys showed up on the stage. The GM emailed in to say their ban on not getting title shots has been lifted, which meant Barrett could use his challenge any time. I believe the idea was for Sheffield & Otunga to challenge for the tag titles, but Sheffield broke his ankle at a house show meaning he’s out. I’d guess they move Wendy Slater or Gabriel into the spot.

The Miz d. John Cena via DQ (***)
Remember last year when Miz was booked like a dumbass? Now he’s almost at the level of Cena. Good for him. This was a very solid 13 minute match that was typical of what we usually get on Smackdown. They had time, each guy had their chance on offense, the babyface got beat up and made the comeback to set up the finish. Their chemistry was pretty good too. I think Cole’s commentary hurt it because Miz is his favorite wrestler yet he openly talked about how he loves John Cena too. Either go all out heel or don’t. You’re going to confuse the fans (the uneducated ones, I mean) when you do stuff like that. There was a point near the end when Cena had him in the STF and I thought that would be it. But no, Miz got the ropes. A year ago that’s a tapout for sure. Not now. Miz came back, missed the Skull Crushing Finale and bailed to the floor. Daniel Bryan showed up to a nice pop. He threw Miz back in where Cena met him with the Attitude Adjustment while the ref threw the match out. Post match, Bryan put the Crossface on Miz while refs pulled him off. Cole was bitching about it while Lawler said it was fair because Miz screwed Bryan at Summerslam and Raw last week. A very strong match that didn’t hurt either guy while furthering the very good Miz vs. Bryan feud. This is how you build storylines, people!

The next segment is bad, so before we get there I think I should plug my work Twitter at Twitter.com/johnreport where I have a lot of fun. I tweet about many different subjects and try to be funny while I do it, so give it a look. Sometimes I veer off or have no filter myself. That’s me.

Kozlov & Santino d. The Usos (1/2*)
Remember when the Usos debuted strongly? That’s done. Now they job to the comedy team. Post match, Tamina blew Santino a kiss and shot an arrow at him. Thrilling. Santino’s comedy is better when he talks. The physical comedy’s not as good. Where’s the Hart Dynasty at? Use them!

Flashback to the Big Event in Toronto in 1986. Speaking of Toronto, did you know WWE’s ratings in Canada reached are way up lately? I don’t know why, but they are. It could be because Bret Hart’s been on. I’m not sure. The Raw in Calgary should be fun in a few months. They need more TV tapings up here, though.

They plugged next week’s 900th episode of Raw from Boston. It’s not 3 hours or commercial free, but the SD roster will be there. I’d expect it to be a very rushed show where they try to fit a lot of people into quick segments. That’s not usually a good thing.

Randy Orton d. John Morrison & Ted Dibiase (*1/4)
Did you see Dibiase mouth to Sheamus that he should pick him? Of course he should. Easy win. Maryse looked great in a yellow dress although no cleavage was showing. What a shame. It was short on the bottom, which is nice. The match was pretty basic with each guy taking turns on the floor early and then some fast paced offense. Orton sent Dibiase outside the ring, so Morrison leaped onto Orton and ate a RKO coming off the top. It wasn’t as good as the Orton on Bourne one. Good effort, though. Then after the finish Dibiase ran in the ring like a villain in one of those ninja movies (aka like an idiot) and ate the RKO too. Basically Orton continues to be built up strong looking as good as ever.

Have you listened to my new podcasts yet? I do them with my buddy Jason Lynch and we’ve done them for four weeks now. Every Wednesday we post a new one. You can listen to all four by following this link and please let me know what you think. I enjoy it a lot. Fella.

Backstage, Sheamus told us he’d announce his Night of Champions opponent.

Sheamus came out to tell us his opponent: Zack Ryder. Then he beat him in 15 seconds after his kick. They even let Ryder talk before burying him in such a way that he might never recover. Post “match” Sheamus said maybe he’ll take Night of Champions off and not defend the belt for another 30 days. Wade Barrett came out to say he won NXT so he gets a PPV title shot and he was getting it at Night of Champions. Sheamus said no…fella.

The main event for the evening? An anonymous GM emailing Michael “annoying” Cole! Yeah. Fantastic. He said it would be a Six Pack Challenge at Night of Champions. The match would involve: Sheamus, Barrett, Jericho, Orton, Edge and “who could it be?” ask the idiot announcers…John Cena. Shocking, huh? The guys all circled Barrett, who was acting cowardly. Where was his team? I thought they were one like the song says. It lies! They threw Barrett out, which led to finisher-fest. Jericho hit the Codebreaker on Sheamus, Edge gave Jericho the spear, Cena hit the AA on Edge and then Orton ended it with the RKO.

They plugged next week’s 900th Raw hard at the end, so I guess they’re hoping for a big rating there. Maybe they shouldn’t end shows with anonymous GM emails. That’s just a thought on my part. Anyway, Orton’s on fire. We get it.

Three Stars of the Show
1. The Miz – Great promo and a very good match.
2. John Cena – Had the best match of the night.
3. Sheamus – I liked his promos. He’s one of the company’s most consistent performers at this point.

Worst Moment of the Week
Evan Bourne has been completely buried again. A damn shame considering the pops he gets and the ability he has in the ring.

6 out of 10
Last week: 5.5

It was an average show with decent wrestling. The promos by Sheamus and Miz were strong. Cena didn’t annoy me. Orton was over huge. I think the best thing on Raw is Miz vs. Bryan while the main event picture is still boring with only Barrett adding something different to the mix.

I don’t know if this was the case or not, but it felt to me like they added a lot more commentary in post production. It felt different than what we get on a live Raw. They turned up Cole’s heel persona a lot, to the point that it was way more obvious than what he’s been doing in the past. Maybe I’m overthinking…I dunno.

It’s 2:30am as I post this and I’m tired, so no polls for now. Maybe I’ll add ’em later.

Fella.

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