The Redman Report – WWE Raw 3/3/11: A bump in the Road

Hello there guys and gals. For those of you who know me from the board I’m Jimmy Redman, and for those of you who don’t,well, I’m still Jimmy Redman. But to introduce myself, I’m a relatively new fan, in that my experience is wholly post-Attitude and everything before it. I enjoy John Cena and the Divas, so that’s right folks, I have terrible taste. But the main thing is, I enjoy WWE. If that is going to bother you, look away now. Anyway, from here onwards I’ll be blogging for the good people of the W101 Universe, mostly about Raw and Smackdown as they happen but hopefully also about other stuff as well.

So, Raw. What annoys me is that I started this thing really wanting to inject some positivity into the conversation, you know what I’m saying, be the opposite of the “today’s wrestling sucks” kind of cliche, so I’m raring to go and then straight up I get…this show. It wasn’t that bad, I guess, it was just frustrating, and way below the standard they’d been setting recently.

Triple H stuff was fine, I couldn’t care all that much but he was way over and he got to be Hunter and cut his Hunter promo about being Hunter. I did like the idea of him and Undertaker being the last two of the old, old school guys still around so they need to have one last match. Did not so much enjoy him burying the entire locker room. I understood the point – we’re old, there’s nothing left to do, so lets fight each other and ride off into the sunset – but it could have been phrased a hell of a lot better so as to not bury the entire locker room. But whatever. Hunter is back, right?

And then it sucks to be Sheamus. I’m past caring about the guy by this point, and to be honest I didn’t hate it as a way to get Sheamus out of the way straight up, and in the most impactful way possible. To me it was a little more interesting than what I expected coming out, that being Sheamus saying “You say there’s no more challenges? I took you out for 9 months, and I can do it again, blah blah blah”, the GM dings, they have a match, Hunter wins. That, I think, would have been more boring than this. Anyway, now I have no idea what the hell I’m going on about, fantasy booking ‘what could have been a worse scenario’ in my second paragraph. Rip roaring start. He’s Hunter, it was fine, whatever.

In some better news, Evan Bourne! That guy has been missed, he was always good for making the dead segments on Raw a little brighter. I love the way he slides into the ring, and boy is that Shooting Star so damn pretty. I LOVED Bourne selling the SSP hard – thank you, Justin Gabriel. He looked so darn happy in the ring there, glad he’s back. So glad, in fact, that I almost overlooked that he returned to sneakily face a heel valiantly working despite being BRUTALLY BEATEN AND PEDIGREED TO DEATH just beforehand; in other words, it did not take very long for Evan Bourne, of all people, to become an Asshole Babyface. Not cool.

Michael Cole is such a FANTASTIC douchebag. Just the biggest penis in the entire universe. I cannot stress enough how great he is in this role. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he’s the absolute worst commentator in the world, just butt-f*ckingly awful, but as a chickensh*t heel ‘non-wrestling performer’, he’s out of this world. If he stopped announcing yesterday I would be all over him, honestly. Anyway, this was a fun enough segment. I do wonder who the referee is. Swagger is a weird ass choice, but I don’t mind giving the guy something to do and a Mania payday, he’s beyond spinning his wheels on SD. Although I swear to God, if he doesn’t go to Smackdown this week and have the greatest blow-off match of all time with Kofi Kingston once and for all, I will never forgive them. Ever. Not even kidding.

Holy Moses Batman, how great was Orton’s promo? Well, I’ll tell you. It was very great. I cant remember a time when he’s ever sounded that cool and believable as a babyface. It warms the cockles of my heart that they’re actually keeping Orton and Punk until Mania. At least they’re doing something right. Orton facing all the Nexuses is a good idea too, athough the reasoning surrounding it is pretty lame. I think I might actually vomit if I hear another “_____ is banned from ringside!” stipulation on WWE TV again. For 12 months or so that’s all we’ve had, every week, a constant stream of GM dings and “Nexus is banned from ringside!” “Alex Riley is banned from ringside!” “Corre is banned from ringside!” “The New Nexus is banned from ringside!” “And the winner is banned from ringside!” “Yo momma is banned from ringside!” I don’t give a sh*t if they’re “banned from ringside!”, it means nothing; if they want to interfere they will anyway, and all it means is that you’ve spent 12 months hammering home that all your young heels are sh*t and cant believably win any match ever without run ins. Way to go.

I did enjoy the rest though, mainly because Orton was so on today and Mike McG is so terrible I didn’t mind him being semi-squashed and then PUNTED TO ETERNAL DOOM AND FCW. The way they did the same Punk-Orton thing, I liked, and I absolutely loved Orton going Psycho Orton here. Like I said, one of his best and most convincing babyface performances.

I suppose one cant have everything. Its funny how exciting the build of The Rock and John Cena for Mania has been, while John Cena vs The Miz the match for Mania has been the opposite, first with the tag title bollocks last week, and now this. Lame, overbooked crap. After the great promos of the past couple weeks, this was the weakest of the weak. Well, Miz’s first bit was fine. Cena being his lame self just infuriates anyone who was encouraged by last week. And Alex Riley going from the WWE Champion’s manager to buried, jobbed and “fired” in the space of 70 minutes for no particular fault of his own was sure as hell weird. I mean, that’s what they do with Riley? He manages Miz for 9 months, then suddenly one day John Cena wants the guy to lose his job for no reason (Asshole, by the way) and its all done in an hour? What the Jesus. He was Lance Cade’d right there, for no reason I can possibly think of.

And that’s without even getting into the overbooking. God, you talk about your ‘one step forward…’ clichés. One of the great, if not immediately noticeable things about Cena and Rock is the simplicity, compared to the norm. Rock cuts a promo one week. Cena cuts his own promo the next. Rock responds the week after. And that’s all they’ve done in three weeks. Compare to Cena and Miz; in the 2 weeks they’ve been feuding they’ve won the tag titles together, lost the tag titles, cut a promo in the ring, had a cage match and fired somebody. This thing is only two shows old, and we already have all this overbooked nonsense that hasn’t meant a thing. They never, ever learn.

They race through the women pretty quickly on Raw at the best of times, but they did this in, like, record time. Hey there’s some wome-WHOOSH. This was so fast it was literally too short for me to find anything to talk about. ME. About women. Damn it. All I can say is that I’m glad the Bellas got a world title shot out of their heel run, because they’ve been some fun-ass bitches. I can do without a million EVIL TWIN SWITCHES every single week though. And I’m still waiting for their blow off with Gail. Speaking of Gail, I don’t know if I ever added Nattie to the list of Gail Kim dream matches, but their 15 seconds on the apron convinced me that it needs to happen.

Rock’s promo. It was pretty good, not a knockout though. I really didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. There was some good stuff, mainly “You RAP…to me. You address me in the form of RAP.” which was a total genius line and I laughed forever. And the part about his family was good. But I came away thinking more about what I didn’t like about it. Firstly the whole thing was way too “I DON’T KNOW WHY WE’RE YELLING…LOUD NOISES” which was off-putting and totally unexpected from someone as good as Rock. He went on safari in the middle there and came out with “PEOPLE. ELECTRIFY. PEOPLE. ELECTRICITY. PEOPLE. ELECTRIFY. PEOPLE. PEOPLE. ELECTRIFIED PEOPLE.” which was just awkward as hell. And lastly, maybe its just me being a mark, but what hurts Rock to me is that…Cena is right. Rock left for seven years and barely stuck his head in the whole time. Not even The Rock could convincingly defend that to the audience. And, whether he meant it the way we took it or not, “I’ll never leave again” was a bad miscalculation on his part. When he hasn’t been at TV since then, and he’s not even at the arena talking about being “with the people”, it doesn’t come across well. I didn’t feel like Rock took back the high ground here, basically. But that notwithstanding, I say again that there’s so much vitriol here that its utterly mental that they’re not going to wrestle.

On the other hand, I really, really liked the Shawn interview, both in conception and content. The idea, doing a totally serious interview about a major match explaining why its important and why each guy could win, is brilliant. They need to find more opportunities to do this. And I enjoyed it too, I thought Shawn had a lot of good lines that I’ll remember, “its like facing a legacy instead of a man” and “I’m not sure how I’m going to feel..” and all. I really loved it. It was real.

Bryan thing was hella weird, and had a startling lack of heat to it, as did the rest of Miz’s show. I think the more Rock we have and the more they tease Rock/Cena, the less people care about Cena/Miz and the less over Miz becomes. There were some good moments here, like Miz taking the photo, and the finish with Cena struggling (but I’m someone who never ever tires  of Cena STRENGTH spots), but like I’ve already exhausted myself saying, it was just so lame and so unnecessary. Bad way to finish the show, and this was certainly a step back after a string of admittedly pretty great Raws.

 

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  • The buildup for Triple H Vs Undertaker at Wrestlemania hasn’t really been that great in my opinion. But then again, it doesn’t really matter as the match looks so good on paper that it doesn’t matter how they market it, people still watch it.

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