Taped (even though WWE doesn’t want to tell you that) from Indianapolis, Indiana this is the Raw Deal…
The opening video package featured The Miz and Daniel Bryan. Wow, I was stunned by that. When was the last time they had an opening video package that didn’t focus around the World Title or one of the really top guys like Cena or Orton? I’m pleased because Miz vs. Bryan is the best feud in WWE.
We start with The Miz coming out to great heat. Alex Riley’s with him in wrestling gear. I guess Miz signing him to work for him means he also works for Raw? Sure. Just say you signed him, WWE. Stop coming up with lame angles to get people on the show. Be direct. It’s not hard. Miz says it’s Monday, so time for another Daniel Bryan beatdown. Good promo, but not epic. Bryan comes out with the great music. He’s got a partner. But who? John Morrison, the ex-partner of The Miz.
The Miz & Alex Riley d. Daniel Bryan & John Morrison (*1/2)
It was a good match, but typically short on Raw. The heels worked on Morrison, he got worked over for a while and made the hot tag to Bryan. Lovely German suplex and dropkicks by Bryan. He went for the LeBell Lock, Miz escaped, ran Bryan into Morrison to knock him dizzy and finished him off with the Skull Crushing Finale for the win. They booked Miz very strong here.
Post match, they all fought including Bryan & Morrison. The GM buzzed in to announce a match for the Hell in a Cell PPV: a triple threat submission match anywhere in the building between Bryan, Miz & Morrison for the US title. Basically that means falls count anywhere except with submission rules. Do Morrison & Miz have submissions? I’d expect Bryan to win by making Morrison tap. They don’t want to book Miz to lose again, I guess. I would absolutely love a long Bryan vs. Morrison match, by the way. They are two of the best workers in the company.
Natalya won a Divas Battle Royal to become #1 contender (*)
Yes! It’s about time they pushed Natalya in the women’s division. She’s as good as any female worker in the company and she absolutely deserves it. I’m a little surprised they booked Melina to be out first, but I guess they wanted to take the focus off her. The final three were Natalya, Alicia & Jillian. The heels ended up thinking they would win like usual, then they failed and Natalya eliminated Alicia with a backdrop. Good spot. I was very happy that Natalya won here. She deserves it and is likely the best opponent they could give Michelle (or Layla). It also has a freshness to it, which is nice. More Canadians pushed = better show. Easy. Bring back Kurrgan! What?
They showed Cena doing press for Legendary. All that press and nobody saw it. Maybe DVD sales will be better. Out today. Maybe I’ll see it on cable in 3 years.
The high school drama with Ted & Maryse continued. There’s a note that says “next week you will be mine.” I’m not sure the point of this or who it is. At least it’s story development. Something, right? I’m so positive.
Sheamus came out. His name is Sheamus and he loves to fight. Wait, that’s another guy. Anyway, he was in there making an open challenge. And he would stay there during the commercial break, fella.
The Great Khali answered the challenge. Before the Khali/Sheamus match, Michael Cole plugged Mick Foley’s “Countdown to Lockdown” book that’s about to come out. They mentioned that Mick writes about his time announcing in WWE. What’s interesting, though, is that Mick works for TNA. Maybe Vince McMahon owns TNA too! I’ve heard crazier things.
Sheamus vs. Khali was barely a match (DUD)
How’s that for a description? Sheamus go DQ’d early. The highlight was Khali chopping him and a huge red welt formed on Sheamus’ chest. That was awesome. They brawled on the floor, Sheamus booted him in the head a couple of times and left him laying. This did a nice job of booking Sheamus strong going into Hell in a Cell with Orton. He’s not winning the belt, though.
I need to plug something because I’m excited about this and where it’s headed. Every Wednesday we post thejohnreport.net podcast and now we are up on iTunes as well. I just posted the link, but you can also search for “john canton” in the iTunes store and you’ll see them there. Please listen, please vote and please support it. That would mean so much. We record every Tuesday night and this week we’ll be recording #10. Thanks for the support.
Back to the show, it’s Cutting Edge time. His guest? The Raw GM! Yes, the computer that sits on a podium is in the ring. It “spoke” in a computerized voice. “Why do you have to hate, yo?” It made me chuckle. There were some good lines here. Best quote of the night by Edge: “We’ve gone from Austin giving McMahon the stunner to Edge arguing with a computer.” That really sums up present day WWE, doesn’t it? I wonder if they know they’re making fun of their inconsistent booking with that. Is Vince that smart? I dunno. The GM told Edge he had a match. Edge said he didn’t even though he was in his wrestling gear. What a coincidence! His opponent? John Cena.
John Cena d. Edge (**1/4)
Good match. They have wrestled so many times. My favorite match of theirs is the TLC at Unforgiven 2006 (I gave it ****1/4). They got about eight minutes here with the action being back and forth. Edge was able to get the advantage, he bounced off the ropes and hit Cena clean with a spear. He got the three count except Cena’s foot was under the bottom rope. Edge was happy. Then the GM said in his computerized voice (screw you Cole!) that the match would restart because Cena’s leg was under the rope. The match restarted and Cena made him tap to the STF rather quickly.
Post match, Edge went after the computer. The GM asked Edge why he had the crazy eyes. That was funny. Edge grabbed the computer, broke it over his knee, used a chair to beat it, punched it and even dropped an elbow! Yes! It reminded me of Ric Flair dropping the elbow on his suit jacket when he gets in a rage. Classic! The announcers could have used SERIOUS VOICES~! to describe the computer. I would have approved. I assume that this mean Edge gets traded to Smackdown, or something along those lines. He’s been rumored to be moving. I would be in favor of that.
Anybody else notice that when they came back from break Cole mentioned how they need a new computer for the GM to communicate to him. Didn’t he once talk about getting a text message? There I go remembering. They did a good job plugging Smackdown’s move to Syfy in the US. In Canada it has no effect on us. All WWE programming is on The Score here and it’s the highest rated stuff on the network. It’s a sports channel, but they don’t have hockey. Other networks do.
Justin Gabriel & Heath Wendy Slater d. Evan Bourne & Mark Henry (*)
Hey WWE, USE EVAN BOURNE BETTER! Thanks! Teaming him with KOOL AID~! sucks. He’s better than this. The match went about three minutes. Bourne hit the SSP, he covered, Slater pushed Gabriel on top and he won with a cradle.
Post match, Nexus beat up KOOL AID~! on the floor because Mark Henry sucks even though in January they will tell you he is a threat to win the Royal Rumble. Never forget it. Then they beat up Bourne in the ring. Barrett talked. They plugged going to Smackdown because even though they are there to take over WWE (are they?) they will still plug Smackdown in their promo. Tarver said the bad news is they are the bad news. You are also the bad wrestler, Tarver. The rest is what we always hear. Blah blah blah. Nobody thinks you’re winning on Sunday. Goodbye Nexus. You could have been better. The booking prevented that.
Tag Titles: Cody Rhodes & Drew McIntyre d. The Hart Dynasty (*)
Two weeks ago on SD Cody/Drew beat THD clean non-title. Then they won the tag titles at Night of Champions. Then they beat them on Raw last week. And they beat them again here in only three minutes. The finish saw Tyson go for the springboard Hart Attack clothesline except Drew shoved him, so Tyson hit DH in the back and Cody won with his finisher. WHOA WHOA you’re only smoke and mirrors! Nobody hit him in the face. “Dashing” Cody Rhodes is great.
Post match, THD argued about it. DH was mad Tyson hit him. Tyson told him it was an accident. Natalya tried to reason with DH. I’m not a fan of breaking this team up. They are good and they will make other teams better. Then again there barely are other teams, so maybe they realize there’s nothing for them to do. I think both Tyson and DH could be good singles wrestlers, especially Tyson. He’d be an effective babyface thanks to his offense while DH would likely be better as a heel. That seems to be where this is going. I’m not ripping it. I just don’t know if it’s the right time for it. Let’s hope there’s some long term booking in place because otherwise it’ll fall flat like when Cryme Tyme split up. How’d that work out for both guys? At least these two are more talented. Of course they are. They’re Canadian!
Backstage, R-Truth went up to Cena. They talked about Nexus. Cena said since they’re going to Smackdown on Friday maybe he should too. R-Truth called him “JC” in this. That’s what people call me. It’s on now, Cena. Basically this was a way to mention that Cena’s going to be on the live Smackdown on Friday.
It’s plug time again. We did a column on thejohnreport.net where myself and three other writers discussed topics in wrestling. We all answered the same questions and will leave it up to you to vote on who you think did the best. It’s called TJR Roundtable #1A with #1B coming up on Wednesday. Please give it a look. It’s a lot of reading, but that means it’s a good time killer too!
It was main event time. Chris Jericho came out to cut a promo. He talked about how if he beat Orton he’d be number one contender to the title. Then he ran down a list of everybody he’s beat. He mentioned Michaels, Austin, Rock, Hunter first, then pointed out beating Undertaker twice and kept going as they went to break. Back from break, he was still going! Classic. This was obviously a nice reference to his legendary “man of 1,004 holds” promo in WCW (youtube it) and was pretty funny. He was mentioning people like the Villainos, Dean Malenko (who works for WWE), Sting (another TNA plug!), Flair (and another!) and others. It was great. I wonder if he actually named people during the three minute break or if they just edited it so that it appeared that way. It was a taped show after all.
Randy Orton d. Chris Jericho via DQ (**1/2)
I liked it. They had really good chemistry for a couple of guys that haven’t wrestled all that much. They mentioned it was their first singles match on Raw. I believe it to be true although I dunno. I just assume it’s true because both of them have been heels for a lot of their careers. Anybody notice the Mick Foley plug again? They mentioned how Undertaker threw him off the cell in 1998. They won’t mention that there’s no way anybody will do anything close to that on Sunday, but that’s because it’d be stupid for business to do that. Hey, Jericho actually hit the Lionsault here! Awesome. That’s rare. I guess that’s a nice thing to let him do on his last night (for now) with the company. Orton hit the DDT and set up for the finish. Crowd was going nuts. Sheamus interfered for the DQ.
Post match, Orton was able to give Sheamus the DDT off the ropes. He went for the punt, but Jericho caught him with the Codebreaker. Jericho grabbed a chair. Orton countered that with a RKO. A “punt” chant started. That was odd. I guess it’s a good thing to want the fans to have the babyface kick a guy flush in the face. Orton obliged. He KICKED THE FUCK OUT of Jericho’s face. I know that doesn’t sound as good as Big Show’s KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT line I use (lifted from the movie Friday), but I felt like I ahd to do it. To wrap the post match up, Orton punted Jericho. He did a stretcher job. His contract is up, so this is how they are writing him out. It makes Orton look strong heading into the PPV. If he can do that to a guy without a cell what can he do in it? That’s what WWE wants you to ask. The answer is he’ll do some PG-rific violence in the cell. No face first tosses in the cell. Somebody might bleed. Don’t want that.
What does this mean for Chris Jericho? My guess is he takes the rest of the year off and comes back in January around Royal Rumble time. He’s got a UK Fozzy tour in October, he’s got a Australia Fozzy tour in December and he probably wants to see what else he can do in that time while also spending time with his young family (he’s married with three kids). He’s been at it for three years without a break. He’s 40 years old. He can take a few months off. Do I know for a fact that he’s coming back? No. I don’t. I assume he is.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Chris Jericho – Holy shit I’m gonna miss him even for a few months. Let’s hope it’s only a few months!
2. Edge – If you drop an elbow on a computer you get to be one of the three stars. It’s a rule I just made up.
3. Randy Orton – Did a great job again.
Worst Moment of the Week
Jericho getting knocked the fuck out. It’s good as far as an angle, but it’s bad when you realize he won’t be on TV for a while. Have I mentioned I’ll miss him yet?
7 out of 10
Last week: 6
A notch above last week. I liked Jericho vs. Orton. It did feel fresh. It also made Orton look very strong again, which WWE loves doing obviously. They basically made Orton, Sheamus, Cena and Barrett all look amazing going into their big PPV matches. The only other Raw match at the PPV is for the US title. Miz got the win here, but I doubt he gets the belt back.
I’m not sure how well Hell in a Cell will do on Sunday. It should beat Night of Champions, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to have a PPV two weeks apart either.
The promos by my boys Jericho & Edge were fantastic. They were both “on” this week even more than normal.
To Chris Jericho I say come back soon. We will miss you. At least we got a new DVD to check it out. I already got it. Came out a week early in Canada. It’s exception. I will write a review in October at some point.
And Chris, we will always have that special moment: “Just shut up and read it!” Awwww! It was magic.
I think I’ll be back later in the week for a Hell in a Cell preview. Honestly, I’m so tired of late with work and writing that I might just write a quickie one for it and post it only at thejohnreport.net with my buddy Dave. Keep checking out TJR for exclusive articles that are only posted on my site, plus the thejohnreport.net podcast posted every Wednesday. We have recaps of Raw, Smackdown, NXT, Superstars and TNA Impact, so give us a look.
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