The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal for 01/24/11 (Edge/Miz)
The WWE Raw Deal for 01/24/11 (Edge/Miz)
By John Canton (New banner. Thanks Pat!)
Follow me on Twitter @johnreport
Live from Detroit, Michigan this is the Raw Deal…
We start with Edge coming out to a pretty good pop. Edge doesn’t feel like waiting for his match with The Miz. He took off his shirt to reveal his taped ribs that happened as a result of The Corre’s beatdown on Friday’s Smackdown. That’s nice that a babyface can sell injuries since Cena and Orton never do. At one point he called Michael Cole a tool, which is always a plus. The Raw GM interrupted to say he makes the rules and Edge has to take part in a mini battle royal against 3 guys. If one of them throws him out of the match they get to be the 40th guy in the Rumble. Running into the ring are Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger and Tyson Kidd. Edge disposes of all of them within about a minute. What a “match.” Way to put over the midcard heels that look like jobbers.
Edge got on the microphone again to ask the fans if he should beat up the laptop computer again. They approved. Michael Cole saved the computer, though. Yes, a ring announcer was able to protect a computer from the World Champion. Then The Nexus music started and we didn’t see Edge until later. He just kind of disappeared quietly as the next angle took control.
CM Punk got on the microphone to talk about the Rumble and he introduced Mason Ryan. He said he was from Cardiff, Wales. Ryan aka Batistwo took the microphone to say one thing: “Faith.” Punk mocked The Corre a bit and then said that when he wins the Rumble he’ll go onto WrestleMania where the new Nexus will become the most powerful group WWE has ever seen. The Corre group of Ezekiel Jackson and his scary looking head, Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel and Heath Wendy Slater showed up. Barrett said The Corre is not a dictatorship. They are equals. Ezekiel spoke awkwardly to say that they will work together to eliminate Punk from the Rumble. Batistwo stared him down while Vince got wet in his pants in the back. The GM buzzed in to say that he had an open invitation to Smackdown people and with Teddy Long out of commission he had the authority to make a match. It would be Punk vs. Barrett in a one on one match where the loser misses out on the Rumble and so does his team. The ref is John Cena. Did anybody believe that they’d take out 4 or 5 guys from the Rumble when they barely have 40 guys to fill the match? No, but we’ll see the match anyway.
Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio d. John Morrison & Mark Henry (*3/4)
They are all threats to win the Rumble with the announcers talking up Mark Henry of course. They had a solid ten minute tag match. Wouldn’t it have been nice if somebody like Daniel Bryan was on Morrison’s team instead of Henry? That could have been a great tag match. At one point they showed former Nexus member Michael Tarver watching backstage for some reason. I guess that’s a new storyline. He was there on Smackdown when Teddy Long got beat up too. The match went about 10 minutes with Morrison getting beat up, getting the hot tag to Mr. KOOL-AID~! and he actually showed a lot of fire in making the comeback. Del Rio eventually came back, slapped on the Cross Armbreaker and Henry tapped out quickly. It made Del Rio look great once again. I’d say he’s one of the 3 favorites to win the Rumble match with Cena and Punk. And Mark Henry.
Natalya d. Melina (*1/4)
They got just under 3 minutes, which is very poor for a title match that has been built up for a month. It’s the Divas division, so they’re not allowed to wrestle. It’s more important to have poorly acted segments, which is to come later. Melina is a lot better as a heel. Her offense was very strong. She showed good intensity. Eventually, though, Natalya’s power came through and she was able to put on the Sharpshooter. It was unique looking because she bridged all the way back thanks to Melina’s flexibility. Then with her shoulders down she put her left shoulder up a bit to avoid being counted down. That’s important. I mark for Natalya.
To let us know us that the Natalya/Melina rivalry was over, Laycool came out. They hinted at Natalya being fat, which is ridiculous. They said they had a rematch they wanted to use at the Royal Rumble. They didn’t say who the opponent would be. My guess is either Awesome Kong debuts as Laycool’s bodyguard, wins the belt and gives it to Laycool or she does a run-in to help Michelle or Layla win. I think Kong’s debut is on Sunday. It would freshen things up for sure.
They showed a video package last week of Nexus hurting Cena. Think Cena will sell the beating? Of course not.
The Nexus team huddled up backstage. There wasn’t much to it except Punk told them to keep the faith. He encouraged Husky that everything would be okay when Husky wondered what would happen if none of them were in there to help Punk and it was like a sitcom from the 80s with the happy music playing at the end to let us know everything would be okay. I marked for Family Ties and Growing Pains, fella. Anyway, they all got down to one knee, put their fists in the middle and showed they were united.
Backstage, Mathews interviewed Cena. He looked happy for a guy that got beat up last week. Also, he wasn’t selling any pain of course. He wondered what the other “R” meant in Corre. Me too. He said rectum at one point. The Miz showed up for the weekly preview of the WrestleMania 27 main event. Yes folks, that’s the main event. Stop reading other stuff that might tell you otherwise. This is it. Cena dared him to give him a beating, but Miz said not yet. Cena said they smelled like raw sewage. Wow, what a meanie. He hurt their feelings. This all led to Miz and Riley throwing to a video package of when they beat up Orton a week earlier. They are so organized.
Edge d. The Miz via DQ (**1/4)
Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero came out for commentary. They did a decent job there, but not great. Lawler kept on going with the fat Vickie jokes even though she has lost a lot of weight. It’s WWE, though. If you’re not a ridiculously skinny model you’re fat. What would that make Stephanie McMahon? Let’s move on. The match got 16 minutes of time and two commercial breaks, but did it have the special feel of World Champion versus WWE Champion? Not really. It felt like just another match on Raw. The crowd didn’t react to it in a way that you would think they might react to a special attraction type of match. It’s because the brands don’t matter and the belts don’t matter as much as WWE wants us to think they do. The work in the match was okay, but they didn’t bust their ass as much as they would if it was a PPV match or some type of grudge TV match like Miz/Morrison was on the first Raw of the year. It was the typical Miz match with Miz getting beat up, Riley interfering to distract, the face takes out Riley and then in this case just as Edge is about to hit the Spear we see Ziggler pop up to cause the DQ. Edge wins via DQ. Ziggler hits Edge with a Zig Zag to put him down. Edge is retaining on Sunday.
After the match, Randy Orton came out for Miz. Riley took a RKO like he always does because he’s a jobber while Miz ran away thanks to a shot with the briefcase to the knee. Why do they still have a briefcase? I don’t understand that. They end up having a staredown with Miz at the top of the ramp.
I have to plug my Royal Rumble recaps that are exclusive to thejohnreport.net. It’s just the Rumble match. No other matches. I have covered every Rumble from 1988 to 2003 to this point. By the time we get to Sunday’s Royal Rumble I will have got them all posted. Don’t worry, fella, I’ll find a way to get it done! If you click on Royal Rumblefest you can read through all of them anytime you want. Check that out if you need some reading. The 2003 Rumble that I just posted was interesting because they were the Rumble debuts of Cena and Batista. Here’s one of my favorite Rumble clips ever from 2002. I rave about it in the 2002 recap a lot. Check it out and tell them The John Report sent you!
Wade Barrett told Mathews that there was no leader in The Corre. I love how they keep saying that yet Barrett’s the one that talks the most and wrestles in the big matches. Heels are such liars. He said they ahd nothing to do with Teddy Long’s attack on Smackdown. They hope he has a speedy recovery. He then says he hopes that Cena can respect them because he respects Cena.
Ted Dibiase, Maryse & Alicia Fox d. Daniel Bryan & The Bella Twins (DUD)
One minute. Maryse pinned one of the Bellas when the other Bella was trying to kiss Daniel Bryan while they were on the apron. I don’t care what Bella was doing it. It was awful. What a waste of time. The intros took longer than the match.
The announcers ran down the Rumble lineup. It’s Miz vs. Orton for WWE Title, Edge vs. Ziggler for World Title, Natalya vs. somebody from Laycool for Divas Title and 40 man Royal Rumble. I’ll have a preview up with my buddy David K. (is it Kay?) up on Thursday featuring opinions, predictions and polls.
Oh God, the Bellas are walking backstage and there’s Michael Tarver standing there doing nothing again. Cue the Oscar level acting ability. They walk into Daniel’s locker room to find that he’s kissing Gail Kim on a couch. Daniel tells them that he’s been dating Gail for six months while the Bellas thought he was a…vegan. Oh the comedy of WWE by not saying virgin. Hilarious. Not. The Bellas ripped Gail, calling her an afterthought while Gail said the Bellas have nothing to do without guest hosts around. Oh burn, sister! Then they had a fight. So is Gail really dating Daniel or was he just lying to be free of the annoying Bellas? Do I give a shit? No, but I feel a rant coming on…
Why the hell are they wasting Daniel Bryan like this? Remember when he made The Miz tap out on consecutive PPVs in the fall? Remember when he beat Dolph Ziggler? Those two guys are in title matches at a major PPV and Bryan is doing awful skits with the freaking Bella Twins, who are getting made fun of ON SCREEN as being useless. This was terrible. Daniel Bryan is a strong wrestler, so let him wrestle. He is not a strong talker, so limit that. Accentuate the strengths and cut back on the weaknesses. It is smart booking. Is that so hard to understand? Rant over.
They announced Rated RKO reuniting on Smackdown and Orton & Edge take on Ziggler & Miz. Can they book another DQ finish? Probably.
Husky & McGillicutty d. Santino & Kozlov (*)
Cole called this a tag title match even though it wasn’t. They isolated Santino, he never got the hot tag and Husky pinned him rather easily. I think Husky should be wrestling with a singlet or shirt or something to cover him up a bit more. He makes me regret having HDTV. So does Mark Henry, by the way. I’m not sure why they needed 4 minutes to squash the current tag champs. I’m assuming it leads to a title switch either next week or soon after.
Before the main event started, Cena threw out the guys from Nexus and The Corre. The crowd loved that. He was very popular like he usually is, but there was no backlash from the crowd in this instance.
CM Punk vs. Wade Barrett ended in a double DQ (1/2*)
I was mildly interested to see how they’d do this because there was no way they’d keep 4 or 5 guys out of the Rumble match. At one point Barrett had Punk pinned, but Cena left the ring to sign autographs and missed. The finish came when both guys got knocked down, Cena signaled for the DQ and told the ring announcer Justin “Tie” Roberts that both guys were DQ’d for excessive use of profanity because it’s a PG show. I guess that’s supposed to make us laugh? Okay sure. Ha.
Cena celebrated thinking he outsmarted everybody. The GM buzzed in to say it was an abuse of power and that nobody would be eliminated from the Rumble. How fast did the GM type that? It’s like it is already written ON A SHEET OF PAPER ON THE COMPUTER! OH MY GOD! Yes, I hate the anonymous GM gimmick so much. Cena had to go in the ring to apologize to both guys. He did so. All the Nexus and Corre guys came out to brawl while Cena bailed to the floor. There was a big standoff.
To end the show they had a big brawl with Cena on the floor, the Corre in the ring, the Nexus in the ring and Big Show’s music hit as everybody else came out to start brawling. It’s the vintage “last Raw before the Rumble brawl” to set up the Rumble match. We see it all the time. Nothing new there.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Edge – Solid promo work as well as the match. Plus he called Cole a tool.
2. CM Punk – Best talker in the company. Always does a great job.
3. Alberto Del Rio – Just because I mark out for him. I need a personal ring announcer.
5 out of 10
Last week: 6.5
2011 High Score: 9 (Jan. 3)
2011 Low Score: 4 (Jan. 10)
2011 Average: 6.25
It was a very average show to me. I think the Edge/Miz match was just okay because they never really did anything to make it great. It’s like they didn’t turn it up a notch to make it special, ya know?
The hype for the Rumble was just okay. They never alluded to any surprises in the match and if you’re looking at threats to win only Cena, Punk and Del Rio stands out. Nobody else has a chance to win, really. It doesn’t help when you barely give promo time to non main eventers either. I miss the old days when everybody got to talk about how they were going to win.
How come Edge can sell injuries from Smackdown, but Orton and Cena can’t sell anything from beatdowns the previous week? You need to make your heels look tougher, WWE! They all look like wimps compared to the superman babyfaces. That’s why interest is down. Why should we sympathize with guys who rarely look like the weak ones? It’s the opposite of how things should be booked.
Did this show get me excited for the Rumble? Not really. However, I will be writing about it live on Sunday night only at thejohnreport.net. Check it out!
Thanks for reading.
John Canton – email@example.com
Visit the blog: thejohnreport.net
Add me on Facebook at Facebook.com/thejohnreportnet
and Twitter at Twitter.com/johnreport
Visit My Archives to view ten years of The John Report columns.