Cewsh Reviews – The 242 Raw Review: November 7th, 2011

And now, the review that can’t plug its hair-dryer into these wacky power sockets, it’s…

The 242 Raw Review!

Liverpool, England

Hey reader(s)! Do you like special treats? Yea? Well listen up! Since it’s not a secret that I don’t like to work very hard, and even when I do, my definition of “work” is rather questionable, this week we have a very special guest co-reviewer! Please welcome once again, the Axe to my Smasher, the Iceman to my Maverick, the Jake to my Fatman, Mr. Psycho Soldier!!

It’s Morphin Time!

“Morphing Time? Ooooh Yeah.”

Opening Ceremonies

John Cena

John Cena. Now Available At John Cena.

Psycho Soldier: Cena is not too popular in England, as is evidenced by the large shower of boos. Not surprising in the least. Cena does his thing of being the company figure by promoting the sale of WrestleMania Tickets, talks about Rock not appearing (which is a fair point), and his upcoming team-up with him. This is all a way to segway into the main event of the night, and more build for his feud with two charming individuals. You know…those Truthful guys that are just Awesome.

Kyle 242: Herman Cain and that smoking guy?

For Those Of You About To Laugh, We Salute You.

The Miz & R-Truth

K242: Oh right.

Miz brings up his pinfall victory over Cena at WrestleMania once again, which is all true, and the only thing that’s really making Miz look like a threat at the moment. However, he fails to mention a certain someone who was directly responsible for that victory…

PS: Miz does what he does best, which is destroy the mic with attitude, R-Truth following up with his awkward mic skills that make him gold. This time, it felt a little too formulaic, and wasn’t much special…which is ok, cause Miz makes up for that well.

K242: Truth drops his slew of catch phrases for the billionth time, which is great and all, but it’s just now starting to wear a little thin. He’s always been a bit of a one-trick pony, which was especially apparent when he was a face, and while his heel persona has been exponentially better, his limitations are starting to bleed through again. It works for The Rock, but Truth ain’t Rock.

PS: Cena potentially calls Truth a rapist, and then uses a bunch of numbers to describe The Rock. Interesting concept, though I don’t know if I’d call The Rock the fifth Beatle OR the tenth wonder in the world.

The Rock Played The French Horn.

Besides all that, it was a good way of progressing their current storyline, and managed to hype all elements fueling the tag match at Survivor Series.

K242: Cena hypes up his mystery opponent (who he’ll be teaming up with tonight to face Miz & Truth) with all kinds of ridiculous praise, the sort of praise only Zack Ryder could live up to. The Miz & R-Truth start to corner Cena, but are quickly chased out of the ring by the “WOO WOO KID” (thanks Booker), in a very awkward –looking ring-clearing bonanza. So hey, it’s Zack Ryder!


Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison

PS: Chain-wrestling starts to a match is never a bad choice, but this particular opening had a more methodical pace, which added a bit more tension, rather than being a lightning quick show-off contest. That’s a good thing, if you can’t tell.

The back and forth is pretty enjoyable, but the part that tickles me the most is Ziggler’s level of control in this match, because Morrison only gets a few moves in. That’s not to say he looks like crap, because his own spotlight with his inventive ways of evasion, but Ziggler, like he says, steals the show. Little movements like a kip-up fire the crowd up and elicit some boos, because…well, Ziggler knows what will get under their skin. Ziggler’s supposed to be a guy you hate because he’s full of himself, and doing something as flashy as a kip-up when you’re a heel is a great way to play into that.

Perhaps another highlight for me is hearing the crowd having a dueling chant for both of these guys, strong ones at that. Experiences like this are reasons why I love hearing an English crowd.

K242: At the onset of this match, I couldn’t help but feel that this would’ve been an awesome feud a year ago. And at that time, I might’ve even seen the mens’ roles in reverse order. Yet here we are now, Ziggler on a meteoric rise to the top, and JoMo just a hair about Tyson Kidd status, with better abs. Surely they’ve finally realized Morrison’s ceiling and wouldn’t use Ziggler’s momentum to elevate their pet failed experiment once again…

WINNER: John Morrison

Wait WHAT!? Let’s look at that again…

PS: Then, in the blink of an eye, Morrison manages to turn things around and get the victory with the reverse of a roll-up. As much of a Ziggler mark as I am, this is good for Morrison…and is also unpredictable considering his losing streak. It’d be nice to see him get a little push for the US Belt, though I don’t know if I’d want him to be the one to take it away from Dolph. It’s good that Morrison is getting some kind of push regardless. That is until they realize that they can’t get him past his ceiling because of his weak abilities of the voice.

K242: To be fair, the poor commentary made it obvious that Morrison was walking away with this victory (Morrison’s struggles were brought up approximately 12,371 times, in addition to Ziggler’s supposedly huge loss last week). But still, part of me believed they weren’t going to go through with it.

Look, I like Morrison. He has a great look, godly athleticism, and a highly entertaining move set. He’s one of the few guys on the roster who can pull off a legitimate “OH MY GOD!” moment that you’ve never seen before (see: 2011 Royal Rumble). But at the same time, I look at him as a rich man’s Kofi Kingston. I want to see him do his signature stuff, win or lose, maybe pull out an amazing spot for a big moment and that’s really about it. Given the momentum of Ziggler (a guy whose ceiling we surely haven’t seen yet) and the US Title, I sincerely hope he stays out of this picture (unless it’s just a way for him to lose to Ziggler at Survivor Series). I know a Ryder/Ziggler feud is much more likely, but I can’t shake the feeling that Morrison gets mixed up in this somehow. Why not just throw Morrison back in the tag division? With the movement to bring its prestige back, isn’t he the perfect guy to do that?

Mason Ryan vs. JTG

K242: Ryan comes in, all hyped up as if people should care about him, and gets the full video hype package treatment to boot. I predict good things for JTG here.

PS: Mason Ryan destroys JTG and uhhh…that’s that. He looks very violent and dangerous while doing it, and I don’t mean in a good way. I’m still convinced at this time that he needs some more training, because he might injure someone one of these days.

K242: Ryan does his best Batista imitation (complete with leg-lifting shoulder jabs in the corner), and finishes JTG with a full-nelson (c’mon, hasn’t Chris Masters suffered enough?) turned into a slam. Ryan’s still in that finisher-finding stage, unfortunately, this one’s not much of a hit.

Though JTG Might Suggest Different, When He Wakes Up.

WINNER: Mason Ryan via…Masterlock….sigh.

The Bellas w/ Zack Ryder

K242: It would become apparent that we get this on-screen combination every time Ryder teams with Cena.

But, since that requires Zack Ryder to be on camera, I’m just fine with that.

PS: Ryder is never going to bang the Bellas. That’s what they want us think by the way the orchestrated that whole scene, so everyone will be off their trail…but I’ve got photographic proof of him with both of them, at the same time.

*Ahem* Carry on.

Michael Cole Challenge…or not

K242: Well…Cole doesn’t make fun of JR’s ass this time, but he does make fun of his BBQ sauce. And I’m honestly not really sure how that’s an insult. BBQ sauce rules.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston

PS: Early in the match, Kofi goes for an outside dive where he lands on his arm, which Del Rio, like a shark (a shark who smells…damaged…limbs…), takes this opportunity to move in for the kill, assaulting Kofi’s arm so he can get as early a win as possible. This works effectively, as no later than two minutes later, Kofi finds himself tapping to the Leg Hump of Death. I mean, the Cross Armbreaker. Whatever, it’s the same thing.

Effective way of getting the match over quickly without making Kofi look completely weak, but it wasn’t particular interesting to watch along the way.

K242: Del Rio seemed especially determined in this match, and takes it out on poor Kofi. Very fast past throughout, and Kofi manages to get a few of his moves in where he jumps really high, but he never really proves much of a threat to Del Rio. Which is probably good, since he’s the fucking champ and all.

WINNER: Del Rio via cross armbreaker

K242: Del Rio locks on a second armbreaker afterward, while we all naively wonder where the hell Kofi’s partner is at, when all of a sudden…

CM Punk!

PS: The situation improves some when Punk comes out to confront Del Rio. ADR mentions how Punk’s way of getting him to agree to a title match at Survivor Series was cowardly (putting him in the Vise when he’s been knocked out by Big Show), and there may be some truth to that. The point we’ve had bashed into our heads over the last few months is that Punk doesn’t give one shit. Therefore, he can do things that might be heelish or a “bad example” and be a face. People love him BECAUSE he doesn’t give a shit.

A Well Groomed Mustache Is The Sign Of A Professional.

Punk doesn’t pretend like what he did wasn’t sneaky, but he knows it worked. Punk calls Del Rio one dimensional, which is a pretty accurate statement, other than the fact that the last couple months have shown him improve vocally a good amount, and he seems to slowly get better with each week. Finally achieving his destiny has helped make him change up his material and be entertaining again, like he was on Smackdown BEFORE winning the Royal Rumble.

They exchange some more interesting words, and Del Rio reiterates his ultimatum of Punk cancelling his match, or suffering some kind of punishment. Punk milks the suspenseful answer, which is obviously a, “No.” A fight breaks out, and Rodriguez gets involved again, which results in receiving yet another GTS. At least Punk usually does it in retaliation…not counting the time he and Cena cornered him in the cell. Again, though…Punk doesn’t care one bit.

K242: It’s been awhile since Punk has delighted us with some truth-bombs, and to hear him call out Del Rio’s blandness on the mic was a treat. And it’s absolutely undeniable. I got chills when Punk said he wanted to “make the title exciting again”. I can only hope that the WWE feels the same way. They truly have someone special here.

Jack Swagger vs. Santino

K242: Whoa, we get an old-school scripted backstage video promo to open this match! Complete with horrible fake eye twitching!! I mean really…that was the best take!?

Jack Swagger: Live Action Anime Character.

PS: Jack Swagger is angry because he lost to a muppet…which isn’t completely true. More like he lost due to the interference of a muppet. I know this is just splitting hairs, but…that wording kind of bothered me.

I want to make it clear that I like both of these guys, and they can both always put on a solid match…but I honestly couldn’t find anything about this match to get interested in. It’s cool to see Swagger getting a bit of a mean streak, and this match did a fine job of perpetuating that. That’s about as far as it went, though.

K242: Swagger beats Santino pretty handily. But not without more horribly fake eye twitching. Please…don’t do that again.

WINNER: Swagger via lack of acting school

Kelly’s Big Reveal

K242: So apparently Kelly made the cover of Maxim. This shocks me, but mostly because I’m amazed that Maxim is still around.

PS: Beth and Natalya interrupt what was Kelly Kelly’s unveiling of this month’s cover of Maxim magazine. They try to be interesting with their mic work, which is somewhat successful, but they sound TOO cheesy at times. Still, they sound better than Kelly does. Eve manages to show that she has a more solid command of the mic…but having her hype the cover reveal isn’t a great opportunity to showcase that. Still…you can’t complain about them actually giving the Divas meaningful segments…even if they suck.

K242: For the first time, I actually feel like Beth is quite a decent promo, and she’s getting better as she gets more comfortable.

Anyway, a few other divas show up and chase off the unstoppable-divas-of-force-and-destruction-except-they-lose-alot, and we finally get to see the cover. It’s Kelly in a bikini. Who would’ve guessed that?

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiits About The Same As Usual.

Kevin Nash

K242: And here comes the TNA portion of tonight’s program. Nash is introduced by John Laurinaitis, and comes out to NWO music after being hyped all night for some reason.

PS: Nash shows here that his first few promos were a result of rust. He no longer has that sluggish pace, and his delivery comes off a bit more strong (even if he does stumble over one or two of his lines). Bringing up their realistic past of how Triple H joined the Kliq helps fuel the false reality of this angle, and also makes the promo come deeper from the heart.

Nash potentially calls his self a child molester (there’s a recurring theme tonight), among other ways of talking trash to Triple H, and that ends Nash’s words for The Game. Let’s hope he doesn’t look for a nearby playground to creep around once he leaves the arena.

K242: There’s waaaaay too many double-entendres in this promo, that I won’t even get into, but I’m almost wondering if HHH and HBK were legit laughing their asses off with Nash being in on the joke. Oh Kliq, you so crazy. They spell their group name with a K, that’s how crazy they are.

Anyway, I’m honestly not sure if Nash and/or the WWE can’t tell that Nash is no longer a big star. I want to think this whole thing is tongue-in-cheek, but part of me can just picture Nash and HHH both thinking that they’ll be the highlight of Survivor Series. I’m sort of rooting for the crowd to boo them out of the building, and I like both guys. I’m just not digging this feud or angle, at all.

John Laurinaitis & Otunga

PS: Backstage, Punk hates Otunga’s bowtie, so he punches him in the face. Understandable reaction.

K242: Also, Johnny Ace threatened to take his jacket off. Serious business.

And no Brodus Clay tonight. Weak. He’d make a great Mason Ryan opponent.

The Miz & R-Truth vs. John Cena & Zack Ryder

PS: This match is pretty average, to be honest. This isn’t meant to be a knock on any of these guys, because I like everyone for the most part. There’s some decent drama, and the brief stint between Ryder and Miz showed a glimpse of what could be an interesting match-up.

Things slow down in the middle of the bout, and some parts are interesting, whereas other parts are kind of boring. Much like the Swagger/Santino match, I find myself having a hard time actually getting into this match, until Miz is back in the ring with Ryder. The way he antagonizes Cena as he keeps Ryder trapped in his corner makes for good imagery, and Ryder sells wonderfully.

Despite any parts of this match that might be a bit slow for my liking, what makes this match special is the fact that Ryder is teaming with Cena. Things like that do wonders for getting Ryder over, and it’s nice to see WWE actually giving him the push he’s been receiving recently. It’s a gas seeing Ryder and Cena team up to do both a Broski Boot and the Five Knuckle Shuffle in Stereo.

The match ends with Awesome Truth cheating together to get a pinfall over Cena. This makes the match that much better in my eyes, because Miz and Truth needed that win. After being promptly annihilated by Cena last week, a win gives them more momentum going into Survivor Series. So what if Cena can take them on individually? As a team, they have their ways of overcoming Mr. Hustle Loyalty Respect. Now Cena actually has a need to have The Rock’s assistance. Who needs logic in wrestling these days, though?

K242: Only a few things of note in this match. One was Truth being thrown to the outside, with the back of his head slamming against the mat pretty hard (and I seriously hope they have doctors who look at guys after possible concussion incidents…cuz y’know…Benoit). The second was a double Broski Boot (complete with Cena rocking the sunglasses).

You Know That When Cena Dies, This Is Going In His Tribute Package.

And the third was a double five-knuckle shuffle (Zack looked ecstatic for both spots…I swear, he’s still a fan at heart).

WINNER: The Miz over John Cena via ungentlemently behavior

K242: It was nice to see Miz & Truth get the win, but it almost felt tacked-on…as if they were compelled to do it in order to keep the feud going. I’m almost wondering if they’re purposely underselling them at this point…

All in all, this match was much longer than it needed to be, and unfortunately, it felt that way.

Final Raw-flections

K242: I’ll be blunt, this was quite the forgettable episode of Raw. Remember when we seemed to be getting PPV’s every two weeks? During that time, it felt like alot of story progression was on fast-forward, and while that’s not necessarily a good thing, the major drawback is that this longer build to Survivor Series feels slower in comparison. However, we get The Rock next week, in more than just satellite form, so that will definitely be something worth tuning in for. It’s been long enough that Rocky is “new” again. And while I’m still not totally sold on Rock/Cena vs. Miz/Truth, I’m also quite sure that Rock and/or Cena will talk me right back into it next week.

But this week? I’d rate it 5/10.

PS: Well, this Raw had some high moments. The happenings between Del Rio and Punk are worth watching, and make me really want to see the two duke it out at Survivor Series. Nash is managing to be entertaining, and is seeming less and less old by the promo…well, let’s not get that far ahead of ourselves. Also, Ziggler and Morrison put on a good opening match. Other than that, though…everything felt devoid of activity. Things happened, but not much of it really mattered..and if it did matter, it wasn’t much of a spectacle to talk about. Not that TV matches are meant to be the end-all spectacles that PPV bouts are…but there’s still a higher quality that could have been showcased tonight.


Announce Team Comments

Cole’s social media fetish is getting really annoying. To be fair, this is sort of the modern way of watching television, but somehow I don’t think bragging about how popular you are throughout the show is the best marketing tool…after all I’m already watching the fucking show. Although I guess it works for Tyra Banks.

Promo of the Night

CM Punk & Alberto Del Rio

Match of the Night

John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler

Sign of the Night

Turn Cena Face. Subtle and clever. Thanks England.

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