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Tha Raw Report

Lately, it seems that "Raw" is the equivalent of a recovering alcoholic living above a brewery. Every time it seems they're taking a step in the right direction, they inevitably err and things are just as bad as before, if not worse.

That's not to say that there was nothing good about "Raw" this week, because there absolutely was. However, there were a lot of positives to take away from last week's "Raw", as well, and not all of those continued through this week.

I'll start with what is by miles the most promising storyline on "Raw" at the moment, in Legacy. Orton's ultimatum last night of "win or you're out" clearly set the stage for one member to be knocked out. The first Legacy match, in which Cody Rhodes defeated CM Punk by countout, was a solid match, and hopefully a good sign of things to come in WWE. If WWE markets CM Punk right, they can still make a lot of money off of him for a long time to come, which seems to be the only thing they're interested in these days anyway. The same goes without saying for the grandson of a plumber.

The second match put Sim Snuka against Charlie Haas, who this week imitated Jimmy Superfly Snuka. I have to admit, when I heard Superfly's music play, I thought they were going to have the real deal come out to wrestle his son. I would have marked out, and now that I think about it, that's an idea that WWE should keep in their back pocket for potential future use. Snuka obviously went over on Haas, whose character seems more concerned with imitating than winning. I suppose that's one reason why imitation gimmicks never last long; any guy who does them usually jobs out the entire time, and it gets stale. Maybe Haas winning a few might give this gimmick some legs. It'd be interesting to see, nonetheless.

Of course, in the final Legacy match, Manu lost to Matt Hardy, as most expected. I can't help but feel that there are a lot of reasons that can be given for this move, but none of them are any good. Manu, in my opinion, brought more to the table than Snuka, so the essential replacement of one by the other feels like a step in the wrong direction to me. I don't know what will happen with Manu now; if he will continue on "Raw" in some fashion, if he will go back down to FCW, or if he might possibly join "SmackDown!" and team with Umaga. The latter may be the most obvious and ultimately the most all-around beneficial decision, but only time will tell if The Wild Samoans 2 will actually happen.

One note about Randy Orton. He was shown having a backstage confrontation with Kelly Kelly regarding a one-night stand. Except, a few months back, it was publicly stated in a promo that he has a wife and child. The lack of common sense here is just staggering. If I was married, and I cheated on my wife with another woman, I would make sure that no camera was even within half a mile of me anytime I tried to talk to the girl.

Battle Royals with a single digit number of entrants are pointless. Especially when the division only has a single digit number of competitors, and you can count on one hand how many of them can actually work. I'm still not overly impressed with Melina in-ring, but if you wanted to give her a title shot, why not just play the whole "Was feuding with Beth when she was put on the shelf" angle? It's not that farfetched, and it saves programming time. Oh, wait. Christmas is over and they needed something to replace those DX promos.

How is it possible that in a ten-man tag team match, I'm only interested in seeing one single guy? This poorly thrown together and poorly executed match is painfully symbolic of everything that's been wrong with "Raw" lately. It was thrown together after John Cena cut his worst promo in a long time, essentially bullying Stephanie McMahon into making the match. Several months back, Stephanie told her own brother that nobody was going to tell her how to run her show. I guess, just like the rules of selling, John Cena is the exception.

Secondly, there seemed to be no logical means of picking the teams. It's almost as if created just looked on their roster and said "Okay, this guy isn't on the show...or this guy...or this guy...or this guy. Let's just put them all in one match." Unfortunately, much like when you mix a bunch of colors, the end result was bland, unappealing, and bordering on ugly. The majority of the eyes were on John Morrison during this match, and for good reason. He's the only guy in this match that has provided any entertainment value at all lately.

JBL is now the number one contender, which I am elated about. In an era where most heels are trying to be the cool badass, JBL just makes people hate him. He makes people boo, and he makes the faces look better in the eyes of the fans. JBL and Michaels were talking inaudibly and too quickly for most people to pick up on their lips, and the crowd was still on fire the entire time. That's the mark of somebody who can work the crowd. They literally do nothing but stand face-to-face, and the crowd is still electrified.

To boot, JBL is one of the guys who can pull a halfway respectable match out of John Cena, not because they're visual spectacles, but because of the emotion involved. JBL's character is very polarizing; some smarks absolutely love him, but most people don't want to see him again because they hate him so much. That kind of severe emotional investment can instantly make a match better. The fact that a guy like JBL, who also happens to be visually unappealing in an industry where you usually have to look like a bodybuilder or a model to get a push, can get that kind of a reaction night in and night out shows that he should be in a main event spot.

Okay, that's all I got. O-sters, have a good time and be safe this New Year's Eve. Go Steelers.

Tha Results:
*Cody Rhodes def. CM Punk by count-out
*Melina def. Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Jillian Hall, Katie Lea and Candice Michelle
*Sim Snuka def. "SuperHaas" Charlie Snuka
*John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Cryme Tyme & Kofi Kingston def. Kane, Mike Knox, The Miz and John Morrison & Dolph Ziggler
*Matt Hardy def. Manu
*JBL def. Chris Jericho, Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels

14 comments: on "Tha Raw Report"

Anonymous said...

Asshole, Punk is not in his mid-thirties.

Anonymous said...

i hate rey mastrio does my freakin nuts in, his stupid fukin music winds me up aswell,

cody and punk was a solid match i agree was gd to see regal back in the ring for a few seconds also,

the ten mag tag was awful man, these type of things do dolph ziggler and mnm no gd wot so eva,

i was delighted to jbl get that spot, the whole face v face thing n what not has rele put me off title matches, so at least there going back to basics

kelly kelly worst actor everrr, one night stand w.e, cody should of at least had this spot or somin ahh i dont no

Matt said...

I thought raw was decent. A lot of good matches, a lot of good stories involved, and the main story of the night, which was micheals and JBL was told well throughout the night.

I'de give huge kudos to JBL and Micheals here for taking a stupid ass storyline that makes no sense, and turning it into what will probably be the best storyline in the company from now until wrestlemania. The crowd reaction was phenominal at the end of the night, and I even found myself not at the edge of my seat, but between the edge and the middle of my seat at the end of the night. I'm not a complete mark. Nuff said about that.

The Punk/Cody match was really good. I really enjoy watching Cody's matches, and like his style in the ring.

The count-out spot in this match was completely blown in my opinion. Not by punk, cody or regal, but by the ref. The second the ref counted 1...2, you knew it would end in count-out. The dramatic fashion in which he was counting, very loud and very slow, was very amateurish. Even the crowd was counting along with him, and I think it blew what was supposed to be a surprise finish.I don't know who the ref was, but he should be sent to FCW.

Punk and Regal has legs and should create for good matches. Hopefully it lasts longer than this one match next week at raw. I'm thinking it will.

I'm expecting manu to move over to smackdown and do some sort of program with umaga. Call it racially insensitive on my part, but i dont care. I want to see a wild samoans part two. (Note - I'm writing this comment as I'm reading your article, and I actually wrote this down before i got to reading the part you wrote about Umaga and Manure. Great minds think alike i guess)

I dont agree that Manu brings more to the table than Snuka. As a worker in the ring, Duece is phenomenal. He just needs to work on his promos a bit.

I gotta say Im starting to turn the page on Cena. I thought his promo lastnight was semi-enjoyable, from the Harey Carey impression to gauging the crowd's reaction.

The thrown together match didn't bother me too much, as the commentators sold it as a last hurrah type of match, since it's the last week of Raw of 2008. I think it was good for that purpose, but shouldn't become an every week thing. Some spots were purposeful. Seeing Kofi do his move simultaneously with Cena's 5 knuckle worked well as a mark-out moment for the crowd.

The worst part of this match you didnt mention. That's the complete burial of the strong unstoppable heel character that Mike Knox has been building. He comes out and beats the snot out of Rey at the beginning of the night, only to get hit with a cena clothesline that launches him into a flip and out of the ring. He gets put in a match later only to eat a pinfall from the unstoppable Cena, and loses a lot of credibility that he's been building for awhile as a heel.

That's the thing about Cena that bothers me most. It's only a matter of time before they move Vladimir Kozlov over to raw to eat a few Cena pinfalls, and eventually become a joke and either turn face or get his walking papers a year down the line.

Christopher Casúr said...

First anonymous poster-
You are right. He's only 30. For some reason I was thinking he was somewhere around 35, 36. My mistake, thanks for pointing it out.

I feel that, in terms of workrate, it's hard to determine who is better based on what we've seen of Manu and Snuka. So from that standpoint, it's not a move forward or back, just sideways. However, a big guy like Manu could have served as the muscle/enforcer of the group, and from that perspective, replacing him with Sim Snuka is a big loss.

I was starting to warm up just a little bit to Cena myself. I still don't like watching him work, but his promos the past month had been a little less comedic and a little less pandering. Until last night. I actually missed the beginning of his promo, and when I came in, I thought he was doing Bill Cosby. So much for me putting away the hate.

romello said...

First:Anonymous,eat a dick,preferably one belonging to a dead animal.Second: I fucking want to put Cena and Mysterio in a box,set it on fire,crush it with a monster truck and then piss on whatever is left and then throw it over a large fucking cliff! I hate the two of them worse than high taxes and kidney stones...actually i would rather pass a kidney stone than watch those two monkeys week in and week out. Santino reciting the alphabet is more entertainig than the two of these fuck nits combined.

srr said...

blah i dont want to fucking see a wild samoans 2 or some shit, theres no point for that its like saying since theres alot of black guys there should be another nation. its pointless, i kinda did feel bad for manu but he should like grunt or something cause the whole match was silent for the most part.

cena cut a funny promo last night i aint gonna lie that shot at tna was great.

the 10 man tag match was ok, i dont get how you would get mad at the selection of wrestlers seems pretty dumb of you.

Anonymous said...

That's because Casur is a dumb guy. Big Daddy Donnie said last week to always fact check before you post anything, and yet Casur posts something untrue in talking about CM Punk's age. He's going against what the guy he works for tells him, but he still works here. Unbelievable.

Big Daddy Donnie, this is an opinion site, but what good is an opinion if it's so overbearing that it drives away fans? Nobody has ever said they were hooked to Tha O Show because of Casur, but there have been plenty of people who have left because of him.

Fire him. It's the best thing you can do for this website right about now.

Tha Stepdaddy said...

What kind of weak minded pussy ass bitch made fool would stop looking at a site because of someone that posts articles? Jesus Christ. Grow a pair. "Boo hoo! I dont like his articles so I'm gonna respond to them and say how much I dont like 'em! Waaaah!!!" I mean, fuck. Either read his articles or dont. No one is holding a gun to anyones head and forcing them to.

If you wanna know what happened on Raw but dont like Casur's stuff, go to the WWE's site and watch the quick cut of it. Form your own opinion and write your own damned article and post it. Daneo and Donnie have bost suggested that but no one has yet to step the fuck up. You'd rather just sit here and bitch about it like a bunch of whiny little bitches. He mixed up Punk's age? Oh, no! Its the end of times! Getting rid of casur will solve nothing but make you think your little gay ass ramblings have an impact. Its fine to have an opinion but when you think your opinion should cause someone that is consistent with his articles and gets them up not a week late fired, then you've lost me.

Have people stopped listening to the show because of what someone that posts articles writes? If so they are some lame ass folks because if Tid, The Black Prophet, Daneo's gay jokes, the strippers/porn chicks, or Johnny Devine didnt do it but Casur did, then he is the fucking man. Its just entertainment, people. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

McMahonism in a nutshell:

McMahon: These people are actors, not wrestlers.
SAG: Then they should be unionized.
McMahon: No, they shouldn't. They're wrestlers, not actors.
Government: Then you should pay taxes.
McMahon: No, I shouldn't. This is acting, not wrestling.
SAG: Then they should be unionized.
McMahon: I thought we agreed that they're wrestlers, not actors...

And so on and so forth, like a terrible version of Abbott and Costello. How absurdly arrogant. And how anyone can defend both sides of his argument (or, more accurately, both of his arguments, since they're self-contradicting) is beyond me. But then again, this is also the man who brought you:

McMahon: You work for me! You have no freedom to work elsewhere.
Wrestlers: Can we get health benefits, then?
McMahon: No, I'm not your employer. You're independent contractors.
Wrestlers: So, can we work for other companies as well?
McMahon: No, you work for me.
Wrestlers: How about some health benefits, then?
McMahon: From who? Me? I'm not your employer!

Support McMahonism~!

Tha Stepdaddy said...

Goddamn, you nailed that shit right on the head. I wonder what kind of corner he is painting himself into with this "sports entertainment" shit. Maybe Raven and Mike Sanders weren't the best representatives for the case. But this is gonna come to a head and when it does the sport will be forever changed.

Downtown said...

I have a feeling the upcoming flick appropriately titled "The Wrestler" will open up the union subject for sure.

I'm still curious how one can be fired, yet not be on any kind of payroll.

Tha Stepdaddy said...

I would guess if you're a temp or considered close to it. You get to participate in certain things as if you're an employee but without the great pay and awesome benefits. That's all I got right now on that topic.

And there will NEVER be a wrestling union. God, could you imagine? 75% of the roster would take sick/injured leave immediately.

TimTS said...

Raw was so so to me last night.
Good- JBL and HBK. When i first saw this angle i rolled my eyes thinking it would be the worst. I shouldve given these two more credit. HBK will always get a good reaction and JBL the opposite. Put that together and you can do pretty much anything. I'm looking forward to the future of this angle and i'm definately looking foward to JBL beating the crap out of Cena, even if he doesn't win, one clothesline from hell will make me happy.
Legacy. Every week I talk about them as being the best angle and it's still going strong. I see it's not the popular choice but i'm happy Manu's hopefully going away. Not because I don't like him, but because they buried him the past few weeks and ruined him as the unstoppable enforcer he could've been. At least Sim came in and won his first two matches and looks more like an enforcer than the out of shape Manu. I hope they find something else for him, but they ruined him on raw.
CM Punk and Cody. Awesome all around match and hopefully they meet up later on for a title.

Bad- My God Cena's promo was the worst thing i've ever heard coming out of his mouth, and that's saying something. I'll go ahead and admit I like Cena to an extent, but everytime he does a promo like monday's he moves down more and more on my list.
Diva Battle Royal. I think that's enough said but i'll go ahead and throw out i'd much rather see Micky go over and face Beth. At least they put on good matches.
10 man match. Cluster fuck of a thrown together match. Someone mentioned how they ruined Mike Knox and i couldn't agree more. Why ruin him for one win for Cena? Makes no sense and i'm not sure how they are going to recover. I hate Rey, i used to love him but he's gotten old and stale.
All and all it was a watchable raw, but i'd like to see Regal do something other than come out during Punk's matches. I'll get my wish next week, but i'd like to see him wrestle more. Orton's the man as always, and poor Y2J, looks like he's gonna slide down the ladder.

Robbie Nekoda 2008 said...

The problem I have with the Shawn/Jibble storyline - and I think Vince is aware of this - is that it isn't a "reluctant employee" storyline at ALL... it's a domestic abuse storyline. It's fairly unsettling.