The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal for 10/03/11 (12 Man Tag)

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal for 10/03/11 (12 Man Tag)
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter at @johnreport

Live from Lafayette, Louisiana this is the Raw Deal…

We find out the announcers for the show are Michael Cole, Jim Ross and Booker “OH MY GOODNESS” T. since Jerry Lawler is still injured due to Mark Henry’s attack two weeks ago. No anal bleeding references this week. That’s a shame. Instead of a promo we start out with a match. WHAT DA HELL!

Randy Orton d. Drew McIntyre (*1/4)
They got about five minutes. I expected even less, so that’s a nice change of pace. Booker’s waiting for McIntyre to show him something. Kind of hard to do when you’re only booked on Superstars. This is the kind of match WWE books when they job a guy clean the night before like they did with Orton and then they want to remind you that he’s still great, so here’s an easy win. Orton hit the DDT off the ropes followed by the RKO for the win. After the match, he hit another RKO just to remind McIntyre that he is in the lonely place known as Jobberville.

With Orton posing on the apron (after his music started for a second time), World Champion Mark Henry showed up. He stood in the aisle holding up the World Title. Orton charged him. They brawled. Members of security as well as John Laurinaitis tried to break it up. They did the VINTAGE pull apart brawl spots where they all hold the heel while the babyface charges in to continue the fight. Those look like fun. Kids, be sure to try that on your playground during your lunch break. The idea behind this was things were out of control on Raw just like how things were out of control at Hell in a Cell. Orton ended up winning the brawl by knocking Henry into the crowd.

Back from break, Henry was in the ring. Since he was probably winded (get him some damn Kool-Aid!), they showed a video package about him. Then he had a match.

Mark Henry d. John Morrison (*)
Henry won in about two minutes although Morrison did get some offense in and even hit the Starship Pain, which Henry kicked out of easily. If they did this match eight months ago, Morrison would have won easily. Times have changed. I’m glad Henry didn’t welcome Morrison to his Hall of Pain after the match. After all, Morrison has another 30 heels on the roster to lose matches to. Barry Horowitz called and he thinks John Morrison deserves a pat on the back for his performances of late. That’s how you welcome somebody back from an injury. Go creative team! After the match, Henry hit him with another World’s Strongest Slam. Booker complained while Cole pointed out that Orton did something similar to McIntyre. Booker said that this is different…and then didn’t say anything else. It’s not different at all. It’s called being a jerk. They both did it.

Post match, Henry shouted during a promo while the crowd shouted “WHAT?” at him. Basically he said he’s done with Orton (not really) and that when somebody returns to Smackdown he’s going to put him back on the shelf. He was referring to Big Show. I love how Big Show is returning to Smackdown even though he’s a contracted Raw wrestler. Not like it matters, but it would be nice if they paid attention to the brand extension a bit.

The main event is a twelve man tag: John Cena, Sheamus, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne & Mason Ryan vs. Alberto Del Rio, Christian, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler & David Otunga. In other words, ten really good performers plus Ryan & Otunga.

Backstage, the “heels that don’t like Triple H” (quick, somebody trademark that!) were talking to John Laurinaitis, who asked David Otunga if he had anything to do with Miz & Truth suing WWE. He didn’t really reply. Then Vickie said they should air their grievances in public.

After the break, Christian, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Vickie Guerrero & David Otunga were in the ring. Christian’s music was playing and then new WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio came out. No Ricardo Rodriguez, who was the only one selling Hell in a Cell injuries apparently. Everybody else is tough! They all took turns talking. Del Rio said he couldn’t celebrate his win because he was attacked by Miz & Truth and that HHH was the only one in power to make the position to lower the cage for the hooligans. Christian said the environment on Raw wasn’t safe. What about his show, Smackdown? Oh right nobody cares. I like Smackdown though! Then Rhodes, Swagger, Ziggler & Guerrero all followed up with some general gripes. Vickie drew massive heat. Otunga talked about being a lawyer and how you learn about how unsafe working conditions can lead to legal action. Then Triple H came out, told them there used to be a time when men fought in the ring instead of complained. Oh right Hunter, like when you lost the WWF Title to Chris Jericho and then threatened the ref his job if he didn’t give it back to you. Not allowed to remember that, I guess. He said he didn’t care about lawsuits and told them to be ready for their match later. When he listed the six opponents, he forgot about Mason Ryan. Kind of like the drug testing policy forgets about Mason Ryan huh? Cole asked what was accomplished there? My answer: Nothing. Waste of time.

They plugged that they would show footage of the end of Hell in a Cell later. Hello to the people that actually pay for the PPVs.

Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs Kelly Kelly & Eve got wished the best in their YELLING endeavors
We got this match last week. Beth threw Kelly out to the floor and then Kelly attacked her by YELLING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS! OMG SHE IS YELLYING UP LIKE NEVER BEFORE! Dear God that chick is loud. She also threw punches at her, but all I could notice was the yelling. Now do you see why I call her Yelly Yelly? This reminded me of A Christmas Story when Ralphie beats up the bully and he’s yelling while he does it. Love that movie. I understood the point of the segment because Kelly was frustrated that Beth & Natalya cheated to win, but they could have done this in a promo where Beth was bragging about her win & Kelly interrupted her. This segment felt really rushed as it didn’t really count in terms of being a match. I did enjoy the brawling on the floor though.

They had a backstage segment with Triple H talking to John Laurinaitis. JL told HHH to have a vote of confidence in the ring, so Hunter told him to gather the troops for later in the show. They said some other things about Hunter being pissed off that JL is undermining him, but that was the gist of it.

Back to the show, they showed a deleted scene from the movie Fast Five, out on DVD & Blu Ray today. I saw it in theatres. Pretty good. More of a plot than most of the Fast & The Furious movies at least.

Jinder Mahal was in the ranting doing his evil foreigner ranting as Santino’s music hit. He had a cobra sleeve on his right hand. Then he talked gibberish back to Mahal, who spoke back to him and it was the kind of racial comedy that Vince McMahon loves. The announcers did acknowledge Santino’s shoulder injury that he suffered in a car accident. It wasn’t his fault. Some idiot hit him.

Santino Marella d. Jinder Mahal (DUD)
Santino win with The Cobra in about 30 seconds. Mahal continues to be buried. Nice way to bring back Santino, I guess. They need to find him a new tag partner since Kozlov got released. He works well in that role.

Plug time. Check out my Hell in a Cell recap for thoughts on a slightly above average PPV. On Wednesday October 5th join me and the crew for the October edition of TJR Radio beginning at 10pmET/9pmCT. Details are HERE. You can call or Skype in to talk about any wrestling related topic you’d like.

Back from break, they aired a video package hyping the return of Brodus Clay. He’s been on Superstars crushing jobbers for the past few months. I’m not sure if the video means he’s on Raw or Smackdown or if that matters anymore. I liked him in the bodyguard role for Del Rio.

They threw to a video package highlighting the post main event beatdown from Hell in a Cell. They showed all of it, which meant Miz & Truth beating up Del Rio, Cena, Punk, referees Scott Armstrong & Mike Chioda and even the cameramen at ringside. Then they showed when they gave themselves up to the cops after they got bolt cutters to open the cage door. It ended with Triple H attacking Miz & Truth while they were in handcuffs. After the video aired, the announcers talked about the issue at hand, which is who lowered the cell after Miz & Truth entered the ring? I’m assuming the answer to that will be Vince McMahon although it will be a few weeks until we get that answer.

They showed a video that The Miz & R-Truth put on youtube. For a couple of “fired” guys they sure get a lot of airtime huh? Here’s that video, which they played clips of on Raw.

In the video, they said they were talking to us as Ronnie & Mike. They said that they wanted their jobs back and that’s why they did what they did. It’s also why they have hired lawyers to sue Triple H. They apologized to the WWE Universe that the COO is a sorry excuse for a leader. I liked it. Nice way to make the angle seem more legitimate, which is what it needs.

They had Cena & Punk’s entrances before the break. When they came back from break, it was time for the match to begin.

John Cena, Sheamus, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne & Mason Ryan d. Alberto Del Rio, Christian, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler & David Otunga (***3/4)
My first question is how in the blue hell does Mason Ryan pass a Wellness Test? There is no way that guy is totally clean. This match got over 25 minutes of in-ring time. More on that later. I thought it would have been good to do this elimination tag style because when there are twelve men involved it can be hard to give everybody enough “shine” during the match. However, it ended up being booked perfectly with most of them getting significant time in the ring. I was even okay with Mason Ryan’s brief foray into the match that was a nice showcase of his power moves. I liked how the first five minutes were booked pretty evenly and then they went to break with all twelve guys in the ring squaring off. The crowd was hot for all it.

Back from break, the long beatdown sequence was on Kofi Kingston. The heels took turns tagging in with each guy getting a couple of shots in before tagging out. Classic tag wrestling. Kingston made the hot tag to Bourne, who went nuts and showed great fire. I like how they focused on the tag champs here because they are really getting over as a team to build around. Bourne dominated Swagger, who he’s always had great chemistry with, and he hit the picture perfect Air Bourne SSP. Vickie put Swagger’s foot on the ropes. The ref saw it, so he threw her out and that gave us another commercial break. One thing is for sure. This company knows how to go into a commercial.

For the third portion of the match, the heels worked over Evan Bourne. He ended up getting the hot tag to the Fighting Fruity Pebble John Cena, who probably should be madder over the fact that he got screwed out of the WWE Title because he got locked out of the cage. The heels ended up taking control over Cena, who did the Bret Hart sternum first bump into the corner except he didn’t go hard into it. Come on Cena, take that bump like the Hitman did! Swagger missed his second Swagger Bomb attempt, so Cena tagged in Sheamus while Swagger brought in Ziggler. Sheamus got the advantage early, then Del Rio shoved him off the top rope so Ziggler hit the Famouser that Cole incorrectly called the Zig Zag. Then all hell broke loose as they went into the vintage tag match ending where everybody hits their big moves. Christian hit a spear on Sheamus, Bourne hit the double knees off the top rope onto Christian, Bourne left the ring, then went back in because he had to take the Cross Rhodes from Cody (bit of a mixup there), Mason Ryan went to press slam Cody, but Swagger broke that up and they clotheslined Ryan out. Then Kofi hit a crossbody onto Cody & Jack at the same time. Del Rio hit a German Suplex on Kofi, Punk hit the GTS on Del Rio, Otunga hit a neckbreaker on Punk, Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Otunga and then Ziggler hit the Zig Zag on Cena. Ziggler celebrated the move, turned around and Sheamus KNOCKED HIM THE FUCK OUT~! with the Brogue Kick to finish it. Wow. Great ending sequence there. I love those.

Total match time? 26 minutes, 53 seconds. Longest Raw match of the year. It was also one of the best Raw matches of the year too. The longest match of the year on Raw prior to this was a 20 minute six man tag on June 20 that saw Cena, Orton & Riley defeat Miz, Truth & Christian under elimination tag rules. Since this took up 1/4 of the show and I really enjoyed it you’ll see that reflected in the final show grade. I’m a little disappointed that CM Punk appeared to be just another guy in this match. While I’m a Sheamus fan and think it’s fine that he got the pin, Punk didn’t get the opportunity to have big moments in the match. I’m hopeful that the stories I’m reading about Punk’s merchandise being the top seller and a big push going forward ends up being true because he deserves it as much as anybody. This was a great match that made everybody look good and gave the fans in attendance a few moments to really go nuts about. It would have been a really fun match to see live.

The Vote of Confidence was the main event.

The WWE Roster’s “Vote of Confidence” with Triple H
They showed entrances of “all” the WWE personnel coming out in different groups. There were faces, heels, Smackdown guys that were there, even some NXT guys, divas, referees and Jerry Lawler came out last. Basically the idea was the entire roster was there. Noticeably absent were Cena, Orton, Sheamus & Punk. The guys they just beat were out there, but those four were not. That was a sign right away that they expected the crowd to boo something and didn’t want their top babyfaces to get booed. How cute! I also noticed no Mason Ryan, Kelly Kelly & Eve. They view Mason Ryan as a top babyface? Dear God I wish their sanity the best in its future endeavors. Also would Eve getting booed really hurt her? She’s not even over. After Lawler came out, they went to commercial.

Back from commercial, Triple H walked out and spoke to the talent that was surrounding the ring. Hunter mentioned Raw only, which is weird because he’s supposed to run the whole company. He said he didn’t ask for this job. He was given it. About Miz & Truth, he said they should apologize to the WWE Universe for being whiners not for him firing them. Then he sucked up to the fans by saying at the end of the day the fans are the ones that sign the checks and they matter the most. Then he opened up the floor to let others talk. Wade Barrett spoke up first saying it was an unsafe working environment. Hunter shot back saying a year and a half ago he tried to take over WWE with Nexus, so who is he to talk about safety. Point, Mr. H. Referee Mike Chioda said he’s known Hunter for 15 years (can we remember the Hogpen match way back then?) and been in 23 years. He’s worried about the safety of the referees after Miz & Truth attacked. Hunter pointed out that he fired them. Yeah, then they attacked the refs again at HIAC. Point, Chioda. Beth said women are more vulnerable. Hunter asked what has happened to them. She said nothing, but something “could” happen. Point, WTF?

Then Jerry Lawler went into the ring. He said CM Punk was right in that somebody was pulling the strings. Great, so they mention CM Punk yet they don’t have him out at ringside where every employee is supposed to be. Is he eating ice cream bars? Where is he? Lawler said he thinks that there is somebody behind the scenes that wants Hunter to lose his job, so they are sabotaging things. Basically, he said, somebody doesn’t want Hunter to be in charge.

It was time to vote. Christian interrupted the festivities to ask for a vote of No Confidence. He said he and his colleagues vote no confidence. A bunch of wrestlers aka sports entertainers aka action soap opera stars left. Then Mike Chioda said the same for the refs as they left. Beth Phoenix said the same as the divas left. Lawler said no confidence too. More people like Michael Cole walked out followed by a group of midcard babyfaces on Raw. That was followed by OH MY GOODNESS Booker T., ring announcer Justin “tie man” Roberts and another ringside employee. Then the camera guys even left their cameras at ringside before walking out too. Oh no not the camera guys! Jim Ross was still there. Remember that Hunter brought him back to the announce desk. He shook his head and reluctantly walked away, which made the sad crowd. John Laurinaitis showed up, he got booed, shook his head while on the ramp. Then he walked back through the curtain. At least the hard camera guy was still there because he focused on Hunter as the show went to break with Hunter standing alone as the crowd did their best to support him.

Some thoughts on this ending:

– There were a few wrestlers that didn’t vote in the “no confidence” event: Cena, Orton, Punk & Sheamus. There were also Ryan, Kelly & Eve not out there, but we’ll forget about them for this. There were also Smackdown people that weren’t there. It’s interesting to note that the guy named The Rock is coming back for Survivor Series. It’s a five on five tag match on that show so perhaps that’s the team. Hunter could be a part of it too. I just wonder if this is where they are headed or maybe it’s nothing at all. It’s all speculation at this point. Just thought I’d throw it out there. Thanks to my Twitter buddy @LeonBradley1980 for bringing it to my attention too. Like I said too there’s also the case of management thinking that the fans would boo the people that walked out and didn’t want top faces to be booed. It’s fine to think that way although it’s silly to think that the fans wouldn’t notice top babyfaces were missing from what was supposed to be this huge angle.

– I understand what WWE is doing with the “walk out” angle, but I think they are losing focus on what should matter the most in the storylines. I don’t think fans care too much about who is running the show, yet Vince McMahon seems to believe that the figurehead is really important. Obviously we know why he feels that way, but does he think the fans really care about who is running it? When it was the anonymous Raw GM in charge for a year it didn’t really matter. Just like it shouldn’t matter this much when Triple H is running it. The show needs to focus more on the talent that is competing in the ring, doing the house shows and wrestling in PPV main events. Enough about the suits. It shouldn’t matter this much. I’m pretty sure that all of this is leading to Vince McMahon coming back, but again should anybody care that much? Jerry Lawler getting beat up isn’t anything new because earlier in the year he was fighting guys like Miz & Swagger on a regular basis. People attacking others after a match is not new. Yeah, I guess Miz & Truth attacking the refs and camera guys is new aside from seeing it last year with the Nexus. Things haven’t changed that much. All that has really changed is that now the figurehead is an actual person in Triple H instead of the laptop computer that was never revealed to us. What we’ll learn from the story is that the wrestlers don’t really matter, the McMahon family does. It’s a shame because they can say it’s about the WWE Universe and what the fans want, but in the end the spotlight will be on Vince vs. Hunter. Yawn.

– I’m going to look at this angle with an optimistic outlook at least until Survivor Series. That’s a huge event because it’s the in-ring return of The Rock after seven years, it’s in New York City and I would imagine that the 5 on 5 elimination tag match at that event is going to be pretty huge in terms of importance. Whatever this angle is in terms of the bigger picture, my hope is that it leads to some huge showdown at Survivor Series. If that’s a letdown then I guess I’ll join the pessimistic fans that are out there although I’d rather not. That’s not my way. I want to look on the bright side. I just hope there is a bright side when it comes to this angle.

– There’s also a thought of what happens on Smackdown now? The walkout isn’t Raw only since Triple H runs the whole company. I’ll be interested to see how they address this, if they even address it at all.

By the way after Raw went off the air, Zack Ryder showed confidence towards Triple H. Then Hunter gave him a Pedigree. I think that should rile up the angry Zack fans that think things that happen after the show is over really matter. They don’t. You can watch that here if you’re interested.

Three Stars of the Show
How about 12? Everybody that worked in that great tag match gets it. Even Ryan & Otunga. I’m so generous.

6.5 out of 10
Last week: 6
2011 High Score: 9.1 (March 28)
2011 Low Score: 4 (Jan. 10/May 9)
2011 Average: 5.77
Last 5 Weeks: 6, 5.5, 4, 4.5, 5

The 12 man tag match was fantastic, so it bumps the rating up to a 6.5 this week, which is the highest rating I’ve given Raw since a 7.5 on August 22. That 12 man tag match really impressed me in terms of the way it was worked to how much time it was given. That’s the kind of thing they need to do every two months or so. You can’t always be giving away singles matches every week. You have to mix it up with tags once in a while.

I liked the way they showcased Henry & Orton. While Orton probably doesn’t deserve another title shot because he lost clean twice, they’re obviously going in that direction. You might as well do everything you can to build him back up. By beating McIntyre clean and getting the better of Henry when they brawled they have already made it look like Orton can beat him the next time. All he needs is one…more…match. Wait, isn’t that Christian’s gimmick? I still think a triple threat match with Sheamus is where this is headed. Or perhaps even a four way with Big Show involved? Not really sure.

The show ending angle works for me. I already wrote a lot about it. I like that it was unique. I’m interested to see what’s next and am optimistic that it’s not all about Hunter vs. Vince.

Keep checking out daily for more articles by our amazing crew of writers and I’ll be back on Saturday with Canton’s Corner. Wow, this is the first week in a month where I likely won’t be doing any writing mid-week. What a slacker haha.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton –
Twitter @johnreport

Visit my 10+ year column archive at the Wrestling Oratory right HERE.

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