What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Raw on 12/5/11. With Tables, Ladders, and Chairs in two weeks, how will Raw build up the PPV? Well, let's find out and start the review.
We open up the show with John Cena. He talks about the Piper's Pit segment from last week. Cena adds that this show is made possible by the fans and if they want to boo him, he's fine with that. Looks like Cena will continue to suppress his anger. For the sake of storytelling, that's okay, but I almost fear this will end up happening to the guy...
Anyway, he also talks about CM Punk's title defense and how he needs a new #1 Contender. Cena throws his name in the hat until Alberto Del Boring interrupts. Del Rio shows the clip of Punk using the exposed turnbuckle last week and how Punk cheated to win the match, so he still deserves a title match. Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler interrupt. Dolph talks about his victory over Randy Orton last week and how he deserves a world title match since he continues to be the hottest rising star. Cena basically refers to Dolph as a jack off to make fun of how he likes to show off. After comedy 101, Cena says Dolph continues to ignore the guy who deserves a US title match, Zack Ryder. Miz interrupts and talks about how he should get a world title match since he took out R-Truth and John Morrison. It was also announced that Morrison was released by John Laurinaitis. I bet TNA is already starting the Morrison countdown as we speak. Laurinaitis interrupts and says each of them makes a strong case to be the #1 Contender. Laurinaitis sets up a series of matches for everyone in the ring. Each of them will face off against a Smackdown opponent. If they win the match, they are in the world title match. Laurinaitis says Cena will NOT be involved in the world title discussion since he has a social experiment he would like to try out, which ends the segment. Well, it was assumed WWE would announce something regarding the world title match. I think this isn't a bad idea since it opens up the possibilities of who will be in the title match with Punk. It also shows the tension between Punk and Laurinaitis since ROB continues to try and stack the deck against the Best in the World. I can see people upset that Cena didn't release some sort of anger, but this is one of those things that will take time to develop. We will just have to assume that Cena is brushing it off as usually. Someone's in denial?
Match #1: Miz vs Randy Orton
I wonder if I was the only one that thought about the possibility of all three guys losing their matches, thus Punk defends the title against no one. Wrestling logic wouldn't let that happen, but it's funny to think of it like that. The match didn't last long. The finish comes when Orton hits a scoop slam on the outside of the ring. As the referee is making the count, Wade Barrett shows up. Orton stupidly puts Miz back in the ring, only to chase down Wade. The referee has made his full count and Miz wins via count out. Seems like a safe way of not making either competitor lose stock, so that's okay. After the match, Orton realizes what just happened and heads toward the ring. As Orton makes his way towards the ring, Wade shows up again and takes out Randy. Seems kinda redundant for Wade to interfere in Randy's matches since he has done that three times in a row. Hopefully, we won't see that happen on SD this week. With the victory, Miz is now in the world title match, which should be no surprise to anyone.
Winner via countout: Miz
A video package of WWE Network. Who selected the music? That was awful. A backstage scene with Ryder and Robonaitis. Ryder talks about his online petition to get a US title match, but Laurinaitis says Dolph filed a lawsuit against it, so that won't work. Cena jumps into the scene and completely plugs the hell out of Ryder and make fun of Funkman in the process. Well, it turns out Robonaitis isn't laughing since he wants to try a social experiment. It will be Cena vs Ryder tonight. Laurinaitis adds a couple of stipulations. If Ryder wins, he will get his US title match. If Cena wins, Lauriniaits will put him in the WWE title match at TLC. That's......pretty cool. I kinda like the thought process of this decision. It definitely makes things interesting. There was also a backstage scene with David Otunga and Kevin Nash. It was announced that it would be Nash vs Triple H in a ladder match. Hanging above the ladder will be a sledgehammer. Whoever retrieves the sledgehammer will be able to use it during the match. Otunga says Nash will have an opponent tonight. Nash doesn't seem to care who he will face since his main objective is Trips. You kinda had to figure Nash and Trips would settle this at TLC. I do hope that Trips makes an appearance next week to add one more confrontation before the match. As for the match, it's an interesting idea. They are competing for a sledgehammer, but the match would continue? Hey, I've heard worse ideas.
Match #2: Alberto Del Rio vs Daniel Bryan
Bryan has his ribs taped up to sell the battle scares of facing Mark Henry last week. Mmmmmmm ribs...
You stop that!!! Bryan puts up a fight, but the injury was too much to overcome. Del Rio locks in the Cross Armbreaker and wins the match. Keep in mind that Bryan's character is selling a kayfabeght, but the injury was too much to overcome. Del Rio locks in the Cross Armbreaker and wins the match. Keep in mind that Bryan's character is selling a kayfabe injury, so I don't have a problem with Bryan losing the match. The match could've gone on a lot longer, but Raw had a full show on its plate. I think they are going for an underdog character when it comes to Bryan. Do you feel the same way? So full that Brodus Clay once again didn't show up. At this rate, the Wii U will be released before Brodus' debut.
Winner via submission: Alberto Del Rio
Match #3: Kelly Kelly and Eve vs Beth Phoenix and Natalya
While WWE was showing a video clip of Beth and Natalya, the cryptic video that has been appearing in Twitter links on the show actually made the air. Not sure if it was intended for it to involve the divas or it having to be its own separate thing. One thing to take note is the commentators didn't acknowledge the video and only talked about Beth and Natalya. It does open up the door to the video involving Kharma's return, but I don't think it has been nine months yet. Stranger things have happened, but I don't think the video has anything to do with Kharma or the divas. Like I said last week, I really don't want to talk about the possibilities. It's fun to think about it, but I will talk more about this once the date gets closer. I think the video package was longer than the actual match, which continues to diminish the diva division. So, WWE has like 30 second diva matches while TNA wants to have 10 minute knockout matches? It's like both companies can't find a good balance in regards to women's wrestling. I realize the divas are reduced to a filler/eye candy role, but you can make them put on a longer match. Kelly wins with her devastating finisher of the roll up to win this match. Hey, it might as well be her finisher. I don't really like the thought process of this match. It's like we're not even relying on the storyline anymore. Kharma, the WWE really needs you. WAIT!!! I just figured out who the cryptic video is referring to. It's Harry Potter. That's who it is...
Winner via pinfall: Kelly Kelly and Eve
Match #4: John Cena vs Zack Ryder
The crowd was really split for this match. This was an okay match. Nothing amazing, but I think the story being told was enough intrigue. Ryder is taking Cena to the limit, but it just wasn't meant to be. The finish comes when Zack goes for Rough Ryder, but ends up going into the AA and Cena wins the match. You should've known that there was no way Cena was going to lose this match cleanly, so the booking made sense. It made Ryder look okay since he was able to do something against the face of the company, so that increases his stock. After the match, Ryder is very upset with Cena as he pleads his case of not being able to get a US title match. Cena listens to Zack and decides to talk to someone about it.
Winner via pinfall: John Cena
Backstage with Cena and Laurinaitis. Cena is upset that management isn't giving Zack a chance. Laurinaitis says he won't give Zack another chance.....unless Cena gives up his world title shot at TLC. The deal is, Zack gets another shot to be the #1 Contender for the US title, but Cena needs to give up his world title shot at TLC. Cena thinks about it and wants to give Ryder another chance. So, Cena will be getting some brownie points from the WWE Universe. This might register some more cheers for the guy. I think it's interesting since this can add to Cena's character. He even goes out of the way to give the fans what they want, but if they continue to boo him, he could be ready to snap. Maybe it can be revealed that Cena secretly gave up his world title match to buy himself a few more cheers from the audience. I still don't think a Cena heel turn is on the way, as I think they are trying to light a fire under John. Still, this is the most I've been interested in Cena in a long time since he's actually trying something new as opposed to resorting to all his cliches. It will be interesting to see what they do as they continue Cena's road to WM. There was also another Kane video. This time, he actually puts on the mask. It definitely looks like Kane will be coming back with the mask.
Match #5: Mark Henry vs Zack Ryder; No DQ/countout match
Well, it definitely looks like Robonaitis' logic circuits told him to go into asshole mode when it comes to the good guys. Internet Cole is really in full swing tonight. I know that's normal when Michael Cole is on the air, but he is really digging deep to make you hate him with all his complaining. Ryder is pretty much getting killed by Henry, but is trying to stay alive. The finish comes when Cena shows up to hit AA on Henry. Cena also put Ryder on top of Henry to steal this match. Zack might as well announce that Cena will be Broski of the Week. Oh no, Robonaitis does not compute....
Winner via pinfall: Zack Ryder
Match #6: Kevin Nash vs Santino
A basic jobber match. Nash wins with a Jackknife powebomb. Not really much to say about this one.
Winner via pinfall: Kevin Nash
Match #7: Dolph Ziggler vs Sheamus
This matchup was okay, but not a must see. Most of the matches tonight were short, but they did air seven different matches. Did you watch the minor backstage scene with CM Punk and Evan Bourne? Coming off a wellness policy suspension, you think Evan is trying to get some tips for the Straight Edge lifestyle? Anyway, the finish comes when Ryder shows up and causes Dolph to take his eye off the ball. When he turns around, he walks into a Brogue Kick and Sheamus wins the match. So, that means the WWE title match will be a Triple Threat match.
Winner via pinfall: Sheamus
Time for the contract signing of the WWE title match. Punk, Del Rio, Miz and Laurinaitis are all in the ring. Laurinaitis says it will be Punk vs Miz vs Del Rio in a TLC match at TLC. Punk immediately pushes the table out of the way because he is tired of the cliche contract signing and would rather get to the fighting. Laurinaitis referred to himself as Mr. Excitement...
I would joke about this statement, but I was actually laughing because of how Laurinaitis delivered in such an boring way. I'm gonna let this one slide since that's the first time Laurinaitis has made me laugh. Anyway, Miz talks about taking out R-Truth and Morrison, while Punk starts to think Miz is talking about taking them out on dates to watch Twilight (No wonder Morrison didn't re-sign with WWE. That's just torture). Laurinaitis quickly adds that he wishes the best for Morrison in his future TNAdeavors. Laurinaitis is going to start making this his catchprase. Punk says while Miz likes the Hollywood lifestyle, Punk wants to be recognized as the best wrestler. Del Rio chimes in and says more cliche stuff. In fact, Punk cut him off and said "If you say it's your destiny, I swear to Jebus that I will start drinking"...
Either way, it's pretty funny. As everyone has signed the contract, Laurinaitis wants to have a Kodak moment by taking a picture with all of them. Punk thinks it's stupid and how it's sad that Laurinaitis can't make anything fun. Punk starts the fight by using the mic on Miz. It appears the numbers games is catching up with Punk, but Punk hits the bulldog on Del Rio, through the table. Miz gets back in the ring, but Punk hits the GTS. The show ends with Punk playing to the crowd while Laurinaitis is looking on. Interesting series of events. Some people might have found the ending boring, but I was entertained by what I saw. Punk once again makes things interesting since he always seems to have something witty to say. It's interesting that Cena won't be taking part in this match since he still has no match at the PPV. It would be kinda odd for the WWE to have their face of the company take the night off for the PPV. Then again, with his current development, maybe that's a good thing. Maybe it would've made more sense to make it a Fatal Four way, but I think they want to keep things separated between Punk's world title reign and Cena being pushed over the edge. Del Rio will most likely be leaving the world title scene as the focus should be Punk and Miz. The question arises where Del Rio should go from here, but I almost don't care. Why? Because it's my destiny.
Not a great Raw, but not a terrible one either. This one falls in the "middle of the road" territory. Some of the wrestling matches were fair, but none of them were considered a watcher. You had to figure with seven matches on the show and how TLC needed more matches, they would be trying to build up the PPV more than anything else for tonight's show. The focus tonight was TLC and I'm glad they did that. The PPV needed more matches and it seems a few more could be on the way. At the moment, four matches have been announced (Dolph vs Ryder for US title is also on the card). I can see something between Orton and Barrett making the show and the possibility of something between Booker T and Cody Rhodes. Then again, we still have SD for this week to get through, so they can save a few more announcements for those shows. Quite a bit of storytelling tonight as well. Miz jumps back in the title picture while Cena continues to allow the heaving booing while trying to give the audience what they want. I can see a lot of people not liking the thought process of Ryder getting his US title match. I like the story being told as Ryder rises through the rankings because it adds so much more to the US title picture. I miss that detailed storytelling with the mid card championships, which is something that needs to happen more often in pro wrestling. Maybe Ryder pinning Henry was a little much, but it isn't the end of the world. There was also some talk about the Slammys tonight, which happen to be set for next week. That reminds me. I really need to get to work on creating the 2nd Annual WrestlingNerd Award Show. Tonight's show is pretty skippable, but I think casual wrestling fans will get a joy out of watching it. I enjoyed the show, but I admit it wasn't anything amazing. Then again, isn't average wrestling better than horrible wrestling? That's going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoy it. As always tell me what you thought of my review or tonight's show. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.
PS: I did mention the 2nd Annual WrestlingNerd Awards, in which we recognize the best and worst of WWE and TNA for 2011. I would like some feedback for actual categories for the show. I have a good idea on what I plan to do, but I am open to suggestions. These are the categories I used for last year's show. I think I will use most of this categories once again (If not, all of them), but I might be willing to add a few more categories if I feel it deserves to be mentioned. Hopefully in the next few weeks, I will have nominations for these and future categories. If I had to venture a guess, I would expect a full nomination list once the last two PPVs of 2011 have concluded. I will release more details when the date approaches, so be sure to come back for more details. Thank you and enjoy...
WWE Superstar of the Year
TNA Superstar of the Year
Mid Carder of the Year
Tag Team of the Year
Diva/Knockout of the Year
Rookie of the Year
Best PPV of the Year
Worst PPV of the Year
Greatest Rivalry of the Year
Best Promo of the Year
Most Underused Talent of 2011
Match of the Year on Free TV
Most Improvement of 2011
Biggest Potential for 2012
Rivalry of the Year
Stupidest Segment/Storyline of the Year
Biggest Disappointment of 2011
Gimmick Match of the Year
Worst Match of the Year
Match of the Year on PPV
Comic Relief Character(s) of the Year