The John Report: The Raw Deal for 02/08/10 (DX/Showmiz/SES)

The John Report: The Raw Deal for 02/08/10 (DX/Showmiz/SES)
Live from Lafayette, Louisiana this is the Raw Deal…

(Note: If you’re looking for Commentfest it is RIGHT HERE posted at 7:30pmET Tuesday.)

We get the typical video packages to start and then the guest host, NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, comes out doing donuts before driving into the arena. But no, it’s Hornswoggle! What a swerve. Edwards walked down to the ring with the Bella Arm Candies. Kelly Kelly introduced him. Remember the time when she introduced Maryse as “Maurice?” Great memories. At least she’s really thin, has a nice ass and smiles a lot, right? That’s what counts. Edwards had more energy than Busch and Logano, the previous driver hosts that bombed, so he immediately came off as a decent host. He kissed the Saints ass since they were in Louisiana (thanks for costing me money, Colts) and the crowd liked him for that. He namedropped being friends with Cena, so that led to Sheamus coming out. Sheamus wanted Edwards to make him the last competitor in the Elimination Chamber match. Isn’t that a random thing complete with eerie music and a spotlight? Don’t take the fun out of the eerie music!

I thought Cena was coming out here, but instead it was somebody different for Raw, my boy Christian – the ECW champ. “Christian! Christian! At last you’re on your own!” Wait, wrong song. It’s that stupid “Go!” song. Oh well. At least he got a nice pop coming out. I liked the joke he busted out on Sheamus saying he spent all his money on the hair and the beard trimmer, but must have ran out when it came to working on his tan. Good line. He mentioned that with ECW closing down that he’d be a free agent. I should point out that I wrote this a few times, suggesting it as a way to move people to other shows, and I’m glad it happened. He said they have a lot in common in that they were both champs and both born without last names. Clever. The end result here was that Edwards brought in a ref to make the match happen.

Sheamus d. Christian (**)
It was pretty obvious who was going over here, so the result isn’t much of a surprise. Good to see a match get nine minutes on Raw because that’s such a rare thing. I’ve always been a fan of Christian, but I think I like him more as a babyface now because he has better matches in that role. He’s really good at selling as well as making his comebacks. I like the whole “clap your hands” routine he does. He went for the Killswitch, Sheamus countered, chucked him into the post, hit the dreaded kick and finished him off with the Razor’s Edge that they didn’t call the Celtic Cross this week because I guess they remembered that’s the name of Finlay’s finisher. The match was pretty good. Sheamus winning makes sense. He continues to look really strong heading into the Elimination Chamber match, which is what you want from your champion.

I would be absolutely fine with Christian on Raw. He’s got a strong personality while also being able to have good matches with everybody. I’d rather see him on Smackdown, though, just to see the interaction with the likes of Edge and Jericho. Keep the Canadians together!

Backstage, we had the weekly DX chat. No sign of Hornswoggle, which is great. They’re in the serious WrestleMania zone now. Basically Shawn’s cranky because he didn’t make the Rumble or get in the Chamber match while Hunter says he’s going to win the WWE title. Shawn bitches about Hunter thinking it’s all about him now and walks off in a huff. I’ve had similar discussions with ex-girlfriends. You go girl. I mean Shawn.

We saw the same footage they showed on Smackdown from last week’s Raw where Batista attacked Cena and gave him a Batista Bomb onto the ring steps.

Backstage, we had the weekly Legacy chat. Orton basically said he was pissed off that Cody cost him the title at the Rumble, so Cody’s against Orton tonight. Dibiase gets Cena. Oh no you didn’t. Yes he did.

My boy CM Punk along with Luke Gallows and the lovely Serena (no Canton on her last name, she’s for my buddy David K.) came out for the tag title match. Punk said he wanted to save somebody, a celebrity. Who is it? Jared the Subway guy. Is there a worse celebrity than him? Why is he famous? I’ll never get it. The best line was when Punk said, “Go get me Jared from Subway.” What was sad here is that it was clear Jerry Lawler never watches Smackdown or has any idea what Punk does when he “saves” people. He reacted to it like it’s some new thing. Way to stay on top of programming, King. Of course nothing happened because the DX music started to play. By the way, if you want to know why WWE is PG, look at the huge Subway plug. They probably couldn’t get Subway as a sponsor if they’re TV14. It’s a money thing, people.

The Miz & Big Show d. DX & Punk/Gallows to win the Unified Tag Titles (**1/2)
They managed to throw in two full commercials before the match really got started. Teddy Long was at ringside to do nothing basically. The action was pretty good with Michaels going nuts on Punk and eliminating that team about 9 minutes in. That was sad to see because I wanted SES to be on both shows. Punk’s a great character and deserves that. Following their elimination, they ended up going to the working on HBK routine. Shawn looked a little off at times, but it wasn’t that bad. It was cool when he was about to do the kip up, but then changed his mind because last week when he did it Orton cradled him for the win. Little things like that make HBK the best. Michaels tagged in HHH, he hit his vintage knees, vintage spinebuster and vintage blah blah blah when HBK tagged himself back in. Hunter was like “what the hell?” and of course that led to Miz rolling Shawn up for the three count. Second straight week where Michaels lost on a rollup. Remember this on March 28 when he’s kicking out of the Tombstone. It’s okay, though. This means Miz gets to the hold the tag titles along with the US Title, so the guy is carrying three belts. Congrats to the Calgary Kid. You’ve come a long way from your mask wearing days. I guess we’ll see Showmiz on Smackdown now too. Good for DX dropping the tag titles they never really wanted or cared about in the first place. They just needed something to do before WrestleMania season.

The WWE NXT show might be a reality type of show in two weeks. Who knows? We’ll find out more soon.

Backstage, Big Show and The Miz celebrated. Show said Miz is a great partner because he treats him as an equal unlike Jericho did. You showed him, big guy. Miz said they’re going to get all the gold. Miz wanted them to be called The Miz-Show, but show said no, Showmiz like Showbiz. Keep in mind I was calling them Showmiz for a couple of weeks now. Not saying I told you so…but I guess I am. Thanks for reading, WWE. To be honest though, combining two names to make one isn’t that hard.

They went over the PPV lineup. Lawler said Rhodes is in the match, not Dibiase. Nice screw up there. The big rumor was Michaels vs. Batista is on the show too, but they didn’t address it at all. Next week, I guess.

They showed HBK watching backstage looking for somebody. Carlito and Alicia Fox were standing there chatting about her wedding planning career (or is that over?) as HBK continued to walk down the hall. Michaels found Teddy Long, saying he wanted to get traded to Smackdown…even though he has church group meetings on Tuesday nights that prevent him from really going. Wait, he didn’t say that part. Long asked him about DX, Shawn said: “I don’t care about DX!” Good for him. Long said he can’t change the Chamber match and he started to choke Long when Hunter the General Manager Avenger (he can avenge anything, people) showed up to say his obsession has gone too far. Shawn looked at him blankly: “My career is over.” He took a step back, then drilled Long with Sweet Chin Music in the hallway and the conveniently placed Alicia screamed in horror. Michaels walked off down the hallway as they tended to Long. This segment was great. Michaels losing his mind is a great story. Loved it.

We learned that Gail Kim vs. Maryse will be at the Elimination Chamber PPV. Good for them. Hopefully there’s a Women’s Title match at the PPV too since the Smackdown ladies are much better.

Gail Kim d. Jillian (SQUASH)
They didn’t even get intros. Gail hit her finisher for the win after about a minute with Maryse at ringside on commentary. She gets MAJOR PROPS for calling Michael Cole a “vintage nerd” again. Maryse spoke in French to Gail. Gail, who is Canadian and thus was required to learn French in school just like me, had no idea what she was saying. Maryse basically said that she smelled like garbage, was worth less than nothing and was a pitiful little girl. Then she shook her hand asking for a competitive match. I have a feeling their match is going to die at the PPV because the crowd is not into this feud.

They officially announced Ted DiBiase as the first inductee in this year’s Hall of Fame. So Koko B. Ware is better than him then? Right. Good for Ted. I loved the video package. That skit where he asked a kid to bounce a ball and he kicked it away at the end was always a classic. I remember seeing that live a few times. Kids were crying. It ruled.

They did a blatant Subway plug backstage with Edwards and Jared talking along with Santino sporting his Cobra shirt. This was all about plugging the $5 footlongs. Kofi showed up, suggested that Edwards book matches between the EC guys for next week and then they mentioned next week’s guest host is Jerry Springer. They showed clips of the Springer show. That show’s still on? That’s nice. Haven’t watched it since I became an adult. It was fun as a teen. Then they came back to the Subway dudes except the audience was all screwed up. This wasn’t a very good or funny segment. Can’t win ’em all.

Cody Rhodes d. Randy Orton (*1/4)
Yes, you read that right. Rhodes beat Orton in three minutes. Sheamus came in, distracted Orton and Cody won with the Rhodes Cross. Lawler hinted that maybe Rhodes was on Sheamus’ side in this whole thing. Post match, Sheamus gave the bicycle kick to KNOCK THE FUCK OUT~! out of Orton. Is this leading to an Orton face turn? Could happen. I’d rather he stay heel, though. I’m glad that it’s not obvious. I’m interested to see where it’s headed.

Hey, another video package showing Batista beating up Cena last week. You would think that this would mean Cena would be limping in the main event, right? Right? Um, no.

Backstage, Carl Edwards books three matches for next week. So what’s Springer going to do? Cause mayhem, I guess. The matches for next week are: Sheamus vs. Orton, Kingston vs. Dibiase and HHH vs. Cena. In other words, one match we saw at the Rumble, one match featuring two guys that have no chance to win the Chamber and one match between two guys that have wrestled a lot. I’m fine with promoting matches a week in advance. Nothing wrong with that.

The Cena/Dibiase match never happened. Cena simply came out and beat the shit out of Dibiase, putting him into the STF on the floor where Ted tapped out like a little bitch. Officials came out to tend to him. I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that Cena showed no ill effects from taking a powerbomb onto the ring steps last week. Can’t he limp at least a little or is SuperCena strong like bull all the time? Cena SMASH! I guess so.

Main Event Promo with Cena/Vince/Bret
Cena called out Batista saying he doesn’t care why he did what he did, but that he wants to fight. He said he’s not leaving until Batista shows up. Commercial time. We came back with Cena realizing that Vince put Batista up to the attack (the same attack that caused no pain to Cena) and that if Batista’s not going to come out then he wants to talk to Vince. Cue Crazy Vince with the strut. He had security with him. Cena said he would need a tank next time. Vince got in the ring, said he’s not scared of Cena and that he’s the alpha male. Vince cut a heel promo on Cena, saying he didn’t like him and that Batista probably doesn’t like him either…which is why he attacked him. Cena then cut his usual speech about not doing it for the money, but for the love and then busted out a Saints reference to get the cheap pop. Smart man. He said he talked to Bret last week and Bret told him he thinks he has one more match left him in. Cena went into his hype man routine, trying to get Vince to agree to the match. He goaded Vince into it leading Vince to say “YES! YES! YES!” to the match with Hart. Cena left saying Vince has one more person to tell.

Vince decided to throw up the video package from last week AGAIN saying that Bret was in Calgary watching the show. As the video stopped, right on cue was Bret Hart coming through the crowd. Great pop from the audience. The brawl with Vince looked a lot better this week, which was great to see. Bret came in there with lots of energy. The useless security tried to separate them, Bret knocked them down and Vince fled. When he got to the top of the ramp, Vince said there will be no WrestleMania match because Bret deserves to be screwed. With Vince out of the picture, Bret destroyed some of his stuff at the fireworks area and then at ringside. He didn’t talk. It was a re-incarnation of what happened in Montreal when he destroyed TV monitors. The show ended with Hart standing in-ring under the WM26 logo.

I liked the ending segment. Cena’s promo was really good. Vince was great, looking like 1998 Vince out there with all that energy. It’s fun when he heels it up with a good storyline to run with. I thought Bret’s attack was much better than last week. Very good segment to end the show. Obviously Bret vs. Vince is going to happen at Mania, but they decided to throw another twist on the story.

Three Stars of the Show
1. Shawn Michaels – He always seems to turn it up as we get closer to WrestleMania. This year is no exception.
2. John Cena – Such a good performer when he doesn’t have to bust out his Sesame Street style promos that I hate so much. Would be nice if he could sell an injury, though.
3. Christian – Finally he’s on one of the shows that matters. I hope he picks Smackdown, though.

7.5 out of 10
Last week: 7.5

I tip my hat (if I was wearing one) to WWE. This is third straight Raw I enjoyed and the second one in a row that I thought was very good. If you’ve been reading my work for a while now you know how much I hated the shows we got through December and most of January. They seemed to have no direction or focus. Now, with WrestleMania lurking they know the stories they want to tell. You could tell the writing is a lot more detailed and more sensible than some of the drivel we usually get.

The other thing I like? The guest hosts are a part of the show, but not the main focus. This is key. Too often they booked Raw so that the guest host came off as the biggest star. Not the last three weeks. They’re using the guest hosts a lot wiser. The result? Better shows. I’m absolutely fine with guest hosts going forward if they are used this way.

No KOOL-AID Mark Henry this week. I was wondering if we could get our thirst quenched. I guess not.

No John Report signs this week, but I’m told there will be on Smackdown. Look out for that.

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If you’re looking for Commentfest it is RIGHT HERE posted at 7:30pmET Tuesday.

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Plug time.

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