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TV REPORTS
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 8/3: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Jeremy Piven hosting Raw

Aug 3, 2009 - 10:10:01 PM
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WWE Raw Live Report
August 3, 2009
Live from Mohegan Sun, Conn.
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor


The WWE show started with co-hosts Jeremy Piven and Dr. Ken Jeong coming to the ring. Dr. Ken was in a Godfather-esque pimp suit, which prompted all sorts of attempted humor to start the show. Videotron had "The Goods" on California license plate to promote Piven's movie coming out. After Piven and Dr. Ken tried to warm up the audience, The Miz's music interrupted. He asked Piven if he's having a good time making a mockery of the show. Miz said he's an acclaimed TV star, which prompted Dr. Ken to throw himself on the mat in hysterical mock laughter. Piven with another plug for "The Goods." Miz got to business after Dr. Ken tried to cut him off mid-word like a five-year-old and said he wants John Cena tonight. Miz said Cena got lucky in their previous matches.

John Cena's music interrupted and Cena hit the ring to welcome Piven and the Doc to the show. He suggested he had a rash that Dr. Ken had the script for. I don't believe Dr. Ken is an approved doctor from WWE's Wellness Policy. Cena said WWE fans have already seen him beat Miz, so it's old news. And it was pretty easy. Cena, with his back to Miz, said it needs to be special if they're going with Cena vs. Miz. More plugs for Piven's movie. He said Piven just got stuck with a beat-up old Ford Pinto. Crowd dead for this. Cena told Piven to make this - Cena vs. Miz - somewhat interesting.

Cena entered over-dramatic sales pitching mode with more shame plugs for the movie before telling Piven to make it happen. Piven tried to get his lines right setting this up. He booked a lumberjack match for tonight. He also said if Miz loses tonight, then he's banned from "Summer Fest." LOL. Cena stepped in and corrected him that Miz is banned from Summerslam if he loses. He added Miz is banned from Staples Center forever if he loses. He then added that Miz is also banned from WWE Raw for all eternity if he loses. Miz, indignant, bailed from the ring as Cena celebrated with Piven and the Doc. Lame opening segment, but sets up an intriguing Miz vs. Cena match for tonight. PYB (3) talk time: 11:05..

[Commercial Break. First commercial - The Goods. So shocking.]

[Q2]

Video replay: Evan Bourne beat Jack Swagger on last week's Raw to prevent Swagger from "beating the clock."

In-ring: Evan Bourne came to the ring for our opening match. Another change to his ring entrance music. Bourne also changed his ring intro. Instead of running right to the ring, he stood on stage and saluted the crowd before slapping hands on the way to the ring. Jack Swagger then came out as the opposition. Swagger was without smile. Not too happy. He managed to get in some push-ups anyways. This match should have been built-up pre-match. Younger stars aren't become top-tier stars because WWE doesn't take the time to make them seem like big deals with pre-match build.

1 -- EVAN BOURNE vs. JACK SWAGGER

Bourne used his quickness to avoid Swagger's power offense early on, but Swagger blocked a standing moonsault with knees to the gut. He then followed up with a gut wrench powerbomb for the decisive pin and the win. After the match, Swagger delivered two running Vader Bombs out of the corner. He was going to give Bourne another gutwrench, but MVP hit the ring in street clothes to clear out Swagger. MVP stood over Bourne as Swagger quietly left the ring confident in his work tonight.

WINNER: Swagger at 2:10. Pretty much a wash after last week. Just doesn't make any sense. Bourne with an upset last week, now a chump this week. Swagger a chump last week, now a big bully this week. Self-defeating booking. And with no pre-match build for a second "Raw dream match" between Bourne and Swagger, the program doesn't have any steam. Incompetent booking. (*)

[Commercial Break. The first 7-Eleven commercial spot aired for the Summerslam-themed cups.]

[Q3]

Video recap: They aired the Raw Rebound video package on Shaq hosting Raw last week, including ESPN's coverage. ... Announcers: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler talked giddily like school girls about the Shaq appearance and mainstream coverage. Ugh. They threw it to a poll on who would win between Shaq and Show in a match.

Backstage: Jeremy Piven was on the couch with some divas, then Dr. Ken interrupted. Piven suggested booking Dr. Ken against Big Show tonight. Ken did some lame voices, then Big Show bumped him from behind. Big Show said he's frustrated and he wants Shaq back here tonight. Piven said they were discussing Show is slightly puffy and husky, but definitely not Fat Show. Show, agitated, suggested he faces Piven tonight so they can draw some ratings and YouTube hits. Lame. Piven calmed him down and booked a U.S. Title match against Kofi Kingston. Show rubbed his goatee in thought and liked the sound of that. He walked off, then Piven walked off, leaving the doctor. He did some more annoying voices, then the camera zoomed in on some more cheap plugs for The Goods. I can't remember the last time I felt more annoyed by the start of a Raw episode.

In-ring: Divas champ Mickie James and Gail Ken came to the ring for a tag match.

[Commercial Break]

Goods plug: Cole plugged The Goods even more. They went to a clip from the movie, then cut to the ring where Mickie and Gail were pretending to laugh at the clip. I don't even feel like I'm watching a wrestling show right now. Awkward pause for Mickie and Gail still in the ring waiting for their opponents while acting chummy. Beth Phoenix and Jillian Hall then came to the ring.

2 -- Divas champion MICKIE JAMES & GAIL KIM vs. JILLIAN HALL & BETH PHOENIX

Gail started things off, but Mickie quickly tagged in and took a beating from Beth. Beth and Jillian worked Mickie over for a while, then Mickie escaped with a head scissors and hot-tagged Gail. Beth then blind-sided Gail after taking a tag that Gail didn't see. Beth then delivered the double chickenwing facebuster on Gail and scored a pin for the win as Mickie was apparently occupied elsewhere.

WINNERS: Beth & Jillian at 3:25. Just a re-building effort for Beth after being off TV for a while. They didn't tease any dissension between Gail and Mickie after they seemed to be going there last week. (*)

[Q4]

Raw recap: They showed Ted DiBiase costing Triple H his match against Cody Rhodes in the "Beat the Clock" challenge last week. Now, Hunter is looking for revenge. ... They cut to a shot of Hunter walking down the hallway in preparation for his handicap match. He didn't look particularly happy.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, Jr. slowly came out to the ring for the handicap match. Triple H then came out and did his full ring intro to give Cole plenty of time to talk up Hunter. Just got a text from my fiance that "The Marine" is currently airing on FX. So, if you're looking for some alternative programming, John Cena's first movie attempt is on. Just throwing it out there.

3 -- TRIPLE H vs. CODY RHODES & TED DIBIASE, JR. -- handicap match

Match started with Cody and Hunter going at it with Hunter taking the upperhand. DiBiase tagged in, nearly took the Pedigree, then was clotheslined over the top rope to the floor. On cue, DiBiase took a clothesline to the floor. Imagine that, Hunter standing tall going to break. This has been such a bad show thus far that I'm not in the mood for SuperHunter tonight.

[Commercial Break]

Cody had Hunter in a headlock coming out of the break. During the break, DiBiase slingshot Hunter across the top rope to get the advantage for Legacy. Cody and Ted continued to work over Hunter heading into the second hour.

[Q5 -- second hour]

Cody attempted a top rope moonsault at 8:30, but Hunter rolled out of the way and Cody ate the mat. Cody tried to make a tag to DiBiase, but Hunter reached his feet and smashed DiBiase off the apron. Hunter then ran DiBiase into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Hunter with a "vintage" high knee on Rhodes. He landed a facebuster across the knee before running Rhodes into DiBiase off the ropes. Hunter with the Double A spinebuster, then he measured Rhodes for the Pedigree. Suddenly, DiBiase snuck in the back door and hit the Dream Street finisher. All three men were down in the ring. Rhodes then made the cover, but Hunter kicked out at two. Cody sold shock over the pin escape. He then hit the Cross Rhodes spinning facebuster in center ring. (I didn't even realize Cody had a finisher since he never wins matches.) Rhodes with the pin and...the win. Wow, Hunter didn't kick out.

WINNERS: DiBiase & Rhodes at 11:13. It was quite shocking to see Legacy win this clean, but the post-match set-up for Shawn Michaels to return made sense of this so people will actually pay money to see the probable Hunter & HBK vs. Legacy match at Summerslam with Legacy having the slightest edge on Hunter in the TV build-up. Match itself was good with the crowd hot for the nearfalls and Hunter in jeopardy. (**)

Post-match: Legacy confidently left the ring, then Hunter took the mic in the ring. "Owww. Owww." Hunter said this didn't go as planned. He said either these guys are that good (boos from the crowd) or maybe they're that tough (more boos). Hunter said he used to be pretty good at this gang warfare thing, but maybe he should star a new group or even bring one back. Maybe he should bring back Evolution. Naw. "Randy's a jerk, Batista is hurt all the time, and Flair's signing autographs at VFW halls," he said. He said maybe he make just one phone call. Crowd popped for that. Maybe he makes one phone call and if you're not down with that, he's got two words for ya. Crowd filled in the blank. Hunter left it at that, then his music hit. "One phone call?!" Lawler said.

[Commercial Break]

SD plug: World Hvt. champion Jeff Hardy vs. C.M. Punk for the World Title.

The Goods plug: More clips from Piven's movie. ... They cut backstage to show Piven and Dr. Ken watching the clip with nondescript divas. Chavo Guerrero then walked in and tried to sell "in awe" of being in Piven's presence. He botched Piven's movie career, so Piven botched Hornswoggle and Chavo's names - Horngobbler and Charlie. Piven then booked a singles match between Chavo and Hornswoggle with no gimmicks or silliness. Chavo thanked him, then turned to Dr. Ken and said, "Hey, you're the guy from Heroes!"

[Q6]

In-ring: Carlito was on his way to the ring looking very depressed with his head hung low and his wild curly hair hanging over his eyes. Are they doing a Zoloft promotion for Carlito? After they showed clips of Carlito and Primo splitting up, Primo then came out to face his brother. They're doing the singles match brother vs. brother without any pre-match hype? Why don't they just give away a PPV on free TV?

4 -- PRIMO COLON vs. CARLITO COLON

Match spilled to the outside early on and Primo landed a plancha splash. Lawler said their father, Carlos Colon, is probably torn about his sons facing each other. Carlito kicked out of Primo's attempted finisher, then Carlito nailed the backstabber for the decisive pin and the win.

WINNER: Carlito at 2:58. They have the big brother vs. brother match after the split and they give them three minutes to have a match the audience didn't care about because there wasn't any pre-match hype or reason to care about the issues that WWE hasn't established? More inane booking. Primo didn't benefit from this at all. (*)

[Commercial Break]

ECW plug: Tomorrow night on the show, ECW champ Christian vs. former champ Tommy Dreamer in an Extreme Rules match for the ECW Title.

In-ring: Chavo Guerrero was on his way to the ring. Announcers played up Hornswoggle in jeopardy tonight. After a recap of the past few weeks where Hornswoggle used special stips to one-up Chavo, there was a pause without any sign of Hornswoggle. Piven and Dr. Ken then showed up on the screen and said Hornswoggle had a case of adult chicken pox, so he's off the show. Instead, they got a replacement: Mark Swoggle. They did a tongue-in-cheek double thumbs up. Mark Henry's music hit to a loud pop, then Henry came to the ring with a green derby resting on his head. Henry in a bright red outfit tonight.

5 -- CHAVO GUERRERO vs. MARK "SWOGGLE" HENRY

Henry played around early, then Chavo irritated Henry by trying to land offense, so Henry chased him to the outside. Henry then scooped up Chavo and teased the World's Strongest Slam all across the arena. He finally delivered the move, then scored the pin for the easy win.

Post-match: Henry went under the ring and looked for Hornswoggle, who popped out from under the ring to another big reaction. Hornswoggle then ran a circle around Henry before Henry threw him on the ring apron to approach Chavo. Henry then dragged Chavo's body to the corner and told Horny to go up top. Horny milked his finisher, then hit the tadpole splash for the pin and the win. Afterward, Henry and Hornswoggle tried to dance together. More fun for the kids and families leading to Henry doing the heel-to-toe kick. As expected, Cole laughed it up.

WINNER: Henry at 1:07. At least this keeps Chavo employed with a paycheck coming on a regular basis. These extended family hour segments should be reserved for the house shows, not taking up TV time when WWE can't build up any stars because they throw out matches like Swagger-Bourne and Colon-Colon without any hype. (n/a)

Backstage: They showed Kofi Kingston and Big Show on a split-screen walking to the ring in preparation for the U.S. Title match. Show had tag title gold on both shoulders.

[Q7]

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Piven and Dr. Ken were talking, then WWE champion Randy Orton walked in. Piven said they want Orton to be special ring announcer for the "John Cena match" match. Orton told Piven that he doesn't care about him. "I don't care about your movie," Orton added. Piven got in several plugs for the movie, then Orton slapped the pacifier out of Dr. Ken's mouth. Orton then scared the funny out of both men and stormed off, leaving Piven and Ken to talk quietly about something they were plotting.

In-ring: U.S. champion Kofi Kingston came to the ring for his title defense. The re-mix of Big Show and Chris Jericho's theme music hit, leading to Jericho leading Show out to the ring. Jericho, in his suit, even received the "Andre camera shot" to make him look larger-than-life accompanying Show to the ring. Cole and Lawler then went to the Shaq vs. Show poll with Shaq winning by 83 percent on who would win a fight. Jericho on commentary for Show vs. Kofi. Sweet. He instantly ripped the audience for the poll results.

6 -- U.S. champion KOFI KINGSTON vs. Unified tag champion BIG SHOW -- U.S. Title match

Show beat up Kofi all around the ring early on as Jericho hyped his tag team and himself. Jericho got tongue-tied trying to say he was the most-trending topic on Twitter yesterday. Talking takes its toll on the tongue. Torch Talk with Tom Tom. Anyways, Show had a pin on Kofi, but Kofi put his foot on the bottom rope to escape a pin. Jericho ripped Lawler for not having any WWE titles to his name to hype how many titles Show and Jericho have between them. Show wanted the Vader Bomb, but Kofi kicked Show in the back of the leg to knock Show down. He then smashed Show with the Trouble in Paradise buzzsaw kick. Kofi didn't make a cover, but opted to hit a top rope Boom Boom leg drop. Kofi with the pin, but Show bench-pressed Kofi out of the pin. Show suddenly speared Kofi in mid-ring to cut him off. Show then punched Kofi several times in the corner. Ref reached a five count after they foreshadowed a near-DQ earlier in the match. Show was DQ'ed, but he went back to beating up Kofi. Jericho entered the ring to trash-talk Kofi, who tried to catch his breath. Show then posed over Jericho, who smugly looked into the audience to close the segment.

WINNER: Kofi via DQ at 5:08. Good segment thanks to Jericho on commentary and the conflict between whether Show would win the title vs. how he would get DQ'ed or counted out so Kofi would keep the title. There was no way Kofi was winning this match via pin or submission, so the "angst in the arena" was Show winning or Kofi escaping. Not sure where this leads to, but something needs to be built-up for Kofi (if he's even going to be on the PPV) with only two more weeks of Raw remaining before Summerslam and Show/Jericho in a tag title match. (*1/4)

[Q8]

[Commercial Break]

Video replay: They showed Cody and Ted defeating Triple H in the handicap match before replaying Hunter's comments about making "one phone call" to reform a group.

Backstage: Triple H had a landline phone in his locker room to make that one phone call with the tease of Shawn Michaels. He had a proposition about work. He told the person that "never coming back" never meant anything before. Hunter asked him if he's watching the show. "You're not watching? You're at what? You've got what? I thought you didn't do jobs." Hunter paused with self-satisfaction getting that line in. Crowd didn't get it, though. Hunter said he needs him and he needs to know one thing... "Are you ready?" Phone line went dead. "Sonofa-" Hunter said. He looked down at the ground in deep thought wondering if his "one phone call" wasn't going to come through.

The Goods plug: More clips from the movie. Ed Helms had some TV time even if he wasn't the live co-host with Piven.

In-ring: John Cena came to the ring for the main event. Lumberjacks apparently out second. More "got the goods" one-liners from Cole and Lawler. Ugh. They cut to break with Cena playing to the crowd.

[Commercial Break]

Next week: Sgt. Slaughter is the special guest host. Well, if DX comes back next week, it would be appropriate after all those DX-Slaughter segments in the Monday Night Wars.

In-ring: Miz entered the ring during the commercial break to square off against Cena. Piven and Dr. Ken were on the stage. Piven said he's really excited about this match, but he's a big fan of Randy Orton. Dr. Ken dropped the pimp jacket to reveal an Orton t-shirt. Piven and Dr. Ken apparently turned heel and Ken went overboard doing the "shut up, fatboy" routine on the fans ringside. Piven said he hand-selected each lumberjack, leading to WWE champion Randy Orton, Legacy, Chris Masters, Carlito, Swagger, and Chavo coming out as the jacks. Deck stacked against Cena. Miz's WWE Raw career on the line.

[Q9 -- over-run]

7 -- JOHN CENA vs. THE MIZ -- Lumberjack match

Cena dumped Miz to the outside early on, then Chavo and Dr. Ken checked on Miz before helping him back up to his feet. Miz, fully recovered, slid into the ring, but Cena cut him off. The heel jacks then distracted Cena allowing Miz to bump Cena to the outside. Masters slapped on the Masterlock and Cena sold breaking free, but Masters re-locked the hold and KO'ed Cena. Jacks then rolled Cena into the ring and Miz made a cover, but Cena grabbed the bottom rope. Miz then covered Cena center-ring, but Cena kicked out. Cena made a comeback, but Orton pulled Cena to the floor and the heel jacks stomped and pounded and kicked away on Cena. Legacy then rolled Cena into the ring and Dr. Ken handed Miz his pimp cane. Cena ducked the shot, though, and scooped up Miz for the FU. Just like that. Cena made the cover for the win.

WINNER: Cena at 5:10. Well, there goes Miz just like that. Three things come to mind: he's moving to a different brand, Wellness, or WWE gave up on him for some inane reason, which would be consistent with the inane booking on this show. SuperCena wins again. (*)

Post-match: Announcers didn't bother to mention this being Miz's apparent last night on Raw since he lost. Either they're "erasing" the stip next week, building an angle of Miz begging for his job back, or they just didn't care. Cena cleared off the heels who tried to storm him post-match. Piven then hopped on the top rope and tried a splash on Cena, but Cena caught him in mid-air and used him as a battering ram to fend off the heel jacks. Ken tried a pimp cane shot on Cena, but Cena easily no-sold. Ken then begged off and tried to get back on Cena's side. Cena smiled and asked the crowd what he should do. Ken begged off. They have a Cena vs. Orton PPV title match to hype at Summerslam and they're building up a program between Cena and Ken. Wonderful.

Cena milked a handshake and Ken celebrated before Cena gorilla press slammed Ken onto the mid-card heels on the floor including Swagger, Carlito, and Masters. I can't believe Swagger has been reduced to a mid-card Raw heel. What a sad day. They closed with back-and-forth camera shots of Cena and Orton staring at each other from the ring and stage, respectively. After they replayed Piven and Ken acting like fools, they finished with another back-and-forth shot between Cena and Orton. Cena smiled to the camera and the crowd to close the show nine minutes past the top of the hour.

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, email to pwtorch@gmail.com using our Feedback form.


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