WWE Raw Report KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT 10/3: Follow up to Hell in a Cell PPV, announcers talk of "strange vibe" all day
Oct 3, 2011 - 11:06:16 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 3, 2011
LIVE ON USA NETWORK
-The show opened with a recap of key happenings at Hell in a Cell. The announcers introduced the show and talked a lot about what a "strange vibe" there was backstage, playing off of word they sent out via Twitter earlier in the day.
1 -- RANDY ORTON vs. DREW MCINTYRE
This is odd. Going right to a match. Ross said: "Timing is everything in sports entertainment." Ross, using the awkward, stupid, ill-conceived term "sports entertainment" in that context, just doesn't sound right.
WINNER: Orton in 4:00.
-Afterward Orton gave McIntyre an extra RKO. Mark Henry walked out and taunted Orton by raising the World Title belt above his head. Orton charged at Orton and they brawled briefly. Security and John Laurinaitis came out to try to restore Orton. Henry broke free by tossing aside five security guards. He went back after Orton and nailed him with a forearm. Security again pried them apart. Ross asked, "How do you control the strongest man in the world?" Once they were separated, Orton broke free this time and dove at Henry and pounded him.
(WK Reax: This match and segment totally makes booking sense and was a great way to start the show. It breaks up the talk-fest that usually opens the show, but more importantly it gives Orton a chance to get a strong win over a mid-carder after losing his World Title match the night before. It gives Orton fans a chance to see how he reacted to the loss, and that he was able to bounce back from it. By delivering a second RKO after the match, it also shows he's got more of an edge than he did before, letting out his anger on his opponent. The only thing missing, though, was a babyface announcer saying Orton shouldn't be attacking his opponent after the match. McIntyre didn't do anything to deserve that, and if Ross for instance criticized Orton for that, it would actually accentuate that he is really upset with what happened last night and a little out of control as a result. Then the post-match brawl reignited the intensity of the feud after Henry's decisive win the night before. It's a segment that makes fans - if there was any chance at all - of wanting to see a rematch. It's tough to follow up a Hell in a Cell match as that should in theory be the blow-off to a feud, but due to the hard-scheduling now of matches like HIAC, WWE has positioned themselves to do this stuff out of order.) [c]
-They showed Ross, Booker, and Cole at ringside reacting to the previous segment. Henry was still pacing at ringside as his music played. They threw to a video package on Henry. The announcers then plugged that The Big Show returns to Smackdown on Friday.
(WK Reax: Henry's main event heel push is turning into one of the unlikeliest big stories of the year, and one of the most pleasant surprises because there's no confusing, half-baked "shoot-work" nonsense, no catering to "Internet smart marks," no undercurrents about backstage executives fighting over power. It's just a heel being a badass and being positioned as unbeatable. It's good to see a plug for Smackdown during Raw. It'd be nice if they did this every week because these 2.0 level ratings on SyFy are impressive and with more plugs on Raw, they could perhaps build to 2.5 in the next several months. It takes some of the sting away from Raw ratings sagging lately. November's return of The Rock to central storylines headed into Survivor Series should spark ratings for Raw, and they use that to cross-promote Smackdown like they never have before.)
2 -- MARK HENRY vs. JOHN MORRISON
Morrison looked like he felt he had no chance to win this one. Henry didn't sell any of Morrison's flurry of punches at the start, then beat him up in the corner. Morrison flipped out of a Henry press attempt, then nailed him with kicks and a flying knee. Morrison then landed Starship Pain. The announcers hard-sold the idea that Morrison might be on the verge of a huge upset. Henry powered out at two, then nailed Morrison with a boot to the face. Morrison flinched and bumped a little early, so the move showed some light. There will be some groans backstage over that. Henry then powerslammed Morrison and scored the decisive win.
WINNER: Henry in 3:00.
-Henry gave Morrison a powerslam afterward. While the announcers mum when Orton gave a second RKO to McIntyre, Booker spoke up and criticized him. Cole called out Booker and pointed out Orton did the same thing. Booker offered up, "That was different." He didn't explain how.
(WK Reax: The heel announcers should not be showing up the babyfaces announcers, but unfortunately Booker makes so little sense that he offers up these softballs and Cole is right to call him on his stupidity. Ideally, the babyface announcers would be sharper and more credible and not give Cole this type of opening.)
-Afterward Henry said he's done with Orton. He said he heard Friday on Smackdown that somebody is looking for him. "Well, I'm not hard to find," he said. He said when this person shows up it will be the shortest return in WWE history because he's going back on the shelf, referring to Big Show without mentioning his name.
(WK Reax: Henry is making me believe he could beat Cain Velasquez. Of course, I know better, but in the context of the WWE Universe, he comes across as a bad enough dude that he could beat the UFC Heavyweight Champ. Heck, his character is built in a way that indicates he'd just brush off that Anderson Silva front thrust kick that KO'd Vitor Belfort.)
-The announcers hyped the big tag team main event match: John Cena & Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston & C.M. Punk & Sheamus & Mason Ryan vs. Alberto Del Rio & Cody Rhodes & Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger & Christian & David Otunga.
-Laurinaitis confronted the heels backstage in the 12-man tag later. He told Otunga that Triple H wants to know if he had anything to do with the lawsuit Miz and R-Truth filed this morning. Otunga said it's not his business. He wanted to know what Triple H is going to do about his legitimate grievances. Laurinaitis said he's going to check with Triple H. Vickie Guerrero said they're going to go present their case to the public. Cole said, "This will be interesting." [c]
-The group of heels scheduled for the 12-man tag match later gathered in the ring. Del Rio was last to walk out and his ring entrance aired. Del Rio talked about the conspiracy against him last night allowing the hooligans to enter the ring and attack him, after which the Cell was lowered. He said only one man had the power to make that decision, and that was Triple H. He said it showed what kind of animal he is. The crowd chanted "You suck!" at Del Rio, even though he has quite the point. Christian said Triple H is the COO of WWE, and ever since he's done that, Raw has become an unsafe place to work. He said he's not going to take it anymore. Cody complained, then Ziggler complained, then Swagger complained, Vickie complained (saying as a woman she feels especially vulnerable), and then Otunga complained. Otunga explained that they have a choice - keep working and risk their livelihood or band together and contemplate legal action. Triple H's music interrupted. Well, actually Otunga appeared to pause waiting for the music.
Triple H stood on the stage and asked, "What happened to this place? What happened to the WWE? There used to be a time where men stood in that ring and fought. Men. It didn't matter if they got beat up or jumped or screwed over, they picked themselves up and they fought. They didn't stand there and whine and cry like a punch of little kids. They didn't threaten lawsuits. They fought like men." He said he doesn't care about Miz and Truth's lawsuit. He said what he cares about is their match later. He said they should do what all of the fans pay them to do, and that is shut up and fight.
-A clip aired of Miz and Truth running into the Cell at the end of the PPV lawsuit night. Cole said they apologized on Twitter and YouTube earlier and they'd show their apology later. [c]
3 -- NATALYA & "GLAMAZON" BETH PHOENIX vs. KELLY KELLY & EVE
Kelly was sulking over losing the WWE Title. We could tell because she wore a sulky facial expression that didn't change for the entire ring entrance of Phoenix & Natayla. Phoenix tossed Kelly to the floor at the start of the match. Kelly attacked Phoenix viciously at ringside, throwing her into the announce table and screaming wildly as she continued the attack. The ref called for the bell. Eve and the ref had to pull her off of Phoenix. For some reason they played Kelly's music as she continued to scream.
WINNER: No decision announced.
-Laurinaitis walked in on Triple H talking on his cell phone. Triple H asked, "Can you knock?" Laurinaitis apologized and said he knows he blames him for what happened at the end of the PPV. He said he thinks he is owed an apology back. He said Triple H knocked him down last night as he was going after Miz and Truth, and now the locker room is in an uproar. Laurinaitis said he needs to ask them how they feel he's doing at his job. He said he needs to look "each and every talent in the eyes" and ask them how they feel about his leadership. Triple H grabbed Laurinaitis's tie and said he's afraid of one thing, that the guy who is working side by side with him is working against him or else he's incompetent. He told Laurinaitis that he will look everyone in the eye, but he told Laurinaitis to be there, too.
-Cole threw to a trailer of "Fast Five" starring The Rock which just came out on DVD. Boy was that clip awful. "Woman, there ain't nothing' standard about me." Really?
-Jinder Mahal stood in the ring and talked in his native language. Santino made his return to TV (bye bye Zach Ryder). Santino sounded like he was talking nonsense, and Jinder reacted with anger yelling back at him.
4 -- SANTINO MARELLA vs. JINDER MAHAL
Mahal opened with a kick and a few knees to Santino's gut. Santino avoided a charge in the corner, then hit the Cobra for the win. Mahal kicked out just after three and then immediately threw a fit and protested. Cole said, "That Cobra is so stupid." Ross wondered if Santino can get a winning streak going.
WINNER: Santino in 0:30.
(WK Reax: What was that? I know WWE has already lost enthusiasm for Mahal for a variety of reasons, but that's a credibility killer.)
-Ross tried to transition out of that slapstick nonsense (I'd call it "comedy relief" if it relieved anything, but it undercut everything else without helping anything) by saying, "On a much more serious note…" and then plugged Triple H's "Vote of Confidence" segment coming up later. Booker plugged the 12-man tag main event. [c]
-A commercial aired plugged Smackdown hyping that there would be follow up to Orton vs. Henry. No specific hook.
-A vignette aired on the return of Brodus Clay.
-The announcers threw to the angle at the close of last night's PPV with Miz and Truth beating up Cena, Del Rio, and Punk as a bunch of wrestlers and police officers tried to break into the cage. This included Ross's stellar announcing escalating the sense of chaos and carnage.
-The PPV highlights carried over for a couple minutes into the start of hour two when Raw has one of its peak viewership periods. They showed a wide shot that included some footage that took place after the PPV sign-off last night, which was a nice touch to make it seem like what was happening wasn't "just for the cameras" live on PPV.
-YouTube footage aired of Miz and Truth issuing an apology. Truth said they are speaking as "Mike and Ronnie," not Miz and R-Truth. Miz said all they wanted was to have their jobs back. He said they surrendered immediately to the officers once they realized they had made their statement. He said the statement they made was what Triple H would have done had he been in their position. Then they took exception to Triple H, the COO, attacking them after surrendering. Miz said their attorney's have advised them to file wrongful termination lawsuits against WWE, plus assault charges against Triple H. Miz apologized to the WWE Universe, then added: "We are sorry the COO is a sorry excuse for a leader. That is basically it."
-Cole said Triple H's pig-headedness has led to lawsuits.
-C.M. Punk made his ring entrance to begin many ring entrances for the 12 man tag match. Then Cena's ring entrance took place. They cut to a break. [c]
5 -- JOHN CENA & C.M. PUNK & KOFI KINGSTON & EVAN BOURNE & MASON RYAN & SHEAMUS vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO & DOLPH ZIGGLER & JACK SWAGGER & CHRISTIAN & CODY RHODES & DAVID OTUNGA (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Cena opened against Christian with a flurry of offense, then Otunga. A minute in Mason pressed and tossed Ziggler over the top rope to the floor onto Swagger. Back in the ring Mason powerslammed Ziggler. Booker said he's never seen a powerslam like that before. Sheamus tagged in against Swagger next. They cut to a break at 4:00.
The match continued after the break with the heels beating up Kingston. Cole explained to viewers what a "Vote of Confidence" is. He said it's non-binding, but getting a "Vote of Confidence" helps him lead the locker room. Without that, things may break down more leading to him appointing someone new or someone new being appointed. Bourne landed his Air Bourne on Swagger at 14:00, but Vickie put Swagger's foot on the bottom rope. The ref ordered Vickie to the back. She protested and screamed and crossed her arms and then eventually left, screaming the whole way that it's not fair. They cut to another break. [c]
Cole said it's a good thing Triple H has an acting career because he may need it after tonight's "Vote of Confidence" meeting. The heels isolated Bourne for several minutes.
Cena finally hot-tagged in at 20:00 and went to work against Del Rio. A battle chant ("Let's Go Cena" / "Cena sucks!") as the heels took turns beating up Cena. At 23:00 Cena hot-tagged in Sheamus who went to work on Ziggler who took great bumps. Sheamus fought off Christian's interference attempt, but Del Rio shoved him off the top rope. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag for just one a count. It's not often a wrestler kicks out of another wrestler's signature move at the one count. Chaos ensued including Punk giving Del Rio his Go To Sleep and then Cena giving Otunga the Attitude Adjustment. Ziggler gave a Zig Zag to Cena, but Sheamus blindsided Zigger with a Brogue Kick for the win. Sheamus and Ziggler were the legal two in the ring.
WINNER: Sheamus's Team in 25:00.
(WK Reax: This was a good way to fill half of the second hour and get a ton of wrestlers on TV mixing with each other. The pace of the match was fine, following a typical formula of a longer tag match like this with a few babyfaces taking turns taking long beatdowns before hot-tags. The chaos at the end led to a nice climax. This seemed, in the end, designed to give Sheamus a big moment in the spotlight. Punk and Cena had their moments and Mason got a few key spots early to put over his strength, but in the end this was more of a boost to Sheamus.) [c]
-More hype for Big Show's return to Smackdown. A commercial hyped it, then the announcers reacted to it. This is making Show seem like a star by making such a big deal of his return.
-The locker room emptied including wrestling you don't see much of on Raw or Smackdown such as Primo and Tyler Reks and some NXT guys. The Raw wrestlers walked out to the Raw theme. The Smackdown wrestlers walked out to the SD theme. The Divas also all walked out to Phoenix's theme (since she's the champ, I assume). Then the referees walked out without any intro music. Booker said this is the first time anything like this has ever happened in this business. Ross said Triple H is in a thankless position. Jerry Lawler also made a surprise return, walking out to his entrance music with his crown in hand.
-The ring was completely surrounded. Generic music played for the crowd during the break. That stopped and there was awkward silence, then Triple H's intro music played. Cole said things could change drastically based on what was about to happen here. There's 12 minutes to go in the second hour when he stepped into the ring. It's hard to imagine, despite the build up for this as being something monumental, that this will fill 12-plus minutes in a way that keeps all types of viewers interested enough to stick around.
Triple H said, "Okay, we're out here to get a vote of confidence." He said all of them would have a chance to tell him how he's doing running Raw. He said the job has proven to be more difficult than he thought it'd be. He said it wasn't a job he asked for, it was a job he was given. He said Miz and Truth want to say he's a hypocrite, but he's not upset at them for what they did so much as complaining about the punishment. He told them to stop whining. He said he's old school in that he enjoys people beating the hell out of each other, he enjoys confrontation, he enjoys the chaos that is Monday Night Raw and the WWE. He said he'd bet his life that the WWE Universe enjoys that also. He said at the end of the day, "boys and girls," isn't that really who they all work for - the WWE Universe. He said they sign their paychecks. He said when it comes to running Raw, it's his responsibility to make sure it's the best show it could possibly be for the fans. He said he doesn't work for the wrestlers, he works his ass off for the fans. He said he is curious to hear their opinions.
Wade Barrett spoke up first and said they believe he has created an unsafe working environment for them. He said the reason they came to WWE (the crowd interrupted with a "You suck!" chant) is because they're all competitors and professionals who like to adhere to certain rules and regulations, not including being attacked by outside individuals such as in the parking lot. He said they shouldn't be subjected to that because he's incapable of controlling his talent. (Think about what "being incapable of controlling your talent" sounds like when you remove the wrestling jargon consideration.) Barrett said: "You even seem to enjoy placing your own hands on your own talent." I think Triple H had to bite his tongue to avoid giggling at that. Triple H reminded viewers that Barrett is the guy who tore down the Raw set and tried to get the company shut down. He said the only reason he has a problem with the chaos is because he's not the one causing it.
Referee Mike Chioda said he has worked in WWE for 23 years and he considers him a friend, but he's never experienced so much abuse at the hands of WWE Superstars. He said they're supposed to be unbiased officials, not Superstars, and they need respect doing their jobs. Hunter said he fired the two guys who attacked them. He said those guys got in the building last night and caused havoc. He said he didn't do anything to Ricardo Rodrigues after he attacked ref Chad Patton. He said after 23 years being a referee, for the first time he's afraid to come to work. Hunter said he understands where he's coming from.
Phoenix interjected, "Hunter, Hunter, come on. We're girls. And on behalf of all of the WWE Divas, the bedlam around Monday Night Raw recently has made us fear something might accidentally might happen, or even something intentional." Hunter asked her to name one thing that happened to the Divas. Phoenix said something could happen.
Lawler then entered the ring and said he's speaking on his behalf only. He said he agrees with some of it, and some of it he totally disagrees with. He said one thing he agrees with is the show is spiraling out of control. He said Raw has always been a volatile place, but they have a point when they say it's become a hazardous work environment. Lawler said where he disagrees with the others, he doesn't think it's Hunter's fault. He said he agrees with Punk that someone behind the scenes is pulling strings and trying to sabotage him as COO. He said the problem is they are paying the price for that. "You've got to realize somebody doesn't want you to run this company," he said. He said as long as he's running the company, things will get worse. "Like it or not, you're in charge and you're the reason all of this is happening."
Christian called for a vote right now. Christian said we all vote "no confidence." Chioda agreed and said "no confidence." Phoenix agreed and said "I'm sorry, Hunter, no confidence." Lawler said he is saying "no confidence" too. Lawler said actions speak louder than words, and right now he's reluctantly walking out. Lawler walked out and several others followed. Then more, including Sin Cara who probably didn't understand much of what was said. So did Kelly Kelly, who also probably didn't understand much of what was said. Then the referees also followed the wrestlers. Then even more wrestlers left. Then Booker got up and left. Even Justin Roberts walked out. The crowd began to chant "Triple H! Triple H!" (Was Jeremy Borash off to the side encouraging them?) The cameraman then dropped his camera and left it lying sideways on the ring. The director showed us the view from that camera. It came down to Triple H looking down at Jim Ross. Ross got up and walked out. He hung his head as if he wasn't proud that he made this decision, but he felt he had to.
Hunter stood in the ring alone, looking very alone. The fans cheered him. Then out walked John Laurinaitis onto the stage. The crowd booed and chanted "You suck." Laurinaitis then turned and left. Hunter extended his arms and accepted the cheers from the crowd as the show ended.
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