By: Todd Martin
Date: 08/03/09 from Uncasville, CT.
The Big News: Miz has been banned from Summerfest, SummerSlam, the Staples Center and Raw forever.
Raw started off with quite the bang. Unfortunately, nobody was shot. Jeremy Piven came out with the most obnoxious human being I think I’ve ever seen named Dr. Ken. To say he had X-Pac heat would be charitable. Miz then came out and said he wanted another match with John Cena. He just hasn’t learned his lesson. John Cena came out to try to match Dr. Ken on the obnoxiousness scale. Cena said he beat the Miz in 2 minutes last week and he can fit that in, but that everyone knows Miz is no good.
Piven made Miz vs. Cena, but made it a lumberjack match. He then said that if Miz lost, he would be banned from “Summerfest.” That sure makes you look good when you bring in a celebrity to guest host your show and put him over huge and he quickly exposes that he has never watched your product and doesn’t know the name of your second biggest annual show. He added that Miz would be banned from Staples Center and from Raw. This first segment was so unbelievably awful on every conceivable level.
Jack Swagger beat Evan Bourne. Swagger worked Bourne over most of the match. Bourne went for a standing moonsault but landed on Swagger’s knees. Bourne reversed the gut wrench power bomb attempt into a pinning attempt. Swagger then hit the old Oklahoma Stampede (a move I’ve always liked) and a gut wrench power bomb for the three count. I’m glad they tried to redeem Swagger after last week. Bourne has upside but they’ve treated him as a joke most weeks since coming to Raw and Swagger hasn’t been branded that way yet. Swagger attacked Bourne after the match but MVP made the save.
Jeremy Piven was backstage with the obnoxious guy. He was being obnoxious. Big Show approached them and wanted to destroy Shaquille O’Neal. They had a poll about who would win a proposed match between the two. I can’t believe they showed the results, with their audience picking Shaq 83 percent to 17 percent. That shows you how seriously the audience perceives Show as a monster. I also don’t understand why they are teasing this match they aren’t going to deliver and that’s significantly more interesting than anything they’re actually promoting for SummerSlam. The obnoxious guy started taunting Show, further getting Show over as a non-threat. Finally, Piven made Show vs. Kofi Kingston for the United States title.
Beth Phoenix and Jillian Hall beat Mickie James and Gail Kim. The heels worked over Mickie. She tagged in Gail. Gail hit a dropkick off the top rope on Jillian. Jillian missed a handspring elbow but got the tag to Beth. Beth nailed Gail from behind and hit the glam slam for the pin.
Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase beat HHH. HHH dominated early. Legacy gained control with a double team high/low and worked HHH over. Rhodes missed a moonsault and HHH started taking both out. He gave Rhodes a high knee, face buster and spine buster. He went for the pedigree but DiBiase came in and gave him Dream Street. Rhodes covered but HHH kicked out. Rhodes then hit the roll of the dice for the pin. It’s certainly better that Legacy didn’t lose the handicap match here, but winning handicap matches is not how you get over young talent as serious threats.
HHH took the microphone afterwards and treated this loss as a joke and made it clear he didn’t care much about losing. He went “oww” sarcastically and jokingly suggested maybe Rhodes and DiBiase are actually that good. He then said it was time to bring back a group. He said he would make one phone call and if you’re not down with that he has two words for you.
Chavo Guerrero thought that Jeremy Piven was Joe Rogan or Jon Favreau. Piven said he would give Chavo another match against the Horngobbler, and that this time it would just be them.
Carlito beat Primo. Primo hit some clotheslines and a monkey flip. However, he then charged Carlito and collided with the post. Carlito went for the back stabber but Primo avoided that and rolled him up for two. Carlito went for the back stabber again and hit it this time for the pin.
Mark Henry beat Chavo Guerrero. Chavo thought he was going to wrestle Hornswoggle but instead Henry came out in a leprechaun hat. He hit the world’s strongest slam for the pin. He danced with Hornswoggle afterwards and Hornswoggle gave Chavo the frog splash. Backstage, Jeremy Piven wanted Randy Orton to be the guest ring announcer for Cena’s match. An angry Orton threatened to kill him.
Kofi Kingston beat Big Show via DQ. Show dominated the match. He hit a corner splash but Kofi got his feet on the ropes. The highlight was Chris Jericho doing commentary started to call Charles Robinson by his name but then had to correct himself midway through and just call him “the referee.” You’ve got to love WWE’s idiotic neuroses. Kofi hit trouble in paradise and a top rope double leg drop but Show powered out. Show hit a spear and then they did one of those increasingly prevalent horrendous WWE finishes. Show just kept punching Kofi and was disqualified.
HHH called up Shawn Michaels backstage to ask him if he would come back. Michaels revealed he wasn’t even watching Raw. HHH asked him “are you ready?” and Michaels hung up on him. They announced Sgt. Slaughter will be the guest host next week on Raw.
John Cena beat Miz in a lumberjack match. Bet you thought the Miz must leave Raw stipulation and lumberjack gimmick meant that Miz would finally get a fluke win thanks to copious amounts of interference. Nope. Well, I mean there was constant interference. But Cena was never in serious trouble and pinned Miz clean again anyway.
Jeremy Piven and the obnoxious guy came out before the match and turned. They said they were fans of Orton and let him handpick the lumberjacks. The obnoxious guy was actually less obnoxious as a heel. Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Jack Swagger and Carlito were the lumberjacks.
Miz fell out of the ring early but the lumberjacks looked after him. Cena went out and Masters applied the Masterlock. Cena made his comeback anyway. He hit shoulder blocks and then decided to go for the five knuckle shuffle. Can you detect a slight problem with his plan? Well, of course when the idiot babyface went to bounce off the ropes Orton pulled them down and threw the moron into the steps. All the heels beat him up on the outside, and the obnoxious guy gave Miz a cane to hit Cena with. But when Cena came back in he caught Miz in the FU for the pin anyway.
After the match, Jeremy Piven jumped off the top rope onto Cena. Cena caught him. The obnoxious guy hit Cena with the cane. Cena no sold that and put down Piven. He grabbed the obnoxious guy and eventually threw him out onto the other heels at ringside.
This show was pretty much dreadful from beginning to end, a wretched all around television show. There were a lot of problems, but to me the biggest was that so few of the characters on the show are likeable. The heels are heels, and so many of the faces are obnoxious, arrogant, impotent or foolish.
On the plus side, UFC 101 is this weekend. I’ll be in Philadelphia for the show, and you can catch my play-by-play and thoughts on the show at CBSSports.com. Here’s a piece on the Anderson Silva-Forrest Griffin fight:
I’ll be on Fight Network Radio tomorrow at 3PM Eastern/12PM Pacific talking Raw and UFC 101. It should be a fun time and you can listen live here: