WWE Saturday Morning Slam Report
By: David Parker
The Big News: It’s all about John Cena this week, as he defeats Heath Slater, while Sheamus defeats Titus O’Neil and Booker T demonstrates the spin-a-roonie.
There was plenty of promotion of Cena and this week’s episode on Vortexx. From about 8:30 to 11:00 (he might have done it earlier, but I wasn’t watching at the time), Cena did the commercial bumpers as well as a few mid-commercial break promos. Some of them were a generic promo that didn’t reference the show that was airing (and ended with the WWE logo appearing in front of sliding metal doors), and the others were show-specific.
There were also a couple promos that hyped the show itself (including one that aired at 9:15 during which Cena said his match was an hour away, which was pretty close), as well as one in which Cena said hosting Vortexx was the best Christmas gift he had ever gotten and told kids to stay on Santa’s nice list. There was no concluding promo at the end of his “hosting” duties; I was hoping he’d end the programming block by thanking the kids for watching Vortexx and to have a good weekend, but it doesn’t really matter.
Anyway, the show opened with the host hyping Cena being in action later in the show, but first, Sheamus will take on Titus O’Neil.
Sheamus defeated Titus O’Neil. Josh Matthews and Booker T did commentary for this match, as well as the rest of the show. Because the match was taped a couple weeks ago, the Prime Time Players used “Move (Get It In),” even though they got a new theme on Raw. Darren Young did guest color commentary. This match may have had more edits than any of the other matches I’ve seen on this show. They even cut a rib breaker. The match began with a couple tie-ups, followed by each man hitting their opponent with a shoulder block. After escaping Sheamus’ headlock, Titus was able to knock him out of the ring. Titus brought him back into the ring and applied an abdominal stretch, but Sheamus escaped by giving him a hip toss.
Sheamus made his comeback, which had some noticeable edits. The camera did not show him making contact with Titus when he hit a couple double axe handles, and when he did the forearm clubs, only one was shown, and the camera cut away when he struck Titus’ chest. He got the pin after hitting the White Noise and Brogue Kick; those moves were also cut. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to have the Celtic Warrior on a show rated TV-G.
Backstage, Matt Striker interviewed John Cena. He said that while there are three men in “that band,” he’ll be the only man with his hand held high, and he ended the segment by saying, “The champ is here.” Weird.
After the break, Booker T said that he was going to teach the viewers how to do the spin-a-roonie, so they could have some dance moves at holiday parties. For today’s lesson at “Booker T’s Spin-a-Roonie School,” step 1 was “the hand,” step 2 was “the knee,” and step 3 was “spin-a-roonie.” The segment never actually taught viewers how to do the spin-a-roonie. I guess you could just do a King-a-roonie.
This week’s “Saturday Morning Spotlight” highlighted John Cena (very appropriate). After showing dictionary definitions of hustle, loyalty, and respect (which Cena said is the code he lives by), the video did a good job of hyping Cena as the top Superstar in the company.
John Cena defeated Heath Slater. Raw vs. Smackdown. Josh Matthews reintroduced Booker T during the 3MB’s entrance; I presume he did it because this match was taped before Sheamus’ match. In case you were wondering, Cena’s music stopped before it got to the point where he says “lay your ass down for the three second tap.” Slater celebrated the fact that he got the first move, but Cena was able to quickly take control. After a hip toss, Slater left the ring, and 3MB came up with a plan. Each member of the team entered the ring from a different side. When Cena tried to attack Jinder Mahal, he escaped, and Slater gave Cena a bodyslam. The three men celebrated in the ring, but the referee ejected Mahal and Drew McIntyre. While Slater was distracted by the ejection, Cena tried to lock in the STF, but Slater kicked him out of the ring. After the commercial break, a “Don’t Try This at Home” promo featuring Layla was shown. She mentioned her torn ACL and MCL, which helped show the danger of doing wrestling moves.
When the match returned, Slater still had the advantage. He tried to wear down Cena with an abdominal hold using his legs, but Cena managed to escape. Cena then did infamous “five moves of doom.” He scored the pin after hitting the Attitude Adjustment. Cena left the ring as Matthews signed off. This time, you could hear that line in Cena’s music, though it wasn’t clear.
While I wasn’t a big fan of the heavily edited match and the Booker T segment, I liked the fact that this show felt much bigger than usual. While I like to watch guys like Justin Gabriel, it was good to see WWE and Vortexx make an effort to promote the show and make it worth watching. I also liked the fact that the show had a better connection to the current storylines in WWE; it felt like I was watching a standard WWE show, as opposed to some of the other episodes, which felt like they took place in an alternate universe.
As for ratings news, the December 1 show had a 0.6 kids 6-11 rating. That was the second highest rated Vortexx show that day, behind only Gummibar: Yummy Gummy (it appears to have been some kind of Christmas special).