Todd Martin's Raw is Tough Enough Finale TV report for June 6
WWE Raw Report
By: Todd Martin
Date: 06/06/11 from Richmond, VA.
The Big News: Steve Austin announced Andy Leavine as the winner of Tough Enough at the beginning of Raw and stuck around for more action.
Raw started with the conclusion of Tough Enough in the Raw ring. The show was built around making you want to see Andy Leavine win over Luke Robinson and all the coaches said they thought Andy should win. The announcers put over Andy’s “it factor” and charisma, which I never saw watching every episode of the show. In a positive sign, the crowd reacted to the wrestlers based on how they came across on the show, as opposed to the NXT crowds where it’s often clear only a fraction of the audience knows who anybody is.
Unfortunately, Andy couldn’t grasp the simple psychology that he was the good guy against the arrogant heel Luke, and diminished his crowd reactions throughout by acting cocky and aggressive himself when questioned by Steve Austin rather than just acting like the humble, nice family guy they were trying to portray him as. Vince McMahon came out and was going to announce the winner, but Austin said it’s his show and he would pick the winner. He announced Andy as the winner.
Vince proceeded to slapped Andy and Andy took this huge bump and sold like he was shot based on this slap from a 65-year-old man. And for good measure, Austin gave Andy the stunner. You know, if I spent 10 weeks on a competition theoretically designed to create new stars, I wouldn’t bury the winner at the end in front of the largest audience he has ever appeared before. Oh well, it’s not like Andy showed much beyond being the tallest of the group.
With Vince and Austin still in the ring, R. Truth came out dressed in a confederate army uniform. Part of Truth’s charm as a heel is his zaniness, but if you want him to be a headliner it would be unwise to turn him into a clown. Truth said the GM ordered him to apologize so he apologized to big jimmy, little jimmy and the soda. Austin said he should apologize for his attire.
Truth said that he was in Richmond, the capital of the confederacy. Truth said the confederacy had a good idea, secession. He said he is seceding from WWE because there is a companywide conspiracy against him. Vince told some jokes and said Truth should come talk with him about it. Truth did a gag where he can’t spell, even phonetically. It’s funny who tends to have these sorts of jokes written for them in WWE and who doesn’t.
Miz interrupted the scene. He said that if it wasn’t for Alex Riley, he would still be WWE champion. Miz said he deserves one last title shot. Alex Riley came out and said Miz deserves another beatdown instead. John Cena joined them and told some joke. He said Miz doesn’t deserve another shot, commended Riley for beating up Miz, and suggested Truth take off the outfit. The GM sent in an e-mail but Vince told Michael Cole to shut up. Vince then made Cena and Riley vs. Truth and Miz with Steve Austin as special guest referee. That’s the third special referee main event on Raw or Smackdown in the past two weeks. This opening segment was a debacle on a variety of levels.
Santino Marella beat Michael McGillicutty. Santino clotheslined McGillicutty from the ring and proceeded to shake the ropes and do Ultimate Warrior mannerisms. McGillicutty brushed aside a dropkick attempt and hit a dropkick of his own. He took over for a bit before Santino came back and did more Warrior mannerisms. He set up for the cobra but David Otunga pulled McGillicutty out of the ring. Vladimir Kozlov took out Otunga. Back in the ring, McGillicutty couldn’t hit his neck breaker and Santino used the cobra for the win. So it looks like McGillicutty and Otunga vs. Marella and Kozlov is the next tag title program.
Beth Phoenix and Kelly Kelly beat the Bellas. Kelly hit a huracanrana but was caught with a stun gun and the Bellas gained control. After a bit, Kelly got the tag to Beth. Beth hit clotheslines, an inverted atomic drop, a slingshot suplex and the glam slam for the win. Beth got an encouraging positive reaction for someone that hasn’t been on Raw or Smackdown a lot recently.
Backstage, Booker T was teaching Trish Stratus to do the spin-a-roonie. Interestingly, it involves channeling power from your hand more than leg and hip dexterity. Jack Swagger interrupted and said that if he was the Tough Enough trainer, all of the students would be winners. He challenged Booker to a match and Booker accepted.
Rey Mysterio beat CM Punk. Prior to the match, Punk pointed out he beat Mysterio again last week and claimed Mysterio has never beaten him. The announcers later pointed out that wasn’t true. Punk said he’d beat Mysterio again to prove the power of the new Nexus. Punk went after Mysterio’s back. Mysterio came back with punches, kicks and a crossbody but was cut off with a powerslam. Mysterio took out Mason Ryan on the apron, hit a DDT, and hit a splash off the top for the win. WWE has become heavily reliant on circular booking, but this was particularly striking in that regard.
They aired a new Capitol Punishment video with R. Truth posing questions for President Obama. Backstage, John Cena met with Alex Riley and made it clear he doesn’t trust Riley. They are billing next Monday’s three hour Raw as All Star Night.
Alberto Del Rio came out and reiterated that what happened to Big Show was an accident. He invited Show to come out for an apology. Ricardo Rodriguez came out dressed up like Show with a big fake belly and crutches. Del Rio said Show got what he deserved because bad things happen to bad people and they did some crappy comedy. Del Rio told Show not to make Del Rio his enemy. This segment sucked.
Kofi Kingston beat Zack Ryder. Dolph Ziggler was on commentary to build his feud with Kingston. Kingston hit a dropkick and Ryder responded by chestbumping and piefacing him. Ryder hit a neck breaker and kick to the face. However, Kingston responded with a clothesline, boom drop and trouble in paradise for the win. Poor Zack.
Booker T beat Jack Swagger via count out. They mostly just traded chops and punches back and forth. Booker hit a kick and Swagger just took the count out. That was an awful finish. The heel walking off can be okay sometimes if it’s a champion in trouble trying to save his title or there’s a big feud and it sells the face is out of control looking for revenge, but a wrestler just giving up on a match with an announcer three minutes in buries him with absolutely no positive benefit whatsoever.
Afterwards, Evan Bourne attacked Swagger from behind and ran away. Swagger chased after Bourne and was caught with a Booker T ax kick and Bourne shooting star press. They did a double spin-a-roonie that looked good.
R. Truth and Miz beat John Cena and Alex Riley via disqualification. Miz ran away from Riley until Truth cut off Riley. The heels took over until Riley finally made the tag. Cena came in with shoulder blocks, the Cena slam and the five knuckle on Miz. He went for the FU but Truth made the save. Cena threw Truth out of the ring and put the STF on Miz. Miz got to the ropes. Truth brought in a chair but Cena dropkicked it into Truth. Riley brought in the briefcase and teased hitting Cena with it for no apparent reason before then hitting Miz instead. Austin gave Miz the stunner and Cena covered for the win.
The GM then announced Cena and Riley were disqualified for Austin’s actions. Another big win for Truth over Cena. The GM then announced that because of what Austin did, Austin will be guest GM next week. So apparently the GM is bipolar. Austin then attacked Michael Cole, poured beer on him, and stunned him.
This show sucked on just about every level.
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