WWE Raw Report
By: Todd Martin
Date: 10/03/11 from Lafayette, LA.
The Big News: Nobody has any confidence in HHH.
Randy Orton beat Drew McIntyre. McIntyre hit a kick to the face, snap suplex, choke and neck breaker. Orton then made a quick comeback with the draping DDT and RKO for the pin. Orton gave McIntyre an additional RKO after the match. Mark Henry then came out and held up his title. Orton attacked Henry and they had a pull apart brawl. Orton threw Henry over the barricade. That feud apparently will continue.
Mark Henry beat John Morrison. Henry hit a clothesline and went for the world’s strongest slam but Morrison escaped and hit a series of kicks. Morrison successfully landed starship pain but Henry kicked out. Henry caught Morrison with a kick to the head and the world’s strongest slam for the pin. Henry then gave Morrison an additional world’s strongest slam after the match.
Henry took the microphone after the match and said that he heard Big Show is looking for him but he isn’t hard to find. Henry vowed that Show’s return to WWE will be the shortest in WWE history. Henry was just great screaming with fury. Unfortunately, the crowd was chanting “what” at him, not a good sign for a serious heel booked like such a monster.
Backstage, John Laurinaitis met with David Otunga and some other heels. Laurinaitis wanted to know if Otunga had anything to do with Miz and R. Truth filing a lawsuit. Otunga was evasive.
Christian, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, David Otunga, Vickie Guerrero and Alberto Del Rio came to the ring. Del Rio said he got rid of John Cena and CM Punk but couldn’t celebrate because two guys who were supposed to be fired attacked him. He blamed HHH and said only HHH had the power to raise and lower the cell. Christian said that since HHH took over, Raw has been an unsafe place to work. Rhodes said they are all victims of HHH’s ego. Ziggler said HHH needs to be supervised. Swagger said his friends and family are concerned for him whenever he wrestles.
Vickie Guerrero took the microphone and got nuclear heat. It really was striking given she hasn’t been involved in a big heat angle in quite a while. She said as a woman she feels especially vulnerable. Otunga then said they can keep working and risk their livelihood or band together to take legal action. That brought out HHH, who said men used to fight, not whine and cry and file lawsuits. HHH told them to shut up and fight later in the show.
Beth Phoenix and Natalya beat Eve Torres and Kelly Kelly. Kelly just freaked out from the beginning, screeching and attacking Beth. She rammed Beth repeatedly into the announce table until she was disqualified and then just kept attacking Beth. Kelly was annoying and unlikeable acting like this, but it’s not like she brings anything to the table other than looks no matter what role she’s playing.
John Laurinaitis backstage told HHH that Laurinaitis is not responsible for what happened at Hell in a Cell. He wanted an apology from HHH for knocking him down accidentally last night. He then said that HHH should ask talent for a vote of confidence later in the show. HHH told everyone to come to the ring for that, including Laurinaitis.
The returning Santino Marella beat Jinder Mahal. Santino spoke gibberish in response to Mahal’s Indian prior to the match for comedy. Mahal missed a knee and Santino hit the cobra for the win in a matter of seconds.
They aired the angle with Miz and Truth from Hell in a Cell pretty much in its entirety. They then had a youtube video with Miz and Truth apologizing for the incident while complaining about HHH and explaining their wrongful termination and assault lawsuit.
John Cena, CM Punk, Sheamus, Mason Ryan, Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne beat Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, Christian and David Otunga. They gave them over 25 minutes and this was a good match. The heels worked over Kingston for a while and then worked over Bourne for a while. Cena got the tag and hit shoulder blocks and the Cena slam on Del Rio. Cena went for the FU but Del Rio countered and the heels took over on Cena.
Cena eventually got the tag to Sheamus. Sheamus hit a powerslam and knee lift on Ziggler. Sheamus went to the top but Christian grabbed him and Del Rio pushed him off the top. Ziggler gave Sheamus the famouser but Sheamus kicked out. Christian hit a spear on Sheamus, which set up the spot where everyone takes turns hitting moves on other guys. Bourne hit a double knee off the top on Christian. Rhodes hit the roll of the dice on Christian. Punk hit the GTS on Del Rio. Cena gave Otunga the FU. Ziggler hit the zig zag on Cena, but Sheamus then gave Ziggler the Brogue kick for the win.
The Raw wrestlers, Smackdown wrestlers, referees and Jerry Lawler circled the ring for the final segment. Lawler being there was a cruel development after having to endure Booker T the previous two hours. A few of the top faces weren’t out there, including John Cena, CM Punk and Randy Orton.
HHH said the COO role was a job he was given, not something he sought. He said that he’s not upset at Miz and Truth for what they did but rather for being unable to deal with their punishment. HHH said he likes watching wrestlers fight and the people like watching wrestlers fight. He concluded that he works for the fans and asked the wrestlers what they thought.
Wade Barrett said that it is an unsafe working environment and that HHH is incapable of controlling talent. Barrett said HHH likes chaos and is out of control. HHH responded by mocking Barrett for failing in his attempts to create chaos. Referee Mike Chioda said he has never seen so much referee abuse and for the first time in over a decade he is afraid to come to work.
Beth Phoenix said that on behalf of the women, they are afraid something might happen. HHH basically pointed out nothing has and Beth said that it could. Jerry Lawler then came in the ring. He said he agreed with some things said and disagreed with others. Lawler said he thinks the show is spiraling out of control. Lawler said someone behind the scenes is trying to sabotage HHH’s job and won’t stop until HHH is gone. Thus, Lawler concluded it is ultimately HHH’s fault that things are so dangerous for the performers.
Christian called for a vote. He voted no confidence with some other heels. Chioda and the referees said no confidence. Beth and the women said no confidence. Lawler said no confidence and walked out. The wrestlers then started walking about. Michael Cole walked out. The final faces walked out. Booker T and the ring announcer walked out. The cameramen put down their cameras and walked out. Finally, Jim Ross got up and walked out. Laurinaitis walked out onto the stage shaking his head with just HHH standing at ringside.
On the positive side, I like the renewed focus on providing mostly clean finishes. I think that will be a very helpful development if it continues over time. This show also had good wrestling content.
On the downside, this HHH angle is just terrible. Who cares if HHH retains his COO job or not? It’s not like things are any different with him in charge. It’s not like he’s had the role for any real period of time. It’s not like he seems to care much about having the job. It’s not like he’s going to leave the show if they remove him from the job. And yet we have to listen to the announcers go on and on and on about it all two hours.
What’s even more annoying is it all feels so fake and contrived. HHH has only been in his role a few months and things are the same as they always are. They were doing tons of angles at a breakneck pace before HHH was in charge. A few angles with Miz and Truth don’t feel like anything out of the ordinary. Yet now the story is things are out of control and so everyone talks about that even though it doesn’t remotely feel that way. It’s just the directive, like everyone must say “WWE Universe” over and over again even though nobody in the real world would be caught dead using that asinine expression.
It’s fine if the heels say that things are out of control. They are after all heels, out to get rid of HHH the babyface. But when all the face wrestlers, announcers and cameramen seem to agree, it just feels ridiculous. It’s not that it inspires anger at the faces for doing that, although they certainly don’t come off well. It’s simply unbelievable that those characters are acting that way.
We’ve seen cars blowing up, vehicular attacks, gang beatdowns, big injury angles to top stars and a cavalcade of hotshot angles and now the cameramen are walking off the job because they’re terrified of a Miz run-in? The wrestlers are unanimous in turning on HHH as an authority figure because of a Miz run-in? It’s just bad storytelling. They haven’t made the stakes feel important or the actions feel believable, and by acting like it’s this huge deal it will be even harder next month when they try to hotshot another big angle.