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October 20, 2009

Raw: Shawn Michaels-Chris Jericho match just a tease

When my clock said 11 p.m. and the advertised Shawn Michaels-Chris Jericho match hadn’t started yet on Monday night's episode of Raw, I got a bad feeling.

With the Bragging Rights pay-per-view coming up on Sunday, it had been announced at the top of the show that old rivals Michaels and Jericho would meet in a battle of Raw and Smackdown team captains. As guest host Snoop Dogg ran down the lineup for Monday’s show, the Michaels-Jericho match drew a bigger crowd reaction than the John Cena-Triple H and Randy Orton-Ted DiBiase Jr. matches.

It’s understandable. Michaels and Jericho, who are two of my all-time favorite performers, have had some classic encounters. I think they're incapable of having a bad match together. Unfortunately, they never even locked up Monday, as WWE pulled a bait and switch.

I fully expected the Michaels-Jericho match to end in a schmaz with all 14 of the Raw and Smackdown team members going at it, but instead of giving us a nice 15-minute match first, WWE just went right to the brawl.

That left a bad taste in my mouth on what was otherwise a good episode of Raw.

Snoop Dogg made for an entertaining host on a show that had a 20-minute, pay-per-view quality match between Cena and Triple H, an intense angle between Orton and DiBiase Jr., and some funny segments.

Oh, and former Rocker Marty Jannetty made a surprise appearance and wrestled The Miz, so now we know why there were all those Jannetty references on Smackdown Friday. What were the odds that an ex-Rocker would compete on Raw and it wouldn’t be Michaels?

Other thoughts on Monday’s show:

Triple H scored a clean victory over Cena, which could be an indication of where the story lines are headed on Raw after Sunday. Since Triple H beat Cena, that means if Cena wins the WWE title from Orton at Bragging Rights, Triple H would be the logical No. 1 contender. So instead of a fresh match-up on top, we’d get yet another rehashed program. We’ve already seen Orton-Triple H and Orton-Cena this year, so I guess Cena-Triple H has to be next.

The post-match scene after Cena lost really made it seem as if it was his last appearance on Raw (he has to leave the show if he doesn’t beat Orton). Triple H shook his hand and the crowd gave Cena a nice ovation as he made his way up the ramp with a sad look on his face. Of course, that pretty much guarantees that he’s regaining the title Sunday. …

At first it seemed like the crowd didn’t know exactly what to make of the match between Orton and DiBiase. Backstage before the match, Orton told DiBiase that he had better not fight back or else “it will be a mistake that you’ll regret for the rest of your life.” At the beginning of the match, DiBiase had a conflicted look on his face, as if he was carefully weighing his options. When the match started, Orton methodically punched and kicked DiBiase, who was getting angrier and angrier, but didn’t fight back. Finally, DiBiase shoved Orton down and the crowd popped. With the fans chanting his name, DiBiase looked as if he was about to go off on Orton, but he backed down, and Orton hit an RKO for the win. Both guys did a great job of telling a story, although I’m not quite sure I totally buy the fact that DiBiase wouldn’t go after Orton. …

WWE put together a nice, classy tribute video for the late Capt. Lou Albano. I was disappointed that something like that didn’t air on Smackdown Friday, but I suppose with Albano dying on Wednesday and Smackdown having already been taped on Tuesday, it wasn’t possible to insert it into the show. …

DX had some good lines during the opening segment. The best one came after Michaels informed Triple H that Smackdown newcomer Eric Escobar was sleeping with Vickie Guerrero. “If you’re going to sleep your way to the top, at least do it with someone who weighs less than you do,” Triple H said. “You would know,” Michaels replied. Michaels later referred to Jack Swagger as an “An All-American American American … American.” And when Kofi Kingston cut a promo, Triple H pointed out that he wasn’t speaking with a Jamaican accent. Triple H took the words right out of my mouth. I’m still not sure why WWE is suddenly acknowledging the fact that Kingston isn’t really Jamaican. …

Triple H dismissed Smackdown team members Escobar and Drew McIntyre as a couple of guys he had never heard of. Michaels interrupted and said that McIntyre had been endorsed by Vince McMahon as a future champion. Michaels also said that Escobar might be “the toughest guy you’ll ever know,” and then he whispered in Triple H’s ear about Escobar and Guerrero. That promoted a spit-take from Triple H. My first reaction to all of this – besides it being funny – was that WWE was foolishly burying guys that it is trying to get over as future stars. However, if McIntyre and Escobar make a good accounting of themselves at Bragging Rights, then they weren’t being buried at all. …

Jannetty’s cameo appearance proved once again that you never say never in pro wrestling. Jannetty has been brought back to WWE a few times in recent years, but in each instance it didn’t take long for him to get himself fired. After cutting ties with Jannetty in 2006, McMahon said that he would never use Jannetty again. …

Snoop’s much-documented love of marijuana was the basis for a joke. I’m not a prude, but I question whether drug humor is appropriate in the family friendly era. It’s too bad CM Punk isn’t on Raw, because a confrontation with Snoop Dogg would have been classic. …

When it appeared that Snoop was about to light one up, (it turned out that he actually was just burning scented candles, with his favorite being the smell of cut grass) the camera cut to a “Technical Difficulties” graphic. What made it was funny was that the graphic featured a smiling Michael Cole hugging Hornswoggle. …

Speaking of the little guy, he actually made me laugh when he was getting down with Eve in the ring. …

It looks like Hornswoggle and Chavo Guerrero are still feuding. It’s never going to end, is it? …

Normally I would be appalled that the lanky Snoop Dogg stood up to a wrestler and got the better of it in a physical confrontation, but since it was Guerrero I think it’s OK. If a leprechaun and an 85-year-old game show host can beat up Guerrero, it makes perfect sense that Snoop could, too. …

Gail Kim has gone from being a serious wrestler and a champion in TNA to just another diva dancing in the ring with Snoop Dogg. As a wrestling journalist, I think it’s a disgrace the way she has been booked in WWE. As a red-blooded male, I think Kim getting her groove on in a little black dress and high heels is must-see TV. …

A Raw vs. Smackdown six-woman tag match has been added to Bragging Rights, and it speaks volumes that Mickie James is not part of it. I suppose there is some validity to all of the Internet reports about James having heat with management. …

Next week’s guest hosts will be Kyle Busch and some other NASCAR guy that I’ve never heard of. First Ben Roethlisberger and now a couple of guys who drive around in circles. Ugh.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 4:06 AM | | Comments (38)
        

Comments

Hi Kevin,

I agree with you completely in regards to the WWE's booking of Gail Kim. For someone of her undoubted talents it makes little sense to me for her to be used in this way. Jobbing and/or prancing around the ring is a waste of her talents. Then again though I also think Christian is being grossly under used and can't help but wonder is it more to do with the fact that they came from TNA rather then their talent? If any TNA superstar is pondering the jump to WWE, if I were them, I would certainly take note of their situataion

I wanted to ask you Kevin, whats your view on the way Matt Hardy is being booked? Is it time for him to consider a TNA move??

RESPONSE FROM KE: I thought a feud with his brother would make Matt a star, but he's probably lower on the totem pole now that he was before the feud.

Good writings, it looks to me like the diva's match at Bragging Rights is Raw faces vs Smack-down's heels. kind of like how they booked smack-down's seven Men to be mostly heels and 'tweeners. Raw definitely made me want to watch the pay per view even more though.

one question kevin, when someone says that wrestling is fake and it isnt any kind of sport or entertainment, do you feel offended in any way? because i would appreciate that you would be as respectful with other sports as you are with wrestling. i`m simply sick of people who say that car racing such as NASCAR and F1 are only cars driven in circles

This will leade to Ted Bibiase costing Orton the last fall on Sunday and Cena regains the title. Bank on it.

"As a wrestling journalist, I think it’s a disgrace the way she has been booked in WWE". I'm telling you Kevin deep down inside Gail Kim probably still wishes she was in tna.

Hello Kevin

Is it just me or is Jehrico not only the face of Smackdown but of the WWE? A consistently good worker, he is being used as much now as ever....Even if the match doesn't take place.

Planting the seeds now with Teddy might bring the relief that all of us have been waiting for....Something other than what has been offered from RAW the last 2 years with the same stars switching places in programs that contain Cena-HHH-Orton.

RIP Lou Albano...Thanks for the memories.

I see a trend in Michaels and HHH putting down younger talent. They did the same with Cody and Teddy and it seemed to up the program, especially when the younger guys were allowed to give their skills a chance to be shown.

Marty Jannety.....enough said.

Not even going to comment on Snoop Dog, Cole, Hornswoggle, or Chavo...The whole thing stinks...literally.

The Gail Kim situation really boils down to one thing....Promises made, money exchanged, and the short memory of watching others do the exact same thing when the offer comes your way. Maybe this will be just a reinforcing lesson for those currently on the TNA roster.

Mickie James is on the way out, it's just a matter of time.

C'mon Kevin...I could see you driving the Viagra Car for NASCAR......Just Kidding.....Not:)

I think it's just that they're booking faces vs. heels for the Divas, and I can see Mickie interfering, possibly costing SmackDown the match.

For all we know, they could have Mickie beat Natalya on SmackDown and take her place.

Good show, Snoop is an entertainer for sure.

Why does DX insist on burying all the younger guys. Makes me really want to pay 39.99 to see Estrada and McIntyre when DX "Can't remember their names"

Also why don't we just call Raw "DX hanging out with the Special Guest Host" Well at least the cool ones.

I AM SO SICK OF DX! GO AWAY

RESPONSE FROM KE: Speaking of not remembering names, you do know you said Estrada instead of Escobar, right?

They did such a good job burying him, I called him Estrada and not Escobar.

RESPONSE FROM KE: Hey, at least you caught it.

God, could Hunter be any less secure about his position in the company?

-Pinning the number one title contender clean.

-Burying his entire team.

-Burying the entire Smackdown team.

I can't wait for ten years from now when Vince is retired and HHH and Steph are the two people running the company.

You are probably right. Cena will most likely regain the belt on Sunday.

Yet I think it makes more sense for him to lose to Orton and move to Smackdown.

Let's say Batista turns heel and attacks Rey Mysterio. Who should come out and save the day? John Cena. There really hasn't been a Cena-Batista program to speak of. So why not have Batista feud with Cena instead of The Undertaker.

USA presents Raw Monday nights starring Triple H.
Produced by Triple H.
Written by Triple H.
Directed by Triple H.

Cannot stand watching the Triple H show on Mondays anymore.

I suspect Shawn and Jericho will be get to tear the house down tonight at the Smackdown! taping for Friday's broadcast. Granted, it may just be your 15-minute classic for a repeat of Monday's schmoz ending.

I was sooooo hopeful that this was actually going to be a match... I knew it was going on at 11, but last week's handicap match went on at 11, and they still gave them 15 minutes... guess I should know better than to expect good wrestling for free.

As much as I like Triple H - DX etc., it appears that RAW should be renamed the DX show. They definitely take that show over weekly now, and it's starting to be (I don't believe I'm saying this) a turn-off to me of WWE. I'm surprised at a couple of things from last night with the main thing being the line of "If you're going to sleep your way to the top" - surprised that was allowed and written into the show. While so much has been said in the past of Triple H getting ahead only because of him being married to Steph...although he was big into wrestling prior to their involvement.

The other point is don't the Bella Twins wrestle anymore? Or only when needed. I thought they had a lot of potential, now they seem to be "pretty female" hangers on to the Snoop Dogs, Bob Barkers, etc.

My last thought is I hope you're right about Cena winning this coming Sunday and staying on RAW. I know some people that are going to be very disappointed if he's not in Baltimore on 11/30th. He's the main reason they have tickets for that show....

OOPS - I forgot in my earlier post, I'm really surprised, none of the announcers, etc. made any mention of Shane McMahon leaving the WWE as of 1/1. Either that or I missed it....

If I were WWE, I wouldn't use Marty Jannetty again, not because he did poorly, but because he looked better in the ring than HHH and Cena. The Hunter-Cena match picked up in its later stages, but started out very ho-hum. I daresay that two midcarders would be shortlisted for future endeavors if they were to perform like that for ten minutes.

"Since Triple H beat Cena, that means if Cena wins the WWE title from Orton at Bragging Rights, Triple H would be the logical No. 1 contender. So instead of a fresh match-up on top, we’d get yet another rehashed program"
Unless Cena is the heel in that program? Could it be?

Kevin..The DX-RAW tour is coming to Ireland next month and John Cena has being advertised to be at it so im guessing that means a Cena win this Sunday night??!!

My guess as to why they're letting Kofi Kingston speak normally: it's hard to take someone seriously as a world champion if they sound like a bad Red Stripe commercial.

I’m still not sure why WWE is suddenly acknowledging the fact that Kingston isn’t really Jamaican. …

It's probably for the best. I've read that his Jamaican accent is terrible. I thought he did some good mic work without the accent last night. So if they want to try to make us forget that he was supposed to have grown up in Jamaica and instead say that he spent a lot of time there and really liked the culture and so on, that's fine with me if it means he gets to talk more, which is what he needs to do if he's ever to win the WWE or World titles.

It looks like Hornswoggle and Chavo Guerrero are still feuding. It’s never going to end, is it? …

And THAT is why Smackdown is the dominant show. ;) (Well, that and a number of other reasons, but the Chavo/'Swoggle thing is in the top three.) If Chavo is going to continue to take abuse from Hornswoggle, what was the point of him and 'swoggle saving one another from Chris Masters? At the time I thought for sure that it was the start of a teamup between the two. Wishful thinking, I guess.

It’s too bad CM Punk isn’t on Raw, because a confrontation with Snoop Dogg would have been classic. …

HAH! :D

The part at the beginning with D-X WAS funny, and I've gotta say that this was the first Raw in a while which I think was really good.

You know, with it pretty much being acknowledged that Team Smackdown isn't as impressive as Team Raw (Jericho didn't contradict anything D-X said about his guys when he had the chance, instead just saying that his team worked together), it's looking more and more likely to me that the people predicting Show will stab Team Raw in the back are right. Either that, or he'll try, the outcome will be in doubt for a while, and then Team Raw will win anyway.

Speaking of which, it almost seems like they've been reading this blog and the comments. You mentioned you would've liked to see a tribute video to Captain Lou, Kev, and we got one. Lots of people said that Team Smackdown didn't look very good, and they acknowledged that. You mentioned that Jannetty was underrated, and then Snoop said the same thing.

The Cena-HHH match was pretty good, but I just kept on noticing the limited move-set from both of them. At first it seemed like all HHH knew how to do was Irish Whip Cena, then they just reverted to their old "vintage moves. I was suprised to see HHH put a sharpshooter on Cena, not the figure 4.

I'm actually glad that Michaels & Jericho didn't compete. The way things have been going, Jericho would have jobbed again & that's just painful for me to watch.

Kane brought his ring pyro!! I know its just fire but it reminded me of the good old days. Now if they could just change his music back...

I don't get the pairing of Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. I'm by no means a racing afficionado, but it appears like a polarizing pair to me. A majority of racing fans really dislike Busch to the extent of NFL fans not liking the Patriots or MLB fans not liking the Yankees. Yet, Logano seems like a pretty likeable guy. I understand the two are teammates, I believe. But, if you're booking celebs and you have the opportunity to book somebody who'd actually like to play the heal, put the dude out there by himself. I'd bet Busch would love the negative attention. I just don't get where Logano fits into this equation. I'd imagine a decent amount of fans in the stands Monday are both wrestling and Sprint Cup fans. Logano may very well get cheers. Busch will have to dodge a multitude of boos. Could be interesting or quite dulll if WWE writers refuse to play to Busch's strength: heat magnet.

Couldn't agree with you more about the Nascar drivers. And just to clarify, Nascar only drives in circles but at least the F1 drivers have to make the occasional turn.

During the "technical difficulties" with the Snoop Dogg gag, I was thinking it was a situation that would be better if parents were *NOT* watching with their children.

I know if I were younger than 13, then I wouldn't have even gotten it (although, I bet I'd have laughed at the screen) and if I were 13 until about 19, then I'd have thought it was just my wrong assumption. I don't think I would've grasped the full scope of it as a "joke" before age 20.

Granted, I was rather naive. I can pinpoint a half-dozen similar jokes from the '80s that I never got until much later (i.e. "Well yes, I do have some Scotch in me" - Brother Love, WM5).

I think they overselling the DiBiase babyface turn. I know he's only doing what he's told to do, but DiBiase's overacting is ruining it for me.

Remember when Batista turned on HHH? That was brilliant because it was subtle.

I prefer that to this.

Once again the "cool, anti-establishment" crowd shows it ignorance. HHH and HBK are the ones who pushed for McIntyre to get the push he's receiving. They can't stand HHH because he's always on Raw? How is it any different than when Double J was TNA champ and on TV all the time just because he was the company owner. They seem to forget there was a day when HHH was more or less being punished for a year because he broke character at MSG with the rest of the clique. He was losing to The Godwins in hog pen matches. Back then to the "Smarks" he was the best thing ever because he was being kept down by Vince, so that made him "anti-establishment". Now because he's married to the bosses daughter he's lame? Ratings don't lie.

boy you can already see the loss of Shane HHH beating Cena clean. Common snese you are wring though if my memory is correct HHH was bweating hog in those matches #1 and 2 you are right ratings don't lie look how far they have fallen since there is No Rock, Austin or real competition. also who really liked JJ when he was NWA-TNA champ back then eveyone watched the X-division & tag team divisions.

They can't stand HHH because he's always on Raw? How is it any different than when Double J was TNA champ and on TV all the time just because he was the company owner.

I don't watch TNA, and if I did I would have probably felt the same way about Jarrett.

They seem to forget there was a day when HHH was more or less being punished for a year because he broke character at MSG with the rest of the clique. He was losing to The Godwins in hog pen matches.

Yeah, and that was what...13, 14 years ago? Shouldn't he be over that by now?

Look, if WWE or any other promotion makes a guy job too often I'm not happy. I would like to see R-Truth and the Hart Dynasty and Chavo win some matches.

But if WWE or any other promotion makes a guy win too often, I'm not happy about that either.

My problem with Triple H these days is that on the very few occasions I remember his losing in 2009, he didn't lose clean. One of those times it took both Rhodes and DiBiase to get the pinfall over him. Another time it was his PARTNER who tapped out in a tag match instead of him. Another time he was facing Orton and Cena in a triple threat match, and Orton got the three count on CENA instead of Hunter.

You'll notice that Cena wins an awful lot and yet I don't complain about him as often. That's because even though "Super Cena" is annoying, he seems more willing to lose cleanly to an opponent than HHH does.

If Hunter were committed enough to Drew McIntyre getting a push that he was willing to step into the ring with him, get hit with McIntyre's finisher and lay down for a three count to help McIntyre get over, then I'd think a lot more of the guy. But even if they were on the same show he wouldn't do that, and I'll be amazed if he does it at Bragging Rights.

The impression I have right now, right or wrong, is that Hunter does not want to job to anybody, ever, and uses his position in the company to get out of doing it. Every other main event level superstar does a job now and then, guys like Mysterio, HBK, Jericho, CM Punk, Jeff Hardy, John Cena, Randy Orton, Big Show, Edge, etc. But not Hunter.

Good God almighty, talk about a Triple H overload. When is this guy going to retire as a performer anyway? I can't stand even seeing him in nearly every single segment on Raw, much less wrestle.

Wow. Mickie is left off Bragging Rights even though there's a 6 on 6 match? I am not ordering for that reason alone ><. WWE needs to get off her case, for whatever she's done. Even if she's been "going through the motions" lately she's still better than half the women there. Hope she gets treated better rather than released.

Eck,

Do you ever wonder what jannetty's career could have been if he hadn't of been buried after a botched Rocker Dropper and made to be an insecure HBK's b----.

At his age and he looks it, he can still wrestle better than most of the roster. Janetty for a Goldust like comeback!

those bashing hhh here, i want to ask them what are your thoughts on a guy like undertaker and about win/loss record and more importantly his clean loses.

USA presents Raw Monday nights starring Triple H.
Produced by Triple H.
Written by Triple H.
Directed by Triple H.

Cannot stand watching the Triple H show on Mondays anymore.

jay! u forgot to write one thingv

VIEWED BY - TRIPLE H

HHH is just a massively insecure, possibly closeted (no one makes that many gay jokes on such a regular basis unless something's going on), completely unathletic, unremarkable, unexceptional guy who, through a lot of hard work and a lot of chemical help, made himself into some sort of bizarre man/mechanoid hybrid. He's not nearly half as smart as he thinks he is, his sense of the business involves new and novel ways to break it, and he probably thinks he's the only one keeping WWE together when all the available evidence says that if he didn't have the creative pull that he did, he would have been future-endeavored long ago.

But man, does he know how to use a water bottle!

A big surprise was HHH's reference to the Katie Vick necrophilia angle with Kane. I thought WWE was trying forget it ever did that storyline.

LOL @ "they're letting Kofi Kingston speak normally: it's hard to take someone seriously as a world champion if they sound like a bad Red Stripe commercial"

C'mon, tell me you wouldn't pop for Kofi every time he said, "TITLE! HOORAY, TITLE!"

those bashing hhh here, i want to ask them what are your thoughts on a guy like undertaker and about win/loss record and more importantly his clean loses.

Believe me, there is nothing I would like more than to see CM Punk beat Taker clean on the upcoming Smackdown. This is partly because I have become a huge CM Punk mark, but also because I do think he wins much too often. It won't happen, of course, but I can dream.

I felt the same way about Stone Cold back in the day, and when Triple H fought him to a draw in a two of three falls PPV match I was absolutely ecstatic about it. (The irony of this is not lost on me today.)

I also remember when Taker turned heel as the leader of the Ministry, leading to a feud with Stone Cold in which Taker pretty much got his a-- handed to him, because he was a heel and Austin was a face (as much as Austin could be one, anyway). And of course when Austin turned heel and was sucking up to Vince all the time, he suddenly wasn't invulnerable any more and he was beaten by The Rock IIRC.

For that reason I am hoping that what people are saying about a Batista heel turn being on the horizon is true, because it seems that when a wrestler turns heel he becomes less brave and/or less tough than he was before for some reason. Since I think Batista is far too tough (despite a countout loss to Punk two weeks ago and a loss to Mysterio last week), I think that'll be a good thing.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.
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