RAW Is Blogged - A Carefully Woven Tapestry

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I have to say that while I'm impressed with how the WNW comments have been heating up going into WrestleMania, a number of people have not been as nice as they could be. While I know it's easier to be a nincompoop online as you're not face to face with the person you're bashing, it's still not cool. It's not that hard to express your views without being mean, or breaking any rules. Actually, I find it fun to find creative ways for explaining my personal viewpoints. Each week I try to add in a new and different word. I actually take challenges from my friends and family to see if I can use certain words in my writing and have them work seamlessly. Since I'm finally admitting this, I expect you to call me on any words that glaringly and obviously don't work.

Anyway, last week a couple of people greatly disagreed with my grades for two specific segments on RAW. Anyone who read the comments last week know which segments I'm talking about. I had actually gone back and forth about how to grade those segments, but then I realized than no matter what I said, people would be touchy about it, so I went with how I felt – this is a Blog after all. I guess I was just surprised at how nasty some people will get when they don't agree with you. Normally I let the crankiness slide off, which is easier to do now than it was when I first started, but being told I know nothing about wrestling after I've been writing about wrestling for over ten years, and watching it for over twenty-five, really gets my goat. While I don't know everything about wrestling, none of us do (though Professor, Blitz and Storm really make me feel like a twit), I try my darnedest too continue reading and watching – new and old – to continue to round out my knowledge.

Because of all this I'm going to employ 'The Choice' Matt Andrews' disclaimer for the next couple weeks until people remember that this is a Blog, my opinion and while people are more than welcome to express their opinions and debate, I will not be standing for abuse – toward myself or anyone commenting on any of my writing!


Show Starts

In Ring Segment > A

I know a lot of people are going to be unhappy about my grading of this segment, but I was very impressed with the work of both of them. Jericho was the total rotten jerk, playing the nice guy, then turning it around to be downright evil. Punk stood strong, but he sure sold the emotions on his face and in his body language. The longer Punk is on top, the more brilliant he is. WWE managed a major coup bringing in Punk and then keeping him when it was time for a new contract.

Kane vs Big Show > B

I thought that the story was more impressive than the match. Neither of these big guys can have an injury so close to WrestleMania, so they played it safe in the ring. Or they mostly played it safe, other than Big Show's spear on Kane. I also liked the way Kane chokeslammed Big Show from the corner. It wasn't beautifully executed, but it was interesting.

Better than the actual match was that Cody did to cost Big Show the win. After that I was impressed with how Big Show sold the possible head injury. That he had to put his hand back there for Cody to cuff him looked silly, but after he was cut free he handled himself wonderfully. It's nice to see someone who can sell, hopefully some of the younger guys were watching and learning. I was also impressed with Big Show yelling at Cody to run as he was being cut from the cuffs.

I went back to watch this match as I wanted to see the Shane Douglas debacle. I've explained before that when I'm writing the RAW play-by-play I am so focused on the moves in the ring that I sometimes miss things happening peripherally. I completely missed Douglas' little show in the stands. Going back to watch I was specifically watching for him little stunt. I saw him stand up, then I saw his white shirt go flying, then the fans in that area all wild over what he had done. To me this just continues to show what a bit player Douglas really is. Douglas will be in town here on Sunday with BTW. As with last year when he was here, I plan on giving him a wide berth as his attitude and nastiness, even when he's not playing up his heel character, was enough to make me ill last year. As much as I try to retain my decorum at events, put myself across as a professional, a writer for WNW, and try not to mark out too badly, I know I'm going to have trouble keeping a straight face when I see Douglas at the meet and greet. I will be writing up my trip to the BTW event again this year.

Winner – Kane

Otunga w/ Laurinaitis vs Santino w/ Long > C

I have to say that not even Santino could make Otunga look good in the ring. Yes, Otunga is a beautiful specimen, but the way he was showing off his bicep muscle was reminiscent of Steiner, and Otunga is no Steiner. It was actually Stacy who brought this up, laughing. Stacy doesn't know much about Steiner, other than what I've told him, and what he's seen of Steiner in TNA/IW, and he still is less impressed by Otunga than Steiner. Sadly that's saying something about Otunga. I think I need to find him some old WCW Steiner Brothers matches, maybe against Harlem Heat!

Anyway, I wasn't impressed with the ring work here. Actually, the only things I enjoyed was Long and Santino taking out Laurinaitis' cell, and the way Long slapped the taste out of Laurinaitis' mouth.

Winner – Otunga

Promo > A

I really enjoyed seeing Bloom's video and will admit that I did not realize it was him until Richard brought it up. To me Bloom has always been an incredibly hairy man, but he wasn't here. I've been reading a lot of wonderful things about how he grew as a wrestler in Japan. I'm planning on hunting down some videos to see what he's done. It will be interesting to see if he's going to make a surprise appearance at WrestleMania as a member of Team Johnny, or maybe just as Laurinaitis' enforcer. Be very cool for him to get a WrestleMania bonus on his first night back. I know that if the rumors are true and he's back to be Laurinaitis' muscle, then Laurinaitis will be sticking around after WrestleMania, and possibly Team Johnny will win at WrestleMania?

Video > A-

Rocky was strong, self deprecating, and used local landmarks as well as foods to bring the local fans to his side. This was his best promo in a couple weeks, for me. I can't say much about the Rocky movies, because I have never seen any of them, but it made a lot of sense for them to go there in Philly. I also have to admit that I spelled Adrien wrong last night, I'm sorry. But I did find out some interesting things about the statue. It's been moved a couple times, trying to find the right home for it. It was donated by Stallone to the city of Philladelphia. Many tourists run up the 72 steps while mimicking Rocky, but few actually enter the museum at the top of the steps.

D-Bry w/ AJ vs Ryder > B

This wasn't D-Bry's best match, but he sure stayed in character and let Ryder look like he had a chance. D-Bry also did a great job of treating AJ like crap while being so excited over what so many would see as an easy win. As 'iamjohnnymcb' commented in the RAW Results, "miz wants a match at wm28, ryder wants a match at wm28, for godsakes put these 2 in a match" It makes perfect sense to me, though Miz might see it as an insult, because that's how he is.

Winner – D-Bry

Announce Segment > C

I guess I shouldn't be shocked that they stepped up and used Cena's accident and made it a bigger deal than it was. Can you imagine that phone call to VKM? Less than two weeks before WrestleMania, the match they've been building for over a year, then Cena is in a car accident. I'm sure he called VKM, or someone high up in TPTB, and told them first that he was alright, then what happened. I'm sure he had to do it quickly as well, before someone else said something and the word got out that there had been an accident. But still, I could see the cow that VKM might have had about this.

Cena vs Henry > D+

To me this match was a joke. No wonder Henry is grumpy! He was on a huge push as an un-stoppable heel, possibly the biggest push of his career, but then he's injured and not allowed to work through it as he wished. Further he's put in matches where he has to job to the likes of Cena! Then there's the pseudo suplex Cena hit on Henry that left me cringing. I will give Cena props for hitting the AA on Henry, and props to Henry for taking it like a trooper and not fighting against Cena the whole way.

Winner – Cena

In Ring Segment > B+

I will say that Henry seemed more enthusiastic about taking the Rock bottom than he was taking the AA. For me this ramped up the Cena/Rocky feud more than their talking smack at each other. A number of people have been unhappy that Rocky and Cena have yet to get physical with each other, but I understand why VKM is holding that for WrestleMania. That Rocky came out and hit the Rock bottom on someone, especially someone the size of Henry, showed that Rocky isn't afraid of getting physical at WrestleMania, but he didn't get physical with Cena. I really liked how this was handled and it was a nice step up leading us to the big match without going too far.

Video >F

Seems like there's a lot of videos on this RAW. Sadly we were stuck watching this one. That the WWE has allowed Maria Menunos to pin Beth is bad enough, but they're bringing her in again for another WrestleMania match? I'm completely disgusted by this and think it's a low blow to the already destroyed Divas Division. I think almost all of us would rather see Kharma versus Beth at WrestleMania, but I understand why it's not happening and Kia should take all the time she needs to get her head and heart into a place where she can handle being back in the WWE full time.

Miz vs Sheamus > B+

Some might be upset that this match gets a better grade than D-Bry's match, but this match did have better ring work. While saying the ring work was better, there was still a few moments that looked a bit sloppier than usual from either of these two. They both seemed to be about a half beat off from each other and that made the match look not as wonderful as we usually see from these two. I'm not blaming either of them for this as sometimes things just happen. I'm going to chalk it up to impending WrestleMania nerves and hope they both got it out of their system before the big day.

Tying in my final paragraph of this RIB, I found it very interesting that Miz spoke about Bundy's WrestleMania drop off just before facing Sheamus who will be in possibly the biggest WrestleMania jump. He and D-Bry were pushed to the dark match last year and are in a Title match this year. To me that's a huge jump for two very deserving wrestlers.

Winner – Sheamus

Stage Segment > B-

I don't understand why Orton needed to have Josh interviewing him, rather than just coming out to talk. Yes, it broke up the way the segments were handled, and some might say that Orton needs someone to work off to give a solid promo. Either way, I found Orton to be well spoken, but the location and the feel of the segment to be awkward, but it got Orton in front of the fans, not just being interview backstage. For me that's just not the right spot for talking to happen in the WWE. It's been a spot that they've used off and on for years, but has never felt right to me, and it was horrible to have announce up there for the time is was, and it feels wrong to be holding interviews there as well. Am I the only one who finds that an awkward location to hold promos?

Video > A-

I know a lot of people have serious issue with the WWE pushing the Be A Star anti-bullying campaign with the storylines they put out, but I understand why they're doing it. It's a hot button topic, and I understand why the WWE is pushing it. For me it's the separation of fiction from reality. What we see on RAW and Smackdown is fiction, it's not who these people really are, so it doesn't bother me that they're involved in this campaign. I actually really enjoyed seeing that Big Show, Otunga and Steph were out working with kids.

I thought that Otunga looked exactly like his character, right down to his travel mug, and that could blur the lines of fiction and reality for children. On the other hand, I'm sure Big Show was bullied because of and in spite of his size. I've read things Steph has said about being bullied because of what her father did, and got mad when people told her it was all fake. Steph is an eloquent speaker and seemed to do a great job with the kids.

Swagger & Dolph w/ Vickie vs Kofi & R-Truth w/ Aksana > B

I really enjoyed this match for its entertainment value. That Aksana was ready to rip Vickie's head off made this match that much more interesting. I will say again, as I have numerous times, I hope Swagger finds his way and is able to make the fans care about him in some way. He could be huge, if only he could get past his lack of charisma.

All of them worked a solid match, pushing their Team Johnny vs Team Teddy match at WrestleMania. Other than a few decent moves, Kofi's DDT standing out most in my mind, this match was more about drama and tension than actual wrestling. That Vickie pushed R-Truth's foot off the ropes only further pushed the heels to be devious and willing to do anything for the win, and for Laurinaitis. Other than those things, it was back to Aksana on Vickie that was in the forefront. It was fun watching Kofi and R-Truth peel Aksana off Vickie, then watch Swagger drag Vickie from the ring by one foot, but that was again drama, not actual ring work. Knowing what these four guys can do, but that they were overshadowed by the drama and the screeching women just shows the direction the WWE has taken more and more recently, though I will admit that the drama brings me back to the AE and the excitement of every show. What I'm saying is that there's good and bad things to be said about this match and where the focus was.

Winners – Dolph & Swagger

Video > C+

I wish they showed more video clips from house shows, but that would cost a lot more money as they don't regularly bring all the camera equipment for those smaller events. I loved seeing Trip work the crowd and hit the tombstone, but I did cringe a bit. It's not his move and it's one of those moves I worry about being hit wrong as it can have horrible consequences. I know it's not a move allowed by most of the Superstars, but Trip has a whole other place in the company, so of course he can hit it. Also, it was MSG! Any WWE show in MSG is going to be huge, so why not have Trip shake off some ring rust and give the fans such a moment? To me it's more of WWE crafting everything down to the letter.

In Ring Segment > A-

I am going to get beaten up on this grade, but this is my opinion, you don't have to agree with me! Taker, Trip and HBK are three of the greats from a bygone era. I still wish (a little bit in the back of my mind) that this match was between Taker and Kane, but that's just what I would love to see. I'm with 'Richie' who commented to the RAW Results. "I admit I was against the match at first but they have pulled me in."

All three of these men were on their game and crafted an intricate dance of words in the ring. It wasn't big and flashy, it was created of words and grew out of of the skills of these three men. Every move, every pause, every eye movement was calculated and presented to the fans. Those fans who are all about the flash and excitement are guaranteed to not like this segment, but for others it's a beauteous game of chess. The last moments when Trip looks back and forth between Taker and HBK, while HBK only grins when Trip's not looking, just a tiny thread of the creatively woven tapestry.

I completely understand why many didn't like this and there's many reasons to not like it, but personally I saw it as a inventive feat for three men who know how to put on all the flash and glitz, but are old enough to hold and spin this tight segment that didn't need all the flash. I'm not sure many of the younger guys on the roster could pull off a segment like this. There's no question that Punk could, but who else? Just wonder who else people think could pull off such a moment.

Post Show

I have to say that not only does VKM, and everyone else involved in WWE's booking and creative, know how to put together a show with the right players, but they know where to do it and how to get the biggest reaction. Philly is almost always a hot crowd, but then they threw Jericho, Punk, Rocky, Cena, HBK, Trip and Taker at them. Further, next week's RAW, the go home RAW to WrestleMania, will be in Atlanta, the home of WrestleMania XXVII. Brilliant in my opinion. We sit back to watch and criticize each and every show, but there's so much that goes into every episode that we don't even think about. It's such a massive operation that becomes bigger every year. I'm not saying that they don't mess up, that they don't make massive mistakes, but in the grand scheme of things, these are really not a big deal as long as no one is hurt. Maybe we should think about all those little things they do right, so right that we don't even notice them, than abuse the things we're so sure they did terribly wrong.


  • steve2

    Adding on to the first paragraph, it’s not “should of” or “would of.” It’s “should’ve” or “would’ve” as in should have or would have. I’m an English teacher and you people are driving me nuts. 🙂

    • Canadian Maple Leaf

      Nobody really cares Steve. Go grade some papers.

      • kbunyon

        CML – Why the nastiness? Flies in the face of what I've been talking about – being a twit just to be a twit. So hateful and unsettling.


      • steve2

        Not sure what they do in Canada, but in America a lot of people care. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some papers to grade. (See that? I’m playing the role of the smartass heel! I should grow a full beard and dress like The Genius!)

    • kbunyon

      Actually, I really do care! My spelling has always been terrible, but I try. It really bothers me when people don't bother with spelling and grammar because it's only the Internet.

      Thanks for telling me. I went to go fix it, but I'm not sure where it is you're speaking of.


      • steve2

        Not you Kendra, just 90% of the commenters.

    • Ilyas

      HA HA FUNNY:-}

  • Dave McGreak

    I haven't commented for a while but I need to vent on how much I hate this HHH/HBK/Taker scenario, I'm pulling a Patrick and muting the tv when theyre on and I dont know why but I just feel incredible hatred towards Hunter and Shawn and none towards Taker. I think it maybe be a sixth sense telling me theres major politicing going on backstage from Hunter and Shawn. Stilll I dunno lol it might just be me personally.

    • Rolling Half Crab

      Or….maybe just maybe, you believe everythign you read on the internet Dirt Sheetz Dave. What name is short for Marcus again?

      • Dave McGreal

        No idea what youre talking bout chief sorry

        • Professor Rick Craig

          I have reason to believe that he is calling you a "mark", Dave.

  • Joe O.

    Although there were some grammatical errors in your blog I’ll look passed all of them except the only one I’ll scrutinize. Not only did you say champagne instead of campaign, you said it twice. Lol
    Ok, here’s some thoughts of my own. I actually don’t mind any of the grades you gave the segments. I didn’t understand putting Ryder in a jobber match against Bryan. I would think you’d want to give Ryder a chance to get momentum back especially after the injury angle they gave him.
    Otunga is awful and although it’d be nice to see Bloom as Johnny’s new right hand man, I hope Team Johnny loses. WWE caters to heels way to often in out of the ring storylines such as with allowing Cole to be the voice of the WWE…
    Last, I wasn’t sure if the Undertaker was just using his body language very well or forgot what he was supposed to say. I felt like the last of what he had to say was awkwardly wrapped up. Just my opinion.

    • kbunyon

      Wow, I feel like a nincompoop myself! Spell check didn't pick up on champagne because it wasn't misspelled, just the wrong word. Thank you for calling me on that one.

      Bloom as his old A-Train character would be better than Otunga! That man is horrid! Sadly, I don't think we'll be seeing the last of Johnny at WM. Even if his team loses, he won't just get to stepping gracefully.


    • Womp Womp

      At first I was going to look "past" your comments on grammar in this blog, but then that moment of benevolence "passed" and I felt compelled to show you the difference…

      Get it?

    • Professor Rick Craig

      Wow, Joe !! You want to talk about Kendra's grammatical errors and then you say "passed" instead of "past" in your very first sentence! Nicely done, sir! LOL

  • steve

    If the segment grades are really becoming an issue, you could just scrap them altogether. It’s really the commentary that makes the blogs interesting. Anyway, the show was solid with short and safe matches building to WM, but the final segment with Taker was really anticlimactic. Weird segment to end with.

  • JamieSNZ

    The HitC promos to me are becoming a little repetitive BUT they cannot have them do anything physical before WM. Except in one case. On the last RAW have HBK deliver Sweet Chin Music to both competitors. That will add just one more level or intrigue to the match.

    With regards to the Ryder/Bryan match, i do wish that Zack had faced someone else as his "comeback match", but to look that strong against Bryan is nothing to be ashamed of, even in defeat. That Broski boot looked pretty damn impressive, as was the counter from the Rough Rider into the LeBell Lock.

    Orton/Kane at Mania needs to be a gimmick match, but probably won't be. A street fight to close the feud would tie in nicely as it was a street fight that supposedly started all this.

    Team captains should not be fighting each other IMO. Have Kofi beat Swagger and Ziggler beat Truth. The US Champ should not EVER lose to Otunga. I see Mysterio, Ryder & Miz joining Team Teddy and maybe McIntyre instead of Miz. (Hoping 3 of those….not Khali…)

    I mentioned in another post how i was amused at Cena yelling "NOW!" to Henry before The Rock Bottom, that was the only flaw in that segment.

    Cody Rhodes is a star. The feud between him and Big Show is awesome on so many levels.

  • Steve C

    People who slate the lady segment and calling it an anticlimax seem to want every Raw to end with a bang, flash as you said KB, but I love the way it asks more question than answers them. The way shawn smiles it’s making you think will he screw HHH as H still seems angry at the fact taker says he’s better! Not all promos will be pipe bombs people!

  • Bob

    My main problem with the whole episode was the divas segment where they called Eve, Beths henchman. The woman has been on Beths side for all of 30 seconds and Im sure they fought each other about 2 weeks ago. This should be Nattie in the match poor work by the WWE and poor work by "extra" on reporting this.

  • Jbreed

    The Rock had promised something big and although he did not exactly deliver huge on his promise, we can't complain too much. All this feud had been about is who is better at insulting the other guy. It has gotten way too old and even lame, and has even taken away from the intrigue of the match at WM 28. This feud should have always been about who is the bigger icon of his respective era and who the better wrestler is. Finally things change a bit as The Rock comes out and shows John Cena what he's capable of doing in the ring instead of how good he is on the mic. Cena did overreact a little after the Rock Bottom. Cena's AA on 450 pound Mark Henry was more impressive than the Rock Bottom on Henry. Anyway let's hope next week's segment will really get us salivating for their match.

    I'm not the biggest Cody Rhodes fan but he was great. The beatdown on the Big Show was cool. I just wish they would mention the IC title being on the line more often.It seems more like a generic grudge match than a title match.

    The Sheamus/Daniel Bryan program seems to have taken a step back a bit.

    The GM stuff continues to develop nicely. I just hope Santino Marella doesn't ruin the match itself with his goofiness.

    I actually liked how the Randy Orton interview was done and where it was done. It was like one of those old-school interviews. The interview itself kind of fell flat though as Orton really did not have much to say.

    Shawn Michaels/Undertaker/Triple H was predictable if anything.

  • Jester

    “Beauteous ” that has to be the new word you were trying to work in to your blog. Nice!!! Lol

  • Samuel andersen

    This is a blog about wrestling not English give the guy a damn break


    I can't wait until WRESTLEMANIA28 ONLY ONE MORE WEEK until it's WRESTLEMANIA28!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jocka

    "I completely missed Douglas’ little show in the stands" Is this the tool that threw a shirt, but disrupted noone, but he is a D-Bag? I know how you feel. See Australia V Iran world Cup Qualifier for the biggest Douche of all.

  • proud

    I don’t know who that Maria chick is but if she is some type of celebrity then let her have a match and although I’m not happy that Kelly is getting a Wrestlemania paycheck (it should be AJ due to making Bryan happy and keep her as babyface) tagging with her, but the fact Eve is getting a Wrestlemania paycheck when she should have the fart gimmick and Natalya should be tagging with Beth.

    Interesting way they are building this WWE title feud and I’m not sure how much I like it but I’m not hating it.

    But I am so over this He’ll in a Cell build up and just not buying it (I have over 220 WWE PPV DVDs so I have enough great taker and HBK matches) and I really feel like I’m just watching these 3 amazing performers for the last time. It feels like the Michael Schumacher comeback as we may wish them well but what do they need to prove other than taking someone else’s position and we fans aren’t going to change things anytime soon.

    Thanks Kendra, I enjoyed your blog more this week and I hope for our sakes that Swagger finds what he is missing.