Miz's movie is about to start, and I think it's important I get this posted and cuddle in to watch Christmas Bounty with Sam. I'll be posting my responses to the movie after it ends, and honestly, I can't post my feelings about Survivor Series as I try very hard to keep my language clean here on WNW, and what I have to say isn't very clean, or very nice. Honestly, I think Richard covered Survivor Series beautifully, much more beautiful than the PPV actually was.
As per usual, the WWE did right by Vachon. It's a simple thing, but it means so much when the WWE starts a show with that little tribute to any wrestlers who have lost their lives.
In Ring Segment > B
I find it interesting that the fans were chanting for Daniel Bryan and "YES!" "YES!" "YES!" yet they're not going big with him. I agree that he needs a bit of time as his ring work has been suffering a bit as of late, but the fans are not ready to let him go, no matter who The Authority jams down our throats. It's supposed to be what's best for business, but what about what the fans are do obviously telling TPTB what they do and don't want?
I agree that it's time to unify the titles, and since Cena came back so much earlier than predicted, they have to do something with the face of the WWE storyline, and why not throw Cena and Orton back together again? They haven't feuded in quite a while, and when done right, they can work together quite well. I'm not sure what direction they're going with Orton's character right now, as he keeps going between The Viper, and The Whiner. He really needs to find a direction and stick with it, because right now he's losing his following very quickly. He got some heat when he came out to start the show, but when he came out for the main event, the fans were quite dead.
The Shield vs Cody & Goldust & Rey > B
I have to say that this match didn't stand up to what I was expecting. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as any of them have been in the past. I will say that Reigns is really starting to stand out, and giving bigger and better parts of the matches. That he started this match, and ended it is a big change. I will admit that I'd have freaked seeing Reigns spear Rey a year ago, because he was that green, but now I can watch and be impressed with their work. Rey got a few solid moves in, and Cody looked solid, but Goldust didn't get his normal moves in. Honestly, at this point I'm waiting to see Reigns break off from The Shield and see where he can go. The man is almost destined to be a top guy in the WWE.
Reigns isn't the only on I'm expecting a lot from. Of course I want to see the Rhodes brothers feud at some point, but I'd also like to see a solid feud between Ambrose and both of the brothers, but separately. And I'm really hoping that we will see Rey in a singles feud with Rollins. The little bit we've seen from the two of them this past week has only gone to whet my apatite for what they might do!
Winners – The Shield (8:31)
Miz TV > B+
Please don't slap me around for this, hear me out first. I'm normally at the start of the queue to beat up any and all Special Guest Hosts on RAW, but Michael Strahan has something that so few Special Guest Hosts, and young Superstars are missing – personality and charisma! Axel needs to sit down and watch Strahan and watch how he was able to get over with the WWE 'Universe', even though he's not a Superstar, or someone you'd expect to see on WWE TV. Yes, part of it was that they were in New York, but it wasn't all of it. Strahan has an expressive face, a quick smile, personality and exudes charisma. He wasn't worried about hitting his lines, he went out there and hit his marks, but he also went with the flow and took the segment to an organic conclusion, and in the process he made both Miz and O'Neil look that much better on mic. In fact, this was some of O'Neil's best mic work, and it shows that he has that spark in him to be a serious talker.
I can understand why some of you might not like this, but I said to Stacy during this segment that I'd like to see more of Strahan on WWE TV. Not saying he should be working the ring, though it was obvious that he put in the time to make his hip tosses look solid, its his mic work and easy charisma that I enjoyed. Honestly, the WWE needs to bring in someone like Strahan to work with the younger Superstars to help them understand what works and what doesn't.
Axel & Ryback vs Big E & Henry > B-
Big E and Henry, it just flows off your tongue. Not saying that I want to see Big E shoved into a team right now, but this is so natural and organic that it makes perfect sense. Henry would be a great guy to work with Big E, teach him things that running with any younger wrestlers wouldn't teach him. While Henry hasn't always been a top star, he's been a star longer than most other wrestlers, and can teach Big E things about longevity and working with different wrestlers. Big E could bring some youth and spunk to Henry that we haven't seen in years. Like when Big E won the IC Title and was like a child in awe of the belt, when he and Henry won this week, Big E looked positively giddy standing next to Henry and holding the strap in his hand.
The only problem I see with Big E and Henry at this point is that it seems like they're going to be working against Axel and Ryback. Honestly, I feel bad for Axel being sidled with Ryback, but I understand the logic behind it. I just wish Axel could work with someone who could help pull him up, rather than continue to drag him down. I feel the same way for Big E and Henry working against them. I think there's so much more out there for Axel, and so much more for Big E and Henry. I even think that there's more for Ryback, but only if he agrees to a cranial rectal extraction.
Winners – Big E & Henry (2:33)
Total Divas vs True Divas > D+
Aksana, Summer Rae, Fox, Cameron, and Eva Marie need to get the heck out of the ring. They're all a joke and need to just stop. I'm actually impressed with JoJo's work, as she's so new to the ring, doesn't try to go into the ring and be overly sexy, or try to do things she shouldn't. She did rush things a bit in this match, but she's still new. Honestly, she could have the making of a solid little wrestler if she keeps up the work.
The fact that the fans actively groaned and booed Eva Marie when she was tagged into the ring should show TPTB just how hated she is. The announcers chalked it up to her personality on Total Divas, but I think it's more than that. She's proven that she's absolutely useless in every job they've tried her in. Other than standing there and looking pretty, also something that doesn't seem to come easy to her, because it usually looks like she's smelling something bad. She doesn't seem to have any applicable skills, she's obviously not a very nice girl who will lie to get what she wants, and thinks that not cheating is more important than doing a proper job and knowing (and being able to pronounce) her co-workers' names. The best thing I can say about her is that she does a great job of making sure her roots don't show through, something that's hard when you have such a drastic change from your natural color – as Ziggler!
As much as I like to verbally abuse Summer Rae, that she was willing to go out there and make a total ass out of herself shows me that there's more to her than bad wrestling, blonde hair and long legs. I will be giving her a bit more slack going forward, though will still be on her for her ring work until it improves. The problem is, what's the push to improve when half the Divas Division is piss poor in the ring? There's too many that just are not good enough to be on WWE TV, yet they're out there. Last week, during the Smackdown OTP, Xavier asked if AJ could have hung with the likes of Trish, Lita, Molly, etc. I said that it's hard to work at a certain level when most of the rest of the Divas are barely passable in the ring, and that if AJ was surrounded by wrestlers like Trish, Lita, Molly, etc., I think she'd really step up to the plate and improve to their level quite easily. I truly believe this, and feel horrible that the Divas are in such a state, because the women who can really wrestle grew up watching fantastic female wrestlers with hopes of working with other just like them, yet they're stuck with working with girls like Cameron who thinks that the best match they ever saw was Melina vs Fox! How can you expect the best work from women with co-workers like that?
Winners – Total Divas (8:19)
Hamptons Hardcore Match – Sandow vs Ziggler > B+
I have to say I was shocked by how close the results of the poll was, but then again, what's the major difference between them all? Though I will agree with announce when they said that this was very AE, and I was thinking of Mean Street Posse. As much as Sandow said he didn't like being put in these circus matches with Ziggler, the two of them are making this matches so much more than we ever saw from this type of match in the AE. I've been very impressed with how Sandow and Ziggler have been working these oddball weapons, but not making them look silly as they sometimes have been in the past. They have really been putting in some solid hardcore work, making it look good, and yet I'm not missing the color in any way. Honestly, the only issue I had with this match was how lame Ziggler's hit on Sandow with the rowboat oar, and how badly he used the fire extinguisher on Sandow. Now, I know the rowboat oar was quite thick and could have hurt, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have made it look better. Sandow, on the other hand, did a lovely job breaking that canoe paddle over Ziggler's back. I realized when I was writing the RAW Results last night that I knew more about moving boats by hand than I thought. I grew up canoeing, and I have to say that the paddle Sandow used was quite pathetic to break as easily as it did. Honestly, it was either a two piece paddle, which wouldn't last long in any practical use, or it was pre-split to make it break easier when used as a weapon.
I'm usually cranky about gimmick matches, but I think Sandow and Ziggler are working these matches better than most in their position. It's a great way to build toward TLC, and work their feud. I'm normally against this type of thing, but Sandow and Ziggler are doing such a lovely job of it that I can't help but love it. With their creativity, I cannot wait to see what type of weapons they will be using next!
Winner – Sandow (11:35)
Video > C
I am really looking forward to Miz's movie this evening, and will be writing an article about it after it's finished.
Backstage Segment > A-
This is exactly what I was talking about when it comes to Strahan! That man worked wonderfully with Santino, and even better with Rowan. What a fantastic segment! I can't give all the props to Strahan, Santino's description of what Kelly should cook for Thanksgiving had Stacy and I gasping for breath.
In Ring Segment > A
There's been a lot of talk about how Punk hasn't been as great on mic since that original pipe bomb, but his work here with Bryan was just great! I loved Bryan's simple "YES!" answers until it wasn't a "YES!" or no answer. He and Punk have such a lovely chemistry, and their flow was fantastic. I love that Punk asked why they all had mics, yet Renee was not asking and questions. Even Renee's facial expressions added so much to this segment, even though she said so little. I love her on WWE TV, and I love Bryan and Punk working together as a team after all these years.
Handicap Match – Bryan & Punk vs The Wyatt Family > B+
I loved the addition of Bray to this match, it made it so much more than a Survivor Series recap, which the WWE showed too much of on this episode of RAW. Also, that it didn't have a clean ending changed things up quite a bit from Survivor Series. I really enjoyed this match, and was impressed with the work. Bryan looked more solid than he has in past weeks, didn't seem to botch any moves. Rowan looked more impressive and stronger than he has in the past, but Harper still appeared to be the stronger of the two. Bray, as usual, was chilling and malicious, in other words, playing his role perfectly. Every time he's on WWE TV, someone brings up how great he is in this role, and that he's on a completely other level from most Superstars trying to play a character. He's another one who younger wrestlers should watch, because he plays Bray to his tippy-tippies, Windham is Bray Wyatt, not just playing a character, and guys like Axel and Ryback don't seem to get that.
Post-match was as interesting and exciting as the actual match. I'm wondering what's going to happen with Bryan now that he's been abducted, but I'm also wondering is The Wyatt Family and The Shield are working together – why else would they show up at the perfect time to take out Punk? That spear from Reigns was lovely. I know that the camera angle had a lot to do with it, and because of it, it seemed as though Reigns came out of nowhere. There's so many questions that came from this post-match that I'm excited and interested to see what's going to happen next, and that's how booking should work! Not saying that every segment, or every match should end with a cliffhanger, but sometimes it's smart, and this was just wonderful. I'm still questioning what's going to happen, it's still sitting in the front of my brain, even though I should be trying to focus on my novel so I can him my 50,000 words by midnight on the 30th. I went to bed thinking about this, and not my novel, good thing for the WWE, not a good thing for my characters who were not happy about being pushed aside by a bunch of wrestlers.
No Contest (13:37)
Backstage Segment > B+
I really liked the chemistry between Miz and Francia. They have a casual and relaxed friendship, and honestly seem to like each other bodes well for their movie. As I mentioned before, I will be watching the movie this evening and writing a review of it for WNW. Watch out Miz, I'm going into this movie with a stern eye.
Kofi vs Miz > B-
I'm not overly thrilled with Kofi and Miz working together, but I will say that I find it quite interesting how neither of them is quite heel, nor face. They're both dancing on top of that fence, and actually doing quite a decent job of it. Neither have quite decided to jump in either direction, but the handshakes and slaps have been quite the teasers for possibly something much more to come. Possibly the WWE is is gauging the fans to see what we want, the problem is that the fans were not giving much of a reaction at that point in the show. In fact, like the night before in Boston, after Bryan was abducted by The Wyatt Family and The Shield bombed Punk, the crowd seemed to lose all enthusiasm. I know the acoustics in the Boston Garden don't translate well to TV – from being there at events, then later watching them on TV – but the fans had been loud and wild earlier in this episode of RAW, but then they just fell apart, or stopped caring. All that being said, I'm interested in seeing where these two go, who will be the heel in the end. Can Kofi really be a heel?
Winner – Miz (5:03)
Backstage Segment > B+
I loves me some Foley! Honestly, I wish I had my wweshop.com list organized so I could have used his promo code last night, but I'm still behind on my lists and decision making for Yule, Christmas and Hanukkah.
Ringside Segment > C-
"The Kosher Butcher"? "The Circumcision"? That was very AE, and not in a good way, but I still laughed. At least they kept it short, and Charlie was cute about it.
Slater vs Woods > C+
I really didn't understand the Dactyls escorting Woods to the ring, and why did R-Truth only talk to Clay about borrowing them, doesn't Sweet T have any say in pimping out the Dactyls? It would have made more sense for them to escort him out if they hadn't already made their show bonus for the match earlier in the show. It was nice for him to have the support in his first singles match on WWE TV, so I guess it worked, and made him look that much flashier than he already was. Honestly, the Dactyls work quite well with Woods and R-Truth, but it would be better if it didn't feel like they were being pimped out. I will say that Woods still looks like he's rushing things in the ring. I know it goes with his character, but I think if he slowed down half a beat his work would look so much stronger.
Winner – Woods (3:17)
Video > C
This 50 years of the WWE is something I absolutely need. Every time it's mentioned, I turn and look at Stacy. He agrees that it's something we need in the house.
Backstage Segment > C
I know what they're trying to do with Eva Marie, but she just cannot seem to make any of it work. If someone with a clue and some personality had delivered her line, it would have worked, instead it sounded hollow and fell quite flat. Goldust and the other Divas were light-years ahead of Eva Marie. Also, did you notice the heat she got just for being in this segment? The fans do not like this girl, and I worry that the WWE is taking it as heat and not X-Pac heat.
Orton & ADR vs Cena & Big Show > B
Just before RAW started Sam was asking me how much I write in the RAW Results. She asked if I write the bell ringing each time, and if I write Cena sliding into the ring each time, etc. I told her than I don't write everything the Superstars do that's exactly the same each week, but I do write if something different happens from the norm – then Cena ended up having a bit of a tug-o-war with the ref over his strap just after he slid in the ring. I thought it was funny that Sam was just asking me if I wrote Cena's entrance every time, and then his entrance is screwed up and I write it out.
There was nothing inherently wrong with this match, but it wasn't great. You'd think that just after they set up such a monumental match at TLC, that they would give that much more in the ring, yet what Orton and Cena gave was just average. I will gave my same review of ADR, he just doesn't seem to give all he has. Some like to blame it on how Mexican wrestlers seem to have issues learning the WWE way of doing things, but ADR learned to wrestle in Japan, so he doesn't have that excuse. Personally, I think he's coasting and is getting away with it because McMahon thinks that ADR is needed for the Mexican viewers.
What impressed me in this match was Big Show. We say too many times that too many wrestlers don't know how to sell, Cena and Punk included, but Big Show sold that his head was rattled better than most of the selling we've seen from so many wrestlers in the WWE this past year. This is just one more place where too many Superstars have been dropping the ball. It seems to me that most of these guys need to really watch mic work and matches from not just the best, but the worst, and learn what works, what doesn't and why. They need to work with more established wrestlers who have already made it, and learn from them. It's not the job of guys like Big Show, Trip, Kane, and even Cena to step up and offer their help to these guys, it's their responsibility to step up and ask for help, as to learn. If they don't, then they're not going to get over, they're not going to succeed, and they have no one to blame but themselves. Not every Superstar needs the same type of charisma, but they need to show they have something, and make their work believable. Big Show made his work in this match very believable, something that's been greatly missing in the WWE these days.
Winners – Big Show & Cena (15:59)
Even though it's not yet Thanksgiving, Stacy pulled out a couple of my WWE Santa hats. He hasn't found them all, but I wore DX for Survivor Series, and "YES!" "YES!" "YES!" for RAW, and I'm Awesome right now wearing Miz. I only thought it was right to wear Miz's tonight considering his movie debuting. I have to admit that I'm bummed that I only have one month out of the year when I can wear these hats because they're so warm and comfortable. I'm not really big on the Christmas thing, but I love the WWE, and I love being warm. As I woke up to a couple inches of snow this morning, I absolutely think it's okay that we broke these hats out before Thanksgiving this year. Now, if I could only find my Taker hat...
I hope everyone that celebrates has a lovely Thanksgiving, and for those who don't, I hope you have a lovely Thursday.
Queen of WNW