Total Wrestling

The Min Report – WWE Monday Night Raw – 13 Feb 2012

The Min Report

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. No, I don’t care either. But it’s nice to be nice isn’t it.


Chris Jericho def. Kofi Kingston

Randy Orton def. Big Show

R-Truth def. Dolph Ziggler

Tamina Snuka def. Brie Bella

CM Punk def. The Miz


No major intro this week, let’s get right in there. Decided to write as I watched this week, reflecting as I went and then tidying up later. ‘As live’ if you will…

‘Embrace the Hate’ promo kicks us off to start this week, serving mainly to remind us of the following:
1) Cena is a terrible actor with awful Hogan-esque punches (anyone remember that early training vid of Cena where he was throwing legit cool punches before he became huge? It’s here if you haven’t. What happened to that guy? He could wrestle too.)
2) Although we all know what Kane’s face looks like, he feels the need to wear make up again underneath his mask to ‘sell’ a burnt and bruised appearance.
3) Ambulances in the USA are red. That’s weird. I thought we may be treated to a fire engine match initially. Hey it’s got a ladder, an axe, a hose to spray people with and wrap around their throats, why not?
On the early subject of Kane/Cena, I have to comment on WWE’s continuing idiocy for allowing this image to surface online this week. Surely if there are certain storylines that require a little kayfabe being re-introduced to the industry it’s this? Poor WWE. Poor. More of this later I’m sure.

Anyway, promo over, opening credits out of the way, and Michael Cole introduces us to the San Diego crowd. You stay classy people! San Diego of course as we all know in German, means Whale’s Vagina. But that’s enough about Kharma. Maybe we’ll be treated to a little jazz flute later? Probably not.  We’re reminded that John Laurinaitis is back as Raw IGM (even though Trip apparently has power to fire him at any point), and that HBK will be appearing this eve (even though he’s been claiming on twitter all week that he knew nothing about it). WWE consistency people. Feel the quality. Wonder if HBK will be wearing a hat and something sleeveless? Anyhoo, seems we’re straight into a segment. No pyros this week. I called that last week. Expect multiple ties on show backstage this week I guess?

Lawler invites us to an Elimination Chamber match debate.  All participants in the upcoming Raw version of the match at the EC PPV are introduced. This pretty much serves as a reminder of who’s in the match to be honest. I’m glad I made a coffee before the opening credits this week. Punk pulls his cheesy ‘I know this is silly’ faces, gives a peace sign and says “Vote for me”. His face is right. This IS silly. What’s to debate exactly?  Laurinaitis come out to interrupt straight away. OOOH TIE UPDATE! Carlton Banks is with him and appears to be wearing the tie that Trip and Josh Matthews shared last week, albeit in a bow. I do have to say, I like the way he colour coordinates his flask with his outfit most weeks. That’s dedication to a role. If only that kind of detail was applied to other areas of the show and it’s storylines eh? Laurinaitis did a half-hearted fist pump. I kinda enjoyed that.

Punk addresses the ‘WWE Universe’ even though a short while ago he said he wouldn’t be using buzz terms like this – how annoying. I guess he’s a sports entertainer now and not a wrestler anymore? This debate will not end in violence apparently. It will I bet.   “Naked pictures of bestiality” – now there’s a line you don’t often hear on PG programming. That’s already this week’s ‘moron’ for me. Oh, he’s said ‘slacks’ now! I’m torn.

Truth claims he’ll trade Vicki and Ziggler for Hornswoggle and a box of spiders. Funny. Truth plays the ‘What’ card so well too. Seems very relaxed in his role now. Maybe it’s all the pot. I can give or take him in the ring (may want to reconsider that phrase Simm?) but his promos always entertain me.  Nice moment when Miz lost his way in his diatribe – he really is having a bad time at the moment (it’s what you get for stealing gimmicks Mike!). On the plus side, he might make a good TNA X-Division champ someday at least…

Jericho used the word neophytes – nice word given the context of his promo last week and I’m sure the religious crossover isn’t lost on him seeing as he choose Jericho as his ring name. Usual solid promo from Jericho with the highlight being his “Look at me when I’m taking to you boy” directed at Punk – just on the mic this feud could last for a year for me without them even touching each other. Great stuff. And yes, I did say touching each other. Grow up. Piss poor dolphin joke from Truth ruins the praise I gave him earlier. Shame. Kingston tries to big-up himself and pretend he’s a threat for the chamber (he’s not) and concludes segment by hitting Jericho with The Pineapple Express of whatever he’s calling it nowadays.

Jericho v Kingston
Why has Kingston got question marks on a green background on his ring gear. Is he The Riddler? The only riddle is what are they going to do with him once they run out of gimmick matches. I’m not hating on Kofi – he’s a great athlete – but at what point do you realise that creative really has nothing for you here other than ‘can you do a cool spot in this match to keep the kids watching please’? This was a solid showing from him (as always) – he’s never gonna be world champ (that future X Division really is looking strong isn’t it) but until they make the IC or US belt a bigger deal, or have a sustained push with the tag titles (or give him a partner he can trust!) he’s gonna be floundering. Shame.
Almost thought we were gonna to see the real Walls of Jericho but we saw the standard boston crab version as always. Kofi got to the ropes either way.  We see people escape finishers too easily on the weekly shows for me. I’d be happy to see more squash type matches week on week – save the big match-ups for PPV and special occassions. Is that my I HAVE A DREAM this week? I guess so. You can build a story and still have people win strong and clean. It just takes a bit of thought. Why should I believe a finisher is any good if I rarely see it beat anyone clean?

Nice little break for a very cool Just For Men Beard and Moustache advert. Enjoyed that. Bearded babies – more of this!

Zack Ryder has a enormous neck brace on, strapped all down his spine, and is wheelchair bound,  but has managed to spike his hair and put a headband on without any apparent outside help. Er, ok*. Cena has shaving cut it seems. Does that count as blood on Raw? PG violation! *It gets worse later.

Orton v Big Show
It’s Daniel Bryan on Raw again! This is why I hate ‘Raw Supershow’. Not cos we see more Bryan – I love Daniel Bryan, but cos it wastes time when we could see more stars, and give them more exposure and experience on live tv. I want to see Raw stars on Raw and SD stars on SD – is that too much to ask! Also ruins the 2 world champs scenario when we always see them both on the same show. Bryan’s on silent commentary duty and his demenour is great  – quietly confident, bordering on fully arrogant, almost like a Bond villian. I assume they’re building to Bryan/Orton at some point here – could be as good, if not better than Orton/Christian if done well.
Kudos moment! Orton with the DDT from hung on top rope – nice adapt of the usual – great spot, well taken by Show….immediately ruined by probably the worst RKO I’ve ever seen. Almost seemed like Orton forgot to jump. Massive YOU F**KED UP chants from the crowd. Orton looks like he wants to be pissed-off  but not sure who he should direct his anger at as there’s no mirror around. They re-group, he hits a better RKO, and Bryan cheap shots him with the belt for the DQ. Has to be said, great timing and awareness by Bryan on the interference – clearly he was supposed to come in earlier but read the situation and held his ground. That’s pro.

Why couldn’t this match just be on Smackdown though? Pretty soon FCW is gonna have be to renamed a training camp for house shows. What happens? We get to Mania and they need to fill a MITB match with stars and wonder why some don’t perform. Probably not used to that thing called a crowd, plus a camera and an announce table being in the way I guess.

HBK is out next…
Sleeveless shirt, check. Cowboy hat. check. Yep, that’s HBK alright. Lawler says he’s looking better than ever. He’s not. He’s looking like he’s had several months away from the ring and away from working out in general. He’s wearing all black. Black is slimming. Lawler’s an idiot. Remember God loves all his creatures…apart from those HBK wants to hunt on his TV show apparently. I’m just saying. Wonder if that’s a fake ponytail hanging out of that hat by now? Remember #WigWatch people. Anyway…

He says last week he was ‘riveted’ to is TV set. Sound like quite a feat on engineering. Maybe Levis were involved. He calls out Trip. Trip enters. Hey he’s wearing a different tie! Who would’ve thought. Nice to see that HBK still hasn’t quite grapsed when to use the quotation marks sign and so uses it for every other word just in case. Greatest in-ring performer ever true, but nobody said he was a genius I guess.

Essentially the promo is about Trip being a pussy-whipped suit who’s lost sight of what he really is. I really like the angle they’ve worked here (for now). It’s honest in that Taker and the streak is a business/marketing thing now. It doesn’t make sense for it to end and we all know it. But like all the best angles it makes you think…and gets marks like me exhausting the ‘what ifs’. Bottom line is it’s times like this that are best for the WWE because its gets fans talking, which gets them interacting with the brand, and keeps you watching. Nice little admission for the marks that Trip knows he’s inheriting all this someday sooner or later, and I guess in reality he does have to look at things different rather than feed his ego. Nice blur between reality and storyline – its what made the attitude era so cool and any glipses of that magic are welcome for me. Generally a great promo – solid chemistry as expected – got a few weeks of this to roll yet I hope until Trip breaks his pretense.

Taker interrupts us from his personal Imax cinema again. He says some stuff that is supposed to sound menacing, but what we learn most is that WWE seem to accepted that the wig was a silly idea. So they’ve essentially used this vid to have Taker ‘shave it back it off’. As I said last week, I hope its a full on skinhead Taker we see soon in the ‘Death’ guise.

Ziggler v Truth
Vicki has, quite frankly, never looked like more of a hooker than she does here. More Krueger than Cougar really. Crowd are dead for this match. You shouldn’t be able to hear individual members of the crowd shout during a match at this level on live TV. Poor finish. Dolph was number one contender for the WWE title last month, was a favourite for the Rumble, and has been one of the most consistently great performers over the last year by the way. This week he lost to a grounded inside-cradle by a man who talks to imaginary children. Go figure.

Tamina Snuka v A Bella Twin (I don’t care which)
Tamina is looking better every week – wrestling wise. She still scares me sex-wise. Reminds me of Mel B on steroids. I like how she hits the Superfly Splash. Should be decent match with Beth at EC. Wouldnt even be surpised if she gets the win with a little help from someone who farts a lot, although I don’t think the time is right just yet for Beth to be dethroned. I certainly doubt this will be their only PPV encounter at least. If Kharma isn’t gonna be involved again soon, possibly even a rematch at mania with Jimmy in her corner? Superfly Snuka not the Little variety.

Promo for The Rock and his Journey 2 movie…basically just showed us him jiggling his boobs for a kids movie. He’s a man’s man remember.

Kane abducts Eve. Bundles her into ambulance. Cena make the save. Eve gets off with Cena. Ryder appears quickly in wheelchair somehow (unaided by anyone). Looks all in shock and heartbroken. I piss myself laughing and then double check that I haven’t actually switched over to watch Hollyoaks. Nope this is WWE apparently. Eve chases after Zack (yes this is still happening!) and wants them to be friends. If you want Eve to be a heel, this is a great line – unfortunately it’s just the only line they could give her where there weren’t too many syllables to pronounce. This story is silly but I’m almost enjoying it now. Just because it might mean that Ryder gets to kick Cena’s arse at some point more than anything. Rise Above Hate people…but snogging your best friend’s girl is ok! Finally a Cena I could share a beer with! If you want some, come get some indeed! You know what, keep Cena to 10 minutes on a show out of the title picture and in crap stories like this and I have no real problem. Does this mean Ryder is going to going Team Bring It? Watch this space I guess…

Punk v Miz
Punk is out is his horrible new t-shirt – in fairness the ringer tee set the bar too high. Interesting that Jericho is slating people for stealing his gimmicks, one of which is The Best In The World. Not the best move then I guess for Punks next t-shirt to be a a reminder of the old ‘In JBL we trust’. Again WWE logic, go figure.

Quick observation – How often do we see Punk shaking his wrist to get feeling back? Part of a gimmick or a bigger real issue? I hope not the latter. Just got me thinking about Edge. Clearly he’s already got some elbow issues but I hope it’s not serious. Maybe I’ll tweet him and ask so he can either ignore me or send a smart-ass comment in return.

Match not as slick as I’d expect. Just don’t think these two have a natural chemistry to be fair. I am currently at a loss as to where Miz will feature other than in MITB at WM28? Main eventer to that in one year – rolled a two and hit the snake there dude.  Miz tapped to the Anaconda Vice. Closing note on something I’ve noticed Punk do more and more recently which I like – he does the open mouthed communicating disguised as catching breath thing that Bret used to do. Clever. Slick. Pro.

Closing segment and Kane’s backing the ambulance back up – guess he’s found out he lost a passenger after Eve escaped earlier. Wonder how far he got up the road before he realised? Cena comes out…to some cheers. Strange – he acts like an arsehole and gets cheers – who’d have thought eh? That’s sarcasm people. Somewhere a pig flew, and some ice appeared in hell too. It’s nice of WWE to continue to remind us of what an ambulance looks like in case we forget before Sunday’s PPV comes round.

Cena claims it was Kane’s plan to turn the WWE universe against him…I think you’ll find John that 70% of that job had been done a long time ago by you. Massive WE ALL HATE YOU chant.  That is pretty strong. I like. Cena does his uncomfortable smile thing. Just think about the bank balance big guy. Zack Ryder then treats us to THE worst pretense that he needs crutches EVER.  Struggles with them (kinda), then moves into the ring and can walk apparently. Silly. This segment is painful. Then he grabs his crutches and gets slower again. It’s like watching Yoda in EP2 when we first see him fight.

Kane pushes Zack off the stage. Somewhere in the back Road Dogg phoned Billy Gunn and they mobile air-fived. Good bump from Ryder. EMT’s look concerned, Cena looks lost, Eve looks hot but ultimately devoid of braincells. This angle is now wasting my TV time. So ironic that Ryder spent so much time working hard to get TV time, yet once he made it, got over and won a title, they’ve done all they can to keep him out of the ring. Also a slap in the face to Ziggler who worked his arse off to elevate him a couple of months back. Will Ryder be a deciding factor on Sunday? Will he make it to Mania to meet Kane? Will he maybe be a surprise winner in MITB this year? Will he feature in Rock/Cena at Mania? Does anyone care? I’ve had enough…

MAXI-MIN points this week go to: 

WWE for giving Taker the barber’s blade. He’ll be kicking himself when he realises he could have just taken the wig off but still…

MIN-IMUM points this week go to:

CM Punk. Purely for using the term ‘WWE Universe’ without any sense of irony whatsoever. This is tantamount to a character assasination. HBK called HHH a sell out on this show, but this is selling out of the highest order.

Massively promo heavy show this week. I expected it but doesn’t mean like it. I laughed a lot but not in a good way. We’re just over 6 weeks now til Mania and there’s is no build for any feuds outside the headline match or the WWE title match. That means rushed storylines again. How are we suppossed to really care about this? No IC or US champ featured on Raw ‘Supershow’ this week, and no tag champs or RR winner in sight either. Plus no Brodus Clay for second week running after the big build up. Here comes the new annoyances, same as the old annoyances.

Elimination Chamber is this Sunday folks, but still all feels a little disjointed for me. Is anyone really clear of anything else happening outside the 2 EC matches, the Cena match, and the Beth match? My opinion as of last week hasn’t changed. I’d rather have a strong 8 week build from RR to Mania without any big gimmick PPV’s or weekly main events. That said, I’ll be watching live and will have a bonus report at some point on Monday pre-Raw.

I’m The Min. And I’m AweSimm.

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