The Min Report – WWE Monday Night Raw – 6 Feb 2012
Guess who’s back?! Those of you expecting this to be the usual celeb-based ramblings of old may be a little disappointed. The truth is I’ve become bored with the plastic lifestyle in recent years and am far happier bantering about men in pants pretending to fight each other, so that’s what you’re gonna get. Things evolve. Roll with the punches. Deal with it. It’s gonna be fun. As Jake used to say, “Trust me.”
The great thing is, as this revolves around said men in pants, you should take this about as seriously as the old skool Min Reports of days gone by. I can’t say this is gonna be a proper Raw ‘Report’ as such week on week – there’s tons of them out there taking a more ‘play by play’ feel and there’s some great stuff out there, so feel free to spread your risk. Our favourite* here at Total Wrestling is John Canton’s thejohnreport – follow him on twitter @johncanton. A damn good writer and a bloody good egg to-boot. Also not opposed to excess amounts of alcohol we hear. Good lad.
What I’m gonna assume with this however is that (and although I’ll confirm the ‘results’) as wrestling fans, you’ve seen Raw by the time you read people’s opinions on it. Cause that’s all this and other reports are really – people’s opinions. I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you in detail what stuff means (generally) – if you know great (you’re a massive mark like us!), if not you’re probably just a fan ‘enjoying the ride’ (Thank you Mr Irvine!) You don’t have to agree with any of it. Wrestling would be shit if we all looked at it in the same way after all. Anyhoo here we go…
*other reports are available.
Big Show def. World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan
Sheamus def. David Otunga
The Great Khali & Randy Orton def. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes & Wade Barrett
Kelly Kelly, Eve, Alicia Fox and Tamina def. Beth Phoenix, Natalya and The Bella Twins
Chris Jericho def. WWE Champion CM Punk, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, The Miz & Dolph Ziggler
Remember folks, BANTER is our disclaimer at Total Wrestling. We DO love WWE. Honestly.
Trip started the show addressing the status of Laurinaitis, and above all the return of Taker last week. The biggest thing to come out of this for me was that like him or loathe him (and I’m not a massive fan to be honest), Trip can talk. He talks. I listen. I can’t ask for much more than that with a promo guy. He has a presence which he’s honed over 20 years in the top flight of the business. Yes he’s still got a big nose, a stupid beard, and his bespoke suit covers up his bloated ‘water-retaining’ body but still…
We saw a couple of promo vids to underline both what Taker was and what he may now be. Segment did it’s job well I thought. I’m still split on if I’m even bothered about this match at the moment or if we even need to see Trip/Taker 3 – Is it 3? Or 2? Are we supposed to forget the first meeting still? I’m never sure what we’re supposed to remember? Anyway, the segment gave some decent context on why this match needs to happen, or at least why it makes sense for Trip to get another go. Taker said that last years victory “means nothing”, so I guess we are supposed to believe he’s actually only 18-0 now or something?
WWE will probably want us to believe that this was planned all along, hence the ending to last years match. I guess as long as the match is entertaining I’ll be happy. Looks like HBK will be involved so at least that’ll be a mark-out moment for me either way. Taker responded with his own promo, which was interesting only really to show that Taker likes to a) make his own videos apparently, and b) hire out his own imax cinema to moodily watch them on his own as he ponders the quality of his lovely new toupee. On which subject…
There’s been loads of banter about Taker’s wig since last week (Tweet us @_totalwrestling using #WWEWigWatch with any good jokes you’ve heard). My take is I’d like to see Taker lose the God-damn wig and just be bald. The poor bloke shaved it off because he’s losing it…at least give him the dignity to show he’s proud of being a baldie. Plus, a full-on grim reaper look would be A.W.E.S.O.M.E. and a take on the death persona that they’ve never visited. It would be fresh. Unfortunately WWE are making a legend look silly like this.
Speaking of awesome (with a small ‘a’ this week), The Miz had a bad day at the office. Failed to catch (in fact pussied out of catching) R Truth resulting in a cross-arms situation. Really bad bump that was painful to watch. Miz generally looked off the pace, was far too blatant with his in-ring communication this week, and even seemed to just take a random half-bump as Jericho ran past him. It’s not a gripe because he stole my gimmick (!), but in an industry where performers are supposed to be there for each other’s safety I expect more. Especially from Miz, he’s better than that. Wonder now if they’ll be repercussions for him. Expect a few extra big jobs in the next few week I guess. Just happy to report that Truth is by all accounts ok. That being the case, it means we can make a joke. So on a not so serious note it’s probably quite ironic that Truth could really do with some synth pot right about now. Is there such a thing as a Wellness Waiver in these circumstances? Don’t tell Evan Bourne – he’ll make it back and be deliberating ruining shooting star presses.
Daniel Bryan v Big Show. Again. I’m loving the build they’re allowing Bryan but I’m tired of this ‘feud’ now. How many times have we got to see this finish on weekly TV? My biggest issue with this story is the AJ angle itself. Essentially we’re getting the same vunerable female thing that Eve is getting from Kane. It makes it stale too quickly when you’re getting it on both shows, or worse still on the same show twice. I assume/hope this will all be wrapped up at Elimination Chamber PPV so they can move on with the Heavyweight Championship build for Mania. I’m not a big fan of EC as a PPV – think it was a genius move as a match for S.Series and was happy with it being there. It would add some value to the lacklustre SS card from recent years if they went back to this. It also plays down the Royal Rumble winner’s achievement. Whats the point in beating 29 other men at RR for a title shot at the title at WM, when 4 weeks later another 5 guys get a shot anyway. Makes no sense. But then this is WWE. And I digress…
Some Nascar dude did something with Cena. This is the UK. Nobody cares. Nascar + Cena = coffee break.
Carlton Banks came out and said something about praying, before doing an impression of Bruce Forsyth in The Generation Game. Sheamus took exception (presumably a big Bruce fan) and gave him the Ginger Boot. I finished my coffee.
Orton evidently was a little peeved at the import prices of his favourite baby oils from India, and as such the air was a little awkward between him and Khali this week. Kudos to Khali for giving it a good go at selling the RKO. Weird booking from WWE as I’m pretty sure Khali got the cover to prove he’s a threat in the EC…then within 30 seconds they show that he’s not really a threat ’cause Orton has no trouble hitting a 7 foot guy with a RKO. WWE logic rules! Remember if you can do it in WWE12 you can do it in real life people! Cody and Wade were in attendance.
Jericho came out and finally treated us to his dulcet tones. Usual high quality of course to set up him and Punk at Mania. Very intrigued to see what pans out at EC and who will go in as the champ? I’m calling a babyface pay-off with Punk winning either by retaining or winning it back on April 1st.
Now, this promo got me thinking though. Now I know the rule is still technically if it didn’t happen in WWE we’re not really supposed to acknowledge it on TV, but Daniel Bryan Danielson was known more for being the ‘best in the world’ in the indies before either of these guys used it. Who’s really stealing from whom here? So, this week my I HAVE A DREAM is this…
WM28 – Triple Threat Title Unification ‘Best in the World’ match. Bryan v Punk v Jericho. Bring extra underwear. If your name’s not Mark you’re not coming in. Great opportunity to change the belt on following night’s Raw too. For what it’s worth I’d have Bryan go over. It’ll never happen. That’s why it’s a dream.
Back to Jericho. Rock star he may be, but he still doesn’t know when to stop shaving his sideburns. Once again they are getting higher and higher by the week. Will be Forest Gump-esque soon. Expect ‘Rain Man’ persona by Mania.
Got the Cena promo package again, and something to do with The Rock being on Leno. Evidently they’re facing each other at Mania this year? I wish someone had mentioned it before. Cena and Rock that is, not Rock and Leno. Honestly I care less and less about this match every week, and my major passion is anger that I bothered to spend money on a Team Bring It UK t-shirt last year.
6 Diva tag everyone! Damn, I wasted that coffee break. Teased a future inter-transgender match or alliance between Beth and Tamina, and the resulting break-up of Nattie/Beth. Someone farted. Probably.
This week we got pyros at the opening credits but the cost cutting at WWE continues as it appears that Josh Matthews and Trip had to share the same tie. Naturally we never saw them in the same place at the same time and is why Josh and Trip had to talk to Laurinaitis separately. Next week, no pyros I’m afraid, but everyone backstage gets their own tie. Them’s the rules. It’s all about balancing the finances. You don’t become a millionaire by throwing the pennies away you know.
6 pack challenge lacked fluidity even before the horrible Truth bump. Seemed as if everyone was a bit confused with having so many people in the ring at once without battle royal rules in place. Few too many RR hangovers perhaps? This one was all about the finish though (again slightly botched leg leverage angle by Jericho), which stacks odds in Y2J’s favour for EC. I’m more and more favouring a Jericho win at EC now, with Punk getting revenge at Mania for the babyface win. The correct pay off for me is to have the hardest working WRESTLER of the year get his Mania moment with the title. I’d love it to go last (as the WWE title should) but doubt they’ll allow it to follow Dwayne just in case it beats it – not entirely sure Rocky’s ego would take it. If there’s a pairing that can follow anyone though, it’s Punk/Jericho. For me these (with Ziggler and Bryan) ARE the best in the (WWE) world right now. I’d like to see Jericho get to work with all of them while he’s back – it’s a great rub for these guys to get. No better way to be the best than to work with the best – both in the ring and on the mic. Nice mockery of Punk from Jericho in the cross-legged position by the way.
TV ended with Kane threatening Eve. Again. Evidently Cena/Kane was the scheduled post-Raw dark match. This is how I’d like to see all Cena’s matches actually. In the dark. I could imagine the punches looking more realistic that way.
Watchable Raw this week, basically just moving stories along but solid enough for me.
MAXI-MIN points this week go to:
Triple H for use of the word ‘moron’. Twice. You don’t get a lot of ‘moron’ these days. Refreshing.
MIN-IMUM points this week go to:
The Oklahoma crowd. Really dead. I know it was a promo heavy show but if you pay your money to be there, get involved for the love of God! Really ruins the TV product. Was like watching TNA at times.
I’m The Min and I’m AweSimm. Remember where you heard it first, Mike.
Extra plug for this week: Follow PROGRESS Wrestling @ThisIs_Progress. Promising show coming up in Islington on 25th March, featuring Colt Cabana. Get involved!
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