Live from Jacksonville, Florida this is the Raw Deal…

This recap was not done live. I’m doing it after watching the show like I’m used to doing. This is how it’ll be most weeks. I was coming into this show with high hopes due to the new roster. Let’s see if they could live up to my hype?

Interview time with Batista started the show. Cue the spotlight, the darkened crowd and the microphone for the big guy that’s going to lose to Cena for the third time in a row. He talked about how a Last Man Standing match was a match where you had to beat down an opponent and that using duct tape on their feet wasn’t the way to win. He called it the most embarrassing moment of Cena’s career…no, his life. Sheamus, sporting a shirt to help those with color TV issues, came out to say he deserves the title shot. Batista points out that he won last week, but Sheamus said he wasn’t pinned. By the way, Sheamus took out HHH for “God knows how long” while Batista could never do that. The best part of this was when Batista pulled a Sheamus and called him “fella.” I approve. I might start calling people “fella” randomly. It’s fun to say. Anyway, Sheamus said this isn’t over and he’ll make his impact felt sooner rather than later. In other words, that means when Cena has his match tonight.

It was supposed to be the Miz vs. Batista in a Beat the Clock challenge, but Miz came out in his street clothes with a “DOCTOR’S NOTE” in hand. He was putting over the Big Show punch from last week. He got a replacement for him, NXT rookie Daniel Bryan. I cheered for this. Bryan said he’d make Batista tap out.

Batista d. Daniel Bryan in 5:06 in Beat The Clock (**)
The idea here was that if Batista beat his opponent faster than Cena beat his then he would pick the stipulation to their match at Over The Limit. He gave Bryan a lot of offense. Daniel stuck him in a few submission finishers with the crowd getting behind each one. The announcers, despite Cole going into his heel NXT mode, really tried to put over Bryan pushing Batista to the limit. He got a great near tapout submission until Batista reached the rope, hit a spear and hit a Batista Bomb to win. Post match, he hit two more Batista Bombs to show how frustrated he was that Bryan pushed him so far. This really did a great job of putting over Bryan. Star of the night after this. And kudos to Batista for making him look good.

Backstage, bad guest host segment of the week with Wayne Brady talking to Eve and then gets interrupted by Jillian. She starts singing, so she backs her behind a curtain and since comedy heels are stupid she’s gone. Can they get her a real gimmick one of these days? I think she has talent. Anyway, Wayne left and Maryse KO’d Eve with the Divas title, interrupting her photo shoot. Oh no you didn’t! Yes, she did.

Backstage, an interview for the guy doing the interview segment, Edge. Basically he wanted his segment to be like his old Raw segments, even referencing the live sex show with Lita although not by name, but they told him he can’t. Then he promised that even though the show is PG, he’s Rated R and we would see the beginning of a new era of controversy. Remember that one.

By the way, I loved how they called the Cutting Edge a controversial show. Yes, because a talk show segment that is like every talk show segment in the history of wrestling that usually ends in a brawl is somehow controversial. They used that word a lot like this week.

In ring, Ted Dibiase cut a promo talking about last week’s segment with R-Truth where he wanted him to be his Virgil. I’m not a huge fan of his promos. He’s still far too bland and the $10 Wal-Mart title doesn’t look good. It seriously looks like it could break if somebody sneezed on it.

John Morrison d. Ted Dibiase (*1/2)
Morrison hit a lovely splash on the floor, so Ted bailed, losing by countout. It got re-started after Morrison said he’d be his “Virgil” aka man servant, if he loses. Yes, the announcers proposed that this would really happen. It’s THAT serious. Maybe they watched the Seinfeld pilot where the guy that hit Jerry had to be his butler. They put Virgil over more than they have put over half of the midcard in the last year. It’s like how TNA puts over the WWE Hall of Fame better than WWE does. At about the five minute mark, with a dead crowd, Morrison won after countering Dream Street. All Dibiase would have had to do was let go of the hold and get his shoulder up, but heels are dumb. Don’t forget. Post match, he attacked Morrison and R-Truth made the save. Hey, at least they didn’t call Truth & Morrison a “great” team this week.

Next it was supposed to be Jericho vs. Cena. Instead, Jericho’s pulling himself from the match because it would be a waste of time to beat Cena again. Logically speaking, didn’t the guest host make this match and that would mean Jericho has to wrestle in it? Wait a sec, I said logically speaking. That’s a sin. Let’s move on. Wrestling in place of Jericho is Wade Barrett.

John Cena d. Wade Barrett to win Beat the Clock at 4:39 (*1/4)
The difference between this match and the earlier rookie match? I liked Bryan’s offense a lot more. With Barrett, he’s okay, but it’s very slow and methodical due to being a big guy. Cena’s not really great selling, so the match slowed down a lot. Of course Cena won with the STF with 30 seconds to spare to the surprise of nobody. Post match, Sheamus attacked Cena and KO’d him with his pump kick. Hey, where were the SERIOUS VOICES~! from the announcers? They sicken me.

Maryse d. Nikki Bella (1/4*)
Ha, they put a Bella girl in a match. And the crowd goes mild. I wonder why. Maryse won with her DDT in a minute. Fantastic pin cover of course. Post match, she showed photos of her posing in front of a knocked out Eve. That drew out Eve, who wanted a piece of her, but the ref broke that up. I’m surprised they didn’t call eachother fat at one point.

In the ring, Zack Ryder was there reminding us he was still employed. No, I don’t get Superstars. At ringside were Alicia and Gail. Have to say my fellow Canadian Gail was looking fabulous. He wanted Primo, but instead Wayne Brady gave him somebody else: Mark Henry.

Mark Henry d. Zack Ryder (SQUASH)
KOOL AID~! FF on the DVR, match over. Great. I’m sure I missed the part where the announcers said Mark Henry’s a threat to win the Royal Rumble because there’s no way he can get eliminated. Oh shit, that’s 7 months away.

Backstage, the potentially fantastic pairing of Jericho and Miz were talking about how Big Show used them to get his career back on track and then knocked them both out last week. Jericho said he had a plan as they walked off. I like them together. Could be gold.

Backstage, bad guest host segment. Wayne Brady’s actually a funny guy, but he couldn’t save this shit involving Kozlov (as the evil Russian), Regal (as the normal guy), Santino (dressed like the Brady Bunch) and even Goldust as a freak. You have to love the Brady Bunch reference on a show the same show that promotes WWE Kids magazines. I don’t know what the fuck happened here, but it ended and I was happy for that.

The Hart Dynasty d. William Regal & Kozlov (*)
Jericho and Miz were at ringside. They didn’t outright say what their agenda was, but they added to the match with some interesting comments because frankly that’s what they do. Jericho badmouthing Cole is especially great. I love it on NXT. Formulaic match with Kidd getting beat up, hot tag to DH, he gets the win with the Sharpshooter and it’s done just like that. Post match, Jericho hit the Codebreaker on DH while Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale. That sets up a tag title match at the PPV most likely. What name do we use for Jericho and Miz? Jerimiz? Mizicho? Not Jiz. Please not that one. I think Mizicho works the best. That’s what I’ll push for.

Next week’s guest host is Flavor Flav. Odds that he completely fucks something up? 90%. I’d expect pre-tapes and very little live from him. If they’re smart.

Cutting Edge with Edge & Randy Orton
This was your main event for the night. Edge came out to basically tell everybody that he’s a heel now. He explained his actions by saying he was all set to go after Swagger on SD, then he got drafted to Raw and decided to make an impact by spearing Orton last week. He said that made him the most talked about performer in WWE. Yeah, only because Funaki got fired. Assholes. Anyway, he called out Orton. Instead, we got Wayne Brady. He talked about how he was a huge “wrestling” fan. He said it earlier in the show too. I’m sure Vince was seething about that. It’s sports entertainment, Wayne. Imagine if he called us “fans” instead of the “WWE Universe” too? That would be so controversial! I give Wayne Brady credit for cutting a promo where he said he was “Bob Darker” to counter Bob Barker. That made me chuckle. Eventually Orton came out and since he’s a babyface he has a new t-shirt to wear. Brady walked up to him and ate a RKO, which he sold for the rest of the segment by just laying on that corner of the ring. Edge talked, Orton stared, Edge talked, Orton stared, Edge talked, Orton stared and when Edge said “SAY SOMETHING!” the physicality began. Edge got the advantage early, he set him up for the spear and then Randy hit the RKO to a thunderous pop. Pretty cool looking to see it mid move. They timed it well. It’s “Stone Cold” Randy Orton, folks, with a nickname that’s almost like the Rattlesnake. It’s the Viper.

It was a good ending to the show. Orton’s not over because of his promos as a babyface. He’s over because of his actions. They accentuated that point by having him say nothing.

I love how they dedicated a segment to Edge saying he’s going to be controversial in the main event and then he did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING (yes I pulled a Cena) close to controversial. Way to make the guy look like a complete moron. You already have Michael Cole in that role. The only thing controversial about this segment was the word wrestling being used. As a WWE stockholder (I’m really not), I’m appalled.

Three Stars of the Night
1. Daniel Bryan
2. Chris Jericho
3. Virgil

Worst Moment of the Night
As soon as Mark Henry’s music hit. That will be a perennial winner here.

6 out of 10
Last week: 7

It was a solid show. The matches were okay and the angles progressed well. I’d assume that they’ll be adding Sheamus to the Cena/Batista match while Edge/Orton will likely get added to Over the Limit as well. Throw in a Jericho/Miz vs. Hart Dynasty tag match and you’ve got some solid matchups for the new Raw brand. I like that they didn’t stuff Brady down our throats like some guest hosts. He was barely on the show up until that last segment. That’s how I like the guest hosts to be used.

The two most over things from this show were Virgil and the word controversial. They will both be stars one day.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton –
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