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KELLER'S TAKE
KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT 8/17: Results, star ratings, thoughts, observations, nitpicks, quotebook

Aug 23, 2009 - 5:21:02 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT
AUGUST 17, 2009
ST. LOUIS, MO.
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK


WHAT HAPPENED

[Q1]

-After the Raw opening, they panned the crowd as Michael Cole introduced the show. Cole and Jerry Lawler plugged the TV main event of Chris Jericho & The Big Show vs. Randy Orton & John Cena.

-Lilian Garcia introduced Freddie Prinze Jr. as the guest host of Raw. He walked to the ring excitedly as Cole mentioned some of the movies he's been in. He let out a big "Wooo!" and said he's there for one reason tonight. "Just like all of you, I'm a life-long WWE fan. Yeah!" He said from the hundreds of action figures still in his closet, the Coliseum Videos hosted by Mean Gene, and the ice cream bars "that would make you vomit if you ate them," he's been a fan of everything WWE. He said tonight isn't about him, though; it's about the fans. He said the U.S. Title and Divas Title would be defended, plus DX would be returning. Then scary music interrupted him and a horror movie villain walked out. Freddie seemed amused.

The villain stepped into the ring and said, "I know what you did last summer and I know what you're going to do this summer." The villain unmasked as Santino and said he knows he's going to put him in his next movie. He tried to make an evil face to show he belongs in movies as a bad guy. He said he's versatile and he could be in a romantic comedy. He took off his villain outfit and dressed up as a sad sap with a wig and glasses and a baggy sweat shirt. He then dropped the outfit and said now he's a sexy guy. He asked Freddie what he thinks. Prinze said he's good, but he needs a little help.

Santino said he should have a partner for when he's in "24" this coming season. Cole forced a laugh for no apparent reason, as he's paid to do. Santino then approached Lillian Garcia at ringside wearing a CTU vest. He asked her where she put the bong. He said, "You are going to tell me what you need to tell me and it's just a matter of time and how much pain you want to feel." The crowd applauded that. Freddie told Prinze to call Keiffer and his wife, the werewolf killer, and tell them he is a real actor. Prinze told Santino to go backstage and rehearse for the next two hours. Santino picked up his outfits and ran to the back, eager to practice. The fans applauded as Lawler and Cole laughed at Santino's jokes. Prinze said, "At least it wasn't a Scooby Doo joke." Prinze was about to talk about the great main event he has planned when Orton's music interrupted.

Orton said tonight he's scheduled to team with Cena, whom he'll be facing this Sunday. He said he doesn't like it and he won't do it. He said because SummerSlam is just six days away, he doesn't feel like competing at all tonight (by "competing" he means "wrestling," but they can't say that word even though the name of the company is World Wrestling Entertainment). Freddie said he'll disappoint all of the fans. Orton said he's not there to please the fans. He said he shares nothing in common with any of them. He said he's the WWE Champion and he's not going to ask him again to cancel the match. The crowd loudly chanted "You suck!" He told him to take him out of the match. Freddie said, "You know I respect you, but do I look like Seth Green or Jeremy Piven? Don't even try to bully me." He said Sgt. Slaughter made a match last week and he will not intimidate him into changing it. He reiterated the match and began to leave the ring. Orton grabbed him around the neck and dropped down hard to the mat. Freddie winced in pain as medics and referees ran to the ring to check on him. He patted at the back of his neck. Orton stared at him from ringside.

[Q2] [c]

-After the break, they showed a replay of Orton hurting Freddie, and then Freddie being helped from the ring. They showed Cole and Lawler at ringside. Lawler apologized on behalf of WWE. Cole said Freddie had been brought to "a local medical facility" (which means "hospital," but for some reason WWE doesn't allow that word to be used, either).

(1) Kofi Kingston beat Carlito (w/Rosa Mendez) to retain the U.S. Title in 8:00. Carlito's got more of an edgy look. Lawler said his hair is getting stranger by the week, and he wants to know where he goes to get his haircut so he doesn't accidentally go there. [c]

[Q3]

Back to the match, Cole said Carlito was "in a world of trouble," a slight overstatement considering Carlito merely had him center ring in one of those lazy chinlocks that looks like it'd be easy to slip out of. At 5:00 Kofi made a comeback and showed good fire. He danced and hit his double-legdrop for a near fall. Lawler kept calling them "young men" for some reason, which is literally true, but generally that term is used for boys around 12 years old. They traded near falls. When Carlito set up a backstabber, Kofi avoided it and came right back with the Trouble in Paradise kick for the win. Cole called it a "scintillating victory" featuring Kofi's "controlled frenzy." (*1/2)

-Cole and Lawler plugged the revival of Degeneration X. They went to the parking garage where they were expecting the return of Triple H and Shawn Michaels anytime. [c]

-WWE Fact: Last Monday, Raw was watched by more teens (12-17) than the "Teen Choice Awards" on Fox.

-They showed Lawler and Cole at ringside who acted excited to see DX back together. They threw to a video package of DX's greatest hits including the lame roster skits, fart jokes, and Hunter making an orgasm face as he squirted mustart in the air. They also aired the true highpoints such as Mike Tyson wearing a DX shirt and DX going to WCW headquarters. There were even brief cameos with Rick Rude and Chyna. Back to Lawler and Cole, Lawler said maybe DX will give Cole another wedgy. Then they announced an online poll asking fans if Orton & Cena can beat Jericho & Show.

-The Miz walked out to the ring. A quick replay aired of his victory over Eugene. He said, "So now I stand before you a new man, new attitude, new look, same mouth." He's wearing short tights now, a good move to get him out of the mid-card gimmicky look and more like a serious main event prospect. He then said he will be beating Kofi for the U.S. Title at Summerslam. He closed with, "I am The Miz and I'm awesome." Lawler then plugged that he's scheduled to face Evan Bourne next.

[Q4] [c]

(2) The Miz beat Evan Bourne in 5:00. Miz dominated early, including some kicks to Bourne's back and a surfboard. Bourne came back with a spin wheel kick and then a dive onto Miz at ringside when he bailed out for a breather. He went on a flurry of offense and seemed to be setting up a shooting star press when Miz went for a small package. Bourne kicked out and went to the top rope again. Miz got up and caught him with his full nelson faceplant for the win. Lawler said Miz calls that the Skull Crushing Finale. (*1/2)

-They showed the parking garage again as Lawler said they will arrive soon. [c]

-Cole and Lawler were shown on camera again. Cole plugged the TV main event tag match. Then they threw to a video package on DX from last Monday at the cafeteria.

[Q5]

-They went to the parking garage and showed Triple H getting out of a white limo with DX spray-painted on the side. Triple H had to coax Michaels out, but then he stepped out and said, "Let's do this." They wore DX t-shirts with cartoon versions of themselves. They walked past Jillian Hall who began singing (poorly) the DX theme. Hunter put a plastic trash can over her head, then he told Michaels that nothing changes around there. He said if anything, it just gets worse. Santino popped out behind them and yelled, "CTU!" He told them to put their arms up. Michaels superkicked him. Hunter said he didn't think Santino intended to hurt them. Michaels said he knows. Hunter said it was impressive that his hat didn't even come off. Michaels said it's connected, all one piece.

-They went to the arena where the full DX intro took place. Triple H said, "Wow!" which is the new trick wrestlers use (Batista did it all the time) to indicate the crowd response is "way more than you expected." Triple H put his arm around Michaels and asked if he was glad to be back. Michaels said, "God help me, I love this stuff." Triple H said there was just one thing they need to know: "Are you ready?" He repeated himself, but before the crowd could respond, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase ambushed them. Cody removed his boot whacked Triple H in the head with it. He did the same to Michaels, then Triple H again. DiBiase said, "There's the answer to your question. Yes... we... are... ready." Lawler said DiBiase and Rhodes spoiled the return of DX. [c]

[Q6]

-They replayed the beatdown of DX.

(3) Mickie James pinned Gail Kim in 4:00 to retain the Women's Title. Lousy finish to a decent match otherwise. In the end, Mickie went for a DDT and Kim seemed to block most of it, but it came across as a miscommunication more than anything. Mickie then went for a spin hook kick, but it appeared to breeze right past Kim's face and brush her hair. Then she followed with an elbow to the side of Kim's head which was the only move that looked good, but not enough to lead to a pin, but the three count immediately followed. Mickie's celebration seemed tainted with a wish they weren't live and that match could be redone. She did reach out and help Kim to her feet. (3/4*)

-After a replay of the Prinze-Orton angle, Cole and Lawler said they had good news. Prinze, they said, was back at the arena, but could have back and neck problems.

-Josh Matthews interviewed Cena regarding having to team with Orton. Cean said Orton doesn't want to "perform" tonight. Cena said he has problems with a zit on his face and rude people in traffic and a dog who poops on the floor. Cena said he could complain and cry and whine. Then he mockingly said: "I don't want to wrestle Big Show tonight because I'm scared he's going to eat me. There's no way I can tag team with Randy Orton because he wears too much baby oil. Josh, I can't fight Chris Jericho because I never learned to read." He said he is John Cena and he deals with problems the only way he knows how - by going to the ring and fight Jericho and Big Show. He said he has an easier problem at Summerslam. He said he has no gold around his waist, but after Summerslam, "The Champ is Here!" Jericho walked into the picture and said he has a problem with him and Big Show. Show walked into the picture and said he might not make it to Summerslam.

[Q7] [c]

(4) MVP beat Jack Swagger via DQ in 2:00. Swagger's attack on MVP was so relentless that he ignored the referee, who then DQ'd him. MVP went after Swaggers seconds later, sending Swagger to the floor. Lawler said those two still wat more of each other.

-They showed Prinze limping backstage, insisting to a WWE worker that he's going back out there. He looked dazed, hurt, and determined. [c]

(5) Hornswoggle pinned Chavo Guerrero in 5:00 in a falls count anywhere match. Hornswoggle escaped Chavo, crawling under the ring. Chavo pursued. Seconds later, Chavo popped out the other side of the ring with a toilet seat. Hornswoggle popped up the original side laughing, then he ran and Chavo chased him to the back. They went backstage where Chavo asked Primo where Hornswoggle went. Primo pointed. Chavo looked in storage bins and asked more people backstage where he was. He tried to break into a locked storage closet. He heard a noise behind another door and opened it. It was booby-trapped as a can swung and hit him in the head. Hornswoggle stood over him and then covered him. A ref counted to three. Mark Henry walked up to him and laughed. Chavo said, "It was you!" Henry said it wasn't him. Then in walked Macauley Culkin walked up to him, a riff on "Home Alone."

-Lawler and Cole plugged the SummerSlam line-up.

-They showed Show and Jericho headed to the entrance tunnel.

[Q8] [c]

-A vignette aired on next week's Raw guest host, Floyd Mayweather, who's gimmick is he likes "cash money." Cole said he can't wait for next week in Las Vegas. Lawler revealed the poll results: 76 percent think Cena & Orton can defeat Jericho & Show.

-Ring intros took place. As the match was about to begin, Prinze angrily said, "This match just became a lumberjack match." He said he chose the lumberjacks and they don't like him very much. Henry, MVP, Jamie Noble, and others paraded to the ring as they cut to a break. [c]

(6) John Cena & Randy Orton defeated Chris Jericho & The Big Show in 12:00. The match was joined in progress with Cena in a Big Show bearhug center-ring. Other lumberjacks were Evan Bourne, Primo Colon, Kofi Kingston. Cena broke free and hit a shoulder tackle, then reached to tag Orton, but Orton pulled his hand back. What incentive does Orton have to tag in? Should anyone be surprised he'd leave his opponent of six days later to fend for himself against Show and Jericho? Wouldn't he be a fool to act any other way? Cena made a comeback on his own and then slapped Orton on the back and tossed him into the ring. Show speared Orton, who rolled to the floor where the lumberjacks surrounded him. Henry pressed Orton right back into the ring.

[Q9]

Show and Jericho beat on Orton for several minutes. At 10:00 Orton reacehd for a hot-tag to Cena, and Cena acepted it. He went to work on Jericho aggressively. Lawler said Cena wants to actually win the match, unlike Orton. Cena went into the You Can't See Me routine, knocked Show off the apron, and then gave Jericho the Attitude Adjustment for the win. Afterward, Orton gave a celebrating Cena an RKO, then retreated. The match was fine, serving it's purpose, but by design not anything specia.. (*3/4)

-Jericho and Show attacked Cena afterward. The lumberjacks made the save. As Show and Jericho cleared the ring of the lumberjacks, Cena recovered and knocked them out of the ring to close the show.

THOUGHTS, OBSERVATIONS, NITPICKS

PRINZE-ORTON: Freddie Prinze was good in his role. The continued endorsement of the WWE product by celebrities that WWE fans may know and to have them show excitement about being on Raw is a good rub for the WWE brand. It shows that WWE isn't as fringe as it may sometimes seem... It was good to see Cole and Lawler treat Orton's attack on Prinze as a big deal. The reaction shouldn't be much different than if an NFL player tackled a celebrity singing the National Anthem before a big game... It was a good tie-in to have Prinze send lumberjacks to the ring at the end to get revenge on Orton for what he did to him. It didn't get Prinze overly involved, but enough that he seemed to serve a purpose and act as one would in his situation...

OTHER THOUGHTS: The edited version of the DX skit last week was better than the full length version last week. It was still lame zany slapstick comedy attempts that mostly didn't work, but the edited version showed they had some idea of what didn't work at all last week. I was waiting to see if they left in Michaels superkicking a little girl, and sure enough they did. Not including that might be admitting it was a bad idea in the first place... It doesn't matter if you put a title on the line, from a ratings impact standpoint, if the match is presented as any other the reaction to the finish is minimal. That was the case with Mickie beating Kim. There was no talk about the magnitude of opportunity Kim was receiving live on Raw, nor any sense that when she lost it was something she'd lose sleep over... It's so annoying hearing Cena talk about Orton doesn't want to "perform" in front of everyone, as if Orton is a ballerina or comedian. The fact is, he already "performed," in the sense that he stepped into the ring and cut a promo and attacked Prinze. What Cena meant is Orton didn't want to "compete" or "wrestle" or "fight," and WWE's irrational (and inconsistent) aversion to those words is dumbfounding and counterproductive... Decent overall final hype for Summerslam. It pushed the right issues with Orton and Cena, but the undercard didn't feel "must see" by the end of the show...


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