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Just sit right back and you’ll read a tale,
A new wrestling recap
That started on a Monday night
And could be full of crap.

The champ was a viper, cold and cruel,
Cena was on his last straw.
The oldtimers had all been called
For a three hour RAW, a three hour RAW.

The writing started getting rough,
Continuity was tossed,
If not for the mem’ry of the Attitude era
The viewers would be lost, the viewers would be lost.

The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle
With Superfly
And Mean Gene too,
The millionaire and his son,
Roddy Piper,
The Iron Sheik and the Fink,
Here on Old Timer’s Raw.

I miss the beginning of RAW three times for various reasons so I start with Miz threatening to steal Barrett’s title shot by cashing in Money in the Bank tonight. John Cena wants no part of that so he challenges The Miz tonight, and Miz says yes. Gene Okerlund and Cowboy Bob Orton were in the scene too.

Old school titles, graphics and even the ring announcer is dressed up in clothes from the 70s or so. Since this is a three-hour show we’ll see interpromotional matches too. The first is Dolph Ziggler versus Mark Henry. They’re even doing pop-up promos before the match. Mark Henry comes out to the old “Sexual Chocolate” theme music and singlet. They have the announcers on steel chairs and Cole is already complaining about being uncomfortable. Mark Henry gets to look like he has a chance tonight, kicking out of two Zig Zags, but the Sleeper Hold is his downfall as a guy with a future goes over a never was.

A babbling Tony Atlas eventually bores the Hart Dynasty enough that they walk off. He’s still talking after commercial as Yoshi Tatsu mimes Hari Kari. Yoshi Tatsu is still on the roster? The Hart Dynasty face the tag champs (Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel in case you’ve forgotten) barely gets started before, in a surprise, Tyson Kidd is the one who turns on David Hart Smith. Why not make the guy with more potential and a highflying moveset into a face?

R-Truth continues to be a jerk and stir up crap between Orton and Cena. Orton could just take Cena out of the picture with a punt to the head… Back in the ring here’s Howard Finkel! He brings out the Brooklyn Brawler and Harvey Whippleman. He issues an open challenge to any young superstar. Out comes Ezekial Jackson. Guess who wins? That’s the best way to put an old star in a match.

Nexus finally figures out they need to do something about R-Truth. Barrett tries to fawn it off on Otunga, but the anonymous General Manager pipes up and makes it Barrett versus R-Truth instead. Die hard Otunga fans (are there any?) will be happy to learn Otunga will have a match tonight too. Cena turns down Nexus protection for his match with The Miz. If Orton wants some, he can come get some.

Miz begs off the match, since the GM never sanctioned it, and once again puts Alex Reilly in the match in his place. There’s still two hours to go and I’m already fatigued. Riley has ended up in a much better position than Kaval, who actually won season two. Here he at least looks like he’s in the same league as Cena before the Five-Knuckle Shuffle, Attitude Adjustment, STF combo polishes him off.

Here comes Orton. Down goes The Miz. Harris and McGuillicuddy try to interfere but Orton takes them out in no time. That leaves Orton face to face with Cena until Cena throws a punch. A host of old school attired officials hit the ring to prevent any real fighting. E-GM pipes up to book Cena and Orton on Piper’s Pit so they can air their differences.

More old guys are back, Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik. I haven’t heard the Soviet national anthem in a while. Santino and Koslov interrupt, but it’s only so Koslov can join the singalong. Koslov actually sings worse than you’d expect. Sheik gets to babble, but he keeps bringing up Hulkamania and they keep cutting his mic. Santino bring out Slick, who even I have never seen before, and who does nothing. At last we get to the point, The Ousos come out for a #1 contender’s match, dragging Superfly Snuka along with them. The problem with this match is I’m just not sure I can buy The Cobra actually working. I don’t have long to think about it before Sheamus hits the ring and takes out everybody, leaving Santino for last. Morrison to the rescue once again and we finally actually book the match for Survivor Series.

Half way through.

Otunga faces Kofi Kingston from Smackdown. Kingston isn’t good enough to make Otunga look good and Kingston picks up the win only after George “The Animal” Steele eats a turnbuckle and Kofi uses the steel ring to bash Otunga’s head.

The end of the Million Dollar Title storyline comes suddenly and is a mess. It features Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Dusty Rhodes in a wig pretending to be Aksana’s mother, Aksana in a net, Goldust taking the belt and giving it to Ted Dibiase Sr. Million dollar daddy and IRS offer the belt to Ted Jr, but he’s no longer interested in hand me downs. Cody is here to join the family, but he and big brother aren’t friends. Then they dance to Dusty’s theme, even Tatakna dances by. Then we get Ron Simmons to say “Damn.” (Editor’s Note: This sounds both bizarre and awesome at the same time)

They somehow remaster commentary from Lord Alfred Hayes for the product promos. That’s a nice little tribute to the departed. Why are they still letting Eve dance along side R-Truth? Even dancing is like that female SNL character who looks hot, but everything she does is the opposite of sexy. Barrett wins after a half-decent match.

Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer gets cut off by Tito Santana and his driver is Chavo Guererro Senior aka Chavo Classic. With CM Punk out of action Del Rio takes over making fun of fat Americans. He also feels the legends should respect him. That draws Sergeant Slaughter. Didn’t sarge used to have hair? I didn’t expect much of a match. Slaughter does get the Cobra Clutch on, but Del Rio makes the ropes. Del Rio doesn’t even need a finisher to win, just a big kick to the back of the head in the corner. The Armbar goes on after the match so MVP can make a save.

May Young deserves to make an appearance, but she’s not in great shape at 87. The Bellas are all but holding her on her feet. We’re reminded that Young was once really hot, but the clips package is all from RAW’s days. LayCool comes out to make fun of her, in part for never winning a championship. Mae demands a no-DQ match against both of them. The champs make it Falls Count Anywhere which allows Natalya, Melina, Eve and Gail Kim to come out and destroy the champs so May can plant her foot for the pin. And I thought Bret Hart wrestling was bad.

WOW! Jim Ross is here as a guest commentator! Jim looks fine after his battle with Bell’s Palsy. Sounds fine too. The match he’s here to call is Daniel Bryan versus Jack Swagger. Yeah, I actually want to see that. Cole being a jerk really sours this match and JR’s return. Can’t they shut Cole up once in a while? JR actually focuses on the match going on in the ring! What a change! But seriously, Cole spoils the match for me. Bryan wins, with a kick to the back of the head like Del Rio did. Ted Dibiase attacks Bryan post-match so I guess he’s looking for a belt of his own. JR at least gets to hit Cole with his hat before he leaves.

A Survivor Series match has been added to Survivor Series! Five on five, Team Mysterio versus Team Del Rio.

Piper’s Pit will serve as our main event of this show. I’ll just be glad when it’s over. It’s just plain weird to hear Lord Alfred Hayes hawking paperjamz.com. We bring all the legends for an introduction and a nod of appreciation. It’s the most sincere part of the whole show. Piper is out last and I still wouldn’t want to fight the guy. Piper calls out Cena to remind him some superstars never win the big belt, Piper among them. So he doesn’t want to see Cena hand Wade Barrett a championship. Cena finally breaks. He’s not going to throw everything he’s built away. He’s going to call the match down the middle. That draws Barrett who says down the middle is all he needs. Then Piper gets to go off on Barrett. But Barrett gets a last laugh as he forces Cena to put on a Nexus t-shirt. Cena gets to renew his vow that he’ll destroy Barrett after Survivor Series win or lose. Barrett is fine, he has Nexus to protect him.

Finally Randy Orton shows up. This show is already supposed to be over. Orton could take Cena out… but instead he goes after Barrett. He gets to lay a beatdown before Barrett can ask Cena for help. Cena tries to block but gets RKOed. Orton tries to punt Barrett but Cena, who is up way too quickly after an RKO, hits him with an Attitude Adjustment. Barrett want Cena to raise his hand – but Cena AAs him too and throws off the Nexus t-shirt. Piper is sure proud of him.

A good final segment I don’t like the way this show turned out. Three-hour RAWs are usually too much anyway but tonight the theme got in the way. I don’t want to see every legend from the past reduced to a joke yet they were mostly used for comic relief. What should have been the match of the night, Bryan/Swagger, was ruined by the commentary. Still, I’m pleased I’m going to get to see Survivor Series so the WWE did the most important part of their job. They sold the Pay Per View.

Posted on November 17th, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: Old School WWE Raw Week Ending 11/20/10
Filed Under Entertainment

WWE Fatal Four Way

Check out Part 1 of Lucian’s WWE Fatal Fourway 2010 Wrestling Report here.

Another surprise is that the Smackdown Fatal Fourway is up next, well before the main event. The video promo makes it obvious Kane is going to interfere in this match. Our competitors are the masked luchador Rey Mysterio Jr, CM Punk who recently had his head shaved but hid it by also wearing a mask, the 485 found, 7’ tall Big Show and the champion, two time All-American American Jack Swagger. We get long entrances, including Rey bumping heads with masked children in the audience to remind management he sells a lot of merchandise. I had heard Rey was in danger of leaving the fed with contract negotiations not going well.

The announcer keep saying these are the worst odds a champion can face. There’s never been a five or six man match for a championship? The match gets underway and, typical of these matches, at any given time one or two competitors are usually down and out to keep the action limited to one place so the audience can easily follow. Rey gets to show off his high flying, Show gets to be a giant, Swagger displays technical skills while Punk is the cunning opportunist. Matt Striker compares CM Punk to Charles Manson and David Koresh, which I’m sure helps the PG rating.

Kane shows up, as expected, wheeling in a casket. It’s CM Punk he goes after and he slams him inside the coffin. Punk’s lackey Luke Gallows saves him then drags him away. Kane follows but we’re down to a three-man match. Back when Kane first unmasked they did this ridiculous make-up job on him to make him look deformed and monstrous. It went over so badly and was mocked so mercilessly that the next week the make-up was gone and they never spoke of it again.

The match doesn’t actually last much longer as Rey hits a 619 on Jack Swagger then drops a dime for the pin. I guess he signed a new contract and this was his reward. But Rey has never pinned Big Show and probably never will. This is a surprise for sure but it doesn’t immediately lead into a new story. Overall a good match though.

Ok, if you are new to this I should explain. WWE launched a fake reality show earlier this year called NXT. 8 rookies were competing for one spot on the roster. But after the season the 8 formed a rogue gang to demand they all get contracts. Their first target was John Cena and they’ve ended up battling the entire RAW roster. One was legit fired as I mentioned earlier but 7 remain. They could have killed Bret Hart and now John Cena is here to tell them off. He expects if NXT shows up for their match then all four of the competitors will stand united. He also says he’s not going out there to lose no matter what the odds are.

The Miz vs. R-Truth is next. The Miz won R-Truth’s United States Championship in a preview Fatal Fourway on Monday Night RAW. This is R-Truth’s rematch. The Miz starts by, aptly, running down R-Truth and his tired entrance rap. Miz is an incredible heel. He can make people hate him. The match itself is absolutely awful. It’s nothing but punching and kicking without even the most basic of wrestling moves for variety. We spend part of the overly long match trying to figure how much money we deserve back for having to sit through this. Long, painful story short, Miz retains.

In an interview Edge plays shrink and discusses how he is the only one with the mental acumen to win the Fatal Fourway tonight.

The six person mixed tag match (women can only fight women, men can only fight men) between the Hart Dynasty and the Ousos feels like a filler match designed to give the audience a chance to catch their breath before the main event. The problem is that’s not necessary after the suckage of the previous match. There’s some good technical wrestling here but Natalya is the most interesting competitor in the match. It’s nice that she gets the win after the Dynasty dedicated the match to the “injured” Bret Hart.

John Cena is the face of WWE. Management has huge faith in him. If he’s not the champion he’s within striking distance of it at any time. But many fans resent him, feeling he is shoved down our throats. So we’re treated to dueling “Let’s go Cena!” and “Cena sucks!” chants. Edge and Shamus are the heels (bad guys) in the match while Randy Orton recently underwent a turn (changing from heel to babyface) without actually changing how he acts very much.

We see about four guys watching on a monitor in what is described as the locker room. I’ve never seen a locker room with curtains covering all the walls. That will become important later. It’s another good match with everyone looking like they could win at some point. But the NXT rookies attack the locker room then head to the ring. The announce team bails since they’ve been attacked before. The seven rookies attack Cena. Edge tries to come to his aid but gets beaten down as well. While the rookies are distracted Shamus decides “Screw solidarity” and pins the beaten down Cena. The ref was awfully brave to hang around but Shamus wins the title and runs with it. The rookies turn their attention back to beating down Cena. Then, when Shamus returns to the ramp to show off his title the rookies give chase and Shamus turns tails and runs. We close on Edge, Cena and Orton all laid out. Never did see what happened to Orton. There’s a long boring period of just Cena trying to crawl around before the show goes off the air.

So, all in all, I thought it was a half decent show. It’s not like this was a major Pay Per View like Wrestlemania or SummerSlam. Yet the title changed hands in all three Fatal Fourway matches so they weren’t afraid to make some changes. The NXT angle was advanced, though not by much, and Cena had a major excuse for losing his title. Only the Miz match was truly awful with the two big Fatal Fourways rising to good. While this is not a good place for a new viewer to start tonight’s episode of RAW (on USA Network in the US and The Score in Canada) might be a good place to start.

WWE Fatal Four Way

By way of introduction I’m known as Lucian (not my real name) and I’m a professional wrestling fan from Toronto, Ontario. I watch all the wrestling I can on TV and sometimes order a Pay Per View. I’ve been a fan for years (since the day of the original Raw/Smackdown brand split to be precise) and play wrestling video games and write wrestling fan fiction for Hollywood the Game. I’m looking to be your regular wrestling columnist for My Hollywood Dream. On Saturday I attended the Ring of Honor internet Pay Per View and last night I watched World Wrestling Entertainment’s Fatal Fourway Pay Per View.

If you wonder why I like wrestling there are a number of reasons. I’m a big fan of long-term continuity. A few weeks ago Rampage Jackson was on Monday Night RAW promoting the new A-Team movie. To make a long story short Rowdy Roddy Piper showed up still nursing a grudge against Mr. T and the original A-Team. Where else but a soap opera or a comic book do characters show up nursing a grudge over two decades old? Unlike a comic book these are real people. They age, they retire, they learn, they come, they go but it’s one big storyline stretching back to the fifties. Unlike soap operas it has impressive displays of stage combat. As a former stage actor I was always a sucker for good stage combat. I also like larger than life characters, classic struggles between good and evil and some comedy mixed in now and then. Plus hot women (and men) means I expect to be a fan for a long time to come.

That does not mean I think the current state of American professional wrestling is particularly strong. WWE is struggling to adapt to its new PG rating while Vince Mcmahon’s wife Linda runs for public office. TNA tries to offer an alternative but they usually look second rate compared to WWE and seem to blow every opportunity that comes their way. Ring of Honor offers a true alternative but not on a major TV network and with their Pay Per Views on the internet. But wrestling can change on a dime. One new personality could change everything. There could be a next Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin about to debut at any minute. You never know…

Which brings us to tonight’s show. Some interesting things have been going on in WWE programming lately and we’re going to see things come to a head tonight. The rookies from season one of new show NXT have invaded the company. The Undertaker was found beaten into a vegetative state (to cover a real life injury) and his brother Kane will stop at nothing to find the culprit. And, perhaps most important of all both the major championships will be defended in Fatal Fourway matches; where the champ has a statistical 75% chance to lose his championship. Add in a few minor matches and it should be a full card. But who knows, a last minute match could always be added.

Our opening promo highlights that we’re seeing two big Fatal Fourways tonight. For the uneducated a Fatal Fourway is a four-person match where everyone competes at the same time and the first person to score a pinfall or force a wrestler to submit wins the match. We’ll also see a women’s Fatal Fourway tonight but that’s not important enough to mention in opening credits. Also, the Smackdown half of the promo heavily features Kane, who is not even in the match, and his quest to find out who put his “brother” The Undertaker in a “vegetative state”.

We begin with an appearance by Mr. McMahon himself. He’s here to let us know Raw General Manager Bret Hart will not be here tonight. He even shows us the footage of the renegade faction of former NXT rookies attempting vehicular homicide on Hart. Recently Daniel Bryan was legit fired for choking someone out with a tie, but apparently using a car as a weapon is just fine for a PG rated show.

Before Vince leaves we bring out Vince’s pet project Drew McIntyre. They shake hands and when Drew reaches the ring he calls out Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long, who he has been abusing for weeks, to watch his title shot from ringside. We finally hear from the announce team as current Intercontinental champion Kofi Kingston arrives to defend his belt. It’s a 3-man announce team tonight of Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Matt “The Teacher” Striker.

This is a good choice for opening match. Drew McIntyre isn’t a great wrestler yet but Kofi’s flashy style keeps the match exciting throughout. McIntyre works typical heel style, inflicting early damage on Kofi’s left arm then focusing on it throughout. With so much focus on Teddy Long at ringside it’s no surprise when the ref goes down and McIntyre forces Teddy Long to take his place. But Teddy grows a pair and refuses to count Drew’s pin. But Drew’s other enemy, Matt Hardy, attacks him, despite being suspended. This lets Kofi make the comeback and this time Teddy is happy to count the pin.

A quick backstage segment tells us The Hart Dynasty have a 6-person tag against newcomers the Ousos and Tamita tonight. Neither Tyson Kidd nor David Hart Smith are any great shakes on the microphone yet.

The first Fatal Fourway of the night is the most minor, for the Divas championship. This being WWE it’s more about being hot than being a great wrestler. Gone at the days of the Fabulous Moohla. Our competitors are Maryse (hot French Canadian), Gail Kim (hot Korean Canadian), Alicia Fox (hot African American) and champion Eve Torres (hot Hispanic American). Of them all Alicia Fox is my least favorite and she picks up a win by stealing the pin from Eve, becoming the new Divas championship. It would have been a bad idea to have the champion retain but Fox is not someone I think deserves a title belt.

We get a face-to-face between Rey Mysterio and The Big Show, the good guys in the Smackdown Fatal Fourway, to make it clear they are not going to do each other any favors. Rey looks like a midget compared to Big Show. Show’s fist is almost as big as Rey’s head.

Another surprise match between Chris Jericho and Evan Bourne. Word is WWE Management put Chris Jericho in the doghouse after he signed to do the ABC TV game show Downfall (Tuesday at 9 on ABC) and John Cena recently went to bat for Evan Bourne. So it’s no surprise when the rising youngster picks up the win. But Jericho doesn’t dog it at all and the match is superb. If you need to punish Jericho then losing to a rising star is far smarter than having Big Show crush him as they did on RAW.

To find out the results of the rest of the WWE’s Fatal Fourway event, check out part 2 of Lucian’s Wrestling Report.