The John Report: The Raw Deal for 04/05/10 (Orton/Swagger)

Live from Moline, Illinois this is the Raw Deal…

We start with the new World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger. He came out to decent, but not great, heat and they showed a clip of how he pinned Jericho on a cheap attack from Friday’s Smackdown. Swagger said he could have cashed in on Cena, but he thought he’d do it on the best in world Chris Jericho instead, which is a fine way for a heel to explain his actions. He said he’s going to move to Smackdown since nobody on Raw compares to his ability (so we have to forget months of losing?). And moving brands three weeks before the draft lottery is kind of pointless, but it’s post Mania season and there’s not long term planning in WWE anymore. Technically Batista should only be on Smackdown, yet he’s not. It doesn’t matter to me, really. I just don’t like logic holes that can be easily avoided. Cena came out, said there is one guy – wearing orange (that would be him) – that calls Swagger a liar because he can beat him. Swagger said no, so the voices in Randy Orton’s head told him to come out. Orton said Swagger would rather face the man who beat him in a tag match last week, which was Orton. I don’t even remember it and I watched the show. Then Big Show & Miz came out for some reason. Said the moment should be about the tag champs. The Raw guest host, NXT wrestler David Otunga, came out next. He has good presence on the microphone. He announced that tonight we’d get Orton vs. Swagger as well as Showmiz vs. the team of Cena/Batista. Orton went to RKO Cena, but he pushed him and Orton hit Swagger with the RKO OUT OF NOWHERE~! to end the segment. The segment was fine although if they’re trying to legitimize Swagger this whole thing didn’t help him much.

Sheamus d. Kofi Kingston (*)
It got about three minutes, Kofi got offense for half of the match before Sheamus took him out with two bicycle kicks and the still unnamed Razor’s Edge. They need to either go with Celtic Cross (even though that’s Finlay’s finisher) or get something else because saying that “that devastating move” is too vague for me. By the way, how far has Kofi fallen huh? He did mess up a couple times in big matches, but if you listen to the pops the crowds really do like the guy. Post match, he hit Kingston in the back of the head with a pipe (no chairs allowed, of course) to KO him while HHH walked to the ring…after the break.

Sheamus got on the microphone to call HHH “pathetic” for crying during his farewell speech to HBK last week. He said Michaels left before Sheamus could take him out and HHH is too stubborn to leave. Five minutes after being shown on screen, HHH came out. I guess he was doing a diaper change for his daughter? Yeah, we’ll go with that. He grabbed a sledgehammer. Hunter was able to hit him with it and Sheamus went to the floor where HHH went for the killshot except Sheamus moved and he got the monitor instead. I assume this leads to a Sledgehammer vs. Pipe match at the stipulation fest PPV called Extreme Rules in a couple weeks. Since HHH won at Mania, I expect Sheamus to win there.

Dress to Impress Divas #1 Contender Battle Royale (1/2*)
The match involves Kelly, the Bellas, Alicia, Jillian, Eve, Gail, Katie Lea and Rosa with the winner getting a title shot against Maryse, who was at ringside, next week. They were all wearing dresses while walking down a red carpet to put over Otunga’s A-Lister gimmick. I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to wrestle in a dress, but that’s just me. No, I don’t have personal experience in that regard. The final three were Jillian, Alicia and Eve. The heels tried to get rid of Eve, but she persevered and won the match by last eliminating Jillian. It wasn’t as bad as you might think. Maryse was solid on commentary too.

They showed a clip of Otunga’s background. Same video that’s been on NXT.

Backstage, Otunga talked to indy wrestlers that are supposed to be hangers on about how he had exactly 427 green M&Ms. Cue Santino, who thought the A-Team was there rather than the A-Lister. Cue Hornswoggle eating the M&Ms, it led to some kind of chase and the segment ended with a whimper. Not a good comedy segment.

Unified Tag Titles: Showmiz d. Cena/Batista via countout (*)
Batista wanted nothing to do with the match, so Cena went at it alone. They went nearly three minutes when Cena went stumbling into his corner ready to tag in Batista. He jumped off the apron and walked off. Cena chased him, fighting him up the aisle. Meanwhile, the ref counted their team out giving the win to Showmiz. Post match, David Otunga said the match will happen later with Showmiz defending against Cena and his partner, Otunga. This means Cena gets to be in both top of the hour matches. Good for him and for Cena fans. For everybody else? Yawn.

Ted Dibiase came out with the Million Dollar belt. Is it the same one? It looks cheaper. He explains that this is his dad’s way of repaying him for being an absent father growing up. Something like that. He thanked him for the trust fund and the title. I don’t know if he can pull this off. His dad had a lot more heel charisma than Junior does.

Ted Dibiase d. Christian (*1/2)
They got nearly five minutes, which is an eternity for a Raw match. They worked a fast pace, which led you to believe it would be over soon. Christian went for the Killswitch, Ted got out of it and eventually shoved him into the ring post. He ended up getting the win the Dream Street finisher. Welcome to Raw, where one person wins a match one week and the other guy gets his win back the next. Can Christian get drafted to Smackdown to work with Edge & Jericho please? Thanks.

They mentioned the Draft show on April 26 in Richmond, VA. It’s the night after Extreme Rules and it’ll be three hours.

They aired the HBK video that was also shows on NXT and Smackdown last week. Fine by me. It’s HBK. Miss him a lot already.

Randy Orton d. Jack Swagger (**1/2)
They got about ten minutes. Orton sure got a nice pop didn’t he? I always said you can’t turn Cena heel unless somebody else gets babyface pops like him and it looks like Orton might be that guy. I thought Randy did a better job this week of working more like a babyface. His facial expressions haven’t changed, which is fine, but his actions were more appropriate. I thought he gave Swagger plenty of offense. That’s a good thing because fans need to believe Swagger’s credible even though we all know the champion loses non-title matches. Ten minutes in, after a couple of running Vader bombs and pausing for the Gutwrench powerbomb, Orton hit the RKO OUT OF NOWHERE~! (it actually was this time) for the win. This was one of those cases where it would have been nice to see Swagger get the win, but obviously they want to keep Orton rolling while he’s hot. It doesn’t do much for the new champion, though. They’ve had Swagger stop doing his goofy smile and his ridiculous airplane spin thing as a way to make him more serious, but he needs legit wins over top guys to stay over. For now it’s fine. Going forward, though, they have to change that philosophy.

Hart Family DVD out today. I’ve heard good things. Might get it.

Next week’s guest host from Raw in England? David Hasselhoff. Hopefully he doesn’t sing. Do people in the UK thing he’s talented or is that just Germany?

Showmiz d. John Cena & David Otunga (*1/4)
This got about 6 minutes. The champs worked over Cena because Otunga’s still got a long way to go in the ring and you can tell management wasn’t high on him putting him in the ring much during the live Raw main event. Cena showed his fighting spirit, they did the double KO spot with him and Miz leading to Cena lunging for the tag. When he got there, Otunga dropped down of course because he always acts heelish and that left poor John Cena alone again. Big Show got the tag, Cena turned around and he got KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT~! by the Big Show punch to take the loss. Here’s a Chris Tucker reaction (from the movie Friday) to the KO punch courtesy of my buddy Mike.

Batista came out and gave Cena the Batista Bomb. Otunga said Batista had an announcement. Batista said he was using his rematch clause at Extreme Rules and that the match would be a Last Man Standing match. Works for me. I liked their WM match as well as their Summerslam 2008 match, so giving them a gimmick match could help them produce the best match they’ve had thus far. It was a good ending to the show.

Cena will win the match at Extreme Rules. Write it down in pen. In case you don’t know, Batista’s expected to take time off post Extreme Rules. He’s doing a WWE Films project and the word is doesn’t want to wrestle while he’s doing that. He wants to take a sabbatical. Nothing wrong with taking time off to recharge your batteries, but his heel character is on a roll, so from a performance standpoint WWE will be worse off without him there.

Three Stars of the Night
1. Randy Orton – On a roll. Really did a great job.
2. Jack Swagger – Had his working boots on.
3. Adam – The guy that does the video packages that HBK mentioned last week. Give him some props!

6 out of 10
Last week: 7

I liked the show, but I didn’t love it. At least there was more actual in ring action on this show than on a normal Raw. The Cena/Batista stuff is basically the same deal we got before WrestleMania with Batista beating Cena up like “nobody else ever has” even though it happens all the time. I liked the HHH/Sheamus stuff for the most part because it’s turning into an intense battle, which is what it should be.

Otunga’s an above average talker already with good heel charisma, as well as instincts. He still needs to show me more in the ring, but we all know Vince marks for celebs and since he’s got those connections he’s somebody that WWE is going to push. This show was an example of that. I still say Daniel Bryan wins NXT, but Otunga will be the other star coming out of that show.

For Extreme Rules, based on what’s likely going to happen, I’m going Cena over Batista and Sheamus over HHH. I’m not sure what match Randy Orton will be involved in, but he could possibly be thrown into the Swagger/Jericho/Edge picture to make it a fatal fourway. There’s a Jericho/Edge #1 contender match being taped tonight, but I’d expect it to lead to a three way at the PPV, which could then lead to a fourway. I don’t know, though. Just throwing it out there.

Finally, I miss Shawn Michaels. A lot. I guess we have to get used to it, huh?


That’s it. Keep checking for more content including Commentfest later tonight, WWE NXT and TNA Impact recaps in the coming days. Also, the fourth and final batch of HBK related emails will get posted either really late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. I have another 65 or so to sift through. I’m also going to try throwing up polls one day a week, videos another day and maybe shorter takes on things on another day. I’ll try my best to give some kind of daily content.

Thanks for reading. Have a great week.

John Canton –
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