October 31, 2011
Raw: Muppets for Halloween
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
Raw’s on the air on All Hallow’s Eve, and that usually means some wackiness. I’d say that’s a guarantee this year, since The Muppets are here.
We kick off the night with The Rock’s music playing and a video of him standing in front of a palm tree, pondering teaming with John Cena, and responds with a very sound no. This gets cheers. Joy!
Rock then changes his tune, talking about how he rethought it given how he and “Team Bring It” hate Awesome Truth and accepts the offer. Rock then cuts a promo on Miz and R-Truth but then talks about how he wants Cena to witness the devastation he will dish out so he knows what awaits him at WrestleMania. Makes sense actually when you put it like that... kinda...
Match 1 – CM Punk vs. Mark Henry
Here’s the gist: If Punk can beat one champ, he gets to face the other for their title. Yep, makes sense to me too. They then finally replay the Superplex from Show and Henry, to which Jerry Lawler says he’s never seen anything like it. Well, I guess Lawler never watched Smackdown.
Before the match begins, Johnny Ace comes out to ensure everyone knows what the parameters for the match.
Match moves quickly as Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez come out. Ricardo then assaults a fallen Mark Henry, earning the DQ win for Henry. Smart booking.
Winner: Mark Henry (DQ)
Post-match, Punk throws Ricardo into the ring who eats Henry’s finisher. I think we can start calling Ricardo "Kenny."
We come back from break to The Muppets reps Kermit and Miss Piggy. You know, I thought at first this would be a good idea... now, not so much.
Doesn’t take long for Vickie Guerrero to come out with Jack Swagger. Vickie and Piggy go back and forth until Santino Marella comes out. Oy.
Apparently it will be Santino vs. Swagger tonight, and Dolph Ziggler will face Zack Ryder. Then, before we can get any farther, Kelly Kelly’s horrible music plays, she kisses Kermit and heads to the ring. Oh and did I mention she was wearing a pirate... Musketeer... um... some sort of costume, I really can’t tell what it is, not that I care.
Yes friends, it’s time once again for WWE to degrade its female competitors. Somewhere, Trish Stratus and Amy Dumas are watching their TVs and just rolled their eyes.
Match 2 – Divas Costume Battle Royal
Eventually it gets down to Eve, Kelly, Alicia and Nattie. The faces try to team up on Nattie but Kelly and Alicia are quickly dismissed. Eve then takes advantage of Nattie being distracted and dumps her.
Winner: Eve Torres
I thought after last week that Alicia would be the one moving on.
Backstage, Professor Bunsen and Beaker are working on a special power drink for Santino. Beaker runs into Christian who dumps the drink. Sheamus then comes in to have some fun. We get a scene between apparent family members Sheamus and Beaker. Yep, we just reached a new level of lame.
Match 3 – Air Boom vs. Cody Rhodes/Wade Barrett
I fail to see any reason for Rhodes to be in a tag team match.
Standard WWE tag match with one sweet reversal sequence between Barrett and Evan Bourne. Barrett ends up getting the duke with Wasteland.
Post-match, Christian comes out and the three rail on the tag team until Sheamus comes out. Yep, we’re getting our traditional Survivor Series match.
Before the segment ends we get a brief shot of Waldorf and Statler.
Johnny Ace is then seen backstage texting. Punk then comes in and rails on him as long as ADR agrees to the match. Seriously, what is it with Ace’s text phone? Can someone please get him a Smartphone?
We then get another video for Brodus Clay, who is apparently re-debuting next week. I like his catchphrase of "I’m the beginning, I’m the end." Could work really well if they let him use it for more than just this video series.
Match 4 – Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show
Decent back and forth match. It really seems like Show’s cardio has improved since he came back, which is a definite plus for the big man. Eventually the match ends up outside the ring and ADR gets the worst of the exchange as he breaks the count on a couple occasions. ADR eventually regains the advantage and almost gets the win before ADR breaks the count... only to bring Show in. The hell?
The match still is pretty competitive back in the ring and again I have to say that Show’s conditioning seems to be a lot better than he was in recent years. Show gets the duke in the very long match after reversing a dropkick attempt into the huge right hand.
Winner: Big Show
So Show has beat the WWE champ but couldn’t beat the World champ? Hmm...
After the match, Punk comes out and sits next to an unconscious Del Rio. He splashes some water on ADR’s face. Punk warns that he will hit the Anaconda Vice on ADR until he agrees to the bout. The two seriously need to have a submission match at the Series. That would be truly awesome.
Backstage, Gonzo and Fozzy Bear are walking around. Vickie and her boys walk in and stretch Gonzo in a way that would make Stu Hart proud. Sigh.
Our next match is up with Animal on the timekeeper’s bell... okay please end this now.
Match 5 – Jack Swagger vs. Santino Marella
Swagger one-ups Scott Steiner early by doing pushups during the match -- using Santino as the placement for his hands. That’s just sweet.
Just as Santino is getting beat up, Beaker pops up and gives him the power drink. Santino ends up spitting it in Swagger's face, leading to the School Boy for the lame win.
Winner: Santino Marella
Match 6 – Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler
Match goes back and forth until Ryder gets an Elijah Express variation in the corner. The ref initially counts three but missed Dolph’s foot under the rope. He sees it at the last second as the bell rings and there’s a definite Botchamania spot. Ryder later gets the actual pin with the Ruff Ryder.
Winner: Zack Ryder
We get a flashback of the Kevin Nash/Triple H drama from last week. We learn he has a fractured vertebrae and concussion and will be out at least five more weeks. In the interim, we learn that Johnny Ace signed Nash to a new contract.
Michael Cole gets up on his pulpit and says that Jim Ross isn’t here tonight because he has IBD. Then lists off a bunch of diseases and waves around a diaper. The challenge rolls on for another week. We get another Waldorf and Statler moment before we see Miss Piggy fawning over John Morrison. Morrison says instead he has a friend for Piggy, Hornswoggle. Hornswoggle shows off his Muppets tattoo and eats a ballshot from Piggy (okay, maybe it was all worth it in the end). We then get a series of weirdness ending with Cody Rhodes paperbagging Kermit.
Match 7 – The Miz vs. John Cena
Before the match begins Statler gets an inadvertent hilarious shot on Cena and The Miz. Yep, it was worth the earlier crap just for the last two segments.
Standard Cena match until Miz hits a kickout Scorpion Deathdrop. We then transition into an actual back and forth match which is welcome given how the two can actually mesh pretty well. A guy in a Scream mask gets involved at one point, but it’s not enough to help Miz get the W.
Winner: John Cena
Post-match, the masked man attacks again and eats an FU. It’s then revealed to be R-Truth.
So let’s see. Cena just got rid of Awesome Truth singlehandedly? What’s the point of the Series tag match with the Rock? Ugh.
Oh, and as we start to fade to black, we can audibly hear Vince McMahon screaming instructions into a headset. Scarrrryyyy.
Well gang, Nick Tylwalk takes over next week. Been a fun few months, but SLAM! wrestling’s Raw recap is heading Stateside while hockey season gets going. Watch for me in the PPV previews.