WWE Raw Review 10/10/11 - Triple H Fired As COO In Worst Show In Years

A returning Vince McMahon told Triple H that John Laurinaitis was replacing him as the new General Manager until a suitable replacement was found in a horrible Monday Night Raw show.

The Big News: A returning Vince McMahon told Triple H that John Laurinaitis was replacing him as the new General Manager until a suitable replacement was found. In his new role Laurinaitis booked Del Rio vs Cena for the WWE title and set up a tag match pitting Punk and Triple H against the reinstated pair of Miz and Truth for the Vengeance PPV. Raw recap from previous week with everyone walking out on Hunter to close the show. Live from Oklahoma Camera shot showed the crowd and an empty announce desk. A Stanley Kubrick esque pan towards the back then brought us to Hunter's office where he walked out, shook his head and proceeded to walk to the ring. Hunter told the crowd that he showed up and they showed up but that the superstars had walked out on their audience and were currently in the parking lot holding a solidarity rally. He mocked their childish protest and got serious again saying that none of them were going to perform unless he stepped down. He said that he had a problem with leaving though because he's never been a quitter and that he refused to be intimidated or blackmailed and that the wrestlers in the parking lot could kiss his ass whilst if need be he wrestled a broomstick for two hours which he added would give him more of a match than most of the wrestlers in the parking lot. Vintage Hunter burial right there. Remind me COO why should we care about this storyline or about the product in general if most of the talent who walked out are apparently as worthy as a broomstick. Talk about counterproductive. The idea is to put over how valuable these men who've left are regardless of whether or not the crowd cheer or boo them. John Cena came out. He looked into the camera and said €œIt's about to get serious€ whilst looking as if he was about to crack up at any moment. He was greeted with the usual mixture of cheers and boos and basically took five minutes to get to the point that he was loyal to his boss and to the WWE and that he was going to continue to tear it up on Monday Night Raw. Great two men talking in the ring who like to use up about five sentences to sum up one emotion. Thankfully things picked up however with the appearance of Sheamus and CM Punk. The Irishman was out first and put over his respect for Hunter. He reminded everyone of the time when he took out the COO with a lead pipe and that instead of taking legal action Trips took vengeance into his own hands and gave him the €œarse kicking of a lifetime€ upon his return. Punk then came out and expanded upon this point by arguing that the wrestling industry is based on settling chaotic feuds inside the ring and that whilst he feels responsible for making walking out look cool and edgy he is now staying in the fox hole with these boys which led him to the next logical point €œWhat do we do next?€ Hunter said they were going to do what Monday Night Raw is all about and that is €œshut up and fight.€ He then booked a match with Sheamus versus John Cena to start the show and said that he would referee and Punk would be on announcing duties. Punk asked to wear Hunters blazer and then rang the bell to start the match. This was faces enjoying themselves amidst controversy and it was good fun to watch. Sheamus and John Cena fought for a couple of minutes only because the match was interrupted by a returning Vince McMahon who asked for all the other superstars to leave so that he could have a private word with the COO. A private word that is in front of thousands of fans with monitors in the back for everyone to watch anyway but I digress. Vince McMahon said that he was proud of the job Hunter had been doing raising hell and all but that the board were concerned about the increasingly unstable nature of the company as of late and were worried that it might spiral out of control leading to the cancellation of certain PPV's (yes please), Wrestlemania and even Monday Night Raw itself. With that in mind McMahon said that Hunter would be temporarily replaced as COO by interim GM John Laurinaitis. On cue Laurinaitis walked out onto the ramp to some mega heat. Backstage John Laurinaitis shook hands with the returning talent. John Morrison told him that he sucked and Laurinaitis ordered him to the ring where he would face a hand picked opponent. The new GM then spoke to Christian who was fantastic creeping to his new boss and insisting that they should just go ahead and give him the position on a permanent basis. He then told Christian that he needed someone to face Morrison and Christian was all too willing to oblige. The real announcers returned with JR getting a great ovation from his home fans and Michael Cole insisting that he was the reason for the change. Match: Christian defeated John Morrison via pinfall Christian arrived with assistance of his new heel entourage consisting of Ziggler, Swagger and Rhodes. Both men fought in their street clothes. Christian took the initiate to start getting on top with some fists and kicks and sending Morrison into the ropes where the high flyer came back with a forearm. Morrison hit some stomps of his own and attempted a shining wizard dive but Christian ducked. Christian then fought back but his top rope attempt was blocked by JO Mo who send him flying off the turnbuckle with a back bodydrop. Morrison then attempted starship pain but Ziggler and Swagger distracted him enough so that when he turned around he was left vulnerable to Christian's sphere for the pinfall. * Post-match all the heels took out John Morrison with their finisher. Time may well be running out for this poor man. Graphic for two upcoming matches. CM Punk vs Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton vs Mark Henry. One overdone bout and another which serves no purpose on tv. Fantastic. Backstage Laurinaitis was on the phone to his wife. €œYou don't think I came across as too intimidating?€ he asked her. Ha, this man is fantastic! He was then interrupted by Hunter. Laurinaitis tried to grovel to the former COO by telling him that none of this was his doing and that he had just been handed the job out of the blue. Hunter physically threatened him by asking if Laurinaitis if he had ever tried to pick up teeth with some broken fingers. That is one truly badass line. Before his scheduled match with Orton Henry got on the mic and asked the footage to be replayed from Smackdown in which Big Show had chokeslammed him through an announce table before being granted a championship shot by Teddy Long. He told Show that at Vengeance, vengeance would be his. Orton then cut an off screen promo where he said €œNo Vengeance is mine.€ Whacky stuff right there. Match: Randy Orton defeated Mark Henry via DQ Orton grounded Henry with a dropkick and stomps but missed his jumping knee drop. Henry recovered and threw Henry in the corner but Orton fired back and stood on the middle rope throwing punches on his opponent. A big hand from Henry halted Orton's momentum however and sent him flying to the outside. Back in the ring Henry took Orton down with some stomps and big forearms but he then missed a rotating leg drop and Orton made him pay with the rolling knee drop, clothesline and a mid rope DDT. He then pumped himself up for the RKO only to be distracted by an emerging Cody Rhodes. Orton fought off Rhodes and when he turned around found himself caught in Mark Henry's arms ready to be dropped with a worlds strongest slam. Orton fought out though and took down Henry with an RKO. He seemingly had the match won but Rhodes broke the count. Orton took out Rhodes with a clothesline and a scoop slam and then tried for an RKO but Rhodes shoved him off and sent him tumbling into Henry's arms for a worlds strongest slam. Henry went for the cover not realising that the match had already ended on a DQ. * Post-match Henry took out Orton with another worlds strongest slam. There was then a nice touch as a scared looking Rhodes waited for Henry to leave. It makes for a refreshing change that both heels and faces alike are equally intimated by the World Heavyweight Champion. Rhodes took out Orton with a cross rhodes and then asked for a bag. His assistant obliged sprinting down to the ring and handed Rhodes a paper bag which he put on Orton's head. Rhodes then got on the mic and said that when you €œcut the head of a viper all the venom goes with it.€ He then made a joke about whether or not Orton wanted a receipt with his bag and proceeded to pull off a manic non stop laugh as if he was Dr Evil from the Austin Powers franchise. Whilst I like the fact that Orton is now in a fresh feud away from the World Title this was still a very odd match to book here on Raw. I've been saying for a while how good the Orton/Henry feud has been because it has been centred around a top babyface suddenly finding himself vulnerable against a monster heel. When you have a dynamic as good as this you don't just waste it on free tv though and you certainly don't use the match as an angle to put a new feud over. Also, Orton who has suffered two clean losses to Henry in the past now has the guy beat clean in a relatively brief bout until the Cody interference. How has he suddenly found the tools to take the giant down? He didn't adopt any new strategies and he didn't look the slightest bit uncertain so from both a booking and psychological standpoint it made little sense. All in all there is just no way on earth that Henry should have needed any form of assistance against the opponent who he has just recently received the big rub from. Now that this feud is seemingly over, fans should look back and go, wow that's the monster who toppled Randy Orton, not that's the guy who Orton was about to overcome before Rhodes arrived on the scene. Divas Tag Match: Kelly Kelly and Eve defeated Rosa Mendes and Tamina via pinfall Kelly Kelly is currently in rage mode. This means that we get twice as much screaming and double the amount of bad acting. The blonde bombshell started in the ring with Rosa and took her down with some forearms before executing a horrible handstand spring elbow in which Rosa for some reason ran forward out of position leaving both women to nearly crumble to the floor. Kelly then locked in her awesome upside down rope choke (no sarcasm, I actually love the look of that move) and proceeded to beat on Rosa until Tamina tagged herself in and threw a tagged Eve over the rope. Eve landed on her feet though and ran wild. Rosa tried to get involved but Kelly took her out of the picture with a bulldog and a thez press to the outside leaving Eve free to land a sweet moonsault on Tamina for the pinfall. Got to give Eve credit where its due as whilst she might not know how to work she is still quite the impressive athlete between those ropes. * Backstage Natalya and Divas champion Beth Phoenix were watching on the monitor backstage looking peeved. John Laurinaitis came down to the ring and booked Alberto Del Rio versus John Cena for the WWE title at Vengeance. This will be Cena's ninth PPV world title match in a row. Perhaps one of the reasons why even the usually reliable Cena lovers amongst the crowd didn't react at all to their hero getting another shot at the belt. Laurinaitis then fired JR because he had walked out on Triple H after the former COO had hired him back. Okay then.... Trailer for the new John Cena film. It looks like its only redeeming value is that is stars the gorgeous actress Amy Smart. 6 Man Tag Match: Air Boom and Mason Ryan defeated Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler and David Otunga via pinfall I'm gonna boil this multi-man down to the essentials here at the risk of this report becoming as long as the Raw script itself. Back and forth, highly charged match served to protect Mason Ryan who was an absolute monster inside the ring and basically destroyed anyone who got in his way. Finishing sequence saw Swagger go on something of a rampage as he knocked out Kofi and reversed Bourne's high flying acrobatic attempt into a ferocious powerbomb. Ryan then sent Swagger to the outside though and planted Dolph with the pavement slam for the pinfall. Got to feel sorry for those hard working, talented workers being used to help push a green musclehead monster. ** Match: Alberto Del Rio versus CM Punk resulted in a No Contest due to match stoppage Both men engaged in a cool little staredown before locking up. Punk then got the upperhand with a ferocious flurry of fists and kicks which sent Del Rio to the outside. Del Rio came back in to deliver some fists to Punk and then took him down to the mat with a snapmare and a dropkick. Del Rio then grounded Punk with a headlock before Punk countered with a back supplex for the two count and a neckbreaker for another two count. Punk then applied a headscissors whilst whacking Del Rio in the face with some vicious fists. Punk sent Del Rio into the corner but missed his running knee and went flying to the outside where he held his leg in pain. John Laurentis then ordered a stop to the fantastic action. * 1/2 Laurinaitis followed up by saying that there would now be a tag match with Punk and Del Rio squaring off against the reinstated pair of Miz and Truth. So why was the Del Rio/Punk match booked in the first place and why have we been wasting our time becoming invested in it for the past five minutes? Tag Match: CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio defeated The Miz and R-Truth via DQ (MATCH OF THE NIGHT) The show had just fallen off a cliff at this point as Del Rio of all people, the heel WWE champion was busy playing the face in peril. He got the tag to Punk who took Miz down with a side Russian leg sweep and an arm drag before tagging Del Rio back in. Del Rio landed a dropkick from the top rope to Truth and grabbed his opponent in a healdock but Truth fired out with a jawbreaker and tagged in Miz who stomped on Del Rio for a while before Del Rio fought out to make a tag and then scampered up the ramp with Ricardo Rodriguez citing his injured leg as an excuse. Punk was left to fend for himself and soon became caught up in the numbers game resulting in a double team ground and pound beat down from the heels. Punk fired back though landing the running knee on Miz and executing an awesome spot in which he planted Miz with a bulldog whilst simultaneously planting Truth with a clothesline on the outer apron. Punk then took to the top and hit Miz with the Macho Man elbow before setting up the GTS. Truth interrupted however and both himself and Miz double teamed on Punk for the DQ. ** Post-match the onslaught continued but Punk was saved by Hunter (back to casual gear) who helped his new ally deliver an almighty beatdown to Miz and Truth. Backstage John Laurinaitis spoke to Otunga. Otunga liked the fact that he had brought back Miz and Truth and Laurentis said that he was going to see how well Punk and Trips got on when they took on the reinstated pair at Vengeance. Trips and Punk shook hands and posed in the middle of the ring to end the show.

Verdict:

The Wrestling Observer are busy declaring this as one of all the time worse broadcasts of Raw and whilst I enjoyed some elements of the drama I have to agree that as an overall package it was an extremely convoluted and poorly structured effort that felt as if it was being booked by Vince Russo. Part of the problem with wanting to do an all encompassing company storyline is that there are some 13-14 ppvs a year. This means that you need matches on the these ppvs and you can't have an angle where the majority of the superstars are banding together in protest whilst simultaneously building towards an event called Vengeance where you need members of these allied forces to do battle. As a result the next step of the main storyline in bringing in Laurentis has to be rushed so that matches can quickly be established for the PPV and thus all the drama, emotion and build suffers as a consequence. The walk out now just feels gimmicky and the corporate storyline phoney because what should be months of planning is instead squeezed into a two hour broadcast where an awful lot happens but nothing really holds much weight. What we got therefore was a medley of returns, run ins, beat downs, dq's, restarts and a load of hurried theatrics which all blended together into one singular messy whole.
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"Growing up, Laurent was such an ardent fan of wrestling superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin that he actually attempted to send the Texas Rattlesnake a letter demanding that he defeat arch-nemesis The Rock at Wrestlemania 15. Oh hell yeah, it was all still very real to him back then dammit. As an aspiring writer of multiple genres and platforms, he has also recently co-authored a non-fiction movie e-book entitled 'Egos, Cliches, Flops and Lost Films: Examining the powerful madness of the movies' which is written in a similarly light hearted and informative style to his wrestling articles and which can be browsed and purchased by following the link below - http://www.amazon.com/Egos-Cliches-Flops-Films-ebook/dp/B0088YNTBC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339093928&sr=8-1"