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PostSubject: 2011 Discussion   Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:21 pm

Discuss Raw in 2011
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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:28 am

The Miz vs. John Morrison - Falls Count Anywhere - Raw 1/3/11
An impressively booked, structured, and worked match. I'd probably point to Miz/Bryan and Morrison/Sheamus as the "breakout matches" for these two, and those are still their best matches, but this is the Miz's best performance, and Morrison continues to impress. The first half was more "pretty good" than "great," but it served its purpose, establishing Morrison as an ass-kicking babyface. Stuff on the ramp was all fine, though the highspot wasn't a blowaway spot or anything. I dug Riley breaking up the pin attempt on the move that beat him last week, and Morrison kicking Riley's shit was pretty great and further established him as a serious threat. At that point, though, this becomes a total Miz show. His face before the commercial break is amazing, truly. So much fear-- he makes you feel the title is in jeopardy.

I'd normally complain about them cutting the transition spot to Miz's control segment, but I thought it worked in this situation. They've put Miz over as an opportunistic champion, so here, it came across that Riley sacrificed himself to buy time, and Miz took advantage of that sacrifice. I also liked that they came back from break to have just the two of them going at it. Felt meaningful with the stooge eliminated and former partners brawling on the outside, and it also felt meaningful that Miz was holding his own outside of his element with an established threat. He needed that, booking-wise, after the losses to Lawler. Credit to Morrison big-time for his bumping in this match. The backdrop onto the guard rail was particularly great, and he ate a bunch of stuff, and his facial expressions were really good. Nothing revelatory like his limb-selling in the Sheamus match, but a quality babyface performance. But like I said, this is the Miz's show. Ever since he turned into a serious character, his facial expressions have felt a tad off. I still would've and probably did call him a guy with good facial expressions, but his frustration sometimes felt forced, and you could tell he was still growing into the role. Here, it looked natural, and Miz looked like a legit top heel trying to put away a determined babyface. Jericho is a guy who I think of as having great facial expressions when babyfaces keep kicking out, and there were moments where I thought to myself, "Jericho wouldn't have done any better in that situation." I'm pretty convinced that the Miz is ready at this point.

The build of the drama down the stretch was great, too. The kick outs, Miz's desperation, and Morrison's determination: all well-drawn, and the crowd heat continued to build up to the big table spot. It really felt like the whole match built to and climaxed at that spot, and Morrison twisting right through the table looked fantastic. I also loved the finish as it made Morrison look tough but also made Miz look good as he got to hit his finisher rather than merely capitalizing on his opponent's mistake.

Great match and the best WWE Title match since the Batista/Cena LMS, probably. I'm not going to call it an early MOTYC because I expect there'll be 20-30 WWE matches this year that surpass it, but I think it's an easy recommendation and a fantastic showcase for two young guys who are proving that they have futures worth getting excited about, and it's also a great example of young guys making a crowd care in an era where crowds don't get excited about much outside of the top guys.
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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:32 am

The Miz vs Rey Mysterio vs Alberto Del Rio - Raw 10.05.2011
Man this was a super little match. Miz in particular looked absolutely brilliant and he seems to be improving in vast amounts now. He's cut down on a lot of the annoying tendencies and he looks so much smoother in the ring. I could see him being a really solid worker by the end of the year. Kinda how Sheamus started getting really good once he dropped down a bit from the main event scene. I was really glad that they just all 3 men go at one another rather than messing around with the usual heels try to work together against the babyface but then one turns on the other routine that they always seem to do for little reason. The Miz/Del Rio exchanges were fucking awesome to my upmost surprise. Like out of nowhere these two just seemed to click together better than either of them did with Rey. Rey was Rey but there isn't really anything unique about him anymore that makes him stand out from anyone else, plus he does that fucking retarded splash thing where he just drops from the ropes. He pulled out some higher risk stuff than he normally does for this though. 3 way sprints often rock on TV. They normally fucking suck on PPV when they get stretched out over a longer period of time but WWE tends not get the right mix of match types that should be short and which should go longer these days. Yeah this was top stuff though and I really enjoyed it.
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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:33 am

CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio vs Alberto Del Rio - Falls Count Anywhere - Raw 20.06.2011
This might very well be the best TV match that WWE has done all year. The other 3 way they did this year with Miz in there rather than Punk was really good but when you take out the weak link and add in a guy like fucking CM Punk it can only get better, which it most certainly did. They had to have some stupid stip because of the gimmick of the show and aside from a sequence of spots followed by pinfalls on the outside they did nothing to play to the stip but that was fine as if they did the usual crowd brawling it would have sucked. No DQ as an option for a 3 way match was amusing. The spots on the outside were really good though. Lots of your usual 3 way spots with Rey and the 619 and the usual stuff but it was all really smooth and worked really fucking well. Punk went for that awesome finish from the PPV again but got halted by Del Rio which I thought was a really good spot. Rey's rolling senton off the top rope looks really goofy but he followed it up with an awesome dive to the outside which made up for it. Finish was great to make Punk look likie a devious bastard winning of Rey's move. This was fucking awesome!!!
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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:35 am

Rey Mysterio vs. John Cena - RAW 07/25/11
Wow, this was all I expected and more. I always liked the concept of a Rey/Cena WWE Title match, for two guys who’ve barely wrestled eachother, they have crazy chemistry. The opening stages with Rey trying to take Cena’s legs out like a rabid terrior was brilliant. That clothesline on the floor was great, Lawler was actually good selling it too. For once, Lawler seemed genuinely excited about the product. For me, the absolute best thing was Cena looking like a cripple stumbling to his knees after the STF from Rey. It was just so unexpected and awesome in every sense of the word. The finishing stretch was tasty enough, Cena’s leg drop looked like it legit hurt, I think Cena landing on the opponents chest with the leg drop rather than the back of the neck looks SO much better. Definitely one of the best WWE TV matches I’ve seen in forever. I could watch this shit 24/7.

****

John Cena vs. CM Punk – RAW 01/17/11
So I understand this was the first meeting between these two? Oh no wait, I’m wrong. My bad. For the first match of their feud, it did it’s job in making Punk look like he’s on Cena’s level. But it didn’t really accomplish much else. The early stages were pretty good but I thought both guys seemed to be going through the motions, almost like they weren’t quite sure what to do next. I thought the finisher teases came too early and the match didn’t really feel above average until the Koji Clutch spot, and I must say that was a swank-as-fuck spot, didn’t appreciate Cole calling it the Anaconda Vice though. The Cena leg-drop felt like a really big deal here, which I wasn’t expecting at all, but I’ll take that over a million FU counters leading to one succesful FU. The finish wasn’t exactly pleasing, but it’s not like I was expecting a clean finish anyway. Pretty good TV match that set the bar nicely for their future encounters.

***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:36 am

john Cena vs. CM Punk – RAW 02/07/11
I can’t say this was anything special. It’s pretty much just Punk beating on Cena for like 6 or 7 minutes, with the odd Cena hope-spot here and there. One thing that really pissed all over my dog was that the match lacked any real structure, it’s like they completely skipped the beginning and went right into the middle section of the match, rushed that and ended it just as the finishing stretch was starting. One little thing I did like however was Punk going right on offence from the bell, last time he trash-talked beforehand and got his ass handed to him, this time he knew better, it was a really nice touch actually. The ending didn’t really do anything for me, CENA DEFIES THE REF?! WUT?!! The execution of it just seemed so out of the blue. I expected better but I guess this was nothing more than the typical RAW main-event that we’ve seen a thousand times.

**1/4

John Cena vs. CM Punk – RAW 02/14/11
Wow, this was a vast improvement on last weeks match. It was given around the same amount of time, but the use of that time was like 100x more efficient here. Things started off hot, with a flying clothesline off the apron within the first minute or two. The middle portion of the match was entertaining enough, just a lot of back and forth shit that oozed swag. Also, Punk was being booked like a sly fox here, the amount of times he escaped finishers was just ridiculous. Some of his facial expressions were priceless too, he’s probably one of my favorites to watch simply because of the little nuances he adds to matches like these. The finish was unique enough, definitely my favorite finish up to this point in their series, probably the best match in their 2011 stuff so far too. Check it out, it’s not like it’s a gazillion hours long or anything.

***1/4

The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio – 05/09/11
This was a fucking blast. Just complete nonstop balls-to-the-wall action which made for a brisk but superb 12 minutes. Miz, in particular looked seriously good here, I’ve never been a huge fan of the guy but he really impressed me here. Rey took most of the punishment in the match like a boss and was perfect in his role as the sole babyface here. Del Rio seemed to just drift in and out but anything he did was really good, there was one spot where Miz is stuck in the ropes and Del Rio just chucks him to the floor by the legs, I thought that was pretty awesome especially since he didn’t just leave Miz lying there, he floored the fucker with a lariat. For once, the 3-way exchanges were fresh and worked really well. The finish wasn’t what I was expecting but it’s nice to be surprised sometimes. I normally love the shit out of 3-way sprits and this was no exception. Top notch stuff.

***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:37 am

Randy Orton vs Dolph Ziggler - Raw 29.08.2011
Reeeeally enjoyed this. Can't believe how drastic my view on Orton as a worker has changed since this time last year, heck even just since Mania. He isn't a guy that I'd call a super worker like I would a Danielson or a Drew or a Masters, etc but he's having really good to great matches week in week out at this point and granted he's mostly had Christian to work with and who doesn't have good matches with him but then he's also pulled some great matches out of matches that really had no right to be great like the Kane match. Ziggler was really good in this too and even though it never looked like he had a legit chance of winning they gave him some really good near falls to kick out of and he made him himself look super too. The zig zag on the floor for the teased count out was a cool spot and then the closing stages were awesome. Big moves, great near falls and tremendous flow. That RKO looked immense as well.
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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:37 am

John Cena vs. The Miz – RAW 05/02/11

I must say, judging from what I’d heard about this ‘ol matcherino, I was expecting a lot better. Bell rings and things start off basic enough, a somewhat quiet crowd turns into your textbook 50/50 for Cena, who at the time was making bang tidy work of Miz, but alas, Riley’s a dickwad. Although, I prefer my manager’s being dickwad’s, The idea of a ‘sound as a pound’ manager kind of irks me. Throughout pretty much the entire middle-portion of this baby is Miz’s control segment, but he manages to do it in a way so that it doesn’t feel totally Super-Cena formulatic-esque, if you get what I mean.

I enjoy the bits and pieces of smack talk too, it’s the little things that count. Really. Just as the crowd seems to reach it’s peak, or as high as a typical 2011 crowd will peak, Cena starts busting out the ever typical finishing stretch, which is by no means a bad thing, continuity is good and Cena can be good-great at that, when given the opportunity. After some pretty funky near-falls (ie. Miz’s neckbreaker combo), Miz does something that catches me off-guard. The little fucker kicks out of the FU. Predictable near-falls? No way José. After all that good stuff, the finish left me feeling indifferent, I don’t hate it but I’m by no means a big fan of that malarky. Definitely one of the best of the bunch so far. 2011 TV ain’t so bad after all!

***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:38 am

John Cena, Sheamus, John Morrison & Alex Riley vs Christian, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger & Wade Barrett - 8 Man Elimination Tag Match - Raw 05.09.2011
Multi man tags are more often that not fun to watch at the least, elimination ones even more so as you can do multiple falls so you get more drama, less drag and the chance to advance/start lots of angles in one match. This wasn't anything overly special but there was something exciting going on all the time so it was always fun to watch. It's kinda worrying how everyone in the match bar Cena and maybe Sheamus are pretty much midcarders who turn into geeks when they get put higher up the card. Nobody really takes any of them seriously because of how they're booked and presented which is even more unfortunate because all of them bar Riley have the potential and have even to an extent impressed when they were pushed harder but then nothing ever comes of it and they all get demoted again after. The way the match came across and the pairings in the match was random and odd but whatever, got a good match out of it and they did a good job promoting Christian/Sheamus and Ziggler/Swagger wherever that's going. The Ziggler/Swagger interactions were neat, pushing the friction between the two. Honestly totally blanked as to why they were pissed at each other during Morrison's elimination before Vickie came out but I guess I was into it by the end of the match, more so than I was before at least. Morrison looked cool during his flurry of moves. Sheamus and Barrett had a really good little mini match. They had a great little match on SD as well so I honestly wouldn't be opposed to seeing them have a singles match on PPV, would probably be really good. They set Christian/Sheamus up really well with that slap and then Christian running away like a little bitch. Sheamus got that slap over really fucking good with his reaction and the close up shot of his face. Cena coming from back from a handicap to win was obvious but it was nice how they had Ziggler and Swagger as the final 2 and essentially they cost each other the advantage. Swagger's so redundant right now for me, does absolutely nothing for me. He got 2 submissions with his ankle lock though so that was good for him. Would be even better if it led somewhere in the next few weeks but it wont. Minimal Cena in the match was good too.

***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:39 am

John Cena & Randy Orton vs CM Punk & The Miz - Special Guest Referee Michael Cole - Raw Dark Match 07.02.2011
Jesus this may have been the most fun I've had watching a wrestling match all year. Starts off with Cole announcing the match and that he's the guest ref and Cole has an awesome "Miz, come on down!" line. Cena looks to be already beaten down from the end of Raw and Punk's already in the ring so he immediately goes to work on Cena whilst Miz and Riley make their way down to the ring. Takes Orton an age to get out there for some reason. It basically turns into a 4 on 1 contest with Punk, Miz and Riley all taking cheap shots on Cena and Cole has some awesome douchebag heel ref shtick where he starts congratulating Miz and they raise each others hands and start waving to the crowd while Punk is taking cheap shots at Cena behind them while Miz is the legal man. Why oh why they've never had Cole ref a Miz match on TV I'll never know because this was golden. Cole counts fast for the heels as well and when Orton gets the tag and runs wild he does a really slow 2 count and then just gives up after 2. Awesome moment when Cena and Orton are both back up and stare down Cole before doing a FU/RKO combo at the same time. Crowd goes nuts, babyfaces win, fun time is had by all. This rocked.
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PostSubject: Re: 2011 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:39 am

John Cena vs CM Punk - Raw Dark Match 01.08.2011
This is more of a straight up regular match than your usual dark match goofy shit that Cal alluded to just. They work a really neat back and forth match and they have some great teased FU spots that are met with some great counters by Punk. Strike exchange was great and then Miz/Truth run in to cause a DQ. Timing of the run in was a shame because it came just when the match seemed to going from good to great territory but yeah it's dark match. Fuck you for wanting more. Obviously it leads to both men doing their finishers simultaneously and everyone goes home happy. Yay! Genuinely thought this was as good as their Raw series from the start of the year considering it didn't have a finish and I prefered it to the latest Raw match but I don't think a lot of others will.

***1/4
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