Spiraltap Rants: Random WWE Thoughts and Rebooking the 10/10/11 Raw
So a good bit of time has passed since WWE sent out over the airwaves one of the worst Raws in history. I thought maybe, just maybe, I would have calmed down a little. But no, I haven’t. This show. This illogical, poorly written, badly booked abomination of a show irritated the ever living out of me. But I think that was just the culmination of a growing list of things that have made me cranky about WWE of late. I’m gonna try and keep this from devolving into a rambling mess so I’m going to step through each item that’s made me want to grab a tire iron and beat the crap out of something. Here we go in no particular order.
1. The total and complete burial of everyone last week
By everyone walking out last week any credibility that members of the WWE roster had of being tough or bad asses got flushed down the toilet. How can you take any member of the WWE Roster seriously when they start cutting a promo talking about how tough they are after they walked out after a few people got randomly attacked? And with a good majority of the people that walked out either nothing bad ever happened to them or they were the ones instigating the attacks. And can someone explain to me why Mark Henry would be involved in walking out because of unsafe working environments? Here’s someone who since April has been on this murderous rampage and he’s concerned about an unsafe working environment? And what does Santino have to be upset about? He was gone for a good portion of the events that happened anyway. Beth Phoenix complaining that something could happen to the divas made them look more helpless and weak than Princess Peach or that chick that used to get tied to the railroad tracks in the Dudley Do Right cartoons. Aside from that the roster’s justifications for walking out just seemed so weak and it made them look weak by association.
2. The total and complete burial of everyone this week
If last week buried the entire roster this week covered the hole with concrete. With one sentence Triple H killed the credibility of everyone on the roster by saying that a broomstick would be a better worker than most of the roster. Why? What purpose did that serve other than to feed Triple H’s already inflated ego? Did that add a ratings point? Did that give any wrestling fans out there who might have been on the fence about ordering Vengeance the boost they needed to make the call? If anything it probably had the opposite effect. I mean why would wrestling fans order a pay per view with wrestlers who supposedly aren’t better wrestlers than broomsticks? In a way Triple H kind of buried himself too because isn’t one of Triple H’s behind the scenes roles to discover new talent and figure out how to introduce them to WWE fans? How good a job can Triple H be doing at finding new talent if a broomstick can outwork them?
3. The Walkout/Power Struggle/Etc.
I’ve already covered the fact that the walkout made everyone look weak. This was a bad idea from the start and should have never made it past the writers meeting. I get that they were trying to play off the situation with the NBA. Here’s the big difference-the NBA is involved in a lockout. That means that the owners and the players are having contract disputes and the owners have locked the players out keeping them from working. Also NBA has an off season. WWE advertises and promotes the fact that they have no off season. WWE has live events and tapings every week. Not to mention a pay per view in two weeks. This whole storyline reeks of “book it now and figure out the details later” which could be a good way to accurately describe WWE’s booking style over the past few years. That style of booking only works if you are a really really good booker otherwise as we saw with this angle you can get painted into a corner. They didn’t think about the long term effects. Such as: “How do we explain how we’re still doing live events?” “how do we explain how Smackdown is still happening?” and the biggest one “how do we resolve this?” And as we saw on Raw the way they resolved it left a lot to be desired. You had Vince McMahon who was removed from power by Triple H come back and say Triple H is no longer in charge of Raw and an interim GM was being named. How can someone who was relieved of his duties by one person come back and relieve that same person of their duties? Secondly I thought storyline-wise Triple H was in charge of everything. Raw, Smackdown, Superstars, NXT, Pay Per Views, everything. Since when did COO mean just in charge of a certain part of a company? Also this means that the past year plus we spent on that stupid and annoying anonymous Raw GM angle has been a complete and total waste of time that went nowhere. So now we’ve got the human charisma vacuum John Laurinitis as the Interim Raw GM. And what’s one of the first things he does in charge? He brings back R Truth and Miz. So let me make sure I understand this properly. Truth and Miz attack some referees. Triple H fires them. Then the referees vote no confidence in Triple H. Triple H is replaced by Johnny Charisma Vacuum who brings back Truth and Miz. And everyone is ok with this. That makes no sense. In what backwards logic universe does any of that make sense? I get that Ace is a heel and he’s supposed to do heelish things but you can’t have one person do something positive and everyone think that person is doing a horrible job and then another person undo the previous positive thing and everyone accept it. Something else I just thought of. Wasn’t the whole walkout and no confidence vote thing initially started by a group of heels? Unless this was TNA where the faces are complete gullible buffoons why would the baby faces go along with something the heels were involved in starting
4. A Thousand Excuses, Zero Improvements
It seems like no matter what happens with WWE in terms of ratings or buyrates they have an excuse for it. “There was a good Monday Night Football on” “So and so isn’t drawing like expected” You hear that one a lot with Alberto Del Rio. It just amazes me that a character like Alberto Del Rio gets the reaction (or lack thereof) it gets. Here’s a gimmick that should be getting mad heat. A rich Mexican who constantly reminds everyone of how much better he is than everyone. Jealousy is a natural feeling. We’re all envious of people who are better off than us or flaunt their wealth in our faces. ADR should be getting a huge reaction based on that. Not to mention the sheer arrogance of the character. In the hands of any other booker a character like ADR would be getting booed out of the building on a nightly basis. The point being is that WWE seems to spent a lot of time making excuses for why ratings aren’t going up or why buy rates are down. If they took the time they spent making excuses and spent it actually making improvements the company would definitely be in much better shape than it is right now. They need to start taking a seriously look at the problems facing WWE. But sadly the biggest issue hindering WWE is at the top of the hierarchy. Vince McMahon has completely lost his ability to book. His style of booking now can easily be described thusly-panic button security blanket booking. That means if the WWE does something and it doesn’t move ratings or buy rates the way they expected Vince pushes the panic button and goes back to his security blanket (that being John Cena). There’s a reason why so few people have truly broken into the main event scene since 2005. All it takes is a slightly lower than normal rating and the rug gets pulled out from under a potential main eventer. We seen it at Night of Champions when John Cena beat Alberto Del Rio for the WWE Championship just so WWE could pop the Raw rating. And now ADR has the belt back and it doesn’t mean anything. Him losing the belt to John Cena so quickly and so easily ruined any credibility he had to be a long term champion. Nobody will buy Del Rio as a threat to be able to retain the title no matter what happens and people will just be counting down until Cena gets the belt again. But what happens if Cena suddenly gets a career ending injury? Then what? WWE would be in pretty dire straits until they establish a new top dog.
Now I’m sure there are some of you saying “I’d like to see you book this past Monday Night Raw any better”. Well first off if I was in charge the walkout would have never happened in the first place and the person that suggested it would be in the unemployment line. But if the walkout did happen and I was booking the following Raw here’s what I would do. Keep in mind I’m just gonna hit the highlights and this won't be in the exact order that it would have happened on Raw.
Rebooking the October 10, 2011 Raw
The following people would not have walked out on the October 3, 2011 Raw.
1. CM Punk
2. John Cena
3. Randy Orton
5. Kelly Kelly
7. Mark Henry
8. Zack Ryder
9. Santino (What would he have to be upset about and walk out anyway? He just got back that night.)
10. Big Show (He came back on Friday so he wouldn’t have been there to walk out anyway)
Booking this week’s Raw
*Cold open with an outside shot of some of the WWE Roster outside the arena protesting (not the entire roster cause that wouldn‘t be cost effective plus it would be a nightmare to keep in order and film) Maybe we pick up on somebody talking about the situation. This could be a good way to give some of the lower card talent some TV time.
*Triple H comes out with no music and talks about the walkout (without burying half the roster). He mentions the champions who walked out and says something along the lines of the championships are WWE property and the people who hold them are contractually obligated to perform unless they relinquish their belts. Since the champions probably wouldn’t want to lose their belts they’d reluctantly work that night. Triple H announces that since there are no commentators the commentary team tonight will be Zack Ryder and this man. At that point CM Punk’s music hits. He comes out cuts a promo mocking the protesters and saying that he’s for change and so on but he‘s fighting for it from the inside.
*Match: Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes (Non Title) Let the two go out there and wrestle. If the two have chemistry you can come back to it and expand on it. Rhodes can pick up the win but continue assaulting Kingston after the match until Randy Orton runs in and Rhodes hightails it. Now by doing that I’ve continued the Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton angle but not killed it entirely by having Orton get to Rhodes.
*Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Evan Bourne (WWE Title on the line) Standard Raw Match with each person doing their signature stuff. Finish would come when Bourne has Rio down ready to hit the shooting star press when Rio rolls out of the ring, grabs the belt and walks off getting counted out. That way Del Rio keeps the title and hopefully gets mad heel heat. At the same time Bourne stays strong because he wasn’t beaten outright and in the fans mind you’ve created that feeling that “hey this Bourne kid can hang” This would probably be put between the end of the 9PM hour and the beginning of the 10PM hour.
*Backstage Santino is walking when Mark Henry attacks him for no reason. He beats him all over the place when he knocks him into a room but when he goes to enter the room surprisingly he gets knocked back out of the room. As he’s staggering back Big Show comes out of the room. He and Mark Henry can continue to brawl until one person incapacitates the other. I’m debating on whether or not to have people pull them apart but I’m going off the assumption that there’s gonna be a skeleton crew with the walkout angle. Plus it would take a good 30 people to hold them apart for it be believable. Now that I think about it. Having them brawl all the way through a commercial break would actually add to the chaotic feeling of this Raw. Perhaps I would have rent-a-cops (hired by Triple H) break up the fight and keep them separated.
*Throughout the show I’d cut back to outside shots of have certain members of the protesters cut promos about why they’re protesting. Depending on time constraints I’d probably have Wade Barrett, Christian and Otunga speak during each time I cut to the protesters.
*Match: Dolph Ziggler and Beth Phoenix vs. Sheamus and Eve By doing this it’s something different and allows the divas to be exposed in a match that lasts longer than two minutes. Plus the divas wouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of doing an entire match on their own so their weaknesses would be limited. Finish would come when Beth Phoenix pins Eve because Beth needs to stay strong to build her as a strong and credible divas champion. Also by Eve taking the pin for her team Sheamus doesn’t lose anything even though his team lost as he didn’t take the pin. As Beth is celebrating Kelly Kelly runs out and attacks her until Beth manages to get away. That would continue the Kelly Kelly being upset about losing the divas title and further add to the chaotic feeling of Raw.
*In keeping with the Henry-Big Show brawl and the Kelly Kelly-Beth Phoenix stuff Punk and Ryder would hype up how chaotic things are and if something doesn’t change soon this place will implode.
*Alberto Del Rio is going to walk out of the arena he’s stopped by Triple H. They have a back and forth exchange ending with Triple H booking the main event. A special tag team match. Alberto Del Rio teaming up with Mark Henry to take on the team of the Big Show and John Cena. Also if it hasn’t been established by this point I would have Triple H officially announce John Cena (Automatic Rematch Clause) vs. Alberto Del Rio and Big Show vs. Mark Henry at Vengeance.
*Main Event: Alberto Del Rio and Mark Henry vs. John Cena and Big Show Standard Raw main event tag team match. Mark Henry and Big Show brawl to the back leaving John Cena and ADR. Just before the finish Miz and Truth run in and attack Cena leading to the DQ. Punk and Ryder drop the headsets and enter the ring for the save. As this is happening Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes run in to attack Punk and Ryder. Then Kingston and Bourne run in to even the score. By not having any announcers it would only enhance the chaos and allow the action to speak for itself. Brawling all over the place and just complete chaos. Backstage I would show Triple H watching this chaotic situation on a monitor when some official looking dude in a suit walks up and hands him a manila envelope. Triple H opens it and visibly looks stunned or upset by the letter inside the envelope (of course that would take some acting skills on the part of Triple H). We, the fans at home, never see what the letter says and the show goes off the air with chaos in the ring and Triple H getting a mysterious letter. The letter gives fans a reason to watch Smackdown to see if it’s revealed what it says.
*Then after Raw goes off the air you could do a big tag team dark match with John Cena, Big Show, Kofi Kingston, Even Bourne, CM Punk and Zach Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio, Mark Henry, Miz, Truth, Rhodes and Ziggler with the faces going over to send the crowd home happy.