This week is the ten year anniversary of my WWE Raw Deal review column. Ten fucking years! Wow. I actually started writing about wrestling 20 years ago, but it was in May 2009 when I made the commitment to cover every Raw every week and I’m still going strong.
In honor of the anniversary, I also wanted to repost the first Raw Deal review. It was actually called “Raw Opinions” and then I went with Raw Deal for the second week.
What I’ll do is re-post everything I wrote in the original version, then put in (2019 Thoughts in blue) and offer up an opinion on what happened then. I wasn’t writing full play by play then so it’s a lot less detailed compared to what I do these days, but I’ll do my best to offer up some insight.
This was the Raw where Vince McMahon was mad that the NBA Playoffs caused Raw to move from Denver to Los Angeles since Denver had an NBA playoff game (Lakers at Nuggets), so Raw went to LA instead. It really pissed Vince off, so that led to this show.
May 25, 2009
Staples Center in Los Angeles, California
Vince McMahon confronts Stan Kroenke
This was atrociously bad. I understand why it was done and I understand why Vince was pissed off about the double booking of the Pepsi Center, but that still doesn’t make me feel sympathetic towards this god-awful segment. Not only were the impersonators of Kroenke, Nicholson, Stern and Buss terrible, but the “action” was also even worse. I wonder what fans of this company overseas think considering they probably don’t follow the NBA or care about this at all. There had to be other ways for Vince to get “revenge” for this without eating up TV time, right? Oh, and let’s not forget the “comedy” of making fun of the guy for having the name Enis because it rhymes with “penis.” The funniest part of it to me is that Vince probably thought it was a good idea and nobody on his writing “team” had the guts to tell him how terrible it was. This was of the worst segments to open Raw ever, that’s for damn sure.
(2019 Thoughts: I remember it being awful, but haven’t gone back to re-watch it nor do I want to live through that pain again. Vince was mad because Denver’s arena was supposed to host Raw, but they had an NBA playoff game to host against the Lakers, so WWE moved the show to Los Angeles. Even though this had nothing to do with anything on the show, Vince felt like he had to get revenge on Denver owner Stan Enis Kroenke somehow.)
This Miz came out, did his usual spiel and it led to a big brawl to promote the tag team main event. Oh yeah, this is supposed to be a show with wrestling matches on it. I almost forgot.
Maryse vs. Kelly Kelly ends in a DQ (1/4*)
I liked the dueling “whip your hair back while you stand by the ropes” pose. All that did was show us how replaceable these faceless, character thin “divas” are. That’s not a knock on the girls, it’s a knock on the writing. The ending was ridiculous. Kelly’s on the floor, Maryse follows her out, pushes her onto the announce table and is DQ’d for it. Huh? Wrestlers throw opponents into the steps or the post and nothing ever happens. We’ve seen so many people go through the table without it ending a match, yet a push ended it here. Wow. Terrible booking. Why not just do a countout? Very weak.
(2019 Thoughts: Five years later Maryse recently married The Miz and we’re not sure what she does for a living while Kelly Kelly “retired” because she’s dating NHLer Sheldon Souray, who is a millionaire. Congrats on living that American dream, Kelly.)
Goldust is stuttering again. It was so bad years ago they decided to bring it back. Amazing.
(2019 Thoughts: I remember the original stuttering gimmick was hilarious. I don’t remember the return of the stutter in 2009.)
Ric Flair’s shown talking with Batista. Not much to talk about.
Kofi Kingston d. Matt Hardy and William Regal (**)
I was so excited to see that they actually remembered the US Title existed and that people would be competing to become a contender for it. Then I heard that the title match is only on Raw, not PPV. Not a surprise. As it is, this was a very enjoyable match with Kingston looking great against two veterans that know how to put people over. MVP vs. Kingston next week should be fun.
(2019 Thoughts: Complaining about the booking of the US Title in 2009. Some things never change.)
Ric Flair comes out, he calls out Randy Orton, he gets beat up and Batista predictably saves before it can go anywhere. Good job of teasing more to come in the future although it’s all been done before, so it’s hard for me to get excited about any of it. After it’s over, Mr. Kennedy comes out to an okay reaction for somebody that’s been out for long. He says he’s going to be the next World Champion. I don’t think so, but hey, it’s nice to have goals.
(2019 Thoughts: Kennedy’s prediction was very, very wrong. Very!)
Santino and Mickie James d. Chavo Guerrero and Beth Phoenix (1/2*)
The babyfaces predictably won while Santino’s feud against Vickie that nobody cares about will continue at the Extreme Rules PPV because they want you to pay to see them in a Hog Pen match. Think about that. They’re not giving you a terrible match for free. You have to pay. They think you want to pay to see it. Oh wait, it’s Santina not Santino. Maybe the Jack Nicholson actor can dress like his twin sister Jackie to make it even more terrible. Somehow this is the Denver Nuggets fault. Just ask Vince. He has to blame somebody for terrible booking other than himself. I like both Santino and Vickie as characters, but there has to be a better way to use them.
(2019 Thoughts: I really hated that Santina character. I have no recollection of the Hog Pen match, so I’m happy about that. It’s why I drink alcohol.)
Big Show doesn’t like The Miz. I don’t like him either although in my case it’s more because he’s dating Maryse. Lucky bastard. He says he’s going to make Cena tap in their submission match. I actually agree because they seem to want to keep Cena away from the title, so losing to Show would do that.
Goldust the Stutterer and Hornswoggle the Little Person d. Festus the Dumb Guy and Brian Kendrick the Normal Guy (-*)
Look at those names and guess which one lost? Yep, only in wrestling. I love how there are levels to Festus having rage when the bell rings. He’s not smart enough to fight unless a bell rings, he can’t sing unless a bell rings (we learned that a few weeks back), yet he has enough sense to not fight a fellow babyface wrestler. Give the Emmy to these writers! It’s genius. I have an idea now.
They should have Festus star in a sitcom. He’s eating dinner with his wife, son and daughter with the three of them talking about their day while he just sits there. Then the doorbell rings and he goes nuts on his wife for cooking a steak that’s not medium rare like he asked. He then berates each child for poor grades in school and just as he’s about to choke the dog for shitting in his bed the doorbell rings again and it saves the life of the dog. And the studio audience laughs at the hilarity of it all because the person at the door is Michael Vick. That’s gold, Jerry. Gold!
(2019 Thoughts: It’s another thing where I don’t remember at all. However, that second paragraph is something that I’m very proud of. I should have pitched it to Hollywood.)
Five Guys Dressed as the Lakers (John Cena, Batista, MVP, Jerry Lawler & Mr. Kennedy) defeated The Nuggets d. Five Guys Dressed as the Nuggets (Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, Big Show & The Miz) (**1/4)
Way to stick it to Kroenke, Vince. I’m sure he cared so much about this while watching the real Nuggets destroying the Lakers last night mostly because some Lakers, especially Bynum and Odom, have been playing like a bunch of pansies throughout this series. Suck it up, let Kobe carry the team and get to the finals. I feel like ranting. Anyway, the actual match was your standard multi-man fare although they probably rushed it a bit because some of the guys barely got in the match. The crowd seemed to enjoy it because they’re stupid enough to be blinded by the jerseys. If they were real Lakers fans they would have been at home watching the actual game instead of being at Raw. I guess they couldn’t resist the greatness of McMahon vs. Kroenke. It was nice to see MVP get the win over Rhodes because he deserves to get wins in big matches although to this point he’s not even wrestling at the Extreme Rules PPV. Hopefully, that changes. Oh, and that double suplex by Cena and Batista on Show was a pretty cool ending.
(2019 Thoughts: I was a huge MVP fan at the time, but they were afraid to pull the trigger on him. It’s a shame because he had so much potential and could have been over as a main event performer. That never happened, though. The babyfaces won the match because they were wearing the home Lakers jerseys. It didn’t really mean anything in the long run. There was something else that was significant on this show.)
(2019 Thoughts: Ken Kennedy was fired after the match because of that back suplex on Orton. Since Randy was dealing with a shoulder injury, Kennedy got in trouble for dropping him on his shoulder like that. Orton showed his frustration when he landed too.)
Three Stars of the Show
- MVP – That was a nice win. Get him a PPV match, please.
- Festus – For being smart enough to not attack fellow babyfaces. What a guy.
- Shawn Michaels – He wasn’t on the show, but it was so bad that it made me miss him.
(2019 Thoughts: I think my logic for Michaels being there is fair haha.)
I know I’m going to get the “if you don’t like it stop watching” emails from the usual people that fail to realize you’re allowed to criticize something you watch. To those people, I say you need to take the blinders off. This was a poorly written two hours of television that did nothing to promote a PPV that’s going to happen in two weeks. Sure, Vince might get some clips on some sports shows that may laugh at what happened, but the problem is this stuff was so bad that they’re going to laugh AT WWE, not with them. None of this is going to help PPV buys for a show that’s doomed for buys anyway because it’s only three weeks after the last PPV. On the plus side, at least Smackdown’s generally a good show.
Rating: 3 (out of 10)
(2019 Thoughts: That 3 out of 10 might have been generous. There really wasn’t anything good on this episode of Raw. It’s amazing that I kept reviewing it after this abomination.)
I’ll be back next week for another installment of Raw Opinions. I would love it if somebody could come up with an alternative name (I like Raw Opinions just fine, but am open to ideas) and/or banner for this too.
(2019 Thoughts: Somebody suggested Raw Deal. I don’t know who, but if I did I would thank that person. I remember doing a google search to see if anybody else on the net was calling reviews by that name. I didn’t find anything other than some “Raw Deal” card game that WWE had going. It’s been called the Raw Deal ever since.)
Lastly, if your name is Enis and you’re reading this please know that Vince McMahon is not laughing with you. He’s laughing at you. There’s a difference…even if he doesn’t know it.
(2019 Thoughts: Seriously, they loved making jokes about the name Enis all night long. He’s actually the owner of my beloved Los Angeles Rams NFL team. Dude is rich. I doubt he gave a damn that WWE was ripping him.)
That’s it for this look back at the Raw Deal from May 25, 2009. I’m not going to post these every week. I’m just posting this because it’s the ten year anniversary this week.
Please let me know what you think via the comment section below or contact me using any of the methods you see here.
John Canton – [email protected]