Monday Night Raw Warm Up for Survivor Series (11/20/2011)

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You’d think a three-hour Monday Night Raw would leave us with three times the number of things to talk about. In actuality, there weren’t a lot of highlights in Boston, Massachusetts beyond the welcome return of Mick Foley and of course, the Rock. The commercials for last week’s “Raw gets Rocked” ran for weeks and showed clips of “memorable moments, Hollywood hits and explosive encounters” from the show’s decades-long history. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find anything likely to be worthy of that highlight reel.

PTB: Why on earth would you open the three hour show you’ve been building up for weeks with a commentator fight? The crowd hates Michael Cole, so his gimmick is clearly working, but come on.

Brian: The most painful 20 minutes of TV ever. I think I’m going to start a “twitition” to get Cole off of TV.

PTB: C.M. Punk should have interrupted this bit about 13 minutes earlier. The whole segment was indeed “a colossal waste of time” with the exception of Jim Ross dancing.

Brian:  The best part of the segment was the fact that it ended. Commentators should never be in the spotlight. Their sole purpose should be to put over the wrestlers in the ring, not themselves.

PTB: I’m disappointed there’s only one traditional Survivor match this Sunday for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the event, but I’m more disappointed in the participants. I know we don’t always root for the good guys, but I can’t really see any way to get behind Randy Orton’s Survivor Series team. No one there appeals to me.

Brian:  I’m a big fan of the original Survivor match format. I think people began to sour on it when WWE saw how successful ECW’s “Three-Way Dance” matches (each superstar gets eliminated) were and started over saturating their cards with Triple Threat matches (single fall). It seemed like that really spelled the ending of the traditional Survivor Series format.

PTB: That’s a distinct possibility, but there have been recent years with more attention on the traditional match type. I think part of my disappointment here is that the even in years where there has only bee one Survivor match, it’s come out of a feud that had some build up. Team Orton versus Team Barrett is a bit out of nowhere and the Survivor match announcement is essentially what started the feud.

Brian: I don’t understand why Cody Rhodes isn’t captain instead of Barrett. I was somewhat enjoying the Rhodes/Orton feud.

PTB: Exactly. It’s interesting to note that Orton has been in a Survivor match at six of the last eight Survivor Series pay-per-views, captaining his team in all but two. I like the push Barrett is getting and his team (and their opponents) make some sense, but shouldn’t Even Bourne and Dolph Ziggler have been in there from the beginning? Is Bourne hurt?

BrianBourne has been suspended for 30 days for violating WWE’s Wellness Policy for the 1st time.

PTB: With Ziggler is in the Survivor match, he’s once again double billed for a pay-per-view. Ziggler is one of the best they have right now and this is another sign WWE believes in him.

Brian:  I’m a little disappointed Ziggler is double-billed again. It always annoys me when someone wrestles twice unless it is some sort of tournament like King of the Ring.

PTB: Sin Cara and “Dark” Sin Cara are part of the Survivor match as well. Is this the first time Hunico was called by name since being unmasked?

Brian:  No. He’s been featured on Smackdown recently and he talked about why he was calling himself Konnan, I mean Hunico.

PTB: At one point, we talked a bit about Cody Rhodes and whether he’s headed in a direction we both like. I honestly think the mask and his “disfigurement” angle worked for him. He wasn’t as over the top as Goldust but he had more of a gimmick than his dad. I think it was a good place for him.

Brian: I actually liked Rhodes during his Legacy days. I thought his mic work was steadily improving. I’ve seen better in ring work from him recently, but it’s been overshadowed by his horrible overacting.


PTB: A big change came this week as he appeared without the protective mask and new music on Raw. It’s pulled the overacting back just a bit and this can only mean good things for him.

I liked seeing Punk team up with The Big Show and I’d love to see him take the World Title from Mark Henry tonight. I probably shouldn’t be so excited about the prospect.

Brian: Ugh!!! I hate the thought of watching TBS vs Henry. A match full of headbutts and punches appeals to me in no way.

PTB: Santino was brilliant in both of his segments last week with lines like “It doesnt matter what I said!” and his appreciation for the “Markets, terriers, tea parties, and cream sandwiches” of Boston. When he brought up his near Royal Rumble win, I was genuinely surprised to see him interrupted by Nash. Nash is definitely getting back into the swing of things. I happy to see he’s growing in the top half of his mustache

Brian:  Santino is soooo good. I’m not a huge proponent of everything entertaining in WWE needing to be comedic or funny, but i could watch Santino for hours. Less Michael Cole and more Santino please.

I’m really hoping Nash will be decent in the ring. I’m having flashbacks of a few years ago when Nash tore his quadriceps in a tag match and was gone from WWE until now. I fear this happening again.

PTB: It goes without saying, but it was great to see Mick Foley back on Raw and I liked the tease at the limo.

Brian:  So glad he’s back and I hope he’ll be here for a while.

PTB: They mentioned Foley’s book a few months ago and that put the idea in my head that we might see him back in WWE. Wasn’t Foley complaining that he needed new music when he was in WWE years ago?

Brian: I don’t remember that. I kinda enjoy his music.

PTB: I was a bit surprised Cena was booed in his hometown of Boston, but it really worked with “This is Your Life.” It’s too bad the segment was awful

Brian: It was truly horrible. At least we were treated to a flashback of Cena and B2. “Boo-yah!!!!”

PTB: That was easily the highlight. I can’t believe they showed a recap of the Rock Bottom to Mick Foley, twice, and  then kept pointing out how bad the “This is Your Life” segment was despite continuing to show it as filler.

Brian: I think we saw a total of about 30-40 minutes of in ring action during a 3-hour show. Why not have a wrestling match as “filler”?

PTB: The Rock’s sporadic appearances in WWE don’t appeal to me, but the crowd in Boston was way into him being there. He definitely wold have overshadowed the reintroduction of Brodus Clay.

Brian: The Rock said that he was back and would never leave again during his first appearance of this return. We haven’t seen very much of him and what we have seen has been video packages and other crap. I can’t believe more people are not as outraged as we are.

PTB: That may be what some fans are looking for, but I think both of us would rather have them stick with what’s going to be there week after week.

The Miz and R-Truth were actually kind of awful in the final segment stacked up against the Rock and Cena. It seemed like they were trying too hard when all they needed to do was come out and do their usual thing.

Brian: They seemed so focused on following a written script that wasn’t well written. Just go out and talk about how you are being overlooked in favor of someone who isn’t really there.

PTB: It really stood out seeing that Cena and the Rock were spot on. The Twitter stuff is just obnoxious at this point. By the end of the night “trending worldwide” was trending worldwide.

Brian: It’s so pathetic. They should focus on wrestling instead of creating a social media presence.

The twenty-fifth annual WWE Survivor Series begins tonight at 8PM only on pay-per-view. Scheduled matches include:

  • John Cena & The Rock vs. The Miz & R-Truth
  • World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry vs. Big Show
  • WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk
  • Team Orton (Randy Orton, Sheamus, Mason Ryan, Kofi Kingston & Sin Cara) vs. Team Barrett (Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Hunico & Dolph Ziggler) in a 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Tag Team Match
  • United States Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison
  • Divas Champion Beth Phoenix vs. Eve (Lumberjill Match)

Read more about World Wrestling Entertainment on MyLatestDistraction.

Keep up with all of our weekly Monday Night Raw Warm Ups:
November 14th, 2011 edition / November 21st, 2011 edition

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