FROM THE REFEREE’S POSITION: LOOKING BACK @THIS WEEK’S RAW & SMACKDOWN SPECIAL

Posted September 1st, 2011 by 1Wrestling News Team

Referee Jimmy Dylan reporting…………..

It’s been a rough and scary couple of weeks for us here on the east coast, and more personally here at home in the Philadelphia area. As if the Virginia earthquake that shook Philly wasn’t bad enough, Hurricane Irene rolled in packing everything from tornadoes to the south, to damaging winds and heavy, heavy rain just about everywhere else. It’s taken some of us a few days to get back to 100%, but I am back with The Referee’s Position here on 1wrestling.com, and there’s definitely a lot to talk about as we clo move into September. The following will be a joint review of the WWE Raw Supershow from this past Monday, as well as the Live Super Smackdown taping from Tuesday night on SyFy.

Kicking things off with this week’s Raw, it was a nice surprise to find out that the Smackdown Superstars were in the house and would be each and every Monday for the “foreseeable future” to create Raw’s “Supershow”. This wasn’t announced at all previously, and basically in effect put an end to the Brand Extension introduced by Vince McMahon and WWE back in 2002-03. This is something that I and many other fans have been calling for for quite some time now. The idea was good when in its infancy and definitely made for good TV as we were treated to Eric Bischoff and Stephanie McMahon jockeying for brand supremacy through producing the best show and obtaining the best roster. The concept of the WWE Draft came next, and that was also fun in the beginning. After while however, it came off as bland and played out, and the separation of shows/locker rooms ultimately plagued WWE Creative and forced fans into watching the same matches and re-hashed feuds more than they’d like to admit. At the end of Raw, it was the general consensus that this new change would only affect the Raw show, but as of press time, there are rumors and reports that WWE may be considering having the Raw Superstars appear on Friday nights as well. I stated on my weekly Youtube series that combining the rosters again will not only allow for more fresh matches each week, but also allow for more in-depth storylines to be executed per pay-per-view.

Raw kicked off with the COO, Triple H giving his Raw address that’s become the norm almost since he was voted in by the Board of Directors. The ongoing saga between Triple H, CM Punk, and now Kevin Nash (with John Laurinitis and Stephanie lurking), has been kind of like a roller coaster thus far as its had some high and low points, yet has remained fun for the most part. Triple H’s apparent innocence has become more and more cloudy since Summerslam, and it continued this week. CM Punk let it be known that he’s not buying a thing Triple H says, and it seems he isn’t the only one. Kevin Nash’s explanation of why he lied about the car wreck still doesn’t add up when it comes to clearing The Game’s name. The different factions of The Kliq (nWo, DX, etc.), have been known for years as being masters of the swerve, and I think that’s exactly what we’re seeing here. Triple H, while expressing disdain for his buddy Nash’s recent actions, has also seemed to be trying to protect him in a way, and keep him out of the line of fire. Stephanie made appearances around Summerslam, and has recently slipped back into the shadows…for now. Believe me folks, there’s MUCH more to this story than what meets the eye, and I’m loving it! It’s truly bringing back an old school feel of how things once were in WWE(F), and things can only go up from here.

Randy Orton versus Dolph Ziggler was a pretty good match. Considering the difference in the championship levels between the two, it was pretty obvious how it was going to turn out. Me, I would’ve used this opportunity to get some good heat on Christian leading into the big cage match on Tuesday night, but it was still a good match. Orton introduced a new way to hit the RKO, which I find both interesting and entertaining. Long time fans may remember the period of time where Diamond Dallas Page seemed to try to 1-up himself each week on Monday Nitro with new, innovative ways to execute the Diamond Cutter en route to victory.

I was happy when Mark Henry woke me back up by ending John Cena’s pointless tirade in the ring. I felt that Raw needed a nice beat down of Cena as it needs to be proved as much as possible than he’s not an indestructible android from an alien planet. Shame on those who built this ridiculous notion through the way he’s been booked over the years. The addition of Christian made things look even worse, then it was destroyed when Sheamus ran down to even the odds. All for a big stare down that went nowhere. Thumbs down for not having Cena’s ass handed to him on a silver platter! NEXT!!!

CM Punk vs The Miz was kind of a let down for me. I thought the pace would’ve been much quicker than it was with each Superstar playing a game of “Can You Top This” using each others innovative offense against each other. That wasn’t the case, and it ultimately ended with R-Truth running in to help his new buddy. It wasn’t long before big Kevin Nash came down to pick the bones of CM Punk and drop him in another Jacknife powerbomb. I like this a lot as I think Punk needs to continue to receive the short end of the stick. He’s now been screwed out of the WWE Championship twice, and now he’s fighting a numbers game. I want nothing more than to see the Kliq reunite in some way and force CM Punk into a corner…making way for Punk to recruit his boys from Ring of Honor to engage in a war leading to the Survivor Series in November.

It was good to see the original Sin Cara back on Raw and in a WWE ring. I’m a huge fan of the Mexican sensation, and truly hope he gets out of the pool of hot water he seems to be in so he can have a nice run. Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara NEEDS to happen, so let’s hope Rey recovers from his most recent knee injury sooner than later.

It was a very good move to give David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty their automatic rematch for the tag team titles this week on Raw. They’ve been around the title scene for several months, and held the gold in the shadows for an unbelievable amount of time, and with this week’s rematch loss, they should effectively be dropped to the bottom of the ladder. Its been reported that WWE is in the midst of overhauling the tag division, and it started with the formation of Air Boom. The combination of Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne is definitely a good one, and presents the opportunity for some great future bouts. I would hope WWE would put Air Boom up against some established “teams”, but that concept has been non-existent for far too long. As I said earlier, CM Punk’s squad from ROH are already on their way in. In that group will be Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli, collectively known as the Kings of Wrestling. I’ve done some research and these guys are definitely the real deal. I don’t see it being too long after their WWE debut before we see them with the big gold belts. In the meantime, I’d like to see The Usos move quickly into that #1 Contenders spot and challenge the high octane combo of Air Boom. I’d really like to see the Usos win the straps and get a run before WWE releases them, or splits them up…completely missing the boat like they’ve done with so many teams in recent history like, I don’t know….Cryme Tyme and the Hart Dynasty for example.

The Divas division became interesting again with the out-of-the-blue turns of Beth Phoenix and Natalya right before Summerslam. However, it seems their push has stalled in recent weeks as we’re right back to Kelly Kelly beafing with the Bellas, while Beth and Natty watch from locker rooms or make on-stage cameos. It makes no sense whatsoever. I understand we have a few weeks until Night of Champions, but I’m a man of in-depth storylines. The luxury of reaching a half billion homes each week is being able to tell drawn out, high arcing stories to your audience. Therefor, there’s no excuse for Beth and Natalya’s story not to be thoroughly enhanced every time WWE comes on television.

The tag main event between Cena and Sheamus vs Mark Henry and Christian was IMO, a way to further integrate the Smackdown guys into the scheme of things on Raw. The potential of what can happen from week to week with the Blue Brand now in the house is enormous in many ways, and we may have witnessed the beginning this past Monday night. John Cena has always loved to talk tough, and the big, bad Mark Henry was the first to step in his face. I’m loving the push Henry has been getting on Friday nights, and I hope his involvement on the flagship program sees a significant increase in what we’ve been seeing from the former Olympian and 14-year WWE veteran. As for Sheamus and Christian, it’s should be interesting to see where they fall into place moving towards Night of Champions as it appears both of their most recent opponents are moving onto other competition in the month of September.

Super Smackdown! – 8.30.11

I’m going to move through Smackdown quickly here since they hyped a Live show that was riddled with commercial breaks and promo segments. The John Cena opening was pointless, and his match with Wade Barrett was too predictable for my liking. This was nothing more than a way to get Cena on the program and make him look good. Total disregard for Barrett’s character was shown at the expense of SuperCena, and it’s sickening. Moving on…

I thoroughly enjoyed the Sin Cara/Daniel Bryan match for many reasons. This is something else I’ve discussed greatly on my Youtube show. WWE has a number of guys on the roster that can go with Sin Cara, and maybe even work a decent angle with the Mexican Superstar. We may have witnessed the first signs of that this week. Cara and Bryan went out and put on another great display of matching styles and athleticism under the blue and yellow lights. Sin Cara secured an impressive victory for the second time this week, and went to shake the Smackdown MITB winner’s hand as we’ve seen in the past. Bryan, who was on his knees at the time, extended the olive branch, only to be sucker-kicked in the face moments later. While the crowd in Wichita didn’t seem to be flattered at all, I think this can be good for Sin Cara. The name literally translates in English to “without face”. If fans didn’t know that, it’s unfortunate. I’d expect nothing less from someone with a name like that, and this could be a rebirth for Sin Cara.

It seems WWE saved the big moment for Beth Phoenix and Natalya for Smackdown this week. Why, I don’t know. The manner in which these Divas made their recent turns warrants them to be on an unstoppable rampage that should be spanning both brands by now. It was sold as a crusade against the “Barby Doll Divas” in the company, and all of them should have been under siege since Summerslam. It was still good to see them get their shine, even though Kelly Kelly escaped relatively unscathed. Beth scored the win with the Glam Slam on Alicia Fox, then the destructive Divas let Kelly slide when they had her in a vulnerable state after the match. They stood there and looked at Kelly Kelly as she entered the ring and came to Alicia’s side. That was either poor booking, or bad positioning by someone, but it didn’t look good at all.

The contract signing for the match at Night of Champions between CM Punk and Triple H offered up more one liners and back and forth bickering between the two that has made for good TV since this all started. It had everything you would expect in these contract signings. CM Punk continued to insult Stephanie McMahon and Triple H’s manhood in the same breath. They both told each other what they were going to do at Night of Champions. Punk shed more light on the growing conspiracy, and Kevin Nash made it worse by making another appearance. Is there more than meets the eye with the choice of NWO music? Who knows. I hope not. If the gang is going to get back together…AGAIN…I’m hoping they will finally get to run as, and call themselves THE KLIQ for the first time ever. We don’t need to see DX or the NWO anymore. Triple H’s point of view was in defense of his family and the WWE itself since this whole thing began with Punk, while Punk accused Triple H of corporate gameplaying and not being fit for his position as COO. Punk also made it clear that the new Triple H sucks, and that he wanted the old “Cerebral Assassin” at N.O.C. The two then went at each other about what their personal agendas have been in the past and what they are today. CM Punk compared HHH to Mr. McMahon and HHH let it be known that he was anything but. He stated that VKM would’ve went to NOC and got his butt kicked because it was good for business…where as Triple H is going to do the complete opposite and kick Punk’s “skinny fat ass” (HHH’s words)….because this is personal. This brought out Kevin Nash, and we finally saw things blow up. HHH could only hold CM Punk back for so long. Nash got the table out of his way just before Punk charged him and attacked. The two battled to the corner, where HHH came from behind and saved Nash. Nash then took his shot on Punk just as HHH did the same. The COO didn’t seem to like being beat to the punch by his buddy, and let him know it with a furious shove. “Big Sexy” responded with one of his own that put The Game flat on his back in shock. I think this was very well done, but should have been saved for Raw for a bigger and better atmosphere to go along with the larger viewing audience. They have effectively blurred everyone’s vision in this thing as Nash is visibly upset, and I’m sure being bumped from the match at Night of Champions has a lot to do with it now. What we saw here was a “game-changer”. We’ve reached the point of no return in this feud, and it’s definitely about to explode!!!

I didn’t agree with the way the Sheamus/Great Khali match was delivered when Sheamus first became this monster killer, and this week’s encounter was no different. Khali flat out lost before, now he loses by DQ due to Jinder Mahal’s interference. It makes no sense when it comes to what appeared to be a push for Khali. He and his running buddy continue to look less and less intimidating with each week. Sheamus, for that matter, doesn’t look or appear to be any stronger, so what’s the point? Exactly…there is none.

The main event saw another great match between Christian and Randy Orton, this time inside the Steel Cage. It wasn’t their best outing, but a good match nonetheless. The main intriguing factor for me was to see which way Orton was going to connect with his RKO in the cage. I weighed the options of what seemed to be the most plausible Smackdown main event at NOC, and Orton/Henry makes the most sense. The RKO off the top rope was good enough, although I envisioned one from the top of the cage before it even started. What I didn’t like was the pinfall finish. I’m not a real big fan of referees being on the inside during these score-settlers. If they absolutely have to be there, it should be for show and enhancement purposes only. I would rather have seen Orton escape the cage after delivering the final blow, but atleast he won and hopefully will be done with Christian for a while. Mark Henry made his presence felt in a move that absolutely needed to happen. He made the statement that whoever won the night’s main event would become a candidate for his Hall of Pain, and the big man wasted little time in making his next induction. He left the World champ laying in a heap after throwing him into the cage and slamming him several times. It appears as if Randy will have to up his game and perhaps employ a different strategy if he has any hopes of retaining his title in three weeks.

All in all a pretty good week from WWE with a couple unexpected surprises kicking things off from the beginning of Raw. WWE did a fair job of advancing the main angles for Night of Champions so far. Both shows had their ups and downs as expected, but the stories were tied together for the most part, and I’m leaving this week wanting to know what happens next on a few levels. The conflict between CM Punk, Kevin Nash, and Triple H has quickly reached its boiling point, and I definitely want to see what Punk does next as he tries to weave his way through this tangled web of lies and deception. I want to see if Sin Cara will try to explain his actions from Tuesday night, or just go on a mysterious rampage. What will Mark Henry do next in his quest for the World championship? All we can do is stay tuned folks, and you can bet your bottom dollar that 1wrestling.com will be right here with all of the news and reviews when it happens. Thanks for reading! I am Referee Jimmy Dylan and I’ll see you next week!!!

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