The Countdown to Summerfest: A Review of the Worst Raw in Recent Memory

Bryan HoltCorrespondent IAugust 4, 2009

All right World Wrestling Entertainment, I have seen enough.

I have defended you relentlessly. I have enjoyed some of the same shows that have been bashed brutally by Internet wrestling critics everywhere.

I have no reason to come to your defense tonight.

Tonight, I settled in to watch Monday Night Raw. I know that it is no longer the tremendous wrestling show that Smackdown is and that I will often see the same stale mega stars further push back promising young talent but something about Monday nights still attracts me.

Maybe it is the glamour of the flagship show or the build-up of a live event. Whatever it is, Raw seems to create an anxious pre-show buzz that ECW and Smackdown simply do not always offer.

So tonight you started me off with Jeremy Piven and the naked Asian guy from The Hangover. I live in one of the country's tortured houses that does not have HBO, so maybe I was at an immediate disadvantage as I am not an Entourage addict as it seems the majority of the male gender has become.

Anyways, the two produced one of the most chaotic and painful openings to a wrestling show that I have ever seen. They were incoherent, unfunny, and things would only go downhill from there.

The Miz made an appearance and was quickly shut down by everybody's favorite Jonas Brother, John Cena. Miz was booked in a lumberjack match against Cena, a move that immediately made everyone watching know that Miz would continue his path as Cena's personal jobber.

Tonight's stipulation? A loss to Cena and The Miz would be banned from Raw for ETERNITY! He would also be banned from the Staples Center and Summerfest, a startling blow to his singing career as he must stay away from "The World's Largest Music Festival."

The message was conveyed early. Good guys win. Bad guys get kicked off of the show. Kids go home happy.

But back to the evening's festivities, Evan Bourne was squashed by Jack Swagger and basically used as a prop to further the off-and-on MVP/Swagger feud. I am all for a strong push for Swagger as he is one of my favorite new wrestlers.

However, Bourne has seemingly been made out to be nothing more than a charity case, a crushing blow to the push he seemed to have after defeating Kofi Kingston in a non-title match.

After the standard Diva tag match and too many movie plugs to count (seriously tonight was like a giant movie trailer infomercial), we reached the lone highlight of the show, in my opinion.

Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the Triple H vs. Legacy handicap match for a number of reasons. The action was great, the crowd was heavily into the match, and the ending was a fresh change of pace. I had honestly almost forgotten that Rhodes and DiBiase had real-life finishers.

I think that most, including myself, expected this match to follow a certain formula. Legacy would cheat with some form of a foreign object causing disqualification, begin beating Triple H senseless, and (SURPRISE!) "Sexy Boy" hits and the Heartbreak Kid comes down to save the day and reinvent Degeneration-X.

We basically got a teaser version of the same concept but I expect creative to toy with the issue for the two weeks leading up to Summerslam to make fans think that just maybe Shawn won't show up.

The show drifted through "eh" mode for awhile (although I won't lie, I got a laugh out of Markswoggle) until everything spiked before crashing horribly at the conclusion.

Yes, the night's main event was set. Miz and Cena were in the ring awaiting the arrival of the lumberjacks. Piven was a face host, right? Surely the lumberjacks would be nothing but happy good guys that Miz had angered along the way.


Piven and the gynecologist from Knocked Up turned heel and brought with them an army of "bad guy" lumberjacks. My hope jumped for a split second. One of Raw's most entertaining workers lives! Down goes Cena!

Then I smacked down to reality like a bungee jumper in a third world country. Before the match even began, I knew the outcome once again. The huge hurdle placed in front of Cena only made him more likely to win, it played directly into his gimmick. Superman would win in a miraculous fashion, it was a given.

I was unfortunately correct.

Cena managed to overcome a lynching by Chris Masters and Legacy. Cena had won matches out of nowhere before but this may have seemed the most unrealistic. One minute he was getting his face smashed into the ground, the next second he was on top of Miz for the three count.

Goodbye Miz. Go crazy kids!

The show left me disappointed in a way that few episodes of Raw have. It is not close to the level of frustration of others on Bleacher Report who have declared their boycotts of WWE television. I will continue to watch because, more often than not, I enjoy the show.

However, tonight was a night where I could truly say, "that is what everyone hates so much, I understand."

Raw will certainly be less interesting with The Miz gone but he has not been used properly since The Bash anyways, so this might be good for him. I really hope he goes to Smackdown where he could possibly badger the rise of John Morrison but I sadly expect him to be buried by the WWE until they are "forced" to release him.

Whatever happens, it will be tough to look back on this night in anything other than a negative manner. I rarely rant or vent or whatever the above bloviation can be referred to as, but tonight's Raw brought it out of me.

I apologize, better luck next week.