Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me, because it is time for the Monday Night Raw Year in Review for 2010!
It’s difficult to fully comprehend how much happens within the course of one year in this crazy industry. From Bret Hart’s monumental return, Shawn Michael’s retirement, to the Nexus debuting, to John Cena being “fired”, to The Miz becoming the WWE Champion; it’s been a hell of a ride. Join me as I take a look back at the best, and the worst, of the year!
Raw’s to Remember
Bret Hart Returns – 13 years in the making. 13 YEARS. I had never even imagined that the planets would align to allow this monumental event to occur. Many may glance over the night as it was the first broadcast of 2010, however they cannot take away from the magnitude of the event. This eclipses Nexus and even the retirement of Shawn Michaels as the best moment of the year.
Nexus Debuts – no doubt the second “biggest” thing to happen in the industry this year. It was an ending to Raw that had every wrestling fan talking and salivating to see what would unfold the next week.
Old School – it was a night of memories that left the young fans bewildered, and the older fans amused. The little details made this a Raw to remember. Even the guardrails and graphics were in full throwback mode. I won’t mind seeing this become a yearly tradition.
Shawn Michaels says Goodbye – a powerful goodbye that left few without a tear in their eye.
CM Punk takes over the Nexus – a memorable way to end the year. The entirety of the Raw was solid, and Punk’s emergence as the new leader of the Nexus paves the way for a slew of storylines in the new year.
Superstar(s) of the Year
Nexus – no person, or group, made a bigger impact on Raw this year than the Nexus. Several members have gone on to win Title gold: Heath Slater, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel & even Daniel Bryan (though he didn’t win the US Title as a member of Nexus).
Breakout Stars of 2010
Wade Barrett – The winner of NXT Season 1, and the leader of the Nexus. He led a successful Raw invasion, and even managed to have poster boy John Cena briefly fired from the company.
The Miz – MIZster money in the bank went on to become the WWE Champion. Miz is a guy who few gave credit to during his entrance to the company, but has grown into a great mic worker and heel. Miz is on the cusp of greatness and has the potential to be a true crossover star that the business so desperately needs.
Daniel Bryan – Bryan was fired and rehired during the course of the year. He had a match of the year candidate on NXT versus Chris Jericho before being released for choking Justin Roberts. Bryan returned to join Team WWE at Summerslam and went on to win the US Championship.
Diva of the Year
Eve Torres – a controversial pick, but one that I feel is deserving. I had never taken Eve serious as a women’s wrestler prior to this year. There was nothing about her that caught my attention. This year she proved with solid wrestling and a decent Title run that she is a legitimate contender. On the flip side she did dance to R-Truth’s “Get Crunk”, but I’m willing to look past that flaw.
David Otunga – this guy was TERRIBLE when he first emerged on NXT. He was seen as nothing more than the fiancé of Jennifer Hudson. He was a guy that looked the part, but lacked any sort of skill worthy of making the main roster. Flash forward to the end of the year and he has certainly come a long way, both in and out of the ring. Still, he is not World Champion material… yet.
Charlie Haas – saddled with the bizarre chameleon gimmick, he just never had a chance to produce any material of worth in 2010. His release from the company sealed his spot on this list.
Alicia Fox – no explanation necessary, she’s awful in the ring, on the mic and everywhere else. The fact that she has a job in the WWE, yet so many great Indy women’s wrestlers do not, is a true injustice.
Santino & Tamina
David Otunga & Husky Harris – seriously, these two guys crack me up. Just watch their backstage segment in which they were hiding around the production trucks from John Cena and you’ll understand my affection.
Zack Ryder & Alicia Fox – it’s hard to fathom why this matchup was created in the first place. It’s only saving grace is that it kept Alicia Fox from being utilized as a singles star.
Best Guest Host(s)
Pee Wee Herman
Worst Guest Host(s)
Mark Wahlberg & Will Ferrell
Hot Tub Time Machine Cast
Nexus & John Cena
Bret Hart v. Vince McMahon
HBK v. The Undertaker v2.0
Goldust, Maxine & The Million Dollar Belt – creepy? Yes. Good? No.
Linda McMahon Runs for Senate… wait, that WASN’T a storyline?
Most Disappointing End to a Storyline
John Cena is rehired – though Cena was fired, he was never actually off of a Raw post-release. Cena’s character could have used a two month break that would have resulted in a huge return. The WWE squandered a great storyline with this abrupt ending.
“Did that Really Just Happen” Award
Mae Young calls LayCool “bitches” and “sluts” during the Old School Raw
Most Missed Due to Injury
Justin Gabriel’s 450 Splash
Wade Barrettt’s Wasteland
Best Pick-ups (Draft/Trade)
Worst Losses (Draft/Trade)
Hornswoggle & Kelly Kelly – This is a personal, and biased, pick. They were two of my favorite superstars during my time recapping their efforts on ECW. I had the misfortune of losing them from that brand, and then had to turn around and lose them again this year. Here’s hoping I get at least one back in this year’s draft.
Best Tag Teams
Santino & Kozlov
Worst Tag Teams
The Usos – started out with a decent impact, and then faded away to nothing
Raw Matches of the Year
Kane v. HBK March 22nd
Edge v. Christian May 17th
Edge &Sheamus v. John Cena & Evan Bourne May 31st
Tyson Kidd v. John Morrison October 11th
Sheamus v. Randy Orton December 27th
Projected Breakout Stars of 2011
David Otunga – if he can continue to improve at his current pace, he could very well be a much talked about name by this time next year.
Ezekiel Jackson – His time on ECW showed great potential. If he can stay healthy he’ll make a big impact.
Tyson Kidd – now free from The Hart Dynasty and saddled with a bodyguard, Kidd will have the opportunity to showcase his talent.
CM Punk (Title) – perhaps the term “breakout” does not apply to CM Punk, but I offer him as a candidate because I believe he will have run with the WWE Championship before the year is out.
Raw Recap Excerpts
Here is a collection of some of my musings from Raw Recaps throughout the year:
Overall, just a weird Raw tonight. Both funny and lackluster, it has left me confused and interested. Yeah, that sums up wrestling in general. Such a crazy business.
Batista bleeding is on the level of accidentally discovering penicillin or fire. You read it here first folks.
Watching Rob Corddry and Clark Duke is honestly making me wish I wasn’t recapping so that I can change the channel. In two years of recapping for WrestleView I’ve never truly felt that way before.
Touché David Otunga, touché
Seriously, did the WWE turn down the crowd’s volume tonight? If not, then they should NEVER go to Moline, Ill ever again.
On a side note, does anybody else dislike the term “go-home show”? For no rational reason I despise it. As such this is the last recap I will ever use it in. Why? Cause it’s my recap so I’ll do what I want. (seriously, “go-home”? that sounds more like a school punishment than an enticing reason to watch the last show before a PPV).
I’m not sure if I was accidentally dosed with acid tonight, but I’m pretty sure I saw Khali in a Tina Turner wig, wrestling a match under the guise of MacGruber’s half brother, and under the moniker, “KhalGruber”. That’s… actually fantastic. I love this show.
Seriously, who the hell was that Samoan group that attacked the Hart Dynasty?
R-Truth is a Zoo-Keeper? Wtf…
Fire the waste of money that is Alicia Fox, and bring in someone worth watching. That’s all I’m trying to say.
The more I think about it, the more I believe that The Miz was the absolute perfect choice for Money in the Bank winner. The case becomes a terrific prop which only adds to his character. I hope he holds on to it for a couple of months to really build up his anticipated Title run. It will be very entertaining TV to watch.
Is Alicia Fox even trying anymore? That Scissors Kick wasn’t just sloppy, it was a complete joke.
The Divas Summertime Spectacular was a complete disgrace. THEY WEAR LESS CLOTHING IN THEIR NORMAL RING GEAR!!!! What a waste of my time.
I’d like to point out that these Divas are pretty much wearing less clothing then in their “bathing suits” from last Monday. Yeah, I’m still annoyed.
My first impression of the main event tonight was that it was going to be pretty lame. But then the unthinkable happened. John Cena was pinned as a result of a 450 Splash. I never, and I mean NEVER, have once considered that a possibility. Say what you want about the guy, but tonight he proved his value yet again to the company. On the 900th episode of Raw John Cena was flat on his back and put over a young talent. That is pure class.
Alicia Fox was squashed tonight. It’s the small things in life that make me happy.
Wade Barrett proved tonight that he will have longevity in this business. Just a great promo with Cena in the ring to close the show. Good stuff.
Best. Hospital Skit. Ever.
(from the kayfabe recap) – TNA, Ring of Honor, or UFC?
That is the number one question on my mind tonight. Where does John Cena go from here? Over the next 90 days, that is the decision that he must make.
Does he continue professional wrestling?
John Cena v. AJ Styles?
John Cena v. Kevin Steen?
Check out Mixed Martial Arts?
John Cena v. Rampage Jackson?
John Cena v. Brock Lesnar??
Or maybe something entirely different?
I could honestly see John Cena working as a cop in Massachusetts in the mean time. He has always donated his time generously to organizations, so I would expect him to continue the trend of giving back during his next profession.
(About David Otunga) – My brain says awful wrestler, but my heart says hero.
That is today’s word of the day for wrestling fans. Yes, I made it up. I was watching TNA’s Final Resolution last night (I’m not pigeonholed into watching only the WWE product) and found this word springing to the top of my mind. During the Generation Me and Motor City Machine Guns match, I couldn’t help but see the difference between the two tag teams. On one hand, seasoned talent like MCMG that understand how to work a match, and on the other, guys like GenMe that are very talented, but relatively fresh in the ring. They seek to be innovative, without necessarily striving to be clean or tell a story.
Now, this certainly isn’t just a TNA word. Oh no, match-urity can apply to all promotions. Anyone who watched parts of NXT Season 3 will undoubtedly agree that it was severely lacking match-urity.
So what is match-urity? It’s a gauge of the maturity level of match, hence the really clever word combination. To help explain what gives a bout match-urity, I implore all to follow these tips:
-ask yourself if a move is really necessary, or just fluff
-make sure a move injures your opponent more than yourself
-try and wrestle with at least some degree of believability
-don’t flip just to flip &
-even if it’s a picture book, tell a story
Who will be the bigger Presidential Jobber – Jackson Andrews or Abraham Washington?
I officially took over the Raw Recap on March 1st of this year and to say that it has been an amazing experience is an understatement. I would like to thank Paul Nemer, Adam Martin & Hunter Golden for trusting me with this responsibility. Here’s to 2011 being another memorable year for Raw!
– David Stephens
Follow me on Twitter! @davewrestleview
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