It's retro Raw Deal time. I paste in what I wrote originally five years ago and add in (2014 Thoughts) after the key matches and segments. This show took place one week before WWE's second June PPV of 2009 that was titled The Bash. It was two hours long.

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Welcome to the Raw Deal for the commercial free edition of Raw. It's going to be a lot shorter than my usual because I had a dental emergency this past weekend. I'm loaded up on pain meds (I am not Straight Edge) and sitting at a computer for a long period of time isn't the best medicine. I'll be back on the weekend for a preview of The (No Longer Great American) Bash as well as some more extended thoughts on what's gone down of late.

(2014 Thoughts: All is well in the dental department these days, but I remember an anti-dentite for sure.)

From Green Bay, Wisconsin here's the Raw Deal…

Here's Donald...

This wasn't nearly as unintentionally funny as I hoped. I think I heard him say that Vince McMahon didn't give us title matches even though last week's Raw had three "major" title matches with Orton winning the belt. Oops, there I go remembering things from a week ago. My bad. Anyway, Trump says that everybody in the arena gets a ticket refund because they're sorry for how stupid the Trump angle is. He didn't say that, but I feel like he should have.

(2014 Thoughts: In addition to the show being commercial free, they also gave refunds for the fans in attendance. I'm still not sure why they did the refund thing. I can understand the no commercial thing once in a while, but giving refunds is just weird to me.)

(2014 Thoughts: The purple streaks in the hair look didn't last too long for Miz. What a shock.)

Cena talks to Miz finally. I thought it was okay for the most part with Cena's lines seeming more "real" than some of the forced dialogue that he has to give especially in backstage segments. With better writing, Cena would be the best talker in the company. He's hurt by the inept writing more than anybody. I'm not crazy about Miz basically looking like a douche during the segment by saying nothing to respond to Cena. I understand Miz is the chickenshit heel, which is a role he's fine in, but there can be a point where he's too much of a wimp for the fans to ever believe in him in the ring.

(2014 Thoughts: "With better writing, Cena would be the best talker in the company." I still believe that, at least to some degree. This was done to lead up to their singles match at The Bash as a way to try to make Miz a more credible performer. Two years later this was a WWE Title feud.)

Wow, that outdoor segment with Vince and the limo was terrible. This was brutal. I'd rather see a Flomax commercial.

(2014 Thoughts: His limo broke down, so he had to use another one. Bad acting ensued. I don't notice Flomax commercials anymore.)

Jeff Hardy, Mysterio and Khali d. Edge, Jericho and Ziggler (*1/4)

This was fine, but not nearly as good as the great matches we see on Smackdown weekly. I guess it promoted Hardy vs. Punk and Jericho vs. Mysterio although you'd think they'd get more TV time. Where is Edge's PPV match, by the way? He should always have PPV matches just like Khali should never have PPV matches.

(2014 Thoughts: I checked and it was only a five minute tag match. The answer to the Edge question was that he was in a surprise team with Jericho at The Bash as they went on to win the tag team titles.)

More backstage comedy with Vince McHilarious. The best part of this was Trump looking directly into the camera on more than one occasion even though he should act like it's not there. It's awesome to see how bad he was. I wish he was around more just to do things like that. Maybe he thought his lines were on a cue card behind the camera. Santina's fired now too. The joke went on too long.

(2014 Thoughts: The end of Santina. Thank you. At least there was something positive out this Trump angle.)

Cody Rhodes d. Primo Colon (1/2*)

Bad match. The problem with Legacy in ring is they should be wrestling every single week and on every PPV, but since they don't the crowd is dead for their match. This was awful and did nothing to get anybody excited about the tag title match on PPV even though it has the potential to be good.

(2014 Thoughts: It was just a four minute match to hype up the tag title match at The Bash. Apparently I really didn't like it.)

There's even more comedy with Vince. Goldust does genuinely make me laugh more than most people in wrestling. Vince's office is the toilet and there's Festus taking a shit while reading the Wall Street Journal. I'm sure it sounded funnier when they were thinking it up. If somebody rings a bell while Festus is reading a paper, does that mean he reads it faster? Come on Vince, you could've sold the smell of the shit better than that. What's wrong with you?

(2014 Thoughts: Way too heavy on the Vince segments on this show. At least he was able to make a shit joke. Those are important to him.)

Last Man Standing for the WWE Title: Randy Orton wrestles to a draw with Triple H (***1/4)

A fine TV match that was similar to the quality of PPV matches they seem to have. They have yet to truly have a great, match of the year contending match and I don't know if they ever will. They got 20 minutes, they told the story of a really violent match and even the ending satisfied me because they did such a good job of selling the physicality of the match. They couldn't give away the finish because they're doing this match again on Sunday. That's part of the problem too. How can we be sympathetic to HHH as a challenger when he ALWAYS gets the title shots? It's hard to expect fans to have interest in a feud like this. This is an example of a match that is hurt by the no blood policy employed by WWE in its current state. The story could be told so much better with the violence ramped up. Oh well, gotta cater to the kiddies I guess since the teenagers and men in their 20s are into UFC these days.

(2014 Thoughts: I don't even remember this match taking place, but that just showed how ridiculous WWE booking was at the time. They did a title match one week before another scheduled title match between them and this came a week after they were already in a multi-man WWE Title match on Raw. What was the point? Lame.)

Miz hit on Maryse again. She wants results. They're a couple in real life and I'm sure this will lead to an on-air pairing, which will probably be a good thing for both of them. They each have the natural heel charisma with little chance of turning babyface by working together.

(2014 Thoughts: It didn't lead to them pairing up on screen for long, but they did get married earlier this year so congrats to them and especially The Miz.)

...And there goes Donald

Wow, that was fast. He's not going to name a GM, he's going to have celebrity GMs. I wish this happened so we could see the likes of Mr. T and Pete Rose be GM. That would be awesome. The unintentional comedy would have been off the charts. Anyway, Vince came out to yell at Trump for giving free tickets and no commercials because it's costing him money...even though Trump bought Raw. In six months Vince would be bankrupt if he did this. I have too much pain to go into detail about how silly and absurd this is, so I'll just assume that you, my intelligent wrestling fan reader, knows how silly it is. Then Vince, the worst businessman ever, buys back Raw for double the price that Trump paid because Trump was threatening to sell it. What's he going to do next, start a new football league? Oops. Vince fired him...from what? Who knows? Then Trump slapped him like an eight year old girl might slap another girl for stealing her Hannah Montana purse. And security broke it up. Security won't break up the Legacy group breaking Batista's arm in a 3 on 1 beating for five minutes, but they will break up Vince vs. Trump. I guess it's nice to be rich.

(2014 Thoughts: I still don't understand what Vince fired Donald from exactly. If Donald bought Raw, which barely makes sense in the first place, then after he sold it back to Vince how would he be considered an employee of Vince's? Furthermore, why should I care or not care if a billionaire like Donald is working or not working for WWE when it's obvious that the guy looks ridiculously out of place in a wrestling ring? Also the slap from Trump was awful too. I do remember that.

Regarding the celebrity GM thing, that was something else that was awful. The story was that it was Trump's idea to do them, but then when McMahon bought the show back he still did them. He could have stopped them, but he didn't.)

I've already got emails asking me what I think about this. Basically my opinion is they thought this angle would create interest, it didn't and they're backing out of it before it went too far. They gave away $235,000 in ticket sales because they probably didn't want the fans to shit on the Trump angle like they feared they might. Personally I would have preferred it to end by the set falling on Trump or a car exploding with Trump in it. Now that's entertainment.

(2014 Thoughts: It was a bad angle. Nothing more to it.)

Hey Vince, give me $40 and you can have ECW back for double what I paid for it. Leave Tiffany with me, though. She's blonde and appears to be clueless. Two things I love.

(2014 Thoughts: That's a fair offer. I like brunettes more.)

More Vince backstage. He's serious now. No more jokes. Uh oh. And he's a face against Orton only, I guess. Wow, something made sense on this show by having Vince hate Orton since he beat up his entire family. Impressive! Orton vs. HHH at The Bash is now three stages of hell with a regular fall, falls count anywhere and a Stretcher match for the obvious third fall. Nobody likes stretcher matches. This feud isn't ending there, in my opinion. I'm sensing a Hell in a Cell at Summerslam even though there's absolutely no need for more of this.

(2014 Thoughts: Thankfully they didn't do Orton vs. Triple H at SummerSlam. The Bash was their last singles match, but they did a triple threat with Cena at the next PPV, Night of Champions)

Mickie James and Bellas d. Maryse, Beth Phoenix and Rosa (1/2*)

This was very average. Just do Mickie vs. Maryse already. I think the Bellas and Rosa all are beautiful women, but none of them should be wrestling on live TV especially when there are better workers in the same match. Stop making every woman wrestle. Use them as managers. They have value in that role whereas in this one they're only hurting the product.

(2014 Thoughts: To the Bellas credit they both improved. They're solid workers now. Rosa Mendes doesn't seem like she's improved in five years and is barely on television, yet still works for WWE. I can't explain it. The three best divas in this match are clearly Mickie, Beth and Maryse and all three are not in WWE while the other three still are. As for Mickie vs. Maryse, they held off on it until the Night of Champions PPV about a month after this.)

Big Show d. John Cena (*1/4)

I'm tired of this match. I laughed at them showing the replay from Extreme Rules saying that Cena only applied the STF because he used the rope to help. Never mind that Show's foot fell off the rope or that placing his foot straight up in the air does not hurt nearly as much as putting his foot on an angle like it would be in the STF. Oh, and of course Cena applied the regular STF here. Miz interrupted, cost Cena the match and I guess that's going to get Cena pissed off heading into the match on Sunday. How dare Miz cost him a meaningless match against a guy Cena has beaten 359 times. Fine job of making Miz come off as the chickehshit heel that he is, though. He's not going to win on Sunday, but I think he'll come close.

(2014 Thoughts: I was sick of both Show vs. Cena and HHH vs. Orton by this point, yet this show was filled with them. That's why Raw in 2009 just wasn't very good. It was the same stuff over and over. This match went 10 minutes. I don't remember any of it. Miz ended up costing Cena here, but Cena would go on to beat Miz in about 5 minutes at The Bash. Cena went back up to the main event while Miz stayed a midcarder for a while.)

Triple H and Orton had a fight in the parking lot that Hunter won. Hunter said Orton's going to hell on Sunday. That's better than saying, "I'm going to put you on a stretcher and push you past a yellow line" in terms of selling a PPV match. Too bad they already had the PPV match on this TV show.

(2014 Thoughts: They had a brief brawl in the parking lot. Triple H got the advantage, so of course that meant Orton was going to win the PPV match, which he did.)

Three Stars of the Show

1. Santina - She had a good run.

2. Donald Trump – He had a good run.

3. Vince McMahon – His segments were so bad that they were good.

(2014 Thoughts: Not a good show.)

They should have had somebody wear a Brett Favre Vikings jersey. Whoever wore that would have been the number one star for sure. Plus, it would have woke up a quiet crowd.

Final Thoughts

Feels like I've been here before. The in ring action is generally fine throughout WWE and when given time we know it can be really good, but this Trump angle was terrible. Pulling the plug on it after only a week is their admission that they know it. Kudos to Vince for realizing it was bad, but it came at the expense of hurting a two hour show that was supposed to be used to promote the PPV on Sunday. By the way, not having the fresh faces of Raw like Kofi Kingston and MVP on a two hour show like this is a prime example of what's wrong with WWE. Other than a pretty good Orton vs. HHH last man standing match that we've seen plenty of times before, this wasn't a very good show. That saved it from being truly awful. As it is, it's just regularly awful.

Rating: 3 (out of 10)

Last week: 7.5

(2014 Thoughts: That rating is fair. There was nothing too exciting about this show. Once again, the whole Trump angle was stupid and doing Orton/HHH matches all the time got really tiresome. It's not like Cena/Show was fresh as a main event either. Raw really was struggling in these days and one week after this the "celebrity General Manager" started. Oh no. Not good)

That's all for this time. Please let me know what you think via the comment box below or contact me using any of the methods you see here.

John Canton - mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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