Monday, February 27, 2006

Bad Sign for WWE

WWE Raw Report

Date: 02/27/06 from Washington, DC.

The Big News: Shawn Michaels was forced to kiss Vince McMahon’s ass.

Title Changes/Turns: None.

Match Results: Kane & Big Show b Val Venis & Viscera; Rob Van Dam b Trevor Murdoch; Trish Stratus b Candice Michelle; Shelton Benjamin b Chavo Guerrero, Jr.; Ric Flair b Carlito Caribbean Cool.

Show Analysis:

Edge started the show wanting to know Mick Foley’s answer. Foley came out and said it was Edge who lost to John Cena twice, and he should blame himself for choking. Edge threatened to choke Foley and wanted his answer. Foley said no. Foley said he was a three-time transitional champion, making him the greatest transitional champion of all time, and leaving him with nothing to prove. Edge called Foley overrated, and said he will be remembered for having his ear ripped off, being thrown off a cell, and showing up in Vince’s hospital room with a sock puppet.

Edge said Foley has never scored a defining win at WrestleMania, while Edge has never lost. Edge said if Foley wrestled him at Mania, Foley would lose. Foley agreed, because Edge is younger, in better shape, and cares more about it. Foley said he has wanted one defining moment at WrestleMania. Thus, he rejected a wrestling match but challenged Edge to a hardcore match. Foley grabbed a barbed wire bat and went to the ring, forcing Edge to leave through the crowd. This was well delivered by both men, even if the match hasn’t had enough time to build and Foley doesn’t look to be in shape for a quality match.

Kane and Big Show beat Val Venis and Viscera. The announcers sold Venis and Viscera as the number one contenders, which was not a wise move for the credibility of the titles. Big Show body slammed Viscera out of the blue. While an impressive spot, it was kind of stupid to use as a throwaway in the middle of a meaningless match. Professional wrestling is less about what you do and more about when and how you do it. Kane and Show hit a double choke slam on Viscera for the pin.
Next up was the backstage medley. Ric Flair was interviewed. He said he is 57, which is not something I would advertise. He said 15 years people thought he was done, but he keeps getting better. Flair said he has one title run left in him. Elsewhere, Shawn Michaels told Marty Jannetty he is sorry that it came to this, and he doesn’t have to kiss Vince’s ass. Marty said it’s not Shawn’s fault. He’s never kissed ass, but now he’s old and doesn’t have a job and is desperate. He told Shawn to stay out. This was bad writing. They should have found a way to tell that story without such blatant and unbelievable exposition. These aren’t the sorts of things that people explicitly say, even if they are true.

Finally, Carlito was interviewed by Maria, and he was acting much more like a face. I understand WWE’s desire to create another ethnic star, but I’m not sure if Carlito will appeal as much to the Mexican-American audience that dominates the Hispanic demographic as Eddie Guerrero or Rey Mysterio. Carlito said a second Money in the Bank ladder match is scheduled for WrestleMania, and there would be three qualifying matches on the show. That very well could be the best match on the show.

Rob Van Dam beat Trevor Murdoch to qualify. Murdoch looked particularly flabby and really bad this week. I do not expect him to last much longer on the WWE roster. RVD missed a crossbody off the top rope to the floor, and Murdoch took over with an extended head lock sequence. RVD came back with the spinning heel kick, monkey flip, rolling thunder and the five star frog splash for the win.

Trish Stratus beat Candice Michelle. Mickie James introduced Trish, and Torrie Wilson introduced Candice. This was a typical WWE women’s match: short and really bad, but limited enough to where it didn’t become an out-and-out disaster. Trish went for a sunset flip, but Candice dropped down and grabbed hands with Torrie for leverage. However, the referee saw that, stopped the count, and Trish rolled Candice up for the pin. Mickie worshipped Trish after the match and buried herself in Trish’s crotch. Trish shoved her off. It was a bad night for lackeys, as Candice smacked Torrie backstage.

John Cena came out for an interview with Coach. I can’t even tell Cena’s responses anymore when his music is playing. It sounds like the “confused roar” Joe Rogan described after Frank Mir broke Tim Sylvia’s arm. However, it was evident after the music that Cena was receiving loud boos, albeit with some decided cheers mixed in. Coach told Cena he doesn’t have a chance against HHH. Cena was about to respond when HHH came to the ring. Cena said he has been in WWE for four years, and even if he doesn’t have HHH’s resume or respect, he has the title.

HHH then went into full HHH burial mode. He mocked Cena as the guy whose only move is pumping up his Reeboks. He talked about transitional champions as guys who are in the right place in the right time and get lucky, but it’s just a matter of time before the title goes back around the waist of the person who deserves it. He said Cena is a transitional champion. He said Cena is tough in that he gets up from an ass kicking and finds a way to win like Rocky Balboa, but he isn’t a very good wrestler and he can’t beat HHH.

Cena said he has heard all that, because all of his opponents say that. Really? Somehow I don’t recall Kurt Angle saying John Cena is a bad wrestler, or Edge describing Cena’s near 11 month reign as a transition period. In any event, he wanted to know what makes HHH different. HHH said Cena already knows and is scared. Cena said he isn’t a great athlete, while HHH is a ten-time champion, HHH has beaten everyone, and everyone knows HHH is the best wrestler alive. Seriously. Anyway, in spite of all that, Cena isn’t scared. Vince McMahon then appeared on the screen and announced John Cena and HHH vs. Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton for Saturday Night’s Main Event. That is an interesting match, but it will be a hard one to lay out.

This segment was the typical HHH burial job where the face puts him over, he totally shoots on and buries the face with totally valid criticism, and then seals the deal by beating the face clean and killing him off. This was yet another reminder of how unbelievably unprofessional HHH is when it comes to doing business, and why he shouldn’t be anywhere near guys who have the potential to get over.

Shelton Benjamin beat Chavo Guerrero to qualify for the Money in the Bank match. Benjamin pushed Mama to the ring holding the Intercontinental Title in triumph. Just the idea of her at ringside for Money in the Bank irritates me. She kills any semblance of seriousness or significance of a match to have this fifth rate cartoon stereotype out there, particularly given she has to play a role in the finish of every single Benjamin match.

Chavo, on the other hand, shamelessly encouraged chants for Eddie. The crowd didn’t oblige, and was completely dead for both men. Benjamin missed a Stinger Splash, and Chavo responded with a spinning head scissors. He went for the three amigos, but Benjamin threw Chavo to the outside. That was Mama’s cue to bring about the end of the match. She distracted the referee while Randy Orton ran in and hit the RKO on Chavo. Benjamin covered for the pin.

They announced Gene Okerlund for the Hall of Fame with a bunch of great clips. The highlight was a hilarious clip of Okerlund cracking up after Wendi Richter said she wouldn’t lie on her back and let anyone cover her. They aired a bunch of clips of Gene Okerlund with Hulk Hogan, and announced Hogan will induct him. That ceremony may be the most interesting wrestling event of the year. I’m much, much more intrigued by that ceremony than by WrestleMania itself. Shawn Michaels went to Vince McMahon backstage, and asked him to leave Marty out of their problems. Vince told Shawn to stay out, and threatened to make Shawn a member of the club as well.

Ric Flair beat Carlito to qualify for the Money in the Bank match. What in the name of God is Flair doing in that match? Do they want to kill him? I mean seriously, do they even understand the idea behind a spot-oriented gimmick match? If they came up with the Ultimate X match, I swear they would be putting Flair in that as well. I hope they are prepared to accept the consequences of what happens when Flair seriously injures himself in a match he has no business being in. Carlito back dropped Flair on the floor, hit a suplex, and an enzuigiri. He missed a high knee drop, and Flair came back with chops. He came off the top but Carlito caught him with a drop kick. Carlito got an apple and went back to the ring, but Flair kicked him, apple went everywhere, and Flair grabbed the ropes for the pin.

The Spirit Squad introduced Vince McMahon. He described Shawn Michaels’ rise and Marty Jannetty’s fall after the breakup of the Rockers. Vince said Marty has hit rock bottom, and desperately needs the job because he is broke. Vince had Marty get on his knees, pulled down his pants, and wiggled his ass around for the most homoerotic club in wrestling. Marty did an awful job selling this, as he was about to crack up when he was supposed to be humiliated.

Marty couldn’t do it, so Vince gave him another option, and brought out Chris Masters. What is the over/under on how many drug tests he fails? Marty needed to break the Masterlock to get the job. Marty fought it, but Vince kicked him. Masters went to push him into Vince’s ass, but Shawn made the save. He was going to attack Vince, but Shane McMahon made the save and hit Shawn with a chair. Vince announced Shawn vs. Shane McMahon in a street fight for Saturday Night’s Main Event. Shane lifted Shawn up and they made Shawn kiss Vince’s ass. Vince then said he would kick Shawn’s ass at WrestleMania.

Final Thoughts:

The only thing this promotion can do competently anymore is soothe the egos of its owners and bury wrestlers who threaten the spots of their chosen few. It’s a nepotistic, narcissistic mess.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Phil said...

At least, this was one of the funnier Raws in a long time, if not ever. The hilarity ranged from the deliberate: the Gene Okerlund vignette (particularly the scenes of him and Hogan training wrestling, I wonder if we'll see clips of him wrestling Mark Madden). And the unintentional: the absurdity of the final segment and watching HHH's promo and the crowd's reaction to it. Over the last few years in WWE, I oft feel compelled to look for the best in the product, and at least I laughed this week.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Swain said...

Wow, talk about doing their best to kill any interest in 'Mania. Why on earth do all of HHH's opponents have to talk about how great he is? Yeah, I already know the answer. God, I want some disgruntled employee to drop a few "shoot comments" on HHH on their way out.

10:45 PM  
Blogger DenisGorman said...

Maybe it's me, but I thought Raw and Smackdown feuded for two months in the fall.

I don't care about Orton-Chavo, simply because Orton's gonna win.

I don't care about Edge-Foley because Foley is going to do the 12,999,888,777,666,555,444,333,222,111th job of his career.

I don't care about Orton vs. Angle vs. Rey Jr. because Orton's going to win. I don't care about HHH vs. Cena because Cena's going to look like the world's second biggest douche, only behind the one Lita uses. (Okay, it was a cheap shot. I'm sorry.)

MITB II was interesting, until they took Carlito out of it. By the way, the ref was right in front of Flair while he held the ropes. Are you kidding me?

HHH has said Angle doesn't know how to be a heel, that's why the his feud with Cena stunk. Well, The Game-uh got-uh more-uh cheers-uh than Ce-nuh last night-uh.

11:22 PM  
Blogger brian said...

How long is it going to take for WWE to realise that people are fed up with the same people on top and that they need to make changes? The decision making is terrible, that is if they want to attract new fans. If your name is HHH everything is fine. Even if, somehow, they stumbled upon the next Stone Cold or Rock they would have him bow down to HHH and ruin him before he could get over. I have no doubt that if Austin was starting out in the WWE today creative would stubbornly keep pushing him as The Ringmaster.

1:28 AM  
Blogger nevs999 said...

I agree with everything being said here. But here's the juice, am I not simply marking out for Vince and his idiots by continuing to watch this garbage? It's one thing to hate the product, it's another to continue watching and thus support it.

Anyone got any tips on how to break this sick addiction? What to do, what to do?

- Matt in Anchorage

8:32 AM  
Blogger AdamAnnapolis said...

We are all junkies.

I have never been as turned off/repulsed by the product as I have been lately, yet I can't stop myself from watching.

I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel either...

Seriously, if Hunter, who is going to be pretty much running the company soon enough, doesn't understand how bad for business/locker room morale his burial of Cena was, he is no longer the smartest man in wrestling.

AAR

9:13 AM  
Blogger 17Haze said...

So Triple H said the fued with Angle and Cena sucked because Kurt Angle didn't know how to play a heel. Well he's not looking to good right now. Cena could be an entertaining heel right now with how he is on the mic and he sucks in the ring so he makes a perfect heel. And it amazes me how Triple H mouths Cena and pats himself on the back yet they make Cena praise Triple H, its so far out of what would happen in reality and the WWE is out of reality right now so I guess its fitting.

6:26 PM  
Blogger DrewJedi said...

I have been watching pro-wresling for the past 25 years but things have gotten so bad in the WWE I have simply stopped watching.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous the masterbater said...

When HHH asked "Cena what made him different then anyone else?" I was PRAYING Cena would just say because your the son in law and married to the bosses daughter or some sort of shoot. But of course that would be unprofessional for Cena to say that. I just don't get HHH does he get a hard on downgrading someone. This guy has got to be one of the worst egotistical assholes in the history of wrestling. Just beg the day Stephanie divorces him and then his whole life would be ruined and then I can enjoy him getting jobbed to wrestlers that are less superior then a Barry Horowitz.

8:19 AM  

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