Monday, March 27, 2006

Final Raw Before Mania

Date: 03/27/06 from Omaha, NE.

The Big News: WrestleMania is Sunday, and if you can’t get enough of Triple H and Vince McMahon, this is the show for you.

Title Changes/Turns: None.

Match Results: Kane b Carlito Caribbean Cool-DQ; Shawn Michaels b Triple H-DQ; Nicky Doane, Johnny Jeter & Mikey Mondo b Val Venis, Viscera & Eugene Dinsmore; Trish Stratus & Torrie Wilson b Victoria & Candice Michelle; John Cena b Vince McMahon-DQ.

Show Analysis:

Mick Foley came out to start the show, and said he was sorry about what he did to Lita last week. He brought gifts for her and Edge. He carefully removed flowers from a gift box and said they were Lita’s gift, and had a box on the ramp for Edge. Edge said that Foley wouldn’t pad his legacy at Edge’s expense, and Foley, only there for the paycheck, will get nothing else. Foley said he wanted a WrestleMania memory of doing all sorts of ungodly things to Edge, and brought attention to his severed ear. Foley said the box had something that would give Edge a fighting chance.

It was a baseball bat, and Edge took the bat and went after Foley in the ring. Of course, Foley had a barbed wire bat in his box, and chased Edge into the crowd. They ran a package on hardcore Mick Foley, and went from video of him with a barbed wire bat in 1998 to him with a barbed wire bat now. That didn’t make for a good comparison as far as selling a hardcore match. This setup was really obvious, but the segment still worked. This feud may not be working as well as Foley’s feud with Orton, but I think Edge has done a better job with it than Orton did. If this were a promotion about business rather than ego, Edge would be the top heel on Raw.

Kane beat Carlito via DQ. Kane’s physique suggests he may be taking the drug testing policy seriously. Apparently Carlito said last week was a fluke, so we got the most anticipated rematch since Ashley vs. Mickie James. Carlito hit a DDT, drop kick, and punches, but Kane kept coming back. Carlito applied a sleeper, and went to the eyes when Kane got out. Kane hit a big boot, punches, clotheslines and a side slam. Carlito went for the springboard and got caught for the choke slam just like last week, but Carlito pulled the referee in the way for a DQ this week.

Kane chased Carlito to the back, where Chris Masters, Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade jumped him. They blocked him in a room with a forklift. Big Show pushed the forklift out of the way, but Kane had already left the room through a second door. I don’t understand why you take one of the few guys on the undercard with upside in Carlito and make him look like a total joke physically and mentally. They announced the Hall of Fame will be televised at 11PM, which would seem to mean they are airing it on delay rather than live. That’s potentially a very interesting little twist.

Big Show was going to do the Masterlock Challenge. Kane chased Carlito into the crowd prior to the challenge. Chris Masters kept trying to apply the Masterlock, but Show’s upside was too thick to apply, so Masters attacked him instead. Show fought him off and hit the choke slam. Well, it would certainly appear Masters and Carlito are winning the tag titles at WrestleMania. They announced Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child singing the National Anthem at WrestleMania. That’s like getting Paul Roma as your special guest for a Horsemen tribute.

They aired a video package on John Cena, talking about growing up and rising to the top. They portrayed Cena as an against all odds triumph story. This was fantastic stuff. Kudos to the WWE video producers, as this was another home run. They announced Tony Atlas will be inducted into the Hall of Fame by Special Delivery Jones. They later announced Refrigerator Perry being inducted into the celebrity wing of the Hall.

Shawn Michaels beat HHH via DQ. They brawled early. HHH went for the pedigree, but was back dropped to the floor as Vince McMahon made his way to ringside. HHH came back with a spine buster, knee drop and punches. Michaels sent HHH into the steps a couple times and hit the flying forearm, inverted atomic drop and clothesline. McMahon tripped Michaels and HHH went for the pedigree, but Michaels got out and flipped HHH into McMahon. Michaels gave HHH a body slam and elbow off the top. He was going for sweet chin music, but McMahon tripped him again and HHH hit the pedigree.

Rather than go for the pin, HHH called for McMahon to hold Michaels and HHH grabbed the sledgehammer. John Cena made the save. HHH dropped the sledgehammer and Cena and HHH fought, with Cena fighting him off. Backstage, McMahon said that Michaels could be in Cena’s corner for the main event, and HHH would be in his. I don’t know why Cena and HHH had physical contact a week before Mania after delaying it for so long. The match was total paint by the numbers HHH vs. Michaels.

Ric Flair came out, and said his first WrestleMania was VIII, where he lost the title and some people thought it would be his last run. Of course, that didn’t turn out to be true, and he vowed to win his seventeenth title. I really don’t want to see that. Aside from the fact he’s so old it makes a mockery of the title, it just means one more HHH title run we will have to endure. He vowed to win Money in the Bank.

Shelton Benjamin came out dressed well, wearing shades, and looking like a star. They need to keep that look, and most importantly, dump Mama permanently. Benjamin said he has more athletic ability than Flair, Flair’s not winning Money in the Bank, and WrestleMania will be his night. They fought, with Benjamin having the advantage. Benjamin was climbing the ladder when Rob Van Dam ran down and pulled him off. RVD gave him rolling thunder on the ladder and said he would win Money in the Bank. Flair poked RVD in the eye and hit him with the ladder.

The Spirit Squad beat Eugene, Viscera and Val Venis. Viscera chopped Mikey and hit the black hole slam. Johnny came in and raked his face. The Squad worked over Eugene with a Kenny high elbow, Johnny moonwalk and clothesline, Mikey assisted standing moonsault and Kenny body slam and elbow drop. Eugene made the hot tag to Val Venis, who came in with clotheslines for all. He went for the money shot, but Mikey jumped off the trampoline to push him off the top rope and Johnny scored the pin.

They beat down their opponents more after the match, and Kenny hit a leg drop off the top on Val’s shoulder and arm. They sold that Val Venis was injured, which may mean this was the last we will see of Sean Morley on WWE television. They aired a HHH video package. He said he went to Brazil to train with the best for WrestleMania. Brazilian Top Team? Chute Boxe? No, actually, some bodybuilder. This package was typical HHH. He talked about how he is the greatest, totally buried and dismissed his opponent, and they aired interviews with other wrestlers, including faces, talking about how great he is.

Mickie James backstage had a bunch of candles and pictures of Trish Stratus. Mickie said her new obsession is Trish’s destruction. Torrie and Trish beat Candice and Victoria. Victoria hit a spinning side slam on Torrie and Candice gave her the downward spiral. Torrie came back and made the tag to Trish. She hit the Stratusphere, chops, a whirly bird, and a chick kick to Victoria. Candice broke up the pin and Victoria went for the widow’s peak, but Trish got out and hit Stratusfaction for the pin.

John Cena beat Vince McMahon via DQ. The best thing about Raw this week was comparing this segment to the HHH video package, and trying to figure out between Vince and Hunter, who is the most self-obsessed and who is the most delusional. This take home segment for WrestleMania was pretty much built around Vince McMahon’s ego. He came out looking jacked up to the point I was half expecting him to have a heart attack, and making a complete and utter mockery of the WWE’s interest in drug testing.

He ordered Michaels and HHH handcuffed to the ring posts. Joey Styles put this over as fair, which makes him dumber than the average 6 year old that could see it was a set up. Vince and Cena basically did a series of tests of strength, with Cena narrowly getting the edge. I swear they were doing an impression of the start of Warrior-Hogan at WrestleMania VI. This took wrestling back 15 years. Just dreadful.

Vince gave Cena a low blow for the DQ, and of course took out a key and uncuffed HHH. HHH got his sledgehammer and hit Cena with it. Cena bladed. HHH hit Shawn with the sledgehammer and Vince hit Shawn with a chair. HHH and McMahon posed together to end the show. This was a nice little metaphor for what WWE has become, with Cena and Michaels symbolizing the fans of the product.

Final Thoughts:
This was pretty much what one would expect from the final Raw before WrestleMania. If you weren’t dying to see WrestleMania before this show (and who was?), this show wouldn’t have done anything to change your mind.

8 Comments:

Blogger DenisGorman said...

Nepotism is a wonderful thing.

I will be in Chicago for 'Mania and I'm not looking forward to the show. The last time I hated a 'Mania buildup was WMIX.

Think about that.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

I believe the Hall of Fame ceremony will air live on USA from 11-12 with the first two hours airing on WWE.com. That makes sense since it would be an 8-11 show in Chicago. I'm guessing only Okerlund & Hogan, Eddie, and Bret make the live TV telecast. It's absurd Verne Gagne's being put out there as a prelim act for Okerlund and even Guerrero.
Was it just me or was the Omaha crowd was as hot and generous as a Raw crowd has been in months? Consider how strong they were behind Cena.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Snowman said...

HHH and McMahon posed together to end the show. This was a nice little metaphor for what WWE has become, with Cena and Michaels symbolizing the fans of the product.

LOL

9:00 PM  
Blogger nevs999 said...

"The Masterpiece" said Big Show was too greased up? I'm guessing he didn't see Vinnie Mc lubing up in the back. WTF was that?

- Matt in Anchorage

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think Tony Atlas is going to come out for his induction dressed as Saba Simba?

Also, I can't believe they spelled Ric Flair's name wrong (Rick???) in the HHH-blowjob video package.

9:58 AM  
Blogger DenisGorman said...

Anonymous said...
Also, I can't believe they spelled Ric Flair's name wrong (Rick???) in the HHH-blowjob video package.

Why are you shocked? This company is WCW, circa 2000.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

On the HOF ceremony, I looked at ticketmaster when I heard 11, and they have the event starting at 7. That doesn't mean it is, but that was what I was going on in my speculation. It also seems odd they would stretch out the undercard inductions for two hours, but it certainly can be done.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Dave Ling & Franchise said...

Call me biased as a Canadian...

But is anyone else looking forward to the HOF show more then 'Mania...

Think about it, you get the big return of Bret Hart to WWE TV, you get an Eddie Guerrero highlight pack, and you get a Hogan promo...

On Mania all you get is a bunch of mediocre matches and no big returns scheduled for the show that I know of...

I'm not saying that Mania still can't be good but its going to take everyone being on their A game to prevent this show from falling into the forgettable pile of WrestleManias

10:51 AM  

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