Monday, March 06, 2006

Raw Report

WWE Raw Report

By: Todd Martin

Date: 03/06/06 from Birmingham, AL.

The Big News: Georges St. Pierre beat B.J. Penn. Whoops. Wrong show.

Title Changes/Turns: None.

Match Results: Ric Flair b Shelton Benjamin-DQ; Triple H b Kane; Shane McMahon b Shawn Michaels; Vince McMahon b Shawn Michaels; Kenny Doane b Eugene Dinsmore; Lita b Maria; John Cena b Big Show.

Show Analysis:

Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and security came out to start the show. Vince said the Oscars were all about kissing ass, but that paled in comparison to Shawn Michaels kissing his ass. He then gave an acceptance speech of sorts, thanking the people that made that possible. Included in the thanks was Chris Masters, and Vince named Masters and Carlito the challengers for Big Show and Kane’s tag titles at WrestleMania. He thanked Marty Jannetty and said that he would never be in a WWE ring ever again.

They showed Vince on the cover of Muscle and Fitness. I wonder if he talks about the drug testing policy in that. He said Shawn has no chance in hell. Shawn’s music played, and like idiots, every single security person and Shane walked up towards the ramp rather than just continuing to surround Vince. Of course, Shawn came from behind and attacked Vince before security grabbed him. Vince said Shawn would face Shane later on Raw. Shane acted like he was concerned, but that was a swerve, because everything in WWE is a swerve.

Ric Flair beat Shelton Benjamin via disqualification. Benjamin hit a suplex, but Flair came back with chops and punches. Benjamin thumbed the referee in the eye going after Flair, and Flair applied the figure four. Benjamin tapped out and the referee signaled for the bell. The announcers teased a title change, but it was a swerve, since everything in WWE is a swerve. The crowd didn’t react anyway, which made this about the most ineffectual Dusty finish ever. Flair attacked Benjamin with the oxygen tank after the match. Raw next week will apparently have Cowboy Troy. What, was TNA trying to bring him in? Teddy Long announced Money in the Bank will include three Smackdown wrestlers.

HHH beat Kane in one of two “WrestleMania Rewind” matches, which was a clever gimmick. HHH hit a high knee, but Kane sat up. Kane hit a back body drop, suplex, clotheslines and a side slam. He was going for the choke slam when Masters arrived. Kane knocked Masters off the apron, but HHH sent Kane out of the ring from behind. Masters and Carlito rammed Kane into the post and HHH hit the pedigree for the pin. They looked like they were moving in slow motion.

Backstage, Torrie was upset Candice slapped her and never apologized. Victoria said Candice was under a lot of pressure and Torrie did screw up. She quickly apologized and said they would be back to normal after the Playboy unveiling. This of course was a swerve since everything in WWE is a swerve. Elsewhere, Stephanie McMahon, looking extremely pregnant (and perhaps wearing some extra padding for effect), came to Shawn Michaels. She said children change lives and wanted to apologize for Shane and Vince. Of course, this was a swerve, because everything in WWE is a swerve. She acted like she wasn’t feeling well, and when Shawn went to get her a drink she slipped a drug in his water.

They unveiled Candice’s Playboy cover, and she pranced around. It will be interesting to see if this sells. Personally, I don’t have even the most basic curiosity. She’s just another attractive woman. But maybe I’m in the minority on that. She dissed Stacy Keibler, which was interesting. She said she is the hottest WWE diva to have posed for Playboy and asked Torrie to agree. Torrie ducked the question, but Candice kept pushing. Torrie called her a bitch, so Victoria jumped Torrie from behind and they attacked her to complete crowd apathy.

Shane McMahon beat Shawn Michaels. Michaels came out brawling, but then he started selling the drug. It was a weird sell job. Shane repeatedly punched and kicked him and finally covered him for the pin. They then announced another match, and Vince pinned Michaels as well. Spirit Squad came out to celebrate the victories.

Kenny Doane beat Eugene. This was kind of a disappointing singles debut for Doane. They played keep away with the blow horn early until Doane jumped him. Doane hit a body slam and elbow drop, and then basically applied rest holds for five minutes. Eugene made his comeback with an airplane spin , clothesline and rock bottom. He was setting up for the people’s elbow, but the Spirit Squad distracted the referee and Johnny Jeter hit Eugene with a kick. Doane hit a leg drop off the top rope for the pin.

Lita beat Maria with a DDT. This was a typical WWE women’s match where they do nothing, and thus the match is bad but not truly awful. Let’s just say it wasn’t Super Dragon and Davey Richards vs. Roderick Strong and Jack Evans. Check out my blog for more details on the best match I’ve seen this year. Edge set up for the spear on Maria after the match, but Mick Foley made the save. Lita jumped on his back to stop him, and Edge hit the spear. He hit Foley with a chair again and hit a one man concerto. He accepted the hardcore match at WrestleMania.

They announced that Stone Cold Steve Austin will induct Bret Hart into the WWE Hall of Fame, and Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero will induct Eddie Guerrero. Of course, Hulk Hogan inducts Mean Gene Okerlund. I’m about 10 times more interested in that ceremony than the actual event. The next inductee for the Hall of Fame is Sherri Martel, which is a bizarre choice. I assume Shawn Michaels will induct her. It won’t be Randy Savage, that much is for sure. Mickie was excited about this, but Trish was annoyed with Mickie and said she wanted time apart.

John Cena beat Big Show to close the show. The crowd didn’t cheer Show at all, but they booed whenever Cena went on offense. Show basically dominated the entire match. Show hit a head butt, stood on Cena, hurled him across the ring, stepped on him, hit a side slam, and applied a bear hug. Cena made a brief comeback sending Show to the outside and posting him, but Show regained control with a body slam. He started climbing the ropes when Carlito and Masters came out. Kane fought them off, but Cena hit a suplex off the ropes for a near fall. Show set up for a choke slam, but Cena reversed into a DDT. Cena hit some shoulder blocks, but Show again set him up for a choke slam. Cena got out and hit the FU for the win. HHH had made his way to the ring with a sledge hammer, but he simply stared down Cena from outside the ring to close the show.

Final Thoughts:

This show was very well structured. The WrestleMania Rewind was a clever gimmick and the overarching McMahon/Michaels story was well constructed. The problem is that even if the show was put together well from a structural standpoint, they were advancing angles and stories people don’t care about. This was evidenced by about as dead of a crowd as you’re ever going to see, particularly going into the biggest show of the year. I know of three people that want to see Vince McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels and HHH vs. John Cena, but that’s about it.


Blogger Dave Ling & Franchise said...

C'mon Todd, I can think of atleast 7 people who want to see HBK vs. Vince and HHH vs. Cena.

HHH, Vince, Shane, Stephanie, Linda, HBK, and John Cena. There's 7 right there.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

You think John Cena wants to see HHH v. Cena? Are you crazy?

7:27 AM  
Blogger nevs999 said...

HHH, Vince, Shane, Stephanie, Linda and HBK.

As Tony Kornheiser would say, "That's it, that's the list."

- Matt in Anchorage

8:56 AM  
Blogger Dave Ling & Franchise said...

OK... 6. Good point. Although Cena should just be happy he's on the Mania card at this point. He's getting crushed out there week after week. I just really hope that they don't go 30 minutes in that match.... yikes.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Dave Ling & Franchise said...

I think any comment string is made better by the presence of a Tony Kornheiser quote.

Well done Matt

9:00 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

As a totally random aside, I went to high school with his kids.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Steve Khan said...

Ha, I was going to say the same thign when I saw the first reply by Dave. I can't imagine John Cena is too anxious to see that match.

Maybe if he wins and if he comes out on top in this feud. Of course, "if my Grandmother had wheels, she'd be a bicycle" (Kornheiser)

3:14 PM  
Blogger DenisGorman said...

I thought WWE did a great job by not showcasing RVD on Raw last night. Who cares if he is over with the fans? There's a pecking order, by God, and the McMaHHHon's come first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth...

4:00 PM  
Blogger Swain said...

I was just surprised they didn't have Steph come out and place her belly on Michaels, giving the fetus its first WWE victory.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to ask whats up with Randy Savage? What is he beefing with the WWE with? Was there a problem between them two?

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that Savage was hooking up with Linda in the late 80's. And supposedly Vince made a pass at Liz that Macho didn't like

2:49 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I've heard all sorts of things as to the deterioration of that relationship, including rumors of Savage trying to get involved or getting involved with Stephanie. I don't know what's true and what isn't, but it's a personal issue and it doesn't seem likely to be resolved any time soon.

5:14 PM  
Blogger brian said...

Wrestlemania 23

Savage v HHH for the love of Stephanie, with Steph playing the Miss Elizabeth role from WM8

It could happen!

10:28 AM  

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