Monday, June 19, 2006

Raw Report

Date: 06/19/06 from Rochester, NY.

The Big News: DX are back to their juvenile antics. Will those two kids never learn?

Title Changes/Turns: None.

Match Results: Mickie James & Candice Michelle b Torrie Wilson & Maria; Charlie Haas NC Viscera; Umaga b John McChesney; John Cena b Balls Mahoney; Randy Orton b Gene Snitsky; Johnny Nitro & Shelton Benjamin b Carlito Caribbean Cool; Edge b Ric Flair.

Show Analysis:

The show started with an extended comedy vignette. Vince McMahon said that this week he will get what he wants and DX will be destroyed. He then walked to the ring, where he was greeted by a rooster delivery, alien, male strippers, Dusty Rhodes plugging his DVD, and a penis pump delivery. This felt stupid, dated and unfunny to me, but the crowd in the background really seemed to be enjoying it, so maybe I’m in the minority on that. An angry Vince got to the ring and began to threaten DX again, but Shane McMahon came out. He said that Stephanie was in labor, so they left. Vince left the building and put Coach in charge. He was angry at Stephanie’s timing and referred to her as “that bitch.”

Mickie James and Candice Michelle beat Torrie Wilson and Maria in a tag team bra and panties match. This was the first time in ages that they actually put over a woman physically in one of these matches. I was happy to see it. Basically Mickie quickly ripped off her opponents’ clothes to win the match. She then attacked Candice and stripped her as well. Finally, she attacked a plant in the audience and took off her top as well. During the commercial break here we got an ad for the WFA show.

Charlie Haas and Viscera went to a no contest. Viscera wanted another apology from Charlie Haas before the match. That was odd given Charlie did in fact offer an apology last week, and it seemed sincere to me. Anyway, Charlie said Lillian accepted his apology in bed last week after they went to dinner. Lillian did not corroborate this story. Viscera proceeded to attack Charlie and destroy him for a while until the Spirit Squad ran in.

The Squad beat up both guys, and gave Viscera a pretty decent High Spirits given Viscera’s girth. Kenny challenged DX. DX showed up on the screen. Shawn Michaels was sarcastically acting afraid of the odds. I love sarcastic Shawn. He even threw in the Scott Hall scared wiggly fingers. Triple H told him to calm down because they are just cheerleaders. Hunter said that DX will come out when they want to. He then dissed Hulkamania by proclaiming DX the most powerful force in the universe. Hunter had two words for Spirit Squad: look up. Green slime then dropped on the Spirit Squad and they flopped around like Bobby Heenan. DX spray painted the camera. This was cute enough.

Backstage, Coach told the angry Squad that he would take care of DX. Paul Heyman was in Coach’s office. He said he had a bunch of ECW wrestlers at Raw, and wanted to negotiate. He wanted Edge and Randy Orton vs. Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam for tomorrow’s ECW show. Well that just screams ECW. Coach made this. They desperately need a progressive vision for ECW, and that main event just feels like any other WWE show of the past so many years. It’s the Invasion all over again. They also made John Cena vs. Balls Mahoney for Raw.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler did an interview with Kane backstage. It was obviously prerecorded, and they gave it away with a bad cut from Jim Ross talking to a recording of Jim Ross talking. In any event, Kane said that he knows who the Faux Kane is and why he is doing what he is doing. Kane apparently knew someone growing up that was even more screwed up than he was. Umaga beat John McChesney with the Samoan spike in a brief squash. Armando after the match was angry that the fans were chanting along with his name.

John Cena beat Balls Mahoney. Cena got a very positive reaction, with very little backlash. There were some anti-Cena chants, but they didn’t really take. Support for Balls didn’t really take either. Cena went for the five knuckle shuffle when Paul Heyman handed Mahoney a chair. Cena gave him the drop toe hold anyway and applied the STFU for the submission. I’m not saying these aging ECW guys are the answer, but it wouldn’t hurt the brand’s authenticity if they were to protect the previous stars at least a couple weeks. Just about everyone associated with the old ECW and not the new WWE has been squashed in the space of two weeks.

After the match Sabu ran in. He threw a chair at Cena, hit him with a TV monitor, and finally hit a leg drop off a chair and the ropes through the announcer’s table. It was an impressive spot that looked like he nailed it perfectly. Of course John Cena was busted open hardway right above his eye and Sabu couldn’t even walk to the back through the crowd without help, so it couldn’t have been nailed that well. Cena did a hell of a sell job in the aftermath of this. He looked legitimately pissed off to have to be engaged in this dangerousness.

Randy Orton beat Gene Snitsky with the RKO. Afterwards he cut a nice little promo where he said he isn’t concerned about wrestling in ECW’s environment. I would hope not, given the obvious similarities to the Smackdown environment he has wrestled in for a while now.

Johnny Nitro and Shelton Benjamin beat Carlito in a handicap match. Carlito said this was punishment for laughing at what DX did, and did not find it cool. Carlito started with Nitro, giving him a drop kick and nipping up. Nitro tagged in, but Carlito gave him a knee lift and clothesline. Benjamin pressed Carlito into the air to gain momentum, but Nitro tagged himself in. This led to an argument between Benjamin and Nitro. Nitro knocked Benjamin out of the ring. Carlito rolled up Nitro for a near fall, but Nitro rolled through and grabbed the tights for the pin. Carlito gave Benjamin a back cracker after the match. This seemed like the longest match of the night, and it lasted about four minutes.

Backstage, DX spray painted Vince’s office. Eugene said that Hacksaw Jim Duggan is at home recovering, but he will get revenge for Hacksaw at Vengeance. I wouldn’t place any bets on that one. Rob Conway showed up to call Eugene and Duggan worthless, so Eugene attacked him. They then went back to DX in Vince’s office. Coach warned DX not to mess with him, so they threw him through a wall and exposed his ass. They spray painted DX on Coach’s ass. The Highlanders couldn’t find a way into their hotel room, so they broke down the door and ordered porn.

Edge beat Ric Flair quickly. Mick Foley did commentary. He said the match at Vengeance will be a debacle and a fiasco. It will be one of the worst matches of his and Flair’s careers. His plan is to stink up the joint and embarrass Flair in his hometown. Foley added that it is a loaded card so it won’t matter. That’s certainly a novel way of selling a match. I’m not sure whether this is to lower expectations or whether they will genuinely do this, but I am oddly compelled.

Flair started this match with fire. He gave chops and a low blow to Edge. He went for the figure four, but Edge sent him into the mandible claw and hit the spear for the pin. After the match, Rob Van Dam hit Edge with a kick off the top and hit the five star. Backstage, Spirit Squad rallied the locker room to destroy DX.

Shawn Michaels and HHH came out to do their old routine. Shawn said Stephanie’s fake labor was orchestrated by them. This is a minor point, but it strains credibility to believe that Vince and Shane would not be able to figure that out. They joked about who got Stephanie pregnant, with HHH remarking he must be very well hung. They played the Spirit Squad’s music, but a midget Squad came out. DX parodied laying them out. They then brought out female cheerleaders who did a DX cheer. The Raw locker room then came out led by the Squad, but the rest of the group left. DX fought off the Squad. The midget Spirit Squad mooned the full size Squad to close the show.

Final Thoughts:

This was like a bad edition of Nitro booked by Vince Russo. It’s appropriate that this show was filled with male ass, because the show was ass. Awful, practically non-existent wrestling was complemented by uninteresting angles and a constant stream of adolescent humor. Some of it was funny, but a lot more wasn’t.

HHH and Shawn Michaels did do a good job with the DX reunion. They really went with it, and it was obvious the crowd was into it. However, WWE needs to be really careful with this angle. I think people are going to get sick of it really quickly, and this has the potential to do serious damage to Michaels and HHH. It doesn’t get much more uncool than 40 year old guys acting like teenagers to relive a successful period that occurred a decade ago. But hey, DX has been protected a lot better thus far than ECW. If you can’t move forward, I guess going backward seems more appealing. What the hell. Bring back the Horsemen.

That’s a joke.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also disturbed by the high levels of ass shown on tonight's episode.

12:01 AM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

i wish it was 1997

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think the cut on Cena was hardway. I think he bladed after Sabu threw the chair at him. It looks like it if you go back and watch.

5:59 AM  
Blogger Dave Ling & Franchise said...

This show was pretty much ass, although I think the Cena vs. ECW angle is really strong and Orton/Angle is developing well as well (even though Angle isn't technically even on RAW or SD! any longer).

What happened to what used to be the strong IC Title picture? Now Nitro, Benjamin and CCC get a 5 minute segment? I think the divas "match" got more time.

I can't wait to see what Masters looks like when he comes back. Hopefully he's melting away like Snitsky.

7:19 AM  
Blogger nevs999 said...

Having not watched the original DX era - it was the 1970s, right? - I did get a kick out of Trips and Michaels because it appeared they were having a good time.

But take me back 10 years, and I'd be in a good mood too.

- Matt in Anchorage

8:50 AM  
Blogger 17Haze said...

I like the return of DX but as has been said before way too much ass in this show. If I go through my life without seeing another midgets ass, I will be a happy man. I mean seriously this was one of the biggest jokes for a show in a while.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous JRizzuti said...

Hey always enjoy reading Todd's report -- always nicely written (for a future lawyer) and funny. I was surprised you didn't mention anything about the WWE wrestlers especially HHH look since they have cut off the roids. H looks like any other wrestler now. Plus Flair looked like a real old man. I'm the same age as Flair and it shows.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous MAZ said...

What a complete and utter mess. Really no positives with regards to this show.

Wasn't the Shawn Michaels/Vince McMahan feud started by Vince wanting Michaels to be the Shawn Michaels of old, i.e., the DX Shaun Michaels. So, in essence, isn't VM getting what he wants? Also, 40 year old wrestlers acting like they are 18 years old isn't the least bit appealing. Further, outside a feud with VM and the Spirit Squad, is there really any future for DX? Finally, the last thing that I want to see from a DX reunion is the feud that ultimately splits HHH and SM, again. We've already seen those two go at it enough.

What happened to Cena vs Edge? RAW could really be headed for some great matches if they hadn't gotten thrown off course by all this ECW crap!!!!

We could have Cena and Edge playing mind games with each other with Edge building his heel status.

HHH should be battling Vince and having his way to further infuriate Vince and with the ultimate reforming of DX somewhere down the line.

I'm ready for Kane to bury Umaga and fake Kane to just go away!

Don't mind the IC scene although I thought that is was stupid for them to have Johnny Nitro buried in his first couple of matches and now he's an IC contender. Makes no sense.

Can we get Umaga to bury Viscera one more time and then let the Spirit Squad finish Viscera off.

I am so ready for Monday Night Football!

10:28 AM  
Anonymous todd martin said...

To anonymous friends, please provide some sort of name, even if it's made up. As far as the Cena cut, it's conceivable he bladed, but I don't recall seeing anyone blade right above their eye. It's an awful place to go, and his eye looked like hell. So I feel pretty damn confident it was hardway.

Flair definitely looked REALLY old. I just bring it up every third show, so I let it go. It's been a strain on credibility for a while to believe that guy can compete with guys in their 20s.

And that is an excellent point about McMahon's original conflict with Michaels not making sense in the context of what is going on now. I think I am going to repeat that point in my report next week. Yet another reason that long term booking should be used if at all possible.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous dan said...

Last night's show was very frustrating for me. The DX stuff just wasn't that funny. The opening bit with Vince was all right, but the other stuff was just, meh. Is this the best the WWE can do? Do the writers just think we're all a bunch of 12 year olds?

If Vince wants to run a kiddie show, I think I'll be watching more football in the fall.

What's with all the ass on the show? Cut it out, Vince.

1:06 PM  

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