Monday, June 26, 2006

Raw Report

Date: 06/26/06 from Fayetteville, NC.

The Big News: Edge interrupted a Rob Van Dam vs. John Cena title match, setting up a triple threat for Saturday Night’s Main Event.

Title Changes/Turns: None.

Match Results: Mickie James b Trish Stratus; Umaga b Kamala; Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch b Val Venis & Viscera; Randy Orton b Kane; Rob Van Dam NC John Cena.

Show Analysis:

The announcers from the beginning played up this edition of Raw as an historic night. The show began with Mickie James defeating Trish Stratus in a match for the women’s title. Trish had success early, with the Charlie Thesz press, drop kick, spine buster and a huracanrana. Mickie quickly turned the tide with a kick, a drop kick, and an attack on Trish’s shoulder. She hit the implant DDT for the clean pin really quickly.

Johnny Nitro and Melina came out, and Melina said Trish’s days as the top diva are over because she is the new top diva. This was not a good promo by Melina, who forgot what she was supposed to say and had poor delivery. Essentially she told Trish to get to stepping, so Trish went after her. Nitro grabbed Trish, but Carlito made the save. Backstage, Trish thanked Carlito, and Carlito basically said that he was after Nitro. He threw in a lot of Spanish, and said it was no problem. Trish whispered something to him in reference to his t-shirt, which he enjoyed.

Vince and Shane McMahon backstage told an angry Spirit Squad that they would take care of DX. They asked fans who would win John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam, which is a touch I have always liked. Umaga then defeated Kamala. This was a cute idea for a match, and Kamala looks similar enough to how he always did. Umaga hit a body slam, stiff kick, head butt off the second rope and Samoan spike for the easy pin. It was a total squash. In worse news, the diva search is back. It’s a tradition right on par with WCW Uncensored (save for 1997) or Uwe Boll releasing crappy video game adaptations.

Torrie Wilson came out to unveil the cover of a new WWE magazine. Edge came out to save the segment, and told Torrie to beat it. He said he should be on the cover of magazines, in the main event, and the champion. He said if he doesn’t get a rematch for the title, he is leaving the show. He then proceeded to leave through the crowd. He went back to one concession stand and took his t-shirts from that stand, which was a rather dumb touch. In any event, I like the possibilities with this, and it’s been time to go all the way with Edge for a while now.

John Cena was interviewed. He said One Night Stand didn’t go his way, but he didn’t act like Edge about it. Instead, he fought and earned a rematch. He said he has been through a lot, but he has his shot at a rematch. Cena added he is more focused than ever and is going to take care of business. This was another excellent promo from Cena, who is on a tremendous roll on the mic.

Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch defeated Val Venis and Viscera. When they showed these guys in a match, I was expecting a Great Khali run-in. Venis is one guy that is taking the drug policy seriously. He looks fit, but noticeably smaller. The heels worked over Venis, who made the hot tag to Viscera. Viscera was cleaning house when Charlie Haas forcibly kissed Lillian to distract Viscera. Cade and Murdoch hit the high low for the win. They played Brooke Hogan’s music video, and then showed Randy Orton watching this backstage and smiling. I am so scared of where this might be going.

HHH came out dressed like Vince McMahon with a hair piece and exaggerated walk and posing. The mannerisms were funny, but the speech was hit and miss. He couldn’t really pull off Vince speaking, but he did the growl well. He brought up the XFL, and said that he doesn’t love cocks but does love dicks. This built up to him growling “you’re fired.” Shawn Michaels came out as Shane, and again the mannerisms were the best part of the act. He did the Shane dance, and said he sucks up to Vince so he will get the McMahon empire. HHH said he won’t leave the money to Shane, but rather Stephanie and the guy that knocked her up.

This built to them playing the infamous “Stand Back” Vince song and dance performance from the Slammies. HHH and Michaels danced to this. The real Vince and Shane came out, and brought Spirit Squad with them. They then had some nasty fecal looking substance dropped on them. I liked a lot of the comedy here better than last week’s stuff because it wasn’t quite so juvenile. However, the crowd last week was clearly into it, and the crowd this week made it feel like the segment was dying, for what it’s worth. I hated the ending, which was disgusting and stupid.

Ric Flair did an interview presumably from his home. He said Mick Foley is a glorified stuntman that took the easy way out. He said he is hurt, but he will be back. Flair said he will own Foley when he gets his hands on him. Rob Van Dam was preparing backstage. Paul Heyman didn’t like RVD putting up his title on WWE’s terms. He called it risky. However, RVD noted that he is the man, and he’s got it. I like cocky RVD so much better.

Randy Orton beat Kane. Orton used a drop kick to the knee and punches to the head. Kane went for the choke slam, but Orton went to the eyes and hit a drop kick. Kane came back with a big boot, clothesline into the corner and side slam. He was ready for the choke slam, but Faux Kane came out. Kane immediately went after him and beat him up a couple times, but Orton used the opportunity to hit the RKO for the pin.

Kane beat up Faux Kane like a jobber, and gave him no offense. He hit two choke slams in the ring, one on the stage, dragged him through the back, took off his mask, and threw him out the door. This seemed to be the end for Faux Kane and a total burial. But if it is, why the hell did Faux Kane win last night? In another Highlanders vignette, they were impressed by a toilet. One of them took a dump in a urinal. They debut next week.

Rob Van Dam and John Cena fought to a no contest. RVD drew primarily boos, which I hope continues. RVD should play off of that with smirks and arrogance. It will get him over more as a face to some fans and a heel to others. Either way, it will mean more interest. RVD went to the top early, but Cena pushed him off the top to the floor. RVD returned the favor a little while later by kicking Cena off the top to the floor. RVD hit a somersault senton off the top to the floor on Cena, which Ross inexplicably labeled a moonsault. I’d give him a break on it, but he still insists on referring to a side slam as a sidewalk slam and it drives me nuts.

RVD brought in a chair, but Cena knocked it away and took over with the five knuckle shuffle and FU attempt. RVD got out and hit a spinning heel kick, German suplex and split legged moonsault. Cena came back with the power slam, FU and STFU. Edge ran in and attacked both men. He gave RVD the spear. He told RVD he will see him tomorrow. This finish did no favors for RVD or the title.

Final Thoughts:

I liked this episode of Raw better than last week, because the wrestling actually had some significance and there was less in the way of adolescent humor. It also didn’t feel like it was booked by someone with ADD, so there was actually enough time to digest individual segments. A better finish to the main event would have helped, though. They are booking way too many BS finishes in the title matches. This trend started by adding some intrigue, but by this point it is just weakening the belt.

Cena, RVD and Edge all seem to have about an equal claim to a “title,” which I guess is what they are going for with a three-way program. The downside to that presentation is if the championship doesn’t signify anything and seems to be situated based on luck, nobody is going to care who holds it. There will soon be three people presented as world champion by the same company. That means they need to protect those belts more than ever if they want them to mean anything for PPV buys and ratings.


Anonymous MAZ said...

I had the opportunity to catch "Behind Enemy Lines" for the first time, and I must say that I had absolutely no regrets over watching it over RAW.

Due to the immense number of commercials, I was able to catch some of the RAW action and I must say I wasn't impressed.

I did like the build of the Carlito save and the Carlito - Johnny Nitro buildup.

Saw HHH's intro as Vince and turned it off in a matter of seconds. I still see absolutely no future for DX. The only path that I possibly see is for Michaels to turn heel on HHH.

Saw the Umaga intro and turned off when I saw Kimala. What is with the constant return of wrestlers of the 80's? Umaga has absolutely no validity in my book.

Saw the Orton and Kane match intro's and turned it off. Flipped back on to see Kane take the mask off of Fake Kane/Goldust. Hopefully this signifies the end of Fake Kane.
Orton's character has certainly gotten stale.

Noticed that Shelton Benjamin was absent from RAW. Any word?

Missed Trevor Murdoch, Lance Cade, Viscera, Venis and Haas which can only mean that I missed nothing.

As for the Highlanders, they are doing an awful lot to build these guys up for a facet of wrestling (Tag team) which is now virtually nonexistent.

Did catch the final match between Cena and RVD. I liked the run in by Edge because Edge is separating himself as the cream of the crop. At the same time, just what I didn't want which is yet another looming Triple Threat match. I think the WWE has exhausted the Triple Threat match.

7:18 AM  
Anonymous MAZ said...

Oh, P.S., Behind Enemy Lines was great!

7:19 AM  
Anonymous dan said...

I'd give last night's show a B+.
Solid opening match and post-match bit, great main event, and some good stuff in between.
However, there are still too many segments that are a waste of time.
Cut out the Diva Search, the Viscera-Charlie Hass feud, and that montage of crap masquerading as a music video, and it would be a 90 minute show. "With My Baby Tonight" is no longer the worst musical performance to ever air on a WWE show.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous nivek navillus said...

There are three things that bump up PPV buys, besides a general increase in interest:

1. Name (Wrestlemania draws because it is Wrestlemania)
2. Returns (DX, Austin, ECW)
3. An anticipated title match

With 3 champions, the title situation is really watered down. Titles change hands regularly and champions are not protected enough (see Mysterio, Rey). The best way to remedy this is to have one world champ represent all the brands, which should not be a problem since there is no illusion of competition between brands.

This will automatically increase the value of the title because every member of the roster will be after that one championship. Thus, the opportunity to have an anticipated title match increases immediately. The tag titles would be well-served to follow the same strategy, since there is hardly enough competition for one set of tag belts. For purposes of the individual shows, there should be one brand-exclusive title (US, IC, ECW).

I am surprised they haven't gone this route yet, since domestic PPV buys are plummeting and I'm sure HHH is looking for a way to put himself over even further. What a better way than to be the Triple Crown Champion.

12:52 PM  
Blogger brian said...

Nivek I agree with your points but would you not add an anticipated gimmick match such as hell in a cell or elimination chamber as being a fourth thing that bumps up PPV buys? Royal Rumble being probably the best example of this

3:16 AM  

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