Monday, July 17, 2006

Raw Report

Date: 07/17/06 from San Antonio, TX.

The Big News: DX continued to get the best of the McMahons, but John Cena found himself on the losing end against Umaga.

Title Changes/Turns: None.

Match Results: Carlito Caribbean Cool b Shelton Benjamin; Torrie Wilson & Trish Stratus b Mickie James & Victoria; Highlanders b Jared Steele & Russell Simpson; Umaga b John Cena; Randy Orton b Eugene Dinsmore; Shawn Michaels b Shane McMahon-DQ.

Show Analysis:

DX came out to start the show. They plugged their t-shirts. I think the idea is that since they are being somewhat sarcastic, shameless merchandise plugging becomes cool. Shawn Michaels started stuttering, and HHH said “easy, Miz,” which was a funny line. They suggested a tag match against Vince and Shane McMahon. It’s rather silly that they go from handily defeating five young guys including a potential future world champion Ken Doane to a presumably more even feud with a non-wrestling old man and his out of shape non-wrestling son. It’s a tribute to ego over business, which is a common theme in WWE these days. The McMahons came out, and Vince made Shawn Michaels vs. Shane McMahon. Shane didn’t seem to like this, and said that Vince and HHH would be in the corners. Vince didn’t seem happy about that.

Carlito beat Shelton Benjamin to become the number one contender for the Intercontinental Title. The announcer said this was for a Cruiserweight Title shot, which I assume was a planned screwup to A) make him look like an idiot B) play for comedy and C) point out Lillian wasn’t there after being laid out last week. Carlito did a really high backflip off the top rope but Benjamin caught him shortly thereafter with a drop kick. Carlito hit a knee lift, clothesline and springboard elbow, but Benjamin escaped the back cracker. Benjamin rolled up Carlito but couldn’t reach the ropes for leverage. Carlito reversed, grabbed the ropes, and scored the pin.

Trish Stratus and Torrie Wilson beat Mickie James and Victoria. I have to protest the result of this match, as it was the result of some biased officiating from one Candice Michelle, the special guest referee. Victoria and Mickie were firmly in control until Torrie got her knees up on a Victoria jigglesault attempt. Torrie tagged Trish, who came in with chops, a Charlie Thesz press on Victoria, and a bulldog on Mickie. Trish went for the Stratusphere on Victoria, but Mickie broke it up.

At this point Candice should have counted and asked Mickie to leave the ring. As Bryan Danielson would most certainly point out, she had a count of five. Instead, Candice attacked Mickie and physically threw her out of the ring. At this point Victoria was so flummoxed, flabbergasted, and befuddled by this egregious misconduct that she was caught with the Stratusfaction for the pin. I hope they revoke Candice’s referee’s license. In fact, I may write a firmly worded letter.

Maria interviewed Umaga and Armando. She didn’t play up the ditz act presumably to get this over as more serious, and it was effective. Armando predicted bad things for John Cena. Mick Foley then cut another great taped promo. He brought up how Ric Flair bragged about beating him two straight falls. Foley said he remembers Flair being bloodied and destroyed in front of his crying family.

He wanted to know how that could be construed as a positive. Foley said he wasn’t trying to win the match, and instead planned on leaving Flair laying. He said he doesn’t ever want to wrestle Flair, anywhere or in any match. He never wants the match, so there will be no rematch, and he concluded with a smile and thumbs up. I wish Foley had a greater role in WWE creative beyond just his programs.

Viscera and Charlie Haas were together backstage. They said they could explain what happened last week, but they wouldn’t. The Highlanders then defeated Jared Steele and Russell Simpson with the Scot Drop. They challenged the Spirit Squad for the tag titles, which mean absolutely nothing at this point in time. The Highlanders didn’t get much of a reaction here. DX saw the Highlanders backstage, and told them to go into Vince’s office. They said Vince is hard of hearing so he needs to be yelled at, and he likes to a pat on the butt.

Matt Striker was in the ring with a chalkboard that said Edge is better than John Cena. He is clearly a very bad teacher, as he identified this as an equation when it was quite clearly an inequality. He may have fooled John Cena, but he didn’t fool me or the esteemed Scott Shapiro. John Cena came out and said Edge isn’t better than him but rather Lita screwed him out of the title. Cena went after Striker but Umaga came out.

Umaga beat John Cena. Umaga threw Cena through the chalkboard, and then attacked Cena with pieces of the board. This was another case of crummy officiating, as this was not an extreme rules match and Umaga should have been disqualified just like that hoodlum Sabu. Umaga went to Cena’s throat and dropped a knee. Cena got the STFU but Umaga was in the ropes. He came back with a clothesline and head butt. Edge came to ringside and Cena went after him.

Umaga grabbed Cena from behind and threw him into the steps. Umaga missed a splash off the top, and Cena came back with cross body blocks, a Cena slam, and the five knuckle shuffle. At that point Armando got on the apron and Edge ran in. Cena got him up for the FU, but Umaga kicked him in the head and hit the Samoan spike for the pin. This was an effective segment even with another title contender being pinned. Jim Ross in particular did a really good job selling this.

The Highlanders were in Vince’s office eating. He came in and was angry. The Highlanders screamed at him as an introduction. This made Vince angry so he told them to leave, and they smacked his ass on the way out. This was pretty funny. Randy Orton defeated Eugene next in a brief squash with the RKO. Eugene didn’t even get to hulk up. Afterwards, Randy Orton talked about Brooke being pretty and shamelessly plugged her CD and “hit song.” He hopes what he did to Hulk Hogan won’t affect his potential relationship with Brooke.

Mick Foley did another brief taped promo. He said that he wanted to talk about Flair’s hardcore match with the Big Show. Foley said that he was impressed with Flair getting hardcore, but he still gets no rematch. Foley said he has nothing left to prove. He concluded, “You’re out of my life, you washed up piece of crap. Yeah!” Ric Flair came out called Foley fat. This wasn’t the greatest of rebuttals. He wanted a hardcore match with Foley, but Johnny Nitro came out. He pointed out that Foley had made it clear he didn’t want another match, and jumped Flair. Flair came back with a chop block and chops. Nitro knocked Flair into Melina, and Nitro left the ring to help Melina to the back.

The diva search made its dreaded return. They eliminated the first woman. She took like five hours to leave. She hugged the other women. She threw things to the crowd. She hung around. She looked despondent. This made me angry. I don’t care about you. Nobody cares about you. You lost. Now leave. Here’s a little secret for you on the way out: WWE will hire you if they want to anyway, they will cut you even if you win, and the votes on this thing reflect nothing about you so you shouldn’t be upset. Diva search will always suck.

Shawn Michaels beat Shane McMahon via disqualification. Michaels hit an Asai moonsault early. Shane came back with an inverted atomic drop, clotheslines, a body slam and an elbow off the top. He went for sweet chin music but Michaels blocked it. Michaels hit the flying forearm, inverted atomic drop and punches. He was set for sweet chin music but Vince grabbed his foot. HHH chased Vince up the aisle, and that gave Spirit Squad the opportunity to run in and jump Michaels. HHH came back, but the Squad and the McMahons got the best of DX for a little while. They did a cool spot where they went for the High Spirits but Michaels landed on his feet. HHH finally got his sledgehammer and DX cleared the ring to end the show.

Final Thoughts:This show was fine. The Mick Foley-Ric Flair feud is the best stuff on the show, but John Cena-Edge is also working well, and the comedy this week was better than it has been recently. I do think the promotion would be better off if Cena and Edge were in the main event position rather than the McMahons and DX, but that’s old news.


Blogger Swain said...

I found the Highlanders/DX segment to be the real DX. It had Shawn and HHH taking advantage of the naivete of newcomers, and putting them in a position where they get in trouble with the boss. Shawn and HHH get some kicks, and people who aren't them suffer. Thats the real DX, and more importantly, the real Shawn Michaels.

7:01 AM  
Anonymous MAZ said...

Glad to hear that an episode of RAW wasn't a complete the waste of time that it usually is.

I'll start by saying that I don't like the idea of Carlito beating Shelton Benjamin. It's obvious that they are back to burying Benjamin. I'd rather see Carlito beat a Matt Striker to keep his face appeal and let Benjamin face someone else so that he can make a legitimate claim for the #1 contender's position and then let's build to a showdown between Benjamin and Carlito with the winner getting a shot at Nitro.

Apparently, Foley and Flair are adding a well needed spark to RAW, ECW or whatever show that they are showing up on.

I'm sorry, but I don't think that I will ever buy into Umaga. If they want to push him as some kind of unstoppable force, they should do so in the ECW arena. He seems to be a much better fit taking on the likes of ECW rather than RAW. Keep in mind that, to date, Umaga has beaten the likes of old Rick Flair, old Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Eugene, and Viscera. I wouldn't exactly put any of those wrestlers in the same category as Cena at this time. So for Umaga to go from beating the lower tier wrestlers to beating Cena is a blow for Cena and a future blow for RAW as I really don't see much of a rivalry whether it's Cena-Umaga or Umaga-Edge. I understand that a large part of the match was designed to build the Cena/Edge feud. I get that. But I also understand that at some point in time, Umaga will lose and then he will fall off the face of the WWE map and then what will have been the point of making out to be so much better than what he actually is?

Just how bad is the Tag team scene? Viscera and Charlie Haas, Highlanders, Jared Steele and Russell Simpson? I'll pull for the Spirit Squad any day over any of those guys.

Is it just me or does it seem that Randy Orton is stuck in something of the same kind of hell as Shelton Benjamin? I get the impression that WWE is just not sure what they want to do with him and I think that it hurts his persona. Also, I know that they keep wanting to push Orton as the Legend killer but can he build anything within RAW if his only bouts are against legends of the 80's/90's?

7:46 AM  
Blogger nevs999 said...

Here's all I'm curious about: When will Lita's ever-exposed chest get its own "Superstars/Extremists" page on the WWE Web site?

Foley is clearly the best reason to watch Raw right now - "Yeah!"

- Matt in Anchorage

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Denis Gorman said...

According to Meltzer, Spirit Squad was told last night that they being split up. And what a way to go out, being jobbed out to two 40 years week after week after week.

4:48 PM  

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