Monday, July 24, 2006

Raw Report

WWE Raw Report

By: Todd Martin

Date: 07/26/06 from Cleveland, OH.

The Big News: Mick Foley was magic on the mic, and Umaga attacked Shawn Michaels.

Title Changes/Turns: None.

Match Results: Kenny Doane & Mikey Mondo b Highlanders; Shelton Benjamin b Carlito Caribbean Cool; Mickie James b Candice Michelle; Shawn Michaels b Jonathan Coachman-DQ; Ric Flair & John Cena b Edge & Johnny Nitro.

Show Analysis:

Shawn Michaels came out to start the show. He basically said Vince, Shane and Hunter are in a hospital where Stephanie is having her child. Jonathan Coachman then came out with a cell phone. He said he was in charge, and that Shawn Michaels would wrestle him later on the show. Michaels laughed at this.

The Spirit Squad (Mikey and Kenny) retained the tag titles defeating the Highlanders. Rory body slammed Robbie on Mikey early. The Squad gained the advantage, and there was a hot tag, but as the Highlanders were going for the finish, other members of the Squad interfered. Kenny hit a twisting downward spiral for the pin.

Mick Foley did a promo. He sarcastically said that he couldn’t believe Ric Flair called him fat boy twice last week, which would have hurt his feelings 30 years ago. He said it’s sad to see Flair prove that he has the originality, creativity and intelligence of a fourth grader. He added that he thought he was going to meet Oz, but instead got a feeble man digging into a bag of cliches. He called Flair a second rate circus sideshow, and said he won’t be lured into fighting Flair. He will be at Raw next week. He called Flair a washed up piece of crap, and gave another smile, thumbs up and “yeah!” Foley is delivering the most consistently excellent promos in American wrestling this year.

Ric Flair came out for an abbreviated promo. He alluded to defeating Terry Funk, which they had just aired. Flair reiterated he wants Foley in a match, but before he could get anything more out, Edge interrupted. Flair is just getting buried because they won’t let him get a verbal comeback. Edge distracted Flair so Johnny Nitro could attack him from behind. Edge and Nitro double teamed Flair, but John Cena made the save. Carlito backstage made plans to hang out with Trish after his match. Kane vs. Big Show is the “ECW” main event tomorrow. Good lord.

Coach was speaking on his cell with Vince backstage. Edge came in complaining, but Coach just kept on talking with Vince. He said that there would be a tag match with Edge and Nitro vs. Flair and Cena. Edge seemed flummoxed and did not know how this came to be, which was pretty funny given this was as cookie cutter of a tag team setup as you could possibly imagine. They announced Stephanie gave birth to a girl named Aurora Rose, and treated it as a very straight face announcement.

Shelton Benjamin beat Carlito. Carlito used rollups, a knee lift, clotheslines, and a drop kick early. Benjamin went after Carlito’s arm and threw him into the post. Carlito came back with a springboard elbow and drop kick. He came off the top rope but was caught in a Fujiwara armbar. Carlito got to the ropes, and went to the eyes and hit the back cracker moments later. Benjamin got his foot on the ropes. The finishing sequence saw a turnbuckle removed and Benjamin use a low blow for the pin. It was totally botched, which was a shame. Carlito looked crisper than usual, and this was a very good TV match until the screwed up finish.

Hulk Hogan came out, and milked his reaction forever even though this wasn’t a Montreal type reaction for him. He said Randy Orton is in a lot of trouble, and doesn’t know anything about respect. He alluded to his feud with Bob Orton, Jr. and said there was respect between them. He said he will teach Orton respect. Orton came out, and talked about his chemistry with Brooke. He claimed she told him how handsome he was, with great eyes and a great physique.

Orton said his only regret is Brooke will have to watch him beat Hulk. Hogan challenged him. Orton didn’t seem to want to get in the ring, but after a confrontation with Jerry Lawler, Lawler threw him into the ring. Hogan dominated briefly, but Orton exited as he went for the big boot. This was a good angle. Mickie James then defeated Candice in a brief match. Candice hit a crossbody off the top but Mickie rolled through and grabbed the tights for the pin.

Shawn Michaels defeated Jonathan Coachman via disqualification. Michaels was just playing around with a flying forearm, inverted atomic drop and elbow off the top. Spirit Squad then ran in, but Michaels eliminated all of them with ease. That made the Highlanders and the tag titles look pretty worthless. Michaels then went for sweet chin music on Coach, but Umaga came in from behind with the Samoan drop for the DQ. He chased off the Squad 1 on 5 as well, and then gave Michaels the Samoan spike.

Maria interviewed John Cena backstage. Like Edge, she seemed confused by the concept of a tag team match. John Cena then cut a weird comedic promo that went all over the place. It was the sort of “cute” promo that turned people on Cena in the first place. They eliminated another woman from the diva search.

John Cena and Ric Flair defeated Edge and Johnny Nitro. Flair and Cena cleared the ring at the beginning of the match, but Nitro and Edge were able to work over Cena. Cena tagged Flair, who came in with punches and chops on Nitro. He applied the figure four, but Edge broke it up. Moments later Edge hit the spear on Flair, but Cena broke up the pin. Nitro and Edge worked over Flair until Flair tagged Cena. Cena came in with clotheslines, a shoulder block, and the Cena slam. He went for the five knuckle shuffle, but Edge hit him with a chair. Nitro covered, but Cena kicked out. Moments later Cena applied the STFU on Nitro, and Flair held Edge back until Nitro submitted.

Final Thoughts:

This was a decent, straight-forward show. It wasn’t inspired and you didn’t miss anything if you missed it, but for the first time in ages it was basically devoid of anything insulting or counterproductive. That’s cause for celebration to me, and it was nice to see Edge and John Cena in main event in the top position.


Anonymous Mean Dean said...

Just a couple things. I was at the show last night, and I have no idea how it came off on TV, but it actually was pretty electric at The Q for Hogan, in person him milking came off perfectly fine.

Also, IIRC, Kenny used the Test Drive/Last Rites to finish the tag match.

7:21 AM  
Anonymous MAZ said...

It sounds as if Vince, Shane and HHH's absence may have helped to improve the show.

I'll start by saying Go Spirit Squad! Obviously the Highlanders are meant to be faces, but I find myself rooting for the SS.

It sounds as if the only real feud that the WWE is working hard on building is Foley/Flair. It also sounds like this is going well. I think that I would normally bash this because, in my mind, both of these guys should be retired, but I'm not going to do this. As a matter of fact, I hope that they continue their feud for whatever the next PPV and beyond because I think that it will help serve as a model which the younger wrestlers can learn about what the fans want actually to see.

Now, I'm surprised to see Flair and Nitro as part of the main event, but I don't think that any damage is done by that. I am surprised that they didn't have Foley interfere. That would added some more spice to the Foley/Flair rivalry and created greater heat between Edge and Cena because I would have had Edge and Nitro win the match with interference from Foley.

It sounds as if there was not a tremendous amount of heat between Benjamin and Carlito. I think that these two have wrestled each other too many times as of late.

I really was against the DX thing and I really thought that they would have been better served by having a more prolonged build up of the return of DX, but I hope that they return next week and bury Umaga and his manager. If there is a face holding the IC championship, I could see Umaga fighting for that title, but he is not a heavyweight contender. I remember Bill Goldberg's unbeaten streak that became part of his legacy. Goldberg deserved his unbeaten streak. Umaga doesn't deserve his.

Big Show vs Kane? Sounds like we are headed for a Big Show/Khali vs Kane/Undertaker match.

For the record, I'm still not watching and I'm now to the point where I look forward to Todd's Tuesday report more than the actual show.

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

The good news is that young Aurora Rose looks nothing like Randy Savage which is a big relief for all involved. In all seriousness, congratulations to the Levesques.

Quickly on the show, I'm noticing a lot of hypocrisy in the way the Orton-Hogan feud is coming together. Orton is supposed to be a heel for interrupting Hogan's interviews, being disrespectful, attacking him backstage, and taking an immoral interest in Brooke. But DX always interrupts people's promos, John Cena is always disrespectful, faces attack people backstage all the time and Viscera is a face for his womanizing. It's like Cena's promo when he rips Estrada for blabbing on an on when he himself does it all the time. JR also loses all credibility when he buys into all this.

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All rules about how faces and heels should act were thrown out the window after Stone Cold became a face. When arguably the most popular face of all time was cheered for coming out and Stunning every person within his line of sight, men, women, children, good guys, bad guys, midgets, puppies, et al, then it doesn't matter if faces and heels act as they're "supposed to."

9:01 AM  
Anonymous al tyson said...

i didnt think cena's promo was weird at all you just had to pay attention much like foleys. it was very much rock circa 2002 in all actuality. hes right people are "booin him, ecw's in the tank, smackdowns fallin apart"...but there is a focus, there always is in wwe and sometimes they just cant get there.

4:00 PM  

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